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November 24, 1971 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-11-24

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednes&y, November 24, 1971

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Wednes~y, November 24, 1971

Van: R
By HERB BOWIE
Do you remember back in
high school when your English
teacher wanted to discuss this
strange' phenomenon of p o p
music and she started talking
about . . Simon and G a r -
funkel? And do you remeniber
reading that Leonard Bernstein
thought that the Beatles, for
pop musicians, were pretty good,
because they use fancy chord
changes and stuff like that?
Well, I dream of the day when
rock will be recognized, not as
paraplegic poetry or mutant
music, but as an art form all
its own. And, when that d a y
comes, I'm sure that Van Mor-
rison will be one of the prime
examples of rock auteur.
Morrison is important b e -
cause he makes full use of the
unique potentials of rock as an
artistic medium, a distinction
that not many people can claim
(by rock I mean any recorded
music that includes both a vocal
and an instrumental accompani-
ment.) Even luminaries such as
the Stones often miss the mark
because they fail to make the
lyrics an integral part of the
song. How many of you know
what "Brown Sugar" is about?
Lesser artists, like Simon and
Garfunkel, err in the opposite
direction by slapping some med-
iocre music and a lame vocal
delivery onto nearly poetic ly-
rics.
What Morrison does is fuse
lyrics, accompaniment, a n d
vocal into a whole that is more
than a sum of its parts. The
words by themselves are gener-
ally rather ordinary, more con-
versational than poetic. Listen
to Morrison sing them however,
and you begin to get some kind
of the feeling behind them. Add
a tight, complex accompaniment
and you have a strong emotional
experience.
One factor that enables Van
to produce such compelling
songs is his simple lyricism. He
never philosophizes, moralizes,
or fantasizes; instead he sings
about the simple aspects of life.
With "Stoned Me," for exam-
ple, he made nothing less than
a great song about nothing more
than water: getting drenched in
a sudden rainfall, fishing in it,
and drinking it fresh from a
mountain stream. And when he
says that it stoned him, we
have to believe him: the power
of the vocal and the band's
performance cannot be denied:
Yet Morrison's simplicity may
also prove to be his downfall,
for there are only so many sim-
ple, obvious things one can
write about. Sooner or later,
even if his audience doesn't
mind endless variations on a
single theme, Morrison is going
to run out of new ways to say
"I love you." On Tupelo Honey
he seems to have reached that
point.
Van kicks the album off with
the straightforward rocker and
hit single of the album, just as
he started off His Band and
Street Choir with* "Domino."
This time, though, he doesn't
burden the song with a theme
that's bound to get lost in the
excitement of the music; instead
he's picked a topic so suitable
that only he or Chuck Berry
could'have thought of it: a
night out on the town looking

ock's classical composer

.. mages

for excitement. Despite a rath-
er perfunctory vocal, the cut is
absolutely dynamite: it makes
me wish I had a car just so I
could head out cruisin' and hear
"Wild Night" on the radio.
As good as Morrison is at
rockers like "Wild Night," he
doesn't really like them: the
response is too stereotyped. And
so, with the top-40 material out
of the way, we slow down into
a mellower pace, one in which
Van is free to whisper or shout
as he' pleases.
"(Straight To Your Heart)
Like a Cannonball" is a perfect
example of Morrison's genius.
The song opens with an electric
guitar playing a simple series of
four note riffs that jerkily start
and stop, perfectly paralleling
the good Morrison's in:
You know sometimes it gets
so hard.
And every, everything don't
seem to rhyme
And I take a walk out in my
backyard
And go: Doo-doo-loo-doo-loo-
doo-loo
Doo-doo--loo-doo-loo-doo-loo,
Waiting for the sun to shine.
The only trouble so far is that
the do-doo-loo-doo-loos hit me
more like a wet dishrag than a
cannonball, but wait - it's all
part of the plan. Another des-
pairing verse and Van sings:
We move along,
Keep singing our song,
Straight to your heart like a
cannonball.
By this time the guitar lines
have been replaced by a relent-
lessly ascending mandolin riff
that carries us to some searing
flute-work.
Just as Van promised, he
moves right along: after singing
the doo-doo-loo-doo-loos to a
heartier melody, the despond-
ent mood of the first two verses
is replaced by one of anger in
the next. Finally the sun breaks
through as a background chorus
sweetly repeats the refrain "We
move along/ Keep singing our
song/ Straight to your heart like
a cannonball" while Van bursts
into some bubbling im-
provisation. As the c h o r u s
fades out, Van picks up
the line "Straight to your heart
like a cannonball," repeats it
slowly twice, then confidently
belts it out - and the song is
over. Even i Van were singing
in a foreign language, the songs
joyful optimism would still be
clear.
The next cut, "Old, O 1 d
Woodstock," is another master-
piece: the sparse back-up, Mor-
rison's aching vocal and the
understated lyrics all work per-
fectly together. The theme,
again expressing Morrison's con-
fidence in the future, is one of
the most revolutionary heard in
rock in a long time: the joy of
having a h6me and family.
Woodstock becomes not only a
nice place to live but a reposi-
tory of traditional American val-
ues. And, just as Van keeps
coming home to Woodstock and
to his family in the song, he
keeps returniig to this simple
verse:
Goin' down to old, old
Woodstock.
Feel the cool night breeze.
Goin' down toold, old
Woodstock.
Give my child a squeeze.

Van's come a long way s i n c e
Woodstock: from lover to friend
to father,
"Starting a New Life" is all
about how Van and his family'
are moving down the road in the
spring to find out where they
belong. It's not a very inter-
esting idea and the thematic
reinforcement it provides is un-
necessary. Its saving grace is
that it's only about two minutes
long.
Unfortunately "You're My
Woman" is over six-and-a-half
minutes. The song is almost
painfully simple at times, Van
almost speaking his lines with
hardly any accompaniment. The
lyrics, in sharp contrast to the
ones in "Old, Old Woodstock,"
are cliched and, at one point,
even clumsy:
In Kingston town now.
In Kingston town now,
Walk up and down now.
Look at the ground now.
You went in lay-a-bor.
You want in lay-a-bor.
And all our friends came
through.
Morrison's trisyllabic pronuncia-
tion of "labor" tries to put more
emotion in the word that it can
possibly hold, the result being
that it bursts and sinks the
verse. Still, though, the c u t
would be alright had Van not
said it all so much better before.
Side Two gets back on the
track with "Tupelo Honey," ano-
ther gem. This is yet another
Van Morrison love song, but one
with a new dimension. Before,
Van has always considered his
love a pleasurable experience,
and even one he's become ad-
dicted to, but never as any-
thing more. Here he calmly
states that nothing is as im-
portant, as his love, and then
warmly tells us why: "She's as
sweet as Tupelo Honey."
The only trouble with t h e
cut is that it seems a little con-
fused. About four minutes into
the cut, Van and the band start
building to a nice climax, but in-
stead of fading out at the peak,
slow down, re-enter the song to
repeat a verse, and then go
through the ending all over
again. The flaw can't be over-
looked, but it's more puzzling
than destructive.
And that's about it. The re-
maining three songs are knee-
slapping, C&W shit-kickers
that'll have you whistling for a
few seconds after the album's
over and then pass out of your
mind without a trace.
Van Morrison's in bad trouble.
A good album can get by with
only three or four greatrcuts,
but not if it's got four boring
ones. What Morrison desperate-
ly needs are some nice little fill-
er cuts that can pleasurably
transport the listener from one
classic song to another. Y e t
this seems to be the one thing
LEARN NOW ABOUT THE
NEXT CPA EXAM
NOVEMBER 3-4, 1971
THE BECKER
CPA REVIEW COURSE
313-961-1400
Our Successful Students Represent
Next Course Begins June 5,1971
--7- ---

Morrison can't produce. When
he can find a subject he's really
interested in he's simply t h e
best there is.
Short of a return of the pro-
lificacy that produced Moon-
dance, I can only see one way
out for Van: doing others' ma-
terial. Rod Stewart does it and
it works just fine for him, why
shouldn't Van try it? Unless he
does, we may not have another
good Van Morrison album until
Greatest Hits Vol. II comes out,
loody Sunday
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to a mis-
calculation of page space the fol-
lowing conclusion to Neal Gabler's
review of "Sunday, Bloody Sunday"
was omitted from yesterday's arts
page.
Its one asset, and a major
one at that, is Glenda Jackson.
She has already proven herself
one of film's most accomplished
actresses, and her performance
here does nothing to discredit
that reputation as a total ac-
tress who really knows how to
use her voice and body. I would
say that her performance is
equal to her 'Oscar-winning job
in Women in Love, but "equal"
doesn't quite give the sense of
total equivalence I'm after. This
is her performance in Women
in Love, Gerda transposed to
modern day, though I would
doubt very much that you'll
care.
The other performances don't
match Miss Jackson's, but I
don't see how you can fault
Peter Finch. His role requires
him to be an ornament much
more than an actor, Jewish and
talcum - powdered. Mr. Finch
looks both. Murray Head comes
off less well. You get the idea
that Bob is supposed to be some-
thing of a non-entity, an ironic
void at the center of his lovers'
lives, else why does he sit there
scribbling pound note signs?
Materialism, get it? But he
couldn't be this much of a zero;
and when Head, looking like
David Cassidy five years hence,
winks, pouts, snarls bitchingly,
and scrunches up his dandy lit-
tle face, he is essentially hol-
low and as flat as an untuned
piano.
However, when Bob decides
to depart for the States and
peddle his crap, Head's badness
works into a larger scheme of
art mocking reality. He knows,
like Schlesinger, that Ameri-
cans are suckers for pretty
junk. Aren't wye?
Make your
9MOVE
With the MGB, the sports
car for the man who likes
to go his own way. At our
showroom now.
Overseas
Imported Cars Inc.
936 N. Main
Ann Arbor

4

cF~TTY~.

"One of the most exciting
films you'll see this year."
Det. News

"IF YOU LOVE TO BE SCARED,
MAKE IT A POINT TO SEE
'PLAY MISTY FOR, ME'!"
Owen Eshenroder, Ann Arbor News
CLINT EASTWOOD

-Daily-Robert Wargo
MALE STUDENTS
OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE $3
BY PARTICIPATING IN A
ONE-HOUR EXPERIMENT
, .,.--------- COUPON .------------,
SEND THIS COUPON TO MICHIGAN DAILY BOX NO. 2
FULL NAME (Print)
ADDRESS
I TELEPHONE NO.__
BEST HOURS TO CALL YOU
AGE CLASS
Number of previous experiments: 0 1 2 3 4 5 or more
Are you part of this semester's
Paid subject pool? Yes No
Unpaid subject pool? Yes No
---....................................................

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"PLAY MISTY FOR ME" N

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BOX OFFICES OPEN 6:30
SHOW STARTS AT 7:00

FM

"ONE REBEL COP HAD THE GUTS TO TAKE
ON THE ORGANIZATION"
SIDNEY POITIER DEBBIE REYNOLDS
Nightly at 7:05 & 10:55 AT 9:05

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NOW! AT BOTH THEATERS! THRU SUNDAY
FROM THE HILLS OF TOBACCO ROODY
"SOUTHERN COMFORTS" X
"SECRET SEX LIVES OF ROMEQ & JULIET" X
PLUS A 3RD BIG BONUS HIT
At WILLOW At SCIO
"PUSSYCAT "TRIP AROUND
PARADISE" THE WORLD"

I

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THANKSGIVING SPECIAL!

Ui -11

I

I I

&ier Dzdyj Calendar
Wednesday, Nov. 24

Ij

DAILY CROSSWORD PUZZLE
Copr 71 Gent Features Corp.

Film-
Fifth Forum
"Plaza Suite" 7 -p.m.
"Desperate Characters" 9 p.m.
Campus Theatre
"Hellstrom Chronicle" 1,3,5,7 and 9 p.m.
State Theater
"200 Motels" 1,3,5,7 and 9 p.m.
Michigan Theater
"Play Misty for Me" 1,3,5,7 and 9 p.m.

aHURRY-)
Corner State & Liberty Streets ND W'EDN
DIAL 662-6264
OPEN 12:45
Shows at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9:05
FRANK ZAPPA'S R
STARTS THURSDAY

MUST
JESDA Y!

BIG DOUBLE FEATURE
"ONE OF THE BEST AMERICAN
FILMS FOR MONTHS."
-The New Yorker Magazine
"A BRILLIANT PORTRAIT OF THE
STATE OF TH I NGS TODAY."
--Newsweek
"WOW, IS IT EVER A FINE FILM!"
-Liz Smith, Cosmopolitan
'SHIRLEY MacLAINE GIVES THE BEST
PERFORMANCE OF HER LIFE!"
-Bernard Drew, Gannett Newspapers
"'Desperate Characters' is a double
must for serious moviegoers. Even
after you leave, it has staying power.
You keep thinking about the
characters, and you keep thinking
about yourself as well. The
acting is superb."
--Bob Salmaggi, Group W Radio
"A Knock-Out of a Movie."
-Paaeant

ACROSS
I Poise.
7 Engineer of the
Suez Canal.
14 It grows in
India: 2 words.
15 Atom-smasher
similar to the
synchrotron.
16 Of a long
mountain range.
17 Not fit for food.
18 Men of science:
Abbr. .
19 The people of
an ancient
Greek state.
21 Equal.
22 Main theme, in
art, music, etc.
23 Paper money.
25 Acquired mom
or dad.
28 Nocturnal re-
freshment.
30 Embers.
31 Merchandise
attachments:
2 words.
36 Give vent to.
37 Had being.
38 Fence material.
39 Itemize again.
41 Maiden in the
Forest of Arden.

42 Rodeo scene.
43 Intervals of
silence, in music.
44 Ask.
48 Start.
50 Citizen of SW
Asia.
51 As before.
52 Lincoln's
"Cap'n .."
55 Cleaned house.
58 Buoyant.
60 Uranium isotope
separators.
61 Springlike.
62 Population level.
63 Get away.
DOWN
1 Down with: Fr.
2 Small lake.
3 Limiteds: Abbr.
4 Hematite.
5 Fields.
6 U.S. writer.
7 Burning glass.
8 Night before.
9 Djected.
10 Quiet.
11 Oil-rich province
of Iraq.
12 Cousin to the
schottische.
13 Deride.
15 Nutrients in
pulp of citrus

fruits.
20 Weapon.
22 Ancient isle of
Melita.
23 Legal document.
24 Harvest goddess
of Roman myth.
25 Baked goods
finisher.
26 Cape in Alaska.
27 Nonprofessional.
29 Richly orna-
mental.
32 Bird note.
33 Troubles.
34 Obstinate
courage.
35 Bodies of water.
37 Cooking fat.
40 Relic of summer.
41 Louisianians.
44 Man's name.
45 Wipe out.
46 Georgia city.
47 Verges on.
49 Actor Allen.
51 Disclaim.
52 Sicilian trouble.
maker.
53 Get a return.
54 Waste time.
56 Altdorf's canton
of Switzerland.
57 Pithy remark.
59 Curve.

DAILY CROSSWORD
Cops. '71 Gen' Features Corp.
ACROSS current: Abbr.
1 Source of music: 49 Former "Flying
2 words. Finn."
8 Loud, ringing 50 Heroine of
sound. Conrad's
13 Cup-shaped "Victory."
flower. 51 Barker's talk.
14 Indulged. 53 White
17 Paced. 54 Himalayan peak.
18 Arabian ruler's 55 Never-ending.
state. 57 M.D.'s aides.
19 Stratum. 58 Whale.
20 Bedaubed. 60 Go before.
22 Sister. 62 Admiral Nelson.
23 Land of 63 Additional name
leprechauns. given to famous
25 Dawson's river. Romans.
26 Antic 64 Proust hero.
27 Baseball 65 Typing jobs.
player, Del--. DOWN
29 Artist of Ferd- 1 Former star:
'nand comic 2 words.
strip. 2 Assistant
30 Sacred song. resident'
31 Nullify physician.
33 Citizens of 3 Baby's meal.
Katmandu. 4 Young rascal.
35 French author. 5 Conciliatory
37 Affluence. gifts.
38 Ladies' man. 6 Goliath, to
42 Mollify. David.
46 Nimble. 7 Ancient hymn:
47 Unit of 2 words.
electrical 8 Iroquoian Indian.
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
13 14
17 i18

PUZZLE
9 Unit of light.
10 Surrounded by.
11 Conjunction.
12 Stone.
15 Piano pieces.
16 Signify.
21 Similar.
24 Famous falls.
26 Sad.
28 Be frugal.
30 Dixon's confrere.
32 Nigerian native.
34 - de Calais.
36 Late Argentine:
Full name.
38 Light carriage.
39 Syria's second
city.
40 Graduating class.
41 Prince of
Afghanistan.
43 B.C. ship.
44 Editor.
45 Army huts.
48 Correspondent:
2 words.
51 Mug.
52 Spacious.
55 Miss Kett.
56 Allowed
use of.
59 Large labor
union: Abbr.
61 Trucklebed.
10 1 i 12

I 2 3 4 5 6
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10

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12

13

fib

15L 11

.cooking rifles
Cn~stunt
'Your gowth .

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"A BEST BET."
-New York Magazine
SHIRLEY MacLAINE in Frank D. Glroy Film
DESPERATE CHARACTERS
COLOR by TVC. . A PARAMOUNT PICTURE

22

30
39

31

29 4
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- ~ 41

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27
31

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