The Michigan Daily-Friday, march 24, 1978-Page 7
by mike taylor
rT HE LAST FEW MONTHS have seen so many excellent debut albums
j be released it's reassuring to come across a couple of clunkers like
Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band and Charlie Ainley's Too Much
Is Not Enough. Alexander and Ainley have been playing in various bands for
years, but weren't able to make albums until now; it's a shame that years of
hard work have resulted in such mediocre LP's.
Alexander has found himself a competent enough band: they play his
songs with passion and imagination. The problem, unfortunately, is his
songs leave the musicians little to work with. Alexander knows a few catchy
riffs, but he can't seem to write more than a few lines of lyrics for each song.
The tunes seem flashy if you don't really listen to the words, but are em-
barassingly inane if you pay any attention to them. Thus numbers like
"Kerouac" sound more like a new theme song for "Romper Room" than
You snuck upprettyfast/Snuck upfromthe past,
Oh, Kerouac you're on the top of my shelf,
Kerouac, up there with no one else.
"Rock & Roll '78" combines guitar lines lifted from Bowie's Low with
Bowie's "Drive4n Saturday" fifties' sound. It's snazzy music, all right, but
Alexander's detached, repetitive vocals make it all seem like a force.
"Radio Heart" opens with an ominous bass riff and breaks into some snappy
guitar chords, but governed by mindless lyrics it goes nowhere.
EVERY NOW AND THEN, Alexander seems headed down the
dangerous road of heavy metal with tunes like "Home Is" and "Looking
Like a Bimbo," but most of the time he favors light, eccentric melodies
brightened by the Boom Boom Band's spirited instrumentation. It's a pity he
couldn't come up with lyrics to match attractive songs like "Everybody
Knows," "Look At Me," and "Hair."
There's one great moment, though: Alexander's spoof of Phil Spector's
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' " has all the wit and ambition his lyrics
lack. He's slowed the tempo down and altered the melody slightly; the result
is a half-serious, half-joking few minutes of warmly-felt rock'n'roll. Not as
grand as the Righteous Brothers version. It's far more personal.
Charlie Ainley's problem is he doesn't seem to know what he wants. His
record is a mish-mash of assorted styles with nothing to bind them together.
Too Much Is Not Enough doesn't even sound like an album; at best it's just
an aimless collection of songs.
There's another problem: Ainley's songs aren't very good. Add to that
one of the least interesting voices I've heard and stiff back-up playing, and
you've got a rather dismal LP.
MOST PATHETIC are the trio of songs that open side two. "Slow
Train," "I'm Feeling Blue" and "Hitch With the Devil" sound like what
Elvis Presley would sound like if he were to rise from the crypt to sing these
duds. "I Am a Mountain" opens the album with booming, urgent vocals, but
Ainley quickly lets it fall flat. "City Boy" reminds me of "Wild Horses" but
it isn't nearly as moving, of course. A grueling five minutes long, it taxes
even the most tolerant music buff.
The album isn't a complete disaster. "In the Shadow of the Setting Sun"
shows Ainley might be a promising ballad writer, and "Lies," reveals his
roots with a winning rockabilly feel and vocals a bit like Mick Jagger meets
Bruce Springsteen. And for once he's come up with some lyrics worth
I don 't cire about the lies you tell,
1 just wish to hell that you'd tell them well.
Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band and Ainley's Too Much Is
Not Enough fail because each tries to get by with too many retreads of old'
riffs and too few new ideas. There's-little innovation to be found here, and
even less good music. This time, the claim that "jt's just noise" couldn't be
By SUSAN BARRY
S OMEWHERE, SOMETIME, some-
one may attempt to draw lines be-
tween dance, gymnastics, and
isometrics. When it happens it will not
be done by Alwin Nikolais. Nikolais,
who choreographs, costumes, and
Nikolais Dance Theatre
March 21, 1978
Choreography, sound score, costume, and
lighting design by Alwin Nikolais
produces the sound score and lighting
for his own dance theatre rarely binds
his selections with the restraints of
traditional choreography. His ex-
pression ignores dance conventions and
opts for innovative combinations of fan-
tastic auditory and visual concep-
Nikolais brought his company to the
Michigan campus to give two perfor-
mances at the Power Center last
Tuesday and Wednesday evening. The
three pieces ranged in mood from the
unusual to the bizarre.
The first piece was the most abstract.
The ten dancers, dressed in skin-tight,
multi-colored costumes with masks
that obliterated their features, flexed
and extended their limbs to the rhythm
of extraterrestrial sound effects.
Although their movements were slight,
the streaks of color on their bodies for-
med shifting, variagated patterns as
they moved. The slithering motions of
the dancers made them seem like eerie,
supernatural creatures of the future.
THE PERFORMANCE, entitled
Temple, might have been hypnotic if
the synchronization had been even.
Throughout the evening, the company
apparently let perfection of form go the
way of the other dance conventions they
abandoned. Although never as ob-
viously neglected as it was in the first
piece, the synchronization was never
precise in any of the performances.
"Styx," the second work, was divided
into nine sections. The Company wore
bodystockings that were spattered with
dull colors and provocatively sculpted.
Swaying and scuttling around the floor
in-the first movement, they seemed like
primitive creatures. Crossing the stage
and clustering together in response to
menacing sounds from the tinkling and
clashinggamelan accompanyment, the
creatures shrunk in fear from the har-
sh, electronic sounds.
The seventh movement was the most
imaginative. Two couples stretched two
giant rubber bands between them to
encircle and ultimately entrap a
struggling lone dancer and drag her off
the stage. The skillful use of props
made the dance innovative and
THE EIGHTH MOVEMENT pre-
sented three men bumping into each
other and slugging it out in classic
Larry, Moe and Curly style. They set up
a continuous chain reaction as they
rolled and tumbled on a bench in front
of the stage. This was the most
humorous moment of the evening and
the audience enjoyed it immensely.
After a short intermission, the Com-
pany performed "Tower," an act from
"Vaudeville of the Elements." It began
with each dancer carrying a piece of
metal frame which they used first as a
podium from which each member
began to preach their own line of gib-
berish. They next used them as walls
and doors as the Company encircled it-
self with the metal pieces and clustered
inside them. Finally, a tower was built
and hung with flags imprinted with the
symbols of various popular causes. Af-
ter a violent flash of auditory and visual
In the Gimi culture of New Guinea,
men live in communal houses while
their wives live with the children in
separate small huts. Wives grow the
food, but husbands cook their own
effects the tower collapsed and the dan-
In all, the evening was provocative
and fresh. The performance, however,
demanded an open-minded and recep-
tive audience to appreciate its unusual
approach. Indeed, many of Tuesday
night's patrons left after the inter-
mission, finding the performance
foreign to their conceptions of dance. It
was their loss: Nikolais' style is un-
deniably imaginative, and although the
performance should have been
somewhat more disciplined, it was
DAVID CARRADINE as drifter singer
Woodie Guthrie and director Ashbt
capture the character of the mon
whose songs outlived him. tic kel!
Wexler's brilliant phot cr-h stains
the screen with the reohsmof what
it was to be hard hit by the d--
pression. In color and wide-screen
HASKELL WEXLER (GLORYS cinema
tographer and director of MEDIUM
COOL) will speak in betwveen the two
TONIGHT at 7 A 9,30
OLD ARCH AM), $1.50
The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative
presents at MLB 3
Friday, March 24
MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL
(Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, 1975) 7 & 10:30--MLB 3
Monty Python's first film was so deliciously silly, even Anita Bryant liked it.
Now the lads of the Circus mess about with King Arthur and the Knights of the
Round Table. Side-splitting visual spoof of chivalry, courtly love, ingmar Berg-
man, and the Hollywood epic.
(Terry Gilliam, 1977) 8:40 only-MLB 3
Starring Python Michael Palin and Lewis Carroll's well-known monster, this
satire (directed by Python Terry Gilliam) lampoons everything from medieval
chivalry to very up-to-date young men with very up-to-date marketing tech
niques. Incisive, brilliant, aesthetique du grime, brillig, slithey, mirnsey, and
Tomorrow: Herzog's STROSZEK
Monday: Fuller's DEAD PIGEON ON BEETHOVEN STREET
DAILY EARLY BIRD MATINEES - Adults $1.25
DISCOUNT IS FOR SHOWS STARTING BEFORE 1:30
MON. thru SAT. 10 A.M. til 1:3a P.M. SUN. & HOLS. 12 Noon ti 1:30 P.M,
EVENING ADMISSIONS AFTER 5:00, $3.50 ADULTS
Monday-Saturday 1:30-5:00, Admission $2.50 Adult and Students
Sundays and Holidays 1:30 to Close, $3.50 Adults, $2.50 Students
Sunday-Thursday Evenings Student & Senior Citizen Discounts
Children 12 And Under, Admissions $1.25
Al Pacino gives a fine performance as an honest cop con-
cerned with exposing corruption in the New York City Police
Department to the point of an .obsession. Based on a true
U of M GLEE CLUB
at 1:00 & 3:00 p.m.
Friday, March 24
7:00 & 9:20
Nat Sce Aud
NORTH BY NORTHWEST
This superb thriller is representative of the unique suspense
genre that Hitchcock created, and includes some brilliant
editing. Cary Grant plays the unsuspecting American busi-
nessman who becomes increasingly involved in the sinister
Saturday, March 25
Dustin Hoffman pitted against the ultimate
villian of all time, a sadistic, egotistical,
Nazi dentist who prefers to work without
k" o anesthetics. A chilling nightmare that
t i leaves audiences gasping!
Friday and Saturday,
March2Z4, 25 MLB Room 1
Admission $1.50 Showtimes: 7:30, 9:45
7:00 & 9:30
Nat. Sci. Aud.
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE
BEST ACTOR-JOHN TRAVOLTA
CINE MA II
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Friday, March 24
Director--ROBERT MULLIGAN (1963)
When a lonely and forlorn white girl accuses a handicapped black man
of trying to "handle" her, a sleepy Alabama town is transformed into a
volatile and explosive setting for courtroom drama. Gregory Peck won an
Academy Award for his portrayal of the defense lawyer. His attempts to
minimize the effects of hatred and prejudices on his own children are
memorable and heroic. Winner of awards from four international film
10:40, 1:15, 4:00, 7:00, 9:30
ANGELL HALL-AUD. A
7&9:5 p. m.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST
BEST ACTRESS-ANNE BANCROFT
BEST ACTRESS-SHIRLEY MacLAINE
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS--LESLIE BROWNE
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR-MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV
10:20, 2:00, 4:15, 7:15, 9:45