The Michigan Daily-Friday. January 13. 1978--Page 7
by alan rubenfeld
E ACH YEAR, thousands of pop records are released to an eagerly await-
ing public. Because of the glut of albums available to the myriads of
music afficianados, many praiseworthy recordings ko unnoticed. Each
genre of music has its legion of "overlooked albums," but this column will
concentrate on those in the pop area. Perhaps, if anything, it will make one
aware of some fine recordings available that deserve more popular success
than they have recently garnered.
Elliot Murphy's Just a Story From America (Epic PC 34653) is the latest
in his long list of critically praised but publically ignored records. His off-
beat lyrics and bouncing rock ballads give insight to his former vacuous
suburban life. Murphy can epitomize Long Island like Bruce Springsteen can
describe Asbury Park or the Eagles can chastize life in L.A.'s fast lane. Just
a Story From America deserves to be heard.
The supporting cast definately had the ability to overshadow Terence
Boylan in his initial solo attempt, Terence Boylan (Asylum 7E-7091), but the
young singer-songwriter manages to forge his musicians into one cohesive
unit that produces one auspicious performance. Boylan, with help from
elements of Steely Dan, the Crusaders and the Eagles, demonstrates that he
is one of the more sensitive songwriters of recent time - reminiscent of
Jackson Browne, sans the unyielding self-pity. Boylan has created a solid
musical base from which to expand from.
VALERIE CARTER is no stranger to the recording studio, having sung
backup to everyone who ever recorded in Los Angeles (Little Feat, James
Taylor, among others). All these musicians return their respects to the
petite young singer in her debut album, Just A Stone's Throw Away (Colum-
bia PC 34155). Her repertoire ranges from country ballads to Earth, Wind,
and Fire style cosmic funk (with help from EW&F's Maurice and Verdine
White). The entire album maintains the high levels of Carter's power and
confidence. Valerie Carter will be making musical headlines in 1978.
Clover is a six-piece band from San Francisco, now directed by the
makers of London's Stiff Records (who until recently also produced Elvis
Costello). Their album, Clover (Mercury SRM11169), shows their ability to
forge strains of country, rock, and blues into one cohesive musical identity.
The group received a small amount of FM success with the song "Child of
the Streets." Their brand new collection, Love On the Wire, is a continuation
of this unique musical combo and is one of the more pleasant sounds to
emerge from the pop world in 1977.
ALTHOUGH IT APPEARS to this writer that fusion music reached its
musical apex long ago, two jazz-rock recordings should be noted for their
originality in an increasingly formulatic genre. Gong's Expresso (Virgin PZ
34428) is a truly unique combination of numerous percussion instruments
coupled with Alan Holdsworth's scintillating guitar work. Unfortunately, it
appears the band is now defunct, but nevertheless, Expresso is a bright spot
from the fused-out world of jazz-rock.
Also quite impressive is Lenny White's second solo effort, Big City
(Nemperor NE 441). The former drummer of Return to Forever continues to
expand the musical identity stated in his first solo outing, Venesian Summer.
White combines jazz, rock, classical, and funk strains to make a record that
demonstrates his undeniablemusical and songwriting prowess. It appears
that the only element preventing White from attaining the popular ac-
cessability now achieved by former associated Chick Corea, Stanely Clark,
and Al Dimeola is the proper promotional effort from his record company.
Hopefully, 1978 will see Nemperor Records (now part of Columbia) support
their most talented artist, the inventive Lenny White.
Camel's latest album, Rain Dances (Janus JXS 7035), did receive some
FM airplay, but not nearly as much as this pleasantly intriguing album de-
serves. The LP is essentially a group of electronic musical images similar to
that of Eno's current works. Eno participates, in fact, on one selection,
"Elke." Rain Dances is an enjoyable album, and Camel should garner some
more American followers once they leave Britain to tour America.
Dance fans absc
By MARK JOHANSSON
FLAMENCO means Spain, and the
extraordinary sounds and sights of
the gypsy dance bring visions of the
cold, majestic Sierras, the fertile stret-
ches of the La Mancha plains, the
Mediterranean beaches drowned in
sunshine, and the fiercely religious fes-
Jose Molina Bailes Espanoles
January 11, 1978
Jose Molina, with Antonia Martinez, Luis Montero,
Roberto Lorca, Azucena Vega, Beni Pizzaro, Isabel
Arenas, and Jose Bejar.
Beltran Espinosa, solo guitarist
Jesus De Araceli, guitarist
Silvio Masciarelli, pianist
Simon Serrano, flamenco singer
tival of Sevilla's Holy Week.
Truly good flamenco is very hard to
find, even in Spain. But great flamenco,
a combination of talented and hard-
working dancers, virtuoso guitarists
who can keep the difficult rhythms
moving, an inspired singer conveying
the strong emotions of the medieval
songs, and the traditional costumes of
the Spanish gypsy, is a rare treat and
usually comes as a once-in-a-lifetime
Wednesday evening's program of
Spanish dance by Jose Molina and com-
pany probably came as close to great-
ness as anyone could experience on this
side of the Atlantic. The only things
wrong with the evening were the size of
the stage in Power Center (they didn't
need all of the space), and the distance
of most of the audience from the per-
formers (especially in the balcony). If
this show had been in one of the inti-
mate clubs of Cordoba or Sevilla, the
results could have been overwhelming.
DESPITE THESE minor problems
and the fact that most of the audience
was not familiar with authentic flamen-
co and the other regional and folk dan-
ces, the program was very moving, full
of spectacular colors, sounds, and
movements. Throughout the entire
evening members of the audience shook
their heads in wonder at the graceful
and precise body and head movements,
the dramatic hand motions, and the
seemingly mad heel work.
The program began with all of the
company except Molina in Tambor de
Granaderos, a reserved and precise
dance with alternation between the
men and women. The dancers seemed a
little uneasy during the early going and
the only obvious mistake of the night
occured here when two of the women
ran into each other.
Spontaneous applause errupted at the
beginning of the next dance as Jose
Molinawalked on stage to perform the
dramatically masculine Farruca.
Dressed in black pants, a white frilled
shirt, and a black and gold vest, Molina
began with slow, calculated body move-
ments. With an increase in tempo of the
guitar accompaniment, he began the
authoritative and dynamic heel work.
Molina, who has appeared throughout
the world in both'live performances and
on television gave a sample of his talent
during a section of improvisation with
intricate steps and rhythms.
THE NEXT DANCE, Zapateado, was
performed by two couples in jet black
and vibrant red costumes. The audi-
ence was amazed as at the end of the
dance the rhythms remained precise
while the tempo slowed to nothing.
In La Noche, the entrance of Antonia
Martinez was spectacular with her
tight white dress with ruffled cuffs and
a six-foot train of billowing ruffles. Af-
ter Molina entered, the two performed
repetitions of passes and turns, then a
pause, then a slow dance together ac-
companied by flamenco singing. Each
time this was repeated, the dancing
The highlight of the first half was the
Taranto, a fandango performed by
Molina. The display of energy in the
heel work, the kicks, and the arm
movements was unbelievable and the
rhythms of the heel work, the hand
clapping and the guitars were very
steady despite the difficulty. The audi-
ence was clapping well before the con-
clusion as Molina ended by kneeling
down and leaping quickly from one
knee to the other.
After a beautiful guitar solo by talen-
ted Beltran Espinosa, the first half en-
ded with the Jota de "La Dolores," a
well-known folk dance where the entire
company excited the audience with,
their vigor and agility, as they jumped,
kicked and twirled in colorful
After intermission, only one dance, '
Cuadro.Flamenco was performed, con-
sisting of seven parts. The entire com- "
pany danced to the flamenco songs with 'F
guitar and singing and each member ~
took turns competing in skills while
others-shouted encouragement. In all of
the dances the rhythms were intricate,
dramatic, and very fast. At the end, the
entire company performed the exciting
Rumba Finale and received a standing
ovation. 9 1
The applause was well-deserved, as
the company had captured the
calculated grace of flamenco with au-
thentic Spanish reserve and drama. It
did not take long for the audience to feel
the spirit and verve of the performers
during the satisfying evening of gypsy
colors, emotions, and exacting move-
OW 9:00 pm
* * *
P ERHAPS THE THREE most undeservedly overlooked albums of 1977
come from one of America's most creative labels, San Francisco's
Beserkley records. All of the label's albums are produced by Matthew
Kaufman and Glen Kolotkin, and the duo make an impeccable product con-
sistently. This year's Beserkly collection includes The Rubinoos debut
album, The Rubinoos, Greg Kihn's Greg Kihn Again, and Jonathan Richman
and the Modern Lover's Rock & Roll With the Modern Lovers (Berserkley
PZ 34778, 34779, and 34800, respectively).
The Rubinoos are a reincarnation of the 60's "innocent rock" sound
made popular by the Grass Roots and Tommy James and the Shondells. The
band does a joyous cover of the Shondell's classic "I Think We're Alone
Now," as well as making first-class productions of their original numbers.
The Rubinoos maintain an essence of innocuous fun in their refashioning of
the sounds-that made sixth grade so enjoyable. The band should probably
break through this year.
Greg Kihn's second album is simply one of the finest albums of 1977. His
straightforward delivery is quite sweet, with no aftertaste. His songs come
from the Buddy Holly mold, and he does a nice rendition of Holly's "Love
Made a Fool of You." His original tunes are satisfying, and his remake of
Bruce Springsteen's "For You" is the only Springsteen cover I've heard that
stays close to the original artist's intensity and vigor. Greg Kihn deserves to
be a winner in 1978.
The most unusual pop album of 1977 was Rock & Roll With the Modern
Lovers. Richman goes to extremes this time around. Recorded in a CBS
recording studio bathroom, Richman's man-child mentality conjures up
such stellar classics as "Ice Cream Man," "Dodge Veg-O-Matic," "Rockin'
Rockin' Leprechauns," and his top ten single in England, "Egyptian
Reggae." For a slightly offbeat and unconventional look at rock music,
Jonathan Richman's entire Beserkley collection should be investigated.
CONSUMER NOTES: Two new British imports are now available in the
U.S. Eno's Before and After Science may be his most creative and pleasing
work to date. The record is an apt testimony to the creative genius of this
reclusive artist. Included with the recording are four intriguing pictures
created by Antonio Tiedra, the artist of the cover of Fripp and Eno's
Evening Star. Also noteworthy is The Modern Lovers Live, which is a bit
more exciting and electric than the earlier mentioned Modern Lovers
the ann arbor tlm cooperative
TONIGHT! Friday, January 13
(Norman Z. McLeod, 1932) 7 & 10-MLB 4
More of the MARX BROTHERS in their unceasing war against chronology and
the finer things. Groucho descends on a university as the new college president
in order to graduate his son Zeppo and to win the annual football classic. With
Thelma Todd. The secret word is "swordfish."
Plus Cartoon: PREST-O CHANGE-O (Chuck Jones, 1938)
Got To Say?
SAY IT IN THE
THE U OF M's OFFICE OF MAJOR EVENTS PRESENTS:
JERIRY JUT WIU R
WITH GUEST DON BOWMAN