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July 07, 1979 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-07-07

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, July 7, 1979-Page 7

A New wave Columbus
By MARK COLEMAN astounding musicianship. Never a fectively at first listening. The cause
"John Cale is coming to Second flashy soloist eager to display his was aided immeasurably by Mark
Chance," a friend of mine beamed en- classical chops, his command of struc- Aarons, a lead guitarist who looked
thusiastically last week. He was ture and the textural elements of a barely old enough to be in the bar. Cindi
dismayed to learn, however, that this composition allow him to collaborate Black provided light melodic contrast
was not the J. J. Cale of "Cocaine" with anyone, from avant garde com- to Cale's dark, brooding voice,
fame, but a man who has been referred poser Terry Reilly to flashy guitarists especially during their shared vocal on
to as the "Phil Spector of new wave Phil Manzanera and Chris Speeding. the punkish "Rape."
rock." If the tradition of truly MONDAY NIGHT marked a rare Playing solely new material live can
significant and influential artists performance from the reclusive Scot- be dangerous but the change in Cale's
laboring in obscurity can be applied to sman. Billed as the Sabotage Tour, Cale approach and the youthful energy of the
rock and roll, John Cale is the epitome brought an extremely young and talen- band make the music succeed. Cale
ted band with him from New York City. does treat his stalwart cult following to
Musically the evening was in the vein of
Cates amore recent solo work; tight,
studious rock and roll. Beginning with
"Walking the Dog," the contradictions
that supply the tension in Cale's music
became readily apparent. Playing an
of modern misunderstood genius. ostensibly silly song at about half
A classically trained musician, John speed, Cale rocks with a seeming stif-
Cale was the co-founder (with Lou fness that is actually utter intensity.
Reed) of the Velvet Underground. This His demonic reading of the lyrics and
notorious sixties band created the crazed bass solo pervert this old chest-
prototype of the self-conscious nut into something more meaningful.
primitivism and bold experimentation This tribute to his period of stylized
that has been labeled "new wave" rock insanity dispensed with, he moves on to
today. Cale further spurred new wave new material. Lyrically, these songs
growth by producing such seminal ar- cover new ground, though still tem-
tists as Patti Smith, the Stooges, and pered by the best piano playing in rock
the Modern Lovers. His own recording and roll. Cale's writing tends to be ar-
career spans ten years, seven albums, cane, but "Ready for War" and "What
and a multitude of musical styles. The Are You Gonna Do" communicated
common denominator of all his works is their socio-political messages quite ef-

in A,2
with the house lights on. The song em-
bodies underhanded interference with
its subtly mechanical beat and Cale's
desperate vocal, culminating in the
destruction of the band's equipment
and delirium in the audience,
Walking home, I thought of someone
hearing John Cale a hundred years
from now in a musical history class. A
passing car radio blaring out some
faceless FM rock jolted me back to rock
and roll reality, where John Cale still
plays, produces, and performs with
demonic fever. Sabotage, indeed.
5th Avenue at liberty SI. 761-9700
FomryFifth Forum Theater
"'AGATHA' is a good movie,
very slick, very stylish enter-
-Ann Arbor News

Fright lovers flock
to masterful 'Alien'

grows desperate, our heroes grow
progressively less cohesive, often
snapping maliciously at each other like
paranoid vipers.
More important, Alien triumphantly
negates the token helpless female so
endemic to classic cinematic sci-fi; the
ship's women remain on an absolute
socio/sexual/technical par with their
male comrades, and one of them
(played by the remarkably talented
Sigourney Weaver) eventually emerges
as the dominant force on the crew, hun-
ting the monster almost as coolly as it
hunts her. The remaining protagonists
are played to no-nonsense perfection by
Ian Holm, John Hurt, Veronica Car-
twright, Yaphet Kotto and Harry Dean
The Nostromo itself seems almost a
living organism, its oily-bronze interior
fairly pulsating as though some
grotesque ooze were going to slide
through its walls any moment. Its
labyrinthian corridors circle endlessly,
almost apocalyptically, leading to no-
exit destruction.
ARTIST RON Cobb's extraterrestrial
landscapes are masterworks of craggy
eerieness - Howard Pyle or N. C.
Wyeth transferred into the space age.
The movie's alien (designed by the
European artist H. R. Giger) is a sleek,
darkly complex chameleon, ever-
changing, adapting - sometimes im-
mense in form, sometimes minute, able

to maneuver anywhere, often casting a
sinister strobe-light radiance. (Critic
Denby has objected to the "unfairness"
of the creature's changeling
capabilities, as though horror cinema
must conform to a strict, stated set of
do and don't commandments).
Alien's sound effects reverberate
with octaphonic thunder, transforming
the audience into side by side residents
with the Nostromo's beleaguered ship-
mates. Even the often-overwrought
composer Jerry Goldsmith hits
precisely the right musical mode here
-'his lyric, almost fairytale score sets
an appropriately ironic tone for the
film's ghastly machinations.
Alien occasionally misfires: A
Watergatesque subplot (it seems the
ship's parent company already knew
about and wanted the creature, without
informing the crew) is as hackneyed as,
all the other monolithic corruption side
themes so prevalent (after the fact)
in recent movies. A decapitation
sequence is a bit gratuitously gory; the
ship's seemingly sinister pet cat proves
a detective's red herring time after
Yet these deficiencies fail to seriously
dent the macabre spell which Scott and
his company have weaved with a sor-
cerer's finesse. Alien is not likely to
leave you twisted and jaded - it is a
good bet to leave you enthralled. This is
the stuff of Lovecraft, not Spillane.

"Guts," a truly compelling song with a
dramatic piano break and intelligently
outrageous lyrics. And to close the con-
cert, "Fear is a Man's Best Friend," a
lilting guitar and piano line that slowly
develops into rant and rave dementia,
provides the aural equivalent of an
Alfred Hitchcock film.
THE CONTROL and precision Cole
exhibits even in his wilder moments
sharply contrast with the barbaric on-
slaught of his warm-up act, Ann Ar-
bor's Destroy All Monsters-the aural
equivalent of a cheap Japanese horror
movie. Though guitarist Ron Asheton
has expanded his style considerably
since his days with Iggy Pop. it is for
naught; long, distorted guitar trips
make this potentially exciting band
sound hopelessly dated. If D.A.M. cut
the length of their songs in half and got
a real lead singer, they could become a
force to be reckoned with.
As it is, the length of the Monsters' set
cuts Cale's performance short. A
clamorous crowd demands an encore of
the featured artist despite the late hour.
So Cale comes back to sing "Sabotage'

Frank Capra's 1934
A sophisticated comedy about a runaway heiress and recently unemployed
reporter-in other words, CLAUDETTE COLBERT and CLARK GABLE. Both of
them had to be talked into doing the movie by Capra who wasn't even sure
himself it would be any good. The film ended up sweeping all the major
Oscars including best actor and actress-giving Gable the big career boost he
needed and surprising Colbert to no end. It also established Columbia as a
major studio and destroyed the undershirt industry since Clark didn't wear
one. Matchless cinema. UNDERTOW (By Virginia Giritlian)
Sun: Murnau's THE LAST LAUGH (Free at Bonly)

The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative Presents at MLB
Saturday, July 7
(Bruce Lee, 1974) 7 & 10:20-MLB 3
BRUCE LEE, as a simple country youth, comes to live with friends in Rome and
gets involved in intrigue and violence when the family, owners of a restaurant,
become the victims of a gang specializing in the protection rocket. The film
ends with a classic battle between Lee and a hired killer (many times Heavy-
weight Karate Champion Chuck Norris) in the shadow of the Colosseum, which
many afficionadi consider to be the best one-on-one fight scene ever filmed.
(Lo Wei, 1973) 8:40 ONLY--MLB3
Bruce Lee's second martial arts film, and a remarkable improvement over
his first, FISTS OF FURY. In this outing, set at the turn of the century in Singa-
pore, Lee returns to his home city for the funeral of his former master, who
died suddenly under mysterious circumstances. The action centers on the racial
and stylistic differences which provoke a bitter battle between Lee's small
Chinese Kung-Fu School and a large Karate dojo in the predominantly Japanese
city. TUESDAY: Free showing of UP THE RIVER



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