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May 25, 1977 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily, 1977-05-25

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Page Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesday, May 25, 1977

Page Six THE MICHiGAN DAILY Wednesday, May 25, 1977

THEY CALL HIM 'REN-MAN': k-/ /Boffo Biff thrills

AA artist does all

By PAUL SHAPIRO
D ETROIT MAY ha-ve the Renaissance Center,;
but Ann Arbor has the renaissance man.
In a town famed for its colorful characters,
the quiet, multi-talented renaissance man has
gone all but unnoticed.
But as the month of June approaches, ren-
man Kurt Ochshorn is about to break out of
his virtual solitude with the release of a 45
rpm single, a one man art show of photog-
raphy, typewritdr graphics, and paintings, and
the beginnings of a feature film to be shot in
the Arboretum.
"I became a renaissance man out of an in-
feriority complex," says Ochshorn. "I just had
to learn to do everything well."
And that he has. In a special preview of his
work this weekend, Ochshorn displayed to
this reporter his prodigious talents in all of the
arts.
ON JUNE 14 Ochshorn will be releasing two
disco ballads that he hopes will finally bridge
the gap between his work and the harsh eco-
nomics of the music business. Although Och-
shorn's interests lean more towards serious
compisition, his new tunes entitled "Sour
Funk" and "Be My Better Half," are refresh-
ingly crisp and communicative in the stale
disco genre.
Always the innovator, Ochshorn's proudest
accomplishment is his pioneering efforts in the
field of typewriter graphics. Constructing ab-

Ochs horn
stract designs through type-set, Ochshorn has
produced work that is slashing, bold, and
unique.
Paying homage to his roots, Ochshorn sights
his influences as 'Edgar Varese, Chris Miller,
Amiri Baraka, Doris Troy, Harry Parch, Val
ery Brummel, Jimmy Driftwood, Alan Shields,
Ruth Underwood, Tony Perkins, Lorenzo D'Me-
dici, and Paul Lehrman.
In a town where everyone has a major, and
specialization seems to be the current trend,1
Ochshorn remains undaunted. He additionally
works as a sculptor, arc welder, and writer.
"I'm the anti-specialist," he quips. "The last
of a dying breed I might add."
nteresting facts

By SUSAN BARRY
BIFF ROSE has a voice only
a true Biff Rose fan could love.
Cracking in the upper registers,
slightly off pitch on the long
notes, it is sometimes difficult
to tell where the singing has
stopped and a monologue be-
gun. Nevertheless, Biff Rose
fans exist in abundance and
when they come to hear his off-
the-wall lyrics and his casual
piano melodies in clever com-
bination, they are never disap-
pointed.
True Biff Rose fans stay up
late on Saturday nights to
catch Biff in a pompadour (he's
been around a long time) on
Johnny Carson reruns sidling
into sentimental melodies -such
as "Molly" from his album
The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side.
Portions of this song were
integrated into one of his sets
at the Ark this past weekend,
after which he bemoaned the
passing of the appellation
"Mrs.," which was corrected
to "Ms." shortly after the al-
bum was released, and made
his title sound unfashionably
dated.
The title of his next album,
"Uncle Jesus and Anti Christ",
didn't fare much better for ob-
vious reasons.
FROM THIS subject Rose
slid into a tuneful monologue
proclaiming the hypocrisy of
the American women's move-
ment. The true Biff Rose fan
lets this slide right by, along
with the Nazi jokes and the
homosexual jokes and the anti-
anything else jokes because
Rose fixes you with one of his
twinkly -, eyed stares, giggles,
and queries, "What are you
laughing at?" And it's all in
good fun, it seems . . .
The endearing quality of a
Biff Rose performance is his
poetry set to music, which often
sounds rather chaotic, but in
illuminating moments it is
clear that behind it all is a co-
herent plan, practice, and a
broad musical background. His
poetry is cozy, his hang - ups
identifiably American.

"Leaving a woman is like
leaving home," he sings and his
similes are consistently catchy
and pleasant to digest; even
when slightly vulgar they are
appeallingly concise.
And what is this veteran of
late night and early morning
talk shows, resident of Holly-
wood, and friend to some subt-
ly - dropped names doing in a
tiny coffee house in Ann Ar-
bor?
A P P A R E N T L Y things
aren't going too well for the
poet / musician. Muzak sells
these days and it's just not his
bag. Inflation has raised his al-
bum prices from 39c to 79c. But
that doesn't really seem to
bother him. "Jesus," he sings,
"I don't want to be a star, I
want to be like you. I want to
sit here at the bar, with maybe
a sinner or two."
Rose spoke of the new trends
sweeping the country. He spoke
of "TM, transcendental maso-
chism" and popular music in
terms of "homogenized nostal-
gia." And he seemed to pro-
ject a hope that the sheer hon-
esty of his music would cut
through all the crap with an
edge of truth and relativity that
would prevail long after the
candy - coated soothings of
our self - delusions have faded
away.
"People lead a lot of lives
and some people lead just two.
I don't want to be a star I just
want to be like you," he con-
cluded.
Jazz tip
Rahsaan Roland
Kirk-Kirkatron
Warner Bros. BS2982
After suffering a stroke that
left the right side of his body
virtually helpless, one would
wonder if Kirk could continue
to produce the kind of music
that is expected from the self-
pronounced miracle of the tenor
saxophone. Yet Kirkatron, his
first post-stroke album contains
the same high quality and of
musical energy and inventive-
ness that Rahsaan Roland Kirk
has continually displayed during
his long and illustrious career.
Joining Kirk is Michael Hill, a
young vocalist of tremendous
talent. Together they perform a
version of the Stanley Turren-
tine standard "Sugar" (to which
Kirk has written lyrics) that is
most sweet and satisfying. Oth-
er cuts of interest are Dizzy
Gillespie's "Night in Tunisia,"
"Bagpipe Melody" (which was
recorded at the Montreaux Jazz
Festival) and "Christmas Song."

OPEN THURSDAY AND FRIDAY EVENINGS UNTIL 9 00

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