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March 12, 1980 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-03-12

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, March 12, 1980-Page 5



London calls to a faraway town

University Course 418
Current Research and Advocacy Issues
March 18, April 3-Tues. and Thur. 7:00-9:30 P.M.-407 Lorch Hall (Old A&D Bldg.)
VONNIE C. McLOYD, Ph.D., Coordinator 1 CREDIT HOUR
764-0430 909 Monroe Street
PREREQUISITES: Permission of Instructor
GUESi SPEAKERS: DIANA SLAUGHER, Ph.D. Northwestern University; WILLIAM CROSS.Ph . Cornell
University: A. WADE BOYKINS, Ph.D., Cornell University: ERNEST D. WASHINGTON, Ph.D., University of
Readings for three weeks will be available at Albert's Copy Center. Students should ALREADY hove
completed the readings for the first week when they come to class on March 18th. For further infor-
mation. contact Vonnie C. McLoyd"*t 764.0430, Rosellen Cheek at 764-5513 or Checkpoint at 764-6810.
This mini-course supported by U-M International Year of the Child Committee


Everything you've heard about the
Clash is true. They really might be the
most important rock and roll band of
the last ten years, yet most American
listeners heard (or probably read that
hackneyed claim)before the actual fact
of listening to the group. By the time
their maverick first album hit these
shores the Clash had gained near-
legendary critical status, and their ear-
hattering synthesis of raw power
and melody firmly entrenched this
reputation in the minds of everyone ad-
venturous enough to buy the album.
Like the New York Dolls, the Clash's
music is so tensely fraught with per-
sonal meaning to be disconcerting, at
times even threatening to the listener.
They may kick you in the gut initially,
but it's your mind the Clash are-really
after and that's precisely why they've
remained on the periphery of main-
eam popularity.
Whe Clash didn't stop at adding a
tough sensitivity and poetically real
political awareness (not to mention
musical professionalism) to the punk
ethos forged by the Sex Pistols. They've
gone ahead to refine and diversify their
sound while not just retaining, but
strengthening the impact of their
earlier work. London Calling, their
third album, unites the primal im-
ediacy of great rock and roll with the
ources of a recording studio on an
epic scale equalled only by Exile on
Main Street and Quadrophenia. London
Calling is neither nostalgic rock and
roll fantasy nor a tortured attempt at
self-redemption; the album portends a
rock and roll future while fully
acknowledging its roots with an un-
precedented clarity.
THE INCREASED production values
of London Calling have grudgingly ear-
ned the Clash some well-deserved air-
iy. The hard line punks screaming
"sell-out" couldn't be more wrong.
Though they've been pegged as uncom-
promising and defiant, the Clash's sen-
timents run a hell of a lot deeper. Their
commitment and vision demand that
they expand and develop their style
whether their fans are ready for it or
not. So when they played straight

reggae, unfamiliar new material, and
(gasp) acoustic guitar at Masonic last
September the spike haired legions of
punk clones booed and hissed - so Joe
Strummer told 'em all to.........off.
And rightfully so; six months and one
double album later Detroit was ready
to accept the Clash without hesitation.
From the thundering initial chords of
"Clash City Rockers" a basic com-
.munication was established in the
Motor City Roller Rink, a gut-wren-
ching lowest common denominator that
transcended the lack of seating and
problematic sound system. Reducing
"Brand New Cadillac" and "Jimmy
Jazz" to pure rhythm punctuated by
blistering guitar the Clash established a
rapport with the knee-jerk Detroit
rockers that permitted a tolerance,
maybe even an acceptance of -their
more innovative influences.

plification. For a few minutes it didn't
matter that anyone under six feet tall
couldn't see the band and anyone not
familiar with the song probably
couldn't decipher the lyrics: London
was calling and this faraway town
finally seemed to hear.
. The inaudibility of the lyrics was the
evening's only shortcoming, but it was
primarily a hypothetical problem.
Even the most overtly political songs
like "Spanish Bombs" and "Guns of
Brixton" succeeded through the use of
pure adrenalin and absolute conviction.
The crowd didn't need the lyrics to
identify with Mick Jones' tuneful self-
assertion in "I'm Not Down" or the raw
romance of "1-2 Crush on You". With a
drummer like Topper Headon lyrical
communication becomes almost secon-
dary; his relentless rhythmic
propulsion made the essential gut-

Singer Joe Strummer and drummer Topper Headon of the Clash at Ar-
madillo World Headquarters last year. Their triumphant return to Detroit
Monday night was a thought-provoking and intensely entertaining concert.
But no matter how serious the;music of the Clash may get it's always dan-

rocked out on their reggae epic "White
Man in Hammersmith Palais" it did not
dilute the poignancy of the song's plea
for racial understanding - an
especially relevant message for white
suburban Detroit. The slightest strain
of dub (the Jamaican mix of eerie,
chant-like rapping and intricate
rhythm changes) was skillfully grafted
onto "White Man" to the subliminal
delight of the audience.
I'm not sure which is more brilliant;
the Clash's ability to absorb such a
diverse influence and leave their un-
mistakable mark on it, or their ability
to induce a largely' close-minded
audience to like it. Jamaican DJ Mikey
Dread's dub-heavy rapping over taped
reggae drew boos and curses before the
Clash set but at the evening's close he
joined the Clash on their ambitious dub
"Armagideon Time" - and I saw some
of the hecklers of a few hours previous
bobbing and shuffling to the hypnotic
beat. The Clash don't mimic reggae
(like the Police) but incorporate the
style and spirit into their own - without
compromising either. If that's what it
takes to bring third world music to
America, so be it. ,
AFTER THE daring dub, the band
fell together in explosive symmetry
behind their declaration of purpose,
"Janie Jones":
H esoin lore ,iai rock n' roll - -"ho"
le'sintlorewarithgeting sioneiti- wion
Ii'-s in lore wilhJanie Jmtes - that Ihe
d~on't like his boring jo. no -
Y'o, goo lei ditem know
To the Clash rock and roll is more than
just an outlet for frustration and
alienation; it's a positive motivational
force and an extremely viable means of
communication. "English Civil War"
and "London's Burning" are a lot more
than blistering punk anthems now; the
prophecy of economic doom and im-
pending war has become frighteningly
plausible since 1977.
That's what the RCYB propaganda
squads outside the concert didn't com-
prehend: the Clash don't just sing about
revolution, their rock and roll is a
liberating experience unto itself, free of
polemics and rhetoric. The concert
closed with "I'm So Bored With the
U.S.A." and as the crowd joined in on
every chorus I hoped that the words,
and not just the melodic hooks, made an
impression. If any of those kids left with
an idea of the amoral, depersonalized
culture America projects to the rest of
the world, the Clash's mission is at least
partially fulfilled. And if they didn't,
there's always next time: the kids will
be back and so will the Clash.
NEW YORK (AP)-The first retro-
spective of work by Jan Matulka (1890-
1972) is on view at the Whitney Museum
of American Art through Feb. 24.
Some 65 paintings, drawings and
prints executed between 1916 and 1938
are being shown. The museum says
they offer "a remarkably overview of
the extraordinary shifts in styles and
artistic attitudes in American art
during that period."
Matulka's works range in style from
cubist abstractions to precisionist
cityscpaes to still-life arrangements
and more conventional landscapes.


LSA Student Telethon. Four hours
6:00 to 10:00, Sunday through
March 30 through Aapril 24.
Pay: $4.00 per hour
Call 763-5577

per night,


March Is Israel Film Month

Thurs. March 13 7:30 p.m.
Conference Room One Michigan Union Basement
Admission $1.50
Comedy written and directed by Ephram Kishon and
starring Chaim Topoia. Sallah immigrates to Israel
in 1949 and refuses to make a living any other way
than by playing backgammon. In the course of the
film he wrestles with Israeli bureaucracy and 20th
century civilization.
il with
March 13-15 at 8 POWER SEVEN
March 16 at 3 CENTER. DEADN
Uof Michigan Shool of Music/DANCE COMPANY SINS

,enior or graduate student to supervise

THE BURGEONING complexity of
these new songs is not obscured by the
burning urgency of their live treat-
ment. The beautiful, thundering
rhythms of "London Calling" seemed
all the more evocative for their am-

bucket connection every time.
IF THE CLASH relied on the
toughness of their sound to appeal to the
Detroit rock sensibility, the audience
more than met them halfway. Even
though they sped up the beat and

Discover the voice behind KansasĀ®.
Discover Steve Walsh.

Members of Cinema Guild milled around in front of the Michigan Theater last night just one hour prior to the opening
of the 16mm film festival that they sponsor there.

The Office of MAJOR EVENTS presents

April 16

or low

- ~ ~ ~~k fl mimir1 - .

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