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March 25, 1980 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-03-25

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, March 25, 1980-Page 5



Surviving the hard knocks

Few musicians touring today have
roused such a passionate love-hate
following than Jimmy Buffett and his
Coral Reefer Band. Their adversaries
call them gratuitous, untalented and
obnoxious. Their supporters regard
their music as a refreshing diver-
sion-good honest fun with no strings
" Onstage at Hill Auditorium Saturday
night, Buffett and his crew managed to
fectively defend the latter argument
displaying their unique, well-

blended chemistry and showing that
they do have talent and musical in-
tegrity, however gratuitous.
Buffett was preceded Saturday night
by J.D. Souther and his band, who came
through with some very enjoyable,
Southern California style rock. For
most of his appearance, he kept up a
lively guitar exhibition, with Waddy
Wachtel playing lead and Kenny Ed-
wards on base. Souther's style is very
similar to Buffett's, which comes as no
surprise: no frills, just steady; fine

WHEN THE Coral Reefers did ap-
pear, minus Buffett, they charged into
a brand.new song entitled "Too'Late,"
which brought harpist Greg "Fingers"
Taylor into the spotlight. The tune also
accentuated the instrumental talents of
lead guitarist Barry Chase, bassist
Harry Dailey and Fender Rhodes
specialist Andy McMahon-talents they.
kept comparatively restrained while
backing fp Buffett's vocals later on.
Buffett came onstage amidst the
exhuberant response from "Too Late,"
greeted his audiece and led the band
into "Manana," "Pencil Thin
Moustache," "Son of a Son of a Sailor,"
and "Come Monday," before catching
his breath, making some brief com-
ments, and beginning the irreverent
standard; "Why Don't We Get Drunk
(and Screw)."
Overall, Buffett's show provided a
fine balance of old and new works, yet
there are some prevailing reservations
about this most recent appearance,
mainly involving it's relatively short
length-about ninety minutes. What
tends to occur during such a brief set is
that you only hear the 1.) newest songs
from the newest album(s), and 2.) the
most familiar, most "popular", and the
most stage-suited songs from the ar-
tists's repertoire. This formula was
used by Buffett: songs from his latest
album, "Volcano," were prominantly
featured (among them: the title song,
"Fins," "Dreamsicle," "Treat Her
Like a Lady," and "Survive"). In ad-
dition, the most familiar works from
past albums were performed (among
them: "God's Own Drunk," "Come
Monday," "A Pirate Looks at Forty,"
and (gasp) "Margaritaville.").
FOR THE DIE-HARD Buffett flan,

however, for those aware of all his
works, not just the more commercial
ones-there was a conspicuous absence
of what they know are his BEST works,
his most heartfelt, sincere and creative
songs,(like "Migration," "The Captain
and the Kid.," "Railroad Lady," and
"Trying to Reason with Hurricane
Season"). Onstage, Buffett has been
known to kick out with the old classics;
he has been known to abandon the set
agenda and play for hours on end.
In addition (as his live album shows),
he has been known to spontaneously in-
teract with his audience, to tell a few
stories that serve to increase the
audience's familiarity with him and his
songs, and make the evening somewhat
more complete. Saturday night,
however, he appeared more business
like, charging from one song to the next
without attempting to get to know his
audience. Even his Coral Reefers
managed to stay on track the entire
evening-mouth harpist Greg
"Fingers" Taylor and lead guitarist
Barry Chance have been known to steal
the spotlight with passionate, im-
provisational solos onstage, but not
Saturday night.
Again, these are the reservations of a
seasoned listener-apparently not of
the majority of the audience at Hill,
who brought the group back for two en-
cores, and who expressed almost
universal satisfaction with their per-
formance in the lobby afterwards.
Overall, the Choral Reefers delivered
and delivered well. With the kind of
chemistry they possess onstage
together, a comparitively average
show for them goes beyond the most
inspired performances by many other
rock bands touring today.

TheAmArbor Fpm Ceope "a. Presentstatt. S.:$1.s0
(Michelangelo Antonioni, 1965) 7:00-NAT. SCI.
Antonioni's first color film stunningly depicts both the beauty and grotesque-
ness of modern industrial society. Monica Vitti and Richard Harris star as two
lovers adrift in a world of alienation and existential ennui. "It is the best use of.a
color I have ever seen in a film."-Stanely Kauffman. Italian with subtitles.
(Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966) 9:00-NAT. SCI.
A mod and modish London photographer (DAVID HEMMINGS) realizes after the
fact that he may have photographed a murder, and his search for killers takes
him through a hell of betrayal, decadence, and hallucination. Vanessa Red-
grave is superbly sensuous as the woman who may have set up the hit. Winner
of many top awards, with Sarah Miles. Music by Herbie Hancock, featuring the
Yardbirds and Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.
Tomorrow: Ingmar Bergman's HOUR OF THE WOLF at MLB


Michigan Student Assembly
is now accepting applications for the
Central Student Judiciary (C.S.J.)
Interested students should apply by
March 27, 1980-5:00 p.m.
3909 Michigan Union

Daily Photo by JOHN HAGEN
Jimmy Buffett returned to Ann Arbor Saturday night at hill Auditorium.
playing a relatively short but slick set that left the crowd flicking their fics
for two encores. Leading off the evening was mellowed-out Southern
California popper .J. D. Souther, of "You're Only Lonely" fame.

Hiroshima draws praise, but fewfans

The cultural significance of contem-
porary music in American society has
been profound. As multifarious
ethnicities have evolved assimilated
and separated, so have their various
derivative music forms in our culture.
The popular black music idiom is a
Wradigm example of changes inherent
in black-American culture. The
popularity of Dixieland over the
traditional slave hymnal marked the
emancipation and migration of blacks'
from the soutbern plantation to the
southern city.. :tie popularity of the'
blues and jazz grew as blacks migrated
north to such cities as Chicago and New
York. And finally, as the black
population in other major metropolitan
areas burgeoned, musical forms such
R soul and funk came to the fore.
oreover, the Latino-Funk-Rock fusion
of a group such as Santana exemplifies
the partial assimilation of latino, black,
and anglo-saxon communities in
American culture. Lastly, the white
suburban rock typified by the group
Boston. signifies this genre of rock's
separation from its black rhythm and
blues roots, as the group appeals to a
largely white, middle class subculture.
0SO IT is both unique and fascinating
examine the cultural significance of
a new west coast band called
Hiroshima. Hailing from the streets of
Los Angelos,the group consists of seven
first generation Japanese-Americans,
one Latino-American and one WASP.
Growing up together, the nine members
come from a poor and integrated area,
with white, Latino, Black and Asian-
American populations.
Hence the group attempts to incor-
rate a traditional Japanese musical
ncept into that of a Latin-funk-rock-
jazz musical hybrid. The music of
Hiroshima provides an inimitable
departure from native Japanese fusion
such as that of Ryo Kawasaki, which
merely attempts to emulate an
American-type fusion concept.
Curiously, the fusion of the disparate
elements of Hiroshima evolved ac-
cidentally rather than as a purposeful
attempt at a novel musical approach.
he group was able to build an avid
West Coast following as it gradually
developed a delicate and proper balan-
ce of its various musical traditions.
The band's maturation culminated in
its "discovery" by Wayne "Big Daddy"

Henderson (formerly of the
Crusaders), one of the- leading
producers in Hollywood. Hiroshima's
debut album ensued in November of
last year; and has had very respectable
record sales. Moreover, initial record
company reluctance to promote, the
album was overcome by "the popular
requests of fans on the West Coast, and
enthusiastic airplay in both black and
progressive jazz-fusion markets.
THE GROUP'S first national tour
and Ann Arbor appearance comes on
the heels of this sudden and meteoric
rise to national visability. Appearing
Saturday evening at the Michigan
Theater, Hiroshima's performance
exhibited the strengths that typify the
band's sudden success. But overnight
recognition has at the same time ham-
pered the band's overall effectiveness.
On its tour, with ,Ann Arbor as the
final stop, Hiroshima has been playing
medium sized concert halls as an
opening act for the popular .recording
artist, Phyllis Hyman; or else
headlining club gigs. Inexplicably,
however, the band was signed as a solo
performer in the small to medium sized
Michigan Theater.
WHILE the airplay and word of
mouth were able to fill a large club the
night before in Chicago, there just
wasn't enough of that kind of support to
fill more than three hundred seats in
the spacious Michigan Theater. Not
only was the size of the audience
disconcerting to the musicians, but also
to the Ann Arbor audience not used to a'
half-empty concert hall. Furthermore,
not only does the group's newness
present an inhibition in its drawing
power but also in its song selection and
format. Hiroshima played every song
in its repertoire Saturday night until

they ran out, a mere one hour and fif-
teen minutes after they began. Despite
exceptional writing ability a full reper-
toire of eleven songs is just not enough
to put'on anything more than a club or
opening act. Particularly when expan-
sive and creative soloing is not one of
the group's strengths.
In addition, this lack of compelling
soloing for a jazz oriented fusion group
using a selection of new and basically
unfamiliar compositions, can lead to a
disastrous performance. So it is no
wonder that the band in its unassuming
naivete nearly had to coax the audien-
ce out of their seats for a standing
ovation, let alone an encore. As leader
and reed player Dan Kuramoto told the
audience "We're still growing, and we
want you to grow with us." While this is
an understandable remark from a
group as young as Hiroshima, it ia also
indicative of the problems that beset
the group Saturday evening.
ACOUSTICS for the performance
were generally pretty good but distor-
tion of the electric keyboards ruined the
only extensive solo Richard "Arms"
Matthews attempted all evening. When
one considers that on the basis of the
album, Matthews is probably the best
soloist in the group, the poor acoustics
are particularly frustrating. The band's
vocals were muffled and partially
inaudible throughout the concert, which
is not unusual for a predominantly in-
strumental band.
Inexperience on the part of the group's
vocalists further exacerbated the
problem. Yet for the most part the
before-mentioned problems were the
only negative aspects of the concert.
Most importantly. none of these failings
can be attributed to inherent

weaknesses in the band itself; but the
weaknesses are simply a manifestation
of any inexperienced band. And it is not
impossible to believe that in another
year many of these problems will be
The group's strengths on the other
hand are positively invigorating. The
band on the basis of their background
understandably is close-knit. And the
youthful ebullience exuded by the nine
rhythms, proved infectious, as the
crowd became increasingly receptive
as the concert wore on. The group often
using a niaty as six percussionists at
The Friars
in concert with
March 29, 1980-8:00 p.m.
Rackham Auditorium
Tickets $2.50, $3 at the door
Contact ticket central
for more information

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April 16
Michigan Theatre
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Dick Siegel and the Ministers
of Melody


Alaskan King
Crab Leg Dinner
Served with a crisp green salad, vegetable,
bread and your choice of baked potato,
French fries, or long grain and wild rice.


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