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September 10, 1981 - Image 91

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Page 18-E-t6husday; September 10, 1981'-The Aichigan Daily
Let your fingers
do the dialing
FM radio rewards diligence

V

The Michigan Daily-Thursday,.Septemb

By STEVE HOOK
Although it has become downright
laborious finding good radio in recent
years, there are still rewards for those
who persevere. Listeners can usually
find what they're looking for; they just
have to patiently search the FM dial to
do it.
Yes', the radio industry has left a lot

of people grumbling around town
people who have watched a once live
and dependable radio spectrur
deteriorate to a dreary collection{
slick, hyper-marketed stations. Th
diverse outlets competing in the days
yesteryear have given way to formula
audience-oriented rock, easy listenin,
and country-western stations-clon(
of each other-that are cutting throa
and stabbing backs in pursuit of o
timal Arbitron ratings.
DETROIT, ironically known acro:
the land as a heavy-duty rock and ro
city, has watched four roc
stations-WABX, WRIF, WWWW, an
the new WLLZ-assimilate their fo
mats and playlists, and general
become indistinguishable. (WWWW he
since switched to country-western, a
ter the arrival and quick dominancei
WLLZ.)
So, lesson number 1: If you're lookin
for rock, these three Detroit station
have an equal chance of satisfying you
How much of a chance? It depen(
what you like. If you've been broughtu
on album-oriented rock music, ti
seventies' gift to humanity, you'll fir
plenty of REO Speedwagon, Journe
Fleetwood Mac, Styx, Billy Joel, et. a
to choose from on WRIF, WLLZ, ai
WABX. If this is where your heart lie
welcome to paradise.
(A LITTLE history, now: You'
heard about the birth of rock and ro
Okay. For a while, the Detroit rad
community reacted to this new gene
with giddy, light-hearted unpredi
tability. Virtually anything went on tt
pioneer rock stations, which offer(
free-form programming en masse. TI
development and success of Motom
added to the fun. In the sixties, wi
rock radio evolving and becoming mo
sophisticated, Detroit's WABX becarm
the dominant station, priding itself(
its "progressive," free-form approac
When Grass Roots Rock succumbed
Superstar Rock in the seventies, WRI
and WWWW grew and grew, WABX
h TA1~4

n,
ly
m
of
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of
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es
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9-
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all
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ag
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nd
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ve
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io
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Nn
ith
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Idid-it-myself
at Megaframes
with over400 frame moldings to
choose from. They even cut the
glass and matt. It was fun doing
and I saved.
Come ;n and let us show you
how simple and rewarding t can
be to frame-/t-yourself and save
money. too.
205N.MAINSTREET ANNARBORMICH.
PHONE 769-9420

8mm Film Festival a' few weeks before
the larger and older 16mm festival. It
attracts smaller audiences and less at-
tention, but as 16mm costs zoom and
backyard filming becomes more
imaginative, the 8mm festival is
becoming just as striking a forum for
experimentation as the larger event.
Cinema II screens an average of
three nights a week, offering a com-
paratively conservative but well wor-
thwhile schedule with many foreign,
domestic classic, documentary and
political films.
Mediatrics is still by far the most
MOR of the co-ops; it screens mostly
recent hits of a decidedly uneccentric
nature. Well, sometimes white bread
tastes better than pumpernickel
anyway.
THESE THREE co-ops show most of
their regular schedules in-Modern
Languages Building Auditoriums 3 and
4 (they're okay, although you won't be
happy sitting vey far back or to the
side); Aud. A in Angell Hall (probably
the best place on campus to view
movies); and the Natural Sciences
Auditorium (a fairly horrendous place
with lousy acoustics, poor projection
facilities, and godawful wooden seats.
There is, however, a nice incline-no
worrying about peeking over tall people
- to compensate.
Gargoyle is an almost-major co-op
that's been trying lately to hone in on
Mediatrics' territory with a fairly
predictable (but slightly more in-
teresting) schedule of safe semi-hits.
Alternative Actionco-op has kept its
distant-cousin status for the most part,
screening only once a week in the
unlovable Law Quad Hutchins Hall; its
ignorability has, unfortunately resulted
in tiny audiences for some surprisingly
obscure and interesting film choices.
Dorm groups also occasionally show
films, often for free, mainly for residen-
ts, and most often at the beginning of
,the school year as sort of a getting-to-
know-you gesture.
Hovering on the fringe of these
University-affiliated groups is Classic
Film Theatre, formed by a group of
runaways from Ann Arbor Film Co-op.
Though usually considered one of the
co-ops, this new group is, scandalously,
in it for the money. Showing strictly in
the Michigan Theatre, it sticks to a
schedule of Ann Arbor favorites, big
draws, classic warhorses, and other
populist things - Not such a bad alter-
native.
AREA COMMERCIAL theatres have
been doubling and quadrupling into
multitheatre complexes in the last few
years, leaving Ann Arbor with more
than enough outlets for new Hollywood
and foreign products - though too often
the theatres seem content instead
merely to drag back Ordinary People
or Fame for the nth time.
The State Street Four, the Campus
and the Ann Arbor are within easy
walking distance of central campus. All
the others can be reached fairly easily
by taking various city buses, currently
at 50 cents a shot.
Briarwood and Fox Village have
Tuesday night showings for a slim
dollar. Since ticket prices and policies
are always changing, it's best to check
a newspaper or give the theatre a call
(they all have recorded information
lines) if you're uncertain.
Briarwood is the shopping-center
theatre complex epitomized: slick and
impersonal. But this cluster of four
theatres almost invariably gets the first
pick of the new releases, so if you're
planning to catch whatever might be
the latest "must-see," you'd better plan
to spend some time at the mall.
The screens, unfortunately, are
typically small. This fracturing of
theatres until multitheatres has left A,
like most places, with fw or no places

where an epic can really sprawl the
way it's supposed to.
The State Street Four is another four-
theatre complex, located a couple of
minutes from the Diag and somewhat
more comfortable than Briarwood. It
gets pretty much the second-best as far
as first-run films go, although there are
some worthy offerings from time to
time.
The Theatre's main attractions for
students are its Friday and Saturday
midnight shows - four, count 'em -
which are inexpensive (on Fridays
only) with student I.D. The midnight of-
ferings are a variable mix of concert-
footage/musical-collage documen-
taries (usually more a matter of
musical taste than anything else), cer-
tified midnight staples Hair, the
glorious Pink Flamingoes, Eraserhead,
the never-absent Harold and Maude),
and assorted oddities.
The Fox Village Theatres are even

Further Out There than Briarwood, and
definitely require some sort of special
transport. This complex was, not so
long ago, a single theatre with one nice
screen. It got axed in half some time
ago, and just a year ago was fragmen-
ted in to four._
Why? The question is a legitimate
one, because Fox Village is all too often
concrete proof that sometimes - in
fact, usually - there just aren't enough
good movies to go around.
A similar casualty has been the Ann
Arbor, located about ten minutes from
campus on Fifth Street, formerly the
best theatre in Ann Arbor, with great
seats and a wonderful screen, it got torn
in two last year. The Ann Arbor,
however, has at least used that oc-
casion to show foreign and domestic
films that otherwise might not make it
to Ann Arbor.
The Campus, located just a couple of
minutes from the Diag on South Univ-

V

I

0... ...
:'' *
a0

ersity, offers
runs and dela
Its prices, how
than the comp
been some we]
start up the we
notable older
The Michiga;
last surviving
grand Hollywo
plete with a L
classic lobby v
staircase (o
Dietrich mak
sliding down t
Von Sternberg
baroque cars
ceilings, and
mossy nostalg
also has a
perserved, er
which rises u]
depths of the o
frequent aud
before screeni

' 3,

Daily Photo by JACKIE BELL

to format changed to AOR, and Clone student operation which presents
IF Rock was born. The situation is little programming for the FM station, and
's different today. The main "story" in its AM-styled, cable current sister
the past twelve months has been the WJJX, which transmits to campus
abrupt arrival and leadership of WLLZ, dorms and background music for the
which knocked a faltering WWWW out cable TV information channel. A few
of the AOR ring. radio receivers may pick it up, if they
All right, so all is not well for rock and happen to be in the right place at the
roll radio, which, to generalize, is what right time.
college students like. "But what about Students are welcome to get involved
WCBN," you ask, "the student station? with the Campus Broadcasting Net-
Can't you rock and roll on 88.3?" Sure work staff, to gain experience in music
you can, and you can find some of the or news programming, as well as public
most inspired rock programming here, affairs, sports, production, and
if only for lack of competition. At any publicity.
given time, though, you're just as likely Public reaction to WCBN has been
to find Oscar Peterson, Son Seals, or mixed and somewhat polarized. The
Woody Guthrie on WCBN-there are no station, which is geared by its person-
specific slots for rock and roll during nel to be as much a "community"
the free-form-oriented schedule. Cross station as a "student" one, has
your fingers. developed a relatively small but
Indeed, WCBN is quite often your noticeably loyal audience. The format,
best bet for finding exciting, arbitious which is proudly billed as "alter-
radio, regardless of genre. Any serious native," seems as consciously adverse
stroll through the FM spectrum should to audience-oriented programming as
include a stop here. The weekday Detroit radio is dedicated to it. The
schedule features pure free-form, with music is conspicuously esoteric, a fact
news, public affairs, and a special which pleases its supporters to no end
music show from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and a but which has drawn criticism from
nightly "Jazz Around Midnight" from many who find it unaccessable, at
11 p.m. to 2 a.m. On weekends, WCBN times excessively obscure.
offers special shows each day, with long "WE'RE NOT trying to please a lot of
folk, blues, reggae, thythm and blues, people," said Ken Freedman, WCBN's
gospel, experimental, and live music program director during the past
programs. school year, in an interview with the
WCBN IS SO call-lettered for the Ann Arbor Observer. "But we are
Camps- goeadcatinig' N ietwok, -a- x tIfihg td jai"thema bit. We want

Pop Quiz:, When do(
$4.00 =$3.60?
Answer: When you shop in Ulrich's art and engineering depar
We deduct 10% from the price of all art and engineering su
at the cash register.
That's important to remember
when you're comparison shopping.
MORE THAN A BOOKSTORE
549 E. University at the corner of East U. and South U. 662-3201

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