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September 11, 1980 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-11

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ARTS

Page 6

Thursday, September 11, 1980

The Michigan Daily

Synthesized synthetics

Little brother makes good

By MARK COLEMAN
Five points if you know who Dave
Davies is (the Kink's lead guitarist).
Ten point if you know that Ray Davies
doesn't write all the Kinks' songs (Dave
has contributed 14 songs total on the
Kinks' albums). Fifteen points if you
remember Dave's big European hit of,
1967 ("Death of a Clown"). Twenty
points if you knew this song was taken
from Dave's unreleased solo album.
Thirty points if you've heard Dave's
classic performance, "This. Man He
Weeps Tonight" (on the now-deleted
Great Lost Kinks Album). Fifty points
if you know the title of Dave' last con-
tribution to the Kinks's repertoire
("Trust Your Heart" on Misfits).
If you scored more than twenty ,five
points on this quiz you win a free copy of
Dave Davies "new" solo album. And if
you like rock and roll in general and
guitar playing in particular, it would be
in your best interest to purchase Dave
Davies. But be forewarned: this is not a
Kinks album in any way, shape or form.
In fact, Dave plays all the instrumen-
tation on all but a few cuts, so "solo" is
no misnomer here. But that sterile
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quality often produced by overdubbing
is nowhere to be found, in fact, Dave
Davies uses the artifices of the studio
with outstanding results. .
DAVE HAS earned a place in the
Rock Guitarists Hall of Fame if only for
the power chord intro to "You Really
Got Me," yet this album is light years
beyond that primal rock therapy in
technique and execution. This album is
layered with guitar overdubs, weaving
rich textures of sound behind Dave's
quavering, though heartfelt, vocals.
Dave is certainly no match in
songwriting for his older sibling, as
evidenced by songs like "The World is
Changing Hands" or "In You I
Believe." But this album's strength lies
in the music's absolute transcedence of
the often cliche lyrics. It's easy to
ignore cosmic imagery like "We are
spinning/We are free" in "The
World" when the chorus hook sounds
like 1000 guitars in perfectly or-
chestrated hard rock harmony.
Dave strains his voice at times, but
he's relaxed, self-assured and ultimately
listenable. A song like "Nothin' More
to Lose" puts Dave's strangled singing
style to good use in a talk-sing
monologue over a slightly funky
rhythm, intersperced by resounding
single power chords that just kind of
hang in mid air. For all the grandeur of
the guitar arrangements on this albuip,
they are never grandoise. Above all
else, Davies is a tasteful guitarist,
seductively melodic even when he's
searing a 3-note line into your brain.
And even on a corny ballad like
"Imagination's Real," Dave's restraint
and good taste (not to mention the
beautiful rhythm guitar and infallibly
picked solo) are irresistable.
DAVE DAVIES is one of those
albums that creep up and surprise you.
It lacks the psychological insight and
intensity of the Kinks' best work, but
retains their feel of undisturbed,
timeless beauty. And it rcks. Oh, and
about that quiz; if One For The Road
and/or Low Budget are the only Kinks
albums you own, deduct fifty points.
Aren't games fun?
UNISEX
Long or Short Haircuts
by Professionals at...
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East U. at South U.......662-0354
Arborland............. 971-9975
Maple Village.......... 71-27

TuII_'A
By PATTI DIETZ
Rock death is usually a slow and
painful one. A band with what was on-
ce an innovative musical idea stagnates
and becomes repetitive. Losing many
of its listeners from disinterest and
boredom the band may try a change in
personnel and/or direction-an in-vain
attempt to salvage some former magic.
Disgruntled and unproductive, the band
might experience hassles with
management. A breakup often follows,
or the performers may go on wasting
vinyl, making music'that nobody cares
much about.
Such is the case with Jethro Tull.
Early this summer long-time leader
Ian Anderson fired drummer
Barriemore Barlow and keyboardist
John Evan, schoolboy chums with Tull
since 1972 and 1970, respectively. Also
canned was David Palmer, Tull's for-
mer orchestral arranger who joined the
lineup on the 1970 LP, Too Old to Rock
and Roll, Too Young To Die! behind the
synthesizer. Anderson was widely
reported to have been working on a solo
LP with the help of ex-U.K. and Roxy
Music keyboardist-violinist Eddie Job-
son, L.A. drummer Mark Craney, and
veteran Tull guitarist Martin Barre.
Dave Pegg, who replaced ailing bassist
John Glasscock last year, remained in
the group (Glascock died this summer
of coronary complications). "Feeling
frustrated and in need of new impetus"
was the reason Anderson gave for such
firing and hiring.
ANDERSON APPARENTLY liked
his band so much that he shelved his
solo project, or at least incorporated it
into the new Jethro Tull LP, A. The
album is, in many ways, not unlike
previous Tull releases, so it's unclear
as to what "new impetus" Anderson
refers. But, oh, what I'd give to hear
this material done by Barlow, Evan and
Palmer ...
A features one of Anderson's favorite
themes-distrust in authority-which,
by now, seems like beating a dead hor-
se. He tries to spice things up by stating
his distrust in technological authority,
of our security systems, of our
national defense. Everyone's jerking
off at his job, charges Ian, from the
policemen in. "Crossfire" to the radar-
watchers in "Fylingdale Flyer." But
Anderson gives us no solutions to this
pompous sense of impending doom,
which is what makes A come off like the
previous 5 years' worth of Anderson
material: unfulfilling, crabby intellec-
tualization.
Anderson's switch of emphasis from
the pastoral pleasantry of Songs From
The Wood and Heavy Horses (though
often simpleminded) to his obsession
with technology on last year's Stor-
mwatch and now A is interesting only
because it fails miserably. Anderson's
personal preference is the English
countryside which he calls home, and
though we may have yawned through
such songs as "Jack-In-The-Green"
and "Acres Wild," at least we sensed he
knew what he was talking about. On A,
Anderson plays at being a space-age
scientist, and his unfamiliarity with the
role is evident. Maybe he should take a
lesson from John and Yoko: buy some
cows for his farm and retire to rurality

a flunks
for awhile.
AS ON THE dismal Stormwatch, An-
derson's production salvages the
material from complete absurdity. Side
One is a totally aural experience, so
much to be heard. "Black Sun-
day"-about leaving for a long-distance
trip only to return home to find his
woman has left him-has just the right
dose of urgency and disbelief.
"Fylingdale Flyer" is an obvious Close
Encounters take-off, surprisingly
behind-the-times for Anderson, but a
lilting, well-crafted tune nonetheless.
Creative vocal overdubs and the Tull's

standard catchy, oddly punctuated
rhythms sustain interest.
Side Two, however, is where Ander-
son's pretentiousness gets the best of
him. Is this guy really serious when he
sings of "self-appointed guardians of
the race with egg upon their face"
("Protect and Survive")? Anderson's
metaphors show promise but never
follow through; on "Batteries Not In-
cluded" Anderson attempts parallels
between his young son and the boy's*
mechanical toys which fascinate Dad.
"Uniform" and "The Pine Marten's
Jig" (an instrumental) are musically
uninspired, as Ian borrows riffs from
the English folk band, Steeleye Span,
whom Anderson once produced. "4
W.D. (Low Ratio)" is possible a cut-out
from Too Old To Rock and Roll..,.
wherein Anderson professed a liking for
motorcars and bikes.
The Tull albums that have sold the,
most copies (Aqualung, Thick As a
Brick) largely centered on the plight of
the human being and his questioning of
the social structures around him-ac-
cessible topics t just about everyone.
Songs From The Wood and Heavy Hor-
ses, agricultural'in tone, are found in
the bargain bins now, and Stormwatch,
with its obtuse references to up-and-
coming technology, sold minimally. A
will no doubt follow. No amount of fad-
disms (science fiction, Frippertronics,
references to the Computer Age) can
make Anderson's overblown predic-
tions palatable to his listeners, who are,
certainly, dwindling in number. Ian's
Doomsday Syndromes ("And with the
last line almost drawn. . . /Will we still
be here further on?") won't help,
either. The band's Detroit appearance
late next month is being billed as "the
new Jethro Tull show." Heaven forbid
with material like A. And if Anderson
opts not to play "Locomotive Breath," I
probably won't be surprised. Tull
should R.LP.
rts page
ributors. If you have an interest and
or static arts as well as an all-
iuld be the opportunity you've been
tail? That depends on you, your in-
eed new talent in every sphere,

e,
o.,

SHOGUN
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN CENTER FOR
JAPANESE STUDIES CORDIALLY INVITES
YOU TO ATTEND THESE
FREE PUBLIC TALKS,
LECTURE ... SEPT. 12
DISCUSSION SEPT. 20
"A HISTORIAN LOOKS AT SHOGUN" BY
PROFESSOR GEORGE ELISON, INDIANA UNIVERSITY.
SEPTEMBER 12, 7:30-9:30 P.M., IN THE
RACKHAM BUILDING AMPITHEATRE,
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN CAMPUS.
PANEL DISCUSSION BY
PROFESSOR ROGER HACKETT, PROFESSOR PETER
ARNESEN, AND DR. ROBERT INNES OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.
SEPTEMBER 20, 10:00 A.M.-NOON, IN THE
MODERN LANGUAGES BUILDING, AUD. 4,
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN CAMPUS.
TEACHING GUIDES AND VIEWING GUIDES WILL BE AVAILABLE
SPONSORED BY THE PROJECT ON EAST ASIAN STUDIES
IN EDUCATION

Join theiA
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What does being an arts staffer en
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something less than exhaustive.
Butthere's a lot more to arts reporting than writing a concert or movie
review. We are currently in the process of expanding and (hopefully)
upgrading both the format and content of the arts page, so we need fresh
input more than ever.
Joining the Daily may be your big break as a journalist, or it could
become a satisfying outlet for your creative ability while providing a
much-needed service to your fellow students. Some people even think it's
fun. At any rate, you'll never know until you try, so come over to the
Student Publications Building (right around the corner from Student Ac-
tivities Building) at 420 Maynard. Our annual arts staff get together is
slated for this Sunday, September 14, at 3:00 p.m. If you want to get a
head start, assemble a typewritten sample of your writing that somehow
reflects your interests and bringit along. If you can't get to the meeting,
stop by the aforementioned office and ask for the arts editors. We can't
wait to hear from you.
Going to the Notre Dame Game? .. .
in Concert with Special Guest
FRI., SEPT. l9th-8:30 PM

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