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September 27, 1980 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-27

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ARTS

.3

The Michigan Daily

Saturday, September 27, 1980

Page 5

KID CER OLE'S SUNNY SOULD
Papaya, bananfish and funk

PUT'EI
ire e

A AWAY
If you can live without
your cigarettes for one
day. you might find you
can live without them
forever.

By RJ SMITH
Just sit right back and you'll hear a
le, a tale of a fateful fandango; Kid
reole's calypso romances, in the land
of the pan-fried mango.
It's a shame you can't roll up an,
album the way you can one of those
flimsy Time-Life "Greats From the
Swing Era" square 45's that come in
the miail every few months. Cause Kid
Creole and the Coconuts' Off The Coast
Of V6 is one record that deserves to be
squirreled away in bottles on record
store shelves, like some communique
froml-a tropical island.
THE KID, LIKE Dr. Buzzard's
Original Savannah Band, Cory Daye,
and Gichy Dan, are brainchildren of
songwriter, producer and singer
August Darnell. What precedent there
is for this sort of stuff is almost ex-
clusively found in what Darnell has
do'nb, previously. It's a disco rhumba
fresh off the banana boat, it's Carmen
Mirahda almost losing it on the floor at
Xenon, casting a quick glance or two
Out the door and thinking about
something a little bit grittier, maybe
her walk-up in the Bronx, maybe last
night's James White show.
Since Darnell spurted out on the
scene in the mid-seventies, his person-
na",hasn't changed much, but that's
okay: Always the gleefully upwardly-
mobile rhythm kid, Darnell applies
the eircle of musicians surrounding him
to various musical projects, albeit in-
fu'siig each one with enough per-
~onality of their own to make them
nqte. Darnell songs are full of comic
bobk characters, or, better yet, simple
char'acters frdm 1940s romances fitted
ini6the 1980s.
In Off The Coast Of Me the mise en
scene shifts slightly, the usual Darnell
dise beat becomes a rhumba, and steel
drums and Puerto Rican dialects
abSknd': I'm told the whole album is
arranged like a movie, following one
lid'acter in his romantic adventures
hidtigh all the songs. I don't hear it, for
all-the credits to t e hair stylist, war-
drobes, and casting listed on the sleeve.
Wh'rt I hear are a lot of mostly-terrific
romlps through a never-never land

where everybody dances, and everyone
is a fast-talker.
TAKE THE POOR guy in "'Mister
Softee," whose member is as firm as
the ice cream curlicue on top of a Dairy
Queen. His girlfriend taunts him by
calling him "Mister Softee"; he tries to
weasel out of an embarrassing evening
by saying "I got a funny feeling
baby/That tonight you wanna sleep
with me; /But I got a 'pointment in the
morn/And I need at least eleven hours
of sleep-/I'm so sorry, babe!" It doesn't
wash.
And all over the place is that big bass
drum. A problem of Darnell's has been
to build on a groove once he's laid it
down, but here, with bigger
arrangements than usual and a variety
of instruments, the sameness of the

songs is less obvious. Tune after June
comes on like a soul train moving
through a tunnel of love (or, as one of
the Coconuts put it in "Maladie
D'Amour": "Ever since I wooed you, I
been acting cuckoo/Underneath a tun-
nel, you'd think I was a choo-choo."),
compelling one to jump and jump some
more.
But even a soul train can have some
excess baggage. Here, it's the tongue-
in-cheek sensuality of "Off The Coast
Of Me" and the likewise sly reggae (af-
ter the first 30 seconds) of "Calypso
Pan-American." But the salt-and-pepper
Gilligan's Island cast that Darnell has
assembled, by and large, deliver
papaya and not breadfruit.
A strange character, this Kid Creole.

There he is on the album liner: the pic-
ture of romantic longing, in white
tuxedo and tails, his hands in his
pockets as he looks wistfully out to the
ocean. He hasn't got a whole lot to do
with the disco culture that his music
plays to, nor does he have much of ain
audience among the new wavers Dar-
nell is interested in reaching. What he
has the most to do with, I think, is Cary
Grant, the image of slightly sad yet
eternally hopeful sophistication. What
that has to do with good popular music
isn't clear. But in the hands of August
Darnell, and maybe with a coconut
shell full of something sweet and
strong, Off The Coast Of Me is Kid
Creoleshowing why he'd be a lotsmore
fun on a desert island than any man
Friday.

R A DAY.

Just because you're

PA NlA A(VI,
doesn't mean
we're not out
to get you

Maybe we should say ... GET
ACQUAINTED WITH YOU. You are
invited to STUDENT SUNDAY
tomorrow (Sept. 28) at
University Church of the Nazarene
409 S. Division St.
9:45 a.m.: Time of Getting Acquointed
11:00 a.m.: Worship Hour with folk singers
Barry & Vicki Woods
12 Nooni Picnic

J

OPEN HEARINGS ON
THE FUTURE OF
THE. MICHIGAN UNION
Discussion of student proposals concerning:
" Student role in Michigan Union decision-making
(advisory or actual priority setting authority).
" Proposals for Michigan Union decision-making
structures.
* Definition of the basic objectives and mission of
The Michigan Union.
SPEAK OUT.ON YOUR STUDENT UNION
Hearings Sept. 29 Oct.1 & 2
(Monday) (Wednesday & Thursday)
7pm-KUENZEL ROOM, Michigan Union
Sponsored by Union Discussion Committee & MSA

Doily Photo by MAUREEN O'MALLEY
Iggy Pop
Ypsilanti's favorite son, Iggy Pop, is shown here in front of a ravenous crowd at Bookies' Club in Detroit. Iggy is wrapping
up a solid week of gigs at this scenic venue and from all reports it's been an extremely successful venture.

________________________________ I.

Students examine tax proposals

r

xy

(Continued from Page )
universities-from Marquette to
nn Arbor. They talked about the
tax reform proposals on the Novem-
ber ballot. They speculated about
would happen to higher education if
those ballot plans passed. And they left
pledging to register students to vote
and to educate them on what they ter-
med these vital issues.
Most of those in attendance agreed
that the Tisch tax-cut plan-which
would amount to a 50 percent cut in
Wroperty taxes for most Michigan
citizens-would be fatal to higher
education.
But, to the astonishment of most con-
ference participants, the delegation
from Northern Michigan applauded
and questioned speakers as if it suppor-
ted the Tisch plan.
Nystrom, a business management
major at Northern Michigan, told a
small group of administrators why .
other Northern students might like the
Tisch proposal. The area's employers
* ren't happy in Marquette because
property taxes there are very high.
IN ADDITION, THE university's
president just built a new $400,000 home
with state funds. There are other im-
provements that students and area
residents believe are extravagant, con-
sidering that colleges are supposed to
be having money troubles, he said.
Nystrom said he doesn't blame studen-
s-and their 'parents-who think that
the state's money is being wasted.
Nystrom's comments later inspired
Tom Coyne, vice president for student
services at Western Michigan, to tell
the higher education crowd not to do
"dumb things."
"Be careful. Don't do anything to
make (citizens) ask: 'Are you doing
dumb things with public money."'
THE STUDENTS agreed to return to
their campuses and to :
Register students to vote.
. Educate students on the ballot
issues.
" Work as a group to defeat the Tisch
proposal.
At The University of Michigan, a
massive voter registration drive is
already underway.
Michigan Student Assembly
President Marc Breakstone told
student leaders that his group hopes to

register 5,000 students. Other campuses
told of similar projects, but said theirs
were on a much smaller scale.
THE MORNING portion of the
program featured presentations by
proponents of the three tax reform
proposals on the ballot.
Dick Jacobs, spokesman for the Tisch
plan, was alternately cheered and
jeered. Jacobs, a businessman and
Libertarian party official, told the
audience that lawmakers in Lansing
"are hellzbent on making this a socialist
state."
He said the state could afford an
almost $2 billion decrease in revenue
because of the "excessive waste"
created by state officials.

Proposals A and C, which would cut
property taxes but make up the revenue
with sales or income taxes, were
ignored by conference participants af-
ter the presentations by proponents of
those ballots measures.
Those plans would not have the
drastic effect of the Tisch
proposal-Proposal D.

Use
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