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March 10, 1982 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-10

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ARTS
The Michigan Daily Wednesday, March 10, 1982 Page 5
Paroxysms of danceable glee by Chic

Cliic-'Take It Off' (Atlantic)
Chic belongs to that rare breed of
accidental innovators. Their best tunes
iaxd biggest hits were always
n assuming, maybe even uninten-

tional, crossovers from disco to pop-
funk that fueled (and perhaps even
sparked) that transition.
Now that pop-funk is firmly enscon-
sed as the regal rage of the land, Chic

are no longer the leaders of the pack
that they once were. But neither are
they eating anyone's dust; even if
Chic are not the innovators they once
were, they are never less than con-
summate professionals. That
professionalism will undoubtedly make
their shows Thursday night at Second
Chance a unique event.
That professionalism is also what
separates Chic's latest album, Take It
Off, from its hosts of would-be conten-
ders. Paradoxically, while this album is
Chic's least cohesive to date, in many
ways it is also their solidest. Their
previous albums, Risque, C'est Chic, et
al. were always populated by a couple
paroxysms of danceable glee like "Le
Freak" and "Good Times" and then
simply filled out with unmentionable
disco fodder. While Take It Off may
lack those undeniable highlights, there
is also nothing on this album low
enough to tempt you to hit the reject
button. Even when the songs them-
selves prove somewhat lacking, the
playing and arrangements pull it
through.
But the best moments on Take It
Off-mostly on side one (in fact, most of

side one)-are not only worth sitting
through, but well worth dancing to. It is
here that Chic prove that their par-
ticular brand of pop-funk has grown up
with the genre. Now, at its best (namely
"Burn Hard") their funk has a leaner,
meaner edge to it, hot and hard-headed
enough to stand next to the best of Was
(Not Was) as leaders in the heavy-
metal funk mob.
Much in that way, each of the songs
on Take It Off takes on one tangent of
modern soul music and performs it to
nearly definitive perfection. While I
have little sympathy for some of the
mellower, disco-jazz leanings of "So
Fine" and "Flash Back," I was quite
impressed with both the nastier, "new
wave" stylings of "Telling Lies" and
"Take It Off" and the seriously-pop
funk tunes "Your Love is Cancelled"
and "Would You Be My Baby."
Since Take It Off is such an en-
cyclopedic collection of trends in
modern sould, it will undoubtedly ram-
ble through some areas that will
displease every listener (unless of
course you're one of those annoying
easy-to-please types).
However, it will never leave you

room to doubt that Chic do everything
well, whether or not you like it.
Given Chic's long list of instant disco
classics, one should hardly need any
more impetus to catch one of their
shows Thursday night, but if you should,
Take It Off is certainly there to ham-
mer home the point. Talk about good
times!
-Mark Dighton

INTERNATIONAL
CAREER?
A representative
will be on the campus
TUESDAY
MARCH 16, 1982
to discuss qualifications for
advanced study at
AMERICAN
GRADUATE SCHOOL
and job opportunities
in the field of
INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT
Interviews may be scheduled at
CAREER PLANNING
& PLACEMENT
AMERICAN GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT
Thunderbird Campus
Glendale, Arizona 85306

- u--
Chic will perform their version of pop-funk on Thursday at Second Chance as
part of The First Annual Rhythm and Blues Music Festival. The Falcons,
The Contours and The Marvelettes will also perform.

Drugs linked to Beushi's death
VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. (AP) - Friends and "probably cocaine." about one mile from Belushi's home.
family of John Belushi gathered near his home on The Los Angeles coroner's office said it would have Many residents recall seeing Belushi j,
Martha's Vineyard, where his body was brought for no comment on the reports, in reply to repeated driving around the island in an open jeep. A
burial, while reports surfaced in Los Angeles that the telephone calls. Ve would often be seen at The Ocean
,oung comedian's death was caused by a drug over- The Times reported a coroner's office source, who Vineyard Haven, hanging around the bar, n
dose. asked not to be identified said toxicology tests con- people laugh," said Peter Simon, a photograph
ducted Monday indicated Belushi had an elevated resident of the island, which has a year
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auntily
t night
'lub in
making
her and
r-round

With Dan Aykroyd riding to the gravesite on a
motorcycle and James Taylor mournfully singing
"That Lonesome Road," Belushi was buried Tuesday
in a gentle snowfall on an island off Cape Cod.
The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, reported today
that a source in the coroner's office said Belushi,
whose nude body was found in a Los Angeles hotel
room Friday, died of complications from a cocaine
overdose. ABC News also reported that sources said
a drug overdose killed him, and said the drug was

amount of cocaine in his blood. The source said the
drug was believed to have caused respiratory failure
and perhaps also a heart attack, the newspaper
reported.
Like many celebritites, the 33-year-old TV and
movie comedian had sought privacy on Martha's
Vineyard, off the coast of Cape Cod. He spent the last
three summers at his vacation home on the Chilmark9
oceanfront which he bought in July 1979.
Burial was at Abel's Hill cemetery, located

population of about 10,000 and a summer population
about five times as large.
Belushi often was an unannounced performer at the
Hit Tin Roof, an island rock club partially owned by
Simon's sister, Carly.
"I've seen the serious side of him, but that was
rare," said Simon, who said he was with Belushi
about 15 times over the three summers. "He had to
be around people. They generally expected him to be
outrageous and he would rise to the occasion."

Evita' snaps, crackles, and pops

By Howard Witt
TMAGINE FOR a moment what it
might be like to see a musical in
Michigan Stadium. Pretend the stage is
in one end zone and you are sitting in
the other; try to picture how small the
ditors would appear and how distorted
-heir voices would sound when am-
plified over the PA system (for you
would not have a prayer of hearing
them without a PA system).
Got an image in your mind? Good.
Welcome to Evita, now playing at the
Mgsonie Temple Theater in downtown
Detroit.
1'm really glad I didn't sit in the usual
choice "reviewer's seats" somewhere
kn the tenth or twelfth row last Saturday
night, because there my impression of
the production might well have been
skewed. I might have enjoyed it.
As it was, I sat some 50 rows back,
tucked way under the huge mezzanine
,verhanging perhaps a third of the
.main floor. Mind you, the ticket price
($25 on Friday and Saturday nights) is
the same whether you sit in row 50 or
row 5-but the experience most cer-
tainly is not.
And because the theater is so gargan-
tuan (4,700 seats), most of the audience
must inevitably find itself at least as
distant from the stage as I was-hence,
my qualification as a spokesman for the
mnasses.
The musical itself was okay; at best,
only mildly satisfying. ("Oh God, how
can he say that about a production that
won seven Tonys, a Grammy, 6 Drama
Desks, 9 Critics' Circles, and
miscellaneous other appellatial, fur-
niturial, and geometrical plaudits?")
SEvita is a docu-drama of sorts about
Eva Peron, the second wife of Argen-
'tine dictator Juan Peron. (For referen-
man

ce, Isabel Peron, Juan Peron's third
wife who ruled Argentina in the mid-
'70s, is the figure best known to
Americans today.)
The story traces her rags-to-riches
progress from a poor peasant up-
bringing in the early 1920s through a
mediocre show business career in
Buenos Aires to her marriage to Juan
Peron, her rise to unprecedented
popularity, and her death of cancer in
1952.
It's not hard to tell why lyricist Tim
Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd
Webber snatched up Eva Peron as a
good candidate for a musical. She was
always something of an
enigma-without ever actually holding
public office, she seduced the Argentine
masses with promises of riches and
prosperity while simultaneously raping
the country's economy to fatten her
own Swiss bank accounts. That she dies
a virtual saint in the eyes of the
populace was testimony to her power
and guile.
It's also not hard to tell that Rice and
Webber were the creators of Jesus
Christ Superstar. You can catch a lot of
the melodies and rhythms from that
musical in this one.
Actually, "musical" is something of a
misnomer when describing Evita. Like
Superstar, it is much closer to an opera.
Not more than a handful of lines are
spoken; the rest are either sung a cap-

pella, accompanied by a few in-
struments, or worked intoafull-blown
songs.
It is this operatic character that is
perhaps most disconcerting, for its
results in a largely anti-melodic
production that is frequently difficult to,
listen to.
And the microphones only exacer-
abate and exaggerate this anti-melody.
Thank goodness modern technology has
given us concealable, wireless micro-
phones, for otherwise every actor in
Evita would have a long black cord
trailing from his or her costume.
Yes, everybody in Evita wears
microphones. We never hear a pure,
unadultered voice-they're all elec-
trified, amplified, ionized, flouresced.
All the wonders of Marconi brought to
the stage. The huge speakers stacked
on either side of the stage ensure that
no electric snap, crackle, or pop is
missed.
I can't imagine anything could spoil
the special intimacy and balance of the
theater more than seeing tiny little ac-
tors on a far-away stage while hearing
booming, amplified voices bouncing off
the walls.
And in the most syncopated scene-in
which a troop of soldiers marches

around the stage complaining about
Evita's new-found power in the gover-
nment-the amplification grows nearly
unbearable. You see, there are annawful
lot of heavy boots stomping around, and
each soldier is wearing a microphone,
and, well-you get the picture.
Maybe stitting in the fiftieth row
wasn't far enough back. Maybe I should
have sat outside, across Temple
Avenue. In the parking lot.

I

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