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January 07, 1983 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-01-07

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ARTS
Friday, January 7, 1983

d
Page ,7
R

The Michigan Daily

Records

Gemini-'Good Mischief'
(Gemini Records)
Ann Arbor folk veterans, Sandor and
Laszlo Slomovits, known to area fans as
Gemini, have released their second
album, an interesting package com-
prised of youth oriented, sing-a-longs
and more mature, uptempo dance and
waltz selections . Good Mischief,
originally slated and publicized as
primarily a children's album, has found
appeal to a much wider audien-
ce-perhaps wider than Gemini had
expected.
Gemini feels that music is an intrin-
sic part of every culture, and they at-
tempt to convey this relationship to
their listeners by selecting for their
album a number of traditional ethnic
arrangements derived from Israeli,
Irish, Scottish, and French-Canadian
cultural origins.

The group, best known for their
clever original compositions, also make
the traditional songs an integral part of
their live performances.
Side one of the album is recorded live
at the nationally recognized Ark coffee
house in Ann Arbor, a well-known folk
haven. The seven tracks on this side are
largely directed at the young listeners,
who made up the audience at the Ark
for the recording.
The vocal talents of the duet are
featured on this side, with Sandor and
Laszlo singing in remarkable harmony
and polyphonic cohesion. "Oh, How
Lovely," a song recanted in several
foreign languages, displays the rich,
deep-bodied tones of the pair as they
harmonize to a colorful rhythmic
background.
On side two, the pair leave their
alluring vocals behind to concentrate

on vibrant instrumental dance songs.
"Fiddlesticks and Limberjack," a tune
employing the use of various wooden
instruments adeptly played by Sandor,
features a guest appearance by har-
monica madman, Peter "Madcat"
Ruth who plays both his wind reeds and
the jaw harp. The song is clearly the
highlight of the album, as it parades the
talents of three fine musicians at their
best. Laszlo amazes the listener with

his crackerjack violin play. "West-
phalia Waltz" is a traditional French-
Canadian number, having a unique
sound which provides the right notes for
a waltz across the dance floor. The
remainder of the songs on this side in-
clude other enchanting dance
arrangements, whose mystic qualities
make one float off into the sanctity of a
musical abyss.
-Tom McDonald

BEIT MIDRASH
PROGRAM OF JEWISH STUDIES
Winter 1983 Courses

Hebrew (3 levels)
Basic Judaism
How to Read a Jewish Book
Talmud

Jesus for Jews
Jews and the left
Themes in Zionist Theory
Passover Seder Workshop

Sando and Laszlo Slomovits play for both children and adults on their latest
album, 'Good Mischief.'

The sci-fi nightmares of Ellison

Classes begin Jan. 17,
Registration, Jan. 10-14
Fees: $12.00 students; $20.00 non-s tudents
Sponsored by Hillel. Call for information,
663-3336

I

By Tom Bowden
H ARLAN ELLISON, most popularly
known as a science-fiction writer,
is back with Stalking the Nightmare,
his newest short story collection since
1980's Shatterday.
Having won more Hugo and Nebula
Awards (science-fiction's most coveted
honors) than any other author, three
Most Outstanding Teleplay Awards
from the Writers Guild of America
(more than any other television scrip-
twriter), and an Edgar Award from the
Mystery Writers of America, Ellison is
easily one of America's most versatile
and formidable writers.
The overall tone of Stalking the
Nightmare is that of a range of
dreams-dreams of searching, awe,
and mystery. Dreams now called
nightmares, replaced by video pap
smooth enough to trickle through un-
furrowed minds.
Although the quality varies, because
the stories and essays of Stalking the
Nightmare age from 1956 to the
present, it is a good volume for
displaying his evolution as a writer.
The book has three divisible
categories: Revised stories orginally
published between 1956 and 1968, stories
written within the past two years, and
the essays.
Of the revised stories all but four are
in print for the first time since their
original publishings. The other four
stories were reprinted in 1970's Over
the Edge, now out of print, and offer the
only comparison between their original
forms and revisions. Ellison has
retained all elements of the originals,
and has merely tightened and clarified,
here and there, individual sentences
and paragraphs.
The weakest stories are those
covering aspects of the most traditional
in science-fiction. Hence, they are
predictable; or if not predictable, their
endings dully plop instead of burst with
unexpected turns. In "Transcending
Destiny," which builds nicely, we are
disappointed in its the-earth-may-have-
been-populated-by-leftovers-from-
another-world theory for an ending.
Similarly with , the tale of a
megalomaniac robot in "Invasion
Footnote" and the kindly (green) alien
of "Tiny Ally."
These stories show the greatest
dichotomy in his writing at the time
(the late '50s to early '60s), clearly
distinguishing between science-fiction
NDIVIDUAL THEATRES
$2.00 Sat Sun. Shows Before 6 p.m.
THE EXTRA-
TERRESTRIAL
FRI. MON.-7:10, 9:20
SAT SUN-
12:30, 2:40, 5:00, 7:10, 9:20

and the eents that filled The Deadly
Streets, Memos From Purgatory, Web
of the City and Gentleman Junkie,
books about his gang-member days in
Brooklyn's Red Hook section. Later, he
would have a much harder time
distinguishing between fiction and
reality, or even finding a need to.
So the strongest of the earlier works
are those showing Ellison fighting for
his voice, the meshing of fiction and
reality all his stories would eventually
possess. Two of them, "Final Trophy"
and "Visionary," both writen in the
'50s, contain familiar science-fiction
trappings (i.e., other words, and space
cadets, respectively). The bulk of the
action, however, has nothing to do with
science-fiction. By the time of 1967's
"The Goddess in the Ice" almost all of
Ellison's stories take place on earth, in
a time that could be the present. Ellison
realized he didn't have to go to other
worlds for strange happenings.
Readers of Nietzche will appreciate
Ellison's ode to the Ubermensch in
"Visionary"-a character's dream and
search for something that would make
everything "right for me if I could find
it." The dream? A place where man is
God, looking to himself for salvation-a
theme taken up in 1973's disturbing
"The Deathbird." "The Goddess in the
Ice" is Ellison's paean to those who
succumb to the temptations of power
and evil, a favorite Ellison theme
throughout his career.
Ellison's maturation as a serious
story writer is found in "Grail," "The
Cheese Stands Alone," and "Night of
Black Glass," all written within the
past two years. Here the blending of
fact and fiction is perfected into a new
mythology of archetypes.

These three stories begin in the nor-
mal waking world but soon twist, like
an old "Twilight Zone" episode, into the
realization of a metaphor. The What if?
becomes flesh.
Chris Caperton's spiritual quest for
True Love in "Grail" is directed by a
nether-world demon. Dr. Cort's anomie
in "The Cheese Stands Alone" is tran-
-sformed into an endless night and fog.
In "Night of Black Glass" Billy Dun-
bar, who has never risked himself for
anybody, becomes trapped at the edge
of nowhere with nobody, no respon-
sibilities, and nothing to do.
"Grail" and "The Cheese Stands
Alone" follow the courses of two men's
searches for a particular moment.
These moments, it turns out, are
ephemeral, with essences too un-
sustainable for anybody to possess for
long. After realizing their dreams,
those men face the deep uncertainty of
their futures.
The essays, "Scenes From the Real
World: I-IV," take up much of what
Ellison's regular readers are familiar
with already-Ellison himself. As such,
they offer us the greatest insight into
who and what he is, how he perceives
the world, and how he draws upon ex-
perience to convey his reactions
throughout his thematic range.
These scenes range from anecdotes
on sex, violence, and labor relations in
"The 3 Most Important Things in Life,"
to the time, at 13, when he was jailed
with a convulsive alcoholic, "sweating
sour alcohol." They take in his account
of NASA's Saturn mission in 1980 (more
an account of pure visceral and
emotional awe of man's accomplish-
ments than an exposition of what the
mission means to humanity), and the

terrible mill he was grist through while
writing the ill-fated "The Star-lost"
television series.
In the latter article, "Somehow, I
Don't Think We're In Kansas, Toto,"
his writing philosophy is spelled out:
"It is a writer's obligation to his craft to
go to bed angry, and to rise up angrier
the next day. To fight for the words
because, at final moments, that's all a
writer has to prove his right to exist as
a spokesman for his times. To retain
the sense of smell; to know what one
smells if the corruption of truth and not
the perfumes of Araby."
At its most powerful, Stalking the
Nightmare vividly conveys intellectual
and emotional wonderment, humor,
and unsure victory. In top form Ellison
is easily as good as any other American
writer with much wider renown, of fic-
tion or prose.
However.one wishes Ellison had in-
cluded more material in this collection,
written since Shatterday, to include in
this collection, definitely demon-
strating his writing improves with each
passing day-instead of using so much
older work that often lacks the qualities
marking his best work.

4 .I

RI]
~fl~1E
mas/5 meAg

Jan. 12
Wednesday
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Michigan Union
Ballroom
Veteran Ushers
For those who
have ushered
Major Events concerts
in the past.

Jan. 13
Thursday
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Michigan Union
Kuenzel Room
New Ushers
For those who
would like to
usher at Major
Events concerts

RESIDENCE HALL HOUSING
AVAILABLE WINTER TERM
GRADUATE OR UNDERGRADUATE;
WITH MEALS OR NOT
STOP IN ROOM 1011 S.A.B.,
TELEPHONE 763-3164
8 A.M. to Noon; 12:30 to 4:30 Weekdays

Iv

"A MAGICAL BLEND
OF MYTHOLOGY AND
SCIENCE FICTION"
-Rex Reed, N.Y. Post

I

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