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February 11, 1983 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-02-11
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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

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Flyin~g
pork
By Joe Hoppe
SALVADOR DALI has a rhinoceros
with the outspread wings of a stork
in his living room. So it's only natural
that East Quad has a Pig With Wings in
its basement cafe, the Halfway Inn. It
appears every other Tuesday. It will be
there again February 15.
These pig's wings change. At times it
flits about on clear hummingbird
membranes. Sometimes it soars on a
12-foot black condor spread. Other
times, the blue of a bluebird's feathers
flap from the pig's shoulder blades.
The pig is a thing of many splendored
wings.
The pig lends his name to parties of
the arts, spreading his wings over them
in a protective mode. Poetry, music,
and in the future some dance comedy,
are all performed in the name of the
pig. Anyone can be funny, read poetry,
play music. The pig is wide open.
Jay Frost is the man behind the pig.
He coordinates the shows and he is the
master of ceremonies. He also named
the show.
"The name developed through
various stages," Frost said. "At this
point I'm just sort of using it, because
it's catchy, but also because essentially
a pig is a clean animal and we put it in
mud. So a Pig With Wings is sort of like
liberating a pig."
There's more to it for Frost than
liberating a pig, though. Frost feels
that he is freeing the people that per-
form, and the people in the audience.
"We're sort of liberating these
people. They really didn't have form
elewhere," Frost said. "You have
people in an artistic setting and people
aren't interested in what they have to
say unless it's in a popular enough
mode that they can accept it
somehow." Pigs With Wings is trying
to do that.
"You can go and play in a band, and
that seems to be okay," said Frost.
"But people sort of pat you on the head
if you write poetry."
And for Frost, it is also very impor-
tant for the artists to feel good about
what they. are doing. At times the Pig
can almost be a workshop. "They can
hear other people read things. The ar-
tists can be excited about the fact that
they're doing something that's worth
something. Something which is put
down and spit upon, but really has

" tremendous worth," Frost said.
Pigs With Wings started in the fall of
1981 as a response to some poetry
readings that were already going on.
"East Quad was hosting a series of
poetry readings and I thought they
were very boring," Frost said. "They
didn't tell people a whole lot and ap-
pealed to a small audience. So I got
some time in the Halfway. We had a
reading where 15 people read and threw
in some music. It was very suc-
cessful."
The original readings were called the
Halfass Readings, but the name had to
be changed because they co'uldn't read
it over the radio. So they became the
Halfway Readings. Frost didn't keep
that name because someone else star-
ted a Halfway Inn reading series.
"It was very much like dropping into
a cellar during the '60s," Frost said of
the other series. "Bongos, Robert Bly
poems, and I just didn't want anything
to do with that. We've done that
already, let's move on."
Under the various names, Frost has
been responsible for somewhere bet-
weeen 12 and 14 readings. A core of
poets and people who liked to read was
built up. "I thought it was so successful
to get so much moving so fast that we
should keep it up, because that was the
only way of building an audience," said
Frost.
Frost went to Washington, D.C. last
summer and stayed until Christmas
time. He came back to Ann Arbor after
New Year's and set up Pigs With
Wings' first show this season on
January 18.
The first show featured Rick Littler,
Vicki Beauehamp, Larry Dean, and
Adam David-some of last year's core.
people-reading poetry. Dean and
Davis are both Hopwood award win-
ners. A folk music trio, a recorded tape
of modern music, a song from a locally
written musical, and a female singer
were also featured. Frost was pleased
with the .diversity of the nearly 125
people in attendance. "We had people
from the co-ops, north campus, and
East Quad," Frost said.
Pigs With Wings' Feb. show relied
more on the poets. Dean read a longer,
emotional poem, another modern
music tape was played, various people
presented humorous poems, a guitar
duet played some fifties rock and roll;
and brand new local band, The Dharma
Bums, made an exciting debut.
"We had a very insular audience,"
Frost said of that performance.
"Everybody there sort of knew
everybody else so there wasn't any real
energy being generated."
Frost doesn't want a calm at-
mosphere for the Pigs With Wings.
"You can't bring people together that
way," he says.
Frost will be going after the Hopwood
winners, "with a vengeance," for the
next few shows. He'd also like to get

Meissner_
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Ultra
di sc
Quartet
Ultravox
Chrysalis
By Mike Belford

IT'S IRONIC that two of the most
eagerly awaited albums of the past
few months were both released this
week; these being the new LPs from
Ultravox and Echo.and the Bunnymen.
Both bands have pursued contrasting
directions since their common begin-
nings in '77, whilst still retaining that
rare capacity to simultaneously shock
and captivate the listener.
Ultravox had their beginnings with
John Foxx, now a solo performer.
Unlike the shimmering guitar attack of
the Bunnymen, Foxx took the early
synthesiser experiments of Bowie and
Eno as the major reference for the
initial Ultravox releases. Upon' his
departure in '79, the original trio of
Chris Cross, Warren Cann, and Billy
Currie were joined by singer Midge Ure
who had- previously played with
everyone from Steve Jones of the Sex
Pistols to early '70s pop/rock band Slik.
The result was the commercially
successful album Vienna during 1980,
followed by 1981's highly acclaimed
Rage in Eden, recorded in Koln with
German producer Conny Plank.
Quartet is a logical progression from
these two, with the 1983 image one of
the ultimate in style and quality; from
the digitally mastered George Martin
production to the immaculately
designed Peter Saville album cover.
Actually it's "Peter Saville Associates"
now, a long way from the hectic days of

Manchester Art School around the turn
of the decade.
The initial impression, though, is that
the band has taken the kind of
neoclassical imagery of groups such as
Spandau Ballet or New Order rather too
far, the whole album package having
more in common with say Architec-
tural Digest than any of the music
magazines. Song titles like "Reap the
Wild Wind," or "When the Scream Sub-
sides" aren't really a good indication of
the songs themselves; the titles tend to
stereotype Ultravox, something the
group has always managed to resist in
the past.
As far as the actual music is concer-
ned, the nine new songs represented on
this collection are still based around the
synthesiser and drum machine in their
various forms, but there are a number
of interesting variations on the theme.
The grandiose layered structure of
"Vienna" has been guided by producer
Martin (and no doubt Ure himself)
toward a more concentrated rhythm
and energy with more emphasis on the
vocals and Ure's occasional guitar par-
ts, typified by the tracks
"Scream .. .," and "Serenade," the
latter featuring a steely high energy
beat that would probably make it a bet-
ter choice of single release than the
current one; the rather slow and
calculated "Hymn," the closing song on
side one.
Other new directions explored by the
band range from the up-tempo, self-
explanatory "We Came to Dance," to
the watercolor romance of "Vision in
Blue" with lyrics to match Billie
Currie's orchestrated synth
arrangements: Ashes and memories
still aglow, . . . portraits and pic-
tures you once knew. . . Again the
vocals are mised unusually high, there
was a time when you were lucky to cat-
ch every third or fourth word sullenly
muttered by John Foxx on the original
Ultravox albums.
Probably the best, and certainly the
most intriguing song on Quartet is the
last track on side two, "The Song (We

Go)," with a melody line that stands on
its own, without the need for any lyrics,
and a gloriously subtle ending that you
just have to hear for yourself.
On listening to this new Ultravox
album it becomes clear that the main
talent within the band belongs to
keyboard player Billie Currie. Singer
Midge Ure may have provided an initial
incentive for the band to start playing
and writing again, but it's now fairly
obvious that the kind of opportunist
commercialism that he's exploited in
the past is once more becoming ap-
parent with this band. He always ap-
pears to stand apart from the other
three, never more so than on his recent
overblown solo rendition of Scott
Walker's "No Regrets." George Martin

seems to b
aspect at t:
abilities of t
the same tir
stylised "n
leaves little
There is e
that Cross,
the potentia
producer bu
be said that
represent ti
As a fin
Chrysalis re
CBS) has r
will be re-r
early album
interested, t
ter introdu
unique talen

'

F

1I

some "musically different sorts of
people."
A cellist, as well as an organist will
play for the February 15 show. Frost is
also hopeful about getting a jazz band
from York University in Toronto. And
he is excited about hearing organ music
bouncing off the Halfway's cement
walls.
The Impact Dance Group will be per-
forming March 1. If he can find room,
Frost would like to bring in the
Michigan State Dance Ensemble.
"I'd like to get some crazy sort of
stuff there," said Frost. Things aren't
normally considered artistic. As long
as they're not a sideshow." He is en-
thusiastic about a karate exhibition or
possible exhibition wrestling.
"It would be fun to tap into that crowd
- people who go and see a wrestling
match are few and far between," Frost
said.
At the moment Frost is trying to get
an executive committee of supporters
together. The president of the group
must have been around before, but
anyone nterested has a chance of being
on the board. Board members would
act as advisers and as a screening
committee.
Frost would also like to put out a
Pigs With Wings literary magazine.
Something fun, not something stody,
like Empyria, is what he's aiming at.

Right now the organization has a
budget of $120. That covers leaflets, but
nothing else. Half of the money comes
from the Halfway advertising budget,
the other half from East Quad's
representative assembly.
Frost is planning on applying for
Michigan Student Assembly funding so
that his organization can expand and
pull in more people. He's always
looking for new talent.
Pigs With Wings is also going to apply
to the MSA as a non-profit student
organization.
Offices and weekly conferences go
along with all of it.
Pigs With Wings sounds like it might
not mind being a media empire. Frost
compares it with the Hearst newspaper
empire and alludes to Hearst inventing
the Spanish American War, "Sure, as
long as it's fun - an Artistic Spanish
American War."
Frost would probably settle for less.
"It would be nice if people would at
some point think of Pigs With Wings
and associate it with something that
was fun and had lots of arts in it. That
way when the public saw something
with Pigs With Wings on it they'd pick it
up, and they'd read it, or they'd buy it,
or they'd promote it. . . As long as it's
fun."

A

r.

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Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. -8 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. -5 p.m.
Great Breakfasts & Lunches Too.
Free parking after 5 p.m. in lot behind
Afternoon Delight.
Student Dinner SpecIals $4.50
quiche or crepes, soup, salad,

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7-9 Monday - Saturday
10 - 8 Sunday
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4 Weekend /February 11, 1983

1
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