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March 04, 1983 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-04

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4

ARTS

Page 6

I

Friday, March 4, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Jumping up wi
By Jerry Brabenec ' nervous and omnidirectional, the
Decoding Society is dominated by the
raw energy of Ronald Shannon
THE THINGS we go through to Jackson's drums, and James Blood
bring you somenew musical in- Ulmer's band seems to combine
telligence. Wednesday night, when any psychedelic intensity with gospel fer-
responsible working person would be vor.
home marshalling the energies for a Jump Up is a no nonsense dance and
last minute assault on the working party band with social overtones.
week, I found myself in the company Lake's rhapsodic alto playing is often
of a good-sized, lively crowd of shelved for a couple of tunes in favor of
mainline funk and reggae lovers at insistent funk riffs and chants. The con-
Rick's, trying to muster the energy to sciousness raising potential of spurring
"Jump Up" with Oliver Lake. a bar full of people to dance and chant,
Lake is one of the current masters of "NO MORE WARS JUST FOR
the alto saxophone and flute, holding PROFIT! !" should be obvious, and
down the alto chair in the virtuosic demonstrates Lake's reasons for opting
World Saxophone Quartet. His recor- for radio airplay and bar gigs. Many
ding career gives the impression that reviewers of this group have noted that
he is something of a maverick; jour- the band is much more convincing in
neyman work playing in the bands of person than on record, and while this is
established stars seems largely absent a common problem, hopefully
from his discography. Lake represents Gramavision Records has the produc-
a newer, collective outlook on jazz, tion savvy to give Jump Up a little more
going back to his cofounding the St. gloss. This and a slight unevenness of
Louis based Black Artists' Group in material are the band's two big
1968. This organization is closely allied problems at this point.
with the Association for the Advan- Many observers at Rick's found the
cement of Creative Music in Chicago. first set, full of hard funk and chants, to
In the Midwest, where playing oppor- be the most exciting of the evening. No
tunities and cultural resources are less doubt the midweek blues had a lot to do
concentrated than in New York, serious with this, as the crowd thinned and the
jazzers have developed the strategy of band settled down slightly as the night
the collective to support a local pool of went on. In the second set particularly,
talent and tradition. In Detroit, drum- the group settled into rather stale pat-
mer Roy Brooks and trumpeter Marcus terns after the sensuous opening groove
Belgrave are active in this area. of "Trickle Down Feeling."
The music collective is an alternative "One Foot" picked up considerably
to the standard party and bar music as guitarist Jerome Harris con-
economy, which is the route that Jump tributed a commanding guitar solo,
Up follows. The major contribution of utilizing a huge array of effects pedals.
this band is its' staking out new com- Later in the set Lake introduced the
mon ground between reggae and funk other guitarist as Brandon "blew out a
in a straightforward, accessible con- fuse" Ross after Ross' amplifier blew
text, with avant jazz as a sort of sub- out at the climax of another fine solo,
text. Ornette Coleman's Prime Time is this one blurred slightly by chorus and
delay effects in the style of Andy Sum-
G d P . -mers.
Graduation Portraits "Stratosphere" opened with a drum
from solo by Pheeroan ak Laff, a master
Experienced Professional drummer in the style of Rashied Ali,
Photographers who demonstrated that an avant garde
player can come back to the middle

th Oliver Lake

:4

Oliver Lake's appearance at Rick's Wednesday night was an auspicious and
admirable concert of high energy reggae.

with a vengeance. Pheeroan ak Laff's
playing was lean, resonant and rock
steady thoughout the night. The third
set opened with one of Lake's chant
tunes, with the maddeningly simple
vocal line:
"Don 't go crazy, keep your sanity
Stop doing those crazy things"
giving way to a manic bass solo.
Telegraphing his lines with dramatic
leaps and gestures and pounding out the
funk on a metal necked Kramer bass,
this guy did it all. Sorry I didn't get his
name.
More reggae'numbers demonstrated

that the band's reggae feel comes
almost entirely from the guitars: the
drummer almost always plays straight
rock, coming down hard on one. The
sort of weightless one and heavy
three mastered by bands like Steel
Pulse was very rare.
Sound quality was superb, with good
balance and volume, and subtleties of
polytonal jazz peeked through the
cracks in the funk from time to time. I
left with the feeling that this band could
really rise to a more propitious oc-
casion than a Wednesday night at
Rick's, so let's hope they come around
again soon.

10:00
12:15
4:30
7:30
9:30

A Finger-Lickin'
Good Comedy!
~CoOutrageous
and
20hFunny!
"! 2q~hCENTURY-FOX FILMS

'' ; ...;
.
.
V - _ r __

6 NOMS
1:00
3:451
6:30
9:15]

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E ARATE ADMI

film festival
YO U-NUMBSKULL
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Notice: Contains live Cultures

By Melissia Bryan
W HAT MAKES Culture Club so
successful? Fashion? Mystery?
Does Boy George's hairdresser know
for sure, or is their music really
refreshing? Their secret may be com-
bining these alluring elements
humorously and innocuously.
Culture Club has all the potential to
be a very controversial band, but oddly

enough they have merged right into Top
40 radio without as much as a by-your-
leave. It is hard to believe that the
American record-buying consumers
have bought 400,000 Culture Club
records without noticing that the band's
singer is prettier than Brooke Shields.
I think- and this is a personal obser-
vation - that most people just haven't
figured out yet that Boy George is a
man. That's spelled MALE, everybody!
I may be making harsh generalities
about the taste of America's youth, but
I remember being called a "Fag Hag"
because I liked David Bowie. Why the
switch, you guys? Perhaps Boy George
is so blatant that people just think it's
an act. I think the movie "Victor/Vic-
toria" opened a lot of people's minds.
Culture Club started to attract atten-

O'.SWINGTO..-
ChotanoogaChoo-Choo
Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy
Ain't She Sweet
Blue Moon
Hey Daddy I
Little Brown Jug
Strike Up the Bond
Old Black Magic
I Got it Bad
I'll Be Seeing You
And Many More
A B il Fegan Attractions Production
BEST OF BROADWAY
POWER CENTER
MARCH 4-6,8 P.M. & MARCH 6, 2 P.M.
PTP TICKET OFFICE, MICHIGAN LEAGUE
764-0450

tion in England last summer because
they wore unique, loose-fitting cotton
clothes that had all sorts of religions
symbols painted on the fabric. I can
only guess that they junked the "Star of
David" motif because it took too much
attention away from their fun
loving, hoy loving image. Boy George
was a big figure in London night-
clubbing 'circles, and he does have a
certain oomph that people love to
imitate. He also started that whacky
dread-locked look for white people.
He's too much!
Here in America, Culture Club's
fashion and politics have been played
down in order to sell their record,
Kissing to be Clever. Their hit single
"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" has
hit top ten recently and is still going
strong. The album is pure pop-its in-
strumentals are very white, bubble-
gummy versions of stronger ethnic
forerunners. Tracks on the record are
influenced by salsa, calypso, and
reggae styles. Vocally, Boy George is
sweeter than molasses and almost
always in tune.
Their album has one major theme -
Boys in Love. In fact, the entire second
side is devoted to happy, cheerful boyst
With titles like "White Boy," "Boy,
Boy," "White Boys Can't Control It,"
and "Take Control," who can doubt
what's on George's mind?
The Culture Club recognizes its
limitations and happily claims to be fir-
st and foremost a pop band. They don't
purport to have the answer to world
hunger or nuclear war. Despite former
indications, they are not making any
big sociological statement, and if we're
lucky, they never will. They are not a
New Wave band, a rock band, or even a
great band. They are a harmless pop
band, and that takes off all that
pressure.
I hope that all of us get a heavy dose
of Culture tonight at St. Andrew's Hall,
and that we won't be disappointed if
Boy George isn't as cute in real life.
What I really hope to see are a lot of
Boy George look alikes in the audience.
I'm sure they must be in demand
somewhere.

MAJOR EVENTS PRESENTS:
PHOEBE SNOW

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