Tuesday, October 11, 1983
the Michigan Daily
Figures all a
By Melissia Bryan
With their EP Swimming,
Figures on a Beach are forging into
nationwide recognition, and they
approach the music industry in an
autonomous fashion. They have
been playing and performing
together for 2 years, and they have
increasingly broadened their
musical scope and audience.
Moving from an avant garde cult
following, Figures is drawing a
crowd that is both younger and
more diverse. Figures members
Chris Ewen and Anthony Kaczynski
l explain their viewpoints and
outlooks to the Daily over eggs and
french fries at that Ann Arbor icon,
the Fleetwood Diner.
Daily: Why did you choose Metro
America, an independent label? Do you
feel that you could have been handled
more successfully if you were signed to
a major company?
Figues: We know of several bands
who have literally sold their birthrights
to do so. They have little or no control
over how their record will be produced,
they don't have the opportunity to
develop their album packaging, and
frequently can't be sure if their record
will be released. We have been able to
take our time and perfect our sound and
our packaging right down to the album
cover. We have been able to involve
ourselves every step of the way, and in
so doing have been as satisfied as
possible with our product. We have
been approached by the majors, and at
this time we feel comfort'able where we
Daily: Any names?
Figures: I like Fleetwood's fried
eggs, but I don't want to wear them all
over my face.
Daily: Fair enough. I've noticed a big
change in your audience. How would
you describe the recent turn around in
music awareness and in fashion here in
the Detroit area?
Figures: For one thing the audience
is both younger and broader. This is
largely due to radio airplay. We can
reach people who did't know we
existed, and although we still have our
hardened following at our shows, we're
getting more and more kids who have
never seen us before. With boadened
radio playlists, people have been
opened up to "New Music," and with
that the fashions and clothing that
follow. Look, kids are kids, they're
bored! They want a change as much as
Daily: Do you think that video will
become a stronger medium than radio?
Are you making videos at this point?
Figures: Yes, we're working on a
video for "Swimming." It should be
completed by the end of the year. Video
may have been stronger in introducing
new bands, say, 6 months ago, when it
had such novelty appeal. But I can't
credit viewers to be so unintelligent
that they would sit hour after hour wat-
ching the same guitar player banging
the inevitable guitar with the equally
inevitable scantily clad girl in the
background. It's all the same blopety-
blop schlock. We're avoiding that at all
costs. Our video coincides with the rest
of our presentation, we control the
product we produce and the public
won't see or hear it until we are
Later . . . at Joe's Star Lounge.
Joe's is packed, and manoevering
through the crowd is both
troublesome and time consuming.
Once Figures begin playing every
available inch of dance space is
filled with gyrating young adults.
Figures performs each number with
precision and with seemingly boun-
dless energy. Their new material
gets as positive a response as their
older, more well known songs. By
self definition they are not a dance
band, but they do have everyone
moving. Joe looks especially happy,
he has to turn people away at the
door. The concert is a resounding
Back to Fleetwood...
Daily: What are your plans for the
future? Do you feel you're onto a
greater success commercially?
Figures: Well, our EP is into its
second pressing and will soon be
rereleased. We will have another
record out on MetroAmerica Records in
December. On October 14th we're
headlining at the Danceteria in NYC.
We feel especially positive these days.
Anthony Kaczynski: One of the Figures on a Beach.
By Steven Susser
F IRST OF all, what kind of title is
"Heat and Dust" anyway? It
sounds like a furniture polish. Maybe
heat represents hot air and dust the
Heat and Dust' is not a good film;
rather, it is a flawed film with several
The major problem is the plot, which
is contrived and weak. Julie Christie
plays a contemporary young woman
who, upon inheriting her great aunt's
letters, decides to do some research.
This aunt, Olivia, was the wife of a
junior British officer stationed in India,
so off Julie goes to India.
The film is divided into two segments
which . alternate in blocks of ap-
proximately fifteen minutes. The pur-
pose is to juxtapose the experiences and
encounters of the two women. This
trick, which worked so well in The
French Lieutenant's Woman, fails
The segments are too long and most
of the correlations are lost. Further-
more, the modern episode is ridiculous.
The people that Julie Christie meets,
the situations in which she is placed and
the lines that she and her fellow actors
deliver are asinine. At one point, her
Hare Krishna acquaintance grabs her,
exclaiming, "your problem is that you
need sex"; he later sticks a banana un-
der his bedsheet in a Porky's-like view
of sexual frustration.
Julie. Christie is a fine actress who
doesn't deserve a part like this. The
other thespians in this segment are
stilted and far-fetched. I liked Julie in
Don't Look Now, but I would like to
burn the footage of this role and create
some heat and dust of my own.
Olivia's story, however, is in-
teresting, well-done and, alone, might
have made a fine film.'It concerns her
relationships with her husband, the
Navab (the Indian prince of the region)
and the Navab's good friend, Harry.
The interactions of the charismatic
Olivia, Harry and Navab savE the
film. Harry, the mutual friend, is an
Englishman who displays his ex-
ceedingly dry wit with virtuosity and
aplomb. *We've seen it before in
"Chariots of Fire" and the like, but
such humor has lost none of its charm.
Olivia portrays one of the few Britians
in the movie with even a spark of life -
not to mention beguiling curiosity and
stunning good looks. The Navab,
however, is the main attraction. With
his sophisticated good looks, boyish
charm and abundant charisma, he of-
fsets the boring English with pizzaz.
All three are well-acted and
believable, and their subtlety more
than compensates for the clumsiness at
the other end of the century.
And then there is India. The country
is so beautiful and the camera work so
skillful that it offsets the films
sometimes lackadaisical pace.
Beautiful mountains, deserts, and ver-
dure fill the screen in an overwhelming
panorama. Moreover, the bright glim-
pse that we get of the people is in-
teresting and intimate. How many
times does one see lavishly bedecked
Indian women moving their saris to the
big band sound? -
' Heat and Dust is a relatively slow
film with a meatless plot. Part of it is
awful, part pretty good, and some of the
.characters are first rate. It doesn't
have the spice of Indian cuisine, but it is
peppered with some jolly good fellows.
Are you considering professional school?
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SLK, Ann Arbor's post-teen idols, brought cheers and tears to the masses this past weekend at the U Club.
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ecor S -
Uh-oh, there I go:
thinking about Garbo again.
The Waitresses rose on the tails of
the great girl group resurgence of a
couple years ago (although, unlike the
GoGos the group is more male than
female) with a classic tease anthem, "I
Know What Boys Like." With
Bruiseology, lead vocalist Patty
Donahue continues her spokesmanship
for sexually active new wavers of these
And confusing they are, as Donahue
vascillates from one extreme to the
other, playing philosopher-poet-
counselor for a world of assertiveness,
self-satisfaction, deceit, and ennui.
New wave love becomes an ambivalence
between possession and slavery.
Donahue can't decide what she should
give up in order to get what she wants,
and then she wonders why she wants it
The cynicism is a mind game, with
each player trying to outwit the other:
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"Look someone in the eyes and say
you'll satisfy them/ Though you
both know the way love is, that's a
The album title refers to the
inevitable emotional welts incurred in
such a schizoid battle. Donahue doesn't
want an amorous object ("Found I
don 't want someone who'll be/
Anything to keep my happy"), or a
threat to her own autonomy ("And
don't you ever call me a "chick"!
And I don't know why, but praise
like/ I just can't accept it. ")
What she ends up with is that "on
again-off again" sexuality which seems
to fill business schools and other
The problem with this album is not
really Donahue's emotional thought
processes, but her musical/poetry sen-
se. New wave music isn't suppose to be
this jerky, disjointed, and frankly, an-
noying. It's like David Byrne with the
hiccups, on top of all his other quirks.
Bruiseology's saving grace is a self-
deprecating humor which recognizes
the absurdity of our "push me-pull you"
culture (see "Everything's wrong if my
hair is wrong").
When all else fails, blame it on the
producer/engineer. If Hugh Padgham
had done a better job, maybe Donahue
problems could have sounded more
gripping and less griping.
All Over the.
Ask Peace Corps Math volunteers why their degrees are
needed in the classrooms of the world's developing nations.
Ask them why ingenuity and flexibility are as vital as adapting
to a different culture. They'll tell you their students know Moth is
the key to a solid future. And they'll tell you that Peace Corps
adds up to a career experience full of rewards and oc-
complishments. Ask them why Peace Corps is the toughest job
you'll ever love.
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WATCH OUT FOR
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when it comes to ave
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at first write.
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