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November 17, 1983 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-17

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

By Joe Hoppe
T HE CITY DROPS into a sharp
November night. Jim Carroll
comes out of an alley, around the cor-
ner. Dressed all in black, down to black
basketball sneakers. Long strides on
long thin legs on a long thin body, junk-
thin, though healthy now his com-
plexion has paid for it. Carroll walks
down this East Village alleyway and
you can see his breath. Walking his
basketball player beat; inscrutable
poise with a nihilist's charm.
Comes to a fire excape, wrought iron
on a brick wall. Leaps with the grace of
the kid who taught Dr. J how to sky-
hook. Climbs into that night-time sky
and up on the roof.
The moon is a cruel curved white
blade. A crow flies through it. Jim is a
cool silhouette, shadowed 'cept for
some light shining over through, from
his head; red hair and its own
luminosity. Beat paperbacks litter the
roof tar. He walks across, kicking them

poetry f
out of the way: Baudelaire, Rimbaud,
Genet, Tarantula, written but never
published by Bob Dylan, a sleazy sex-
bookcalled The Velvet Underground,
and something called The Lords and the
New Creatures by someone named
Morrison, gets an extra kick, past
Dharma Bums and Desolation Angels,
to Patty Smith and Babel, to Patti
Smith and his own name on Book of
Nods, to just Jim Carroll and a book
nominated for a Pulitzer in poetry;
Living at the Movies.
Carroll picks it up, looks out over the
roofs, over Manhattan, and in cool
monotone reads: I sleep on a tar
roof/scream my songs/into lazy
floods of stars... /a white powder
paddles through blood and
heart/and/the sounds return/pure
and easy... /the city is on my side. He
reads of the New York cool life, and
heroin, and sex, and being Catholic.
He reads from Basketball Diaries, an
account of Jim Carroll from age thirteen
to about fifteen. Thin line prose of
homosexual basketball coaches, snif-
fing Carbona before the Ramones were

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 17, 1983- Page 7
rom Jim Carroll

old enough to handle the child-proof
caps, and the throwing up. Watching
the crazy lady through her window
across the street, people who died, sex
with: girls, older woman, an encounter
with a transvestite, hustling, the great
NYC black-out of '64 caught on the sub-
way, and scoring heroin, always, get-
ting hooked, a full fledged junkie by fif-
teen years old. Jim Carroll reads of
great boy's life adventures. Written in a
style better than 89% of the others, so
said Jack Kerouac.
The reading turns into singing, turns
into rocking-reading-roll poetry.
Catholic Boy, with its big hit of thirteen
"People Who Died." (The first time I
heard it was the morning after John
Lennon had died, courtesy of some
twisted DJ.) Rough rock and roll that
all the critics loved; tighter Patti Smith
stuff, meaner Lou Reed, or, take away
Bruce Springsteen's car and instead of
letting him spend his childhood

weekends watching western matinees
abandon him on the steps of Andy
Warhol's factory.
Jim Carroll still sings. Sings songs
from Dry Dreams, a second LP that
didn't do as well. Too slick, but after a
couple listens...Dig: Trees grow from
dead nuns' lungs in El Salvador.
"Lorraine" (side one) can't find a needle
so she slashes her arm with a razor
and uses the stem of an orchid to
funnel the heroin through. It's work, not
Jim Carroll will read and sing and
give you the whole world from where
he's at. This afternoon, and evening, at
the Detroit Institute of Arts. He'll even
sign autographs. That's at 4 p.m. For
three bucks, at 7:30 he'll read and sing.
Detroit's own Private Angst is the
Jim Carroll stays on the roof and
looks up at the stars.

Jim Carroll is still singing-today, as a matter of fact, at the Detroit
Institute of Arts;*



comedy lights up RC stage



By Elliott Jackson
T WOULD NOT, I sup ose, be unfair to state that
the three plays currently offered for our delectition
. by the Residential College Players have nothing to do
with one another. Nothing, that is, besides the fact
7 that all three are topical and that they all deal with
nightmares in a blackly comic fashion.
The above being the case, I shall be forced to con-
elude that the only other thing tying this choice of
plays together is that they each mark the Ann Arbor
debut of two playwrights, Slawomir Mrozek of
Poland, and Charles Schulman of the Residential
College. With our usual restraint, we shall refrain
from any obvious comparisons between these two
beleaguered states. We will only note that it is in-
teresting to see together the products of two different
intellectual climates, each rendered unnaturally
chilly by its location in the midst of a vast, cold-
hearted, bureaucratic EMPIRE, which stands as a
constant threat to the very existence of these states,
and...but I digress.
The Birthday Present, by Charles Schulman is, in

the words of its author/director, "a comedy about an
epidemic," brought about by germ warfare practiced
between the US and the Soviet Union. Schulman
being reluctant that I or anyone else should spoil the
surprise, I hardly dare add that near-universal male
sterility is an unlooked-for side effect of this warfare.
The Birthday Present, though enjoying its Ann Ar-
bor premier, is not a stranger to the stage. As the
winner of the 1983 Young Playwrights Festival, it has
been produced at the Circle Repertory in New York
The plays by Slawomir Mrozek, Charlie and Out at
Sea," are of somewhat less recent vintage, having
been written in the 1960s. They are, however, as far
from being outdated as they ever were when
originally produced. In fact, the timeliness of these
two plays today is something which the directors,
Danny Thompson and Framjii Minwalla, regard with
a mixture of satisfaction and concern.
As Danny Thompson, speaking of Charlie, put it,
"Moral despotism and military research are still
with us." Charlie is the story of an occultist, osten-
sibly decent, law-abiding citizen. Into his office come
a man and his grandson. As soon as Grandpa gets

some glasses, the grandson declares, he will shoot
"Charlie" - whoever Charlie proves to be. Before
our eyes, the occultist compromises himself morally
to a greater and greater degree in his scramble to
avoid being shot as a potential "Charlie."
Out at Sea is the story of three characters, Fat,
Medium, and Thin, who are stranded on a raft in the
middle of the ocean and faced with an unsettling
decision - namely, which of them will dine, and
which will be dinner.
Out at Sea is a comedy about oppression," accor-
ding to director Minwalla, "oppression of the person
who is least assertive, not just on a political but also a
personal level."
It may by now have struck the reasonably discer-
ning reader that these two plays seem to be political
allegories of some sort, presumably rather critical
of the status quo in Poland. So, at least, the Polisth of-
ficials seemed to think. The result is that Mrozek has
published no new work since 1972.
In any event, these three one-act plays are open to
the (American) public at the RC Auditorium, Nov. 18-
20 at 9 p.m. For more information,-call the RC Office
at 763-0176.

Patrick Gardner, director James Gallagher, Director
8:00 p.m. Saturday, November 19, 1983
TICKETS: $5.00, $4.00, $3.00, students $2.00 available
at Hill Box Office starting Nov. 14-8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
presents a Lecture entitled:
in Spanish
Professor Gonzalo Sobejano
(University of Pennsylvania)
4:10 P.M.


"Weird Al" Yankovic
(Rock 'n' Roll Records)
The 50s had Allen Sherman. The 60s
had Tom Lehrer. The 70s had Barry
Manilow (he was supposed to be a
parody, wasn't he?). And now straight
from the "Dr. Demento Show," the
musical freak for the '80s, "Weird Al"
His new album, coincidentally en-
titled "Weird Al" Yankovic, shows the
broadness of his wit as he attacks
everything in sight. He approaches his
targets with two musical weapons: a
voice of considerable comic range, and
a penchant for playing the accordion,
an instrument usually relegated to
"The Big Joe Polka Show." Couple
these with a keen sense of reductio ex-
tra absurdum, and you have mayhem.
You also have a funny album.
Yankovic has avoided a debacle by
skipping the "one-hit-and-ten-pieces-of-
garbage" syndrome that most novelty
writers follow these days. Instead, he
went straight for a greatest hits album.
This one is loaded (the album, not
}Yankovic, though the latter may also be
true). It has such classics as "Ricky,"
"Another One Rides the Bus," and "I
Love Rocky Road." The decimation of
these and other favorite rock staples is
Yancovic also shows that he does not
need to borrow from others to get his
point across. "Happy Birthday" is
essentially a catalog of calamities
.facing the human race interspersed
with joyous shouts of "happy birth-
day." A group of demented minds I
used to hang out with played this at bar
gigs for any patron who was in for his or
first legal drink. The results were
usually humorous in one way or
- Another Yankovic special, and my
personal favorite, is "Buckingham
Blues." Not only does it have some
decent blues.licks, but it also manages
to skewer both British royalty and
British royalty watchers with one fell
Stand-out supporting roles are many.
The background vocals on "Such a
Groovy Guy" give the song the edge it
needs. Also, Tress MacNeille's half of
the duet on "Ricky," really makes that
Of course nothing as we know it is
perfect, and neither is this album. It is a
bit uneven, with a few of the songs
dragging in spots. The album is full of
social commentary, but don't expect
much depth. Yankovic can't claim to be
Dylan, but then Dylan can't claim to be
Dylan anymore.
A problem common to all novelty
&^. ^ . 1.. .ia 1

records is that of when to play them.
Parties are generally too noisy to hear
the lyrics, and printed lyrics are not in-
cluded with the album. But no matter,
anyone demented enough to get this
doesn't care about such things and
probably wants to beef up his/her
collection of romantic music.
Yankovic tends to take the easy wsy.
For example "I'll Be Mellow When I'm
Dead" rips on just about, everything
Marin County has ever foisted off on
our unsuspecting world. Face it, Marin
County is an easier mark than Khad-
Then there is the problem of what is
black comedy and what is just plain
sick - one has to draw the line
somewhere. Being gross, I put the line
at a distant point. More sensitive souls,
however, may not be able to handle
"Mr. Frump in the Iron Lung."
But forget about all that dreck.
"Weird Al" Yankovic is funny, which is
exactly what it intends to be. If you can
find it, buy it.
- Knute Rife
Eddie Murphy -
Eddie Murphy: Comedian
Eddie Murphy lovers, he's back! His
new album, Eddie Murphy: Comedian
has a simple title, true, but the content
promises to be every bit as humorous
as Eddie's last album, which, inciden-
tally, was hysterical.
"Old people that get offended
easily...you all should just get the fuck
out, now," he warns at the beginning of
the show and he means what he says.
But for those, who don't mind a few
four-letter words every now and then,
(actually more now than then) will be
able to hear some side-splitting stories
and impeccable impersonations, ser-
ved up Eddie Murphy style.
What endears this 22-year-old ex-
tremely fashion-minded, menacing
mimic to his audience - all of
America? Is it his admittedly arrogant
but always loveable exterior? Is it his
"nothing is sacred" material, which

ranges from bad memories of his
adolescence to cracks at top, public
figures like Reagan and, yes, even the
Pope? Or is it his harmless grin and
childlike giggle, appropriately inserted
amongst the crudest of comments, and
laughable in themselves? Maybe it's a
combination of these elements. One
thing's for sure, though, Eddie Murphy
is hot.
When Eddie really gets into a subject,
audience members are at his mercy.
One such segment on his new LP is
"The Barbecue." "Don't go to
cookouts," he starts. "I don't like my
family to come by the house with
relatives I haven't seen since like the
last cookout." He goes on to describe
some of his least likeable relatives,
such as his Uncle Gus, an obvious
pyromaniac, who Eddie calls, "The un-
cle that liked to work the grill."
Gus: "Get away from that grill. You
don't know how to start no fire...Eddie
go over there and git me all of that
wood. I need half a tree. Chop that tree
down over there...Charlie, go get me
two gallons of gasoline...We gonna start
a fire. Come on. You wanna eat? You
wanna eat?"
And Eddie's Aunt Bunny, who Eddie
describes as a 400-pound woman, with a
Billy Dee Williams mustache, who Ed-
die's father believes is a shaved down
Bigfoot. He hilariously describes how
she can't walk down a flight of stairs
without falling down them. When Eddie
imitates this annual event, Aunt Bunny
falling down the stairs at the cookout,
one cannot keep from laughing uncon-
Just listening to a few of Eddie's im-
personations, will surprise people who
thought he was limited to the Buc-
wheat syndrome and an occasional
Stevie Wonder cameo. No one is safe
from Murphy's masterful, mocking
tongue. He imitates everyone from
Elvis to Mr. T.
There have been a few criticisms
going around lately about Eddie's
Home Box Office show, from which
E.M.: Comedian is taken, by a few
prudes that seem to think that Eddie's

material is too explicit and his use of
profanity is uncalled for. My opinion is
this is that these people are a bundh of
overreactive, censor happy fools. After
all, Eddie's show was taped from a
nightclub atmosphere, an all adult
crowd. So, if he feels like swearing now
and then (actually more now than
then), then let him swear. Almost every
successful comedian does. And if
people don't like it...as Eddie Murphy
says, "...get the fuck out, now."
-Emily Montgomery
Sths A" a ,liberty 7619700
THURS. FRI. 7:15, 9:25 (PG)
Sean Connery in
THURS. 7:00, 9:30 - FRI. 9:30

Student Alumni Council

First & Foremost Week
Thursday, November 17
Friday, November 18,1983
Football Highlights "Play-By-Play" Contest
4-6 p.m. in the U Club
Preliminaries will be held Thursday.
Finals will be held Friday.

Grand Prize
2nd Place
Runners Up

2 tickets to Michigan vs OSU Game
2 $10 Gift certificates to Tortoise & Hare
2 "Michigan Highlights" Albums

For Information: 763-9740
First & Foremost Week is sponsored by Molson

Wines£ Cheese Party




If You Find Your Name in Today's
-.. . .- . - , . r. Ir%

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