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November 22, 1983 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-22

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, November 22, 1983

Page 5

The Lords rule on

By Bob King
: 45,STANDING OUTSIDE the
Sweetwater Tavern in downtown
Detroit just accross from St. Andrew's
Hall. "Sweetwater's or Jacoby's"
'icocheted through my carbohydrate-
cravingcortex while a grimcrowd ap-
proached from the left. The cortex shut
up long enough to recognize Bator and
his boys looking for some groundroun-
ds, and fate became clear: Jacoby's, it
has better spudskins and it's homier.
Later on - much later - after the
rhythms of the Cult Heroes had
pulsated through my thorax like so
much CPR, I would be ready for the
Lords. Not Yet.
} St. Andrew's that evening was a
collage of everything from Harris

tweeds to Loverboy bandanas to Quiet
Riot T-shirts to Flashdance sweats.
One new-generation punk next to me
muttered that the diversity of the crowd
stood out like a swollen gland. I agreed.
I had seen enough "Dippity-Doo" in
there to give an entire alfalfa field a
temporary mohawk.
12:45 came and went before the lights
eclipsed in omen of the Lords; but time
was so ephemeral a measure that night.
As the Lords slid into "Johnny Too
Bad" after an already shimmering set
of songs, their virtue became obvious.
This band was clean. Not "produced,"
just polished, in their own grimy
fashion.
The crowa seethed and skanked in
primeval bliss as Bator moved from
new songs to old and usually back to

new again. And with "Live for Today"
the Lords of the New Church took the
audience as their own. Their hard rock
cover of "Girl, You Really Got Me"
waxed inspirational; equal to it was
Bator's simultaneous leap to the
balcony. Allegorical? Maybe. Brian
James and the others weren't flashy,
but were exceptional on the sound.
Bator's front dive, Layout Position, was
only icing on the cake.
Down with rumors. Yes, it is true that
Bator conducted a brief sermon 1)
Vietnam, 2) the rich using the poor as
pawns (a "political" struggle), and 3)
nuclear war. It wasn't particularly
enlightening, and had all the subtlety
and most of the appeal of Divine in a
bikini, but it was no big deal either.
Those that hadn't checked their brains
at the door might have had some food

high
for thought. I don't know. What really
happened at St. Andrew's Saturday
night - an event which might have
shook Detroit's punk community right
down to the souls of their hightops -
was more than that.
Innocent enthusiasts were warned by
big burly bouncers not to "slamdance,
as it might hurt somebody." And "con-
victing someone of murder here," said
Martin Sheen, "istlike handing out
speeding tickets at the Indy 500." What
was their hallucination, Sheena
Easton?
So what? The crowd was wild
anyways. The music was superb (cf.
their new album). And though the Lor-
ds may not be messiahs of a new
religion, they are most certainly the
clergy of the new advent of rock.

yrano
De $er erac
By EDMOND ROSTAND
r
November 23 - 26
Power Center 8:00 P.M.
November 27
Power Center 2:00 P.M.\
The University Players invites you to delight in a swaggering
evening of romance and laughter during your Thanksgiving
Holidays. Directed by Walter Eysselinck with Erik Fredricksen
as Cyrano.
ickets af P.T.P., Michigan League, 764-0450

Persuasions prove convincing

By Bill Orlove
ERRY LAWSON, lead singer of the
Persuasions, kept asking
throughout the show, "How far can you
go with a capella?" Well, his question
was answered in all repects when he
and his group took the a capella-style of
music to its limits, and beyond, last
Sunday night at the U-Club.
The Persuasions are a four-man
vocal group comprising the talents of
lead singer Lawson, tenor Jayotis
Washington, Tuobo Rhoad's baritone,
'and the bass voice of Jimmy Hayes.
Each member of the group belts out his

vocal part to its full potential without
upstaging the others in the group. This
results in a rich and fluidly harmonious
sound. Though Lawson tends to steal a
little of the spotlight away from the
others with his lively personality and
his terrific sense of humor, the group
shines as a whole with their gospel and
soul renditions of classic early sixties,
Motown-flavored songs.
As they performed effortlessly
throughout their hour and a half set,
their songs fluctuated from the
hilarious (An a capella version of the
Lowenbraw commercial) to the

spiritual (The song "I Wonder Do
You"). But most of the material con-
sisted of the rhythm and blues and soul
tunes of a couple decades back. Such
songs as Sam Cooke's classic "Only
Sixteen" and "Under the Boardwalk"
showed the group at their highpoints.
Another highlight was the song
"Cupid." The Persuasions coaxed
members of the audience to get up on
stage with them and sing along on the
choruses.
Besides the tremendous power and
energy of their voices, the Persuasions
have another element going for them -
their ability to communicate with the

audience on a very human level. The
group constantly went out through the
crowd, enticing them to sing and join in
the celebration of their voices.
One minor fault in their performance
was the lengthy and drawn-out versions
of certain songs. For example, when
the troupe performed a chorus of
"Amen," it seemed to last forever.
Then when they repeated it again near
the end of the show, there was a feeling
as if they had run out of tunes to sing.
But that is only one small gripe. The
Persuasions bring life to an artform
that will hopefully stay around for quite
a long time.

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Records

Genesis - 'Genesis' (Warner)
Usually it's a new band that names
it's first album after itself, though it
1eems appropriate enough for Genesis
to do so here as this album marks them
as a definitely revitalized band. Ever
since Phil Collins assumed the role as
frontman and dragged the band out of
its fossilized art-rock sound toward a
more comfortable power pop approach,
this threesome has begun to make
lively music again, The old bombastic
cluttered sound has been sharply
streamlined, with a greater emphasis
on melody. The lyrics are not par-
Oicularly thoughtful but neither are they
as pretentiously obscure. Hell, these
guys even have a sense of humor now.
Interestingly, the best songs on the
album are the quieter, unimposing
ballads and love-gone-sour songs.
"Taking It All Too Hard" is a modest
little toe tapper that would sound com-
fortable on either of the Collins solo
albums. "That's All" charms because
it sounds so much like a Paul McCar-
tney song, complete with a catchy tune
and dumb lyrics like, I could say
day, you'd say night/ Tell me it's
black when I know that it's white.
There's a certain modesty about the
material that precludes critical
scrutiny while still having an emotional
effectiveness. "It's Gonna Get Better,"
a hymn of sorts for the abandoned and
outcast, does just that. Sung with a
delicate soulfulness by Collins, it blends
pathos with an underlining feeling of
hope and eventual redemption in an
lelegant way.
The most refreshing track is easily
the tongue-in-cheek tale of life below
the border, "Illegal Alien." With its
wry Jamaican flavor and Collins phony.
accent (parodying Sting?), it is
irresistable fun. The lyrics are too long-
winded at times, and the whole song
could have been shortened by a minute
or two, but it's good to see these three
loosen up.
I The album's weakest points are the
songs that still bear some influences of
the old style. The opening "Mama" is
the kind of character psychological por-
trait done in garishly theatrical style.
Peter Gabriel can pull this sort of thing
off marvelously, but Genesis has not
quite realized that Gabriel left the band
almost ten years ago. Their attempt
here is ostentatious drivel. Lots of loud
production gimmickry and no content.
More endemic of the problem is "Home
By The Sea" with its extended in-
strumental. It's a classic example of
what Michael Rutherford refers to fon-
dly as the layered sound. That's a poor
euphemism for extensive overdubbing
to help cover up the lack of musical in-
ventiveness. It's also the sort of non-
sense the old breed of Genesis fans find
so endearing.
Luckily the good material outshines
the clunkers, and Genesis makes for en-
., 4 nin na ~ rwu, ~ i n d lipin fl 1nn

of record you'd put out in your crate,
but would tuck away in the closet as a
guilty pleasure. Playing it when no one
is around is as satisfying as stuffing a
five-pound custard eclair into your
mouth when no one's looking.
T-Bone Burnett- Proof
Through The Night'
(Warner)
Proof Through The Night is a
singularly dark and compelling
masterpiece by the most gifted
American songwriter since Warren
Zevon. In an age of over-produced high
intensity dance muzak, we get a glim-
mer of sanity and hope from someone
who might well be the new Dylan. Bur-
nett welds a kind of fiercely punk
lyricism to rich folk-rock melodies for a
sound uniquely his own. The songs are
sophisticated, with a strong sense of
conviction and passion, threaded with a
sense of humor brilliant but so black it
could only be echoing down from the
gallows. There are no synths or
programmable drums here, and no
lyrics of empty ambiguity to let you
read whatever you want into them. I
can see the Walkman generation giving
this one an uncomprehending shrug and
a wide berth.
The subject here is human frailty and
motivation, along the more unpleasant
fringe. In "The Murder Weapon" Bur-
nett probes the nature of hatred and
sudden violence. In "The Sixties" he
follows the children of that era into the
eighties. Here he finds them working in
front of desk computers, watching a lot
of t.v., and following all the newest
trends. Business men are strung out on
heroin, car dealers deal coke on the
side. Mediocrity and entropy are the
order of the day. At one point he bitterly
intones, Here's the brave new world,

on a mirror, and breaks into a chorus
of Keep all the bad, and destroy all
the good!
The most curious piece is "Hefner
And Disney" wherein the two enter-
tainment magnates swap careers. Here
Disney reflectively smokes a pipe while
dealing porn to the neighborhood
children. Hefner invites them into his
plastic molded fantasy world of
prefabricated dreams devoid of real
magic or love. The most amusing song
is "Hula-Hoop" describing how the
media machinery churns out another 15
minute celebrity.
The real gem however, is the
provocative and disturbing "Fatally
Beautiful," a tale of female vic-
timization. Burnett, with Pete Town-
shend on a tightly blistering electric ac-
companiment, explores the uglier
details of male sexual motivation. She
frightened men with her figure, so
they treated her like a sleaze, laments
Burnett, gazing in disbelief at a world
where men often see a woman's
sexuality as something to exploit and
subjugate, even destroy. Refreshingly
somber and mature stuff for a medium
where sex is a subject usually treated
with adolescent mentality.

Some critics have dumped on this
album as being too solemn, preferring
instead the whimsical nature of Bur-
nett's Trap's Door mini-album of last
year. Others have said Burnett's
religious convictions have con-
taminated his craftsmanship. I think
the only problem with this album is its
uncomfortably relentless attacks on
some very valid issues, which we would
really prefer to not have to face. At any
rate none of these songs will get on the
air as they lack simple hooks. And
because Burnett doesn't have the
castrated-effiminate beauty of a
Michael Jackson, the record stores
won't plaster the store windows with his
record cover. Worst of all, you just
can't dance to the damn thing. Keep all
the bad . ..-Byron Bull
THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0557

Hurry! Offer Runs: F
NOV. 27 - DEC. 10
( Main campus store onlyl
The Non-Profit Student Bookstore 341 East Liberty. at Division

Open 7 days a week Phone 769-7940

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