the Michigan Daily
Tuesday, December 6, 1983
Paxton pleases Ark folk
By Joseph Kraus
"[ HOW DO -YOU forget half of the
words to a song while you're
singin' it, and still put on a great show?
How do you sit comfortably in front of
crowded roomful of people chatting to
them about whatever comes to mind,
and then still get them to call you back
"for two encores?
I don't know, but Tom Paxton cer-
Paxton's, nearly annual stop at the
Ark was a success again this year.
Paxton took the stage with a song, held
it with a wise assortment of tunes and
clever patter, and left it with a simple
'Thank you" to the audience.
Opening the show with "A Truly
Needy Family of Your Own," an all-out
anti-Reagan song, Paxton continued
with a medley of old and new material.
Seeming equally at ease performing his
protest songs as his ballads of
American life, he put on a show that
made two hours go by very quickly-too
Paxton spiced up the show with'
frequent and always appropriate pat-
ter. He introduced his classic, "The
Marvelous Toy," by saying, "I was
doing some graduate work at Fort Dix.
,." and his more recent ballad, "That
Was my Favorite Spring," the tale of a
young baseball pitcher, by talking
about his love of baseball.
Despite being confronted by an
audience that preferred hearing his
voice to theirs, Paxton was able to get
the entire crowd singing with him by
Even though he had yet another two
hour show to put on that evening, Pax-
ton returned for two encores. For his
first encore, he did two songs from his
first album, Ramblin' Boy, "I can't
Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound"
and "The Last Thing on my Mind." For
the second he switched to something
new, but both times he left the audience
calling for even more.
In the middle of "Be A Sport
Afghanistan," a vintage song from a
few years ago, a surprising thing hap-
pened-Paxton forgot the words. He
recovered quickly though, and as he
apologized he seemed to make clear
that despite all the songs he had written
and all the years he had played them,
he was still just a simple human being.
One amazing aspect of the perfor-
mance that could easily be overlooked,
was that Paxton was doing what he
does for a living. He seemed to enjoy
himself as he played on stage, yet he
estimated that this show was his 140th
of the year. He admitted that while he
still loved the performing, he was get-
ting tired of travelling from place to
place. Hoping to limit his appearances
to one hundred next year, he said, "I'd
like to stay at home and do more
writing and recording."
In looking back on his long recording
career, Paxton said he was proud of
everything he'd ever done (with the ex-
ception of some mid-'70s "not pop/not
Paxton" albums that he wasn't too
eager to talk about) in particular, his
In short, Paxton put on the kind of
show that you would expect from a per-
former with his reputation. Con-
sidering his reputation, though, it' was
quite a show.
Tom Paxton pauses for comment between tunes Saturday night at the Ark. Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
U-Club was Heath's bar
By Bob King
M USIC FLOWS outward through
the audience with an empathy not
even an inert drink can ignore-a little
swing is inescapable. Pure, enjoyable,
relaxing jazz is the tenor, played by the
masters of be-bop and blues them-
selves, the Heath Brothers. In a
phrase, it's both entertainment and ar-
tistry, a successful and totally Eclipse
jazz performance at the U-Club.
Early on in the show: Jimmy's ten-
der touch provides a smoothness that is
inseparable from the music, and tender
it is as he slips into a piece of the same
name on his alto sax. Outside could be
anywhere, but here the quartet's
rhythms supervene on the evening,
anxieties fade like mist amid morning,
sounds as sweet as Seva cheesecake
permeate the room. Music-what else
so easily makes order out of chaos?
Moments later on, after a pause to
pick-up his cello-like "baby bass," Per-
cy Heath is reviving those "Watergate
Blues" with an introductory solo that
pulls the audience right into the show.
The U-Club becomes remeniscent of a
misplaced jazz-club: "That's pretty
courty, baby," chuckles Percy as he
concludes his solo, but, that certainly
isn't disappointing anyone.
Amid applause and cries of "blues
me before you lose me," Jimmy slides
the band into "Blue Image." Percy
snickers, the people laugh, and Jimmy
F takes off on the sax. Nothing really
flashy is happening, no one is getting;
wild; yet there's a pervasive ex-
citement that just can't be missed, an
excitement simply from having a lot of
people together in a unanimously great
Later on, as Percy and Jimmy are
momentarily relaxing, University
alumnus Stanley Cowell is taking over
the show with a bit of real virtuosity on
the keyboards. His fingers dance up
and down the ivory with Chopin-like
celerity, and from the piano bops a
sound-light as light and full as a
gourmand-which failed to capture no
one. In front of him, Albert "Tootie"
Heath is proving himself more than
worthy of the Heath dynasty, teasing
the drums with a style too smooth to be
called percussion. And the music isn't
"Atherdoc Blues" arises to the
delight of the crowd: one, two,
three-count them-12 bar blues have
rarely had it this good. And rarely has
Ann Arbor; Jimmy and Percy perform
with such ease that their skill becomes
difficult to understand. The music
begins to seem inevitable-as if nothing
else could be happening. Verily, little
more can be added. True art disguises
itself with ease, it's often said-with
their grace the Heath Brothers must
truly be artists.
As the clock strikes midnight the
band has already left the stage, but
Cowell soon reappears for a final treat.
His instrument is no piano, but rather a
tiny wooden box with spiney wires; is
the man trying to "phone home?" Bet-
ter-from the box escapes an eerie
sound, primitive in tone yet complex in
style. The music is strange and encom-
passing, and soon slowly fades, only
rise into the Fur Elise by old Ludwig
van Beethoven himself. Surprising? A,
little-but not out of character-these
men are no less than classic them-
It was an evening with the
psychological solace of a long weekend
at the sea, in retrospect. Hot tunes, cool
vibes, and mellow rhythms, all by the
grace of the Heath Brothers.
ANN ' ARBOR
2 51,Awe o ttbety. 761-970
GIFT CERTIFICATES NOW ON SALE
$1.50 TUESDAY ALL DAY
s JAMES BOND i
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STARRING CHELSEA'S OWN . .
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-Daily Photo by TOD WOOLF
A Heath Brother blows out some boppin' tunes Saturday night at the U-Club.
not worth its weight in gold
By Joshua Bilmes
E VERYONE STARTS out young.
After a while, rather than being
young, we are young at heart. In the
wonderful world of film, there are
movies for the young, and the really
good ones also manage to appeal to the
young at heart. Most Disney films are,
like that. The Golden Seal is not. The.
young should really like it. But college
students, who are most of the people
reading this, are young at heart. And
The Golden Seal is not really for the
young at heart.
It has all of the elements a film for the
>kiddies could want. There 'is a young
kid, called Boy by his father (the film-
makers perhaps thought the movie's
appeal would be more universal if the
main character did not seem to be.
favoring one name at the expense of
.another). There are kind parents, or at
least they are for most of the film.
There are evil people, who are trying to
kill the seal. And there is the seal, for
no kids' movie can be complete without
Looking for the int
the animal with which the kid 'can
All of it is packaged in niceness and
gentleness. The photography is
beautiful, especially Scott Ransom's
panoramas of the Aleut countryside.
John Barry's musical themes are nice.
quiet, pleasant-sounding things.
Everything just glides gently
around-never any hard bumps.
And, of course, the plot. Boy (his ac-
tual name is Eric) lives with his paren-
ts on an island in Alaska. Naturally, his
parents would like him to have com-
panionship, so they decide on a puppy.
Unfortunatly, the puppy died before he
could get it. But all is not lost. Boy gets
caught in the storm and decides to hole
up in one of the family's storage sheds.
In typical kiddie-film fashion, his
father goes looking for him, but he can
not ford the stream (the shed and house
are on opposite sides) because the
bridge collapses. Of course, the boy is
not alone in the storage shed-but what
could possibly be in the shed?
If you guessed a golden seal, you are
right. And not only that, but the seal is
pregnant and has a baby right then and
there. Boy gets worried because he
thinks the seal is dying. Thankfully, he
is wrong. Soon the storm breaks and
the boy, along with mother seal and
baby seal, goes frolicking in the water
where the seal magically manages to
keep Boy warm.
Boy goes back home and the fun part
starts. A Russian prince had left
$10,000 in a bank trust fund for
whomever brought in the body of a
golden seal. Now the account is up to
over $100,000 and the boy has to stop all
the people who want the money from
killing the seal. I think it would make a
great video game.
The plot is not all that bad, but it is
cliched. When you stop being young,
you start realizing just how cliched
things are. Even though The Golden
Seal is nicely made, the sense of deja vu
is overwhelming. If you go with a
youngster, you'll probably enjoy it. For
them, The Golden Seal will be golden.
For the college crowd, there's probably
something a little more appropriate.
ellectual side of life?
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