The Michigan Daily
Sunday, March 4, 1984
Rare Air defies
tradition at Ark
By Elliot Jackson
THE RETURN of winter to our green
and pleasant land has not brought
a universal chill. A raucous warm wind
blew through this weekend, bearing
with it the tonic riot of pipe and drum.
The place was, of course, the Ark;
and Rare Air provided the thaw.
Despite some technical problems which
marred the quality of the sound
somewhat, this group of players
produced an evening of joyous and
Rare Air's unpretentious style and
idiomatic arrangements of the jigs,
reels, strathspeys, and marches might
offend those purists who favor a stric-
ter adherence to the bagpipe 'and
Highland snare tradition. I am purist
enough myself to confess that I would
like to have heard more of that par-
ticular combination. Its dramatic ef-
fect, on the opening combination of
reels and jigs, was undeniable; since
the glory of Rare Air's sound is its
pipes, it might have been nice.to hear
them unaccompanied. But my reasons
for so wishing are as much practical as
a matter of taste.
The only disappointment of the
evening came from the guitar. It was no
fault of Richard Murai's playing, only
of his equipment. The amplifier gave
his instrument an annoying buzzing
quality which sometimes obscured the
The relative volumes of the in-
struments also contributed to this ob-
.scurity. Once the bagpipes and bom-
barde got going in earnest, they tended
to drown out anything else, so any sub-
tleties in the guitar playing were more
or less lost.
Most of the time, Murai's guitar was
functioning as a rhythm instrument,
rather than contributing to the melodic
line, which works very nicely - when
you can hear it.
But Murai and Trevor Ferrier, the
drummer, had their own moments. The
pipes were put away for a while at the
beginning of the second set, which
provided an opportunity for us to hear
the other players. Variations on d set of
Breton dances, with Murai and-Ferrier
improvizing on cithern and clay drums
respectively, provided a pleasant in-
terlude amid the sound and fury of
But the bagpipes carried the evening.
The definition of a gentleman, in some
circles, is "one who knows how to play
the bagpipes - and doesn't." If that is
true, then Patrick O'Gorman and Grier
Coppins are no gentlemen. "And the
Lord be thankit on 't." The memory of
these two giving their blown-up bags
experimental thumps, to release their
lusty brays of life, is still too sweet.
(I now owe the public, and Patrick
O'Gorman, an apology. The latter may
have been surprised to read that he,
and not Ian Goodfellow, had left Rare
Air. My mistake!)
By Larry Dean
TONIGHT, AT Joe's Star Lounge,
there is going to be a benefit for
Community Films, a new group in Ann
Arbor dedicated to making quality
films on our home turf. Featured will be
the Evaders and King Kong and the X-
Cons, no strangers to the calamitous
terrain of stagespace at Joe's. Tickets,
time, and other information can be
garnered by calling 665-8725.
Community Films is an organization
approximately eight months old. The
original goal of the people involved was
to make a film with funds attained
primarily from a grant given by the
Communications Dept.; however, once
they got underway, the realization set
in that there was more to do in the great
celluloid jungle out there than one mere
So the idea come up to do an original,.
16 mm. film, Break, "about growing up
and making decisions," says director
Ellen Goldsmith, who also wrote the
script with the help of her sister, Susan,
and Al Slote. The metaphor for this
decision-making is the protagonist's
quandry over whether or not to sign up
for the draft in order to receive finan-
cial aid, something students the coun-
try over can identify with.
Goldsmith is eager to note that the
making of Break was "extremely sup-
ported ... especially from the people
at Michigan Media." They allowed the
crew to use space for editing, which is
in itself such a tedious process that
Michigan Media would've had to allow
for the long hours that go with the
technical side of filmmaking as well. -
And that's just the beginning! While
many movie fans trundle off to the
State Theatre (or some other such
commercial establishment) without a
thought to the science and time in-
volved in making movies, Goldsmith is
fast to acknowledge such labor. It's fun
and envigorating to work in movieland,
but along with the glitter and fame
comes equipment rental costs, long
hours in not necessarily nice weather,
getting actors and technicians to work
those stretched hours (and for free!
Listen up, Marlon Brando. .. ), and
the headaches involved in editing,
publicizing, and funding the whole
Which brings us to a very important
point: why the fund raiser. Goldsmith
explains, "We raised about $5,000 from
MSA and the offices of the Dean and
President, but an additional $1,000 is
needed for final lab costs." That means
no bucks, no finished product, no film
done in a month to be shown at a yet-
undisclosed location on campus.
As of today, Community Films plan
to make two more features, but a lot
depends on the outcome of Break. Not
to be corny or anything (although
sometimes it helps), but tonight's
benefit might just be a "make it or
break it" situation not only for this'
film, but for the golden dreams
whirling around in the collective uncon-
scious of our imaginations yearning to'
spring to life on the big screen, too.
So if you'd like to support earnest
community involvement in the film'
world, give these guys a (you guessed
it!) break and trek on over to the Star
Bar tonight for music, mayhem, and'
Saturday night Patrick O'Gorman defies tradition as he plays the bagpipes.
UB40 is more than an unemployment form
MARGARET THATCHER would
never have guessed that one of
England's latest successes is named af-
ter the reference number on an unem-
True, UB40 is not only a reference
number, or a mid-life crisis, but
Britain's number-one reggae band to
hit the states.
The eight-member band from Bir-
mingham, England is sliding into Ann
Arbor this week along with an album
that has broken into Billboard's top 100,
Labor of Love. UB40 has been a major
success in Great Britain what with five
albums to their credit and a tour
throughout the U.S.
The group started as a garage band in
1978 and landed their first paying job in
'79. Few of the band members were ac-
complished musicians, but reggae fans
finally caught on to their sound in 1980.
Their first album established UB40 as
the new sensation in British reggae; it
contains their finest British singles and
The guys quickly reacted to this new-
F YOU HAVE ever eaten at a
Iestaurant, seen a play or movie,
listened to an album or engaged in
any other sort of divertissement and
wanted to share it with others, the,
Daily's Arts section would be pleased
to give you the chance.
We want competent and skilled
critics for the many varied hap-
penings that Ann Arbor boasts.
Writing for the Arts section will
provide practice in writing and
analysis, and can be an enjoyable ex-
Have fun and share it with others,
write for Arts-call 763-0379.
found success with another album
released in'83 entitled Labours of Love.
UB40 packages cover songs of all
reggae's greats, such -as Bob Marley's
"Keep on Moving" and Jimmy Cliff's
"Many Rivers to Cross." These tunes
will not only wear your record needle
down, but make you get out of your
chair and move.
UB40 touts themselves as a reggae
band who plays reggae as it used to be
played. "When it was just the other
dance music...before it was claimed by
lefties, liberals, and punks."
UB40 captures the characteristically
broken and up-beat sounds of reggae
which will send a charge through a live
audience as well as the arm-chair
UB40 will appear Monday night at the
Second Chance. Tickets are $10. Call
994-5360 for more information.
--R hert fn"wi
Student Newspaper at The University of Michigan
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