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March 09, 1984 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-09
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.. ........ ........ ............... ........................................... ............. .................t..................,....ti....................:::k: j'r k!!Si:: :4:'';:!?:!::C::i:: i:i"'fii:

Saturday, March 10, you may be the lucky winner!
Come and test your luck and skill in the casino
and carnival booths. Win raffle tickets that may result
in you becoming the proud owner of a Honda Aero 80.
Come and party . . . all night long!




Laurie Anderson
Mister Heartbreak
Warner Bros.
By Byron L. Bull
Anderson, with the release of her
second album Mister Heartbreak, has
reached a level of technical and
aesthetic finesse most
songwriter/composers take years to
This unique collection of seven songs
combines rich poeticism with strikingly
original music for a captivating work
that only sounds better under repeated
listening. The last album I can recall
that was this sophisticated and
beautiful was Kate Bush's 1980 Never
Forever, though Anderson's work here
is far more audacious.
"I like jagged music," Anderson
commented in a recent interview, and
her compositions do have a quirky
boldness - one that may require a little
time to get adjusted to. Her writing has
a sly sense of whimsy to it, the lyrics
are full of fast word play and suddenly
dropped non-sequiturs. Quite often her
lines lead off into unexpected tangents
that defy immediate interpretation,
being a series of cryptic images instead
of straightforward narratives.
Musically her style embraces both
the avant-garde and pop, as an ap-
pealing melody suddenly lurching into
a burst of dissonance and then back into
catchy hook. The result is a jarring
eclecticism that is as challenging to the
ear as it is pleasant - a fresh style that
refuses to bow to convention.
And while Big Science (her collection
of songs from her theatrical magnum-
opus United States I-IV) suffered from
its austere polish, the material here has
a new feeling of warmth and color. An-
derson's voice is more resonant than
before, as she swings from singing to
rapping in her cooly sensuous voice.
There are more imaginative uses of
overdubs and distortion, and the beat is

distinctly heavier. Some of the credit is
due no doubt to the work of electric
guitar virtuoso Adrian Belew and co-
producer/bassist Bill Laswell (of New
York's art-funk ensemble Material)
who have brought their own unique
trademarks to the material, giving it a
swinging, at times jazz, flavor.
In the opening track, "Sharkey's
Day," Anderson delves into a territory
that might be described as progressive
pop-funk. Brightly syncopated and
relentlessly rhythmic, this wild
daydream of a desk-chained worker
has an offbeat charm that, though a bit
harsh, flows dynamically. Light!.
Camera! Action! TIMBER!screams
Anderson against a soulful but
facetious female chorus, punctuated by
Belew's extensive vocabulary of
crackling feedback and distorted chord
twanging. David Byrne sounds damn
conservative by comparison.
Anderson also displays a growing
penchant for wonderful absurdism. For
example, she envisions a Bradburyian
forest of high-tech trees, where They
grow to their full height and they
chop themselves down. In
"KoKoKu" she develops a lovely
Japanese melody reminiscent of Y.MO.
as she peers through the always
swirling mist of time. Viewing the ef-
facts of evolution both human and
cosmic she approvingly sighs, They
say man is taller now. Tall
Man./They say the stars are closer
now. Thank your lucky stars. That
sounds deceptively simple, but it tends
to linger in the mind, gaining depth the
more one plays the song.
Other songs like "Langue d'Amour"
and "Blue Lagoon" (both from United
States but revised) betray her fondness
for romanticism. In the former we're
related a parable about a brief affair
between a lonely woman and a most en-
chanted serpent, told with numerous
uhs and let's sees interjected to give it
the feel of a hastily improvised cam-
pfire tale. The latter is a hazy, sensual
note-in-a-bottle from some lost tropical
island. Amid the paradisical depiction
of endless hot days and midnight swims
in a lagoon, she injects Ariel's song
from The Tempest, and the inclusion is
seamless, against the whispers of muf-
fled synths and distant steel drums.
Conversely, this album also contains
Anderson's most provocative piece to
date, "Gravity's Angell." Starting with
a sole high-pitched bell (shades of Pen-
derecki) it slowly swells with sporadic
bursts of synths, drums, and guitars,
forming a primitive, haunting canon ef-


JA U/I 1R' A k

I-- ---- - ------- ----- --.-

Anderson: Inspired tunes

Whether shopping, commuting or just soaking up sun, the
Aero 80 is the economical way to make it all fun. A stingy
80 cc two-stroke engine gets the most out of every gallon of
gas, while still providing plenty of zip. Plus, an electric start,
automatic choke and automatic oil injection make it as de-
pendable as it is easy to handle.

fect,.laced with an eerie Peter Gabriel
backup vocal. Its images are grim and
sardonic, full of dark irony and despair.
Such as the funeral of a friend (so ugly
Even God got sad looking at him)
where the thoughts of the mourners are
more concerned with the ham and
cheese sandwiches in the next room.
The last stanza contains this night-
marish scene: Well we were just lying
there/And this ghost of your former
lover walked in./And stood there.
Made of thin air. Full of desire.
No less fascinating is the "Excellent
Birds" duet sung with and co-authored
by Peter Gabriel. Sparsely arranged, it
draws its power from the delicate
shading of the vocal harmonies, and a
deft Linn drum program under a simple
but evocative eight-note Synclavier
motif that strongly bears Gabriel's
signature. Lyrically the song is pic-
turesque but thematically obscure - a
seemingly subconscious flowing of
images and impressions that is less

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AeroM 80

c1 " xSPORES

KrEK . A

In addition to our extr
we are now announcir

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Tonight between five and nine we will
COUS COUS - a famous Moroccan dish of
exotic spices over a bed of Coust
Served with specialty salad and de


4405 Jackson Rd.

E t~t Mlt now!l

Mon.-Thur. 7-6
Fri. 7-9; Sat. 7-5

14 Weekend/Friday, March 9, 1984.

3 Weeke

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