The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, March 21, 1984
The Raybeats earnest instrumentals
By Larry Dean
H OW ONE TOWN can handle all this
"fun" is beyond me, but
nonetheless, the Raybeats, this
decade's answer to the Ventures, will
be swinging through our metropolis
tonight, March 21st, with a halt at
Rick's American Cafe.
Forged out of the peripherous
melting pot of the New York "no wave"
reactionary music scene (the same
school that has given us Glenn Branca,
the Individuals, and other diversities),
the Raybeats play endearingly min-
dless instrumentals, and then go a step
further: they trace their roots directly
to the sources. On their recent
Shanachie LP It's Only A Movie, they
cover tunes by rockabilly grandad Link
Wray, soundtrack impressario Henry
Mancini (the 'dreaded "Banzai
Pipeline"), session wunderkinds
Booker T. and the MGs (of "Green
Onions" fame), and Jim Waller & the
Deltas, a little-known band from the
great lost surf era. They also pen their
own exquisitely punchy compositions,
with special emphasis given to the
majesty of the electric guitar.
The wonderful thing about the
Raybeats, though, is their ability to
play these warped and decidedly-goofy
songs with such an earnest sense of
tribute. Calling them "revivalists" is
certainly a misnomer, since that title
rests better on the slunk shoulders of '
pompadoured wimps like the Stray
Cats, and also because of their af-
filiation with smaller labels like
Shanachie and Jem (who released their
debut LP Guitar Beat). Not meaning to
drive a point into the ground, but while
the S. Cats didn't have an American
record deal at the start of their
"career," they were signed to a major
British label who had the push and the
shove to get them noticed.
So with small-label bands like Plan 9
and Love Tractor bringing their enter-
taining, esoteric music to college haven
Ann Arbor, it's only right that the
Raybeats follow sifite. Like Love Trac-
tor, they are an instrumental band who
seek to speak through chords not of the
vocal variety; if you think such an ap-
proach may be boring, then I urge you
to attend tonight's show at Rick's -
music that's both fun and smart is hard
to come by these days, and the proof's
in the live performance pudding.
A word about the opening band, Map
of the World. By now an established
phenomenon in the Ann Arbor music
scene, this spunky fivesome continues
to play and play their collective hearts
out, but still there are those out there
uninitiated into the Map of the World
You can dance to 'em ... you can find
inspiration in Khalid Hanifi's
Telecaster throttling . . . you can
discuss which is better, The Dresser or
Reuben, Reuben, with sis Sophia
Hanifi, who might answer you in song.'.
you can thump along with Ted
Sylvester's on-the-money drumwork, or
experience the ethereal timbre of Lori
Wechter's keyboard playing ... you can
even swing your bodies in rhythm with
Mike Stander's funky basslines.
What this means is that Map of the
World combines lots of hard work, good
songwriting, peachy musical accom-
paniment, and dedication to the rock 'n'
roll way of life into one astounding
whole. Ray Davies would be proud.
Two great bands - one great price - at
Rick's, tonight, the Raybeats and Map
of the World. Showtime is 9:30.
The Raybeats bring their goofy, swinging style to Rick's American Cafe tonight.
etta S impressive repertoire
By Joseph Kraus
ONE WORD, one name in fact, can
tie together Irish revolution, voter
registration in the South, foxes on the
prowl, and Winnie the Pooh.
That same one name has, for over
thirty years, been one of folk music's
That name was at the Ark Monday
Originally trained as an opera singer,
Odetta made it clear throughout the en-
tire evening that her voice is still one of
the most versatile and powerful
Her music ranged the vast spectrum
of' folk music topics. She turned the
classic song of foiled Irish rebellion,
"The Foggy, Foggy Dew," into a dark
and beautiful masterpiece of suffering
and despair. In "The Fox on, the
Prowl," she assumed the different
voices of the various characters in-
volved, making it into a humorous piece
that showed her versatility.
Claiming not to have met Winnie the
Pooh until she was already an adult,
she took some of A.A. Milne's exact
words and set them to music. The result
was a predictably warm and humorous
But Odetta's talent doesn't stop with
her voice. She accompanied herself,
with two other instruments.
For most of the evening she played
guitar. She is a talented guitarist, but
the instrument naturally took a back
seat to her amazing singing.
Her other ."instrument" was the
crowd. Somehow she was able to get
approximately 300 relative strangers to
sing together in harmony. From the
volume of the chorus, it seemed as
though the very walls of the Ark were
helping out - 300 people just don't
make that much noise.
Odetta would only need to ask once
for harmony and she got all she needed.
Her final song of the set was Lead-
belly's "Good Night, Irene," and with
the audience singing the traditional
arrangement, she sang a blues/jazz
arrangement that seemed to somer-
sault above the crowd, yet at the same
time to blend in perfectly.
The Ark was so crowded (so crowded
in fact that the sold out second show had
to turn people away), that Odetta
dispensed with the formality of leaving
the stage and coming back for an en-
core. "You can pretend I've gone out
and come back again," she said,
showing confidence that the audience
wanted an encore. It was a natural con-
clusion; a performance such as hers
demanded as much.
Detroit area artists, Rich and
Maureen Delgrosso oponed up the show
with a series of lighthearted, musically
intricate songs. Ark director Dave
Siglin introduced the duo by saying,
"They do my all time favorite song, IU
could listen to it for years." The song
turned out to be "Rubber Ducky," but
not the "Rubber Ducky" of Kermit the
frog fame. Instead it was a piano and
blues guitar duet that was as funny as it
was skillfully done.
Jo Boxers -'Like-
The picture of the band on the cover
first caught my interest upon picking
up this album. It features five youngish-
looking guys leaning against a wooden
railing trying to look mean. They are
supposed to be tough looking but in-
stead, dressed in teeshirts, caps and
suspenders, they recall Leo Gorsey and
the Bowery Boys.
"Boxer beat" is just awful. After
hearing this obnoxious attempt at a
narcissistic rave-up, I debated whether
to leave the record on my table. Over-
come by dedication, I let it go and the
disc suprised me a bit. Despite the bands
comical image and the dreadful first
song, the rest of the album was, at
Dig Wayne, the band's main writer,
must have spent long hours listening to
-the Specials and Madness. Influences of
r ska/dance music present themselves in
every song. More obvious though, is
the borrowing from Joe Jackson,
especially his Jumping Jive album.
Most of Jo Boxer's songs could easily
inve blended in between any of the
tracks on Jumping Jive. The vocals
even sound like Joe Jackson.
The first side ends better than it"
begins with the album's single "Just go
Lucky." This song is a departure from
the big band feel of other tracks on the
album, but it is a legitimately good song
-'that is just stupid enough to be fun.
Jo Boxers almost loses it again with
-I F THEA TRES
DAILY 1:00 P.M. SHOWS MON. THRU FRI
the start of the second side. The song
"She's got sex," another MTV hit, is
just disgusting. Forties swing and
frustrated pre-puberty lust don't mix
and this song proves that it is not worth
trying. Like its counterpart on side one,
it fails miserably.
As for the album itself, it isn't bad.
That is not to say that it is good, though.
Joe Jackson's fairly succesful attempt
at this musical style on Jumping Jive
makes a remake such as this un-
necessary. Not bad; just unnecessary.
I will be interviewing on March 30 for
day camp counselors in the Chicago area
CIRCLE-M DAY CAMP
MAKE APPOINTMENTS THROUGH
CAREER PLANNING AND PLACEMENT
As it stands, the album would be
great to a junior-high-schooler as a
"new wave" sounding album. Anyone
older, with better exposure and ex-
perience, should buy the single "Just
got Lucky" and leave Like Gangbusters
to a younger sibling.
- David Altman
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
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1 1A R. G rnev
March 21,22,23 -25
March 29-April 1
New Trueblood Theatre
tickets available at the PTP Ticket Office
in the Michigan League 764-0450
rlg IMichigan Ensemble Theatre
Directed by Terence Lomude