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April 06, 1984 - Image 14

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-06
Note:
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A
preview
The Band
Prism Productions
Second Chance
9:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 10
By Joseph Kraus
R EMEMBER the generic explosion
of about a year and a half ago?
it began with all sorts of food being
distributed in all-white containers with
"Beans" or "Corn" printed in black let-
ters across the front.
But it didn't stop there. Some enter-
prising soul tried to capitalize on the
fad and released a line of generic items
like t-shirts, fiction, and yes, even
generic rock music.
The Band sounds very much like the
group of choice for such an under-
taking. The picture is pretty clear: An,
all-white album with Rock Music
printed on the top and "The Band"
printed somewhere in the middle.
There's only one problem; The Band
is one of the best rock bands ever to
tune their instruments.
Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth
Hudson and Richard Manuel have
always had a little trouble with names.
They began playing with Ronnie
Hawkins under the moniker The

Hawks, and somewhere along the line
they took to calling themselves The
Crackers.
But it was as The Band that they
hooked up with Bob Dylan and helped to
shock the popular music world as they
backed him on his first electric gigs.
Although The Band may best be
remembered for the Dylan connection,
they were certainly a significant force
in rock on their own. Somewhere along-
the line Rick, Levon, Garth and Rich
teamed up with Robbie Robertson and
released an amazing string of albums,
most tracks of which were original
songs penned by Robertson.
Songs like "Up on Cripple Creek,"
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie
Down" and "The Weight" (you know,
Take a load off Benny, take a load
for free. . .) are proof that folk-rock
can be commercially successful.
But by the late '70s The Band was fin-
ding it increasingly difficult to record
up to the standards they had set for
themselves. So before they had the
chance to put out a "bad" album, they
broke up.
Their final concert alone should have
been proof of their importance to the
world of rock music. Calling it "The
Last Waltz" they invited 5000 people for
dinner and asked a few of their friends
to come out on stage and play. Those
"friends" turned out to be most of the
biggest names in rock music: Neil
Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters,
Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Ringo
Starr, Ron Wood and Bob Dylan.
Once they were apart, each of them
went on to do their own, various things.
Helm released a couple of solo albums
that were commercially disappointing
and Hudson did some big-time studio

work.
But last year they decided to give it
another shot and got back together.
There is no Robertson, but that's
alright, he wasn't there at the very
beginning anyway.
The new Band, like the old, has
seemingly unlimited instrumental
talent. Helm usually ends up on drums,
Hudson on keyboards, Danko on bass
but any one of them can play at least
four or five different instruments.
Brave
new
world
Green on Red
Joe's Star Lounge
8p.m.,.Tuesday, April 10
By Joe Hoppe
W E'RE NOT BEAT, we're not
hip, we're the brave
generation, what a trip. Finally,
something for us to call ourselves.
"Brave generation" sounds pretty good.
We're "brave" 'cause we're still
around, existing in all this stuff. We
don't pretend to know everything,
or speak out loud like our parents

Manuel played a different instrument
on every song on side one of the Nor-
thern Lights-Southern Cross album.
In addition, all of them save Hudson
fhelp out on vocals. Their trademark is
harmonies that blend through and soar
over the instrumental work.
The Band is playing in Ann Arbor on
April 10 at the Second Chance. That's
quite an opportunity-getting to see one
of the world's greatest rock bands,
without the tacky all-white container.
did. We haven 't been to .Vietnam,
but we've seen the ones who did.
The carcasses line the streets in our
homeland, what a quiz. or how
about, all those fourth grade pupils
being told you aren't as smart as
you once were?
Green on Red is the band singing this
song. Green on Red will be at Joe's Star
Lounge Tuesday. They're labeless.
And even though Green on Red
guitarist Dan Stuart says the anthem
shouldn't be taken too seriously, all the
words fit. The song, and Green on
Red's first album, Gravity Talk's
(Slash) is full of great images for the
'80s: Derelicts, the streets, bars, guns
("Five Easy Pieces"), foreign seeds,
cheap wines, literary allusions,
paranoia, but above all, a great and
sometimes naive optimism. And that's1
why we're the brave generation.
The label they're giving Green on
Red (who are Chris Cacavas; keyboar-
ds and guitar, Alex MacNicol; drums,
Dan Stuart; guitar, and Jack Water-
son; bass) is "Paisley Underground"
which links them up with Dream Syn-
dicate, The Three O'Clock, Plan 9, Love
Tractor, the Long Ryders, et al. and if
you want even more labels, can be,
called neo-psychedilia '60s folk rock
( We're not beat, we're not hip ...
But seriously folks, the music is kind
of slow, dreamy, and dominated by
Cacvas' Ray Manzarek-like keyboards.
Stuart's guitar is sometimes a 12-
string. He sings to match the music,
sweetly when need be, sometimes a lit-
tle gruff; old garage-band style.
Live, Green on Red should be won-
derful, full of feedback and long solos
and all forms of excessiveness; en-
thusiasm energy and a real cool time.
Historically, Green on Red (by the
way, the name doesn't mean anything,
just an interesting propsition taken
from the name of a song when the band.
was called The Serfers) started out in
Tuscon, Arizona. That was in 1980,
when "punk" bands only had one place
See BRA VE, Page 5

Poeic
Songs of Innocence and
Experience
University School of Music
Hill Auditorium
8 p.m., Wednesday, April 11
By Dan Desmond
X7WTILLIAM BOLCOM injects a variety
of musical forms to the poems of
William Blake, creating a consum-
mate celebration of the arts in Songs of
Innocence and Experience.
Bolcom is a University professor of
composition who is best known as a gif-
ted pianist and composer of popular
American songs. Setting Blake's
poems to melody has been a lenghty but
heartfelt project for him.
"Obviously, it has been a labor of
love," noted Doris Humphrey,
Associate Editor for the School of
Music. "It's a life's work just to figure
out Blake's own symbolism," she ad-
ded.
Bolcom has zealously translated
Blake's pieces into this fine symphonic
rhetorical. The music that Bolcom ex-
plores covers a gamut of styles in-
cluding symphony, opera, folk music
and even rock.
Guaranteed is a spirited offering of
these eclectic musical types, the
literary beauty of Blake's poems, and
the visual dimension of his own
illustrations, which accompany his
poems and will be shown at the concert.
Ears, eyes, and intellect can each be
exercised in this aesthetic adventure.
The root of this opus is the English,
poet/painter, William Blake, who rose
to prominence in the 18th century, but is
still enjoyed by many. "His poems are
extremely accessible, they aren't just
poems that college students have
read," Humphrey pointed out. Though
Blake's artistic language is sometimes
so subjective it is esoteric, his works
are nonetheless gracefully terse and in-
teresting to ponder.
The messages in his poems range
from religous revelation to social
awareness-he even confronted such
matters as child labor while hoping for
social reform. However, most of his
words and art convey a disdain for
science, because it reduces humans to
atoms, and a renouncing of reason,
because it limits the imagination.
Blake projected lyrical visions of his

inner emotions and strongly decried
any kind of mathematical
measurement of the world. There is
thoughtful vision in Blake's poetry, but
Humphrey reminds us too, that, "The
message of the School of Music is that
music is wonderful."
There is pronounced agreement from
German critics, who were the first to
take in Bolcom's performance before
the American premier. One critic
writes, "The music sounds pleasant,
sometimes as easily accessible as a
sentimental hit. But: It is never silly."
Another reported, "The piece is a
musical giant, which covers many
genres and styles. . . and molds them
into concordant unity. . . Here, Bolcom
proves to be an extremely word-
sensitive master of melody as well as
an orchestrator, who has studied his
Berlioz, R. Strauss, and Mahler very in-
tensely."
Carrying out these songs will be a
commendable cast of musical craf-
tsmen. Among the group is Charles
Holland, 74, who sang jazz in America
before gaining respect as an opera
singer in Europe. A 10-year-old
soprano, Daniel Ryan from Battle
Creek, will be another highlight of the
show. Joan Morris, who was lauded in
past performances with Bolcom, her
pianist at the time, will also be on hand.
The only current University student to
perform will be Richard Fracker, who
is now pursuing a Master's degree, and
has sung for director Robert Altman in
The Rake's Progress.
The remainder of the distinguished
collection of soloists, too long to entirely
mention, will be conducted by
Michigan's director of orchestra and
opera, Gustav Meier.
Bolcom's arduous efforts come to
harmony in the symphonic delight,
Songs of Innocence and Experience,
subtitled "An Illumination of the
Poems of William Blake." Projections
of Blake's original multicolored
engravings will be displayed, making it
an evening of refined artistic diversity.
\~CO
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William Bolcom: Innocent musical experience

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