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September 16, 1984 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-16

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Sunday, September 16, 1984

Page 5

White sinks at mid-

stream during

By Andy Weine
Some concerts hit you like fireworks;
others are soul-stirring or hit you like
grooving dance machines.
Josh White Jr.'s performance at the
Ark on Friday night was like a lullaby.
The pace and volume of his folk tunes
were relaxing, meandering, and slow,
like the Huron river in its wider, quieter
parts north of Ann Arbor. White's
pleasant stream of music made the
audience feel like they were lazily
canoeing, too.
dWhite's soothing, unspectacular
tunes included Carole King's "Up on a
Roof" and James Taylor's "You've Got
A Friend" and he had the audience
joyfully singing along. White played
fun, amusing songs, too, such as a
Jimmy Buffet tune that went, "Who's
gonna steal the peanut butter? I'll get a
can of sardines. Runnin' up and down
the aisle of the minimart, stickin's food
in our jeans . . . ." Another light ditty
told the story of a promiscuous woman
who takes men to her cabin and says,
"It's just a thing I do, to spend an hour
or two. It's no reflection on you; It' just
a thingI do ...."

In between songs White told stories
and talked with the audience,
displaying the aire of an experienced
crowd pleaser. It was performance talk
as usual, the topics including Tiger
Baseball, Michigan weather, his son,
and, of course, upcoming shows. If
that's the record White has been
playing for all his professional years in
the Detroit area, then it's time to
change it.
The Ark's new sound system was ob-
viously inadequate. The farthest rows
couldn't even hear White when he spoke
or sang softly, which was most of the
time. There were only a couple small
speakers, which were placed right next
to the stage and did not project into the
large Ark room. If the Ark is to continue
drawing crowds for good, audible
music, it has to do better than expect
audiences to understand music by pan-
tomime.
White needs to turn up his volume,
too. His voice rings with a lively
emotional quality when he opens his
mouth a bit, but that happenned too
rarely in this show.
One song that had him singing clearly
was a moving tune by his father, Josh

oncert
White, a prominent folkster of the for-
ties and fifties. The Senior White wrote
angrily about racial segregation in the
military during World War II. The
song's character laments, "Airplanes
flyin' over the land, you see.. . Ain't no
place up there for a Negroe like me...
Upon hearing that song, President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt began a
long friendship with Josh White.
The Junior White exhibited keen
political consciousness again in playing:
songs about streetpeople in the lonely
streets of London and about a man in
the Depression who could afford to buy
only one meatball for his meal. More
songs like these would add to White's
repertory, for they rouse up the audien-
ce from the lazy, apathetic armchairs
into which most of White's music lays
them.
Indeed, White's show was too
tranquilizing. He needs to add the spice
of faster, upbeat songs and music that
sparks a greater awareness of things,
whether it be on social issues or the.
natural environment or the person next
door. After all, you can only listen to so
many lullabies; you're already asleep
after the first one.

Daily Photo by DAVID FRANKEL

Sophia Hanifi, vocalist for Map of the World, performs Friday night during a recording session for Cruisin' II.
Varied lineup continues
Oto highlight Cruisin'

! ! __-

By Bob King
and Stephen Bergman
While most of Ann Arbor seems to be
following the conservative trend of
maximizing price/cost margins and the
social trend of marketing over-
shadowing the product, the Cruisin'
Ann Arbor project offers a welcome
alternative. And as Lee Berry, one of
the six members of the Ann Arbor
Music Project responsible for
prbducing Cruisin' Ann Arbor and its
soon to be released sequel points out,
the aim of these albums is not to make
money, but rather to get some outside.
exposure for local bands and break
even on production costs.
The first Cruisin'. album achieved
that goal, receiving a series of national
reviews and extensive radio play in
Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, and
elsewhere. Promoters hoped Friday
night's recording session at the U-
Club-the third of four to be taped for
Cruisin' II-also would arouse similar
attention with music from the Slang,
Map of the World, and Aluminum
Beach.
The Slang, opening the night with
their melange of Hawaiian guitar riffs,
vocals modeled after the Monkees, and
an otherwise predictable rock beat,
played a technically problem-free set.
Problem free, however, for the same
reason that golfers rarely suffer serious
injuries.
Drummer Chris Belden, for example,
took over the vocals on a ditty called
"Nuclear Baby." Although he is a
competent drummer, Belden is no
vocalist, and his only reason for singing
was apparently to add variety; which is
no variety, as nearly every band since
1982 has done a song with their drum-
mer on vocals. Their dress-sportcoats
with ties-was nice, but then it was nice
on the Romantics and the Beatles and
many other bands as well.
Even their essays into the meaningful
accentuate the Slang's lack of depth.
"The President talks but I can't

listen/he isn't saying anything
audience is told in "Means to an End."
"People talk," the song continues,
"They should think before they open
their mouths." Even the ferns were
feeling patronizedd by the end of this
three minute seminar.
In the Cruisin' Ann Arbor package,
however, the Slang will come out soun-
ding good. Their cut, "She's a Woman,"
is a pleasant song that will add a bit
more flavor to the album, and redun-
dancy is a small threat in three
minutes. The Slang's sound is good and
clean as far as it goes, but it will have to
go a lot farther if this band wants to
cruise nationally.
Map of the World opened their session
with their single "Now," a vibrant song
which surprized the audience. This
band balances its energetic music with
what it avoids by its placid stage
presence.
The brother and sister team of Khalid
and Sophia Hanifi produce a good har-
mony-the latter's voice reminiscent of
Su Tissue from L.A.'s Suburban
Lawns-but remain raw enough to be
interesting. Likewise, Map drummer.
Tom Whitaker, who also is a member of
the Ann Arbor Music Project, seems to
have helped this band retain its local
sound. This lack of polish-here a very
positive quality-keeps Map from
falling into the ditch of trendiness and
makes their performances a real
refreshment.
Overall, Map of the World's sound is
impressive, bringing to mind the
mellow hardcore sound of the Damned.
Their lyrics also seem to excape the
snare of superficiality. "Kiss me now
and I'll think about it later," drones
Sophia, with insight unexpected from.
generic rock concernts. One can also
appreciate Map's lack of preten-
tiousness. Map of the World is an ex-
citing band, and an album to follow up
their cut on Cruisin' II would not go
unappreciated.
Aluminum Beach, Friday's final act
and a clear local favorite, opened an en-
joyable and diverse set with the old

Hank Williams tune "Hey, Good
Looking." Beach, formerly known as
"Ann Arbor's Ska Band," then
proceeded with the Rock'n'Roll meets
Rockabilly "Get Your Kicks on Route
66" and the ska influenced
(Rastislvian) "Romania." Their sound
was diverse, very diverse.
Aluminum Beach also has sidestep-
ped trendiness, and the dancefloor mob
(comparable to Crisp's on the first day
of classes) attests to the amount of fun
this band has been responsible for.
Their sound is very good, and their only
excess-the shortcoming of most ban-
ds-appears to be in variety of style:
One wonders that if Beach does get an
album, what will it sound like? But
that's still ahead, and a sure thing now
is that Aluminum Beach will be a major
attraction on the newest Cruisin'.
With reviews of the first Cruisin' A
from sources like the "New Musical
Express" in his back pocket, Lee Berry
and his cohorts have with this new
group of bands the makings of another
success. And this is a project that they
intend to continue: "We've more or less
committed ourselves to doing it every
two years," says Berry.
Release date for Cruisin' II: Decem-
ber 3, all around town.
:ANN ARBOR
INDIVIDUAL THEATRES
2 5tIe A. o Libety7610700
DAILY MATINEES
DAILY FIRST SHOW 2.00
"'UNDER THE VOLCANO' IS
INTELLIGENT ... BEAUTIFULLY
ACTED AND DIRECTED"
-USA TODAY
ALBERT FINNEY
JACQUELINE BISSET
ANTHONY ANDREWS
NO ONE CAN LIVE WITHOUT LOVE!
SUN 1:20, 3:20, 5:25, 7:30, 9:40
MON. 1:00, 7:30, 9:40
WINNER OF 8 OF AUSTRALIA'S
MAJOR FILM AWARDS-
INCLUDING: BEST PICTURE,
BEST DIRECTOR & BEST ACTRESS!
RICHLY ATMOSPHERIC..."
-Sheila Benson, LA. Times
"A VERY GREAT FILM."
-Judith Crist, WOR-TV
"A MARVELOUS MOVIE..."
-Dino Lalli, KNBC Channel 4 News

.

Bloods
"Bloods," a new book by Wallace Terry that portrays the stories of black Vietnam War veterans, will
be reviewed in Friday's Weekend magazine.
Attn.: PHOTOGRAPHERS
G;ET
The Michigan Daily plans to hire several photographers. There
will be a portfolio review this Sunday, Sept. 16 at 5:00 p.m. at
the Student Publications Bldg., 420 Maynard.
YOU MUST:
" BE A STUDENT
9 HAVE GOOD BASIC DARKROOM SKILLS
" HAVE A GOOD EYE AND ENTHUSIASM
Please bring your portfolio, high school yearbook, any published
work, and contact sheets.
PORTFOLIO REVIEW
Student Publications Building
420 Maynard
Sundnu, vant. - Ia. OO nm.

Uu ][IHIE \WtiIr

E VERYONE LIKES TO party,
right? And everyone likes a good
party, right? Now we all know there
are good parties and there are good
parties. If you hosted a good party,
wouldn't you want everyone to know?
Well, now's your chance. The Daily Ar-
ts page is proud to announce the birth of
What hopefully will become a weekly
feature-Party of the Week. All you

have to do is submit a photograph
(preferably black and white) of your
Friday or Saturday night party and a
composition of 150 words or less
describing why you think your party
was the Party of the Week. All entries
must be dropped off in the Daily Arts
office by 3 p.m. Wednesday. The win-
ning party will be published in Friday's
Daily.

i ,

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