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October 10, 1984 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-10

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 10, 1984-- Page 7

dB's do the Mic

By Julie Jurrjens
HOSE OF you who opted to come
late to Monday's REM/dBs show -
for shame. You who were tardy
missed out on the dBs, despite
numerous testimonies of their wonder-
fulness from fans and critics alike.
While my ears are still ringing from
that show, I'd like to thoroughly dress
down those of you who are too hip to be
anything but fashionably late and
1commend those of you who were prom-
pt.
You could not ask for much more
from an opening band than what was of-
fered by the dBs, but those of you (and I
noticed quite a few) who were
epresented by empty seats didn't even
-bother to be there to make any deman-

ds of the band. Nevertheless, the band
responded JUST FINE WITHOUT
YOU, thank you.
I suppose things could've been worse.
Those who were in attendance and not
swilling beer in the lobby were recep-
tive and enthusiastic enough to make it
an event unto itself. REM has great
taste when it comes to opening acts, but
the rather gentle imposition of their
taste upon the audience by opening up
their shows with their own favorite
bands doesn't always come off.
For instance; REM's last Michigan
appearance, at Royal Oak, was opened
by the Dream Syndicate. The audience,
which was partially composed of
curious Genesis t-shirted high school
students (expecting to
RAWKANROLLL, I hypothesised),

received the Syndicate with the en-
thusiasm of one receiving month-old
soggy Wonder Bread.
Went right over their heads, despiite
the fact that the Syndicate played a
pretty good, pretty accessible set
devoid of fifteen-minute long jams
that characterized some of their
previous performances. At least the
dBs got a hospitable reaction and
probably won over more than a few
ears for their trouble.
The dBs set started only minutes af-
ter eight - the promptest start I've
seen in a long time - and didn't relent
for a good fifty minutes. Those who
know the dBs know they're a changed
band, and their enthusiasm shows it.
After all the agony the dBs have been
through, they're finally getting what's
been coming to them for a long time.

higan
After years of being unable to find a
record contract in the U.S., they've
finally found one. After losing half of
the band's singing/writing team, Chris
Stamey, and having to weather doubts
that they'd not come out OK, te dBs
have proved themselves as viable as
ever.
The first song, "Neverland"; off the
dBs' second record, Repercussion,
verified that the dBs do just fine
without Stamey. This and "Bad
Reputation", later in the set, surprised
me by how good the band sounded
through REM's big sound system. The
sound was never muddy; the band
utilized volume instead of letting it
work against them.
Early on in the set, the band amazed
me with their technical- finesse.
Drummer Will Rigby was outstanding,
as was Gene Holder, who switched from
bass to lead guitar after Stamey's
departure. New member Rick Wagner
filled Gene's bass spot nicely.
The dBs Monday performance built
upon their show at Joe's this past
August in song choices and musical
quality. While the Joe's show was good,
this one was exceptional and exem-
plary of the effect leader Peter Holsap-
ple's more aggressive spirit has on the
band, now that the somewhat
modifying Stamey is gone. "Am-
plifier," reissued on the dBs new album
Like This, was a good example of this
spirit in action. The band gave the song
even more of a Southern boogie feel
than on the record. Holsapple's general
goofiness during the song (playing
weird descending scales and suddenly
crashing to the floor) pointed up its
general silliness and at the same time
its wit. (How many cheery little pop
songs do you know about a suicide
prompted by a girlfriend taking all of
the hero's possessions except for a
broken amplifier?).
Next the dBs played "Nothing is
, Wrong,"which was sorely missing from
the Joe's set and provided a needed
change of pace. Following it up was "A
Spy In the House of Love", which star-
ted off less striking than on the record,
but improved when improvisation took
over in the end.
Holsapple then announced a tribute to

like this

Elvis. While I psyched myself up for
some heavy duty King thing, Mike Mills
and Bill Berry of REM shuffled out on
stage (Mike holding a tambourine and
Bill a surrogate-tambourine frisbee)
and started adding backing vocals to
"Suspicious Minds."
Eventually their helping out
degenerated - Bill dancing around
with the frisbee, whomping Will's
drums with it, and eventually lobbing it
indelicately offstage. Just remember,
though, this is the kind of thing that
makes shows memorable, and for those
of you who missed it, well ... I told you
so.
The set closed with "New Gun In
Town", a song I didn't care that much
for on the album but massively im-
proved here, proving the dBs are no

longer as poppish as they once were.
The audience wanted more, though,
and more they got.
Pete Buck joined the band for the en-
core, turning in an outstanding version
of "Black and White". Yet another
thing you lobby loungers missed out on.
. . REM invited Holsapple to join them
later in their encore. It's comforting to
know that good bands (like REM) can
appreciate and acknowledge the in-
fluence of other good bands (like the
dBs), and help see to it that others find
out how good they really are.
Both bands have a kind of kinship.
They're not out to make great art, but
they are out to be creative enough to
hold captive our attentions, remain true
to their, roots, and have fun in the
process.

n4

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Irv

1 .Ooon

V"-

Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
Pete Holsapple of the dB's (left) and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck engage in a fiery duet during their encore performan-
ce Monday night at the Michigan Theater.

Records

Do you like Opera? Love it? Hate it?
Can't understand it? Well.. .here is a
new album that will suit you if you fit in
to any of those categories and any
others that may exist.
This new Angel EMI Digital album is
entitled Opera Arias and it is perfor-
med by a very talented Bulgarian
soprano named Ghena Dimitrova. In a
collection of opera arias ranging from
Verdi to Puccini, Dimitrova gives us
cohesive and always very pleasant
singing in the relaxed moments and in.
the dramatic and intense ones as well.
The first side of the album is all Verdi

Arias featuring arias from the operas: I
Lombardi, Attila MacBeth and the
famous Aida. In each of the arias
Dimitrova combines lyricism with
dramaticism so well, that the Verdi.
arias alone end up showing Dimitrova's
extremely well-rounded, full bodied
singing voice.
Teh Verdi pieces give the listener a
chance to sample different aspects of
the art of Verdi Opera. We have tur-
moil and fear in the heart in the Aida
aria, conflict and prayer in the Lom-
bardi aria, weeping and revenge in the
aria from Atilla and resolution in the

piece from MacBeth.
On the flipside, once again we can en-
joy the power and delicacy of
Dimitrova's voice as she sings selec-
tions from operas by Ponchielli, Cilea,
Catalani, and Puccini. Dimitrova
shapes her voice with the utmost skill in
each different type of aria. In
"Suicidio" (Suicide) from Ponchielli's
La Gioconda, she produces beautiful,
crisp tone colors with dramatic and ex-
citing depth. The rest of the selections
are no exception to her well balanced
vocal approach.
The end results from this disc are

thoroughly enjoyable and after
listening to it, even if you hated opera
or really didn't understand it, you came
away with a good feeling. So, folks, the
album is a shoo-in for all listeners:
Opera connoiseurs and non-officiandos
too! - Neil Galanter

t

1

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