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October 26, 1984 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-26
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v v w w



R E C 0 R D S
D The combination of angelic choral toward the '50s (and a few stops in bet- LPs have a real so-what charm-they
sounds and slide guitar creates an ween) of its own. This is a plush star may not dash into the future, but they
almost (but not quite) saccharine coun- vehicle of an album, clever in its in- pass present time very agreeably.
try flavor on Don's "Following the cidentals (the surprising addition of
Sun," while his "You Make It So Easy" Bow Wow Wow-ish big tribal drums IKE CERTAIN friends you probably
is wide-open-spaces pop with a nice saves "Rules of the Game" from L have (or had), Jools Holland's Jools
b a c k reggae rhythm scheme. mediocrity), beautifully precise in Holland Meets Rockabilly Billy LP has
Don's three songs are isolated on side overall production. great surface charm but nothing un-
2, but they're surprisingly strong. His Jeff Lynne, whizkid of the most derneath. Holland is a session man ex-
"Asleep" closes out the album, and it's emotionally sterile yet underrated traordinaire, with credits ranging from
EB' 4 a classic romantic cry for respite from superbands of the faraway '70s, Elec- work in the' seminal pre-U.S.-success
lovesickness ("I watch the shadows tric Light Orchestra (my guilty- pop-brilliant Squeeze to a heroic piano
Everly Brothers climb the wall/as they try to catch the favorite singles are "Mr. Blue Sky,' solo on the "Uncertain Smile" track of
Polygram light")-the LP's most gorgeous single "Shine a Little Love," and "Turn to The The's outstanding Soul Mining
track, a heave and a sigh. Stone") has force-fed many a pop tune album.
Riff Raff The covers are more calculated, but to effervecence, and he does it again As a keyboardist, Holland has n'o real
Dave Edmunds superbly produced by Dave Edmunds; with two songs here, the synth-driven, rivals in the nuevo-pop world, but his
he understands the Everlys' mythic harmony-happy "Breaking Out" and second solo effort, RockabillBillis
Columbia appeal without bloating it. Paul Mc- the ditto-driven/happy "S.O.S.". (A too much an invitation to indulgence;
Cartney's "On the Wings of a third Lynne-produced track, "Hang he'd be better off establishing a real
Jools Holland Meets Rockabilly Nightengale" is dreamy entrancing On," is sleek but uninteresting.) solo identity before lounging about in
Billy music; bringing things back down to There's a country-flavored ballad, this kind of blatantly nostalgic venture.
Jools Holland earth is a grungy dance-oriented "How Could I Be So Wrong," that Apparently recorded entirely at
A&M "Danger Danger" by Frankie Miller. pushes Edmunds' limited vocals to home, Billy sounds very good produc-
Jeff (ELO) Lynne's "The Story of their agreeable limits; and a really fine tion-wise, and the songs (espcially
By Dennis HarveyMe" takes us into the 'BOs smoothly closing rave-up (complete with har- those written with ex-Squeeze whizkid
B Da yenough, but its all-synth production monica-consumer note: in 1984, any Chris Difford) are likeable and catchy
seems to subserviate the Everlys-they song with a harmonica was ace), and what-all.
HE CURRENT accepted Cool on the lose their identity in settings this ar- "Can't Get Enough." What's missing here is presence, an
Whe RENT ccete Cools the in tificial. The opener "Something About You" individual's mark. The Stray Cats
i dvarierpusychedelic/hardpop/ ar ge The Beatlesque rocker "I'm Talkin' is in a superior mindless-anthemic probably couldn't do anything else
itls. arepsheem/hrpoparagelos My Time" displaces any doubts, mode. Add to that the devestatingly anyway, but they're forgiven given
colors. Ted ss havestemp orylos- though, and "More Than I Can Handle" catchy doo-doo-dah backdrop vocals on their revivalist limitations, but Holland
their trendiness, despite not-so-long reconciles the Brothers' country and the high pop value "Far Away," and obviously could, so his '50s fixation
ago flexings of the rockabilly (Stray rock influences with an impressive you've got yourself a pretty solid slab of here seems merely frustrating. The
Cats, etc.) and, previously, pure- ease plastic. most '80s-conscious cut here, "Tipitina
fiti and all its imitators) cas.- Wisely, EB '84 doesn't attempt to be a Likeable if unmemorable, Riff Raff Tree," has a fine melody, but overdoes
tilanl, anyopsmi taors) crazes. s definitive summation of the Everlys' pays careful but uncloying hommage to its echo effects.
S ril many groups re'ain obsessed achievement. It's a genre album, dead- idols as variable as Johnny Cash and... The remaining cuts showcase
with e rootsier irthf-rnr sounds of cool about The Event, as if simply well, you name it. The inspiration may Holland's boogie-woogie keyboard
the'50s-particularly in England, picking up what had been left off well always seem rather second-hand, but skills and his acceptable if uninspired
rekabithrs still afilThy Etro over a decade ago. it isn't mere imitation. Like fellow vocals, but despite all the flexings of in-
roaiysubculture. Te Everly If EB'84 doesn't have a lot to do with Rockpile alumnus Nick Lowe with his strumental and studio knowhow, they
Brothers have at last released a what's happening in the outside music current (and equally entertaining) seem mere reiterations of cliche. You
reunion album of new material, and world of 1984, Edmunds deserves credit Cowboy Outfit LP, Edmunds is a know-girls! girls! girls! lyrics, steady
Everlys) EdmundsJools Hollaproduced the for avoiding the sort of loving em- revivalist too true to his references to big beats, slide gee-tars, the standards
Eerelyas d Jo Holand have ut balming that would have made this just go seriously wrong-or to go very in- of the genre.
released their own albums of music another museum nostalgia piece. terestingly elsewhere. A short record-only eight
An immaculately well-crafted songs-Rockabilly Billy seems
C ERTAIN BANDS can et b on the D AVE EDMUNDS does pretty well record, Riff Raff, like Cowboy Outfit, is emotionally skimpy as well. It sounds
virtuAIf aiD anty onthewith his own current solo LP, Riff having too good a time going tastefully happy, but it's so one-dimensional that
pass into legendary status on just one Raff, a mostly excellent record of har- backward to create anything that would the good cheer defects the second the
outstanding strength, despite weak dpop that takes a few looks backward really stick in the memory. But both needle lifts.
song choice, production, whatever.
The Everly Brothers will alwaysa
symbolize a certain American roots-
sweetness for their harmonies, which
seem at once simple and complicated, M
evocative of both Ma's back porch in
Flatville and the most downy-soft of
airbrushed boy-teen-swoon idolatry.
Even on an obvioulsy in-decline LP
like the '66 Two Yanks in England
(which has them trying to cash in on
Brit fever), the seductiveness of those
country-choirboy intertwining vocals
saves the whole from mediocrity.
Appropriately, a few years later the-
Everlys seemed to have just faded
away, like lost innocence or some otherY
nostalgic Big Theme.,
The Everlys were a predictable
nominee for cult status; romanticisms
has gained back some lost coolness
lately, and the Everlys offer ap
definitively 'cool romanticism, withoutx
the embarrassments of sappiness or
Their reunion LP of new material,
EB '84, does a generally fine job of
preserving that appeal with a tasteful
modicum of updated-ness. Their big-+
sized version of Dylan's "Lay Lady
Lay" is no classic, but a definite im-
provement on one of the dumbest Dylan
songs ever; elsewhere they don't have
to triumph over material so much as
inhabit it, which they usually do. Everly Brothers: Theyve'still got it
22 - - - Weekend/Fiday~ October 26,-1984 .. ......__.{ ..... s_... ;,... _ _'

C o V E
anaylsis of truth, and both are complex. "black nations" are supposedly in- respons
The oppression of blacks does not start, dependent; what this means, Gordimer ts of bir
or end, with the legal mechanism of comments, is that their citizens have "geneti
apartheid or the economic mechanisms absolutely no right in South Africa it- econom
of exploitation, Gordimer said. self. respons
Apartheid is more than just a policy Her effort as a writer is to destroy exact s
and more than a quesion of right or euphemisms and pretenses by that we
wrong. It's a half-hidden, half-blatant describing reality - "what I see and Althoi
network of lies, distortions, know" - as truthfully as possible. when si
euphemisms and stereotypes, which The task has not been easy, the 61- is out t
imprison whites as well as blacks. year-old novelist admitted Friday. In purse
" "When a society is fundamentally her hotel room at the Michigan League, domina
distorted, it distorts everyone and ever- she reflected that today, she would not "can b
ything in it," she remarks. be able to write the story about the white p
Gordimer is quick to offer concrete white girl and the black man. Her un- "Late
examples: South Africa calls itself a derstanding of herself, her attitude just th]
parliamentary democracy, but only by toward blacks, and her view of whites' the girl
twisting the meaning of "democracy" role in South African society has is that s
By Anne Jellema to exclude over 20 million blacks from changed too much. dimer r
representation. The 4.5 million whites Gordimer, who is the daughter of The i
South African author Nadine who run the country maintain this ex- middle-class Jewish parents, sort of
Gordimer delivered the Seventh an- clusive power through police state acknowledged that "that piece con- has bee
nual Tanner Lecture on October 12 measures, so that under their own tained a great deal of myself." world,
democratic governments, they are sub- "The story was written in un-self- helpless
in the Modern Languages Building. ject to strict censorship, detention consciousness," she explained. "The out of b
Her lecture has sparked reaction without trial, and forced exile. girl does not understand what is hap- And i
from several figures on campus and couple
brought the issue of South African that th
racist policies back to light. about ti
. We must begin by stripping away the said.
Nadine Gordimer wrote a story stereotypes whites have about blacks, even te"A
describing a violent encounter between those that are not necessarily negative. . . a certa
a white girl and a black man. At first a restle
the girl sees him only as a figure in the or depreciative, but that nevertheless The
distance - nothing more than the final define black terms. moral
touch in a romantic winter landscape. the man in white tsmust t
But when the girl comes face to face - Nadine Gordimer of what
with the black man in his torn clothes to the i
and bare feet, she is suddenly terrified. subject
He springs at her; she struggles objecti
desperately, trying to keep her purse. X
When it falls to the ground, she runs Whites' attempt to establish what pening, or why she feels what she feels
away. Gordimer calls a "totally artificial" - and neither did I. siu
It's only later, when her fear and society has come to a dead end, she "Since then, I have seen too much, posium
revulsion have subsided, that she asks thinks. South Africa today, she said, is experienced too much, ever to be that Comm
herself: Is there nowhere else we can "a culture in sterile decay, it's innocent of what is really going on bet- oneself
meet? achievements culminating in the lines ween the girl and the black."Anrsel
Unlike the girl, white South African of tin toilets set up in the veld for people In fact, she has come to realize that Africa
novelist Gordimer has refused to run 'resettled' by force." "innocence" is an illusion. In he
away from the issues raised by apar- She was referring to the mass depor- In her lecture later that afternoon, sions
theid. In the critically acclaimed novels tation of blacks to "homelands" she denied that there is any such thing Africa
and stories shehas written since, she established by the government. These as a "pure" creative act. We are all reality.
has investigated the barriers
separating the races in her native coun- July's
try, and gone on to question how they self on
can be overcome. her bla
J ~roles a
In an interview on October 12, Gor- rslf
dimer said that she believes blacks and herself
whites can find a meeting ground where .,,down.
they understand and trust one another Just
as human beings. In the three and a half Jt bl"
decades since that early story, not hi
however, she's come to believe that the necessa
goal can only be reached if South Africa blacky
overthrows the European system and Friday
culture imposed by the ruling white We
minority. the sti
Gordimer, nominated for the 1984 blacks
Nobel Prize in literature, holds herself necess;
committed to the creation of a new word I
society in South Africa. "Art is on the that ne
side of the oppressed," she told her Ann in we
Arbor audience; and no artist in any blackn
country "where the people he livesb0k
among are discriminated and man w
repressed" can avoid his duty to take anger s
up their fight. o tation t
As a writer, Gordimer's own fight has w examp.
been to discover and portray the truth about
- not only about political issues, but cord w:
about human beings. In her view, un-2 What
derstanding yourself, and facing theWh
reality around you, is not only the key to whites
artisic truth - but also the key to ° fwrong,
changing society. ofacing
The South African native's analysis President Shapiro and Gordimer: Her work has repercussions even here.
of her society is intertwined with her

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