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September 06, 1984 - Image 61

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-06

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U_ B S

Music
scene
rocks

By Larry Dean
O N THE OLD "I Love Lucy" tele-
vision program, whenever Fred,
Ethel, or Lucy wanted to have a little
fun, they hightailed it downtown to the
Tropicana, where Lucy's latin hubby,
Ricky, was the star attraction. Played
with aplomb by multi-talented Desi Ar-
naz, Ricky Ricardo was the ultimate
lounge lizard, leading the Desi Arnaz
Orchestra (otherwise under the
capable baton of Wilbur Hatch) through
the umpteenth rendition of "Bobaloo"
while soloing on his bongos.
In our modern, fast-paced world, we
oftep yearn to bend time, and return to
those halycon nights of gold lame
jackets, proper etiquette, and the
Samba. Understanding Einstein hasn't
helped curb that yearning, but as naive
realists (and aren't we all?), we must
face up to the fact that H.G. Wells was a
loon, plain and simple, and instead live
for today, making do with the materials
at hand.
The Desi Arnaz Orchestra may have
faded into the smokey past, but night-
clubs continue to flourish. Any city
slicker will tell you that clubs are the
place to be, and in Ann Arbor, college
life promotes these dens of iniquity,
much in the same way Lucy promoted
Vita-Meata-Vegamin on that classic
I.L.L. episode way back when.
Night clubs exist for two major
reasons: entertainment and liquor -
sometimes synonymous, often incom-
patible (ask Montgomery Clift). We
seek out both like moths to the flame,
and, more often than not, get sym-
bolically burnt. I won't tell you that
asbestos can't help.
In Ann Arbor, one finds a number of
night spots. On the average, they all
provide a rotating scope of music. The
Blind Pig (206 S. First) used to be a
haven for the blues, but they recently
renovated their space to create more
room for boogieing, and to entice dif-
ferent bands into playing there. Their
aim, I've heard, is to haul in the same
out-of-town bands that draw the biggest
crowds, and to persuade local outfits,

too. More power to'em.
Mr. Flood's Party (120 W. Liberty) is
a get-down kinda place, with a tiny
stage and rowdy patronage. The best
thing is that said-stage is located at the
front of Flood's, so if you happen to
stroll by (on Liberty), you not only get a
loud and clear sample of the music, but
a glimpse of the performers' backs
through the window as well!
On Fuller Road, beyond the hospital,
beyond the fabled outdoor pool, lies The
Apartment (2200 Fuller). I haven't been
there, but it seems to be attracting a
number of bands, a majority of whom
play jazz. Given either a car or per-
severance, a trip to this floating festival
hall might ring the proper bells, or at
least get you outside the college strata
for a few hours.
The undisputed big four entertain-
ment meccas, however, have to be
Rick's, Joe's, the U-Club, and the Nec-
tarine Ballroom. Rick's American Cafe
(611 Church), christened in honor of
Humphrey Bogart's club in Casablan-
ca, is the definition of "beer vault."
With a big stage backed by a white,
stucco wall, lots of seating, and a well-
stocked bar, it's no wonder Rick's is a
student fave. Of course, the convenient
location might have something to do
with it, but I prefer to think that people
have the gift of free will to do with as
they please. As to the bands, Rick's
brings in a steady stream of local and
non-local talent, perfectly aware that
camel-like students will foot the tab no
matter what.
The U-Club (in the Michigan Union,
State Street) occasionally blesses us
with non-local music, but their forte is
home-turf folks. Soundstage previews
up-and-coming performers, and Laugh
Track gives aspiring comedians the
chance to strut their stuff. Eclipse Jazz
occasionally sponsors freestyle
"jams," and DJs use the U-Club for
their theme shows - beach parties,
reggae nights, funk-outings, etc., etc.
Formerly called the Second Chance,
the Nectarine Ballroom (516 E. Liber-
ty) is an intimate spot gone awry. Not
open yet as of this typing, I can only
guess that they'll be expanding the old
Second Chance facilities in order to
cram in more people, with minor
redecoration to match. Historically,
this club has been a place for great
shows (Gang of Four, John Cale,
Richard Thompson, etc.) andfor raun-
chy Top 40 Michigan mainstays. What a
dichotomy! Its being "up-classed"
could be a boon, or its final straw ...
we'll see.
Last, but certainly not least, Joe's
Star Lounge (109 N. Main) has been the
most consistenly arresting place to
hear quote-unquote new music. They
hosted the Violent Femmes' first Ann
Arbor show, and an initial
materialization by the Dream Syn-
dicate as well. Others who have played
there in the past include the Bongos,
REM, Chris Stamey, the Replacemen-
ts, Love Tractor, and other modernist
illuminaries. Local bands make the
grade, too (eh, Joe?). The gleeful decor
provides proper atmosphere, and Joe's
jukebox is the best in town.
If you're new to town, don't take this
list as an absolute. Any die-hard Ar-
borite knows there are plenty of other
nightspots out there, somewhat off the
beaten track, and perhaps with
qualities of their own. This is merely
meant as a primer to some of the native
speakeasys. Feel free to clip this ar-
ticle, tuck it under your arm, and ex-
plore the vast boundaries, all the while
whistling "Bobaloo" for equitable at-
mospherics.

A R C A D E
to new lows, as each parlour tries to built-in computer pitfalls. They can be Great Esca
outdo the other with inventive specials: seen effortlessly piling up points, get- Across t
F u n w ith half-price on Tuesdays and Thursdays tive, extended play, winning free men, wider selec
between noon and four, extra tokens for progressing on to higher and higher larger, but i
those with video club cards or student skill levels until, depending on the
IDs. True, the profit margin has slim- game, they are either vanquished or Focus Pinba
med slightly since the first heady automatically terminated. For the Excellenc
years; video popularity is perpetuated most fortunate, ultimate victory may Ann Ann
only through a vast inventive explosion indeed be possible - the edge of the machines,
and a continuous turnover of both computer disk may indeed be reached. cessible. Te
machines and players. Every fall But these true masters are few and far
By Ben Ticho semester brings a fresh crop of poten- between; most would-be "masters" are Mickey Ra
tial converts. merely highly practiced players who William).
B UZZERS AND bells,scores flashing. Some would bemoan the slide to video can manage one loop farther than the Just a b
Noises, false voices, guns blazing away from the traditional pinball box, Tresough often used as social site (for simir plu
with video death. And you, at the but even here ample opportunities students and townie youth alike), this is
joystick, the object of all this abound, with "bi-level" games a not a place for conversation with
technostimulation. Hallucinations flash current favorite. The relative wor- fellows, unless it be among friendly Simulation S
by in primary colors on a binary grid. thiness of video vs. pinball remains a rivals. But generally he competition is Named f
The video parlour: a haven for the passionate point of contention for some highest against the self, or the com- Blue" phall
frustrated and repressed, the people, but the essence, I would argue . s visitors on
imaginative and dreamy, the com- (though not here) remains similar. 'Tis puter. This is the beauty and atrocity of Never havin
petitive and amused, the entertained a great ethos of escapism and fantasy video: the intimate relationship of man render any j
and entertaining. Contrary to popular mixed with very real social, con- camraderie, violence, fierce battle, Simulation
parental mythology, not all games con- sumerist, and individual identification. taunting, implicit sexuality, forbidden' citing and, o
sume vast amounts of time and money, Sociological interpretations ("Where k w mdgedeeseatedie y
not all foster psyches of destruction hath youth gone?", "What price violen- nowledge, d ated insecurity,
and violence. Video does not prevent ce?) may hold some broad relevance, braggadocio, machismo, petulance, Campus A
th radn o temasters or the but on an individual basis seem and eventual resolution. One may in- Double Fcotu
the reading of the matr rte bto nidvda ai em teract more intensely with the Key locat
memorization of chemical equations; it altogether distracting, exceptional, and inanimate than with his roommate. Delta Ice C
does not per se encourage, let alone en- even boring.i awstyIc
sure, illiteracy, vagrancy, or penury; Many a gamer has exited more Of course some would call it an addic- Rabbit H
neither do these parlours of synthetic frustrated than on entrace - a poor tion, and sometimes perhaps it ap- Packard).
sights and sounds ensure a good time. showing can indeed be disconcerting proaches that, but who are they to Never bee
Ann Arbor video spans all selections and lead to feelings of worthlessness, judge, after all? If it soothes the soul . .
of the token user spectrum; more than etc. There is also the realization that
ten local establishments compete for you have paid to lose, in time and * * *
student quarters with the latest in sight money. Those who cannot well tolerate Favorite locations, of course, vary,
and sound technology. The 1983-84 losing end up spending more tokens in with special attention paid to location,
season saw the introduction of such an effort to at least "win" one game. price, game selection, level of
novelties as laser disc simulation, com- Naturally all machines are program- crowding, etc. F
bined video-pinball, and new heights in med only for beating the human, and sor c
video football, baseball, tennis, "winning" simply means prolonging Flipper McGee (1217 Suth University).
bowling, auto racing, track and field, the game to the point where the com- The tops. Salient positives: the best Dam
boxing, motocross, and aviation. And, puter must work harder for victory, deal in town (ten tokens/$1 with student
of course, all manner of war games, Of course, there are not the masters, ID), campus accessible, and easily the Liberty
against earthlings and most known those good folk who have, with careful best in music selection. Not the greatest Maple
varieties of alien forces. observation and practice, figured out variety, but a few state of the art games
Market saturation has driven prices the correct pattern to sidestep the to go with the old standards.
UNVERSITY ACTMTES CENTER
OFFERING IVERS E S CULTURAL, SLAND EATIONAL PKROG IING
SOPH SHOW VIEWPOINT LECTURES
IS A THEATRE GROUP DESIGNED TO PROVIDE FRESHMEN AND SOPHMRES THE BRINGS A DIVERSIFIED SERIES OF LECTURES TO THE CAMPUS.
OPPORTUNITY TO PRODUCE A MUSICAL FALL SEMESTER.
MUSKET MINICOURSES
(MICHIGAN UNION SHOW, KO-EDS )TO), OUR IARGEST THEATRE GROUP, PRESENTS A ARE UNIQUE, NON-CREDIT CLASSES OFFERING EVERYTHING FRM BALLRC
BRYADAY MUSICAL EACH SFMESTER IN THE PUWER CENTER, AND ALSO SPONSORS T0 BARENDING.
ORIGINAL SHOWS WRITTEN BY STUDENTS.
COMEDY COMPANY MEDIACTRICS
IS A COM.EDY TROUPE PRESENTING ORIGINAL CCMEDY AND MUSICAL SKITS PRESENTS CONTEMPORARY AND CLASSIC HIGH-QUALITY FILMS EVERY WEI
AT PERFORMANCES AND DINNER THEATRES. AT VARIOUS LI.CATIONS ON CAMPUS.
LAUGH TRACK HOMECOMING
FEATURES ANN ARBOR COMICS AND A NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED CMEDIAN EVERY IS A WEEK FULL OF RICTIOUS ACTIVITIES INCLUDING THE FAMOUS MICH
WEDNESDYINEUTVERSrTY CB. MTHMECOMNG PARADE AND FOOBALL GAME, AND THE VICT
SOUNDSTAGE MICHIGRAS
PROVIDES THE OPPORTUNITY FOR TALEiTED, LOCAL MUSICIANS T0 PERFORM IS A HUGE PARY HELD IN' E UNION WINTER TERM FFATURING A CAS
EVERY THURSDAY IN THE UNIVERSITY CLUB. CARNIVAL ARCADE, LIVE ENTERTAINMENT, DANCING, DRINKING AND PR
IMPACT DANCE SPECIAL EVENTS
IS A JAZZ AND MODERN DANCE COMPANY FOR NON-DANCE MAJORS THAT A ARE A VARIETY OF ONETIE ACTIVITIES SUCH AS PEP RALLIES, CANT
SPONSORS FRE WORKSHOPS EVERY TUESDAY IN THE UNION. DANCES AND PARTIES.
UAC WILL HELP YOU DEVElOP NEW SKILLS AND GAIN VALUABLE EXPERIENCE.
BEING STDENI-1N, WENOT CNLY POVIDE STDET-ORIENTED ACTIVITIES BUT ASO THE
TPPORcUNITh naFTR YOU 70 DO MHsPRaGRMG.7
The Michigan Daily - Thursday, Septem

Rockin': Just a blur.

Page 16E- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 6, 1984

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