The Michiaan Daily
Wednesday, November 21, 1984
.. .-........ n..... ._ . i
A conversation with Red Rocker
W ITH THEIR new album, Schizo-
phrenic Circus, the Red Rockers
-. strike an ambitious balance of both
sound and ideology somewhere bet-
ween the Clash of 1977 and the Summer
of Love of 1967. Lead singer John Grif-
fith and bassist Darren Hill, the two
remaining original members of the -
at one time - Algiers, Lousiana based
band along with drummer Jim Reilly
(formerly of Northern Ireland's Stiff
Little Fingers) have added guitarist
Shawn Paddock, for this, the Red
Rockers' third album. Their current
-tour will bring them to Detroit this
Friday, November 23 for a free show
* The Red Rockers moved to California
in 1981, found an immediate un-
Iderground following in their first
,single, "Guns of Revolution" and soom
:had their first album out. Condition
Sed, on San Francisco's 415 label.
, Schizophrenic Circus, on 415/Colum-
bia features guitar work and vocals
treminiscent of the early Clash in "Just
Like You" and "Blood from a Stone" -
the new single (with the amazing
sychedelic banjo). "Good thing I
IKnow Her" is a love-drone and Grif-
jfith's vocal non-chalance is one of the
-best of the "I don't care, I'm with the
flowers" performances of the year,
~especially as Hill, Reilly, and Paddock
outdo each other one-by-one as the song
builds in the manner of the Beatles' Ab-
The first single from Schizophrenic
Circus is a cover of P.F. Sloan's "Eve
of Destruction" made famous by Barry
McGuire. An immediate choice,
perhaps, since the album is dedicated
to Thomas Reilly, drummer Jim's
brother, who was killed last year by
British soldiers in Northern Ireland.
The Red Rockers will be ap-
pearing in concert at Harpo's in
Detroit this Friday night. Daily Ar-
ts Staffer Jeff Yenchek, in a
telephone interview last Sunday,
spoke to Red Rockers' bassist
Darren Hill about the group and
Daily: Where are you right now?
Hill: In Mexico, Missouri. It's just
where my mom lives.
Daily: Where was the last place you
H: In Denver, Colorado. It was
great. Bruce Springsteen came to our
show. He watched the whole show and
came backstage and hung out with us
for awhile and talked to us for a long
time. Detroit's our next show.
D: Your first album has been
described as punk rock.
H: Yeah, it's pretty hardcore.
D: It's hard to find.
H: Yeah, it's out of print now. You
can only find it in collector's shops or
used record stores.
D: Where did you find your new
H: Well, he grew up with the same
people that John and I did and he's been
a friend of ours for a real long time.
D: That was in Louisiana?
H: Yeah, so he was the obvious
D: How did the Red Rockers get star-
H: In '77 the whole punk thing hit.
We saw all these people picking up
guitars and we said if they can do it so
can we. That was really the inspiration.
The band was formed before we could
play. We started writing these original
songs and they had a political overtone
to them. The name we had been going
by originally was the Ratfinks. So we
thought we should change our name. So
we chose the Red Rockers - foremost a
rock 'n' roll band and then secondly we
try to put a message in our music, to
sing about something sort of relevant
That's where the red came from, as in
D: You worked with producer David
Kahne (of Romeo Void, and Bangles
fame) on your second album, Good As
See RED, Page 7
The Red Rockers will be performing in Detroit on Friday night.
By Neil Galanter
":COMING FROM both side stage doors, The
Romanian National Choir walks on stage
costumed appropriately for each of the different par-
ts of the concert, they then proceed to give one of the
most brilliant choir concerts I've ever heard.
This was the scenario on Sunday afternoon, when
the choir under the direction of its maestro and music
director Marin Constantin, presented a program con-
sisting of three contrasting music types.
In each of the parts of the program the choir proved
itself to be a diverse, highly polished, and articulate
ensemble with an exuberant amount of spirit from
both the singers and their conductor. Maestro Con-
stantin always graciously acknowledged the audien-
ce after almost every selection by walking out and up
the aisles of the auditorium in order to express his
thanks directly! He was just as charming and
delightfully pleasant in person when I met him after
As for the concert, there is just so much good about
ir gives an
it, it would be difficult to describe it all con
the space of one article. However, to highlig
the exciting afternoon, one must rarvel a
tacular vocal control which was alwaysi
songs from the first section: Elizabi
Renaissance repetory. Constantin showe
fine art of choral singing is all about: stro
and releases both at loud and soft points
sistent smooth transitions between contr,
tions. The choir's control in the soft at
releases is especially commendable due
treme difficulty in producing lucid and c
articulation when the score calls for pi
They did not have any trouble at all wi
ficulty and the approach was as emphatic
here, as it was in the louder areas of thei
rendition of the familiar "Greensleeves"
also very pleasant and appreciated by the
Then... a brief intermission and the s
back, this time dressed in formal attire:
gowns, the men in tuxedos, for the mor
section of the concert. The highly in this
series of variations on Schubert's song "
composed by Franz Schuggl. The set w,
mpletely in narrated by one of the choir members and it was
ght some of depicted as a collection of different recipes in which
t the spec- to cook "The Trout", each recipe (variation)
in place in corresponding to a different compositional style.
ethan and From the bouncy measures of the Mozart variation
d what the to the hilariously enjoyable Franz Lisztian "clip",
ng attacks the audience was genuinely and enthusiastically en-
, and con- thralled. The choir's performance was no less en-
asting sec- thralling, with plenty of satirical humor, each
ttacks and variation sung in impeccable taste. Also duly im-
to the ex- pressive in this section was the performance of "0
clairvoyant Holy Night" by Adolf Adam. The rich blend of
anissimos. melodies and the silken solo sections sung by a very
th this dif- skilled and polished voice from a member of the
and strong choir, was most inspiring.
" tune wassic. The Constantin closed the concert with a performance
uine.wa of America, the Beautiful", which I thought was a
audience. o mrc,, -
ingers are very nice gesture. It reaffirmed hisdgraciousness
Women in both as a musician and a person. And... to set the
e romantic stage for a very Merry Christmas and joyful holiday
part was a season, what a perfect way to top the "Sundae" off,
The Trout" but with "Jingle Bells." Dashing through the snow...
as cleverl I hummed as I left the auditorium......
THIS ENTIRE AD GOOD FOR
TWO TICKETS AT $3.00 EACH
* Alan Bird isg
" nothing he w
" From Bill Forsyt
" Writer of "Loca
gants this Christmas
h, the Director/
l Hero" and "Gregory's Girl"
1:00, 7:00, 9:00
Academy Award Winner Giorgio Moroder
presents Fritz Lang's classic vision of the
future, now beautifully restored and with a
contemporary music score.
Songs Preformed by "
Pat Benatar Billy Squier "
Adam Ant - Lover Boy & More! "
as lV VVL y
'Brighton Beach Memoirs' is just a bit old hat
By Dennis Harvey
NEIL SIMON'S Brighton Beach
Memoirs, which toured to the
Michigan Theatre Monday and
Tuesday nights, is the kind of all-
American comedy-drama package that
used to symbolize the best serious
theatre to a lot of people: laughter and
tears, the former concentrated in the
first act's cozily observed familial
chaos, the latter rising out of a few well-
set-up crises leading toward one or two
confrontational Big Revelations
(usually shouted) in the second half.
The action is more likely than not to end
in a chorus of hugs, and a solid reaffir-
mation of family values in the face of
opposition from the big bad outside
world. In this particular case, it's the
approaching Second World War.
Brighton Beach Memoirs is a bit old
hat, and probably as a result loses some
of the staying power that it might have
had if written (as it certainly could
have been) a few decades ago. This is
- not to say that the play isn't almost
everything it wants to be - amusing,
touching, evocative of period and (yet
again) of that deathless writer's theme,
the Boy-Becomes-A-Man process - or
that the production at the Michigan
didn't make the material work to its
Set in 1937 in a Brooklyn burrough,
the play offers two days of sustained
climax in the home of a Jewish family
based closely on Simon's own. The
author's adolescent stand-in, Eugene
(Patrick Dempsey), provides commen-
tary on the ensuing crises while going
through some of his own - most having
to do, predictably, with the first sexual
r pangs of puberty.
Everybody's got a problem. A long-
running one is that formidable Jewish
mother Kate's (Lynn Milgrim) younger
sister Blanche (Rocky Parker) has
lived in the house for the last several
widowed years with her daughters
Laurie (Skye Basset) and Nora (Lisa
-Waltz), straining the family budget and
-the already crowded housespace.
04 Young Laurie is a fearsome brat
having been conditioned to helplessness
Eugene's older brother Stanley
(Brian Dillinger) is having traumas of
his own because he may have lost his
job. Father Jack (Richard Greene) has
just lost his moonlighting job because
the company unexpectedly folded.
Meanwhile, Aunt Blanche is about to go
out on a date with the Irish "drunk"
across the street, and....The necessity
of everyone breaking unpleasant news
to everyone else (mostly to Pa) without
quite knowing how to broach the sub-
ject results in predictable but amusing
disaster at the dinner table and after-
ward. The second act gets a bit more
somber, with further domestic crises
leading to some serious shouting mat-
ches between various rival siblings,
though everything works out more or
less OK in the end.
The performances at the Michigan
initially seemed a bit overstated -
that sort of microphoned projecting-
that touring companies often have -
but gradually gained in im-
Neil Simon may yet fade into history
as the Avery Hopwood of stage farce for
our time, as a gave-'em-what-they-
wanted lowbrow farceur whose works
are likelier to collect dust than any kind
of significant place in theatrical
history. Still, Brighton Beach Memoirs
is as good as he can get - which is quite
a bit better than one would expect, in
fact - and it has a sweetness that con-
DAILY 1:00, 7:20, 9:20
Rickie Lee Jones does it in concert
By Dennis Harvey
The difference now, with this
record, is I'm able to appreciate it.
I don't feel my ego is involved in
this one. In the older two records,
if I'd hear them, I'd get em-
barassed. This one I don 't feel that
at all. It's like I made something
that lives now without me. It's not
mine anymore. It already has its
own life, you know?
THE RELATIONSHIP between
Rickie Lee Jones and her art has,
as she stated above in a record-
company interview, changed from a
nearly self-destructive to a more for-
mal one on her new third album of
original material, The Magazine.
Jones will be bringing a live concert in
support of the LP to the Michigan
Theatre this Friday, with shows at
7:30 and 10: 00.
Jones is possibly the most original
major rock-oriented musician to
emerge from the west coast in the late
'70s outside the wave/punk scene.
Much of her originality has laid in the
fact that despite her having inherited
much of the sensitivity-conscious
singer-songwriter soft-rock audience
of the early/mid '70s, her music is not
any more specifically tied to that
musical context than it is to elements
of R & B, blues, bop, jazz, and the
In concert, Jones played a bit more
the bluesy andablowsy chanteuse,
doing sob standards like "Lush Life"
and "My Funny Valentine" with daz-
zling vocal dexterity between big-
band numbers of her own. Unfor-
tunately, the persona seemed hellbent
on public self-destruction; at the show
I saw following the release of Pirates
in Berkeley, California, Jones was
brilliant until she was pathetic, finally
unable to perform at all as she poured
from the mostly-consumed J & B bot-
tle for the audience members as the
band did endless opening vamps for
"Danny's All-Star Joint" in a vain ef-
fort to snag her wandering attention.
It was a bit sad to actually see the Star
Is Born tragic-downfall theatrics ac-
ted out for real, in front of several
hundred people. At that point it looked
See RICKIE, Page 7
ea " " a
In a barrel because of debts?
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