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December 08, 1984 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-12-08

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ARTS
Saturday, December 8, 1984

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

A Ballroomful of Civilian Fun

By John Logie
HE CIVILIAN Fun Group
brought its brand of power-
packed-hippy-hardcore-slam-bang-
hootenanny-rokanroll to the relatively
sedate U-Club Soundstage Thursday
night in what was undoubtedly the
band's finest performance of the
semester. CFG has been an East Quad
house band since its inception, and
Thursday night's show was the band's
first in a typical Ann Arbor venue.
The challenge was met with an en-
thusiasm and verve that typifies every
CFG performance, but the band added
a new-found musical professionalism,
:and an excellent sound system. The end
result was a high-spirited show that
was immensely satisfying for a small
R but dangerous crowd of 150.
Between sets the band members
calculated their haul for the evening,
which lead singer Lawrence announced
as "about $3.75 each." Considering the
amount of show the band was
providing, Lawrence should have

passed his stocking cap around for
donations. CFG provides a lot of bang
per buck, and the $1.50 admission was a
bargain, to say the least.
CFG is not a band to be seen, it is a
band to be experienced. The audience is
part of the show, and the hardcore
cadre of fans interacted well with the
band on Thursday night. Each group
seemed to inspire the other to greater,
and more outrageous heights. Slam-
ming and stage-diving abounded, but it
was of a prudent, supportive variety. It
was violent, but bloodless.
The music was an inspired swing
through the CFG songbook, bolstered
by the addition of a new piece, "The
Counting Song." Thursday night's ren-
dition of this instructive learning tool
was a bit wobbly, but the song is a
welcome addition to a library which the
crowd felt was too short, even though
they had received a full two hours of
music. "The Counting Song" was the
only victim of noticable slip-ups.
CFG has virtually eliminated the wail
that generally exists between perfor-
mer and audience, and this factor made
three songs stand out Thursday night.

Lawrence dragged a familiar gang of
musical idiot savants to sing back-up on
"Space Shuttle", and Thursday night it
looked like they have started to believe
the lyrics.
The band's tribute to Dinosaur Heavy
Metal was greeted with the ever-
popular rock-for-Satan fist-thrusting,
and mock-rock adulation. The band's
ska-god-'nows-what-all anthem, "Eat
My Fuck" was met with spontaneous
controlled mob violence that prompted
Lawrence to label it "one of the funnest
songs we ever did."
While it is hard to choose standouts
among a band possessed of what is
essentially five frontmen, Dave Wald-
stein's drumming was outstanding
Thursday night. Lawrence, as always,
was everybody's favorite childhood
playmate/borderline psychotic/Estonian
villager, and his amazing facial ex-
pressions and bodily contortions were,
as always, immensely entertaining.
The coveted award for best between-
song patter has to go to John Shaw for
that incredibly weird thing he did in the
first set. I'm not quite sure what it was,
and I suspect John himself may be

wondering what it was as well, but it
was the kind of non-verbal art that must
be encouraged in free societies.
The opening act, The Knockwurst
Sausage Trio, got things rolling with an
acoustic set redolent of Crosby, Stills,
and Nash, which was well-received, if
not well-attended. The evening ended
with CSN's "Ohio" which was spon-
taneously culled up by CFG when the
crowd demanded and encore. It is fit-
ting that CSN is recognized as an an-
tecedent for the Civilian Fun Group.
While the music is not a throwback, the
lyrics and feel are. CFG makes
references to Kennedy and Kruschev as
well as Reagan and Jumblatt.
CFG has achieved a balance between
CSN or Coutry Joe and the Fish, and
The Dead Kennedys, and that is what
makes their shows compelling, and
above all, appropriate for the 80's. As
Wavy Gravy has said, "The Eighties
are just the Sixties all over again." If
we must have the Nixon/Reagan ad-
ministration, and the Viet-
nam/Salvadoran-Nicaraguan War,
then give us bands like CFG. We need
them.

Records

Gina X-Yinglish (Statik)

c,
*F

DhURING THE PAST two years,
German music has been
making tremendous impact on pop
charts as well as underground
scenes everywhere. Teutonic suc-
cesses in America have so far been
largely limited to pop artists like
Nena, Alphaville, Trio, Peter
Schilling, the Austrian Falco, and
the Americanized Nina Hagen.
A casual look at the New Musical
Express charts, however, and one
would notice that while the British
have been busy invading America,
they've been constantly assaulted on
home-ground by exciting new music
from the Germans: new names like
X-Mal Deutschland, Robert Gorl,
Einsturzende Neubauten, veterans
like Holger Czukay and Kraftwerk,
and, above all, Gina X, who has the
second most popular dance record in
Britain this week with the remake of
a Brigitte Bardot song called
"Harley Davidson."
Way back in 1979, when the first
wave of British electronic dance
music was coming out, an ex-art
student from Koln released an
album called Nice Mover under the
banner of Gina X Performance. The
album was well received and "No
G.D.M.," the single, went on to
become one of the anthems of the
New Romantic/Futurist Movement
and firmly established Gina X as a
cult hero. Her choice of subject mat-
ter, such as masturbation ("Do It
Yourself"), exhibitionism
( "Exhibitionism''), and
homosexuality ("No G.D.M.," a
song dedicated to the controversial
Quentin Crisp) also makes her
something of a torch bearer of
sexual libertarianism.
But it was the same forthrightness
of lyrics which eventually em-
barrassed EMI into dropping her af-

On the record sleeve Gina X notes
that the album is inspired by one
Luis Bunuel, in fact, Gina is the
closest to a Bunuel of modern
music: her work is magically
surreal, sensuous, deliriously erotic,
controversial and fully of irony.
Yinglish is the rare commodity that
should be collected and treasured-a
brilliant record that transcends
modern popular music and becomes
a piece of art.
A special of Gina X's music
and an interview with her can be
heard on WCBN-FM(88.3)
tonight from midnight to two.
-Jackie Au Yeung
Charlie Pickett and the Egs-
Cowboy Junkie Au Go-Go
(Open Records)
Excellent rockin'-plus five song EP of

early/mid-60's R & B-gone-dirtrock
flavored cuts, somewhat reminiscent of
early Stones, the Seeds, and other
faves. You'll get your share of han-
dclaps, romantic disillusionment,
George Thorogood-type roots revival,
lyrical directness and pure danceabilly
physical stimulation on this record,
plus ample tambourines and gratuitous
sex. Terrific trash rock, C.P. and the
Eggs promise high drunken energy for
their date at the evergreen Joe's Star
Lounge on Sunday night.; You've
already had the Replacements, Del
Fuegos and Hoodoo Gurus; this band
promises to be even more crudely boys-
singin'-about-girls grungy, as the EP's
sexually venomnous ("Hope You)
Liked It a Lot" promises in spades.
-Dennis Harvey

Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
Eggs again?
Charlie Pickett and the Eggs will make a return to town this Sunday with their
concert at Joe's Star Lounge.

Saturday
December 8
10AM-9PM

Sunday
December 9
12noon-5PM

U-M Coliseum, Ann Arbor
Fifth Avenue at Hill Street
Free Admission
Live Entertainment
Childrens Area
For More Informaior Call 763-4430

ter two more albums (X-
Traordinaire and Voyeur). After
three years of absense during which
she had extended stays in London
and New York, organized art
exhibitions and lectured at univer-
sities, Gina X is back with an ex-
cellent new album, Yinglish (Statik
Records import), two hit singles
(provocative, electronic remakes of
two songs about vehicles: "Harley
Davidson" and Lennon-McCartney's
"Drive My Car"), but without the
Performance.
Like her previous records Yinglish
is produced by German studio
wizard Zeus Held, who used to be in
Gina's band but is now a much-in-
demand producer (John Foxx's
"Golden Section," "Fashion" and
"Dead Or Alive"). While the album
is still synthesizer-dominated, the
material is both lyrically and melp-
dically gentler and Mel Gaynor's (of
Simple Minds) heavy drumming
helps to create a new, more intense
sound. The highlights of Gina's
music, however, remain her vocal
and songwriting talents. Her voice,
with her wide vocal range, can be
spectral or freaky but is usually sen-
suously undulant, yet she seldom in-
dulges in vocal athletic display as,
say, Nina Hagen does. Fluent in five
languages, Gina sings and writes
lyrics in three (French, German and
English), involving much wordplay
drawing from each.
The moods of the album are ever-
changing, from the playfully seduc-
tive "Drive My Car" and "Harley
Davidson" to the orgasmic "Die
Kunst Des Liebens (The Art of
Loving)," the elegantly melancholic
"Waiting" to the ominous
"Thanatos Tanzt," a song about
death and love. "Londra" and
"Kanal Banal" are full of sardonic
wordplay, the latter being a sar-
castic look at British etiquette and
sexuality, while "En Vogue" is a
condemnation of the young trendy
Londoners ("Sweet nothings,
peacocks, sensation".) There is also
an elegant instrumental piece called
"BB 50," which is dedicated to
Gina's heroine Brigitte Bardot who
has just turned 50.

ART FAIR 1984
The University Artists & Craftsmen Guild

Metheny to hit Hill

By Andy Weine
T IME AND AGAIN, we find that
the most brilliant artists deny
their art categories or pigeon-holes
of stylistic genre; Joni Mitchell, Bob
Dylan, and Laurie Anderson come to
mind, to name just a few. Their
music is ecclectic but freshly forged
into a unique style completely their
own.
Pat Metheny is such an artist.
Metheny will appear at Hill
Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Saturday
night to give what should be one of
the best concerts of the season.
Metheny's music sparkles in a
beautiful mix of synthesized sounds,
electric guitar, piano, keyboards,
berimbau rhythmics, and drums. As
evident on his most recent album,
First Circle, his music has elements
of Luc-Ponty tech jazz, glittery pop-
be-bop, delicate George Winstonian
piano, Chuck Mangional synth soun-
ds, Yes-like rock, and a rich con-
temporary jazz foundation. The
Metheny-esque blend becomes a
beautiful style of its own: sometimes
upbeat and driving, other times

reflectively mellow and relaxed.
Metheny's accomplishments bely
his thirty years and boyish face.
This Missourian native's prodigal
feats date back to teaching
music-at age eighteen and
nineteen-at the University of
Miami and the Berklee College of
Music in Boston. Since then, he has
toured widely in the U.S., Canada,
and Europe. To date he has released
eight albums, collaborated with
David Bowie, composed two film
scores, played with Joni Mitchell,
Dewey Redman, and a host of jazz
notables.
Embracing technology has
enabled Metheny to experiment with
and enrich his music. He is at the
music high-tech forefront, deftly
utilizing synthesized guitar, syn-
thesizer, and tens-of-tracks mixers.
Yet his jam-schooling at Kansas
City jazz clubs gigs is soundly un-
synth and un-electric, making him
one un-Prince-like musician who
could still dazzle you in a black-out.
Come tonight, the lights and high-
tech machinery should be on,
though, promising a first-rate show
of savory music you can't classify
and might not forget.

Correction
A photo and announcement in
yesterday's Daily for a collaborative
arts concert sponsored by the
University School of Music's Dance
Department was wrongly dated due
to an error in the press release. The
performance was incorrectedly
listed as scheduled for this weekend;
the correct performance dates will
be next weekend, Friday and Satur-
day, December 14 and 15, at Dance
Building Studio A at 8 p.m.
The program features original
works by University students in a
collaborative effort between
choreographers, composers, pain-
ters, sculptors and fiber artists. A $2
donation fee will be requested at the
door.

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WITH THIS ENTIRE AD $1.00 OFF ADULT EVENING0"
i .OO FF OR TWO TICKETS. GOOD ALL FEATURES THRU 12/13/84. 0 *
" EXCEPT TUESDAY
FROM THE CREATOR OF THE
From Bill Forsyth, the Director/Writer ACADEMY AWARD WINNING a

DEC. 6,7,8
8 p.m.
MENDELSSOHN
THEATER

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