The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 25, 1985 - Page 7
Captain Sensible -
A Day in the Life ...
of Captain Sensible
(A & M Records)
It's difficult to speak of Captain Sen-
sible without noting that he was the
bassist for The Damned, that seminal
British group that had the timely being-
luck to release both the first (think back
now) "punk" single, "New Rose", as
well as the first such album, Damned
Damned Damned. A friend accurately
describes The Damned like this: "The
first Damned album was the wildest
thing I ever heard though now it sounds
melodic. They never made any great
claims to begin with so they never had
to live up to anything; unlike The Clash,
who evolved unnaturally, who didn't
know how to assimilate musical sour-
ces without going head over heals into
them. The Damned had a silly sense of
humor and hard-edged pop songs,
especially on their Strawberries album.
A powerful attitude, nice arrangemen-
ts. They were never necessarily that
inventive although they had a distin-
The only time I have ever seen Cap-
tain Sensible live was in London at The
Damned's first anniversary show in the
summer of '77. That program left me
physically exhausted, completely
soaked in group sweat, nearly hit in the
head with a beer bottle, and almost
deaf. Even so, I was completely con-
vinced that this was the future and I
and my new found friends raced out in-
to the streets to track down the rumors
of the Sex Pistols doing a surprise show,
A Day in the Life ... of Captain Sen-
sible is something else again. Produced
by Tony Mansfield of New Musik, a
group who were part of the synth in-
vasion of '81, an invasion which in-
cluded such subsequently successful
groups such as Duran Duran, the album
sounds just like a New Musik record
with a new lead singer. Occasionally
hypnotic, filled with lyric imagery of
undersea life, dancehall ditties, and
even depth charges here and there, the
LP maintains overall textural con-
sistency song after song.
The songs range from nice, happy,
and jovial (I really think Mr. Sensible
should teach kindergarten music
songwriting classes sometime),
especially "There Art More Snakes
Than Ladders" to cool tameness as in
"I'm a Spider". Calypso steel drums
are introduced in "Glad It's All Over",
an album highlight.
- Jeff Yenchek
What are you smiling at?
George Bedard and The Kingpins (pictured above) will be playing at The Blind Pig Saturday night. Stay tuned for a
review of their new single.
Private A ngst impresses at Pig
(Continued from Page 6)
is strictly up to the listener, and even
then your're going to get an argument.
There is just no tagging this band. And
what can't be tagged can't be
This is Angst: three fun-loving
caballeros having a good time and
cracking some corny jokes while
playing fifty songs where you'd be
damn lucky to hear any two that sound
anything alike. Their music is very
private. Greg Gordon writes the band's
material not for any commercial or
political reason, but simply to embody
human thought and experience through
the sometimes lucrative medium of
guitar, drums, and bass. And if I'm
beginning to seem choppy and
irregular, bear in mind that its only a
journalistic application of the band's
style and sound.
It takes an open mind to appreciate
what Angst is doing. Here's three good-
natured guys, bordering on intellectual,
who play music for the sole purpose of
other people's enjoyment. They sure as
hell don't take themselves too
seriously, so there's no reason you
should either. I mentioned open mind.
Definition? How about musicians who
list influences ranging form the Kinks,
Captain Beefheart, and the Minutemen,
to the likes of Hank Williams, marching
band jazz, and King Sunny Ade. Wide
And these guys have guts. They
recorded their four-song sinle in all
night sessions backed by their own fun-
ds. They've risked almost certain
discomfort at the hands of some nasty
punk crowds who thought them too
mellow to play at their leather fests.
They'll play to a handful of friends with
the same vigor as to a club full of
paying customers. And they'll have a
good time either way.
As for the show itself, I wa pretty im-
Oressed. The guitar is simple; a simple
Vox amp providing some natural fuzz
and scratch, but nothing else. Winding,
whining, clanging, banging are words
that might help you aurally imagine
(Continued from Page 6)
But suppose one thinks he saw
surrealism at that weird party he went
t last semsester, or in his Russian
(istory professor's neck tie? Then he
does well if he heads for University of
Michigan Museum of Art where he can
Cake a tour, free.
aThe museum's docents know their
surrealism, and like surrealist artists
themselves, encourage the viewers to
fteely interpret what is on display.
Margaret Coudron, docent for
January's Sunday tours tells her groups
point blank, "Surrealist works are apt
to be ambiguous," and so she always
dhooses a broad theme around which
the varying artists' pieces may be
discussed, such as last Sunday's
Throughout January there are free
tours every Sunday on the subject of
surrealism, which give a 45-minute
overview of the exhibit. And on
Tuesdays and Thursdays this month,
docents lead "Art Breaks" from 12:10
to 12:30 on specific aspects and artist of
the surrealist movement.
Whether one is among the general
public, part of a class, intellectually
Curious, or simply an aspirant of true
cool, he will want to keep some of
kamrowski's thoughts in mind while
viewing the exhibit: "(Regarding
surrealism) I am reminded of B.F.
Skinner, in that he talks so much of the
internal and the external ... and as in
Joyce's Finnegan's wake, there can be
several layers of meaning."
lift nikioE E'EnV w v,
those sounds, varied as they are. It
reminds me of XTC and Gang of Four,
with some Ventures and R.E.M. thrown
in to make it more unclassifiable.
Dean Western's bass is not just a bass
to him. He'll go into some impromptu
"Space" (ala Grateful Dead), then be
thumping and plucking his way through
"Egoland" before you finish your beer.
And before you start break-dancing,
he'll be doing some fusion licks and
some strummed-chord work to boot.
And if a song calls for an organ-like
sound, he'll do his best to make it sound
like an organ. Hell, he'll even try tuba.
Chris Tayler, the intellectual-type
percussionist, is nothing short of loud.
But seriously, his complex patterns of
rhythm make him an anchoring force of
the band's sound. On every song he
keeps your attention by the sheer chaos
of his style, but with an energy that
definitely appeals to the caffeinated.
Greg Gordon's lyrics are an array of
feelings and experience, comically yet
energetically expressed with music
through the diversity of their fifty
songs. The subtle absurdity of
"Dogneeds", with its hoe-down fusion-
like sound, shows the comic (if not war-
ped) side of Gordon, while the implicit
politics of "Egoland" show a vaguely
radical element surfacing, and the
smiling cynicism of "Humor"
beautifully offsets the preconceptions
drawn from the other two examples.
The important part is that nothing at all
The sound itself generally reminded
me of too-loud early Pretenders and
Elvis Costello, while the approach and
lyrical style is echoed by such contem-
poraries as the Violent Femmes, the
Meat Puppets, Husker Du, and the
Replacements. Before you start getting
caught up in the comparisons, keep in
mind these guys have been around just
as long as the above mentioned, but
with a much lower profile.
And with that, the patron saints .of
schizophrenia played to a handful of
groupies and locals, as well as a few
tipsy coats-and-ties, and left not one of
them with a clue to their musical direc-
tion, except maybe up. And that's the
Pool Speed Reading
WEDNESDAYS 7-8:30 p.m W EDNESDAYS 7-9pm
Appreciation WEEDAYS 7-9pm
Ol Ol Thursdays 7-9pm 3/6-3/20
Aerobic Dance Winetasting
Section 1: ADV., THURSDAYS 7-9pm
MW3-4pm 31 1 37-3/28
Section 2: M W 4-Spm'
1/28-4/3 I ~ 1 $25/person
Section 3: T Th 4-5pin
SectionU: M 7:30-9:30 ESDAYS 7-10pm
Section 2: T 7-9pm 25/person
. Z Section 1:
lz 2/_2D21S 7-9 p.m.
thru FEBRUARY 6
MONDAYS 7-8:30 p.m.
Section 2: M 9-11 p.m.
Section 3: T7-9 p.m.
W~1E Section 4: T 9-11 p.m.
$2 0/per son
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Michigan Union; Kuenzel Room
Monday, January 28
Singers 1-3 PM; Dancers 4-5 PM
Instrumentalists & Specialty Acts 1-3 PM
American Heritage Music Hall
Saturday, January 19,10-3 PM
Sunday, January 20,10-2 PM
Technician Interviews will be held at Indiana University in the
Student Union-Alumni Hall on Wednesday, January 30 from
1-5 PM, and at Kings Island in the American Heritage
Music Hall on Saturday, January 26; Sunday, January 27
from 12-4 PM (both days).
Singers. -Dancers Instrumentalists
Technicians Variety Performers "
One round trip air fare will be paid to hired performers
traveling over 250 miles to the park
Contact: Entertainment Department, Kings Island.
Kings Island, OH 45034
C Copyright 1984, Kings Productions,1932 Highland Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45219
KINGS ISLAND." KINGS DOMINION
CAROWINDS " CANADA'S WONDERLAND
GREAT AMERICA " HANNA BARBERA LAND
Three Floors of Almost
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plies e Lab coats
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guage books 9 Reference books " Classical
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