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February 12, 1985 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-12

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4

ARTS
The Michigan Daily Tuesday, February 12, 1985 Page 6

Tempts,

Tops Rock

By Dennis Harvey
W HILE BANDS like the Stones, The
Who and their American coun-
terparts were busy bringing the punk
menace back into rock and genial chaos
back onto its stage, Motown R & B ar-
tists of the mid-sixties were often going
in the opposite direction, putting
together highly choreographed shows
with near orchestral-sized bands and
lots of visual polish.
When the R & B market began to
wane, many of the Motown performers
who didn't adapt to disco or pop tastes
found themselves well equipped for a
downscale move to smaller clubs and
older, more nostalgia-oriented audien-
ces. Their acts had long had a slickness

that was, by the 1970s, generally con-
sidered unfashionable for a 'rock' con-
cert.
I saw Tina Turner play in Italy last
year when the first of her comeback
singles had just been released, and the
show was a curious in-progress
illustration of her transtition from a
rock-lounge act (she'd spent most of the
immediately preceding years playing
Vegas-style venues) to one designed for
a younger audience that is unlikely to
remember "Proud Mary" or "River
Deep, Mountain High." Her energy
level was, not too surprisingly, in-
credible, and it was fun to have her do
routines with two female go-go dancers,
but the show suffered from a wimpily
conventional K-Tel favorites song list
and too little spontaneity.
There was a little of that dry, over-
planned quality at the 7:30 Tem-
ptations/Four tops concert at Hill
Auditorium Saturday night, but there
certainly weren't any problems with
having enough decent songs. Between
them, The Tops and Temptations
probably have enough classic tunes un-
der their belt to fill several hours, and
it's too bad they didn't do just that. The
large number of new or at least un-
familiar songs was welcome and in a
way it wasn't. It's admirable that the

bands don't pander too easily to
nostalgia fiends by offering a blatant
evening of Greatest Hits live, but on the
other hand the mixed bag of newer
tunes couldn't come close to the stan-
dard of scream-provokers like "Reach
Out I'll Be There" and "I Can't Get
Next to You."
Still, the voices were swell no matter
what the context. In the evening's jokey
battle of the bands - one moderatly
lengthy set by each group, and a couple
of unfortunately too-brief en masse
stints - it was a deadlock over who won
the Fashion Disaster Award (matching
tuxes with red waitstands, or matching
biege leisure suits with lavender ties?),
but the Temptations managed to sneak
by with a bit of an edge in the overall
performance category. The general
degreee of audience hysteria hit a
steady high somewhere during the
Tempts' set and stayed there till the
end.
Ann Arbor has always been crazy
about Motown music, even beyond the
realm of simple regionalism, but it was
still a bit surprising to see Hill
Auditorium packed and screaming for
two bands whose output during the last
few years - well, probably the last
decade - at least - has been relatively
ignored.

Suble I a
Thie
wickis
Dailyq

Daily Photo by DAN HABIB.
In a performance more innovative than sentimental, three of the Four Tops do what they do best.

. I.

i

Test yourself.
Which early pregnancy test is as
easy to read as red, no -white, yes?
Which is a simple one-step test?
Which has a dramatic color change
to make the results unmistakable?
Which is 98% accurate, as accurate
as many hospital and lab tests?
Which is portable for convenience
and privacy?
)0
E .,.
.:r:C n) 0 o

Quartet serves

Beethoven well

By Neil Galan ter
N THEIR second performance of six
of the complete string quartets of
Beethoven the Guarneri Quartet gave a
stunning concert this past Sunday af-
ternoon at Rackham Auditorium. There
was little doubt that they were in top
form and they played with a consistent
quality of the highest musicianship.
JOB
OPPORTUNITY
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CIC IS A NON ISCRI INATORY
AFFIRMATIVE CTIO MPLOYER.

They come across as extremely
professional, most polished and very
dignified. At present they are
celebrating their twentieth anniversary
season with over one-hundred recitals
in North America and Europe.
The program began with Quartet in D
major opus 18 no. 3. This work was ac-
tually the first in order of composition
of the early quartets. It is a light and
spacious work and was played with an
even balance of power between parts.
The second movement was particularly
strong with driving repeated notes
alternating with quiet, smooth
passages. The third movement Presto
came across as vital and vigorous with

just the right touch needed to accent the
dazzling classical virtuosity so much a
part of the earliest quartets.
Quartet in F minor, opus 95,
"Serioso," was next as the program
progressed in order of composition to
the middle period. The Serioso quartet
is actually the last of the middle quar-
tets and figures in some important
ways in the last works through its use of
chromaticism and unusual chord tex-
tures.
In this middle period of his live,
Beethoven had gained an increased
knowledge of his own power, and his
suffering had evoked a general com-
passion for all men.

In 1810 when he finished "SeriosW'
Beethoven speaks of his music ag
possessing "a truth deeper than all
wisdom and philosophy - like the glow
of rich red wine, music irradiates in,
spiration ... and I, Bacchus incarnate,
will give humanity this wine to drink
and drown its sorrow . . . No evil fate
can touch my music; he who divines
its secrets is freed from the unhap=
piness that haunts the whole world of
men." Rather brave words and with
respect to the manner in which the
Guarneri Quartet performed this quar-
tet, they certainly must be close to
"divining its secret."
See GUARNERI, Page 7

4

Bluesman Johnson follows the
pathway of Chicago blues greats

d

By Pete Tannenbaum
D ON'T HOLD your breath - put your
dancing shoes on - Luther
"Guitar Jr." Johnson is coming to
town. "I like to play something that
keeps people moving," says Johnson.
"A lot of people think the blues is
something you go out and go to sleep
by. Slow blues purist, y'know. But my
blues will get you dancing."
Johnson is one of the premier artist of
the Chicago music scene and formerly
was lead guitarist with Muddy Waters.
His west side Chicago style reflect the
influences of the bluesmen he has
worked with, such as John Lee Hooker,
Magic Sam and Howlin wolf.
About Magic Sam and Muddy Waters

Johnson says, "I used Sam's music, his
sound; but the song is mine. I got to
give credit to Sam because he gave me

ir

f .
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my start. As far as Muddy goes, I got
deep into his music. He taught me alot.
For seven years-and-a-half standing 6y
his stage side, looking at him singin and
listening to him play his guitar. I don't
know what it was but when were off; I
just counted the days until we worked
again because I wanted to hear that
sound. Thatwas in my ear." r
Johnson also sings. Don't wait for toe
sparrows of spring - his vibrato is put-
ting the birds out of business. "Utilizing
a variety of styles, from fluid Hendrix- 4
like leads to piercing excursions on his
Fender Strat, he got the crowd up and
dancing," notes the Alternative Press
about a recent concert.
Luther, who sometimes composes in
the morning, says of his songwriting,,"I
could have an ordinary dream, I'll be
sleeping and somthing will come to me
in music. Different arrangements. And
I get up and grab my guitar and try to
relate to what I dreamed.
Luthers lyrics reflect his Chicago
blues style. Lines like Shake it baby,
but don't break it, and I'm just a bead
boy a long way from home. His wor-
ds express the spirit of the south side of
Chicago and might jiggle your gizard.
Luther Guitar Jr. and the Magic
Rockers will be playing at the Blind Pig
Tuesday February 12 starting at 9
p.m. .

Johnson

...call him "Guitar Jr."

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