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April 19, 1985 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-04-19
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Best Music


U-M: The Best and Worst of T

R.E.M.: Critics faves


Marsalis: Has a sense of soul

The Velvet Underground, The Who, Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, Bob
Dylan. Some of the most prominent forces in the history of popular music
have passed through Ann Arbor in the years past. Though hardly a major
metropolis, nor the sort of cornucopia of local talent that put Athens,
Georgia on the map, Ann Arbor is nonetheless the cite of one of this coun-
try's major universities and has enjoyed a privilege of being something of a
haven/testing ground for new music.
This year has had its share of bright moments, and anyone with an ear
halfcocked to the grapevine and the adventurousness to trek a few blocks
has had the opportunity to catch some of today's progressives in their
prime. Here's a brief, albeit incomplete glance back at some of the
highlights of the last nine months.

Best Shows
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis is a brilliant young
jazz trumpeter whose technical
proficiency makes him as comfortable
with Handel as he is with Thelonius
Monk. But more importantly, he has a
keen sense of soul that makes his
performances, such as last December's
sold out concert at the Michigan
Pat Metheny
One of the more prominent and suc-
cessful figures in popular jazz today,
Pat Metheny and-ensemble enchanted a
full house at Hill Auditorium last
December. With ample assistance from
collaborator-keyboardist Lyle Mayes,
Metheny filled the cavernous space of
Hill with the dreamy strains of his
delicate, evocative instrumentals,
bringing a few hours worth of summer
warmth into the middle of the bitterly
cold, dark winter night.

Of all the concerts of the year,
probably none generated more expec-
tation than the combination of R.E.M.
and the dB's at the Michigan Theater
last October.
R.E.M. ascended from being a
unassuming quartet working the
Athens, Georgia club circuit to a
position at the very front of the
progressive music scene in stunningly
little time. Their compiling of in-
trospective, suggestively obscure
lyricism with beautifully stark,
quasi-impressionistic music became
the quintessential sound of the eighties
New Wave of bands, though subsequen-
tly frequently imitated, none of
R.E.M.'s clones come close to the
R.E.M. on stage is essentially like
R.E.M. on vinyl, warm, dynamic, and
frequently quite haunting, without
resorting to condescending stage
histrionics, or elaborate, gimmicky
special effects. Simple, unpretentious
stage presence and pure craftsmanship
are at the heart of R.E.M.'s success,
qualities increasingly scarce in the
wake of Las Vegas styles arena fiascos
ala Prince and Michael Jackson.


Metheny: What a jazz artiste

Nat. Sci. Aud: Bases loaded until school's out

20 Weekend/Friday;April 19, 1985



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