not s ?
By Hobey Echlin
T IME WAS when "local music"
meant two or three bands playing
every Saturday night at the favorite
dive, and if the music didn't attract
you, well, the beer specials did. You
grew up with most of the people in the
bands, so if they were out of tune or
messed up, you laughed right along
with them and had another beer. The
bands were informal and indistinct;
you never really knew exactly who
was in what. But that was part of the
fun. somebody's basement (or coffee
Out of this local myriad, only oc- table, in, the B-52's case)? Why are
casionally would a band actually sign record companies jumping on any
a record contract, and if they did, band with a jangly guitar and a
chances were it was a one-shot deal southern background? Is there really
that never left the city limits. anything to these towns but a whole
But, 1o and behold, faster than you lot of acts with paisley shirts?
can say "neo-psychedelic," local And, for that matter, why isn't our
scenes are breaking big, and towns of very own Ann Arbor scene attracting
such relative musical obscurity as the same attention as, say, Athens, as
Athens, Georgia; Minneapolis, Min- the musical place to be?
nesota; and ye-hah, Austin, Texas are Let's check credentials. We've got a
now heralded as "new music mec- nice big liberal college town with an
cas." Bands like R.E.M., the ear for the obscure but fun. Clubs like
Replacements, and The Three O'Clock Joe's Star Lounge, God rest its tran-
have left the cranky bars behind and sient soul, the Blind Pig, and Rick's
are headed for life of, gulp, suburban have always been veritable
commercial success. showcases for local talent of all kinds,
The question is why? Why all the while places like the U-Club and
fuss about local scenes? Why are Halfway Inn have been available to
Rolling Stone and Spin devoting pages anybody with a tune to play. Campus
of coverage to bands that two years radio station WCBN and Detroit's
ago were probably playing WDET provided the airwave support,
no matter how obscure the sound. And
with the tradition of Motown and the
Stooges in the air, you'd think Ann
Arbor would be right up there with
Athens as the marquis' big selling
Why not Tim Delaney of Map of the
World as the bassist-gone-Spin-
magazine writer telling the nation
about his Ann Arbor picks, instead of
R.E.M.'s Mike Mills telling you about
every Georgia band and their little
brothers' bands too? Why do bands
like the Minutemen get national tours
and recognition while our very own
garage rockers Private Angst, with
over four years of material, have yet
to cut an LP?
As for all this mystic-rock with a 60s
flavor, not Guadalcanal Diary, but
Ann Arbor's Map of the World gets
my vote, and has enough fresh vinyl
to show why. Youthful rock'n'roll,
talented as hell, *and fun, too? Send
the graying Replacements away and
give me Variables (over five years
together and they still can't drink
legally), or better yet, Crossed Wire,
with their first album on the way to
The more I think about it, the less
these new meccas have that Ann Ar-
bor doesn't. We've got the bands, the
clubs, the promoters, more bands, the
radio stations - hell, everything but
the friggin' Southern accents. So
again, why isn't Ann Arbor a "new
What makes a mecca? And more
importantly, what do they have that
Ann Arbor doesn't? For this, I went
to the industry.
Rick Orienza, of Enigma records in
Los Angeles, stresses the
cosmopolitan qualities of a city in
See page 9
Athens, Minneapolis, Houston ... HEY!
What about Ann Arbor? This week's cover
story takes a discerning look at the so-called
music meccas that seem to be turning up all
over the country as fast as some on-the-ball
promoter can get a "scene" put together. Why
them and not us? See above.
This saga in way of preview of Chick Corea's
performance at the Michigan Theatre Sunday
night will carry you through his early days,
"the Miles years," all the way up to the current
Elektric Band line-up. See page 3.
Past, present, future
For 10 years now, Eclipse Jazz has been
bringing jazz virtuosos - stars and up-and-
coming artists alike - to Ann Arbor. This
week's feature article by Marc S. Taras is more
than a retrospective; it's a guide to what
Eclipse is doing now, and what's to come. See
Catch of the day
Columnist Mike Fisch enters the world of
salad dressing via a toll free number that he
just couldn't resist calling. See page 4.
Stevie Ray Vaughn and his Double Trouble
Band hit Hill Auditorium tonight with a slightly
realigned sound. The thing that hasn't changed
is Vaughn's aggressive, fluid style of guitar-
manship. See page 5.
This regular feature of Weekend magazine
proves there's more to Ann Arbor nightlife
than walking around smashing bottles. And
let's not forget afternoon and morninglife. En-
tertainments is your guide to what's playing in
campus and first-run films, concerts of all kin-
ds, theatre, and dance. And for the day when
nothing quite looks good, check out the "Fur-
thermore" listings. See page 6.
Food for thought
Hunger abatement, like many primal con-
cerns, is a priority occupation of collegiate life.
While food as sophisticated entertainment is
often subverted by budgetary considerations,
it is essential to keep abreast of the diversity of
eats - to be prepared for any sudden or
calcualted mood shift - and fill the tank ac-
cordingly. See page 11.
Cover photo by Scott Lituchy
T HIS ISSUE of Weekend magazine marks the beginning
of a new effort to bring you the utmost in good 'n' gritty
reporting on what's happening in the local band scene.
Maybe Ann Arbor is a "new music mecca" and no one
knows it. Maybe it isn't. Let's find out.
Periodically, as things arise and shifts occur in local
music, we'll bring you major articles, like this week's
cover story. But in the meantime, look for our weekly
spotlight on a local band, beginning next week with a
feature on Map of the World.
Releases by local bands will be reviewed either on these
pages or on the Arts page of the regular issue Daily.
Whatever the case, let the new LOCAL VINYL logo catch
As always, your guide to who's playing and where is the
Entertainments section of the magazine. See the listings
under "Bars and Clubs." In addition, space allowing, the
Arts page will alert you to can't-miss performances with a
preview photograph from our files along with the time,
place, cost, and a short description of the band's style.
See you on the scene.
Magazine Editor ....................... Chris Lauer
Contributing Editor ...... ........... Randall Stone
Cover/Graphics . . . . . . ... . . . . .... Peter Williams
Business Manager ................. Dawn Willacker
Sales Manager .............
Assistant Sales Manager ....
..... Mary Anne Hogan
The magazine is edited and managed by students on the staff of The
Michigan Daily at 420 Maynard, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109. Copyright 1985,
The Michigan Daily. Weekend, (313) 763-0370; News, 764-0552; Circulation,
754-0558; Display Advertising, 764-0554.
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Weelcend/FridaV_ Sentemher 27 . 1985