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October 21, 1985 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-21

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Monday, October 21, 1985

Page 5

Mad Bob brings nightmare to

Detroit

By Richard Williams
THE CURE in Detroit at the State
Theatre. New wave event of the
year? A reason for silly people to
wear offensive make-up and make
live a vampire cinema epic? Or just
rock'n'roll for the "leave me alone"
generation? Well, sort of all of the
above.
The Cure came back to Detroit
Saturday night for the second time in
less than a year and gave us pretty
much the same old song we heard last
November at the Michigan Theatre.
Which is just fine by me, thank you.

They played a long set (90 minutes
+), that was immaculately thought
out, had some pleasant surprises, and
did its damnedest to please every type
of Cure fan from the gloomster to the
popster. After all, Mad Bob (Robert
Smith, the dude responsible for this
psychedelic thing) may seem distant,
unaffected and a bit tipsy, but he's
been around long enough to figure out
this rock'n'roll thing and can give the
throngs what they want with a
minimum of perspiration.
The black-clad audience of teeny-
gloomers was hardly ready when the
Cure began too-promptly at 8:30. The
first quarter of the set was a com-

bination of songs from the new Head
On The Door LP and a couple of oldies
from Mad Bob's introspective period.
"Play For Today" was dronier (a
thumbs up from me) and "Primary'
rocked even better than before now
that Simon Gallup is back in his bass
position.
The next quarter was the Por-
nography LP phase, the best phase,
with a double drumming version of
"The Hanging Garden" that chugged
like all hell was up in heaven. Mad
Bob pleased the crowd again this time
around by doing "Cold," one of the
best dirges ever made. It's the kind of
song that makes you want to go out

and knife Cabbage Patch dolls. "A
Night Like This," from the new LP,
properly followed in the same dark
vein as the Pornography material.
Hits plus a few of the groovier new
tracks followed. During "In Between
Days" Simon did his best imitation of
New Order's Peter Hook, playing that
real low-down, grind-it-out bass-style.
They plodded through "Let's Go To
Bed" and "The Walk," their
proclaimed silly pop tunes. "Push"
and "Screw" from the new LP rocked
it out just fine, though.
The final quarter put things back in
line. "One Hundred Years" wasex-
plosive, with Mad Bob doing a short

and mean guitar solo at the end. "A
Forest," arguably the best live Cure
tune, was turned upside down with a
10 minute + version, featuring a
stirring and resolute guitar solo from
Mad Bob.
Yes, we got the encores. Yes, they
were very similar to last year. And
yes, they worked.
The first one was a little risky (two
cute songs off the new LP) but Mad
Bob's Pied-Piper dancing made it fun.
Things got rockin' during the
second encore. "Charlotte
Sometimes" was real beautiful, one of
those tortured love songs that Mad
Bob's wail works well on. They
ground out "Three Imaginary Boys"
and bounced through "Boys Don't
Cry" from the first LP. The third en-

core was as surprising as it was
climactic.
"10:15" was guaranteed to induce
frenzy and it did. "Killing An Arab"
induced a lot more and it was dirgier
than ever. They finished with the
coolest, covering "Do You Wanna
Touch Me?" by Gary Glitter (Joan
Jett made it (in)famous), and man, it
rocked my socks off. It was silly, and
Bob did some fab vocal improvs.
Visually, the Cure was typically
gloomy, with smoke machines, clever
backlighting, and colored spotlighting
adding to the macabre nature of the
madness.
So in two hours you get a musical
history of the Cure, a great stage show
and a dippity-do crowd to make fun of,
to boot. What more could you ask?

Boston s promising newcomers

By Julie Jurrjens
SALEM 66. Three girls and one guy
from Boston who play lithe,
likeable, but essentially indescribable
rock-folk-pop. Even that label doesn't
call it too close. Bassist/vocalist Beth
Kaplan's and guitarist/vocalist Judy
Grunwald's songs are somewhere in
the grey area beyond all of those
genres. There are guitars, but not
twangy Georgian ones.
There are sweet feminine har-
monies, but don't go expecting the
Shangri Las. There is a kind of vague
mysticism.
What there is is a lyrical range and
sensitivity - from the sweetness of
Kaplan's "Lemon Rind" to Grun-
wald's eerie "Pony Song," both on
Salem 66's critically favored
eponymous 1984 EP. And there's a
new album on Homestead due out any
day.
But what does the band have to say
for themselves? Beth Kaplan, calling
from some godforsaken stretch of
freeway outside of Buffalo, says
"(There were) a lot of bands that
were part of the Boston scene that
were pretty much straight rock and
roll. That's basically what we are,
(but) there's sort of a twist. When we
started I guess we sounded a little
weird because we basically didn't
know how to go about it!"
Yeah, the band's roots are pretty
amateur. Susan Merriam didn't
really know how to play drums at fir-
st. Grunwald had been singing with
other bands but was new to playing
lead, let alone the only guitar. Kaplan
had several years' experience on
bass, so she was the resident pro. "We
didn't know how to play or really
write songs, but we learned from ex-
perience and a lot of practice. It
becomes a little more straight ahead
because you get better at it - it soun-
ds less weird."
But don't be misled - they sound
great. They sound even better now,
since the addition of Robert Wilson on
lead guitar about a year ago. But the
new record, according to Kaplan,, is

Salem 66, new guitar-oriented rock from Boston, play at the Blind Pig Tuesday.

still "recognizably us...it has a
thicker, better guitar sound. The
songs are not similar, but they fit in.
(And live, the sound) rocks a lot more
since we have another guitar. It's a lot
tighter, not so wandering."
Salem 66 look like they're set for a
lengthy stay on the scene. They seem
to have started up for all the right
reasons - "We're all really into rock
and roll. (Writing and being in a
band) is a really satisfying outlet. It's
something I want more than anything
else. We found other bands, par-
ticularly Mission of Burma, really in-
spiring.
"As far as the future goes," Kaplan
says, "we want to get a major label
deal .. .you can be a little more self-

sufficient. Homestead is working on a
licensing deal in Europe, (but even
without it, the record has) sold in
England and West Germany. We just
got a letter from Polandbthe other
day...(laughs) stuff from behind the
Iron Curtain!! Touring, it'd be great
to go all over the world...take it as far
as possible."
So, Salem 66. A band with power,
passion, and six cats. "I just got two
kittens. I miss them very much. My
boyfriend is taking care of them ...I
hope," Kaplan says. At the Blind Pig
Tuesday night. The Blanks, ska/pop-
pers from Detroit open, starting at 10
p.m.

Savig
babies is
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