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November 14, 1985 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-11-14

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, November 14, 1985

Page 5

Who's minding the store?

T'S A TESTAMENT to a band's
talent when it can play a concert as
good as Simple Minds' Monday
evening show and still come up far
short of its peak. The Scots fired up an
enthusiastic audience at the Hill
Auditorium with an occasionally
amazing display of shifting power and
tempo, but in the context of the band's
live tradition, it was essentially
flawed.
In comparison to the average rock
concert it was a great show, but it was
'mething less than one could expect
from the group. The big undermining
tactor was the sound, a blurry, pea-
soup affair that throbbed with bass
end thick synthesizer while suf-
focating the brighter textures of
guitar and drums that have given the
band's previous performances their
sparkle. Still this couldn't slow the at-
tack of such numbers as the snappy
and undulating "Ghost Dancing" or
"Once Upon A Time," where some
crisp percussion cut through the
nurky mix.
The tone of the concert followed the
rising/falling motion introduced in
the opening song, a dreadfully
dragged-out ten-minute version of
""Waterfront." Jim Kerr and his
mates oscillated, building up to
heights of a driving crescendo, then
veering off smoothly into passages of
quiet melody, moving back and forth.

The effect was spellbinding in "Up on
the Catwalk" the spectacular amid
the whirlinglight show in their over
of Lou Reed's "Street Hassle," but
wore thin at other times. Simple Min-
ds played only 15 songs in the 110-
minute show, and each was extended
and rearranged from its album ver-
sion. The new ideas often added color,
but the group would have done better
limiting the length of the tunes in or-
der to play a wider-ranging array of
songs.
For all the glory of "Book of
Brilliant Things," "Oh Jungleland,"
and "Ghost Dancing," the Minds tried
a little too hard to inspire and over-
whelm the audience. The set was
dominated by songs from Once Upon
A Time and Sparkle in the Rain, with
only "Promised You a Miracle"
carrying on from New Gold Dream. In
their eagerness to uplift the fans with
the scream of the first two albums,
they sacrificed the whispers of the lat-
ter. "New Gold Dream" was disap-
pointingly absent. At times their am-
bition was painful; "Sanctify Your-
self" self-destructed in a fit of blaring
bombast.
Still, regardless of the foggy sound,
and performances by guitarist
Charlie Burchill and drummer Mel
Gaynor which paled next to those at

Live Aid and on the Sparkle in the
Rain Tour, Simple.Minds maintained
their standing as a premier live band.
Kerr's brilliant singing, complemen-
ted by the golden-voiced Robin Clark,
and the imaginative arrangements
and surprises did their best to breathe
in some fresh air. We can hope that
they will be even closer to their stun-
ning standards when they return, as
promised by Kerr, next year..
-Michael Fischer
then again . . .
Jim Kerr, lead singer of Simple
Minds has said, "It's a challenge to
sell a million records or more and do
it with dignity, style, and grace... to
do it with music that doesn't
patronize, doesn't condescend,
doesn't tranquilize." What a simple
mind you have, Jimbo.
Pure nonsense. Jimbo and his
gang of ever tamer, prophetic
musicians are master bullshit
screwers. you can't tell me that you
didn't sell out by doing the hideous
theme song for an unrealistic, pom-
pous, teenage smurf film? No way,
Jimbo.
This joker knew that "Don't You
Forget About Me" was automatically
destined for the American top ten.
Look at the situation, please. Keith
Forsey, not Simple Minds, wrote the

song. He's one of America's guaran-
teed hitmakers of inane, silly love-
pop.
The Breakfast Club - another
guaranteed hit. Director John
Hughes, has a bead on the kind of in-
sipid trash Hollywood stuffs down our
culture-less American throats. He
recycled this one out of his so-called
"grown up" looks at teenage life and,
pow, 16 Candles is now The
Breakfast Club destined for big box
office. And any theme song from any
hit movie is destined for the -top ten.
Guaranteed.
Simple Minds used to be a fine band.
But hey, when you're in business for
five years and you're not getting your
ego fed enough and are going
nowhere financially, you sell out. Af-
ter all, gotta have a Jacuzzi, ya know?
And the gig? "Ann Arbor, we love
you. Clap along, come on. Tell us how .
much you love us." Screw you, rock
star. Talk about patronizing, con-
descending and tranquilizing.
-Richard Williams
802 MONROE
ANN ARBOR. MI
H J 48104
NOON FORUM
Friday, November 15
PROFESSOR RAFE EZEKIEL
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Author of Voices From
The Corner
Lunch ova iloble for $1.
1 I-
1 ~ARMY
1 SURPLUS
1
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1 OFF 1
ALL WINTER *
1 COATS I
(Coupon Expires I
1 y ANN ARBOR ONLY 1
1 201 E. WASHINGTON I
CORNER OF FOURTH o7
1 994-3572 serekyo u
ae - - -- -=- = J

Daily Photo by MATT PETRIE
Main Mind Jim Kerr goes for BlackwelFs best-dressed list.

0

FIVE REASONS
TO BUY THE
AT & T PERSONAL COMPUTER
IN 1985:

1.
2.
3.

Your Freshman Year
Your Sophomore Year
Your Junior Year

.;Sting 'Brings on' band, baby

L-

By Ruth Ann Weadock
TN A JAZZ session, the artist has
three choruses to warm up.. .in
rock music you have to burn from the
first bar," says Sting in Bring on the
Night. Like the music that inspired it,
this film does indeed "Burn from the
Pfirst bar."
"We wanted to capture all the
diversities that go on behind creating
and producing this music," said
director Michael Apted (Coal Miner's
Daughter). "I wanted to develop
characters with distinct per-
sonalities... so that the audience in the
theatre had a special knowledge about
the people that the audience (at a con-
cert) could never have."
The inner workings of Sting's band
come off as a bit too smooth (does this
band ever have creative differen-
ees?), but the film is redeemed by its
insight.
Watching Sting, Janice, and Dollet-
te experiment with harmonies in a
near-acapella chorus of "Love is the

Seventh Wave" is like sitting on the
lockeroom bench watching a coach's
halftime game plan and pep-talk. You
not only get to be in the locker room
with them, you sit at their dinner table
and share a few (genuine) laughs;
you even go into a girlfriend's birthing
room.
Throughout the film are clips of
formal interviews with the musicians,
with topics ranging from past oc-
cupations to the impact of this new
band.
Of course, no movie about a band
would be complete without onstage
performance. Here the film really
shines. Opening up with an exciting
"Shadows in the Rain," displaying the
band's spine-tingling talents, with
several solos.
Threatening to expose the very soul
of the relationship between Sting and
girlfriend Trudie Styler, "I Burn for
You" rises to a frenzied orchestration
finish. During Sting's haunting
"Message in a Bottle" not a breath is
heard on screen or in the audience.
The fact is that Sting does carry this
film and its base is the music he has

written. As manager Copeland so tac-
tfully states, "If anybody else in the
band cancels... no one is going to want
his money back. If Sting cancels,
everyone is going to."
This does not yield to negatiyism,
though. The final product is an up-
beat, inside look at a band behind the
slick, polished stage act. It's a very
fast-paced movie that leaves you with
a little more insight about some very
talented musicians and even more in-
sight about the music they create.

4. Your Senior Years
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