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December 05, 1985 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-12-05

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The Michigan Daily
*McGuinn: A '60s legend
offers new spirit

Thursday, December 5, 1985

Page 5

Modern drama lives

By Hobey Echlin
IN THESE paisley days of '60s chic
and fashionable peace signs,
*people seem to lose sight of the true
entities of the '60s era. And so when a
veritable legend of that era comes to
town to shed his new visions of a
modern world its worth more than
just note, it's worth some attention.
Weaned on Elvis and Gene Vincent,
Roger McGuinn found his niche in the
simplicity and power of folk and
blues. A milestone of the '60s musical
movements, McGuinn's career began
in Chicago with stints with local cof-
feehouse favorites, The Limelighters.
McGuinn moved to L.A. to do work
with Bobby Darin's cabaret act,
before making his way back to New
York in '63 where he became an in-
strumental part of the growing
Greenwhich Village folk scene. There
he did some arranging and accom-
panying for a little known duo, Tom
and Jerry, who later became Simon
and Garfunkel.
Back in L.A., the shadow of
the Beatles was making its presence
known to folk musicians. Combining
folk and the new pop-rock style,
McGuinn's solo gigs attracted a
unique group of musicians. Joining
with Gene Clark, McGuinn then ad-

ded David Crosby, Chris Hillman and
Mike Clarke. The Byrds were for-
med. "Mr. Tambourine Man" was
released six months later, and a
sound that was to become the foun-
dation for an entire genre of
revivalism in the early '80s.
Today McGuinn, with 21 releases to
his credit, including five solo allbums,
reflects a dynamism that many per-
formers have failed to achieve.
McGuinn's interest in Christianity
represents a growth from his original
'60s context and in to a spiritual world
all his own. While retaining his folk
medium, McGuinn updates his
themes with contemporary issues
that are as poignantly addressed as
they are eloquently commented on.
"We (the Byrds) couldn't have
decided to change musical styles
when we did, it happens naturally.
What I do now will probably develop
in the same way," he explained.
And it is this very development, the
culmination of twenty-five years of
musical history that Roger McGuinn
will offer tonight, in two shows, at
7:30 and 10:00 p.m. at the Ark, 637
South Main. Tickets are $10.50 and
are available at the Union TicketaOf-
fice and all Ticket World Outlets.

in 'A Doll
By Noelle Brower
W HEN DISCUSSING the roots of
modern drama, Ibsen's A Doll's
House is usually cited as the play
from which our modern conception of
drama comes.
During the latter part of the 19th cen-
tury, melodrama was the most
popular genre of theatre. It was
suspenseful, undemanding upon its
audience, and essentially mindless.
A Doll's House shattered these
standards. It was the first play in
which the characters actually
acknowledged their problems, and sat
down to discuss them. This small fact
may seem trite in light of the overdone
"problem/discussion" plays of the
modern stage, but in a time when the
theatre had become a forum for sim-
plistic mind candy, A Doll's House
asked people to think about the world
around them. Ibsen gives his charac-
ters human dimensions; they are not
simply caricatures of established
theatre "types."
Unfortunately, the controversy that
surrounded the play's opening often
obscures its value as a social drama.
By today's standards, A Doll's House
is a relatively tame play. It is the

's House'
story of Nora and Torvald Helmer, a
young couple with a promising future.
Torvald has just received a
promotion at his job at the bank. They
are young, attractive, have three
beautiful children, and seem in-
credibly happy.
But a secret from Nora's past
threatens to disrupt this perfect
family harmony. When her secret is
finally revealed, the underlying lies
upon which her marriage is based are
A Doll's House is often miscon-
strued as a feminist drama. Some
productions have used this play to
show the oppression of women and
make Torvald the evil husband.
However, to interpret this play as
such would be simplistic and lose its
other important values, of which
there are many. Both Nora and Tor-
vald are victims of their society's
mores. Fortunately, Director Philip
Kerr has decided to interpret A Doll's
House as a domestic drama, not a
feminist propaganda piece.
The Ensemble Theatre Company
will perform A Doll's House tonight
through Saturday at 8 p.m., there will
be a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Per-
formances will be at the Trueblood
Theatre in the Frieze Building.

Ex-Byrd Roger McGuinn brings his intense and spiritual folk to the Ark
for two shows tonight.

Dexy's Midnight Runners -
Don't Stand Me Down (Mer-
Quickly, and I mean very quickly,
look at the cover of this album. It says
it all. The pared down Dexy's Mid-
night Runners has cast aside its dingy
overalls and bedraggled shirts for a
nice, sterile business suit look.
Force a smile and walk away from
Say what you will now, but "Come
on Eileen" was a hell of a lot of fun. It
was an infectious, acoustic pop-rock
song that was a hit with middle-aged
women and teenage boys alike. It
took a draught from the vast well of
Irish traditional culture, and offered
its small bit on a flashy platter.

That's what the band did.
Don't Stand Me Down isn't simply
bad, it's insulting. Where the band
made a name for itself with a sense of
calculated hijinx, now they're onto
pseudo-intellectual meanderings in
arrangements that couldn't hold
strong lyrics, let alone gibberish.
In addition, they've added syn-
thesizers to pollute their once jug-
band-clean sound. But that's the least
of their sins. Kevin Rowland can't
make up his mind about what the
should be singing, so he spends half of
the album talking. Literally, on three
of the seven songs he begins by
speaking in a conversational tone
about an old girlfriend, being bored,
or about just plain not having
anything to say.

Rowland isn't really much of a
singer, but he's even worse as a
talker. It was fun to hear him strain
to hit as many of the notes as he could
in "Come on Eileen", but here it's just
boring. The closest the album comes
to anything of substance is "One of
These Things," which would be a
direct rip-off of Warren Zevon's
"Werewolves of London" if Rowland
didn't intrude in the middle to mutter
"Listen to This" tries to recycle
some of the Celtic Soul busines of Too-
Rye-Ay (there were other songs on
that album, you know), but those
ideas had already been more or less
used up on the first record.
So here it is, a dud after a cotton
candy treat. If ever an album were

destined for the cut-out bins the
moment it was pressed, this is it. And
if ever a band were destined to be a
stumper of a trivia question from a 60
year old Dick Clark, that band is
Dexy's Midnight Runners.

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