Wheels Good (Epic)
Affected intellectualization and un-
derstatement are certainly chic these
days. Led by the Windham Hill label
and a throng of "new age" musicians
whose work has been compared to
aural wallpaper, this bland form of
art has permeated the homes of yup-
pies everywhere. It seems as though
this trend is beginning to move into
pop dimensions as well, spreading its
simplistically natural good cheer as
freely as an over-turned bottle of
Perrier. And the Sprouts-well,
they're organic too.
Prefab Sprout brings their pop style
into this field, latching onto the quest
for intellectualism. A considerable
improvement over last year's Swoon,
producer Thomas Dolby has filled out
the band's sparse sound (often with
schlocky, tinkling noises) on Two
Wheels Good and has canned much of
the annoying harmonies, too.
However, Wheels is a rather preten-
tious attempt at sounding
sophisticated-pretentious because it
just tries too hard with under-
statement. Songwriter Paddy
McAloon feels the need to drop the
names of such notables as Faron
Young and George Gershwin (whom
he affectionate dubs Georgie-we ar-
tists stick together). Top this with
lines like I'm turkey hungry,I'm
chicken free which almost echoes the
uptempo silliness of a Squeeze song,
but sinks heavily when followed by I
can't break-dance on your knee to
a soft, ephemeral Aztec Camera
McAloon wants to be literature in
pop music so badly that it hurts. Once
in a while he gets atcatchy phrase in
there, but usually drowns it with
repetition. Some popsters who dig
meaning might really get off this
stuff, but not for me, I'll have a glass
of sparkling water.
to be a
We need a new category of popular
music. We might call it "cartoon pop"
because it would be flashy, trashy,
and colorful. It would be the musical
equivalent of a big shiny wind-up toy.
We are not, however, in dire need of
any perfect examples for our new
category. They are all over the place.
Look no further than your local record
store. Specifically, peer into the bin
with ABC's latest album,How to be a
Zillionaire. From its cute cartoon
album cover to its tinkling synthesizer
line, this British group is all Bugs
Bunny and Scooby Doo. There's
nothing wrong with that if it remains
light, danceable, and clever.
But the cuteness has already drained
out of proper Englishmen aping
Motown; it's repetitive and boring.
The album is one tinkling, overblown,
over-precious love song after
another. How have they done it? ABC
heart I still hope.. .I'm sorry to say,
but I think if they don't get out before
the summit, well, I don't know."
In a telephone interview before the
Geneva Summit talks, Tanya said,
"Now is the time for action. Please do
something, and ask people to do
something. Tell therelevant people
about Benjy's plight. It should really
by stopped. You know one cannot be
kept for 19 years without - you know
what I mean."
When asked if their was any way to
help her, Tanya said she could not,
"use the phone in a very direct way."
She did say, however, that she feels
hopeful because relations between the
United States and the Soviet Union.
"seem to be getting a little better."
Steven Winnick, an LSA senior who
visited three refusenik families last
summer said, "Once they've become
refuseniks, they've invested them-
selves in our arms."
In October, members of the student
group collected 750 post cards to send
to Secretary of State George Schultz
and President Reagan on behalf of the
refuseniks. The group will also help
organize nationwide events for Inter-
national Solidarity Day in February.
At that time, students from all over
the United States will converge in
Washington to lobby for Soviet Jews.
The life of most refuseniks is
fraught with fear of KGB
harassment. Pavel Abramovish,
another of the refuseniks visited by
Muchin and Roth, only joked while
they were in his apartment. "He said
nothing substantial," Roth said,
"When we asked him what he thought
of President Reagan, he joked and
said, 'no comment.' It was so
But when Abramovich walked them
out of the apartment he immediately
stopped joking and told the pair that
he was on a hunger strike in support
of his friend, Joseph Begun, who is
serving a 12-year prison sentence for
"His apartment must have been
bugged, because he started talking as
soon as he shut the door," Roth said.
Muchin and Roth were warned
about the possibility of electronic
bugging before they went to Russia,
and were instructed not to talk about
refuseniks in their hotel room. As a
result, the two wrote down potentially
dangerous communications and then
flushed them down the toilet.
THE KGB IS omnipresent in the
lives of the refuseniks. When one
refusenik's children cautioned him
not to speak with the Americans, he
responded by saying, "the authorities
know we're Jewish - if they want to
find something against us, they will."
When the authorities do find
something, the consequences can be
devastating, as in the case of Joseph
Berenshtein, a refusenik whose
family has been adopted by Ann Ar-
bor Action for Soviet Jewry. Beren-
shtein has applied for permission to
leave the Soviety Union, as Sol Lach-
man, vice-president of the Detroit
chapter of the Soviet Jewry
Education and Information Center
said, "you are putting your head in
the lion's mouth by applying to
Ann Arbor Action committee mem-
ber Sergei Kan said that the official
charge against Berenshtein is
"physical resistance to represen-
tatives of the authorities - tearing off
a button from the uniform of one
militiaman, and shaking down the
cap of another.' Why he was arrested
Berenshtein is in danger of losing
his eyesight owing to a beating he
received at the hands of the inmates
in a Soviet prison, according to Kan.
In a report issued by the Committee
of Concerned Scientists, Beren-
shtein's wife Faina reported that the
prison director said of Sergei's injury,
"this is the first time in my life that I
have seen someone cut his own eyes
"I don't know what they did to him,
but there is a 45 year old who looked
completely healthy, and is now
unrecognizeable," Faina responded.
Berenshtein's story dates back to
1978, when he and his family applied
to emigrate. He had tried to quit his
engineering job, as did his wife Faina,
also an engineer, and their daughter
Yana. In 1980 Berenshtein was
arrested twice, held for 15 days, and
threatened with seven years im-1
prisonment for his involvement in1
Jewish studies, Kan said. Two KGB
agents also told Yana that she would
be raped and disfigured.
On September 8, Kan spoke with
Faina. "She said that she needs 'all
kinds of help' because her life is 'very
difficult in all respects,' Kan
reported. "She asked for letters from
Letters from Westerners do not
always get through to the refuseniks
but "they serve as insurance against
imprisonment and KGB
harassment," said Yuri Gurevich, a
Jewish Soviet expatriot and LSA
computer science professor.
"The government tells the Jews
they don't want any noise from the
West, but as long as we remind the
Soviet government that we remember
these poeple they will be careful.
They are concerned with their public
relations," said Kan, a Jewish emigre
who left Russia in 1974, and is now a
University anthropology professor.
"Jews who apply to leave are con-
sidered anti-Soviet, sadly mistaken.
morally deranged, or are thought to
be led by foreign agents," said Ziv
Gitelman, a political science
professor who has had a great deal of
contact with refuseniks.
"It is safest for an employer to fire
anyone who applies to emigrate in or-
der to be politically protected,"
When Kan applied to emigrate, he
had to leave the history department
at Moscow University. "In public my
friends pretended they didn't know
me, although in private they were
sympathetic," he said.
"It is impossible to predict who will
be allowed to leave - sometimes the
most innocuous people are denied
visas and the most active people are
allowed to leave," Gitelman said.
The inconsistencies exist to
discourage people from applying, he
Linda Opper, vice chairperson for
the Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry,
said, "Last year there was a cam-
paign to silence middle-level activists
to show the rest of the Jewish com-
munity that no one is immune to
punishment - they were hoping to
break some of the people during trials
so they would testify against other
Opper tells a story of one young
Jewish man who was gang-raped,
starved, and drugged.At his trial, he
plead guilty to creating anti-Soviet
propagande. "He incriminated a lot
of Jews," Opper said.
ABC: Supposedly taking a more cartoony approach to their music.
has created a kiddie album for very
The Cult - "Love"
Freak me out dude. Love is all you
need. In case you didn't know it's cool
to be a hippie again in Britain. 'Cause
love is all ya need. Love is in the
trees. Love is where it's at, according
to Neil look-a-like, lead singer Ian
The Cult dabble in love and all sorts
of mystical shit and, oh yeah, I forgot,
it's still cool in Britain to talk about
and want to be an American Indian.
For a while Adam Ant was giving In-
dians a bad name.
So now that you've got a real noble
image, gotta have some music, right?
How 'bout a big rock sound. A sound
that recalls the Stones (not Fred and
Barney) and Hendrix. Altogether it
at the Michigan Theater
8:00 MONDAY, DEC. 9
"DINER" (1982) Dir.-Barry Levinson
A group of friends in the 1950's hang out at a Baltimore
diner and discuss the problems of growing up.
8:00 TUESDAY, DEC. 10
"YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN" (1974) Dir. -Mel Brooks
A finely tuned parody of old Frankenstein films. Young Fred-
erick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder), a brain surgeon, goes back
to Transylvania and pours over his grandfather's notebooks.
7:30 WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11
"THE GRADUATE" (1967) Dir.-Mike Nichols
Post-graduate student Dustin Hoffman has affairs with both
Katherine Ross and her seductive mother (Anne Bancroft),
which leads to tremendous complications. Soundtrack by
Simon & Garfunkel.
9:30 "THE PAPER CHASE" (1973) Dir.-James Bridges
A comedy-drama about pressures of freshman year at Har-
vard Law School. A student's obsession with a tyrannical
professor becomes complicated when the student iscovers
his girlfriend is the professor's daughter.
8:00 THURSDAY, DEC. 12
"THE BIG CHILL" (1983) Dir.-Lawrence Kasdan
Eight University of Michigan alumni are brought together at
the funeral of a friend. The personal chemistry begins to re-
activate as lives and loves, hopes and fears, are rought to
a slow climax.
8:00 FRIDAY, DEC. 13
"THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO" (1985) Dir.-Woody Allen
MiaFarrow, a klutzy waitress, goes to the movies to escape
her husband and the Depression. Jeff Daniels portrays a
movie character who walks off the screen and declares his
love for her.
See all these great films projected on the large screen in the historic
Michigan Theater. Call 668-8397 for more information. Admission to
films is $3.00 for a double bill or a single bill. Students and senior
citizens $2.50. Tickets go on sale one-half hour before showtime.
vr'ti' Rt "t
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'V7" 1. "t iH
TANYA BAGAMOLNY: Her year
" If you like Cookies n Cream
You'll love our Mickey Sundae
: Your Choice of ice cream plus
: ~Oreo ears, nuts, hot fudge,
whipped cream, and a cherry.
r Corner of So. University & Church
.W M W.9.9.Y .W.
Take a break from your
grueling study schedule
Pick up an all natural snack at
* air popped popcorn
* buttered popcorn
* fruit and
Or get really WILD and try our
sour cream 'n' chive or bacon 'n' chees
8 Weekend/Friday, December b, 1985
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