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March 14, 1986 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-03-14

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 14, 1986

4

England's Damned gets set for Detroit

By Rob Michaels

FINALLY, for the first time in say
about three or four years (don't
press my feeble memory for exac-
titude), England's legendary Damned
will haul their well-honed rock and
roll chops into the Detroit area for a
performance tomorrow night at the
lovely St. Andrews Hall. Doors will
open at 10p.m.
Certainly, the combo has come a
long way since its 1976 archetypal
punk-rock inception. Loud, sloppy,
and not without a sense of humor, the
outrageously dressed quartet churned
out many a classic track of snotty and
minimalist Stooges/New York Dolls
style R&R, the bulk of which were
captured on their debut LP, the
seminal Nick Lowe-produced Dam-

ned, Damned, Damned, arguably the
first bona-fide full length p-rock
album. Beneath the exhilirating
racket, however, there lurked a
recessive penchant for strong pop
hooks, as a second listen to early hits
like "New Rose" and "Neat, Neat,
Neat" will undeniably reveal.
1977 saw the release of the second
Damned LP, the aptly titled Music
For Pleasure, possibly the band's
most ignored vinyl to date. Produced
by Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, the
album's material cofirmed the band's
pop-ish tendencies, but the charging
guitars, cascading drums and am-
phetamine paced tempo of the Dam-
ned's sound were all fairly suppressed
by Mason's dull and flattening
production.
The departure of
guitarist/tunesmith Brian James in

the following year could have marked
the end of the ol' Damned experience,
but the resourcefulness of the
remaining members prevented it
from coming true. Rumors of disin-
tegration were finally proved false by
the 1979 release of Machine Gun
Etiquette, a highly charged collection
of ultra-power pop (with emphasis on
the power) penned by the re-arranged
quartet which now featured ex-bassist
Captain Sensible on guitar (and sort
of "musical leadership") and
newcomer Algy Ward (ex of
Australia's The Saints) assisting
drummer extraordinaire Rat Scabies
in the rhythm section. Although the
band was never genuine media
darlings, the album received its fair
share of praise in the papers and was
also quite successful on the charts,
particularly the fine singles "Smash it

Up" and "Love Song" (in all of their
infinite incarnations). Although the
album's intensity at least matched
that of the first LP, there was a major
increase in musical depth and
maturity, with Dave Vanian's Jim
Morrison/Vegas nightclub of the dead
vocals displaying a new confidence
above the now richer instrumental
textures of the rest of the band.
But nothing could have prepared
audiences for the major musical and
conceptual developments displayed
on what is perhaps the Damned's
finest release, 1980's double-record
set The Black Album. With newcomer
Paul Grey on bass, the band continued
its movement into what could be ter-
med the "energized gothic-pop" field
of tuneage. Songs were no longer
limited in length (hell, side three is
comprised solely of "Curtain Call")

and keyboards smoothly blended into
the picture. Hardly a betrayal of
original p-rock ideals, The Black
Album demonstrated (among other
things) the necessity of punk's
irreverant and destructive fury for
the creation of vital more standard
style rock and roll.
The Damned continued to pursue
this melodic direction on the excellent
Friday the 13th EP and, to a markedly
greater extent, 1982's Strawberries.
Hot and inspiring as it was, the album
followed by a long silence, sometimes
punctuated by successful Captain
Sensible solo projects, including the
zany rap fave "Wot". When the news
of the Sensible's departure reached
the States, a re-organized Damned
was already preparing product, the
culmination of which was last year's
Phantasmagoria LP. Armed with a

brand new MCA record deal, the band
cultivated the "gothic thang"
originally begun with The BlacR
Album and chocked Phantasmagoria
full of rich, haunting, and darkl
polished music which met with many
a thumbs up cry of "kick ass" from
old and new fans alike. The swank
American album hence the swank
American tour.
But seriously, I've seen the band in
past incarnations and they did not
disappoint. With a new line-up, new
enthusiasm and a hogshead of groovy
new material, Saturday's performan-
ce should no doubt continue th
tradition.

Michigan Daily
ARTS
763-0379

.
,.

Doc Watson's cure

(Continued from Page 7)
pearance suggested, Kamalay looks
as if he'll carve a name for himself if
he keeps up what seems to come
easily to him.
*s*******
Anne Hills got the mid-week off to a
strong start on Tuesday when she
played a single set at the Ark.
Describing her show as similar to an

art gallery, she proceeded to sing
pairs of songs by such young
songwriters as Tim Henderson,
Eileen Weiss, Greg Brown, and An-
drew Calhoun.
Gifted with a beautiful soprano
reminiscent of Joan Baez', Hills
seemed daunted by the disappoin-
tingly small turnout.

WEEKEND
MAGAZINE
Fridays in The Daily
763-0379

A word with Mrs. Flanagan

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11

^ d c lip

By arwulf arwulf
I N THE ten or titteen years I've
spent with my nose wedged in
Jazz record bins and discographies,
the name Tommy Flanagan has ap-
peared so consistently, it's like pun-
ctuation in a vast line of verse, a
recurring phenomenom which lends
clarity and ease to every moment.
Tommy seems to have recorded
with every major figure in main-
stream Jazz of the late 50's including
Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny
Rollins and Milt Jackson. I found him
working with trumpeter Kenny
Dorham, and among the ranks of
Donald Byrd and Gigi Gryce's Jazz
Lab Quintet.
This last discovery wiped me out, as
I'd heard the piano intro on Byrd and
Gryce's "Over the Rainbow" hun-

dreds of times without realizing it was
Flanagan. Then I noticed it: the
cheesey reissue of these wondrous
1957 recordings neglected to specify
which tunes featured Tommy and
which had instead Wade Legge.
Quandary. It sounded like Flanagan,
but how was I to know for sure?
Anyone who's intimately involved
with the music knows what I was
going through. It's especially
worrisome when one is planning to
trundle out the record on the radio and
offer it up as an example of early
Flanagan. I didn't want to goof.
After telling nearly everyone
who would listen to my drivel about
Post-Bop reissuing, I pinned Michael
G. Nastos, mighty keystone of
WEMU. He was equally unable to
solve the riddle, but went on to offer a
bright notion: why not call
Flanagan? He might know.
I thought he was joking, but found

NG
Imes

w pm~

ATg

HERB DAVID
Guitar Studio
302 E. LIBERTY
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myself jotting down a telephone num
ber with a New York area code.
Tommy's wife answered. I e-
plained my dopey predicament and
she offered to help me out. Tommy
couldn't come to the phone just then,
he was in Helsinki. However she just
happened to have a complete
discography on hand which the
Japanese had assembled. One
moment, please.
This was too good. Was
dreaming? No. She found the sessiq
and settled the question. It was
Tommy on "Over the Rainbow", and
on four other cuts as well. I thanked
her and said we'd be airing his music
all week, looking forward to his ap-
pearance here in town. She said she'd
bring along a copy of the discography
for me, since I was so involved..
This woman's going to get some
flowers when she visits, I told myself,
and went back to planning the ra
show.
Joa rney
P auline Gagnon is proof that doc-
toral students don't have to spend
all of their time in the proverbial
white towers of Academia. Instead,
Gagnon is getting her degree on th4
boards of her future profession; shei.
the director of Female Transpo1
which opens tonight.
Female Transport, written by Steve
Gooch, first premiered in London in
1976. Set aboard a British prison shio
in the early nineteenth century, it tells
the story of six female convicts on
their way to New South Wales. The
play was chosen to coincide with thl
University's Women in Memory Cot
ference being sponsored by th
Women's Studies Organization, and it-
portrays the strength which the
prisoners gain through their
solidarity.
The plot will present a variety of
themes: feminism, historical per=.
spectives, and various sociological
slants.
In the words of Gagnon, "It's live;
unique, and transient. A moment in
this type of theatre is just that
moment alone, and all are a part
it"
For information about performai-
ces, call 663-0681.
Dave Turner

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MARY TYLER MOORE CHRISTINE LAHTI
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Overtamed:
(Continued from Page 7)
tarine that night but they could no
continue without a response from... -
B. (l'autre) Get off the bloody
avant hip horse and make a small er
fort to plunge beneath the admittedl
bland surface. Sure enough; the
Palominos sound did conceal a dense
and engaging rock and roll tension
that could have been so easy to miss.
The amalgam of talent actually did
come together into a solid collective
groove that betrayed its plain and
toothless cloak.
Fier's dense and busy drumwork
propelled album faves like "The
Animal Speaks" into regular R&R
workouts. Underground veteran Jodi
Harris showed the moustachioed
massess how a real man disciplines #
guitar, standing quietly on stage right
rippin' 'n twistin' the thing for all if
was worth. Keyboardist Bernie
Worrell also stood out, as did
bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce whose
deep, dark and bluesey pipes harke
back to the days of Cream for the
legions of people who seemed there
only to see the old master in action.
Along with Harris, it was probably
vocalist Syd Straw who put in the best
performance of all. Lookin' not too
unlike Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner'
Daughter, Straw sang with power and
with style, a real earth bumpkin for
the eighties. Her backup vocals oil
Silver Bullet (Bruce sang lead) mak~

Sunday, March 16th

- 4:00 P.M.

I

I

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