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April 04, 1986 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-04-04
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VINYL

Lennon's last live shov

John Lennon - Live in
New York City (Capitol)
After listening to this record, it's
hard to believe that it took so long to
release it. The material is taken from
a 1972 benefit concert. Lennon had
just released Some Time in New York
City, a wobbly double LP that is not
remembered as one of his best, but
Live in New York City features an en-
thusiastic swing through the best of
Lennon's post-Beatle material, and as
such, it is a welcome addition to the
Lennon library.
Live in New York City features the
only extant live recordings of several
Lennon songs. Lennon performed live
only twice after the dissolution of the
original Plastic Ono Band in 1970. The
other appearance was a short duet
with Elton John, in which he perfor-
med material that pre-dates and post-
dates this material. One would think
that the rarity of live material by
Lennon would have sent record com-
pany executives scurrying after this
material the moment the concert en-
ded, regardless of its quality. And now
that Lennon is dead, a record of such
"historical value" is guaranteed
release, even if it's garbage.
Surprisingly, Live in New York is
worth the 14-year wait. While the so-
called "Plastic Ono Elephant's
Memory Band" is sometimes ex-
ceedingly loose, Lennon sings with a
spirit and good humor that helps to
justify his near-deification.
Between the songs, Lennon

'**joyA .i -
Yok(o is not this ~Iminent lon I ire in \ei, York Ciii,' i, nc/Aisfor nn ',as it
mackes rom for/fine et c'rIawes h}" the fate John I ennmL,

repeatedly tosses out gentle remin-
ders that the Beatles are no longer,
the best of which is his reference to
"Mother" as a song from one of the
albums he made "since I left the
Rolling Stones." While Lennon is ob-
viously bothered by the new band's
screw-ups, he manages to joke about

II~

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APPEARING IN MARCH
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it, saying at one point, "Welcome to
the dress-rehearsal."
The snatches of patter show Lennon
to be a likeable person, who after ex-
traordinary success maintained an
appreciation for his audience. Lennon
is working on this record, trying to
make up for a band that is really not
in his league. He is constantly
pushing. It's fair to say that Lennon
did not possess a great voice, even by
rock and roll standards, but he does
possess a gutsy, raspy power, balan-
ced with ability to sell a slower song
like "Imagine."
With the possible exception of "New
York City," (on which Lennon sounds
like he has a stuffy nose) Lennon is in
fine form. On "Instant Karma" and
"Cold Turkey" he sounds excep-
tionally good. The cover of "Hound
Dog" is goofy fun, especially when
Lennon tosses in "Elvis I love, ya"
during a chorus.
The inclusion of part of "Give Peace
a Chance" stands as the only real lap-
se in what is otherwise a fantastic
packaging job. The thirty seconds
from the beginning of the song feature
absolutely godawful singing by Yoko,
who I have long supported and defen-
ded. There's just no way to defend her
on this song.
But it's good to remember that
Yoko worked hard to get this record
released, and to make this record as
good as it is. The time and money put
into packaging, re-mastering, and
song selection pay off. The thirty-
second lapse in no way removes Live
in New York City from its status as a
pleasant surprise, and a worthy and,
yes, historic record. --John Logie
Squalls --
"Crickets"/"Bride of
Frankenstein" (Mbrella)
Two more lightly concocted tunes
by this delightfully silly band from
Athens, Georgia.
Their 1984 debut EP, Squalls,

v well preserved
boasted the infectuous, danceable riff, greasy~slick studio production) and
"Elephant Radio" and five other dit- hang them up to dry, and they will
ties which merged several blends of probably sound something similat to
pop under the Squalls trademark !Ack-Ack!
style; all loads of fun and none On their three-song EP, Automatic,
terribly serious. These new songs this Champaigne, Illionois-based
pick up in the same vein. "Crickets" band aims for that same new-wavey,
is a gas. Amidst guitars which sound arty, dance-floor sound as the D2 boys.
like weird little creatures floating
through space, the names of several The title cut opens with dramatic
insects are rapped off to a steady, keyboards, jittery guitar lines, and a
catchy beat. It's a wonderfully dumb rock-steady beat; but these folks are
dance song. "Bride of Frankenstein" a whole lot less pretentious both
is a rockabilly number with sax and lyrically and musically. "Automatic"
the works, but is even lighter in con- is a real good dance tune which also
cept - maybe a little too light for this shows ! Ack-Ack! to be decent
turntable. Nonetheless, more good musicians, capable of assured solos
stuff from these folks. Mbrella and key changes. The piece has a
Records, PO Box 1174, Athens, GA touch of mystery aided in part by the
30603. - Beth Fertig "still-of-the-night," New Order-ish
vocals.
Soul Asylum - Made to be In general, there's an innocence to
Broken (Twin Tone) all three of these recordings which
lets the songs, despite their pretty ob-
Soul Asylum is a total whirlwind of vious stab at commercial appeal,
guitar noise. Soul Asylum's drummer come across as likeable, fun, melodic
has a personal vendetta against the grooves. "Tracks" especially takes
rest of the band's sound - he'll thrash up this feel with its exciting rhythm
away as soon as things get too quiet. and layered, mumbling vocals.
Soul Aylum manages to keep bluesy "Shadow of a Heart," however could
piano parts brewing deep beneath the use a little more umph, as it's a slower
rest of their chaos which, combined number which plays with a repetitive
with their wailing vocals (in har- chorus (although a nice melody) and
mony, usually) provide the soul of this a homogenous sound which gets a lit-
(insane) asylum. And most of all: tle tiring. Still, that shouldn't pose
Soul Asylum is positive, rock and roll any major threat to !Ack-Ack!'s
energy at its damndest. potential which any dance-floor
Made to be Broken was produced by inhabitants in particular will love.
Bob Mould, and engineered by Steve By the way - !Ack-Ack! is on Of-
Fjelstad - both of Husker Du fame; fice Records, the same University of
and one can really hear the influence Illinois-located label which spawned
of that band. However, Soul Asylum the duo, The Arms of Someone New.
(who have also toured with the For more information, write PO Box
Huskers) have strengths of their own. 2081 Station A, Champaigne, Illinois,
The title track is typical of much of 61820.
the band's material: Cuisinart- -Beth Fertig
strewn-together rock and roll which is
also incredibly tight and clean. And Joey M aIbe* and The Won s -
you've just got to love a song which
features a line like a guitar is a (Nightcrawler Records)
man's best friend. Even if you don't like their name, a
"Never Really Been" is a group deserves praise that offers the
guitar/vocals stroll with a western raw energy of a hyperactive bar band
feel - the typical loser's lament. But while somehow maintaining a respec-
this loser, although ragged (and table amount of musicianship.
very hoarse), won't ever quit - and to The New York-based Worms, who
prove it the power-hungry drummer moonlight as Bo Diddley's back-up
keeps launching into raucous rhythms, band, combine a boogying R&B sound
including the other players, just as with outrageous and occasionally
you think the song's going to stay base lyrics. Song titles like "Pooper
slow. Scooper" and "Gerbil on the Wheel of
Side two opens with "Whoa!" - Love" testify to the members' refusal
which begins with dirgy noise and to take themselves seriously, despite
then whirls into a hardcore frenzy. their able instrumental skills. The
They're good players, and they shriek opening track, "I Like It," sets the
pretty well too. Easily one of the most tone for most of the album: a hot
heartfelt tracks on this piece of vinyl. boogie-woogie beat fired by a tight
Much of the rest of this side is a horn section, recalling the old Stax
conglomeration of acid rock-tinged R&B sound. In fact, the horn players
(remember Led Zepplin?) rock and (Curtis Fields, Hollie Farris, and
roll with a cynical bend. "Ain't That John Chapin) lend enough punch and
Tough" embodies this sound and polish to the band to make songs
spirit best, as hinted in the title. where they are absent seem little
Soul Asylum is made up of tight and more than mediocre rockers.
tough musicians with a good, nasty High points include the boogying
streak to 'em. Their album title is a toe-tapper "No Soul," and the jiving
challenge. Blast this baby loud blues of "Rocking Is Our Bizness,"
because that's how it's meant to be... the latter featuring jazzy, understated
-Beth Fertig horn solos. Then on "Pooper
!Ack-Ack! - Automatic Scooper," The Worms kick into a
( c c )comical funk jam which marries rap-
(Office Records) EP ping Zappa-styled lyrics to a feel
Give the Duran Duran boys a good which mimics vintage James Brown.
bath (good enough to wash off all that The Worms lose their appeal only

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. r i ii r i i i i i iiii. i e r. i i i. i i r ii'iii i s r i i iiiii, i i i

p): Do you like playing Ann Arbor?
S: Yeah, the people there are like
real genuine fans, it seems. People
who know about the band, and care
about the band. Seems like Ann Ar-
bor's got a good handfullof those peoleSH O ES FO R
which is real good. It's real fun to play
for people that really know you.
D: The Replacements have played SA VE w ea
ann ARbor many times in the past.
You've moved from Joe's Star Lounge
to headlining at the Michigan. The on 3,0
venues are getting bigger and bigger,
the tickets keep costing more and
more. Some fans say, 'Great they
deserve their success,' but others are W E D ELI
sayhing,r $12.50? For the
Replacements?'
S: (incredulously) $12.50, for tickets
there? Use our coupon i
D: Yeah... Money Saver bookle
S: That's pretty ridiculous, I think.
D: Similarly, a lot of your fans say
'The Michigan Theater? The Replac-
ements are a good bar band, but...
S: We didn't even want to play .3
the theater there. We were expecting
to play a ballroom-type thing. We
don't like to play theaters. We don't
like the sit-down crowd stuff, any of
that. So it's, like, we kind of got
screwed into that somehow. At the
last minute we found out that it was at
the theater, rather than the ballroom Oriental Food wih an I:
We are a bar band, pretty much. To
see us in a sit-down plan, that's to me,
kind of weird.

I

l

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BUY ONE
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GET ANOTHER1
1 DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER FREE I
1 Please present this coupon before ordering. I imit one coupon per 1
1 customer. Not to be used kith other coupons or offers. Void I
1 khere prohibited by la\\. This offer expires 4/ 30/86. 1
Goo( d (n/ at:
* 458 Briarwood Circle, Briarwood Mall
* 725 Victors Way, Ann Arbor, MI1
-............. ............

4 Weekend-April 4, 1986

- MW

Weekend-April 4, 1986 9

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