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April 17, 1986 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-04-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 17, 1986

Books

Images

The Falconer of
Central Park
Donald Knowler
Bantam Books, $8.95,
192 pp.
Every day from January 1, 1982, to
December 31, 1982, English journalist
Donald Knowler went to Central
Park. Visiting the entire 834 acres,
1knowler detailed each day's visit in
the Falconer of Central Park.
Writing with the style of a distracted
James Michener, Knowler basically
describes the surroundings, people,
and, specifically, the many bird
species.
kEarly in the book, Knowler in-
troduces himself: I had come to
New York in search of something I
could not define, to take stock, to
find not a new beginning, but an
adjustment of course, another

avenue ... for reasons I did not
know, I was paying more attention
to birds than anything else,
drawing irresistible parallels bet-
ween them and the people using
the park.
Knowler tries too hard to draw
correlations between animals and
people. For instance, he talks of bir-
dwatchers defying a mugger as
chickadees defy a blue jay. He also
includes unfamiliar references such
as that of a stray cat resembling the
'Tom Cat' California citrus adver-
tisements of yesteryear.
One must give the author credit for
his endurance in detailing every
single thing he sees, however. He also
deserves sympathy when he
describes burying a stray cat he'd
befriended and later found dead. He
guardedly shares the emotion of the
moment.
While he painstakingly tries to

share his experience with flowery
prose, Knowler remains too distant
from the reader on most accounts.
The ornate style was perfect for the
subject matter but seemed too full of
effort and strained to be effective.
Nevertheless, some positive points
can be found in the work. He includes
little known, historical facts about
Central Park itself, such as: in 1982
the biggest tree trunk was that of an
elm planted by the Prince of Wales in
1860. Also, of possible interest to bird
watchers, he includes a list of the 131
types of birds he saw in the park.
In fact, maybe Knowler's book is
ideal for birdwatchers. A great deal
of the content is totally concerned
with sighting each variety of bird But
other readers might be better advised
to look to different books for accounts
of experiencing Central Park.
-Gloria Sanak

14

Records

Dumptruck-
Positively
(Big Time)
Smooth, light, upbeat, and bright -
and never too much pop to prevent
you from loving it. That about sums
up Positively, the newest LP from the
Boston-based quartet. Dumptruck.
Don Dixon's Drive-In production
lifts Dumptruck's material sky high,

and the mood keeps going for the en--
tire album. Dixon's been adding his
touch to several pop-come-lately out-
fits, but Dumptruck has something
special to (thankfully) push them
beyond this category, which has
become distressingly uninteresting.
The band's lyrics probably tip the
scales most in this manner. They're
cynical enough to keep the songs from
sailing into the stratosphere, but
never get bogged down in artistic put

N'JY
" '~IT?

downs, or angst. And Dumptruck is
always as tight as can be, musically.
The album opener, "Back Where I
Belong" absolutely sings. It's
something between a drone and a
stagger, with Kirk Swan and Seth
Tiven harmonizing a vendetta over
the merry-go-round bass lines, This
is for the time you told me
everything would go
Wrong . . . With the exception of
"Secrets" - which has a bit of
that tin can quality to it - their
harmonizing adds a nice touch
throughout the record.
Confusion plays a central role in
many of the following tracks. On
"Autumn Light" the band takes a
rather clever approach, with a
driving, definite rhythm off-setting
the lyrics Where am I to go
now . . . The music is definitely in
motion, but the vocalist indicates it's
not going anywhere after all.
"Ethics" is a wonderfully glum,
loser's-stream-of-consciousness song.
The guitars buzz like the swarming
bees that accompany an evil
hangover, and the vocalist drones in
character Insignificance seems per-
sistent once again, in a way.
Positively's real musical winner is
its guitars. Lush, fresh, twining,
chiming together; a slice of 12-string
here and there. These instruments
are always crisp and exciting, and
work expecially well on the theatre of
the absurd set-up of "Nine People,"
and "Walk into Mirrors." They hit
upon a gorgeous texture in "Winter,"
which rings with awe and stillness,
and on the next side prove capable of
sailing into gutsy rock-and-roll on
"Alone."

14

IA

Daily Photo by JAE KIM

-r

Dumptruck may boast one of the
unlikeliest names for a rock combo,
but one listen to 'em proves they can
outdo much of anything else you are
likely to hear. This album's a gem.
Positively. -Beth Fertig

Rebirth presents:
Mark Murphy with trio
and
Wendell Harrison & Friends

Armadillos, Bears, Cougars, Dawgs, Eagles, Frogs, Gators, Hurricanes, Indians, Jayhawks, Knights,
Lions, Mules, Nighthawks, Owls, Panthers, Quails, Razorbacks, Seminoles,Tide, Unicorns,Vikings,
Wildcats, Xerus,Yaks and Zebras all make the right move with Ryder.

-4
Go tobatx
ag3ainstA
D efects" p
Support the
March of Dimes
BIRTH DEFECTS FOUNDATION

Ir

APRIL 26, 1986
Pease Auditorium -
Admission $10.00

EMU

Call
(313)875-0289

I

ee-,zxse
INTERESTED IN MUSIC PRODUCTION?
Position of Eclipse Coordinator Open for Fall 1986
Job entails:
* Booking Requirements:
* Promotion * Interest in jazz
. Production * Experience recommended
* Facilitating Group Meetings * Must be a student
INQUIRIES 763-0046
Great Experience for the Music IndustryI
U. S. Department of Health & Human Services

4

TEST.
YOUR
SKILL.

I

S
L!,Jy }:, '~ ~
4'~
C ; y.

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