Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 17, 1986
Rambo goes to college in
By Naomi Wax
Avenging Force is a Rambo-
type adventure movie. It is
entertaining and somewhat
exciting, but the formula is
familiar and unoriginal.
Professor Eliot Glastonbury
(John P. Ryan) is the heart of the
Pentangle Hunting Fraternity,
THE BIG SHOT CHRONICLES
Let's face it, pop lyrics are
rarely intelligible let alone
moving. There's no way
"Dress You Up" is going to
make any Norton An thologies.
When faced with dealing with
the endless babble of pop music
it's refreshing to hear some -
thing now and again that
expresses itself clearly and
elegantly. Right now, it's
extremely refreshing to hear
something like The Big Shot
The single most stunning
thing about this record is the
pure poeticism of its lyrics. As
lyricists go, its reasonable to
venture Game Theory
guitarist/vocalist Scott Miller
has few peers in pop right now.
On top of his lyric gift, he's a
talented songwriter, which
leaves him with even fewer
peers. Combine his gifts and put
them into practice and you'll
likely end up with a record like
The Big Shot Chronicles, which,
like its predecessor Real Night -
an extreme right-wing group
which is headed by five big
businessmen whose identities are
a mystery to society. Glas-
tonbury's disheveled gray hair
and distorted looks are
reminiscent of the mad scientist-
type character and make his role
as a ruthless reactionary
The members of the Pentangle
are masters of the martial arts
and of every kind of weaponry
from wooden staffs to cross bows.
The murky bayous of Louisiana
are the setting for what they call
the "Great Game". The "game"
is manhunting, and the principle
behind the game is "survival of
the fittest". The members of the
time,is a joy.
Built for durability rather
than speed, however, Big Shot
lacks some of the quirky
freneticism of Real Nighttime.
It rechannels that energy into
pure pop craftsmanship, has
reexamined the sometimes-
irritating quirks of Real
Nighttime and reduced them
into delightful hints of camp.
It's no mistake that this record
draws somewhat on the
tradition of Eno-era Roxy
Music and Some-
Rundgren (Advance tapes of
Big Shot even included a
version of Rundgren's
"Couldn't I Just Tell You").
Both these artists have a
similar aesthetic to Miller's:
intelligent, interesting lyrics
with an ear for style and detail;
and expansive yet still in-
herently pop melodies.
applied, that largely char actorr
Mind," with its grinding
guitar, and "Erica'sgWord,"
have an unmistakeable
moment-of-glory quality that
have no recent precedent, save
perhaps "24," off Real
Nighttime. "I've Tried lyrics. The only real exception
Subtlety" really rips, tones to the rule is "Like a Girl
down the shrill keyboards of Jesus" which is atmospheric,
earlier Game Theory outings, scary in its bigness, and one of
and adds a much bigger drum the LP's best tracks. It proves
sound, thanks to a new band the whininess is conquerable.
lineup and judicious production He'll get over it, next LP...
courtesy of Mitch Easter. "Here All in all, Big Shot
it is Tomorrow" and " Make Chronicles could prove
Any Vows" do the same. paradigmatic for pop fans.
The only thing that keeps the Like its predecessor, Real
LP from being a consummate Nighttime, Big Shot Chronicles
pop thrill is a somewhat patchy has reduced this critic to
vocal performance by Miller gushing goo-goo-isms. It's
(something of which he must be flaws are negligible enough
conscious, as he's labelled and its uniqueness great
himself "guitar, miserable enough to merit picking up.
whine" on the back cover ). Above all, it's very listenable,
The uptempo songs' vocals have and the clear expression of a
the venom of Miller's previous major talent. Probably even
superb LP performances, but the
ballads lack the conviction one of the year's better records.
necessary to go with his pointed -Julie Jurjens
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THE ER O
7 - 9 p.m.
Four daughters of an old merchant family
face unknowing the end of a gentler way of life.
"A beautifully punctuated, subtly sensual film,
as gorgeous to behold as are its accomplished
stars." -L.A. Times
From The Classic
A Toho Production
A R5/S8 Release
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