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December 09, 1986 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-12-09

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The Michigan Daily --Tuesday, December 9, 1986 - Page 7


By Seth Flicker
Jim Jarmusch knows his and -
fence well and has made the wise
decision of playing it safe; he
knows what he is good at and sticks
to it. He is best known for his last
Tlm Stranger Than Paradise,
perhaps one of the finest films in
$he past decade.
Jarmusch's best asset is prob -
ably his fine sense for ambiguity.
Unlike other directors, he has
relized that a character can be
interesting without telling his life

A rare
story in the process. The viewer
sees face value but relizes that this
is only the tip of the iceberg.
His newest film, Down By Law ,
likeStranger Than Paradise, deals
with three "losers" on a journey. In
this case, Jack (John Lurie), a
pimp, Zack (Tom Waits), a DJ, and
Roberto (Roberto Beneigni) are
locked in a cell together. Jack and
Zack were both framed by the
police and Roberto killed a man
with a billiard ball. They somehow
escape from prison together and
have to make their way through
swampland in order to return to

The actors are fantastic and their
chemistry even better. The pho -
,tography, like that of Stranger, is
in splendid black and white and the
script, by Lurie as well, is
simplistically beautiful.
Down By Law is not for
everyone, though, and even the
most patient might get a bit figity;
but nevertheless, it is enjoyable. Its
combination of fine photography,
acting, and writing treats any
filmviewer to a rare cinematic


(Continued from Page 5)
it follows, a pretty traditional
gooey metal approach, I'd rather
listen to my Dust LPs.
D: Geez, Mike, why are you
such a hard ass. You have a guitar
Iand I never heard you do better.
Sure, they're a non-descript metal
band but I've heard worse. They
-play riffs that you're sure you've
heard before, but just can't figure
out where.
M: Speaking of songs you've
heard before, the two Scratch Acid
offerings are just remixes of two of
the less stellar tunes from their hit
'and miss "Just Keep Eating"
album, so I'm not going to waste
time rehashing them, though
'suffice to say I would really like to
lhave seen some new material by
these Texan tyrannosauri, even if it
"were just the Wire covers I've heard
;they've been practicing. This band
ised to rule (we're talking serious
reignosity here), but they've been
sliding of late and I hope their
upcoming release restores them to
scaly, spine-backed status.
D: Last but certainly not least
we come to America's kings of the
,.wild John Deere, Butthole Surfers.
Both tunes here are instrumentals,
so we don't get to hear singer
,Gibby screaming through a
megaphone or a soupstrainer. One
tune "Eindhoven Chicken Masque"
sounds like a slow country romp
through a barnyard where the hens
are prancing and eating their feet,
until the farmer comes along with a
cleaver to chop them into matzo
ball soup. At this point the song
just takes off flying, even though
chickens have tiny wings.
M: The other tune, "The Legless
Eye" is much slower and sounds
like New Order (can you believe it
?) with Darth Vader on vocals. The
end of this song has a locked
groove (looks like they're getting
big again) that sounds like the
noise at the end of Dragnet when
that hammer pounds that production
v,,logo into the, granite. Pretty neat,
especially to type to.
D: Well I guess that's it. Do we
like it?
M: I guess we do. I mean, it's
,gpt some good stuff, but where's
Die Kreuzen?
D: They're probably out cuttin'
their hair.
-Danny Plotnick and
Mike Rubin
John Zorn
The Big Gundown
Steve Reich
Sextet/Six Marimbas
Experimental, innovative, eso -
teric... these are a few of the words
critics have used to describe modern
or 20th Century music. Much of it
is composed by members of the
'.post classical" genre. Although
such music is not flourishing in the
way it did during its "heyday" 20
years ago - when even Ann Arbor
boasted the exciting ONCE
group- it is alive and thriving on
Nonesuch and several other record
labels. These two new releases
belong in the record collection of
anyone who is fascinated by this
challenging genre or has the

slightest interest in finding out
what parts of modern music is
The Big Gundown is a col -
lection of compositions by Ennio
Morricone, as interpreted by
composer John Zorn. Morricone,

he is at imitating the spoken
Japanese language with his
saxophone. Gundown features nine
of Morricone's pieces and one by
Zorn just for good measure.
Zorn is joined by a host of
impressive friends for this album,
including Fred Frith, Anton Fier,
Bill Frisell, Vernon Reid, Arto
Lindsay, and Ned Rothenberg. The
combined effort of these fine artists
is just astounding. The title track
opens it with a densely textured
aural montage. From the eerie
tinkling of a piano to the bang of a
gun, this piece is loaded with
musical ghosts which creep up on
and around each other, contributing
a wealth -of sonic themes.
Somehow Zorn is able to find room
for mixing his own saw noises
with the twangy guitarwork of Bill
Frisell, while effectively tying it all
up with the slow, sad introdutory
notes of Beethoven's Fur Elise.
This eclectic tone is carried over
throughout the rest of this album,
and in equally exciting ways.
"Milano Odea" is demonstrative of
Morricone's innovative use of
electric guitars for his spaghetti
western soundtracks; Frisell, Frith,
and Jody Harris all bend their
strings for this piece, and the effect
is stunning. "Erotico (The
Burglars)" features the "sexy Italian
vocals" of Laura Biscotto, who
evokes the perfect amount of erotic
imagery. And "Battle of Algiers" is
highlighted by Christian Marclay's
swishing, chirping turntable
manipulations over a crashing,
marching beat and battle sounds.
The release of this new album
by Zorn coincides with that of
another new Nonesuch record, Steve
Reich's Sextet/Six Marimbas. It is
a rescoring of his 1973 Six Pianos
and features the Toronto-based
percussion ensemble Nexus, and the
Manhattan Marimba Quartet.
Sextet - five movements
played without pause - follows
very much in the tradition of
Reich's earlier works, focusing on
the composer's manipulation of
repetitive themes and cyclical
arrangements. Reich is more
understated in his use of this than,
say, Philip Glass, and if one has
ever heard his Desert Music, then
Sextet will be very familiar. The
use of marimbas on this
composition is just gorgeous. The
playing is mellifluous and gentle
with a somewhat hollow, eerie feel,
making Sextet a subtle, quietly,
unnerving record.
-Beth Fertig
Stevie Ray Vaughn
and Double
Live Alive
I am a dinosaur of sorts; an old
time rocker writhing in the modern
age of synthetic, techno-pop crap.
Keeping this in mind, and knowing
how much it pains me to hear
things like, "this is Bob Seeger's
last tour," or, "Carlos Santana has
arthritis," it his hard for one to
imagine how much joy wells up
inside me when I hear things like,
"Stevie Ray Vaughan has a new

album," or, "Stevie Ray is coming
to town," or just, "Stevie Ray had
tuna salad for lunch yesterday."
Stevie Ray Vaughan is without
a doubt the finest guitarist to be
produced by this decade, so do not

Stevie Ray is as hot as the Texas
sun itself, has a voice like a cross
betwee Ray Charles and Johnny Lee
Hooker, and a guitar like nobody
this side of the international
The double record features high
voltage versions of Vaughan songs
like "Pride and Joy," "Look at
Little Sister," "Texas Flood," and
others. Typical of a Vaughan
concert, many of them, like, "Cold
Shot," and "Say What!" display
Stevie Ray's talent via extended
guitar solos. Also included is his
tributary version of Jimi Hendrix's
classic, "Voodoo Chile (slight
return)" and a soulful cover of
Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."
Other songs show his roots in
blues, like his version of "Mary
Had a Little Lamb," by journeyman
blues guitarist Buddy Guy. It starts
with a typical blues twist, "Mary
had a little lamb/ Its fleece was
black as coal."
Simply put, Live Alive is the
best of Stevie Ray Vaughan and
then some. If you don't have any
Vaughan albums then this is a great
start. If you already have some or
all of them then you won't need
any prodding. Be content to know
that this is at least as good as his
other three records. There is no
question about it, this recording
belongs on your turntable, in your
cassette deck, or on your C.D.
player. And that's a promise
-Akim D. Reinhardt

Rhythm and Noise
Rhythm and Noise, a San Francisco experimental band that incorporates both of the aforementioned into their
attack, will make their Ann Arbor debut with fellow Rough Trade recording artists Trial on Friday night at the
Performance Network. The show starts at 9 p.m., tickets are $5. Ann Arbor's own beat-box bullies Circle Con-
fusion will open it all.
50ยข off all
Imported Bottled Beers
Over 40 brands of
Imported Beers s
Largest Selection on Campus! I / PC

10 p.m.-close

338 S. State




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