Tuesday, November 24, 1987
The Michigan Doily
By V. J. Beauchamp
If you are at all familiar with En-
glish traditional music, then, you
know John Kirkpatrick. You know,
the guy with the melodeon, and the
accordion, and the concertinas. Last
time he came through town with the
Richard Thompson band. You know,
that Richard Thompson. Well, John
Kirkpatrick returneth, and retumeths
tonight, to the Ark.
Kirkpatrick is prolific, accom-
plished and versatile. He's been
playing the melodeon since he was
13, which is a long time ago. In that
mean time he has managed to be
recorded for soundtracks and library
recordings, as well as the commer-
cial stuff he's better known for.
So, you ask, what commercial
stuff? He has been a member of the
seminal Albion Band and Steeleye
Span. With Martin Carthy he formed
Brass Monkey, a pioneering revi-
sionist folk band without t h e
characteristic bass and drums and
with - get this - a horn section.
And for Richard Thompson fans,
Kirkpatrick was that accor-
dion/melodeon/concertina foil to
Thompson's ginsu guitar on practi-
cally every Richard Thompson al-
He has participated, in many dif-
ferent ways, with Sue Harris. As
well, he has played with people like
the late Sandy Denny, Leon Rossel-
son, Maggie Holland, Gerry Raf-
ferty, Ralph McTell, and Sally Old-
field. His playing is featured on
more than 60 commercial albums.
But he's an all-around normal
guy. He has a garden and his own
Morris team (a style of English tra-
ditional dancing), the Shropshire
Bedlams. Bored with the staid and
lumbering state of Morris dancing in
Shropshire, he conspired to shake a
few folks up and wreck a wee bit of
havoc. Which the team does, quite
Kirkpatrick's latest effort is Blue
Balloon (on his own Squeezer label,
distributed as an import by Topic),
featuring our man about town on the
aforementioned buttonboxes and vo-
cals. The vocals are right up front
on this effort, something we haven't
seen in practically ten years, and he
does okay by it, too. He is accom-
panied by a veritable Who's Who of
Brit Pop-Trad, including Richard
Thompson, Sue Harris, Ruari Mc-
Farlane, Clive Gregson, and Chris-
tine Collister .
The album includes such classics
as Laundroloverette, Kirkpatrick's
mock-trad ballad about, well, laun-
dromats, not to mention some other
jems. Perhaps the only problem is
his great admiration of Thompson's
work. At times, Kirkpatrick's com-
positions suggest that he's trying
too hard to imitate that characteristic
Thompson Sufi state. This is not
always such a detraction!
Kirkpatrick is a very interesting
and boisterous performer, to be sure.
For those of you who scoff at ac-
cordions, be silent and scoff no
more! JOHN KIRKPATRICK has,
buttonboxes,will travel. Showtime
is 8 p.m.tonight and tickets are $8,.
and $7 for members and students.
At the Ark, of course, 637 S. Main.
John Kirkpatrick plays the melodeon, the accordion, and the
concertinas in the true English tradition. He will bring his versatile
and renowned style to the Ark tonight.
a film that' s
By Mark Shaiman
Made In Heaven is a rare find; it doesn't look like
the typical film made in Hollywood today. Sure there
are two major stars and a whole flock of cameos, but
what is gone is the glitz and gloss of a Hollywood
film. And that's something to be thankful for.
Heaven, scripted by Bruce A. Evans and Raynold
Gideon (Stand By Me ), possesses warmth, tenderness,
and sincerity. The storyline is fairly simple: Mike
(Timothy Hutton) and Ally (Kelly McGillis) are two
souls in Heaven who fall in love. But in Heaven, souls
are recycled and Ally is sent to Earth to take over a new
body. Meanwhile, Mike is allowed to follow her and
try to continue their love on Earth. The problem is that
even though their souls remain the same, they are now
different people and so they have to re-find each other.
The soundtrack plays an important part in this film.
Numbers were contributed by, among others, Ric
Ocasek and Neil Young (both of whom make guest
appearances). One song, "We've Never Danced"
(written by Neil Young, performed by Martha Davis)
helps to connect their lives together in Heaven with
their lives apart on Earth. If you haven't heard it yet, it
will probably soon be on the radio. And rather than
just being another song, it does makes a significant
contribution to the film.
But what truly distinguishes this from other movies
is the photography. Director Alan Rudolph and
Director of Photography Jan Kiesser must have put in
a large amount of time, thought, and effort to give
Made In Heaven its unique visual style.
The opening scenes of Mike leaving home are
filmed in black and white, which is nothing special on
its own; Woody Allen does that all the time. But this
is not the crystal-clear contrast you might expect. It is
the washed out black and white that is found in those
old photographs you see at your grandparents' home.
Because the film takes place over an extended period of
time, photographic effects such as this help to identify
each particular time frame.
The shots in Heaven are also done specially to
convey an ethereal quality. Sepia tones and an
orangish-yellowish glow envelope the landscapes and
characters, providing an atmosphere that you could
actually see as suffusing Heaven. This film has you
believing that that is what Heaven is truly like.
In many ways this film is quite different from
anything else, but especially because it places its
emphasis more strongly on the visual aspects than
anything else, even the stars. This is not to say that
Hutton and McGillis are forgettable. They should be
applauded for understanding the importance of
downplaying their roles, of letting the film be its own
main attraction, not them. Almost any two young
performers could play these roles, but it is nice to see
that two major box-office draws will allow themselves
to take a second seat to the film itself. Especially when
the film deserves it.
Jaguars Ripped M y
By Tim Cahill
In the introduction to Jaguars
Ripped My Flesh, the supposedly
"long awaited" collection of adven-
ture tales, travel writer Tim Cahill,
says: "Most of us abandon the idea
of a life full of dreams sometime
between puberty and our first job.
Our dreams die under the dark weight
of responsibility. I like to think I'm
in the business of giving people
back their dreams." Like Cahill says,
he does indeed give his readers back
Yet the dreams restored by the
reading of this volume of stories are
not the post-adolescent yearnings to
strap on a Beat-backpack and Ker-
ouac around the country. On the
r contrary, the only dreams Cahill
yields are ones that are nocturnal in
nature, dreams tucked away in the
darkness of our minds, dreams buried
in the feathery down of fluffy bed
In the blurb found on the book's
back cover, Cahill, a long time con-
tributor to Rolling Stone, confesses,
in large bold print: "I spend a lot of
time laughing at myself." This self-
scrutinizing statement, aside from
the sometimes tickling accounts of
his encounters with a diverse cross
section of people ranging from na-
tive Peruvians to fellow Montanans
is one of the few redeeming qualities
about Cahill and his highly improb-
able adventure tales. At least w e
know he's not taking himself seri-
ously. But then why should his
But come on, being associated
with the definitive big-wigs of
Rolling Stone, there surely must be
some "hip" element locked within
Tim Cahill. Well, yes, and no. He
succeeds in poking fun at Carl
Sagan, survival books, and he even
parodies Samuel Taylor Coleridge in
a story entitled "Rime of the Ancient
Porcupine," a tale about a man who
foolishly douses a porcupine with
kerosene, lights it on fire, and in
agony, the animal scurries under the
man's house and burns it down to
the ground. Could this be Cahill's
illuminating commentary on 20th
century humans' relationship with a
At the same time, Cahill vio-
lates almost everyone by mocking
an all-time hero, Woodsy Owl, sav-
ior of Nature, saying that he looks
like he ought to be "leading cheers
in some bush-league baseball park,"
instead of as "a symbol of our wild
lands." Now that's carrying it a bit
Tim Cahill, the Crocodile Dundee
of adventure writing, would be better
off translating his adventures into
Saturday morning cartoon thrillers
than trying to pawn them off on the
short story circuit. Sandwiched be-
tween The Chipmunks and Pee Wee
Herman's Playhouse, Cahill and his
self-centered chronicles (all told from
the first person point-of-view) could.
be animated into entertaining
glimpses of macho life in the wild.
Yet until this occurs, this book is
recommended solely for those trou-.
bled with insomnia. It will surely.
cure even the worst, case of the,
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" Holly Sharp California
. Pour Toi Tricot Italy
FEBRUARY 21 - 28, 1988
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