Page 8 -The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 17, 1987
Lavin expands folk boundaries
with her engaging,
By Timothy Huet
Those who view folk music as a
strange therapy engaged in by
neurotic, whining hemophiliacs will
be pleasantly surprised, probably
shocked, if they go to see Christine
Lavin's performance at the Ark
tonight. Lavin is one of the
emerging singer/songwriters who is
expanding the frontiers of folk's
image and essence.
When Lavin moves beyond the
traditional bounds of folk, she
usually ventures somewhere between
the Far Side and the Twilight Zone.
Lavin's last album, Future Fossils,
is a collection of truly demented and
delightful songs illuminating the
odder aspects of "reality."
As the subtitle to her new release
Beau Woes (and Other Problems of
Modern Life) implies, most of the
songwriter's send-ups are inspired by
everyday life - as filtered through a
pair of warped and witty eyes. Lavin
explains that her character
assassination of the royal family in
Prince Charles is the product of her
not-so-secret yearning for the "ear-
apparent" and that Biological Time
Bomb stems from her own anxi-
eties. Asked about the everyday
inspiration for Amoeba Hop, a
celebration of lower-life form high-
life, Lavin launches into a long
story about "seeing pictures of a
beached whale and a hospitalized Liz
Taylor on the same day."
The singer's musical origins are
just as unconventional. Lavin first
learned to play guitar from a PBS
television series. She later received
the great fortune to be "discovered"
and taught by Dave Van Ronk.
Lavin says that Van Ronk "is really
like the guiding light for all of us in
the Village," and describes him as a
continuing influence on her music.
Indeed, Lavin will soon begin guitar
lessons under Van Ronk's tutelage
again in an effort to expand her
limited musical abilities to meet her
limitless lyrical creativity.
In turn for such beneficence,
Lavin has actively promoted the
careers of other aspiring folk singers
as a driving force behind Fast Folk
Musical Magazine. Unlike a normal
magazine, Fast Folk is issued with
a record ten times a year. The record
is a compilation featuring talented
but unrecognized performers.
Suzanne Vega's meteoric rise to
fame was prefigured by several
releases on Fast Folk Musical
The emergence of Vega has
spearheaded what Lavin terms a "folk
resurgence." But Vega's success has
only been the most popular
manifestation of this resurgence. The
folk scene is filled with bright stars,
of which Lavin is one of the most
Christine Lavin will take the
Ark's stage tonight at 8. Tickets are
$6 for members, $7 for non Ark
C ristine Lavin will be performing her witty folk songs at the Ark tonight.
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We know it's late, but in case
you missed 'em check out this
"Best of the Summer" listening
Lenny Pickett and
Lenny Pickett and Borneo
The Horns have cut an album
that is a playful frolic that dances
gingerly upon the waves of its
rising, falling, rising rhythm. The
tracks are all horns and percussion;
the music is minimal, perky, and
INFORMATION & REGISTRATION
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THURSDAY, SEPT. 17
ROOM 170, DENNISON
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very pleasant. The liner notes say
that they had to spend a lot of time
rehearsing to achieve the extremely
tight effect, and it paid off. If they
sound familiar, it's because they
have played back-up to David
Bowie - but this is not a rock
record. Great fun.
In My Tribe
Natalie Merchant's ability for
lyrics hasn't faltered, but the'sound
on this record is a bit dull and over-
produced and doesn't do her
justice... A disappointment com-
pared to their previous releases, but
River of Life
Reagon is from Sweet Honey in
the Rock. If you've ever heard
them, this record should come as no
surprise. It's beautiful acapella
gospel music. Reagon's voice is a
warm, smooth instrument that's
loaded with the true conviction of
her songs. A gorgeous record.
See RECORDS Page 9
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