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November 04, 1988 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-04

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age 8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 4, 1988

Leonard's love: Sad but true

BY GREG BAISE
A H, yes. The age-old tale: I want you, I have
you, I lost you, I need you.The life of the heart.
The stuff great songs are made of: the songs of
Robert Smith and the Cure, Morrissey and the
Smiths, Ian McCulloch and Echo and the Bun-
nymen.
The songs of Leonard Cohen. Yeah, Canadian
singer, author and poet Cohen had travelled there
and back again before any of the aforementioned
artists even started on their journeys into the dark
depths of Hades searching for their Eurydices.
Cohen often gets categorized as a folk singer,
a style that is reflected by his early classics
"Suzanne," "Sisters of Mercy," and his
interpretation of "The Partisan." However, his
latest album, I'm Your Man (CBS), finds the
synthesized, grim attack on everything that's
wrong with contemporary society, "First We
Take Manhattan" followed by the middle-of-the-
road "Ain't No Cure For Love." Also present are
"Take This Waltz," a song reminiscent of his
earlier songs, and "Tower of Song," perhaps the
best showcase of Cohen's sharp sense of hu-
mor/self-depreciation: "My friends are gone, and
my hair is grey/And I ache in the places where I
used to play."
Regarding the many synthesized arrangements
on the new album, Cohen says, "I think they are
appropriate. Every album has differed quite sig-
nificantly from the previous album." Much of
the synthesizer sound will be reproduced in con-
cert, although the main synthesizer arrangers on
the new album, Jeff Fisher and Michel Ro-
bidoux, are unable to tour with Cohen.
I'm Your Man has sold over 750,000 copies
worldwide, yet Cohen still remains unknown to
the masses. The two promotional videos for the

new album aren't shown on MTV or VH-1. But
Cohen still feels that being a cult attraction is
better than not attracting anyone at all: "I'm
happy to have any sort of label attached to me,
because without some sort of label, you're out of
business. If cult just means that there are a few
people here and there that like your work, well,
I'll settle for that, because what's the next step?
Nobody knows your work." Regarding his lack
of recognition on the North American continent,
Cohen adds, "We have a certain, special attitude
towards performers that come from our own
country: we tend to ignore them unless they be-
come famous somewhere else."
Not surprisingly, many of Cohen's fans are
younger musicians who readily identify with the
sad love present in Cohen's work. But as for an
actual influence on the works of, say, the Cure or
the Smiths, Cohen modestly states, "I see it
more as a fraternal greeting that goes over the
years. It's just a matter of carrying the torch for a
little while, and then somebody else picks it up."
Cohen is also an author, publishing poetry
and novels. Perhaps the most famous of Cohen's
novels is Beautiful Losers, a deeply confessional
story published in 1966, the year before the re-
lease of Cohen's first album. "I've always played
a little music and blackened a few pages," he
confesses. "It's been going on like that for a
long, long time."
Cohen's last book was Book of Mercy, a
book of psalms. He sardonically claims that this
book was published in secret by a division of
Random House in the United States. "I think
there was one review of it in Akron, Ohio," he
said.
Similarly, his album previous to I'm Your
Man, Various Positions, wasn't released by CBS
Records and had to be distributed by Passport, a

much smaller, independent label. Both of these
obstacles to Cohen's success occurred in 1984.
"My career has always been very modest," Cohen
comments. Cohen remembers 1984 as one of the
lower points in his days: "In the mid '80s, my
success in America was pretty thin. You hope,
but you don't expect. You hope that things go
well, but if they don't, you get used to disap-
pointment. Jennifer [Warnes] definitely helped to
ressurect my credentials in the record offices
throughout America."
In fact near the end of 1986, Jennifer Warnes,
a long time friend of Cohen, released an album of
her recordings of his songs called Famous Blue
Raincoat. Warnes appears on I'm Your Man, and
Warnes is recording a new album which will
contain some more of his songs.
Cohen is enjoying his current success, sym-
bolized perhaps by his popularity in Europel'm
Your Man was number one in Norway for 14
weeks. Cohen noted, "Right now it seems that
the countries that are most interested in my work
are Norway, Spain, and Poland." In fact, there is
an annual Leonard Cohen Festival in Krakow,
Poland.
Poland? For our North American minds, it's
easy to see how that nation behind the Iron Cur-
tain can take such a liking to Cohen's work.
Many of Cohen's songs are gloomy. But he
looks upon this dark atmosphere as natural and
by no means as being unique to him. He ex-
plains, "Popular song is about the life of the
heart. Nobody masters the heart. Nobody cools it
out. It just cooks like shish kabob in your
breast. It's not philosophy. It's not theology. It
hurts a lot of the time, and that's the beginning
of a lot of songs, not just my own."
LEONARD COHEN makes his first Ann Arbor
appearance at the Michigan Theater Sunday at
7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16.50.

,a

Youth
ontinued from Page 7
topic: will the tour be
mostly songs from Daydream
alion?)
: Yeah, that's all you're gonna
hear... Pretty much, I mean, we'll
rebably whip out a few oldies...
'robably because, I mean, at first,
4 en we just played in Europe and at
rt we did all of Daydream, like the
mnire album, and it was really weird
:ause people (laughs)... I mean, we
ilgyed in Spain and Greece where we
-eer played before and people really
wanted to hear songs that we never
are played in -
1: Like, (sarcastically) "Kill Yr
Idols!"
.Yeah like, "Kill Yr Idols," "Death
Valley," and it's like, "No way."
The
Engelhard helps
even though the
them. Enge/hard,
we drive, clothing
plants where web
make us efficie
maceuticals and4
materials perfornr
ing process or s
giving a certain c
duct. That's why
ducts company. /
ing the company
quality to give us
the needs of cus

(topic: The Sonic sound)
T: We almost feel that we should
just say screw it and get two standard
E-tuned guitars and write a bunch of
songs. You know, and not tell any-
body that we did that and they'll
think "wow, these tunings are really
interesting." 'Cause a lot of the
songs we write, it doesn't sound so
that it's the guitars... I guess if you
didn't know (about the tunings),
you'd think we were playing some
pretty wild chords. That's about it.
'Cause, to me, when I hear our stuff,
it doesn't sound like there's a bunch
of weirdly tuned guitars, but it's just
so well known that.., it really sticks
in your craw. Oh, like, "what are
they doing... they must have a drill
underneath their pickup there..."
D: I think you guys are really great.
But those (critics) describe too much,
they make it like you consciously go

and deconstruct all this, that, and the
other thing. And, I see you as more
like a continuum or more like a
whole lot of really cool punk bands.
T: Yeah, well, that's the way we see
it also, so that's cool. But I can see
where people get the ideas from. I
mean, 'cause there's such a history of
ways of dealing with electric instru-
ments, modifying things... So yeah,
I mean, it does relate to that. I mean,
it has to. But, you know, just the
way harmonics are used, the over-
tones relate to the music.

Second

'you
BY MARGIE

saw
HEINLEN

SONIC YOUTH will play St. An-
drew's Hall, 431 E. Congress in De-
troit, tonight with Ann Arbor's own
favorite screamers the Laughing
Hyenas opening. Tickets are $10.50
in advance, $13 at the door. Show
starts at 10 p.m. Get out of your
cave and make the trek.

W hich one doesn't belong: Joh
Belushi (and brother James), Gild
Radner, Joan Rivers, Dan Akroyd, o
Bill Murray?
Wrong. Trick question. They a
belong, or more correctly, used t
belong, to a theater group many c
you know as the Second City. Thes
Second Citizens have gone on t
bigger, if not necessarily bette
things. But where the comedy troup
is going Saturday night is here, t
the Michigan Theater.
It all began in 1959 - the rea
ization of a dream that began in th
minds of university students.)
group of University of Chicago th
I SPECIAL SPRI

Us

[ I

w

nt of Tomorrow
Today
make many of the products we use everyday
company name doesn't appear on most of
products and technologies help make the cars
we wear, food we eat, homes and offices and
live and work, telephones and computers that
nt, magazines and books we read, phar-
vitamins that keep us healthy. The company's
n vital functions in a customer's manufactur-
erve critical purposes providing reliability, or
characteristic to the customer's finished pro-
Engelhard is known as a Performance Pro-
And why technology is so important in enabl-
to continue advancing the leading edge in
an advantage over competition by meeting
tomers in our markets.

i

Can
F

City: Remember,
them here first
ater zealots got together in an low- they're shooting at us.
rent ex-chop suey house and and The philosophy behind the Sec-
launched the Playwrights Theater ond City approaches comedy as not
n Club. It crashed. Then it shared the telling jokes... but creating or recre-
a space with two companies, the ating vignettes and situations that
)r Compass Players and the Studebaker are realistic and personal and there-
Theater Company, and the group's fore;inanely, funny. And we bring it
ll performers and cohorts. Same story. on ourselves. Most of the dozen or
o So they they bought a Chinese so skits in each review are scripted
f laundry in Chicago's Old Town. And and rehearsed, but they begin as
e on December 16, 1959, the spontaneous ideas generated at the
o reconstituted yet still potent concoc- end of each night's performance. The
r, tion of players opened the doors of audience is asked to yell out topics
e The Second City (a name taken from and ideas for the players to develop
o a put-down of Chicago in the New into comedy.
Yorker ). The rest is just good com- Joyce Sloane, Second City's pro-
1- edy. Though not yet exactly venera- ducer, has been with the troupe since
e ble, the Second City has set most of its first baby steps and has watched
A the comedy canons of the recent tra- it stride confidently and dramatically
e- dition in American satire. And into the history of humor, spawning
takeoffs such as Saturday Night
Live.
:NG REAK TRIPRecalling Second City alum and
NG BREAK TRIP past SNL member Gilda Radner's
calling to comedy, Sloane said,
Lcun $589.00 per person "Gilda first saw Second City when
$58.00we played the Trueblood Theater in
ieb. 25- Mar. 4, 1988 Ann Arbor - she followed it to
Chicago."
But Sloane preferred to comment
reservation. Includes on the here and now. "We hope to be
a reflection of our audience's present
s in a beach hotel, close situations and behavior." She adds
that "people's greatest misperception
, transfers and taxis! about Second City is that we're just
Space Limited! a club. We're a group of profession-
als. We're artists."
MH O R IZONS These comedians are students,
______________________ too. Troupe member Dave Sinker,
, TRAVEL INC himself a graduate, with a degree in
WV Icommunications, from Marquette,
says'that college towns are his fa-
vorite. "We love doing college
ersity of Michigan towns. We find undiscovered laughs.
national Center Ina scene, whichhas already been
played, the actor knows when to an-
ticipate a laugh but students find
s you to humor in different lines and different
actions that we don't expect," says
Sloane.
TERNATIONAL Greg Holloman, Michael Mc-
Carthy, Amy Sedans, Tim Mead-
S GHows, Dave Sinker, Claudia Smith
and Rose Abdoo. Remember those
names - become a pompous snob
ERNATIONALIZED of the future ("I saw them before
they were big. Yeah, in college. I
7-9 p.m was sitting two feet from 'em."). So
check out the elite of comedy
ational Center (although they get paid about as well
Madison as our T.A.'s, so they need your
support).
er countries through games SECOND- CITY performs Saturday
ill Kay at 747-2303 night at the Michigan Theater.
Tickets are $1250 and $10.50.

$75.00 will hold your
round-trip air, 7 night
to the Hard Rock Cafe
Call Now!
663-3434
475 Market Place
The Univ
Intern
- - invites
THE FIRST IN'
GAME%
PICTIONARY INT
Tonight
at the Intern
603 E.I
Come and learn about oth
For more info ca

ENGELHA RD IS COMING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN!
All Mechanical & Chemical Engineering students, together, with their
faculty and staff, are invited to a reception sponsored by A.L.Ch.E.
from 5:15-7:15PM, Tuesday, November 8th in the EECS.

Recruiting Interviews
November 9th, 1988
(Contact your Placement Office)

. .
:-:

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"'.":
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.". .

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RE-ELECT SHERIFF RON
SCHEBIL,

I - I

:":

MR i fta AMIM!

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