The Michigan Daily
Tuesday, January 24, 1989
BY ROBERT FLAGGERT
THE Wipers are coming to town. It's their farewell
tour. And if I knew more about them than that, I could
* probably weave a relatively convincing and effective
preview based on my knowledge. Which is supposed
to be fairly simple - just putting down on paper why
said band is talented and entertaining enough for others
to want to see them live.
Unfortunately, that's easier said than done, because
I know little more about the Wipers than those of you
who know nothing about them, and probably a lot less
than those of you who know anything about them.
This preview, therefore, is targeted specifically at those
who know nothing about the Restless Records record-
ing artists the Wipers. Those who are familiar with the
Wipers' (specifically singer/songwriter/guitarist Greg
Sage's) work might as well stop reading right now,
because I assume you'll go to the show anyway.
The little knowledge I have about the Wipers is all
vinyl. Actually, that's not true, but I prefer not to
count the seven pages of idle garbage Restless sent
along as a press pack. How much do band photos and
rmembers' life stories actually say about the band or its
music? Not much. So it boils down to information
from only two sources: Their 1987 release The Circle,
and one live cut, which happens to be my favorite,
from the Sub-Pop Compilation LP.
Two sources. Adding up to a grand total of only 11
songs. Not much to base an intelligent and convincing
preview upon. But enough.
The live cut - a song called "Nothin' to Prove"
recorded back in '82 in Portland - rocks. Ferocious
angst-driven rock 'n' roll American style. Guitar cen-
tered rock played the way every Replacements-wannabe
garage band across this country could only hope to
play. Melodic, yet at the same time, powerful. Truly
The studio recorded cuts on The Circle, however,
are terribly weak, which I attribute to one cause: the
power and the energy that makes up the Wipers simply
cannot be harnessed on vinyl. Which creates the in-
evitable problem of people thinking that the band is
lame and that there would be no sense in seeing them
live if the album is any indication of their live show.
But it's not. I know that, as does anyone who has
heard them live.
Doubtful? Take a gander at the three youngsters in
Dinosaur Jr. Their albums are excellent works, one
might even say godly, but I'd much rather see them
play live than listen to their recorded material. The
same goes for a handful of other guitar bands: Redd
Kross, Naked Raygun, Squirrelbait (RIP), the Necros.
And it's not just the funny comments between songs
or the jumping and thrashing about upon stage. Those
are merely the means to the end.
These, like the Wipers, are musicians who obvi-
ously feel more comfortable on stage than in a record-
ing studio, and consequently, when they are jumping
around and talking to a live audience, play better. And
put on a better show. It's not surprising.
The Wipers leave their studio stuff behind and play
live tonight at the Blind Pig. Doors open at 9 p.m.
and cover is $5.
When they're not
Greg Sage, Brad
busy hanging around
Davidson, and Steve
in dark alleys looking sinister, the Wipers (from
Plouf) have been known to turn in some great
BY BETH COLSQUITT
THE set of Neil Simon's Broadway
Bound is the perfect type of house
for the Jerome family. It has a quiet,
humble dignity. An afghan sits on
the back of a comfortably worn sofa.
The dining room table, as Kate
Jerome (Barbara Tarbuck) tells us,
was handmade by her grandfather. It
is the nicest piece of furniture in the
This backdrop reflects the people
who live in it. The Jerome family is
a little dilapidated, but still lovingly
cared for by its matriarch.
Simon's latest comedy is not just
a comedy. The comedy was there, as
Eugene (Kurt Deutsch) states, and it
was good enough that Eugene really
' did succeed in selling about 1400
seats, as he joked to the audience, for
people to come and watch his family
in their natural habitat. However, the
real storyline is comic-tragic.
The story is told to us from Eu-
gene's point of view. At first this
seems like a corny technique for en-
lightening the audience, but it serves
to constantly remind us of the hu-
mor and the irony in all the situa-
tions. Through Eugene's eyes we
;can see the world from the point of
:view of one for whom the world is
full of opportunity. Simon contrasts
Eugene's and Stanley's (Brian
Drillinger) attitude to that of their
I was surprised that (Broadway Bound ) was not at all
spectacular. This was because Simon's humor and
tragedy come from everyday people living normal lives.
grandfather and mother, who are both
soured towards life.
Barbara Tarbuck did a wonderful
job of portraying a survivor. To play
a shrew with feelings underneath,
and make it realistic, is not an easy
task. I really felt a kind of from-the-
heart regret and sadness for Kate
This being my first Neil Simon
play, I was surprised that it was not
at all spectacular. This was because
Simon's humor and tragedy come
from everyday people living normal
lives. As I watched it, I realized that
this sort of humor is the funniest
kind,sand this sort of tragedy goes
In many ways, Broadway Bound
is a play within a play. In the scene
in which the whole family is sitting
around the radio listening to Eugene
and Stanley's radio show, one sees
that the play is written as a com-
mentary on itself. Several of Eu-
gene's dialogues with the audience
are the same way. The dialogues
comment on the situation of the
Jerome family as well as on how the
situation would appear to outside
viewers. The reason for the use of
this technique is that the story is
I can honestly say that the play
was hysterical. I was hooting with
laughter during most of the show.
The way that Deutsch and Drillinger
bounced off of each other was better
than slapstick, and one could see
that, as brothers, the two were sure
to make a great comedy team - if
they would just stop and listen to
themselves argue for a minute.
The funniest scene I can remem-
ber was when Stanley demanded that
Eugene be serious about his work.
Mocking Stanley, Eugene took a
moment to play an over-dramatized
Hamlet and did one of the best sui-
cide scenes I have seen since Kabin
Thomas' Bottom in last semester's
Midsummer Night's Dream.
It was a moot point to review
this show, because there was only
one performance, which is now over,
and because it is sort of silly for a
University sophomore to pose as a
critic for what has already been
praised on Broadway, the theatre
Medina of the world. I loved it,
Reach 40,000 readers after class,
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-- - -MAGAZINE
The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Historical Performance Forum.
John Holloway, violinist of the London
Classical Players, in a lecture/
demonstration, "Violin Playing in the
17th and 18th centuries."
Recital Hall, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
John Holloway, working with student
violinists in historical performance
Recital Hall, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
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