The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, September 27, 1989
' p .
'China Song' generates support for students
Big Audio Dynamite
I like Big Audio Dynamite. I like
them a lot. So when B.A.D. man
Mick Jones said that Megatop
Phoenix was "the album we always
wanted to make," I was excited. (For
those of you not in the know, Mick
Jones used to be in the Clash.) I was
still excited when I brought the tape
home and plopped it in my stereo.
After all, there were 17 songs listed
on the sleeve and the guy at the
counter said that it sounded really
good. Confused was how I felt three
(real) songs later.
First of all, five of the 17 songs
listed are actually just bits of Don
Letts' sample library. Since these
songs are not noticeably different
from the beginnings and endings of
other songs, I don't know why they
were designated as they were. This is
especially confusing when two of
the first three songs fail to turn up.
Well then, how are the remaining
twelve songs? Not bad, I suppose
(pun intended). There aren't any
standout gems such as "The Bottom
Line"or "C'mon Every Beatbox," but
tunes like "Dragon Town," "Baby,
Don't Apologise," and "Stalag 123"
certainly carry their weight. Heck,
there's even a sort of tribute to the
godfather of soul on "James Brown."
The band's decline in lyrical qual-
ity continues on this installment of
the B.A.D. saga, however. Instead of
the witty and original lines found on
earlier works such as This is Big Au-
dio Dynamite, we get drivel like
this: "Take a stand/ before you fall/
Your country needs you/ to play
football." Not many profound state-
ments on this platter. Maybe Mick
watched a bit too much daytime TV
in the hospital during his near-fatal
bout with pneumonia.
The credits are so extensive as to
list what Mick was listening to in
the hospital. It's easy to spot the re-
sults of some of these influences.
Take De La Soul for example. While
samples of others' songs are incor-
porated into De La Soul's sound
with great success, B.A.D. just
hasn't gotten the hang of it yet. The
result? Well, would someone please
tell me why the intro to the Who's
"I Can't Explain" is suddenly thrust
into "Contact" and then is gone just
as suddenly? Don and Mick need a
little more practice at this type of
sampling if they plan on continuing
There's less emphasis on the gui-
tar this time around; keyboards and
sequencers play a more prominent
role than on earlier efforts. This isn't
See RECORDS, page 8
BY MICHELE KNAUB
CHINA Song: A Concert of Music and Poetry in Sup-
port of the Chinese Democracy Movement is an event
sponsored by the Chinese Student Action Committee,
Human Rights for China, and the China Song Concert
Committee. According to organizers, the event is an
expression of solidarity between Chinese and Ameri-
cans based on their common democratic aspirations.
The concert also intends to convey support for the
Chinese students now in the United States, who are
facing an uncertain future in the wake of the Beijing
government's response to student demonstrations. "A
concert like this seems like the best way to build sup-
port," said Alec Meiklejohn, China Song Committee
organizer. "This concert is culture-oriented, and in this
community, that builds understanding. This event is in
the spirit of the movement."
Both Western and Chinese music will be featured at
the concert. Musicians scheduled to perform include pi-
anist Ellen Chu, who holds a masters degree in music
from the University and the University's Chinese Stu-
dent String Quartet, comprised of graduate students
from the University's Music School. Two Detroit-
based groups will perform traditional music: the
Cathay Melodiers, a Chinese choir, and the Floating
Cloud Chinese Instrumental Group, a traditional Chi-
nese music ensemble. ;
Music won't be the only art form to be enjoyed at
the concert. Cui Shu Oin, a graduate student in Ameri
can Culture, will read contemporary Chinese poetry,
followed by English translations read by Ann Arbor-
area dramatist Elsie Bryant and musician Stephanie
Speaking in support of the Chinese movement will
be Ann Arbor Councilmember Nelson Meade, State
Representative Perry Bullard, and a representative of
Senator Donald Riegle. Senator Carl Levin has sent a
letter of support to be read at the concert.
CHINA SONG: A CONCERT OF MUSIC AND
POETRY IN SUPPORT OF THE CHINESE DEMOC-
RACY MOVEMENT will take place tomorrow night
at 7:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church of Ann A-
bor, 1917 Washtenaw Avenue. Admission is free.
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