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October 06, 1989 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-06

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Page 8- The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 6, 1989


Dugan McNeill
In The Velvet Night
On the cover of his debut album,
In The Velvet Night, Dugan McNeill
stares pensively ahead into eternity.
His five-o-clock shadow and his jet
black hair are attempts to accentuate
his point. But what is his point?
In The Velvet Night is a nine
track LP consisting of side one -
"The Anger Songs" - and side two
- "The Love Songs."
McNeill opens with "The Walls
Came Down," a catchy tune with
mystical chimes and a heavy guitar
lick. In this commentary on the de-
cline of society, McNeill bellows
emotionally: "The walls came
down... and the clouds touched the
ground... she smiled to herself and
just kept walking." The elements
combine to form a powerful state-
"Israeltown," chock-filled with
vague references to the prophet Eli-
jah, the rosary, and a rather artificial
anger, follows. McNeill attempts to
disguise all these inadequacies by
undertoning them with an incessant
thumping rhythm, but ultimately,
the only impressive characteristic of
the song is the use of the word
"Israel" in its title.
The next song, "Stranger Than
Paradise," is introduced by a peculiar
horn section. One tends toesway to
the tune, but the lyrics are wimpy
and an interesting guitar and drum
combination as an interlude fails to

salvage the song.
"Eyes Of A Child," the second to
last song on side one, and the al-
bum's gem, ensues. This is clearly
Dugan McNeill's anthem. He initi-
ates it with an exotic bagpipe-like
prelude and continues with sincerity
as he proclaims: "I believe in love...
I believe in the strength of the night,
and if you trust in me, I will trust in
you; in the eyes of a child it will all
come true." And he polishes it off
with a rapturous guitar solo.
"There Goes My Heart Again,"
"Ghost On The Radio," "I Will Be
There," and "Love You Today," the
four songs which side two of In The
Velvet Night consists of, might as
will have been combined and con-
densed into one. They contain a con-
sistency of dull repetitive rhythms
and overused guitar solos. With
lyrics such as: "There's time enough
for love; there's love enough for ev-
eryone" found on "Ghost On The
Radio" and "Cross your heart and say
my name; I will be there" on "I Will
Be There," one cannot wait for the
album to end. Boring!
Dugan McNeill does nothing
revolutionary on this album, but his
genuine fury on side one is evident;
we can feel it, and:we revel in it
with him. However, one feels the
necessity to withhold judgement un-
til the completion of the album, at
which point one concludes that
Dugan McNeill may have what it
takes, but In The Velvet Night does
not. -Kim Yaged

up of the war in Central America,
Wordsmith sings: "But the women
BOP (harvey) and children who die Are they just
Bread and Circuses too red to get by?/ The news is
King Snake Records burgers and fries while it's genocide
Let's face it, not a whole lot of these days."
good reggae bands have come out of But not all the songs touch upon
Michigan. BOP (harvey) may just be such weighty topics. "Vibe" serves
the first. Although they're currently as both a band history and a boast:
based somewhere on the east coast "All of the people came around to
(Providence, RI, I think), they dance/ They made a discovery/ a band
started out at Michigan State Uni- called BOP (harvey)/ Skanking as
versity. I was well aware of their real as it can be, understand?"
reputation for frenetic live shows and One word can sum up the music:
of being the best reggae band this excellent. But let me say more. The
side of Jamaica. That reputation may rhythm section churns out the tight-
be justified - some firey lyrics and est grooves since The Wailers, the
first-rate grooves make up Bread horn section adds well-placed embel-
and Circuses. lishments and Wordsmith's singing
Start with the cover. At first sounds like a native Jamaican. The
glance, it appears to be an amusing band seems equally adept at the
brightly-colored cartoon of band slower grooves as with the faster ska
members in a roadside forest as the tunes like "Man in Disguise." There
circus goes by. A closer look reveals are a few duds on this one, however:
some interesting things: the band "Poor Judge Bork" has a good title
member with the "Gov't Lies" t- but not much else and the dub ver-
shirt, the pink elephant carrying a sion of "Vibe" gets a little tedious at
"What War?" banner, the camouflage over seven minutes. But these are
fighter plane with the trailer reading minor criticisms of an otherwise fine
"Don't pay any attention." work.
Same with the music. There is a The band is coming to town
current of political unrest (and sometime later this month, so you
outright rage) below the surface. have your chance to see 'em while
Like a lot of good reggae, BOP they're still playing the bars. If
(harvey)'s major key melodies and Bread and Circuses gets the right
heavy grooves tend to overshadow support, that time may be soon be
the darker lyrics. (Did you really over. It has the potential to lead
think Bob Marley's "Buffalo Sol- these guys on to much greener pas-
dier" was a cute little number spe- tures. Then you can tell your grand-
cially written for frat parties?) On kids that you saw them when...
the title track concerning the cover- -MIKE (molitor)
'Always look on the
Graa Chpa' et rmcne tteaeo 8i n ftoabsurd
things, dhe kind of flawS you tefuse to belicvc. This rnembxr of Monty Python
starred as King Arthur in Monty Python and the I~hly Grail and as the pseudo-
Chuist tide figure in L f of Iri an. He usua~y piaycd the traight guy (actually,
he was the only gay Python), but hey, somebody had to do it, and he did it to
pefection. Now the harsb realization: Morey Python will never be together
again, meaning that we will forever be subjected to screenings and rescreenings
of sctatchy ptints of Italy Grail and endless MTV teruns, which is too bad.
Fortunately, they have left one last legacy: a recently filmed 20th anniversary
Monty Python revdlutionized film and television comedy with their wild 'n'
wacky anarchic social critique that despite its brilliance (or ntaybe beCause ot
it) as spawncd a precious few descenxlants. Last year's masterpiecelleathers,
playing at the Michigan Thcater tonight at 7:15 and 1.1:30 p~m., is a shining
example of this genre of films that say a resounding flick you tD American
socieay. The film is funny as hefi, with a funky script ("Come on ]9kather,
bulimia is so '87.. ") and a caricature of high school frighteningly close to the
i'eat thing4 And this flick has not one but two up-and-coming teen stars who ate
actually kind of'coot - watch Winona Ryder act charismatic and Christian
Slatet act like Jack Nicholson. One warning, thoughf some people inevitably
find this a sick, sick movie. Obviously they've never seen anything by prc-
I/air~pray John Watets.+
-A:..::yssa:::~, Katz

Merchant of Venice to be'


Continued from page 7
Their new feature-length film
"High Fidelity," showing on campus
tonight, opened in New York last
week to the critics' delight. It's a
documentary of the life and times of
the Guarneri Quartet during their
long history together. "It shows us
rehearsing, arguing, relaxing, per-
forming, checking into Holiday Inn
and traveling by plane, bus and even
donkey!" Steinhardt says, surprised
at the success of the movie. "Allen
Miller," (who produced and directed
the film, as well as his other bril-
liantly conceived musical documen-
tary From Mao to Mozart: Isaac
Stern in China) "is a fine musician,

and when he asked us 'do you want
to make a movie?' we said sure... In
the future it will probably be good
reference material for young profes-
sionals and aspiring students."
Their goals for the future are not
definite. They work on a sponta-
neous level, planning each season as
it happens. This process flavors the
Quartet's musical and personal style.
The sky is the limit for the Guarneri
be performing tomorrow night at 8
p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. Re-
maining tickets are $18 and $14.
HIGH FIDELITY will be presented
tonight in MLB 3 at 7:30 p.m. Ad-
mission to the film is free.

JOHN Neville is exiting on a
high note with this, his last sea-
son as Artistic Director of
Canada's world class Shake-
spearean Festival held annually in
Stratford, Ontario. He has been
magnificent in bringing audiences
back to this small town (a three-
hour drive from Ann Arbor) and
making recent years a critical suc-
cess after his predecessor, the late
John Hirsch, struggled financially
in the '70s and early '80s.
While Hirsch was psychoana-
lytic in his aesthetics, giving
dramatic lessons on the churning
dark-side directives of human pas-
sion, Neville has been graceful,
civil, and refined. His lineups
have been somewhat conservative
but rarely dull. I recall two mo-
ments of Chekhovian bliss in par-
ticular: the deep spatial resonance
of John Wood's Cherry Orchard
(1987) and this season's Three
Sisters, directed by Neville and
made most memorable by Lucy
Peacock's portrayal of Masha.
Peacock presented audiences with
a figure whose dolorous anomie
and stoic nobility brought to mind
nothing less than a vision of
Garbo on the edge of violence.
I also recall a particularly zesty
and foppish Troilus and Cressida
on the Avon stage in 1987. While
most critics panned it or came
away grumbling out of the stuffier
sides of their mouths, I thought it
was a marvelous success, brash
and gaudy and decadent - TV
mini-series material for the edu-
cated "adult" audience.
As far asthis year goes, there's
still Sir John Vanbrugh's Relapse
playing at the Avon Theatre until
October 28. The wholesale outra-
geousness of a pre-rococo aes-
thetic of self lives on in Brian
Bedford's role as Sir Novelty
Fashion. The production is
scrumptious and the script is
thoroughly wit-ridden, so you
won't go wrong if you check it
out. Actually, I think it's much
better than A Midsummer Night's
Dream, currently playing at the
same stage. The Athenians are at-
tired in post-WWI Balkan dress
while the fairies prance right out
of the Arabian Nights. But aside
from Kevin Guidahl's sharply-vis-
aged Oberon and Keith Dinicol's
genially-rounded Bottom, there's
not much to choose from. I think
director Robert Ouzounian could
have benefited from any of Jan
Kott or Rene Girard's essays on
the play.
If you forego Dream or Re-
lapse, then by all means don't
miss The Merchant of Venice.

One of this year's certifiable hits,
the Merchant runs through Octo-
ber 28 at the Festival mainstage.
It's a play I never enjoyed much,
due largely to an almost deperson-
alized sedateness in Portia's char-
acter and the ineffectual old-before-
her-time comportment of actors
who took on the role. All this
changes with the irrepressible vi-
talism of voice and movement in
Seana McKenna's performance.
Speediness of wit and intellect be-
come attractions all their own.
Portia's lovely island-blown
youth, so often a matter of textual
cosmetics, suddenly takes on a
flesh-and-blood womanhood shot
through with comic grace and
magnetic restlessness.
The confident, nervy bounce in
McKenna's step and talk throws
into glaring relief the overplayed
bombast of Hubert Baron Kelly's
Prince of Morocco and the spidery
slo-mo affectations of Peter Don-
aldson's Prince of Aragon. Choos-
ing caskets under the sour counte-
nance of a mother (Michele
Muzzi) who could only be a
freaky derivation from Velazquez
or Goya, Donaldson draws
whoops of laughter with his disaf-
fected, effeminate unenthusiasm.
But the star of the show is
Brian Bedford as Shysock. Bed-
ford's Jew is a magnified, broadly
humanized patriarch who effec-
tively puts to rest all that early-
season complaining about the
play's anti-Semitism. Bedford
prefers dignity and self-assurance
to aggression and bitterness. A
fullness of life rumbles about in
Shylock's laugh; we see immedi-
ately that he has been generous
enough toward himself to have
endured as an alien among racists.
And when Jessica (Susannah
Hoffmann) runs off with Andrew
Dolha's gauzy, transparent
Lorenzo, I felt she was a daughter
well worth losing, so grand and
complex are the charms of such an
embattled father.
Old Shylock's hostile isola-
tion, his usury, his calculated the-
ologies of transaction are com-
pletely transvalued. There's no
hint of quickening malice or
ghoulish opportunism when he
takes up Antonio's offer. Yet he
is formidably sharp when it comes
to dealing with the hypocrisies of
Venetian capitalism and (almost)
out-duelling the Christians at their
own cynical, legalistic game.
If you feel like spending the
weekend in Canada, don't pass up
the Merchant. Bedford won all
kinds of kudos as Shylock in a re-
cent staging of the play in Wash-
ington, D.C., and if you see him
in Stratford, you'll know why.



1 1 g l
9 3
8 4
Some Efficiencies, 1-bedrooms, & 2-bedrooms still available.
Most include parking, heat, hot water, dishwashers,
laundry, and garbage disposals.
Call Prime Student housing *761-8000* 616 Church Street

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. --

1220 S. University

Michigan Union

540 E. Liberty


Departments, Faculty, Staff and Students of
University of Michigan:
Information Technology Service Center
is your ON CAMPUS authorized
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" 8 weeks at LCC (January 4-February 26)
" 9 months in Japan
(March 1-December 10)
" 57 Academic Credits
" Sponsored by LCC and
Biwako Kisen Steamship, Co.

535 W. William St.


M-F 8-4:30

" 8 weeks at LCC (January 4-February 26)
@ 6 months in Japan (March 1-August 31)
"@45 Academic Credits
" Sponsored by LCC and Keihan Fisherman's Wharf

The Bowling team and the Michigan
Union Billiards and Game Room are
looking for representatives to send to the
1989 Big 10 Bowling and Billiard tournament
held at the University of Iowa on
October 28 and 29.



Qualifications for Selection of
Participants for Japan Adventure
and Japan Horizon Programs
Must be a student at Lansing
Community College or another
Michigan college or university.
Must be mature, of high
moral character with a good
academic record, and able
to work well in a group.
For More Information or an
Annlicatinn Contact

Program Benefits Include
Round trip air ticket between
Detroit and Japan
Furnished apartment
Food and living allowance
Health insurance
Other miscellaneous benefits
Public Information Session
Sunday, October 8, 1989
2:00-5:00 p.m.
Rnnm 129 Old Central

Bowling :
The Bowling team is seeking 5 team members
and 1 alternate for both the men's and women's divisions.
Qualifiers will be held from October 2- Oct. 11 at
Colonial Lanes in Ann Arbor. There is an entry fee
of $4.50 and appointments are necessary. All
interested students should contact Ed Rondot at 769-8271
or 665-4474 as soon as possible. Remember, qualifiers
end October 11.



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