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The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 9,1989 - Page 9
I felt like some kind of bad spy.
It was as if I were some poor rip-off
of the real thing, like Don Knotts
playing Kevin Costner's role in No
Way Out. Like any spy, I had on a
Marine-green trenchcoat, and had dis-
*creetly tucked my weapons, two spe-
Oial spy/journalist notebooks, into
my inside pocket. Hunched and hud-
died, I glided smoothly to the Blind
Pig. I almost didn't get in. The con-
versation went something like this:
"Can I see some I.D. please?"
"I'm not 19, I freely admit it, but
" . You gotta be 19 to get in."
"I know that, but I, umm, well,
Ier, you see... I write for the Michi-
Plan A accomplished, I thought.
"You're wearing penny loafers,"
What was it that I had risked life
and limb to see? A sight not seen by
many came to the Pig that night,
and the hardcore fans gathered to see
Nirvana, Steel Pole Bath Tub and
the Flaming Lips crawl from the
depths of grunge into its dim light.
Nirvana went through ten songs
before they finally got warmed up.
Sure, heads were bobbing and bodies
Were swaying, but one wondered if
this was just a muscular twitch
common to all who heard this type
of music. Sweat was gleaming on
bassist Chris Novoselic's face, but it
may have just been hot stage lights.
Finally, and with much anticipation,
there came a change. Kurdt Kobain's
eyes could be seen glaring intensely
from behind his wall of hair. He be-
gan to writhe, his body bending and
contorting, stringily hunched over
:Continued from page 8
,chic impression reader and his guitar
:a murderer's ice pick.
a "I don't know which one is the
areal me. I think it's a combination
of both," he says. "I'm not really a
boisterous kind of rock musician
type. I've never liked people like
that... the stage is the only place
where I feel comfortable doing
'Ahings like that. That's my way of
getting those thoughts out of my
;system, of dealing with those partic-
the guitar. Nirvana had finally come
Yet it appeared as if the change
came too late. Even the guitar bash-
ing couldn't quite rile up the crowd
as it might have under other circum-
stances. It seemed almost an apol-
ogy. Given another half hour, Nir-
vana, no doubt, would have been
able to create the delirium they are
known for. They did, however, set
the stage nicely for Steel Pole Bath
The Tub came out roaring, jaw
muscles set and neck veins throb-
bing, picking up the energy for
which Nirvana had been the catalyst.
They slammed through the first five
songs at incredible speed. It wasn't
until five or six songs later that this
seemingly impossible pace began to
relent. In an effort to add the icing to
what was, for the most part, a very
good cake, the Tub pulled out the
special effects. Fire was the effect of
choice. First, the drum set was set
ablaze. This was followed by the
scorching of somebody's hair and
another guitar bashing ritual. This
brought the damage total to four gui-
tars, multiple amps, a drum set, and
one head of very frizzy hair. Jim,
who sat next to me, casually re-
marked that the members of the band
didn't care. This seemed obvious.
The Flaming Lips were lucky
that there was a stage left to play on.
Following in the special effects at-
mosphere, they sent smoke whirling
so thickly around the room that no
one could see the stage. With a sin-
gle strobe light beating nonstop,
they worked their way patiently
through the first four songs. Pa-
tiently is a good word to describe
their entire performance. With none
of the deliberate in your face pound-
ing of their predecessors and with
And Mould says that on this
tour, he is once again starting to ex-
orcise them with noise. "This tour,
it's shaping up to be a lot more ag-
gressive, guitar-wise," he says -
his three-week mini-tour in May was
His backing band has remained
the same, though, with the excep-
tion of ex-dB's guitarist Chris
Stamey, who leftsto work on a solo
album and was replaced by Mould's
friend Jim Harry. Rounding the
group out are drummer Anton Fier
of the Golden Palominos, and
some impressive tempo changes,
they proceeded to control the audi-
ence. The crowd, near to slam danc-
ing one moment, was stilled to
glazy-eyed wonder the next as the
Lips played a 15 minute version of
"Right Now" off their latest, Tele-
When the lights finally came
back on some four hours later, the
world may have breathed a collective
sigh of relief. Perhaps they were
thankful on Tuesday night for a cur-
few law that kept the bands from
playing well into the morning. I, for
one, would have stuck around.
This is a review of the Guarneri
String Quartet backstage made pos-
sible not through inside connections
to the artists themselves but through
the film High Fidelity - The Ad-
ventures of the Guarneri String
Quartet, which had its Ann Arbor
premiere Friday night. High Fidelity
documents and celebrates the oldest
original quartet in the world. The
four men who met up at the Marl-
borough Festival and who decided to
organize a quartet in 1964 have re-
mained together since - to the plea-
sure of innumerable audiences.
High Fidelity is a film of juxta-
positions. We see the Guarneri mu-
sicians in rehearsal, in performance,
traveling from one engagement to
another, attending the obligatory so-
cial events for guest artists, resting
at home, and being interviewed for
the film itself. The result is a well-
produced and quickly-paced documen-
tary. The image which emerges is
that of long and frequent conversa-
tion - musical and verbal.
The conversation is not the sort
to drone on in a dull monotone. The
personalities of the Guarneri mem-
bers - Arnold Steinhardt (violin),
John Dalley (violin), Michael Tree
(viola), David Soyer (cello) - are
too diverse. Disagreements over
phrasing, musical interpretation,
choice of program, distribution of
parts (who is to play viola, who vio-
lin) seem at times to brush at a per-
manent rift. Compliments to each
other are kept at a minimum. Criti-
cism appears nearly perpetual.
But if discussion pushes against
the borders of the group's cohesive-
ness, it also is the ideal training
ground for an art form which knew
its first home in the salons of late
18th century Europe where talk was
the order of the day. Haydn's genius
was to impart such an atmosphere
into the music of the string quartet
itself. The skill and artistry of the
Guarneri Quartet has been to keep
alive the tension between dissonance
and tonality among themselves and
in the music which they play.
The question which arises at the
opening of High Fidelity, and which
becomes indeed the recurrent, unre-
solved theme of the film, is why
dissonance has never taken prece-
dence in the history of the Guarneri.
How has it managed to stay together
for a length of time unmet by any
other string quartet?
Soyer easily answers "profit," and
few professional musicians can deny
that impetus to artistic loyalties.
Still, there is a sense that the
Guarneri's longevity lies to a certain
extent outside the control of its
members. "You can talk till you're
blue in the face," says Dailey, but
when the moment of performance
comes the music takes a direction no
amount of rehearsal time can ade-
The Guarneri musicians all claim
that 25 years of playing together
have in no way tired them of the
quartet literature. They count them-
selves extremely fortunate to be able
to devote their careers to its offer-
ings. Artur Schnabel, the noted pi-
anist, once defended his characteriza-
tion of himself as "one-sided" to a;
protesting admirer by saying that "it
is not yet a self-degradation to say
that one is one-sided. It depends en-
tirely on the side to which one be-
longs. It may even be a very arro-
gant statement." For the Guarneri, as
Nigh Fidelity makes clear, the "one-
sidedness" of chamber playing is an
enviable position to be in.
"The highest intelligence in the
This ideal of Isadora Duncan was
amply demonstrated by the Crows-
feet Dance Collective performance
on Friday at the Dance Department.
The group's five women advocated
political awareness through dance as
well as spoken text, song, and
American Sign Language.
Opening the program, "Trail of
Tears," performed by Marcia S.
Gubelbank, personifed the pain of
Native Americans forced from their
homelands. Her confident projection
and deftness of movement set the
tone for the evening, leaving the au-
dience eager for more.
The second piece began with
masks symbolizing the miners of
Bolivia, the Appalachian mountains
and South Africa unified under the
theme of human suffering for the
powerful. Cleverly, the dancers used
props such as miners' headlamps, tin
can puppets, and half-masks of ex-
ploitative businessmen to evoke the
miners' plight. But while' each
episode showed a different side ofethe
issue, they failed to reach any cumu-
lative effect, quickly dissipating
from the space as each idea was
dropped for the next.
Suchi Branfman's solo,
"Journey," choreographed by Liz
Lerman, fulfilled every promise of
the company's uniformly luxuriant
and assured dancing. With the convo-
luted text by German playwright
Peter Handke matching her convo-
luted movement, Branfman embodied
the wonders of sentience. The sim-
plest perceptions that we take for
granted every day, of differentiation,
of self image, became miracles once
again as Branfman's movement
poured fully, saturating the audience.
With the entire company address-
ing homelessness in "Eviction
Alert," dancers Carole Reid and
Regina Hawkins stood out for their
ample ease in movement. Even
though the choreography only sug-
gested the frightening insecurity of
homelessness, the lack of narrative
integration worked in the piece's fa-
vor this time as two characters kept
building cardboard skyscrapers,
oblivious to the action around them.
Marel Malaret proved the com-
pany's beauty of actuality in her
solo, "Como Nos Ven? Vemos?"
choreographed by Merian Soto. In
this comedy of ethnic misconcep-
tions based on her life as ,a Puerto
Rican, Malaret's beauty stemmed
not from society's artifical ideals but
from her complete acceptance of her
body - her actual self.
Excerpts from "Barbie's Re-
venge" literalized the point the com-
pany had already made through their
quality of performance in the other
pieces. Intending to satirize the
"plastic values" symbolized by the
Barbie doll, the piece included a
commercial for condoms. Branfman
even led the audience in chanting,
"Safe sex is for everyone." While
socially relevant, the amusing piece
seemed to cross the fine line between
politically conscious art and mere
propag -Anita Cheng
ALL YOU CAN EAT PIZZA!
bassist Tony Maimone, late of Pere
Ubu, all old biz friends of Mould's.
"It's getting to sound more like a
band every time we play," he says.
Along with the entire new LP,
Mould says the. band will play
Workbook outtakes, songs slated for
his second solo LP, and "a few fun
songs." But sorry, die-hards, don't
count on hearing any Husker DO ma-
terial, although he says he "won't
rule anything out."
Actually, Mould's reluctance
comes from anticipation of the fu-
ture, not bitterness over his past. "I
don't want to knock my old band,"
he says. "I enjoyed it. I saw every
He laughs, and says he has to go.
It's moving time.
BOB MOULD, with opening act
BIG DIPPER, will play the Nec-
tarine Ballroom tonight at 10 p.m.
Tickets are $13.50 in advance.
(Every Tuesday & Wednesday)
6:00 - 9:00pm
ALL YOU CAN EAT SPAGHETTI!
5:00 - 9:00pm
CORNER OF STATE AND HILL
MoNtAY ocroB 'R9 - ATURPAY ocWr1eR 14
11AM - lAM
105 IMpotb B6- LARbEST i NtcNIiGAN.
$1'50' i95 z. muSs ofuLmBatChCn bank
$2.95 knockwuRst ott BRatwust
ana qezman potato salab
atnit TH1S ATNERisEMENTI IN F R A
COMING SOON TO A
DORM NEAR YOU!
Tuesday, October 10
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Wednesday, October 11
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Thursday, October 12
Need to satisfy a sweet tooth? Like to
win prizes? Then you'll love what we
have in store for you.
But wait, there's more! We also have
practical things planned. Visit our Study
Skills booth, and get some helpful hints
on how to manage your time. Or take a
look at our CD-ROM display, and get a
chance to play with a computer.
We also have campus maps, give-
aways, and lots of valuable information
on the library.
LARGE. WARM I
WITH ANY ORDER.
FF E R E X F'IF0
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