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October 20, 1989 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-20
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Continued from Page 7


Blasters bring
back the basics
with a bang

By Mark Swartz
Phil Alvin studies math. Com-
municating in the language of num-
bers, cotangents and calculus func-
tions is as elementary to him as
reading the funnies on Sunday. Re-
cently, Phil earned a Masters in
mathematics from the University of
California-Long Beach. For this,
Alvin had to put his hobby aside for
Phil's hobby is singing for one
of the most stridently traditional re-
vivalist rock and roll bands to come
out of the Los Angeles area in the
early '80s. Along with Los Lobos
and X, the Blasters showed all those
hip kids out there in Tinseltown that
it was still cool to sweat when you
played guitar.
But Alvin's academically-induced
hiatus is over (they haven't released
anything since 1985's Hard Line)
and the Blasters are back on the road,
right where they belong. This
group's natural element is the road-
side watering hole in Anywhere,
U.S.A. Of their brand of thump and
grind, Bill Flanagan wrote in his
outstanding Written in My Soul,
"The Blasters made an American
music so pure in its roots that it
could not be fixed in any one part of

the country."
Unfortunately, on this tour
they're missing Phil's brother Dave
Alvin, an ace guitarist and song-
writer. He flew the coop and recorded
Romeo's Escape, replaying some of
his own Blasters' classics, "Border
Radio," and "Long White Cadillac"
in a slightly grittier mode. Dave's
replacement is Greg Hormel. "I was
playing in a western swing band
around '87 with (drummer) Bill
Bateman," explained the new blood.
"When the Blasters decided to audi-
tion new guitar players, I was the
guy they picked. I was lucky.
"One of the things that Phil has
told me he likes about my playing is
that I don't mix different styles. I
won't play a rockabilly solo on a
jazz-blues tune."
A newcomer to the world of the
touring musician, Hormel is excited
about hitting the road with the Phil
and the boys. "These guys are all
such accomplished musicians. It's a
real learning experience. I play all
kinds of music and so do the
Blasters. Their roots are really di-
verse," he enthused. "I think the
Blasters will still be going in 20
My conversation with the gui-

ing out. I was in a fix.
Down to my last $1.92 (the price
of a small, tub of salad) it looked as
if I would be forced to stop eating at
Jacques. Across the table from me,
Joe sensed my despondency.
"Alex I know your depressed,
but... ackk, ackk... " Joe began to
turn blue; he was choking on a piece
of broccoli from his pasta primavera
salad. With cat-like reflexes I started
to perform the Heimlich Maneuver
on Joe.
The other patrons were puzzled as
I bear-hugged my invisible friend and
thrust my fist into his sternum.
After an eternity the broccoli became
Continued from Page 5
damage ever since the last movie.
She's locked up in this neuro ward
for kids who can't talk but have a lot
of gross, prophetic nightmares.
Eventually it's that time of year
again, Halloween, and she's having
dreams about her famous Uncle
Boogeyman. Of course, he's going
to be dropping in once again to
make his annual rounds and, of
course, there are plenty of obnoxious
teenagers around who are somehow
less likeable than a deranged killer.
Sure enough, pitchforks and
grappling hooks and butcher knives
soon fly, and one guy even gets
hanged, but nothing is really shock-
ing this time, or even very gross. At
one point, Michael stoops so low as
to attempt to run down a seven-year-
old kid with a stolen car. To make
things worse, he misses and crashes
into a tree. It's just a depressing

dislodged. My friend was saved.
Unexpectedly people began to
applaud my efforts. They believed
me now.
"People will come, Alex," Harry
slobbered. "People will come," Joe
repeated. "People will come," every-
one seemed to say, except one man
seated with his back to me in the
Approaching the man, I recog-
nized him. It was my father. I sat
down with him and enjoyed a
chicken salad sandwich.
Oblivious to us, a line began to
form outside ofmpeople who wanted
to share in the magic of a lunch at
Jacques. U

C rossword Puzzle
Love notes
tuff for sale
Summer sublets
International travel
Fabulous jobs
Incredible offers
Excellent results
Daring personals
Student services
...and much, much more!


4 AM






The Blasters

tarist also brought tidings of an extra
special bonus: "We got Lee Allen
playing with us, so that's real fun.
He's a sax player, used to be with
the Blasters when they first started.
He's an old session guy from the
fifties, played on a lot of Fats
Domino's hit records, Little Richard
hits. He's a master of melodic solo-
ing," Hormel said.
Expect a lot of Jerry Lee Lewis
covers, the highlight of their live
EP, Over There. Expect a lot of

rockabilly, a lot of R&B, a lot of
what makes the Blasters so great at
everything they do. "Phil's very im-
pulsive about the set list, so what-
ever he feels likes singing at the
time," Greg explained. "The set is
pretty much the traditional Blasters
set. Most of the songs are off of
their first album, and of course
'Marie Marie."'
If there were a single song writ-
ten in this decade that could have
been written by Chuck Berry, it's

"Marie Marie." Get over to the Blind
Pig and check it out. And if you
don't like electrifying, barstool-rat-
tling rock and roll, Phil will be
holding office hours after the show
to tutor trigonometry.
THE BLASTERS, with special guest
THE ORDINAIRES, appear at the
Blind Pig, 208 S. First Street,
tonight at 10 pm. Tickets are $10.

And the much-heralded unmask-
ing happens without any suspense,
at the very beginning of the movie.
The horrible surprise? Michael's face
looks perfectly normal, like Kevin
Costner's little brother. He's not
severely burned or even deformed at
all. Didn't Jamie Lee Curtis gouge
one of his eyes out with a coat
hanger in the first movie?
The ending, incredibly enough, is
even worse than the rest of the
movie. It features a jailbreak aided
and abetted by an unexplained figure
wearing steel tipped boots, a black
hat, and a wrist tattoo identical to
Michael's. Could it be... oh, I don't
know... Satan? We're never told, we
don't really care, and we'll surely
find out next year in Halloween VI.
Rumor has it that Michael's gonna
be really pissed off...
HALLOWEEN V is now showing at
Showcase Cinomas.

~. II


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11 a -1p

Put it all together and what' ve ya got? The Ordinaires


uy Peter Shapiro
Judging from their sound and
their looks, The Ordinaires probably
swing with the David Byrne/Laurie
Anderson crowd. These intellectual
hipsters serve up a bizarre experi-
mental mix of Ornette Coleman's
Prime Time and the Kronos Quartet.
Their influences don't just stop at
the avant garde though; they reach
deep into the American and European
traditions. Elements of Sousa,
Strauss and Appalachian fiddle tunes
are thrown into this heady potpourri
of musical styles.
The Ordinaires seek to achieve a
fusion of rock, jazz and, to a lesser
extent, classical music. Not "fusion"
as it has developed into its own cat-
egory (The Yellowjackets for exam-
ple), but more along the lines of
what Miles Davis had intended back
in 1968 when he started it all with
Bitches Brew. The inspiration for
Miles' experiment was the music of
Jimi Hendrix, as it is for The Ordi-
naires. Hendrix's heavily distorted
technique can be heard throughout
The Ordinaires One, especially on
"Racing Thoughts" which combines
the chordal structure of "Fire" with a
violin part reminiscent of a chamber

These intellectual hipsters serve up a
bizarre experimental mix of rock, jazz and
classical jams.

Poni ewozik

Continued from Page 10
screwdriver set. This study discov-
ered that 90% of American college
students believed that Nicaragua was
somewhere in the upper pleural cav-
ity (to be fair, however, U.S. kids
beat the pants off German and Tai-
wanese kids on MTV's Remote
Control home game).
So with all this catching up to do
on the basics, how could we expect
to keep track of what was happening

to our money and atmosphere? Our
society had become a sleek, high-
performance sports car that none of
us knew how to back out of the
Thank God the world finally
ended. Sure, maybe we'll miss some
of the conveniences, like modern
health care and call-waiting. But at
least you don't need to be a rocket
scientist to roast a pigeon. Drum-
stick, anyone?

piece. The Ordinaires take more out
of late 60's/early 70's rock than just
Hendrix, though, as they prove with
their violin infused cover of Led
Zeppelin's "Kashmir."
Despite the dominance of rocked-
up jazz, or perhaps jazzed-up rock, in
The Ordinaires' sound, the violins
and cello play a large part in defining
their arty melange of music genres.
The strings often function in a syn-
thesizer or keyboard role, but more
frequently they add classical color-
ings to the songs. Songs like
"Imelda," a mocking march that de-
composes as it progresses, and
"Death and Variations Waltz," a
slow, ponderous waltz (that has
nothing to do with "Blue Danube")
are clearly contemporary songs that

are firmly rooted in the classical tra-
dition because of the presence of the
string section.
It is hard to grasp what a band
comprised of two guitars, two vio-
lins, two saxophones, a cello, a
bass, and drums would sound like
live. But if The Ordinaires play
songs like the driving, bongo pro-
pelled "Brenda," or the invocation to
the muse of drunkeness "Bacchanal,"
their upcoming show at The Blind
Pig should be more than just an ex-
ercise in conceptual art, it should be
entertainment. U
The Ordinaires are opening for The
Blasters at the Blind Pig tonight at
10 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Featured Cover Model on the Natior
Circulated Magazine
...win All First Place Prizes I
An All Expense Paid Trip to the National Cor
A Fashion Clotihing Allowance
$2,000.00 Worth ot Photography for Your Per:
A Contest Photo Feature in the special Ann
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A Contest Feature in the special A
iIIP Call for Comp

Be a Daily Arts staffer...
or just look like one.
If you'd Iika to write for
theater, books, dance, visual arts, film, or music,
call 763-0379.

John Houze
(313) 965-3366


The Ordinaires

Contact your MODI Photographe

I ___________________________

Page 4

Weekend/October 20,1989

Weekend/October 20,1989

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