The Michigan Daily
BY MICHAEL PAUL FISCHER
Monday, October 30, 1989
Phantom makes noise
A2 Chamber Orchestra to accompany
"VVHO am I? Do you recognize
me?/... I buy my dinner at the 7-11/
Eat it in the kitchen while I watch
TV/ ...Once I got lucky. I had a
band/ We had a song, it got to num-
-Timbuk3, "The B-Side of Life"
Of course you recognize Pat
MacDonald. He was the guy behind
1987's unlikeliest video hit - re-
member, the one with the donkey
carrying the TV on its back, the
spazzy computer graphics, the two
acoustic guitarists with a beat-box...
A couple of years after "The Fu-
ture's So Bright, I Gotta Wear
Shades," that tongue-in-cheek paean
to wide-eyed careerism, Timbuk3
find themselves on their third album
after a modestly successful follow-up
(1988's Eden Alley); and the hum-
ble Austin, Texas duo seems a bit
haunted by the ghost of that novelty
hit which landed them on the na-
Their major-label debut, Greet-
ings from Timbuk3, offered the kind
of clever, rootsified stuff which read-
ily charms the light-alternative/
college crowd served by Miles
Copeland's I.R.S. Records.
But such a freak of success, a
dream come true for most bands, can
turn into a real Frankenstein's mon-
Timbuk3, comprised of Pat McDonald and Barbara K, send a challenge to
all critics to watch their poison pens, but they contribute some
poisonous lyrics of their own.
ster for a group when their serious
sarcasm is misconstrued as cute sin-
cerity by the single-buying public,
against whose acceptance the success
of all subsequent releases is bound to
Timbuk3's new I.R.S. album,
the somber, countrified Edge of Al-
legiance, contains no material quirk-
ily memorable enough to suggest
comeback-hit potential. Which is
not to say that MacDonald is at a
loss for good songs - hearing the
subtly winsome ballad "Don't Give
Up on Me" on the radio would be a
pleasant surprise indeed. But of
course, even a fleeting pass at main-
stream success is bound to erode
one's credibility among the anemic
devotees of an insular "alternative"
Fortunately for Timbuk3's dining
budget, Edge of Allegiance offers a
thematic brace of 12 songs that
disparages the reality of hardy sur-
vivors "payin' the futility bill" on
the underside of an American Dream
where politicians squabble sancti-
moniously over ceremony and ges-
ture while trembling in the shadow
of overseas terrorism - the kind of
obvious state-of-the-nation lament
which should satisfy a steady Ann
Arbor-style audience of message-in-
tensive anti-Bush Agenda and
Guardian subscribers. Catchwords
abound ("toxic waste," "covert ac-
tion," "assault rifles"), and MacDon-
ald has mistakenly - and about
three years too late - based an en-
tire song on one ("Acid Rain").
But one has to credit Timbuk3
for making the kind of album which
bears a solid stamp of date and place
- Edge of Allegiance reads like a
bound to become a interesting doc-
See TIMBUK3, page 11
BY JEN BILIK
FLASHBACK to the days when movies were
events unto themselves... when gentlemen wore
tuxedos and ladies furs... long diamond-studded ci-
garette holders were the norm... films played in grand
theaters that did not serve popcorn.
In 1925, The Phantom of the Opera opened in
New York City's fabulous Astor Theatre with a flash
and a bang. Hyped for its exotic and supra-modern
special effects, The New York Times described it as
"an ultra fantastic melodrama." Men, women, chil-
dren, and household pets alike described to one an-
other their fear upon the removal of the Phantom's
mask. His grotesquely disfigured face became an
archetype for nightmares nationwide.
This same Phantom film will show tonight at the
Michigan Theater as a prelude to Halloween. The
coup de grace, however, will be the silent film's live
accompaniment by the Ann Arbor Chamber Orches-
tra, with the eerie addition of the theater's grand pipe
organ, played by Dennis James. Conducted by the
score's composer Carl Daehler, the music will effec-
tively reproduce the atmosphere of the movie-going
experience of the '20s.
The turn of the century saw cinema's develop-
ment from Thomas Edison's fixed-frame films to the
dominance of the Hollywood studios. Once the
American public got a taste of moving pictures, the
demand was so great that the studios could not pro-
duce enough films. When the first silent films were
made, movie houses soon found that audiences be-
came restless and fidgety without the addition of
sound. Composers created elaborate scores, melding
the cinema experience with that of the symphony.
The invention of the soundtrack in 1927 marked the
end of silent film's reign, but nothing could repro-
duce the grandeur of these films and their live musi-
It was in precisely this atmosphere that Rupert
Julian made his classic Phantom of the Opera.
Parisian mystery writer Gaston Leroux published his
wildly successful Le Fantome de l'Opera in 1911,
and then gave his novel to the president of Universal
Studios in 1922 in the hope that his story could be
realized as a film. The movie's producers saw Phan-
The original Phantom of the Opera, showing tonight
at the Michigan Theater, is a cheaper (and better)
alternative to Webber's extravaganza.
tom as the perfect vehicle for actor Lon Chaney,
known as "The Man of a Thousand Faces" for his
widely diverse film roles. The moment at which
Chaney reveals his face as the Phantom is one of the
most terrifying highlights of horror film's history.
Said the Times' Mordaunt Hall in his 1925 review of
the film: "There is no doubt that he is a repellant
Since 1925, the film has since been remade a
number of times. In 1930, the original was re-re-
leased with the addition of dialogue, sound effects,
and music for the operatic sequences. In 1943 Uni-
versal remade the movie, but its emphasis on the
See PHANTOM, page 13
AO 7020e ( = b M4A's
Regular Price ~8
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the University of Michigan's humor magazine,
Goes on sale Wednesday!
Or maybe Thursday. It's still at the printers, actually.
So let's just say it goes on sale some time this week, on the Diag and in the
Fishbowl, and maybe in some dorms; we don't know. Definitely on the Diag.
We do know that it's really funny, and certainly worth a dollar fifty. I
mean, it's just a dollar fifty, what else we're you going to do with a dollar fifty?
French fries and a Coke?
Well, I can see that.
But buy the Gargoyle anyway;
there are a lot of funny pictures of Ricardo Montalbon
u rll wrlr "'
r 1 Irr
for niversili- of iichig(an students
Please plan to (Ill(nd our
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Thursda) -.November 2
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The "Green" starts at $6.00 an hour.
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