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December 04, 1989 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-12-04

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the Michigan Daily

Monday, December 4, 1989

Page 9

Lanois: Derriere a devant

YOU may have never heard of
Daniel Lanois. But you've heard him
- through the hand he's had in
some of the legendary albums to
come out of the closing decade:
Robbie Robertson's 1987 solo de-
but, Peter Gabriel's So, and most re-
cently the revivified Bob Dylan's ac-
claimed Oh Mercy. On U2's 1987
masterpiece The Joshua Tree, the
38-year-old Canadian - who plays a
free concert tonight at the Ark -
collaborated with sonic pioneer and
mentor Brian Eno to maintain the
atmospheric tendencies he helped
guitarist The Edge cultivate on
1984's The Unforgettable Fire and
then temper them with a newfound
affinity for roots-based rock, creating
a timeless alchemy of the mystical
and the earthly.
Reveling in Acadie, Lanois' new
(and first) solo album, one appreci-
ates the traveled producer's sense for
that mix all the more intimately.
From the Edge-ily pinging, "Wire"-
style latticework of digital-delay gui-
tar that sparks his hauntingly radical
and brilliant atmospheric revision of
"Amazing Grace" to the endearing,
straight-ahead Cajun folk of the
French/English vocal "Jolie Louise,"
Acadie offers an entrancing survey
of musical geography, an album that
bespeaks one man's journey and the
history that lays behind it. "Acadie"
was once the name of the modern-
day Canadian province of Nova Sco-
tia, whose 17th-century French set-
tlers were expelled over disputes
with British armies and whose reset-
tlement led in part to the Cajun cul-
ture that endures to this day in
southern Louisiana.
In the late '50s, a young Lanois
moved to Hamilton, Ontario from
Shis native Quebec and learned
English - later adding rock 'n' roll
and R&B idioms to folk origins in
guitar and woodwinds. After years
playing gigs with various bands and
constructing a basement studio in

Daniel Lanois has been a producer for a myriad of artists - from Peter Gabriel to U2 to Bob Dylan - and he
comes to the Ark tonight. Better yet, the concert is free. Such benevolence is not found in the artists he

which he produced various folk,
gospel, and country artists with as-
sistance from his brother Bob,
Lanois hit the big time in the early
'80s with a three-year string of
Canadian "Best Producer" awards for
his work with the popular Toronto
new-wave outfit Martha and the
It was around this time that
Lanois was recommended to the vi-
sionary Eno, who was at the time
developing the art of ambient atmo-
spherics in albums like the movie
soundtrack Apollo. Upon the latter's
lyric moonscapes, Lanois' aching,
countryish pedal-steel guitar offered a
striking complement to Eno's efforts
in wringing human textures out of
new technology. It was Eno's tute-
lage in the sonic ethereal that Lanois
brought in 1984 to Gabriel's Birdy
score; on 1986's So, Lanois created

the patented sound of crystalline dig-
ital space that vaulted the French-
Canadian to his current position as
rock's producer of choice. By this
year, this habitant himself had
moved to Cajun country, locating
his portable studio in New Orleans
to produce the Dylan record as well
as local heroes The Neville Brothers'
landmark Yellow Moon album. The
group's R&B style helped Lanois re-
discover rhythm, like the throbbing
early '70s harmony bass that powers
Acadie's soulful first single, "The
But it is Lanois' work on Robbie
Robertson, 1987's classic rock 'n'
roll amalgam of mythic Americana,
that best typifies the genius behind
Lanois own vinyl triumph - com-
bining a gritty sense of guitar tradi-
tion with an enveloping sonic mys-

tery. Lanois' reedy, untutored vocals
are indeed reminiscent of the former
Band-man - and it is a similar
sense of spirituality, tradition, and
transition that draws together
Acadie's themes. From the experi-
mental "Fisherman's Daughter,"
where Lanois offers a spoken mar-
itime incantation over ambient
acoustic guitars, to the threatening
rumble of the U2-ish "Where the
Hawkwind Kills" and the placid,
lyric folk of "Silium's Hill,"
Acadie is hardly the stuff of a mix-
meister's milieu, but rather an al-
bum that breathes in generations of
spirit and solid soil, invoking those
deepest mysteries destined to intrigue
for years.

Poets return to
normalcy at Guild
EVERYBODY knows that poetry just isn't for most people - that it
is confusing, un-American, snobbish, and for the elite intellectual.
You've got to be one of those types that sits in Caffe Royale reading
Keats or Donne, scribbling quotes in a notebook. Or, if not that, you've
got to be insane, disheveled, revelling in an obscure world of words, in
its "dark inscrutability," too self-involved to say what you mean simply
and clearly.
Not with Danny Rendelman and John Reinhard, two poets that speak
for the common man or woman - the man down on his luck and drunk,
or just trying to learn how to live with and love others.
"It shouldn't be an obscure, elitist vocation," says Rendelman, who
uses his poetry to communicate to people, about people. "It's about
life... not a puzzle."
Rendelman, more of a lyric poet, is trying to describe, or capture, a
moment in depth. You'll see a lot of birds in his writing, because, being
"visually oriented," he likes to depict the nature he sees out of the many
windows of his house. Rendelman doesn't write deeply psychological
poetry. But the "frustrations of love and desire, personal dynamics" -
everyday events of relationships that happen to all of us - are worth
thinking and hearing about from Rendelman, who finds it "very
satisfying to have people listen." But his desire to communicate hasn't
made him a Hallmark card poet.
"It's a two-way street," says the poet, who writes unrhymed poetry,
working with internal rhyme and rhythms. "You want the poem to be as
exciting as possible." The M.F.A. graduate of Goddard College has
always especially enjoyed the "apprecia(tive), vibrant, passionate" nature
of poet James Wright.
"He dove into life," says Rendelman, who likewise believes that ever
poet with pages hidden in his/her desk, should "get it out into the world"
But maybe for tonight, you're just looking for A Way To Set Things
Right. Then John Reinhard is your man. Get a sneak preview of his
book, and get a foreshadowing of the music of human nature as it looms
over the bleakness of Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Montana.
"You have to exercise a bit to find what's lovely," says Reinhard of
his landscapes. "It's a lot tougher to praise corn and manure."
Reinhard's free verse style reflects that he hears "a kind of music that-
holds everything together." The M.F.A student and creative writing
teacher "always" listens to music while writing. The following lines
from On The Road to Patsy Cline, were inspired by her music:
She could extend a note into a bruise/ I learned that long before I
ever got hit hard/ Long before I ever took a swing at anybody
else...Whenever you're alone and drunk/ I cashed my change, filled m
tank/ and headed out of prairie/ toward Virginia where the hills/ stoop
like miners too many years in the mines.
Reinhard, like Rendelman, writes "about normal people." But every
poem is different because he must develop a different persona. His love
for music migrates into his appreciation of the beauty of words,
regardless of their meaning.
"Whiskey has a great sound to it," says Reinhard. So tonight, don't
befuddle your brain, but take in Reinhard's music and Rendelman's
advice: "Listen to the fun that people have with language - (don't be)
fooled by what they say poetry is all about."
JOHN REINHARD and DANNY RENDELMAN will read at the Guild
House tonight.
Get a beautiful tan at
TANNING CENTER a Ph. 747-8844
Campus location - 2185. State *-2nd Floor, across from Stat Theatre
Single Session 10 Sessions
Limit one per customer Sessions good 2 months
Expires Dec. 20, 1989 Coupon expires Dec. 20, 1989

cert tonight at 8 p.m.
637 1/2 S. Main.

a free
at the


Bernard Shaw: The
Pursuit of Power

by Michael Holroyd
Random House $24.95/hardcover
Michael Holroyd does an impres-
sive job of separating the many
strands of George Bernard Shaw's
life in Bernard Shaw: The Pursuit of
Power, the second volume of his
three planned volumes of biography.
Shaw was a dynamo in the years
*1898-1918. He finally achieved suc-
cess as a playwright with Major
Barbara, The Doctor's Dilemma,
Man and Superman, and Pygmalion.
He wrote and spoke continually to
support Fabian socialism and even
stood for election. His wit and irrev-
erence were both applauded and de-
plored and eventually earned him os-
tracism during World War I. His

marriage - sexless by agreement -
to Charlotte Payne-Townshend fell
under the strain of his infatuation
with Mrs. Patrick Campbell, the ac-
tor. On the verge of committing
adultery with her, he was rejected.
Marriage, the stage and politics
all need equal amounts of attention,
and Shaw's need to invent the jovial,
iconoclastic GBS, a character he
played throughout his life - for
which Holroyd provided shrewd psy-
chological explanation in Volume 1
- must be carried through as well.
Holroyd has done almost everything
with remarkable success.
Holroyd's opening scene sets the
tone for Shaw's marriage. Despite
Charlotte's attempts to provide him
with an atmosphere of rest and recu-
peration from work and a recent op-
eration, he forges ahead with his
writing. For the next 15 vears, until

Shaw's infatuation with his beloved
"Stella" (Mrs. Patrick Campbell) es-
tranges them, this battle of wills
The indefatigable Shaw pursues
power with all the means at his dis-
posal. He sits on the executive
committee of the Fabians, 'and, in
1902, he recruits into the party the
young H. G. Wells. Shaw and
Wells, though friends and admirers
of each other's writing, clashed on
and off until Wells was ousted in
1908 for supporting a Liberal candi-
date - Winston Churchill. The au-
thors' complex relationship is care-
fully laid out by Holroyd, particu-
larly Wells' attempt in 1906 to
wrest the loyalty of the Fabians
from Shaw. The clash of the literary
titans is one of the book's most ex-
citing moments.
Holrovd also demonstrates

Shaw's contradictory nature. His un-
ruly wit often left his listeners, both
foes and Fabians, sputtering. Hol-
royd makes clear that Shaw was
often out of his depth without admit-
ting it. "'When I venture to say a
thing is so, it is so,' Shaw explained
(to Wells). 'But you have to get
what I say exactly, and not substi-
tute the nearest thing in your own
stock, and reject that.'... Yet Wells
could see that Shaw's string of dis-
connected half-truths impressed peo-
ple and that he worked, with im-
mense application, at being impres-
See BOOKS, page 10


The office of the Registrar will close for the day at 2:00 p.m. on
Thursday, December 21, 1989




January 20, 1990
Michigan Union


(Drop all courses):

The dates to withdraw from Winter Term and pay only a
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local (Ann Arbor) address on January 2, 1990. If you are
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1524 LSA Building before December 15.

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basis EXCEPT Thursday, December 21, 2:00-4:30 p.m. No
appointment is needed. CRISP will be closed December 23-
January 1. Beginning January 2 registration is also on a walk-in
The last day to withdraw form Winter Term 1990 with no fee
assessment is: January 10, 1990 (before the first day of classes).


Register in the Student Organization Development Center,
2202 Michigan Union.
Registration is $15.00 per person.
(Includes materials, refreshments and keynote luncheon)


Commencement will be held in Crisler Arena at 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 17. A maximum of 4 tickets per graduate
are available at Windows E and F in the lohhv Af theL T SA


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