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March 01, 1990 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-01

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, March 1, 1990

Page 5

Register

to

by Alyssa Katz
FOR some reason, perhaps inherent
laziness, the huge number of things
to do on campus, or the ominous
signpost of the end-of-the-world
Fleetwood diner, most students seem
to think the edge of the Earth lies
somewhere just beyond Jacobson's,
or maybe Schoolkids. The Perfor-
mance Network might as well be on
Mars, then - after all, it's at 408
West Washington. Isn't that near TJ
Maxx?
Actually, the Network is within
walking distance, about two blocks
past the Blind Pig. Tonight, a group
called Student Initiative is going to
try to promote a much-needed nar-
rowing of the gap between students
and the city of Ann Arbor by throw-
ing a voter's registration party there.
A number of performers, including
Frank Allison, Juice, the Iodine
Raincoats and Tracey Lee Komarmy
will provide the tunes while a bunch
of deputy registrars register voters,
change their city of voting (meaning
that if you're registered at home you
can be instantaneously switched to
Ann Arbor) and process changes of
address within the city.
Organizer Peter Orlowski ex-
plains, "It's lousy that there's a per-
ceived division between the campus
and the community. Students don't
get involved in city elections. With

the zone of reproductive freedom and
the pot law on the ballot, obviously
there is a reason for students to turn
out and vote."
Orlowski compares the situation
in Ann Arbor to that in Poland,
where students formed a coalition
with workers that grew into the Sol-
idarity movement. The same sort of
thing could happen here, he says, if
students come to understand the in-
terests they hold in common with
other city residents.
Starting tonight before the party,
and for the next two weekends,
Frank's Absurd Repertory Theater
Ensemble, a group of Performance
Network regulars, will be presenting
A Synthetic Circus, a collection of
short works by absurdist playwrights
such as Samuel Beckett, Eugene
Ionesco, Antonin Artaud and several
Italian futurists. Orlowski says the
two events are related in a significant
way: "Art is very political, and poli-
tics done well are artistic rather than
manipulative."
As an example of the connection
between art and politics he mentions
Vaclav Havel, the Czechoslovakian
absurdist playwright who is now
president there. Linda Kendall of
Frank's also sees this link, saying
that the group is about "making the
world a better place through theater.
It's a way to imagine a better world,

vote,
a way to work out problems in o
culture."
As for the plays themselves, the
have two things in common: they'
short, and they're strange, to great
or lesser degrees. The show leads o
with Offending the Audience,
piece by Peter Handke that cha
lenges every preconception evf
brought into the theater. Four acto
stand in a line downstage ar
monotonously speak to the audienc
incanting "This is no play," "Yc
are not individuals here," "You a
the event."
Things get stranger from ther
According to performer arwulf a
wulf, "The weirdest one by far is A
taud, and that's even weirder tha
anything we've done before." Of t
piece, Jet of Blood, Kendall say
"His plays are considered nt
doable.... We're interpreting it ima;
istically. We have yet to see if
will flow." Well, see it for yoursel
And stick around to register to vo
while you're there.

have

some

fun

THE VOTERS REGISTRATION
PARTY takes place tonight starting
at 10:30 p.m. admission is free. A
SYNTHETIC CIRCUS starts tonight
at 8 p.m. and runs through March
18th, Thursdays, Fridays and
Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at
6:30 p.m. Admission is $7 students,
$9 others.

Peter Knox, Mitchell Robert McElya and arwulf arwulf appear in Tridget of Greva, by Ring Lardner, one of the"
twelve plays that comprise A Synthetic Circus, a collection of absurd theater pieces.

Boston band hopes
to hit the Big Time
by Kristin Palm

THEY got off to a good start,
moving in on the Boston scene and
establishing themselves as a (gasp!)
folky-rock outfit with a sense of
humor and the ability to jam. They
achieved popularity on the same
Eastern circuit that has spawned such
groups as Dinosaur jr. and the Del
Fuegos in past years and, more re-
cently, the Bags and Medicine Ball.
There was airplay and vid-play, and
there were critically acclaimed record-
ings, most notably Positively
Dumptruck. Then the lawyers had to
stick their noses into Dumptruck's
business.
"They've been suing us for the
last almost two years," said vocal-
ist/guitarist Seth Tiven of the band's
former label, Big Time Records,
't which collapsed just after
Dumptruck's third release, for the
country. "It's a contractual thing,"
he continued. "We can't record.
Well, we can record but we can't put
anything out." Obviously, this
dilemma has not had positive effects
on the band member's pocketbooks.
"It means we're broke," Tiven said.
"We can't make money because we
can't make records and we have to
pay lawyers a whole lot of money
and it's a bad situation."
To take their minds off this bleak
predicament, Dumptruck decided to
embark on a four-and-a-half week
tour doing what they do best. It may
not get the long arm of corporate
law off their backs but Tiven said it
should relieve some tension. "The
reason for the tour right now is
we're bored not playing and we want
to play. We make enough to break
even, maybe something extra but we
don't make a lot of money on the

road. We don't rake it in or any-
thing. It's more for the fun of doing
it," he said. But, he added, there
could be more trouble ahead: "We
hope we're not taking a bus, but
that's a distinct possibility with our
van."
Regardless of the mode of trans-
portation, the sound of the band will
be different this time around. They
have been scaled down to a trio with
Brian Dunton on bass and Shawn
Bevlin on drums. Although for the
country was recorded with four
members, a new sound is apparent
on this album, a much mellower re-
lease than the previous two discs.
"There's definitely a change there
but one of the songwriters left the
band and there's going to be a
change. We had more money to
make this record with and that's go-
ing to change it because there's al-
ways things, there's always mone-
tary constraints. No matter how
much money you have you can al-
ways use more when you're record-
ing," Tiven said. He cited one major
benefit of the trio format: "It means
you can hear everything that's going
on. It puts more pressure on the
three of us; it makes us work harder
which is a good thing. You don't get
the wall of sound-type thing you
sometimes get with two loud gui-
tars."
Whether this minimalist ap-
proach pushes the trio into the big
time remains to be seen. But right
now that name isn't one of their fa-
vorites anyway.
DUMPTRUCK hits Club Heidel-
berg tonight with ANNE B. DAVIS
opening up. The show begins at
10:30. Cover is $5.

Phil Collins
...But Seriously
Atlantic
When Phil Collins titled his lat-
est LP...But Seriously, he meant it.
The album consists of 12 songs, all
pertaining to some of the most po-
tent issues of our present existence.
Most obvious are his social com-
mentaries, "Colours" and "Another
Day In Paradise."
"Colours" considers the position
of the Black individual in society to-
day. It starts with a melancholy
rhythm, accented with a gong-like
drum accompanying the chorus, a
war-like interlude, then an upbeat
melody set paradoxically to the
lyrics: "The tears from her eye feed
her son... segregate the Black and
white/ but when the dust settles/ and
the blood stops running/how do you
sleep at night?" The transition be-
tween the different speeds in the
song detracts from it. However, it is
a valiant attempt, and the songs
meaning, "It never gets any better,"
is not lost.
The album's first single,
"Another Day In Paradise," addresses
the homeless situation, and is defi-
nitely what our society needs. Its
eerie introduction, pounding drums
and mysterious guitar plucking,
which break into a symphony-like

melody at repeated intervals, clearly
illustrate what Collins expresses in
his lyrics. "You can tell from the
lines on her face/ you can see that
she's been there/ probably moved on
from every place/ 'cos she didn't fit
in there." His message and his
method attain their goals with force-
ful impact.
"All of My Life," featuring a-fan-
tastic introduction and closing by
Don Myrick on alto saxophone,
could easily be the album's best
track were it not for an unnecessary
clamor accompanying the chorus of
what would otherwise be a powerful
song. Collins' best vocals can easily
be found here and the addition of
Steve Winwood on organ is wonder-
ful.
The album spotlights a fabulous
appearance by Eric Clapton on guitar
on "I Wish It Would Rain Down"
that leaves the listener desperate for
more. David Crosby and Stephen
Bishop make somewhat less con-
spicuous contributions, but the al-
bum has plenty to offer and is, most
definitely, a success. I applaud Phil
Collins' efforts.
--Kim Yaged
Michigan Daily
ARTS
763-0379

Dumptruck members Seth Tiven and Shawn Devlin are all grown up now,
even if their band is named after a Tonka toy.

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