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October 11, 1990 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-11

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The Michigan Daily Thursday, October 11, 1990

Page 5

Pylon falls into right place

by Annette Petrusso
Some bands just have It.
Pylon does.
They tell great road stories like
the one drummer Curtis Crowe re-
lated. One time on tour with the
W Gang of Four, he and Pylon vocalist
Vanessa Briscoe Hay hung out with
Gang member Hugo Burnham drink-
ing after the show. They got so
drunk that they wandered around the
hotel until 4 a.m. because they
couldn't remember where their,
rooms were.
Finally, they saw a door open
with what looked like another Gang
member, Jon King, lying face down
on the floor. The two spirited Pylon
members contemplated playing some
sort of joke on him. But, better still,
they saw that his bed was empty so
they promptly passed out on it fully
clothed. They were awakened at
some early hour by an irate man in
boxers who was not Jon King but
was just some man wondering why
these two people were in his bed.
When they aren't drunken fools,
the band's intense magnetic power

baffles them. No one in the band
seems to know why they have this
gift and how they managed to retain
it over their six-year vacation from
recording and touring. Crowe
claimed, "I just play the music."
That's all they have to do.
Pylon's stripped down, individu-
alist sound incites intense dance
movements. It is stark, basic rock
made to agitate limbs into bouncing.
All the instruments push into the
mix - no one dominates and all are
essential. Though there is no weak
point, Michael Lachoski's bass
thumping melodizes like no other
and is one of the definitive noises
Pylon makes.
Chain, the first album of new
material since the early '80s, dis-
plays a number of things about Py-
lon. Vinyl cannot capture their bang-
up live performance. Chain points
out how the elements work together
but the band functions best in a
club. On stage, they kick in for
some very tight jams with a zeal

that doesn't translate to recordings.
Songs like "Sugarpop" show off the
simplisitic words, the groovy guitar
waves and infectious hook. Chain is
intense but a little more rock than
Hailing from the now-legendary
breeding ground for
"college/alternative but fun" rock -
Athens, Georgia - Pylon, like
R.E.M. and the B-52's, don't have a
definite Southern image like Lynyrd
Skynyrd and Alabama do. Crowe
himself cannot be objective about
how much the South seeps into their
musical identity . "I haven't the
faintest idea because I live it," he
said. Instead, Pylon doesn't worry
about where they are from. More
constructively, they content them-
selves with playing amazing vivid
contagious rock.
PYLON plays at the Blind Pig
tonight with the HANNIBALS.
Tickets are available in advance
from Schoolkid's for $8 and at all
Ticketmaster outlets (plus evil ser-
vice charge). Doors open at 9:30
and tickets at the door are $10.

Please pass the Parmesan! Members of Pylon often hang out in kitchens and hotel rooms that aren't their's.
But they are really just folks who happen to click as one of the premiere live rock bands on the scene today.,
August Snow drifts in October

by Rebecca Novick

Comedian Wayne Cotter's life is a joke

by Ami Mehta
The perfect joke. At least one time
in our lives we have tried to create
it, tell it and hear the peals of
*'laughter afterwards - then we go
back to our books and papers to re-
sume our daily lives. But imagine
.trying to come up with the perfect
joke for a living. Wayne Cotter,
stand-up comic, lives this fantasy
and has been successful at it for
about 15 years.
Now a regular on Late Night with
David Letterman and The Tonight
Show, Cotter has been notorious for
* ,making people laugh since the
fourth grade. He claims to have al-
* ways been a joke-cracking clown in
his school days but he says he never
Creally fit in with one clique. "I ran
with a lot of different groups like the
hippies and the eggheads. In a way I
r oclicked with all of them," says Cot-
'ter. After high school, he received an
electrical engineering scholarship to
*-the University of Pennsylvania,
which he attended for three years and
then decided to pursue comedy, his
real calling.
Having had previous experience
,,emceeing talent shows and perform-
ing in between acts at a coffeehouse,
*"Cotter grabbed the opportunity to
- make comedy a career when a club
opened in Phildelphia called The
Comedy Works. It was a guaranteed
Living Colour
Time's Up
I remember sitting in a South
Quad lounge a few years ago
watching the video for Living
Colour's "Cult of Personality" when
someone remarked, "Gee, I never
thought I'd see a black heavy metal
band." Stupid as this statement may
"seem, it reflected the views of a lot
of people, especially radio program-
mers, who were initially reluctant to
play the song. Nonetheless, the band
eventually won over the hearts of
tons of people who went on to buy
their first record, Vivid. Now Living
Colour is back with a new album
that is, unfortunately, only partially
successful at avoiding the dreaded
sophomore slump.
Lyrically, the album burns with
intense rage, as the band lashes out
at the sorry state of affairs in

job for Cotter because he was the
only local stand-up comic around.
Since then, the road to success
has been smooth due to the exposure
he got performing in the comedy
clubs in and around Pennsylvania
and New York. And being seen by
audiences including showbiz bigwigs
such as Jay Leno didn't hurt either.
Cotter thinks of Leno as a great co-
median and a profound influence on
himself. "He thinks just like I do! I
got some good advice from him and
he got me on The Tonight Show,"
Cotter says.
The difference between perform-
ing live and on television is dramatic
in Cotter's mind. "On TV you have
five minutes to get in every joke
tightly but when you're live you can
get cozy with audiences and even
improvise," he says. Unlike most
comedians these days he has no real
propaganda or gimmicks for his act,
just pure humor. Things in life that
people can relate to and that Cotter
finds a spark of laughter in he uses
in clever ways for his act. He con-
trasts stand-up comedy to guitar
playing - "There are over a million
really good guitarists around because
music has been around for so long.
But stand-up has only been around
for 30 years and the world is not
overrun with outstanding comedi-
Being good at what he does is

important to Cotter so he spends a
couple of hours each day looking
over his notes and coming up with
new material for his act. "With
stand-up comedy it's hard to fool
people, either you're funny or you're
not," he says. And that's no joke.
WAYNE COTTER will appear at
the Mainstreet Comedy Showcase
Friday and Saturday. The Friday
shows are at 8:30 pm and 11:00 pm,
and the shows on Saturday are at
7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Reserved
seats for all shows are $13.00 and
general admission is $11.00.
IN 19eJt giug" SU UV...
X ads cost $2.10/line for the first
day, $.70/line for each additional
consecutive day
X ads must be placed by 11:00 a.m.
the morning before publication
X ads must be prepaid with cash, an
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X ads may be removed from
publication, but there will be no

N o matter how you idealize
love, getting along in this world
comes down to getting along with
other people," says Richard
Klautsch, summarizing the message
of the play August Snow by
Reynolds Price. Richard is the di-
rector for the University Players'
performance of the play this weekend
and next in the Trueblood Theater.
August Snow, the story of a
young troubled marriage, is set in
1937 in a small North Carolina
town. It is, says Richard, as simple
andl as complex as "what brings
people together and what keeps them
The play will be performed in a
Carolina dialect which the five-per-
son cast has been practicing and ex-
ploring, along with the complex
character relationships, since the be-
ginning of the term. Ann Klautsch,
an instructor in the theater depart-
ment and Richard's wife, is the vocal
and dialect coach for the play.
Richard says this hard work has
paid off, both in the quality of the
show and in each actor's individual
growth. With such a small cast, the
play did. not need much staging, so
most of the rehearsal time was spent
discovering and analyzing "just how
complex the exploration of character

relationships can be."
Rather than relying on the
traditional dramatic structures of
motivation and objective, the actors
have been able to work on finding
the emotional tone which Price's
lyrical writing demands. Originally a
novelist, Price's style is distinctly
different than many playwrights.
This poetic and emotional work
will play on a minimal set in the
stark space of the Trueblood. In this
atmosphere, the audience will have
to confront the ambiguity in the
play's personal conflicts and they
will be encouraged to "evaluate [the
characters'] participation in relation-
ships," Richard says.
For Richard, who directed Nikolai
Gogol's Inspector General last
year, this play has been refreshing
because of its small scale and its

avoidance of "issues." If Price had
set the play in the '90s it wquld
have become entangled with issues
of class and gender, instead he sets it
before the birth of contemporary
feminism and avoids all reference to
outside political events. This allows
Price to focus on people, not the in-
terest groups they represent.
Nevertheless, he writes with what
Richard calls "not a feminist, but a
feminine viewpoint." There is no
definite resolution of the central eon-
flict, and the end the play is am-
biguous enough that there are: no
easy answers for either the audience
or the actors.
Richard points out that when the
cast first rehearsed the etuling - the
three women thought it was a happy
ending, but the two men found the
ending sad. By setting the play in
See AUGUST, page 7

Every Thursday 6-9pm is





Center for Afroamerican and African Studies
The University of Michigan
Novelist and Cultural Critic
George Lamming
King/ChavezlParks Visiting Professor and Writer in Residence


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modern-day America. The most
memorable song is the long-overdue
and oh-so-true "Elvis is Dead,"
which features Little Richard and a
great sax line from Maceo Parker.
"Elvis was a hero to most/ but that's
beside the point/ A black man taught
him how to sing/ and then he was
crowned king!" vocalist Corey
Glover yells with rage.
Musically, the band expands its
range and incorporates other styles
into their sound, which makes
Time's Up more interesting than
Vivid in many respects. And, as
usual, they are as tight as can be.
Three of the members do short in-
strumental pieces that highlight their
creativity in realms other than hard
rock. The best of these is Vernon
Reid's "History Lesson," which fea-
tures snippets of dialogue such as
"...another thing used to control
slaves' minds was religion."
See RECORDS, page 7

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October 11, 1990

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October 24, 1990 7:30 p.m. Rackham Amphitheatre
Sponsors: Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, Office of the Vice-President for Research, Office
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