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October 26, 1990 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-26

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Friday, October 26, 1990

Page 8

Oh captain, my captain
by Kim Yaged

Friends gather to
celebrate jazz
by Lauren Turetsky

p

M y introduction to the music of
Captain Dave and the Psychedelic
Lounge Cats began with my name
disappearing from the guest list at
their last show at the Blind Pig.
Only by the grace of Todd Headrick,
Pig employee, did I finally get to see
the band behind the phone calls. A
couple weeks later, in the "Gold
Room" of the four Daves'
(Renneker, Stollard, Horowitz and
Murray) and Ian Rusnell's house,
without strobe lights and dried ice,
we talked.
Dave and the Cats was given
birth to by lead guitarist, Dave Mur-
ray and bassist Rama Kolesnikow,
about two years ago in the Bur-
lodge's MLK Lounge with a Casio
drum machine. In the words of
Kolesnikow, "It was conceived from
being in Bursley and taking LSD."
The band writes and arranges the
music as a group, with the elusive
singer Captain Lil' Dave Renneker
penning the lyrics. The Captain,
who is majoring in medical illustra-
tion, never surfaced for the inter-
} view, but he did leave a pair of
breast implants that we had a really
fun time playing with on the kitchen
table. Lil' Dave does all the artwork
for the band, including the cover for
their soon-to-be- released 7-inch that
includes' "Free James Brown" and
"My Tropical Baby."
The band has dubbed their music
retroactive '70s and '60s
Bossanova." Rusnell says,
S"Basically everyone here would just
give up their soul for the '70s."
Most of their pieces are originals,
,but they also enjoy manipulating
cover tunes, their latest concoction
being "The Black Sabbath Medley."
"Our desire, ever since we started,
2 was that we wanted to be a band that
could like book gigs at the Holiday

Nothin' could be finer than three
cool cats comin' together to release
the burdens of the body and soul
with the sweet sounds of jazz and
blues. Grammy award-winning
musicians George Shearing, Joe
Williams and Joe Pass are all too
familiar with life's bitterness and its
sweetness, which gives their jazz an
intoxicating power and their blues
that sultry umph.
George Shearing, world-
renowned pianist, arranger and com-
poser, received his first break
through a friendship with jazz critic
Leonard Feather, who helped him to
get air time on BBC radio and to cut
his first record. He played regularly
at New York's Birdland, where he
wrote "Lullaby of Birdland," now a
jazz standard.
His success has resulted from his
numerous fort6s. Shearing plays
with ease on a classical concert
stage, enthralling audiences with his
elegant, unrushed piano playing,
but also in a smoky jazz club, cap-
tivating listeners with his smooth,

soulful vocals. He has also been
winning audiences worldwide with
both his soft ballads and inventive
orchestrated jazz.
Joe Williams is probably a
more familiar personality to main-
stream America, from his frequent
appearances on The Cosby Show, as
Claire Huxtable's father, Grandpa
Al. But this versatile and talented
musician started nowhere near the
glitter and gleam of Hollywood. At
age 17, Williams became intrigued
with popular music and soon beg
to sing with with big bands and no
table musicians such as Red Saun-
ders, Andy Kirk and the boogie
woogie team of Pete Johnson and
Albert Ammons.
In 1950, Count Basie asked
Williams to make a guest appear-
ance with his orchestra. Williams
played with the Count again in '54
at the Trianon Ballroom and later
recorded the evergreen Every Da
album, which was later re-released
under the title Swingin' with the
Count. Williams now performs
See JAZZ, Page 10

0

r

The Psychedelic Lounge Cats give Captain Dave a thumbs up for his impersonation of Starsky & Hutch's
legendary Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas). Golf club kindly provided by George Bush.

Inn," says Joffe, "We want to bring
people back to their childhood... you
know, like being dragged to Bar
Mitzvahs. What we're trying to do
for people is bring out all of the shit
that is engraved in their heads and
possibly engrave some other shit."
Although the Cats say they enjoy
performing in Ann Arbor, regardless
of the fact that they have been
banned from Rick's (a feat which
Kolesnikow feels is "better than
playing the Ritz"), Kalamazoo has
been the best to them. Kolesnikow
says, "I don't know what it is....
Maybe it's all the chemical plants,

MANN ARboRl&21

but they seem to like us." The gen-
eral agreement is that St. Andrews in
Detroit and Club Soda in Kalamazoo
are the band's favorite spots, espe-
cially Club Soda because "they give
good drink specials." Keyboardist Ian
Rusnell says that a gig at New
York's CBGB was also one of his
favorites. The Captain and company
have also performed at New York
City's Wetlands.
What would the band like you to
get from their music? Band members
had several responses: "Lots of visu-
als," "a better understanding of the
world of lounge," "a deep visceral
feeling," "a little warmth in the
tummy," "That Happy Feeling,"
"and loose bowel movements."
They do not have groupies but,
rather, a "core following" of what
they would like to refer to as
"Lounge Heads" - people who take
drugs and come and listen to their
music. Perhaps this is what lead gui-
tarist Dave Murray had in mind
when he described "Loungetown" -
Michigan's utopian suburb. The
idea: purchase a plot of land, prefer-
ably somewhere around Manchester
and create a self-sufficient town, a
cult environment so to speak. The
concept is not dissimilar to Jon-

estown, but they plan on staying
away from Kool Aid in order to pre-
vent possible ruin.
Drummer Dave Stollard, trumpet
player Neil "He's the King" Okan,
Dave Horowitz on percussion, Jes-
sica Peak on flute and vocals, Marty
Ebner on additional vocals and trom-
bone player Tom "Bone" Gibson
comprise the remainder of the
Lounge Cats. The guys graduate
from the University in December,
except for rhythm guitarist Mike
Joffe who has already graduated.
However, says Kolesnikow, they
"intend to avoid the real world as
long as possible." But Joffe feels
"lounge is the real world." Murray
expects that they will just "hang out
'til the lease runs out." After that,
Kolesnikow says, "We would like to
be the quintessential lounge band
that pulls in, plays all their cheesy
Bossa covers, runs up a huge bar tab
and leaves."

CAPTAIN DAVE AND TE
PSYCHEDELIC LOUNGE CATS
will perform at Club Heidelberg on
Saturday. Cover's like $4, doors
open around9:30 p.m.

Joe Williams scats his way into Hill Auditorium Sunday afternoon with
his bebopping buddies George Shearing and Joe Pass.

I-

WIC(KED > W NEM AY%
Register to
WIN TICKETS AND
FROM OPEN TO CLOSE FEATURING
BACKSTAGEAMERICA'S FINEST
PASSES- iA>c ed
The Underground
Pub goes Haunted J .-

1=1

The University of Michigan
School of Social Work
cordially invites you to attend
the Sixth Annual
Fedele F. Fauri Lecture
BEYOND THE RHETORIC
TO ENHANCED CHILD
WELL BEING
Ruth W.
Massinaa

Oll

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