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November 20, 1990 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-20

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K..

ARTS

Page 7

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, November 20,1990

'Tiny Lights glow in the dark
by Kristin Palm

iny Lights are going to rock this
town, - again. The Hoboken, NJ
band's exhaustive touring schedule
brings them to Ann Arbor for the
third time since last April, proof
positive that this band derives energy
jfrom the uplifting, eclectic music
they play.
Guitarist/vocalist John Hamilton
is recovering from a wisdom tooth
extraction, but assures he is ready to
perform with vigor. As a matter of
fact, he says, touring is how the
band subsists. "We like to keep in
touch with our audiences," he ex-
plains. "We're not on MTV every
hour, so we can't be in people's
homes all the time so the only way
we can do it is just kind of play the
old-fashioned way, get better expo-
sure."
lu While the members of Tiny
Lights are well-schooled in free jazz
traditions, their blend of catchy, off-
beat harmonies; electrifying and, on
stage, electrified violin and cello; an-
tique instruments and improvisa-
tional sense make for a sound that
rocks and rolls like everybody
wishes they could. Even the dreamier
tunes are souped up in concert. Take
the ethereal "Painted Skies," off their
recently re-released debut album,
Prayer for the Halcyon Fear. Stuart
;hake's cello solo 'comes through
"more intense live than Jane
Scarpantoni's original on the album.
,'The last time the group hit this part
of the country, said solo led into one
«1f the most discordant, spaciest and
best improv jams this side of
Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry,
with drummer Andy Demos featured
on an antique soprano saxophone.
Hamilton explains the origins of
the tiny sax. "Andy got it from
some guy, I think his father passed
away or something and he was going
through his attic. It's one of those
Prefab Sprout
Jordan: The Comeback
CBS
Jordan: The Comeback follows
Prefab Sprout's search for the Holy
Grail. On their fifth LP, Paddy
McAloon's group is looking for
God, but also for pop's holy grail:
those musical epiphanies longed for
by so many recent "pure pop"
* artists. For ABC, the aesthetically
perfect moment came when Smokey
sang; Aretha saying a little prayer is
the lode for Scritti Politti; for the
Sprouts, the sublime points of refer-
ence are mid-period Lennon-
McCartney and the golden age of the
Gershwins, Cole Porter and Lorenz
Hart.
Gone are the sticky, icky busy
production values of the Sprouts'
homage to the golden age, From
s Memphis to Langley Park, to be re-
placed by a cleaner, simple sound.
Thomas Dolby still interior deco-
rates the music, bringing forward ev-
. ery keyboard fill and breathy backing
i vocal, but the excesses of Langley
Park have been curbed. This is lush
MOR for those who wince at the
macho phallocentric rock that passes
for blue-collar authenticity: Prefab
Sprout don't wear flannel shirts.
SingOn Jordan, McAloon's songwrit-
ing is as emotive, but less cluttered,
than his previous work. He's arrested

,

Theater review
B izarre Public is
enjoyable, too
by Michael Jay Leizerman
The Performance Network's production of the Surrealist theater piece
The Public is a delectable feast for the mind. Written by Federico Garcia
Lorca in the 1930s, the play is filled with characters, language and
images in the style of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. Lorca was a -
contemporary of several of the Surrealists, which is wonderfully appa5nt
in his writing. Overall provocative and interesting,The Public
exemplifies both the strengths and weaknesses of the Surrealist genre.
This play concerns itself with themes of tragic love and negative
public reaction to theater which forces people to re-evaluate their beliefs.
"Romeo could be a bird and Juliet a stone," proclaim several of the
characters. These themes are demonstrated by the characters. The roleslof
lovers are played by such bizarre characters as vine leaves, bells, a
wardrobe of faces, black and white horses, Helen of Troy, the emperor of
Rome, a red Christ-like character and others. Notably good performances
were given by Peter Knox playing the red Christ-like figure (Knox also
directed the play and designed the sets) and Arwulf Arwulf as the silly
shriner and "Prostidigitator."
Lengthy scene changes allow the play to take the audience to a
number of different locations such as Rome, Juliet's underground tomb, a
theater, and several nondescript locations. Magritte-esque bearded mer
provide a thread of continuity to what becomes an ethereal trip through
time. They appear when least expected and interact with characters and
places seemingly unrelated to them. As a matter of fact, almost every
line and scene in the play is discontinuous and nonsensical. This
abundance of absurd lines occassionally detracts from the dream-like
quality of the piece by over-emphasizing the moment. Yet somehow, as"
in all good Surrealism, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts gid
the performance leaves one with a sense of satisfaction. ~
ere we go again!-

Tiny Lights are good and you should go see them tonight at Club Heidelberg. Donna will dance, John will play
guitar and maybe Andy will bring out that cute little saxophone.

kinds of stories."
It is this outpouring of energy
with just enough zaniness that
makes Tiny Lights both wonderful
and unique. Vocalist/violinist Donna
Croughn said it's hard to explain
where the energy comes from. "I
guess just from being into playing,"
she said of the origin of her hyperac-
tive presence. Croughn was more
clear about where the songs, or at
least her lyrics, emanate from -
personal experience. Croughn said
she doesn't write just for the sake of

writing, but when she has "that
strong feeling."
The band's past performances
have shown that those feelings trans-
late well onto the stage. Their July.
gig at Chicago's Lounge Ax was a
striking example. Croughn's small
frame and her dynamic voice lept all
over the place (her violin playing
was inspiring, to boot), Hamilton
jammed wholeheartedly on his in-
strument, Dave Driewitz provided
appropriate bass riffs - both funky
and mellow and Demos improvised

like the hip cat that he is. Tonight,
local fans are looking for a three-
peat. Blanchard couldn't do it,
although the Pistons might. Until
the playoffs, Tiny Lights are our
only other hope.
TINY LIGHTS glow at Club
Heidelberg with SAM LAPIDES
AND JOHN BOYLE opening to-
gether and FRANK ALLISON open-
ing all by himself. Cover is $5,
doors open circa 9:45.

Wheee!
Home Alone
dir. John Hughes
by Mike Kuniavsky

the Lloyd Cole tendency to pose as
pop music's Lionel Trilling. Gone
are the gratingly effete references to
things literary; McAloon just tells
us how he feels. In most of the al-
bum's 19 songs, he adopts a number
of voices to reveal the spiritual turn
Prefab music has taken.
The album is arranged in four
suites of thematically connected
songs. The title track, two songs
about Jesse James, and "Moondog"
are about Elvis Presley. McAloon
uses Jordan as a metaphor for a
promised land or ideal state of being.
"Jesse James Symphony" and "Jesse
James Bolero," ostensibly about the
western legend, dissect the Elvis
myth ("The zip code may read
Vegas/ But the hearts beat Tupelo").
"Jordan" finds Elvis waiting for the
perfect song with which to make his
comeback. McAloon plays Elvis,
trying to convince us that he wasn't
a junkie - "If I'd taken all those
pills/ I'd have rattled like one of my
baby girl's toys."
Jordan showcases the best pop
songwriting this side of the New
Order/Electronic/Pet Shop Boys
axis. From the romantic idealism of
"Wild Horses" to the Romantic ide-
alism of the Joycean "We Let the
Stars Go," from the luscious ABBA
tribute "The Ice Maiden" to the sly
funk of "Machine Gun Ibiza,"

Jordan: The Comeback is slick pop
with substance. The sublime "One
of the Broken" and heavenly "Doo
Wop in Harlem" are seductive
enough to make you believe in God.
Almost.
- Nabeel Mustafa Zuberi

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Atlantic
Anyone who says that Led Zep-
pelin is a dinosauric classic rock
band whose day has come and gone
See RECORDS, Page 8

N ot everyone can define a genre.
But when you hear "John Hughes
film" you immediately know what is
being referred to: a comedy about
upper middle-class teenagers or chil-
dren, usually set in Chicago. This is
understandable -- Hughes has made
17 of these things in the last 7
years. Seventeen! Though they range
a little in topic, from the Vacation
series to Mr. Mom, Uncle Buck and
Sixteen Candles, all these films
share one common element: an in-
nocent male slob is unwittingly put

in absurd situations. Hughes" latest
film, Home Alone is no different.
Taking place in a rich Chicago
suburb, the film is about a bratty
but intelligent eight year-old named
Kevin (10-year-old Hughes film vet-
eran Macaulay Culkin) who wakes
up one morning to find that his f'am-
ily is gone. What has happened is
that his moronic parents (played by
Catherine O'Hara and John Heard)
have taken their other 19 (or some
large number) moronic children to
Paris, but have forgotten Kevin at
home. Since they live in a inulti-
million dollar house in a neigh Dor-
hood filled with other multi-million
dollar houses (none of which have
burglar alarms, for some re son)
Kevin and the house become perfect
targets for some moronic, bungling
See ALONE, Page8

THE NEWS
Part-time Customer Service drivers needed. Starting pay - $6.00 per hour
plus mileage reimbursement.
Deliver newspapers in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area, possibly answer phones one day per
week.
Hours are Thursday and Friday, 2:30 - 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 -12 noon.
Preferred candidates have insured car, good driving record, knowledge of area, excellent
communication skills, and pleasant voice.
Apply in person - Ann Arbor News, 340 E. Huron St., 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
EQE
ATTENTION AI)VERTISERS!
Please note the following early display advertising
deadlines due to the Thanksgiving holiday:

Puion d&ateDedln

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