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October 30, 1992 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-30

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ARTS

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The Michigan Daily Friday, October 30,1992 Page 7

Impact and extreme noise
The J&M Chain proves that clubs are where they want to be

by Jason Vigna
Seeing the Jesus and Mary Chain live is
an experience few forget. Their original
shows were, according to Chain frontman
Jim Reid, "based on noise, It was about
turning the guitars up as far as we could get
them ... The idea was to walk on stage and
be some kind of extreme explosion ... We
went for impact. Just walk on, do it, and
leave. Leave people stunned." Honey may
be dead, but the show hasn't changed
much.
You may have caught the Mary Chain
on the Lollapalooza tour this summer, and
you may have gotten the wrong idea. Reid
said, "It was an experience, but I suppose it
was an experience we could have done
without ... It wasn't really suited to what
we normally do. Some people were just
starin' at ya eating a hot dog, waiting on
the Chili Peppers . We're not used to
playing in front of audiences that couldn't
give a fuck. We've never seen such apa-
thetic audiences."
Perhaps it was just that the atmosphere
wasn't right for a Mary Chain show. The
band just can't be experienced in an open
theater in broad daylight. In a small, dark
club with the music enveloping - that's
the only way to see these guys.
The band realizes that they belong in
clubs. "When you play a small club, the

audience is right in your face. It's almost
like rehearsing in public," he said. It's that
kind of intimacy that Mary Chain fans live
for, and that the band tries to share.
Some fear that some of that intimacy
may have been lost now that the Mary
Chain have played for millions of people.
Reid tried to allay some of these fears, and
in the process came up with an interesting
theory on what real independent music is.
"People get the wrong idea about
'independent' music," Reid said. "Indep-
endence means that nobody can fuck with
your records. If you have your own studio,
it doesn't matter what label you're on ...
you make records to sound exactly the way
you want them to sound. That's in-
dependence."
Playing in a band is not something that
Reid takes lightly. "There's nothing else I
could do," he explained. "If I weren't in the
Jesus and Mary Chain, I'd probably be a
bum or something .. in fact, there's abso-
lutely nothing else I can think of that I
could do with my life. Can't really be
brought to work for a living - that's for
sure." When jokingly asked if he plans to
be playing forever, he replied quite seri-
ously in the affirmative. "It depends on
your attitude. It doesn't matter. If I'm 90,
and I've got the same approach - who
cares? Who cares?"

This should probably make a lot of mu-
sic writers happy, as the band has always
been something of a critics' darling.
American consumers haven't taken to the
band quite as well as the critics have,
though. This doesn't bother Reid at all.
"I'm really proud of (our albums). That's
success. I don't want to seem bigheaded or
whatever, but, to my tastes, we make better
records than anybody, so, yeah. I feel suc-
cessful."
The band is on the road supporting
"Honey's Dead," an excellent disc and
Reid's favorite Mary Chain album. The
record is nearly as abrasive as any they've
recorded, but this time they seem to have
controlled the mess a bit better. The pure
pop melodies come through loud and clear,
and some serious drumming has been
added to the mix. In fact, Reid commented
that "The band we've got now is the best
it's been." When asked if there was any-
thing out there that he still wanted to try he
said simply, "No."
That's confidence, but if you're looking
for the confident best in British noise-pop
perhaps you should give him a chance.

THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN will
pe:form tonight with CURVE and SPIRI-
TUALIZED at the State Theater at 7:30
p.m. Call 961-5450.for more info.

The Jesus and Mary Chain: the confident best in British noise-pop.
~~~ [j1I Y I l3AJI

Will the Kirov be 'Godunov' for Hill?

Lip play
Husband switching, wife
switching, there's lots of switching
in the Basement Arts production
of "Lips Together, Teeth Apart."
Terrence McNally of "Frankie and
Johnny" fame wrote.it, and the old
New Yorker (before Tina Brown
ruined it) loved it, so it should be
good. Clint Bond directs this
alternative to Halloween festivities
today and tomorrow in the
Basement Theatre of the Frieze
Building. And best of all, it's free.
The mime of your life
How's your English? Well, his
isn't great, but he does speak the
international language. No not of

love, you silly, but of.Mime.
Marcel Marceau performs in the
Power Center tonight at 7 p.m. For
ticket info call 763-TKTS.

by Rosalind Finney
In spite of the trendy "updating" of
musical masterworks by placing them in
modern settings, the Kirov Orchestra is
preserving traditions of Russian orchestral
performance that date back over a hundred
years.
The orchestra makes its home in the re-
cently renovated Mariinsky theater of St. Pe-
tersburg, where the premieres of works such as
Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov" and
Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" and "The
Nutcracker" took place. More recent perfor-
mances of operas and ballets have built on this
traditional foundation by resurrecting the
original sets in "authentic" productions.
In keeping with the orchestra's strong tradi-
tional background, the entire program on Sun-
day will feature Russian works. Conductor
Valery Gergiev will lead the orchestra in the
Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2 and excerpts
from "Sleeping Beauty," and soloist Vladimir'
Feltsman will join the orchestra for
Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto.
Feltsman, who made his public debut as a
soloist with the Moscow Philharmonic Orches-
tra at the tender age of 12, has already graced
Ann Arbor stages with his presence several
times. He first performed here in the 1988 May

Festival and two years later he substituted at
the last minute when the scheduled soloist,
Maurizio Pollini, became ill.
Major Russian "war horses" like the
Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov concertos
make up much of Feltsman's repertoire. How-
ever, he has also been known to take chances
with pieces that are less frequently performed.
His 1987 Carnegie Hall debut included the
Rachmaninov Prelude Op. 32, No. 12, and
Beethoven's "Variations on an Original
Theme," but the program was rounded out
with the Olivier Messiaen's "Vingt Regards,
which are not as often heard in recital.
The concert will be preceded by a Philips
Pre-concert Presentation by Joe Laibman, co-
owner of L&S Music. The topic will be "The
Russian Sound." In particular, Laibman will
address the changes that have come about as
Russian orchestras have increased their contact
with organizations outside of the former Soviet
Union. The most dramatic change has been
from an orchestral sound that is specifically
Russian in character to one that is more like
orchestras of the West.
As Laibman suggested, "The universaliza-
tion of orchestral standards that has come out
of the greater distribution of recordings" has
resulted in a greater homogeneity between

Russian and Western orchestras. "Formerly,
the range of acceptable of orchestral sounds
was vastly different from those of western
Europe and America," he said.
Laibman cites as an example the
"expression of anger and violent emotion,"
which surpassed the bounds of emotional ex-
pression usually evidenced by American or-
chestras. "Unacceptably coarse brass playing
and unusual balance" between the different
parts of the orchestra were also part of the
Russian aesthetic in former years.
In keeping with the general trends of or-
chestral playing, the Kirov and other Slavic or-
chestras now have less of the characteristic
tone that once made them sound so different
from other groups.
"Standards of playing are going up," Laib-
man said, "but I hope that diversity is not com-
pletely lost."

Marceau

RECORDS
House Of Pain
House of Pain
Tommy Boy Records
Now this is interesting; A group of fiercely nationalistic Irish-Americans
appropriating an African-American art form to express their cultural pride.
From their green, white and red cloverleaf logo to their use of bagpipes and
Irish lullabies in their rhymes, they say it loud, the House Of Pain is Irish
and proud. They even go so far as to use self-directed racial slurs in the
same empowering way that Black rap groups do (they gleefully refer to
themselves as "peckerwoods" throughout the disc).
As for the music, "House Of Pain" is an above-average bumper crop of
car-rocking breakbeafs. "Jump Around" is the most happening track here,
followed closely by the hardcore "Put Your Head Out" (which features an
appearance by Cypress Hill's B-Real).
There is some filler here, ("All My Love" especially) but not enough to
kill the rest of "House Of Pain."
St. Patrick's Day will never be the same.
Scott Sterling
The Black Sabbath Story
Volume 1: 1970- 1978
Warner Reprise Video
If it wasn't for British metal stalwarts Black Sabbath, so much of today's

The Kirov Orchestra of St. Petersburg, with music director Valery Gergiev (the guy in the middle on the box) in the renovated Mariinsky theater.

See RECORDS, Page 12

'

'U' museum peeks at variety in the art world

by Charlotte Garry
A concise, all-encompassing de-
scription of the University Museum
of Art's "Recent Gifts" exhibition is
denied by the magnitude of this spe-
cial display. The show contains such
a range of periods, styles, and media
that one cannot help but be over-
powered by the expanse.
Awe, respect, and inquest are in-
spired by these works which range
from the recent portraits by Ameri-
can Theo Wiejick to masterpieces
from such Old Masters as Rem-
brandt and Turner. Viewing Paul
Klee' s watercolor and wax crayon
"Head of a Mountain Cow," in the
same exhibition as a 15th century
"Madonna and Child," lends an in-
teresting perspective to the
spectator. By displaying together
works that would otherwise rarely
appear in a similar exhibition, the
Mwatnm~'e rt rfennnisnrc are

the art world in one setting. While
such a range of styles can sometimes
engender an extreme- sense of
dissociation, the museum displays
the works in a manner that allows
for a sense of unity.
Peering at the serene fluid lines
Recent Gifts
Museum of Art
of Hiram Power's "Persiphane," or
at the intricate etchings of Piranesi's
"The 'Gothic Arch, from the
Carceri," results in a feeling of grati-
tude. The private collectors' gen-
erosity, as well as Congress's exten-

sion of a period of "market value
deductions" of art to educational in-
stitutions, has provided Ann Arbor
with the rare opportunity to see
works that would otherwise be
viewed only by a privileged few.
As one becomes entranced by the
diversity displayed through these
works, it becomes hard to compre-
hend that the Museum only chose a
fraction of the gifts they received for
exhibition. Of the 220 works do-
nated by more than 80 art collectors,
only about 20 objects are displayed.
The viewer, therefore, must look at

this modest representation as a care-
fully chosen delineation of the great
generosity received by the Universi-
ty's Museum of Art.
While the display is not large, a
feeling of abundance is present as
one wanders among the distinct art
works, and reads the names of the
unselfish donors. Despite the seem-
ing lack of cohesion among the dif-
ferent pieces, the show illustrates a
unique sense of wholeness.
The RECENT GIFTS exhibition can
be seen at the University Museum of
Art through November 8, 1992.

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