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September 29, 1993 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-29

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Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Spinning Around the Sun
Austin-based singer-songwriter
Jimmie Dale Gilmore has been float-
ing around the country scene in Texas
for years, but only recently has he
been receiving the acclaim and public
attention that he deserves. In 1991, he
finally received a major-label con-
tract with Elektra and Natalie Mer-
chant of 10,000 Maniacs has been
outspoken in her admiration of his
songwriting, covering one of his songs
on MTV's "Unplugged." Even with
all of the praise that has been be-
stowed on Gilmore, the breathtaking
beauty of "Spinning Around the Sun"
comes as something of a shock. It is a
deceptively simple album, full of el-
egance and grace. Which isn't to say
that Gilmore is weak or sentimental
- beneath the music are complex,
realistic stories. In strict terms, "Spin-
ning Around the Sun" is a country
album, but while it gathers strength
from the music's traditions, it pushes
it forward. Although nothing on the
album approaches the sound of rock
& roll, it couldn't have been recorded
without the attitude and sensibility of
artists like Bob Dylan and John
In this sense, Gilmore is one of the
finest examples of contemporary
country; instead of making the genre
accessible for Album-Oriented Ra-
dio, Gilmore takes the poetic, intel-
lectual bent of Dylan and Lennon and
* applies it to the traditional country
song, shaping them into a style and
sound for modern world. With its
sound and sensibilities, "Spinning
Around the Sun" is simultaneously
urban and rural - its heart is in the

country but its head is in the city.
Although he could hardly be called
prolific, Gilmore's songs are richer
and more developed than most of
today's songwriters - his four songs
rest easily beside Hank Williams Sr.'s
"I'm So Lonesome ICould Cry," with-
out seeming inferior in the slightest.
Throughout the album, the consis-
tently brilliant material is held to-
gether by Gilmore's pure country
twang; his voice is so rich and natural,
that every song on the album sounds
as if it was written specifically for
him. Few albums are as effortlessly
beautiful as "Spinning Around the
Sun" - the graceful performances
and songs make it a timeless album.
Make sure to catch Jimmie Dale
Gilmore at the Ark tonight at 8pm.
Tickets are only $12.50; it's a
- Tom Erlewine
Shadowy Men on a
Shadowy Planet
Sport Fishin': The Lure of the
Bait, the Luck of the Hook
"Sport Fishin'..." is the third al-
bum by the goofy Canadian instru-
mental band Shadowy Men on a Shad-
owy Planet. There's not a whole lot to
say about a Shadowy Men release,
except that the quality of their music
is consistent and the music itself is
distinctive; perhaps the band says it
best themselves with the song title
"We're Not a Fucking Surf Band."
Yes, the surf influence is strong, but
the band is equally inspired by
rockabilly, punk, garage rock and
tacky pop culture; in fact, looking at
the track listing is as entertaining as
actually listening to the album. Titles
such as "Spend a Night, Not a For-
tune," "Fortune Tellin' Chicken," "Spy
School Graduation Theme," "Honey,
You're Wasting Ammo" and
"Babywetsitself" provide an added
entertainment to the music.
The songsthemselves are all well
crafted, complete instrumentals that
are here for the moment and are quickly
replaced by equally well crafted tunes.
Since there are so many songs (24, to
be exact), they tend to blend into each
other, but pleasantly so; it's fun back-
ground music, especially for parties.
Perhaps the most interesting thing
about this album is the fact that this
may be some of producer Steve
Albini's finest work - the drums are
loud and punchy, the guitars are sharp
and loud ... one of the best production
jobs he's done since the Pixies' album
See RECORDS, Page 8

Alec Baldwin and Nicole Kidman star in this complicated film. All we can say is be very afraid of Alec's hairy body. How can you stand it, Kim?
Thrier shows no 'Malice'

The Hollywood publicity machine can be a
blessing and a curse. In the case of the new Harold
Becker film, "Malice," the trailers and commer-
cials keep the audience from going into the film

Directed by Harold Becker; screenplay by Aaron
Sorkin and Frank Scott; with Alec Baldwin, Nicole
Kidman and Bill Pullman.
knowing what all the plot twists will be. At the
same time, however, the commercials may be so
misleading that only word of mouth will bring
people to see this damn fine thriller.
The plot, as described by the advertisers, sounds
like a standard court-oriented mystery. Cocky
doctor Jed Hill (Alec Baldwin) arrives at St.
Agnes Hospital in a small, northeastern college
town. After saving the life of a raped college co-
ed, he meets college counselor, Andy (Bill Pull-
man), who, a. it turns out, was his high school
classmate. Andy has a picture perfect life, right
down to his young and beautiful wife Tracy (Nicole
Kidman). Eventually, an illness lands Tracy in the

ER. Dr. Hill is called in, while drinking at a bar, to
operate. The result is a permanent change in the
future of the Rockwell-esque couple.
That is the basic story as told by the publicity
agents. Yet that only takes one halfway through
the film. From then on, the movie kicks into fifth
gear, speeding through a winding mountain road,
not letting the audience see what is behind the next
turn. The second half will drop jaws and create
utterances of "My God! Does that mean ...?"
The only trouble is going through the set-up.
After the final credits, everything will make sense,
but in the early going, characters' behavior will
seem irrational, throwing the audience into a state
The commercials may be so
misleading that only word of
mouth will bring people to see
this damn fine thriller.
of confusion. What seems like a major part of the
plot in the first half turns out to be a device for
introducing other characters and later plot twists.
But while it is tough to follow, the first half does
effectively keep the audience wondering what

will happen next and sets them up for the whiplash
they will receive from the turns in the second half.
Of particular note in the film is Bill Pullman.
Probably best known to many as the Meg Ryan's
hypochondriac fiancd in "Sleepless in Seattle,"
Pullman carries the film. As the mild-mannered
professor, his strength is brought out as he wades
through all that happens to him, and finally takes
control of the situation. Both Baldwin and Kidman
give good performances, yet theirs' are certainly
not as career boosting as Pullman's.
Bebe Neuwirth, aka Lillith Sternan-Crane, is
enjoyable as a Andy's cop friend who is investi-
.gating a serial rapist, though one would think that
after all those years in that most famous of Boston
bars, her New England accent would be more
consistent. Anne Bancroft, as the alcoholic widow
of a con man, steals the one scene she is in.
When the final twist comes, however, the aq-
dience is five seconds ahead. But it may be the
only time that they are. As constructed, "Malice"
is, to use a clichd, a rollercoaster. The only real
trouble is the climb at the beginning, which clanks
on a bit. But when the ride is over, all is forgiven
as the audience has had too enjoyable a time to
bicker the petty details.
MALICE is playing at Showcase.


Alumna returns to sing again

For those music lovers out there
who have always dreamed of hearing
one of the leading operatic voices of
our time, you are in luck. For those of
you who have always been curious.
about classical vocal music, you are
in luck. And for those of you who
have been breathlessly anticipating
Jessye Norman's return to Ann Arbor,
you are indeed very lucky. Tonight at
8:00 p.m., Norman will once again
grace the stage of Hill Auditorium for
her sixth appearance, accompanied
by pianist Ann Schein.
As a concert singer and a recital-
ist, Norman has been internationally
acclaimed for her rich, unusually vi-
brant lower and middle registers as
well as for her exquisitely refined
upperregister. She has performed solo
recitals all over the world including
New York, Boston, Salzburg and Ja-
pan. Her recordings have been highly
appraised by critics and audiences
everywhere, and has won several
awards including the Paris Grand Prix
National du Disque, the Edison Prize
inAmsterdam and the Grammy Award
in the United States.
Norman was born in Augusta,
Georgia and began her formal vocal
training at Howard University. She
then continued her vocal studies at
the Peabody Conservatory. Finally,
she came to the University of Michi-
gan where she studied with Elizabeth
Mannion and the legendary baritone,
Pierre Bernac. Norman began her solo
career as a member of the Deutsche

Opera Berlin, as Elizabeth in
"Tannhauser". Her successful debut
led to further performance opportuni-
ties always with enthusiastic audi-
ences and praising critics.
Tomorrow evening's program will
consist of works by Robert Schumann
and Richard Strauss, as well as "Cinq
Melodies Populaires Grecques" by
Maurice Ravel. In addition, Norman
will perform excerpts from "Poemes
Pour Mi" by Oliver Messiaen. Pre-
ceding the concert, there will be a
Philips Educational Presentation, free
to the public, entitled "Programming

the Unusual," at 7:00 in Rackham's
east conference room.
As well as being one of our most
distinguished alumna, Norman is one
of the most revered and renowned
vocal artists of our time.
JESSYE NORMAN will perform
tonight at Hill Auditorium at 8:00
p.m. Student rush tickets are
available for $9 at the North
Campus Commons 11:30 a.m. to
2:00 p.m., next to Little Caesars.
Rush tickets also available 9:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Michigan
Union Ticket Office.

. thhmThursday4evenat
Catch him Thursday evening at the
Blind Pig on Sept. 30 & then get his
latest release, Gethsemane, at Schoolkids'.

1 V! 1 VI%7V I'

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