The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 19, 1993 - 9
.Slightly sour album
By TOM ERLEWINE
Instead of delivering the classic power-pop album that "It's A Shame About
Ray" promised, Evan Dando and the Lemonheads have made a muddled,
sporadically brilliant record that will ease them further into the mainstream while
abandoning a section of their alternative-rock base.
Part of the reason for the album's incoherence could be due to the fact that
Dando went through an intense bout of drugs and drink after the success of his last
album. Two versions of "Style," apunkish rant and a lazy lounge-lizard soul jam,
*'present his major dilemma - "I don't want to get stoned, but I don't wanna not
get stoned." Dando wants a large audience but he also has an overpowering desire
to live hard and die young, much like
his idol Gram Parsons, the godfather of
The Lemonheads country-rock. This ambivalence runs
throughout the album. Whenever
Come On Feel The Dando nails a good idea, he follows it
Lemonheads up with something crashingly boring,
Atlantic decreasing the impact of his successful
Starting with the crushing power-pop of "The Great Big NO" and the
charming first single "Into Your Arms," the album appears to be on the right track.
It's immediately derailed by a series of pleasant but unremarkable tracks that
grind the momentum of "Come Oi Feel" to a halt. "Big Gay Heart," the first of
two country tunes on the album, is a beautifully constructed song picks up the pace
.of "Come On Feel," but it is slightly undone by its unintentionally patronizing
lyrics. "Being Around," Dando's other stab at country-rock with Parsons' former
pedal steel guitarist Sneaky Pete, is also hampered by a juvenile vulgarity. In all
other respects, "Big Gay Heart" and "Being Around" are the two best songs
Dando has ever written; they suggest that he should try his hand at a full country-
rock album next.
But the problem with Dando is not that his bad songs are terrible, it's that
they're so shatteringly mediocre. "It's About Time," "Paid to Smile," "Dawn
Can't Decide," "I'll DoIt Anyway" and "You Can Take It With You" are all hung
.together with thread-bare melodies that are neither horrible nor memorable.
"Style" is a confusing, albeit interesting, mess and "The Jello Fund," is an
unbearable two-minute solo piano sketch. Yet the good songs on "Come On Feel
the Lemonheads" are great; it's hard to resist the pure pop pleasures of "The Great
Big NO," "Into Your Arms," "Down About It," "Big Gay Heart," "Rest
Assured," "Favorite T" and "Being Around." Although they are surrounded by
a fair share of dreck, those songs are strong enough to make "Come On Feel the
Lemonheads" a necessary purchase for power-pop fans.
The Lemonheads will be playing the State Theater in Detroit this Saturday
night, with Redd Kross and the wonderful Magna Pop providing support.
Advance tickets are a bargain at $10.50; the doors open at a refreshingly
early 6 p.m.
The Stratford Festival brought "The Importance of Being Earnest" to the Power Center as part of the week-long Stratford-on-Ann Arbor program.
'arnest' cries o3 ut with solid quality
By DARCY LOCKMAN
The call for a line is just about the
last thing a theater goer expects to hear
at a professional stage performance,
especially when the professionals are
November 17, 1993
the audience lost themselves in the
gorgeous sets, the exquisite perfor-
mances and the melodic strains of
Wilde's century-old dialogue.
Opening in a lavish English draw-
ing room complete with finely crafted
period furniture, richly patterned cream
colored wallpaper and even a silver
tea set managed by a proper English
manservant (Brian Tree), it became
clear early on that no aspect of this
Stratford performance would be over-
looked. This attention to specifics did
not waver throughout the acts. From
the carefully designed sets (by Gary
Thomas Thorne) to the high fashion
period costumes (by Molly Harris
Campbell), this production payed
much ado to detail.
"The Importance of Being Ear-
nest" tells the story of Algernon
Moncrieff (Lorne Kennedy) and John
Worthing (Colm Feore), two lying
English gentlemen who entice the
women they want to marry by pre-
tending to be named Ernest. Conflict
arises when the women, Gwendolen
Fairfax (Lucy Peacock) and Cecily
Cardew (Marion Day), happen to meet
at Worthing's country home, each be-
lieving herself engaged to "Ernest."
The play, set in late nineteenth cen-
tury England, is more a satire of En-
glish society than a demonstration of
how important it is to be earnest. For
precisely this reason, the smaller roles
take on a larger significance. The care-
fully raised eyebrows of Merriman the
butler (William Needles) and the so-
cially concious voiceof Lady Bracknell
("To be born, or at any rate bred, in a
hand-bag, whether it had handles or
not, seems to me to display a contempt
for the ordinary decencies of family
life.") play just as heavily in "Earnest"
as does the driving plot of the play.
The success in 1993 of a play writ-
ten in 1895 depends largely on a solid
performance from each actor. The
Stratford group proved only too able to
deliver. The haughty posture of Gallo-
way, the stumbling physical comedy of
Kennedy, the bumbling idiocy of Rich-
ard Curnock (as the Reverend Canon
Chasuble) and the self-absorbed, inno-
cent snobbery of Day lend depth to
characters that chance coming off as
littlemore than vapid parodies of them-
selves.;Each cast member brings a full-
ness to his role that other productions
of "Earnest" somehow seem to miss.
At the heart of it all, of course, is the
deceased author himself. Wilde's dia-
logue exudes cadence and style, leav-
ing many wondering what he might
have written had he not died at the
young age of 46.
The Stratford Festival's production
of "The Importance of Being Earnest"
cried out.with quality in all respects -
a cry that a forgotten line could not in
all earnestness overshadow.
those of the internationally acclaimed
Stratford Festival. Indeed, when Pat
Galloway (as Lady Bracknell in Oscar
Wilde's "The Importance of Being
Earnest")paused and yelled out "Line"
during the first actof Wednesday night's
show, her obvious duress did not be-
long to her alone. The gravity of her
mistake passed over the audience like a
faux pas in nineteenth century upper
crust England. But like a social blun-
der, the error was quickly forgotten as
The University of Michigan
School of Music
The Lemonheads play the State Theater in Detroit Saturday night.
STATE THEATRE 994-4024 1
$5 adults; $3 students, seniors, & children
Sun., November 21
Anton Nel, piano
Debussy: Children's Corner Suite
Beethoven: Sonata in C Major, op. 2, no. 3
Prokofiev: Three Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, op. 75
Liszt: "Au bord d'un source" (from Annees de Plerinage);
Transcendental Etude No. 11 in D-flat ("Harmonies du Soir");
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 in D-flat
Recital Hall, School of Music, 4 p.m.
Department of Theatre and Drama
The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinkya
Charles Jackson, director, with traditional music by Biza Sompa
Tickets: $14, $10 general; $6 students (764-0450)
Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.
Michael Udow, director; Don Prior, drum set soloist; Jeanine Sefton
and Trey Wyatt, marimba soloists; Mark Sloane, director of
Ghanian music ensembles
Percussion music by the Akan and Ewe peoples of Ghana; pieces by
Hollinden, Miki, Kivkovic, Rouse, Chopin (arr. Price), Saint-Sans
(arr. Vincent), Milhaud (arr. Abe); and a new work by Udow.
McIntosh Theatre, School of Music, 4 p.m.
Jazz at the Michigan League Buffet
Michigan League, 5:30 p.m.
Jazz at the Union
University Club, Michigan Union, 6:30 p.m.
Mon., November 22
Michigan Youth Ensembles
Jerry Blackstone, Shelley Axelson, Dennis Glocke, and Michael
Michigan Youth Chamber Singers, Band, Jazz Ensemble, and
Symphony Orchestra perform works by Gillespie, Thompson,
Spencer, Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich, Dvoak ("New World"
Symphony), and others
Hill Auditorium, 7 p.m.
Tues., November 23
University Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras
Gustav Meier, David Tang, and Claire Levacher, conductors
Ross Smith, piano (winner, 1993 Concerto Competition)
Rachmaninoff: Vocalise; Piano Concerto No. 2; Symphonic Dances
E7:11 A -A: ..: .. 0 ...
"This is great experience for
the working world and it's
different from any other job
you'll find on campus-you
get FREE TREATS
at the sales meetings."
BE AN ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE!
(it's great advertising sales experience)