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January 10, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


RTS

*Pegboy
Fore
Quarterstick Records
Well, well, well, if it isn't another
guitar band that sounds like pop and
metal. But wait! This puppy's got ace
producer Steve Albini on bass. Hav-
ing recorded huge bands like Nir-
vana, it's surprising he hasn't picked
up more pointers from bassists.
0 Nevertheless, "Fore" isn't bad.
This four song ep contains some fine
music along the lines of Tar, but with
more definition between songs. The
final song, "Jesus Christ," has some
neato riffs, although it fades instead
of ending strongly.
Anyway, if you like what Steve
produces, odds are in favor of you not
despising this.
-Ted Watts
Various Artists
State of the Union
MU Works
Hop on the only ride that careens
through the roughest and most sur-
prising musical territory in America.
"State of the Union" assembles al-
most every imaginable composer,
vant-rocker, poet and deviant musi-
ian who has contributed to the last
decade's insane musical ramblings.
Don't expect any neat explanation
of new music. This ride stovs for no
one.
As an assemblage of one-minute
wonders, this collection can not be
dissected or readily digested. Throw-
ing together all of the musicians' dis-
parate creative drives, this kinesis
:ould just as easily shred into chaotic
juxtapositions as speed forward.
The brief rest stop between tracks
allows only a few desperate gasps.
Jumping back ten years to old new

music from 1982, the compilation
abandons stasis, hurtling through more
new and now familiar experimenta-
tions. "State of the Union" shreds
modern avant-isms while tenuously
grounding this Union's creative roots.
Producer Elliott Sharp makes sure
this musical diversity will continue
by donating all profits from "State of
the Union" to the National Coalition
Against Censorship.
This ride may not be the most
leisurely trip around, but only Amtrak
can give you more thrills and tussles
per mile.
- Chris Wyrod
Various Artists
I've Found My Love
Original Music
In America, it is especially easy to
get caught in the cogs of the music
industry. We get trained in the Fordist
tradition, waiting for the latest pop
sensation, boosted by the rhetoric of
music critics, to make it down the
industry's production line ready for
consumption.
Yet, every so often, some unique
and unadulterated music comes our
way. "I've Found My Love" is one
such eye-opener. Compiling some of
the originators of Ghana's guitar-fla-
voredhighlife, "I've Found My Love"
assembles a vibrancy that, until now,
only African audiences enjoyed.
These 1960s recordings are
steeped in the history of West African
highlife. Marking the transition from
1950s Ghanaian brass bands to guitar
lead highlife outfits, the nine bands
on this historic compilation were the
local six-string heroes.
Onyina, author of the title track, is
featured prominently. His decidedly
See RECORDS, Page 8

For people who were a big fan of Tom Cruise in "The Firm," they will almost certainly find "The Pelican Brief" worth their time.

'Brief' attracts The Firm'

Of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Fredric March won an Oscar for his
ayal of the brilliant scientist who is transformed into a monster, and
is committing acts of lust and murder. Ooh! Sounds like a fun night to
'll be a lusty evening at the Michigan Theater, at 4:10 Monday and 5
Tuesday. $4 students and seniors, $5 all others.

Go West, Young Man
"Wild West" is about a Pakistani from London who is pursuing a career
as a country western singer. Well, at least it's an original plot. The story is
also supposedly influenced by MTV. Uh huh. Catch this one at the Michigan
.on Monday at 7:10, Tuesday at 5, Wednesday at 9:25 and Thursday at 9:25
for $4 and $5.
They re Badc
"The Crying Game"'s Stephen Rea and Sinead Cusack are an Irish
couple living in North London, who are unsatisfied in their blase middle-
class existence. An interesting bit of trivia -the dialogue and the characters
for this film were improvised during the rehearsal period. This one is also
at the Michigan, at 9:10 Monday and Tuesday and 7:15 Wednesday, and is
also $4 and $5.
Star Search
Well, sort of. The Ark presents "Open Stage," where you are the star. At
7:30, you and your instruments can sign up to play a short set. Admission is
$2 (members, students and seniors) and $3 (others). Your host is Matt
Watroba of WDET's "Folks Like Us" program. We hear he's even better
than Ed-McMahon. Hmm ... wonder if Matt has his own sweepstakes too.
Cool MusiC
Yes, it's the Bartonians, the local faves who were dubbed "Best Local
Band" in last year's Weekend etc. Best of Ann Arbor issue. Yeah, well, we
don't know they are either. Go to Rick's on Wednesday night and tell us how
they are.
Chow for Charity
Eat a delicious spaghetti dinner to benefit the Casa Materna in Nicara-
gua, a home for high-risk pregnant women. After dinner there will be a talk
with the woman who started it all. Dinner is at 6 p.m., and costs $6, and the
free.discussion is at 7 at St. Mary's Student Chapel Newman Center.

By ALEXANDRA TWIN
Random coincidences. You gotta
love 'em. Like when you're sitting in
a parking garage with Julia Roberts,
about to be shot by the bad guys and
then all of a sudden a ferocious dog
barks, giving you just enough time to
get away, unharmed. Or when no one
The Pelican Brief
Written and directed by Alan J.
Pakula; with Julia Roberts and Denzel
Washington.
can find the one guy that you need to
solve the case, until his friend, who
just happens to be standing behind
you, suddenly produces the guy's sani-
tarium address verbatim. Or when the
terrorist you've been holding hands
with starts wielding his gun on you
and it looks like you're a goner, until
- Oh My God! Someone else shoots
him first. Whew. Close call. Thank
God for random coincidences. Or at
least, that's what the producers of
"The Pelican Brief' should be doing,
because without them, they don't have
much of a story.
Then again, neither did John
Grisham when he wrote the book. As
with "The Firm," "The Pelican Brief'
is a novel that sits up and begs to be
made into a film. The one minor dif-
ference between the two is that "The
Firm" doesn't necessarily dictate the
casting. Whereas with "The Pelican
Brief," if you didn't immediately pick
up on Grisham subliminally whim-
pering Please cast Julia, you'd better
go back and reread the initial descrip-
tion of Darby Shaw, the precocious
young law student whom Roberts
plays,'cause it's a near perfect match.
Conventions aside, and there are a
lot of them, the story surrounds the
aforementioned Darby, who, when
two Supreme Court Justices are mys-
teriously killed, does a little research
and comes up with a potentially dam-
aging theory as to whodunnit. This
theory is written up in a law brief and

quickly gets passed from the balmy
hands of Darby's lover / law profes-
sor into the chubby fingers of his
Federal Agent cronie and eventually
into the sweaty palms of the nation's
bumpkin President, whom "The Peli-
can Brief," as it has now come to be
called, indirectly implicates.
Once it reaches the national level,
Darby is no longer safe from either
the scrutiny or actions of various in-
ner-connected underground parties.
She must hit the road, incognito, or
risk losing both her life and the chance
to prove her theory. Although she
knows that she can trust no one, she
It seems almost petty
to draw attention to
the fact that Denzel
Washington nearly
blows everyone else
away ... considering
what a potentially
bland role he has.

is used to make their struggle all the
more appealing; you never stop root-
ing for them.
The performances are all good,
which is surprising considering both
the triteness of the script and the fact
that Roberts, when given the opportu-
nity ("Sleeping With the Enemy,"
"Dying Young") has a tendency to
overplay that frightened-doe-about-
to-get-smashed-by-a-Mack-truck
look. Able director Alan Pakula, how-
ever, seems to know exactly what
he's working with, or rather how little
he's working with.
Shots loom close as the tension
builds and then gently ease up as
Roberts reaches one of her standard
emotional breakdowns, quivering lip
and all. This technique serves to give
her a little space and therefore the
time that she needs to stop indicating
and make the moment real. This, in
combination with the fact that she
hasn't acted in over two years results
in a performance that is one of her
freshest and most genuine to date.
Although really, that's not saying all
that much. This film is still standard
Julia Roberts' fare.
It seems almost petty to draw at-
tention to the fact that Denzel Wash-
ington nearly blows everyone else
away, as if this weren't a given, but it

clientele
would be a travesty not to, consider-
ing what a potentially bland role he
has. This does not imply that the rest
of the cast isn't up to par. Grisham's
stories are always imbued with strong,
seedy supporting characters fleshed
out on screen by overly-talented char-
acter actors (remember Holly Hunter
in "The Firm"?). However, they're
also always ludicrous. Over-the-top
accounts of way too beautiful-look-
ing people who wouldn'tlast aminute
if confronted with these same situa-
tions while attempting to engage in
real life, or whatever that means.
Ultimately, this film is for people
who liked "The Firm." This goes on
the assumption that if you liked "The
Firm," then you probably think that
its star, Tom Cruise, is a really great
actor. If ydi think that Tom Cruise is
a really great actor, then you certainly
must think the same of Julia Roberts,
'cause she's way better than he is.
And if you're someone who actually
thinks that either of them are worth
anything more than an 8' by 10' glossy
in a garish magazine, then you abso-
lutely deserve to see this film and any
and every film that either of them ever
make because you're the reason that
they keep getting made.
THE PELICAN BRIEF is playing at
Showcase

eventually teams up with noted Wash-
ington Herald reporter Gray Grantham
(Denzel Washington), who's also
been following the strange case and
has a few theories of his own. To-
gether they search the country, scut-
tling from city to city, lead to lead,
looking for answers and a way to
prove what they believe to be true.
They are at a clear disadvantage from
the beginning. As always, this factor

I

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-

._.j

Kathryn P. O'Brien

M
6E

T.S.W., A.C.S.W.
63-2973
Counselng
"Individual

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5TH AVE. AT LIBERTY 761-5700
THE PIANO (R) - Mon, Wed, Thurs: 4:45, 7:15, 9:55
Tues: 12:15, 2:30,4:45, 7:15, 9:55
HEAVEN & EARTH (R) - Mon, Wed, Thurs: 4:00, 7:00, 9:45
Tues: 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 9:45
BARGAIN MATINEES $3.50 BEFORE 6 PM
STUDENTS WITH ID $4.00 EVENINGS
- FREE 32 oz.IDRINK
with of a r popcorn
Present this coupon with purchased ticket thru 2/1/94

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