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April 19, 1996 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-19

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 19, 1996

Walk On
Capitol

The Mark Morris Dance Group arrives at the Michigan Theater for performances tonight and tomorrow.
Dto please the senses

For a while there, it seemed like John
Hiatt's songs would only reach the air-
waves when other people sang them.
Although he's recorded several very
good albums of his own gritty blend of
blues, rock and folk (especially 1987's
"Bring the Family") the singer/
songwriter was best known for years by
the second part of that title. Perhaps his
finest moment came in 1989, when
Bonnie Raitt resurrected her career with
her album "Nick of Time," which made
a top-40 hit single of Hiatt's "Thing
Called Love."
With the release of "Walk On," how-
ever, Hiatt is sure to get some attention
of his own. This record contains a qui-
eter, folkier, more thoughtful set of
songs than any of his previous albums,
and the change suits Hiatt well. His big,
gravelly voice takes on a new gentle-
ness on these songs, a tenderness di-
rectly related to the subjects and emo-
tions the middle-aged Hiatt explores in
their lyrics.
Hiatt mostly concerns himselfwith the
road - being on it, needing it and finally
wanting to get off of it. On "You Must
Go" (lifted by the marvelous harmony
vocals of ex-Jayhawks Mark Olson and
Gary Louris), he describes a man for
whom the road is a way of life, and love
nothing but a dangerous detour. On the
single "I Can't Wait," though, Hiatt
(backed by Raitt) sings of a middle-aged
man longing for "the noise on my home-

town street/little children playing at my
feet ... I gotta get outta here before I
scream." What's waiting at the other end
of the line, of course, is the stability of
home and love, also Hiatt's subject on
"Your Love Is My Rest."
Most of the tracks on "Walk On"
relate to getting older and settling down
and how men react to it all, including
"Native Son" and "Ethylene" ("Some
men avoid love like it was a plague or
something/so they can leave the seat
down when they piss," he sings).
While Hiatt may be getting older, his
music is still fresh - hummable melo-
dies abound on "Walk On," especially
on the title track, "You Must Go" and
the hit single "Cry Love."
Hiatt does lose his momentum as the
record draws to a close; the lackluster
tracks "Friend ofMine" and "Your Love
Is My Rest" make the record much
longer than it should be.
Still, "Walk On" is a stellar record,
one that should secure Hiatt's reputa-
tion as one of the finest singer/
songwriters around. It's about time.
- Jennifer Buckley
Combine
The History ofAmerican Rock
and Roll
Caroline
Combine (pronounced COM-bine,
like the harvesting machine) rocks hard.
It's almost inappropriate to call them a
punk band. They rock harder than that.
A fitting term would most likely be

By Orit Greenberg
For the Daily
Mark Morris Dance Group and the
Boston Baroque Orchestra and Chorus,
a unique combo that is sure to please all
your senses, will be performing "Dido
and ,Eneas" at the Michigan Theater
this weekend.
Henry Purcell composed "Dido and
kneas," his only true opera, for a girls'
school in 1689.
Three hundred years later, in 1989,
Mark Morris choreographed a wildly
inventive recreation of the opera when
his company, Mark Morris Dance

Group, was based in Brussels, Belgium.
On the British documentary, "The
Hidden Soul of Harmony," Mark Morris
stated, "The thing that really made me
decide to go to Brussels was the chance
to work with live music ... just about
every dance I do starts directly from a
piece of music."
In a recent phone interview, he re-
marked, "I insist on (live music) and I get
it, but it's partly because I made up these
pieces like 'Dido and iEneas' in Brussels.
"In the U.S., the arts are unfortu-
nately seen as a luxury and in Europe
they're not seen that way ... it's more of

"power trio." No, not a power trio l1ik
Eric Clapton's Cream; they really aren't
that talented. Rather. Combine is three
guys who, in the spirit of Nigel Tufnel,
turn up their amps to I l and play what-
ever makes you call Miracle Ear for
your free-trial period.
As with any musical formula for deaf-
ness, Combine has its positives and
negatives. They've put together on
wicked huge sound: massive amounW
of bass, a hearty mix of over-driven
guitar riffs and chords, and persistent,
pounding drum beats make for a wall of
noise akin to a good carpet bombing.
That's not to say Combine is bad:they're
not. They're just, and need I say it
again, really loud. Certain tracks are
notably more refined, like "Big Disap-
pointment" and "Stagnation," which are
actually kind of catchy.
My best guess is that "The History
American Rock and Roll" will becon7
the gem of many a punk fan's album
collection. Like any good punk band,
the members of Combine are quite hu-
morous, albeit not bitterly cynical like
many others. The cover art pictures a
cute head of a terrier pasted on the body
of an old, fat, jumpsuited Elvis. What's
more, Combine purports to be "The
Three Wise Guys" on the quest to "as-
similate" the planet and save us all fro
the Banorians. Yes, the Banorian sect
are the unintelligent possessors of the
"sucker gene" who happen to own our
here planet.
Wacky, I tell you, Combine is wacky.
And to top it all off, I am presumably
the first convert in Ann Arbor. Unless
you want to be converted to the assimi-
lation as well, do not buy this album.
Oh, and one more thing: Brian Pafumi,
cohort of the assimilation, has entitled
this album a "rock opera." No, "T9
History of Rock and Roll" does not
hearken back to "Tommy."
From what I read, Combine plays a
good live show. It's the kind of music
that isn't really hard to get into, as long
as you know to expect volume. Even if
you don't dig the big noise, you'll be
kept laughing. And remember, you will
be assimilated.
- Brad tHav o
Salt
Ascultate

a necessity.... So there is a great deal
more funding and more interest."
Not only are this weekend's perfor-
mances going to be accompanied by
live music, but they will be accompa-
nied by the first permanent Baroque
orchestra in North America. The Bos-
ton Baroque Orchestra was founded in
1973, and it is under the direction of its
founder, Martin Pearlman.
When Mark Morris was asked
whether the music or the story inspired
him to choreograph the piece, he re-
plied, "The music is the story."
The piece begins in the Palace of
Carthage at the end of the Trojan war.
,Eneas falls in love with Dido, Queen of
Carthage, but things go bad when the
evil Sorceress creates trouble.
Mark Morris dances both the role of
Didoandthe Sorceress. When questioned
why he cast himselfin both roles, he said,
"I choreographed the piece. Icouldn't see
it any other way."
On "Hidden Soul of Harmony," Mark
Morris claimed, "I'm from two minds
- at least - about the dancing thing.
One is that it's just a dance, don't lose
your shirt. If you don't like it, you can
always go home or just stick it out,
because it will be over pretty soon. And
the other is that every single action
means something, and everyone's rela-
tionship to everyone else on the stage
and to the audience has a particular,
specific meaning."
In the words of Nahum Tate, the
librettist of"Dido and Eneas": "Shake
the cloud from off your brow, Fate your
wishes does allow; Empire growing,
Pleasures flowing, Fortune smiles and
so should you."

Japanese group Cibo Matto arrives in Michigan
The excellent Japanese female pop group Cibo Matto breezes into Michigan for
two very special shows this weekend: One tomorrow at the "Rites of Spring"
festival in Allendale (just outside of Grand Rapids), and one Sunday at Detroit's
Shelter. The duo's sound is an eclectic mix of trip-hop, rap, jazz and samples of
film soundtracks; they're as capable of making floaty, haunting ballads like
"Artichoke" as they are of Beastle Boys-type mayhem like "Birthday Cake." The
single "Know Your Chicken" combines both styles in one song. Clbo Matto, which
means "crazy food" in Italian, is a hint at the band's lyrical subject matter -
nearly all the songs on their debut album "IVival La Woman" deal with food In
some form or another. The group is fun, fresh, creative and catchy, and it puts on
a great live show. Find out for yourself at their "Rites of Spring," which also
features Guided By Voices and the Poster Children, or at their Shelter gig. Tickets
for "Rites of Spring" are $5 at Schoolkids' Records; call (616) 895.2878 for more
Information. For more information on the Shelter show, call (313) 963-MELT.

STARTS o e
TODAY 100 ARPENTER RD. ANN ARBOR
NO PASSES 24 HOUR PHONE 973-8380

U U

Bluster single
Island
Hailing from Stockholm, SwedW
Salt wants to explode every precon-
ceived notion you may have about
Swedish rock. Neither treacly pop like
the Cardigans norgoofy funk-punk like
Whale, Salt is a blunt, angry trio that
owes more to PJ Harvey than to Abba
for musical direction.
Both the menacing single "Bluster"
andthe full-length "Ascultate" are filled
with loud, dissonant guitars and sin
Nina Ramsby's wailing vocals, result
ing in some bleak yet compelling mu-
sic. The similarities between Salt's
sound and that of PJ Harvey's early
work, particularly "Rid of Me," are
notable: "Beauty" and "Witty" in par-
ticular sound like Polly Harvey out-
takes.
"Ascultate"'s themes of obsessive
love, pain and hopelessness also take
their cue from Harvey; however. songs-
like "Obession" and "Undressed" 14
the black humor that make PJ Harvey
songs complete works of art. Much of
"Ascultate"comes across as a45-minute
rant from a jealous lover - a bit mo-
notonous.
That's not to say, however, that:
Salt isn't capable of moments of cre-
ativity. "Bluster" is one of the best
songs on "Ascultate," a metallic,
claustrophobic blast of a single tha '
exciting to listen to. "Lids" and "S
tap the group's quieterside with haunt-
ing results. "So," in particular, is an
accomplished ballad that proves. Salt
has more than just anger on their side,
and "Undressed" blends the group's
anger into a song that's both raging
and catchy.
An impressive debut, "Ascultate"
is a flawed but worthwhile album that
improves on each listen. The "Blus-
ter" single is also a good effort, f@
turing both the title track as well as
"Lids" and two unique tracks, "Frust
..."and "A Play." Though their influ-
ences are a bit too apparent, Salt makes
challenging music that's hard to shake
off.
- Heather Phares

Rackham Graduate School
is pleased to announce
EXTENDED
STUDY HALL
HOURS

The University of Michigan
School of Music
Sunday, April 21
Campus Symphony Orchestra
David Tang and Bundit Ungrangsee, conductors
. J. Strauss: Die Fledermaus Overture
. R. Strauss: Excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier
. R. Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
Hill Auditorium, 4 p.m.
Monday, April 22
Composers Forum
McIntosh Theatre, 8 p.im.
University Philharmonia Orchestra
Pier Calabria, conductor
" Chang: Sunan Dances
. Barber: Violin Concerto with soloist Megan Reiter
('95-'96 concerto winner)
. Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation")
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.

T rtie.. lwi" A..ril 0102 1

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m

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