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January 30, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-30

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NOW

UT e3dJ9u ai

Mozart's Birthday bash
The University's Symphony Orchestra will be celebrating Mozart's 240th
birthday tonight by playing an all-Mozart concert. The show will be at
Hill Auditorium at 8 o'clock. The event is free.

UanurU Tuesday
A ~~January 30, 19

Epic film
fails to
saisfyT
By Kristen Okosky
Daily Arts Writer
As one of a recent trend in period
films flooding the market, "Restora-
tion" fails to distinguish itself from the
masses.
It is the story of Robert Merivel (Rob-
ert Downey Jr.), a 17th century physi-
cian. After being summoned one day to
cure the king's favorite pooch, he gives
up his vocation to enjoy the excesses
and frivolities of court as royal veteri-
nanan.
The king, who takes a liking to
Merivel, arranges for him to marry one
of his mistresses (Lady Celia, played by
Polly Walker) to avoid thejealous wrath
of another. But Merivel does the one
thing he is forbidden to do. He falls in
love with her. The king finds out and
Merivel is expelled from his little para-
dise.
This expulsion allows him to ac-
complish many things he has put on
the side burner during his reveling.
He rediscovers his gift for medicine,
cures the supposedly insane (but
merely misunderstood) Katherine
(Meg Ryan), becomes her lover and
gets her pregnant (as part of the
REVIEW
Restoration
m*
Directed by Michael
Hoffman; with Robert
Downey Jr. and Sam Neill
At the Michigan
therapy, apparently), kills her during
.childbirth and seemingly single-
handedly battles the plague.
Does this sound like a little too much
forone filmtotakeon withinatwohour
time frame? Believe me, it is.
To its credit, the sets and costumes of
"Restoration" are beautiful. Filmmak-

Joan Baez
Ring Them Bells
Guardian
With a career spanning three decades,
Joan Baez has become an icon of sorts
for nearly every female singer/
songwriter who came after her.
On this live album, some of Baez'
more famous fans (including old friends
like Mimi Farina and Janis Ian and new
acquaintances like Tish Hinojosa and
Mary-Chapin Carpenter) acknowledge
their appreciation of her work by sing-
ing with her on Baez gems like "Dia-
monds and Rust," traditional folk songs,
and covers of songs by such artists as
Ian ("Jesse") and Bob Dylan (the title
song and "Don't Think Twice, It's
Alright").
Baez, as always, is in fine voice. Her
lovely, clear soprano has become a bit
more crystalline with age, so her choice
of duet partners is especially fortunate
- each of their warm, honeyed voices
bring a satisfying earthiness to these
songs.
The album's highlights include a duet
with Mimi Farina on her late husband
Richard's "Swallow's Song," Baez's a
cappella version of The Band's "The
Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,"
and a gorgeous harmonized version of
"Diamonds and Rust" with Carpenter.
But perhaps the record's most mov-
ing song is Dar Williams' "You're

Aging Well," in which the two singers
trade verses describing society's atti-
tudes toward older women: "Why is it
that as we get older and stronger/the
road signs point us adrift and make us
afraid?" But Baez and Williams also
sing of their determination to change
those signs, to "go out and steal the
king's English/In the morning you'll
wake up and the signs point to you/
They say 'I'm so glad you've finally
made it here ... you're aging well."'
As "Ring Them Bells" proves, the
same can be said of Baez.
- Jennifer Buckley
The Young Dubliners
Breathe
Backyard/Scotti Bros. Records
Nothing's worse than witnessing a
band's initially high-quality output
degenerate into mediocrity. Such ex-
periences rank down there with watch-
ing a loved one become a slave to the
needle, in terms of gut-level disgust. It
is for precisely this reason that The
Young Dubliners' first LP falls upon
such unforgiving ears.
"Rocky Road," the Los Angeles-
based septet's (of no relation to Luke
Kelly's Dubliners) splendid six-song
EP, released in '94, hinted at a poten-
tial for - at the very least - well-
above-averageness. Fronted by Dublin

ers do a good job of recreating the look
and feel of the decadent and lavish time
period.
The story starts out as if it will be a
tolerably good, humorous, fluffy ro-
mance. Unfortunately, it sets a tone
and raises an expectation it fails to
deliver.
The second part of the story takes on
serious, even tragic, subject matter, after
we have already been introduced to light,
frivolous characters. Without a sense of
serious motivation, it is hard to accept
these cardboard cutouts against the back-
drop of a more intense plot line.
The abrupt switching of gears also
prevents viewers from being able to
lose themselves in the flow of the film.
Although Sam Neill plays a good
Charles 1I, Robert Downey Jr. doesn't
seem to put much into his barely ad-
equate part.
It is nice to see Meg Ryan attempt

something different from the usual cute
and bubbly love interest, but her character
has nowhere to go. Almost as soon as we
meet her, we know she is necessarily
expendable to bring the plot to its proper
conclusion. The guest appearance by
Hugh Grant (having a really bad hair day)
is just annoying and superfluous.
The ending of the film (supposedly
of the happy Hollywood variety) leaves
us somewhat less than satisfied. We get
the feeling that Merivel and the other
characters settle for less than they had
originally hoped for.
In short, "Restoration" is a toler-
able film that fails mainly because it
is unable to achieve a balance of all of
its different sub-plots, themes and
moods. Whether serious or humor-
ous, the film would be a much more
enjoyable experience if the filmmak-
ers had chosen one direction and gone
with that.

Today
Sam

Zell

l

L

AM -z -- -- ' '1

The Young Dubliners know how to party.
Write for Arts.
Call Alix or josh at 763-0379.
Plan to attend the........
Multicultural Career
Conference
Tuesday, January 30, 1996
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Michigan Union
2nd floor
Connect with employers & graduate school representativesl
" Explore career options and internship opportunities
" Investigate graduate school options
" Arrange interviews for January 31
Make the most of the conference!
" Attend a pre-conference workshop to learn more about the event
* Use the Conference Briefing Books to review organization information
" Collect last minute tips from employers at the Sneak Preview -
January 30 (4:10-4:50)
The Unven oy oef
Career PlanningPlac ent
Dvisionof t itAffr~

expatriates Paul O'Toole and Keith Ro-
erts, the group's blend of folk, blues and
Irish traditional music established the
group as a sort of American equivalent
of The Pogues. Had their four crossover
songs, the instrumental "Ashley Falls"
and their cover of "The Rocky Road To
Dublin" been any indicationof what
was to come, perhaps I would be danc-
ing a different jig. But, the truth is, the
long-player "Breafhe" is extremely di
appointing.
One does run across a few bright spots
on the album, such as the mouth harp
and mandolin-peppered "Shame," or the
band's untamed version of the tradi-
tional "Follow Me Up To Carlow." How-
ever, the quality of the latter song, along
with their rendition of"The Foggy Dew,"
comes from the two songs' statuses as
timeless, nationalistic, republican an-
thems, and not from the merely acce
able job that the Young Dubliners doW
covering them.
Unfortunately, the remainder of songs
hail from that region of musical bland-
ness where Don Henley and Hoote And
The Fish That Blow mix a dull aural
paint. Don't get stuck listening to this
record dry.
-Thomas Crowley
Mojave 3
Ask Me Tomorrow
4AD
Sharkboy
The Valentine Tapes
Nude
With the media's attention caught
the Britpop buzz of bands like Oasis a.
Elastica, it's possible that groups like
Mojave 3 and Sharkboy will be over-
looked. Like their compatriots Drug-
store, Mojave 3 and Sharkboy are Brit-
ish bands that make beautiful, country-
tinged, dreamy pop that's timeless with-
out being retro, soft without being
wimpy, and ethereal without seeming
pretentious.
Mojave 3's "Ask Me Tomorrow" and
Sharkboy's"The Valentine Tapes" doi@
really fit into any trends, but that doesn't
prevent them from being some of the
most noteworthy music currently avail-
able.
Mojave 3 has the additional benefit of
a musical legacy behind them. When the
critically acclaimed dream-pop band
Slowdive broke up last year after rel eas-
ingtheir final album "Pygmalion" three
of the band's members, Neil Halstead
Rachel Goswell and Ian McCutcheo
formed Mojave 3 out of the breakup's
ashes. While very different sounding
from the lush sonic textures and experi-
mentation that characterized Slowdive,
"Ask Me Tomorrow" shows that
Halstead, Goswell and McCutcheon can
create traditional-sounding music that's
as beautiful and moving as their former
group's dream-pop innovations.
Sleepy-eyed ballads like "Love Songs
on the Radio" meld slidin-g steel guitar
gentle acoustic strumming and Goswell
transparent, fragile voice in a delicious
combination. The pianos and Halstead's
vocals on tracks like "Sarah" add a
warmth and resonance to Mojave 3's
beautiful songs. The delicate
fingerpicking on "Candle Song 3" and
"You're Beautiful" lends an intimate,
folky cast to those songs, as well'as
"Where is the Love" and "Pictures."
"Mercy," "Ask Me Tomorrow"'s close
comes the closest to sounding like the
group's previous incarnation because of
its epic scale and brooding tone, but is
still fresh and creative. A romantic,

graceful album, "Ask Me Tomorrow"
has an eerily classic feel to it already,
and is bound to be one of the year's best
releases. 't
Sharkboy's "The Valentine Tapes" is
an equally accomplished album. It's an
altogether more dynamic and electr
affair, however; Sharkboy is as fond
buzzsaw guitars and rockabilly licks as
they are of lightly strummed acoustics.
The dreamy sounds of songs like "Tiny
Seismic Night," "Take My Hand" and
"Blazer" are complemented by theedgy
rock of "Big Black. Jaguar"- and
"Sugarmanshine."
Singer/songwriter Avy has a throaty,
sensual voice and a knack for writing
elegant melodies, both of which ad..
sweetly yearning tone to the music. t
the dreamy songs like "Dean," "3D
Angelshell" and "Teenage Heart" at
which they excel, but the final song on
"The Valentine Tapes,""Maxine"shows
that Sharkboy can incorporate rock, ro-
mance and everything in-between into

The DeRoy Professor in Honors
will give a lecture titled
"Risk and Reward;
The Role of Risk in Return"
Tuesday, January 30 at 4:00 pm
in the Askwith Auditorium,
140 Lorch Hall.

MINORITY

HEALTH

FAILING

Be Part of the Solution
<:' rrr f:i4 ikA .' 1 '"" :iv. :. r._Y

r m- a-0 s-a -a- " a 4

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