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January 17, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-17

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 17, 1996

This press photo discloses the little known fact that 'Seinfeld"s Jason Alexander actually has two headsl
Don't check in with'Dunston'

Victoria Williams and
the Loose Band
This Moment in Toronto
Depending on which way you choose
to listen, Vic Williams' voice can sound
fresh and innocent as a small child's-
or wise as an old Southern
grandmother's. It's drawling accent,
inflections, scratchy highs and silky
lows are at first surprising, then endear-
ing. Williams' unique style is worth
getting used to, and this live CD, re-
corded last spring in a Toronto theater,
serves as both a fine addition to a col-
lection and a nice introduction to her
Most of these 16 songs also appear
on Williams' last studio recording,
1994's wonderful "Loose." But she also
includes her versions of several songs
by other artists. She and David Will-
iams (ofthe Williams Brothers; no rela-
tion) sing a lovely, fragile duet on the
Williams Brothers "Can't Cry Hard
Enough." Vic Williams alsoadds acover
of Jerome Kern's "Smoke Gets in Your
Eyes" and excerpts the Beatles' "Dear
While her cover choices provide a
peek into her influences and favorites,
far more enjoyable are Williams' own
songs. She begins the album with an a
cappella version of "This Moment,"
and moves through quirky, spirited ver-
sions of the swinging "Harry Went to
Heaven," the spooky "Crazy Mary," as
well as "Polish Those Shoes," "Lights,"
"Frying Pan," and "Summer of Drugs."
Most of these tracks sound far more
realized on Williams' three previous
albums, but it's still a joy to hear them
done live. Her songs are truly wonder-
ful, in the literal sense - infused with
joy, hope, childlike innocence, and
Williams' own indomitable spirit.
A thoroughly charming performer,
Williams manages to preserve the cozy,
homespun folk feel of her albums even
when playing to thousands. While it's
no substitute for her studio albums,
"This Moment in Toronto" captures
that feeling on disc admirably.
- Jennifer Buckley

Sugar" would come even close to the
caliber of "Small Talk," but the influ-
ences are definitely there:
For example, take "Cruisin'." If Sly
didn't somehow inspire that song, I
don't know who did. The violins that
string this love song, groove song,gotta-
get-my-move-on song together are remi-
niscent of "Say You Will." And so are
his soulful explosions: moans, and silky
slurred words. But those are things that
you just can't fake.
D'Angelo is completely submerged
in the rhythms of his songs; after all, he
did write, compose, arrange, and pro-
duce most of this album. That's what
separates him from the slew of generic
R & B artists that have nice voices and
then some Babyface producer adds the
flavor packet and preservatives. No,
this album is the real deal.
The first single, "Brown Sugar," is
only a peep at the type of swanky R &
B that this album serves up. It gives you
an idea of how D'Angelo can taunt any
young fresh nubile with his luscious
voice and slick skillful moves on the
keyboard. But it doesn't give you the
whole picture.
The music on this album is as smooth
and sexy as D'Angelo is himself. His
vocal and musical style is so suave and

cool that it almost seems as iftheWords
and notes just stroll into the song whett
they're ready. He's in no rush.'Even
when he's pissed off, singing about-his
bestfriend getting it on with his woman;
his words are laid-back and melodi-
cally beautiful. "Shit, damn;
mutherfucker" never sounded so good;
when I have kids I'm gonna use th
song as a lullaby.rW
R & B has somehow entered an era
that is saturated with vocalists singing
the same love song/freak song. But
D'Angelo is more than just a'pretty
voice and a nice face. And we all could
use a taste of this "Brown Sugar:"
-Kimberly Hoitt
Ace of Base
The Bridge
Sure, they helped you see the sign,
and it opened up your eyes, blab, blah,
blah, but the quadruple-blond Swedish
powerhouse Ace of Base will be shakin'
your romp once again with their syrupy
rhymes more infectious than ai toilet in
Times Square. "
Their smash debut "The Sign" hcr-

See RECORDS, Page:

By Kristin Long
Daily Arts Writer
When the best part of a film is its
short length, something's not quite right.
"Dunston Checks In" is a kiddie flick
with little plot and little excitement; its
focus is an orangutan thief.
The setting is the Majestic Hotel in
New York City, where employees pre-
pare to host the annual Crystal Ball, a
gala event for the wealthy. Above the
hotel lives the restaurant manger(Jason
Alexander) and his two boys, who al-
ways manage to find some trouble in
the enormous building.
The beginning of the film has some
dry attempts at humor, especially when
the boys plan an attack on one of the
employees whom they dislike. Using a
fountain in the lobby, they manipulate
the water to catch the eye of their prey.
When the plan goes sour, water flies all
over the lobby, attacking many guests
and landing the boys in serious trouble.
Faye Dunaway portrays the perfec-
tionist hotel owner, Mrs. Dubrow, a
woman who all employees fear. She
arrives at the Majestic to ensure that all
preparations for the upcoming event
are in precise order. Dunaway's sinister
characteristics give her the ideal per-
sona that the employees despise.
The big excitement comes when a
Lord Rutlage (Rupert Everett) checks
into the Majestic. He and his orangutan
compadre, Dunston, have not gone to

Checks In

Directed by Ken
Kawapis; with
Jason Alexander
At Showcase
participate in the Ball, but rather to
seize the expensive belongings of its
guests. Kyle, one of the boys, is suspi-
cious of the two when Rutlage and Sam
first enter the Majestic. The orangutan's
trunk catches his eye, and when the
youngster attempts to discover the
crate's contents, he is immediately
scared away by Rutlage.
Dunston, played by the talented or-
angutan Sam, has been trained to enter
rooms and steal all valuable items. On
occasion, the animal does get a bit con-
fused, when he thinks that the silver
from a gum wrapper is of worth.
One evening, Dunston enters into the
room of a wealthy woman who has
brought along many precious jewels on
her excursion. The ape receives a phone
call from his master Rutlage, a conniv-
ing individual, and scales the walls of
the hotel to break into her room. He
manages to find a plethora ofdiamonds,
rubies and other gems. One might think
that this disastrous event would be part

of the plot; however, soon afterward,
the theft is mostly forgotten and we
never hear of the jewels again.
While Dunston is making his big
move, Kyle and his older brother find
themselves grounded by their escapade
in the front lobby. Because of sporadic
appearances by Dunston, Kyle suspects
some sort of monster roaming the hall-
ways. After the boy sets a trap for the
ape, he finally finds what he had feared
Kyle and Dunston form a close friend-
ship when Kyle discovers that Rutlage
abuses his new friend. The two try to hide
from the evil thief by making a hideaway
in a glamorous suite in the hotel. With the
help of Kyle's older brother, Dunston
checks into the hotel under the name of
some random doctor. The trio order room
service galore, with banana dishes mak-
ing up most of the menu.
As the boys cause their mischief,
their father and the stern Dubrow pre-
pare for the Ball. They are also re-
viewed by a respected hotel critic whom
they suspect to be Rutlage. They do
little to answer questions-about the rob-
bery because they are too preoccupied
with distinguished guests.
The predictable plot eliminates most
of the suspense. As Kyle, Eric Lloyd
does a remarkablejob and shows prom-
ise for films yet to come. Sure, kids will
enjoy the monkey, but "Dunston Checks
In" gives little plot to keep them inter-


Mayor, City of Detroit
will present
Wednesday, January 17, 1996
4:15 p.m.
Hale Auditorium
Assembly Hall
Corner of Hill and Tappan Streets
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Question and Answers and Reception to follow


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