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November 15, 1996 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-15

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urxe Atdfit Datig

Men's Glee Club Fall Concert
The Men's Glee Club 137th Annual Fall Concert will showcase this
campus group's internationally renowned talent Saturday night at Hill
Auditorium. The Glee Club's repertoire includes spirituals, classical,
folk and contemporary works, and of course Michigan songs. The
shows are at 6 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the main floor, $8 first
balcony and $5 second balcony ($3 for students).

Friday
November 15, 1996

5

Jackopierce returns to Ann Arbor
Texas rockers bring their light pop to the Blind Pig tonight

By Shannon O'Neill
For the Daily
Eight years is a long time in the music world. Eight
years ago, Paula Abdul had a.No. 1 album, and Def
Leppard was making a comeback.When a band man-
ages to keep a consistent sound through all of the
trends, and avoid the lurking "creative differences,"
they must be on to something.
Jack O'Neill and Cary Pierce of the band

Jackopierce started out as an acoustic duo eight years
ago in Texas. They are still cranking out the records,
not to mention maintaining a strong fan base that
keeps them touring at least nine months out of the
year.
"Eight years is a pretty long
time, when you think about how
much has changed from Kurt P A
Cobain and what Nirvana did, to
the new sound of trip-hop and
acid jazz, and artists like Tricky," Toni
O'Neill said in a telephone inter-
view with The Michigan Daily.
"Things have definitely changed
since Cary and I started playing, but I hate to pigeon
hole where we fit in to it all."
The release of the group's album "Finest Hour" last
spring distinguished Jackopierce as something more
than an acoustic duo. Working with two new mem-
bers, drummer Earl Darling and bassist Clay
Pendergrass, their sound has evolved. The combina-
tion of introspective lyrics combined with a lighter
pop sound appeal has prompted magazines like People
to compare their sound to that of the Counting Crows.
When asked about the comparison, O'Neill respond-
ed, "I think when you have a certain sound like ours,
of course comparisons to bands like the Counting
Crows are going to come up, because maybe we have
some similarities. I mean, it's not like we can be com-
pared to Nine Inch Nails."

RU
nig

With little worry about finding a niche and trendy
techniques to gain an audience, the band is happy to
focus on its music.
"We've been working on some new music for our
next album. There was a two-year lag between our last
two albums. Cary and I really
weren't too happy about that, so
E V I E W we've been doing a lot of writing
and playing to get some ideas,"
laCkopierCe O'Neill said.
t, doors open at 9:30 Jackopierce has toured relent-
Blind Pig lessly since they first started out,
Tickets: $10 playing in small bars and college
town gigs across the country. This
hectic pace hasn't slowed down and O'Neill doesn't
have any complaints. "Touring is great for me; I can't
stand to be tied down to one place," he said. "You
wake up and see a new town every day when you're on
the road. It's gotten better now that we have more peo-
ple helping us out."
So, what's the gimmick? How does a band stay pop-
ular for eight years, gaining more fans each time they
come around? Of course, word of mouth on college
campuses has increased their popularity, but it's not
easy to pinpoint the appeal.
O'Neill expressed it this way: "I really hate to ana-
lyze why people like our music, or why college kids
identify with our songs. I really have no idea, we're
just doing what we love, and it's a real trip that other
people enjoy our music."

Allen Schrott stars as Dulcamara In "L'Ellsir d' Amore."
Outstanding 'Lxir
flies with '0sflir.

By J. David Berry
For the Daily
With taffeta dresses, hula hoops, and
Marilyn Monroe look-a-likes, the 1996-
97 Power Series kicked off Thursday
night with University Production's
1950's setting of Gaetano Donizetti's
light hearted,
romantic opera o
" L' E li s ir R
d'Amore' h L'E
The story of theVE

Adina. Her light, agile soprano voice
deals adroitly with Donizetti's difficult
arias. However, she also possesses the
vocal strength to hit the high notes that
are required of her at the end of many
of the group numbers. Dressed as a
Marilyn Monroe look-a-like, Leibel

Jackopierce's Darling, O'Neill, Pierce and Pendergrass.

Youth, 'realness' make Ireland's Ash appealing

I

EVIEW
lisir d'Amore
Power Center
Nov. 14, 1996

adds a great deal of
pizzazz to her role
as she sachets from
man to man.
Despite hersup-
porting role,
Kathryn Hart, as
the peasant girl
Giannetta, is diffi-

By Heather Phares
For the Daily
It's hard enough for most college-age kids to get
into nightclubs to see a band, much less to play in one.
Since Ash's inception, this problem has dogged the
young Northern Irish band. On previous American
tours, the fact that the band had difficulty getting into
the clubs it was supposed to play
got as much press as their power-
ful performances. PR
But time marches on, and this
time around, Ash hasn't had a
problem with overactive bounc- Saturd
ers. As the band's optimistic St. Andrew's Hall w
singer / songwriter / guitarist Tim Call (313) 963-ME
Wheeler said in a recent inter-
view, "We're getting closer to 21 - just under a year
away."
It's not surprising that Wheeler chooses to look on
the bright side when it comes to his band. The group
saw its fortunes rise dramatically a year and a half ago
because of the popularity of singles like "Jack Names
the Planets" and "Girl From Mars"just as its members
were taking their A levels (a British test similar to the
*ACTs). Wheeler reflected on his sudden fame, "I sup-
pose it made us grow up pretty fast, having a lot of
responsibilities and stuff. Quite a bit nicer than school,
though.
"I was always attracted to the lifestyle. It's really
unconventional, every day is different" he continued.
"It's interesting. It's definitely better than working in an
office your whole life. Also, I love music so much that

it's the only thing I could do. Nothing else inspires me."
Though Ash has had problems due to its members'
youth, Wheeler doesn't mind that so much is made of
the band's age: "It doesn't really matter, actually. We
don't care. It is a fact that we're young. I suppose it's
quite interesting. It doesn't matter how old you are,
just as long as the music's good."

EVIEW
Ash
ay, doors open at 8 p.m.
with Stabbing Westward.
LT for more information.

Wheeler said he is glad that Ash
has the chance to prove to the
United States just how good the
band's music is. About the current
tour as the opening act for
Stabbing Westward, he said,
"Being a support band, we're get-
ting a lot more people out to see
us, and a good portion of the audi-

laugh.
The inspiration for Wheeler's optimistic future
plans comes from his deep love of music from the
past. When he got bored with the contemporary music
scene, he "started checking out older pop stuff like the
Beach Boys. I think that helped with my songwriting.
I really like Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy, Buzzcocks,
Abba, Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson and the
Miracles. I love Motown stuff," he said.
"We want to make some really good records that
stand up as being contemporary classics," he added. "I
think we're getting better, that we keep improving.
We've definitely not reached our peak yet, anyway."
Ash hasn't reached the end of its busy tour sched-
ule yet, either. The band will spend seven more
weeks in the United States. "We're playing three
more weeks with Stabbing Westward and then we're
doing four weeks with Weezer," Wheeler explained.
"That'll be good for us as well. We enjoy being here,
it's good getting away from old Britain. It gets bor-
ing there. The music scene gets stagnant, so it's good
getting away from it all."
As soon as this round of touring is done, the band
plans on getting away from it all for a good long while.
Though he's already planning and writing the follow-
up to "1977," Wheeler said he is looking forward to a
rest. "We're gonna just chill out after we finish tour-
ing. We haven't really had a break since nearly a year
and a half ago, and the last few years of school were
pretty hectic. It'll be nice to take a rest and live a nor-
mal life just for a wee while," he sighed. Just don't tell
him to act his age.

ence comes to see us, so I think it's going really well. It's
given us a lot of credibility as well, the chance to show
we're different than all the other British bands. They're
just hyped up; we prove we're real by playing"
This "realness" is crucial to the success of Ash's
full-length debut album, "1977." Written by people
experiencing the ups and downs of youth for people
experiencing them (or who can remember them), it
documents teen-age love, loss and emotion. The
album reflects a wide array of emotions, from
poignant longing ("Goldfinger") to goofy fun ("Kung
Fu") most points in between. Wheeler's judgment of
his own work is characteristic: "I think it's a really
good, strong record. But I think we'll just keep on
making better records as we progress. I want to make
("1977") look shit by comparison!" he said with a

comicly tangled
love triangle com-
bines with the spir-
it of a vineyard in
1950's Italy creating the perfect back-
drop for University Vocal Performance
majors to shine, with the help of crisp,
comic staging from director Joshua
Major, and flawless music direction'
from Kenneth Kiesler.
The story deals with the peasant
Nemorino's (Scott Piper) love for the
beautiful owner of the vineyard, Adina
(Jane Leibel). Adina, thinking
Nemorino to be below her, throws her
affections on the pompous, self
absorbed sergeant Belcore (A.
Woodrow Bynum). In an attempt to win
the fickle Adina's heart, Nemorino pur-
chases a phony "Elixir of Love" from
the quack doctor Dulcamera (Allen
Schrott). Once Nemorino gets drunk
off of the supposed elixir, the fun of this
comic opera really Begins, as he
attempts to win the fair Adina's hand
before she can marry Belcore.
Director Joshua Major creates a live-
ly, upbeat atmosphere, interjecting
some brilliant comic moments into the
evening's performance. Notably, his
treatment of Belcore and his soldiers, as
the upright military haughtily parade
across the Italian countryside.
Also noteworthy is the quack doctor
Dulcamera's entrance in his "guilded
chariot," and his subsequent sales pitch
to the naive country dwellers. As
Dulcamera, Allen Schrott not only
sings magnificently, but embraces the
possibilities of Major's comic staging
and capitalizes on them. In an evening
of brilliance, Schrott's performance is
definitely a stand out.
As his trusting, love-struck customer,
Piper's Nemorino is also outstanding.
He possesses a lyrical and beautifully
controlled tenor voice that shines equal-
ly bright whether attacking his rival or.
lamenting the loss of his love.
Throughout the show, his duets with
Adina, as she slowly comes around to
his way, are particularly good.
Leibel sings the coloratura role of

cult to take your eyes off of. She has a
luminous stage presence, and while you
have to wait for the second act to hear
her voice alone, it is truly worth. the
wait. Her vocal interpretation is exquis-
ite.
While the first act is very good, it
tends to drag a little, setting up the
groundwork for the story. However,
once the second act starts, the. sun
comes down, the wine starts flowing,
and the cast simply lets loose- on
Donizetti's score. The second act -flies
along at a breakneck speed, beginning
with a comic duet between Dulcamera
and Adina, clipping through plot twists,
as the women, upon learning that
Nemorino has inherited a fortune, do
their best to get his mind off ofAdina.
At the climax of this craziness,
everything stops. From the silence
comes a single, lamenting oboe, which
is soon joined by Piper's lyric tenor
voice. The aria deals with NemoFino's
heartbreaking love for Adina,' and
Piper's interpretation is nothing short of
outstanding. This moment alone is
enough to bring down the house.
Designs for this production are also
excellent, with particular notice going
to Francessca Callow's '50s-style cos-
tumes and the beautiful Italian country-
side sets, designed by Nephelie
Andonyadis.
This evening of opera is truly'out-
standing. There are a few monents
where the Power Center's acoustics play
havoc with the ability to hear. the
singers over the orchestra, but aside
from this small hindrance, there is"very
little else missing from this producion.
Considering the difficult nature of stag-
ing an opera well, Major, Kiesler, and
the talented cast of "L'Elisir d'Arriore"
certainly should be commended. The
performance is terrific.
University Opera productions are
double-cast, with a separate cast per-
forming on Friday and Sunday.

U

These are the young Northern Irish lads of Ash.

I
00

Does the secret to love lie in a magical concoction?

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