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September 03, 1997 - Image 52

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-03

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6D_- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 3, 1997

ARTS

Music stores provide a
bou ty of rare selections

By Aaron Rennie
Daily Music Editor
Like most college towns, Ann Arbor
possesses a student body with myriad
interests: Football, Homer Simpson, beer
and nachos, just to name a few - not
: necessarily independent--loves. Unique
to this fair city, however, is the abundance
of local and national options students
face when deciding to purchase music.
For out-of-state students venturing to
Ann Arbor for the first time, one particu-
lar record store may be a welcome sign of
familiarity: Tower Records at 1214 S.
University Ave. Located on the upper
floor of the Galleria Mall, Tower is an all-
encompassing store - in addition to its
extensive selection of music, Tower has a
" arge magazine section, as well as books,
lnk tapes, a Ticketmaster counter, sheet
frsic, videos and (gasp!) clothing. One
nice touch at the store is the abundance of
listening stations, which enables potential
buyers to hear how worthy or not those
CDs are. Tower's prices are also pretty
reasonable, especially for many newer
releases.
Just down the street from Tower sits
Wherehouse Records at 1140 S.
University Ave. Wherehouse's perks
.elude numerous releases by local
artists, cool posters and T-shirts, and an
Ietensive selection of imported discs.
'Furihermore, Wherehouse's prices are

usually a tad lower than Tower's, and the
line for concert tickets for big events is a
little smaller than Tower's (and a lot
smaller than the Michigan Union's).
Across the Diag sits Discount Records
at 300 S. State St. Although it is not near-
ly so large as Tower or Wherehouse,
Discount's selection of CDs and tapes is
nothing to scoff at, and the store routine-
ly allows people to pre-order new releas-
es at a discount. On top of that, if some-
body reserves a copy in advance, he or
she will receive it at precisely midnight
on Monday nights, just before the rest of
the music-buying public gets a shot. In
other words, not only will Joe Shmoe
have saved some money, he can rub it in
his friends' faces that he got Bush's
Greatest Hits (or whatever) first.
Rounding the corner onto Liberty
Street, one encounters the enormous
brick facade of Borders Books and
Music on 612 E. Liberty St. In addition to
its vast magazine selection - probably
even bigger than Tower's - Borders has
a large section devoted to music books,
including tons on blues and jazz masters.
And although its prices are rather high for
CDs, Borders possesses more listening
stations than any other store in town.
Across the street from Borders is
Schoolkids Records, at 523 E. Liberty St.
Not only does the well-respected store
sell music in its three adjacent branches

(indie rock, popular and classical), but
Schoolkids has its own record label and
Web site, which spread the gospel of the
independent store to the world outside of
Ann Arbor. The main branch sells every-
thing from Sun Ra and Medeski, Martin
and Wood to U2 and John Lee Hooker.
The indie store, known as "the annex,"
has a fabulous selection of ambient, trip-
hop and British bands obscure to the
mainstream's eye, as well as a decent
amount of used CDs, but its prices can be
steep.
Speaking of second-hand music, Ann
Arbor has a few stores that specialize in
low-budget alternatives to new releases.
Less than a block from Schoolkids is
Encore Records on 417 E. Liberty St.
Upon entering the store, one is quickly
impressed with the amount of CDs and
vinyl albums that seemingly spill onto the
floor. Bargain hunters will be amazed at
what they come home with, especially as
the friendly staff has been known to occa-
sionally knock dollars off the marked
prices.
Located up a steep flight of stairs is
Wazoo Records, at 336 1/2 S. State St.
Once the 23 steps are conquered, how-
ever, one will be glad to be there. Like
Encore, Wazoo has a commendable
array of used discs and albums, and
sports competitive prices. The store also
(like Encore) pays top dollar for used

BOHDAN DAMIAN CA.y
Gabriella Frank, a graduate student In the School of Music, scans the compact disc collection at Encore Recordings at 41'.

r -- -

Feeling the blues

Pynchon's talents shine
like stars in latest novel

,.

By Jeff Eldridge
Daily NSE Editor
How many lines touch us on a daily
basis?
There are the geographic kind -
defining cities, states and nations. But
there also run other, less-defined
boundaries - racial and economic,
rural and urban. Above them all stood
the bloodiest barrier in American histo-
ry, dividing the North and the South.
These invisible, manmade lines and the
tragedies accompanying them provide the
theme of Thomas Pynchon's "Mason &
Dixon," a strange and magical novel over-
whelming in its style, grand humor and
infinite breadth of knowledge.
The story, narrated by the Rev' Wicks
Cherrycoke, follows the activities of
Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, the
two English astronomers and surveyors
whose work produced the notorious
north-south boundary bearing their
names. But this is no straightforward tale
of historical fiction. Cameo appearances
materialize by familiar figures like
George Washington, Benjamin Franklin
and Dr. Samuel Johnson, but more note-
worthy visits come from the likes of the
seductive Vroom sisters, a farmer who
turns into a large beaver, a horny
mechanical duck and an angry cheese.

SARA STILLMAN/Daily
Blues legend B.B. King and his guitar Lucille jam at a show at Hill
Auditorium in November. He has been playing for more than 40 years, a
period of time in which he has performed thousands of shows and produced
more than 70 albums.

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By James Miller
Daily Arts Writer
Music festivals are risky proposi-
tions. They seem like a great idea at
first. You pay the same price as a negu-
lar ticket and you get to see several dif-
ferent bands and you feel like the smart
concert shopper.
And then sometime around the t
band you realize that you've been there
for five hours and one) are tired of dodg-
ing Frisbees, 2) sick of paying $2.75 for
a Coke, 3) no longer interested in the
bra-less, antediluvian gray armpit-haired
granola in front of you sifting through
her NPR tote bag and talking about how
this festival was only cool back in- the
early '70s when dope was cheap and the
universe meant something. t
But this is unfair. After all, we'reot
talking ab'out H.O.R.D.E here, this is
Frog Island. Frog Island is the some-
what less high-powered cousin of the
famous Ann Arbor Jazz and Blues
Festival, although not by much. The
Ann Arbor festival concentrates mainly
on bringing in a bunch of big nahes,
while Frog Island has been content to
put on shows with a more relaxed, sum-
mer barbecue atmosphere, featuring
more zydeco and world music.
The lead-off group, Charlie Gall
and the New Orleans Jazz Band, was
decent. Gabriel himself played compe-
tent and entertaining (if not electrifying)
tenor and clarinet. The same cannot be
said for his trombone and piano playiers,
both of who exhibited a stunning igno-
rance of New Orleans-Dixie style.
Next on the bill was Rosie Ledetind
the Zydeco Playboys. For those who
don't know, zydeco is the New Orl
equivalent to rockabilly, with a bouon,
ebullient feel and a prominent accor-
dion providing the dominant color.
On a hot and miserable day, not too
many people felt like dancing, so there
was one advantage lost. Second, unless
you listen to a lot of it and become a
real expert, most zydeco will sound.the
same to the average listener and pretty
much anyone who is not in a zydeco
band.
For my money the main event n
the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. From
New Orleans, DDBB offers old-time,
hot jazz as it was originally played -
that is, with a bass drummer, snare
drummer and a sousaphone providing
the bass line. In concert, however,
they had a drum set and electric key-
board.
And a stunning spectacle it was. The
horn players spent the entire night eit
playing wild, outrageous jams on top
the stunning sousaphone bass work,
playing tutti melody lines or a little bit o
both. One of the things. that makes
DDBB so exciting to hear is that they
can shift from the traditional New
Orleans form of melody, counter-
melody, solo to one solo to unison play-

IWOV 7
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Got the Back-to-School Blues?

Come

to,

the

call
ora'
of U-Club events

I

Entree Plus accepted
an Union
alumni and their accomnpanid quat

Back-to-School
Blues Mass
featuring the Ad Hoc Liturgical Blues Band
Free Food for Students

on the first floor of the MicfigI
The University Cub is a rtate club for Otudenta. faculty,

zero v ircm maT an r re: nr « v vv .w e w+.. +r . ......t . .... ... .. ... .

" Free Pregnancy Testing " Completely Confidential

5:00 pm, Sunday Sept.

7

" Information about
Pregnancy and Options

* Free Post-Abortion
Support Groups

Canterbury House
721 East Huron
The blue and white house one block east of State Street
Zo,*q OU R V

" Abstinence Counseling

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