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September 28, 1998 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-28

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~silent comedy "Cops" comes to the Michigan. Buster Keaton
suRidenly finds himself in the middle of a police parade through a
series of mistaken identities. Live organ accompaniment and post-
show lecture will be included in the screening. The film is 33 min-
utes long, and begins at 7 p.m.

ft bej £Oiak ~a

The latest releases in the music industry, including Sheryl
Crow's new CD, will be featured in tomorrow's Breaking
Records.

Arts:

hIA

Monday
September 28, 1998

esus and Mary Chain jam fans in stunning set

Da4y Arts Wnter
Clutch Cargo's in downtown Pontiac exploded
with clouds of dry-ice smoke and a massive
sqgoall of electric guitar-guided cacophony this
past Friday, as The Jesus and Mary Chain and
opbners Mercury Rev bestowed mutual blasts of
noise upon a packed house.
Vhile both acts are quite notorious for their
inclusion of interludes of brain-warping guitar
noise into what might otherwise be traditional
roek/pop formulae, they have also achieved a
high standard of quality and originality in the
music world.
T he Jesus and Mary Chain have been around1
for a while. Starting out in the early eighties,
they sent tidal waves through the underground
music scene with their debut album {
" chocandy." "Psychocandy" wed the struc-
'al styles of influences The Velvet
Uniderground and The Beach Boys and buried

thom underneath1
tae; noise.

blankets of barn-burning gui-

selves with every subsequent album. From the
sonic meandering of the band's debut to the
gentle string and woodwind-laden tapestries of
its latest masterpiece "Deserter's Songs,"
Mercury Rev have never disappointed, but just
keep getting better and better.
Entering the stage immediately on the heels
the first opening band, Elevator to Hell,
Mercury Rev opened its show with "Endlessly"
from the band's new album, and immediately
flowed into "Holes," another new song.
While the recorded versions of both of those
tracks sparkle with strings and horns, the life
performances moved into the traditional gui-
tar/bass/drums rock format for the show. Band
flutist Suzanne Thorpe was missing from the
lineup. And although twin keyboardists helped
compensate for the absence of orchestral tex-
tures that Thorpe lends to the music, her pres-
ence was sorely missed.
That did not stop Mercury Rev from bring-
ing down the house, though. The new material
was just as convincing live and served as a
warm introduction to a series of classic Rev
tracks, which were executed in true epic bril-
liance.
"Carwash Hair," "Frittering," and "Chasing a
Bee," from the band's first album were fleshed
out in gorgeous fashion by singer/ guitarist
Jonathon Donahue and lead guitarist
Grasshopper. Each of those songs reached the
10 minute point and climaxed in an orgasmic
display of wall-of-sound guitar pyrotechnics.
Melodies weaved in and out, howling feed-
back surfaced here and there, understated
vocals held it all together and, by the end of
Mercury Rev's abbreviated 45-minute set, the
audience was truly in awe. It was obvious to all
that Jesus and Mary Chain had a tough act to
follow.
* And, alas, it was a challenge that they were
not up for.
Starting things off with "Snakedriver," a
track from the soundtrack to "The Crow,"
JAMC went straight for the jugular but came up

empty-handed.
Most of the necessary components were
there: the charging drums, the pulsating
basslines, the bluesy rhythm guitars, the too-
cool-to-actually-sing vocals of Jim Reid, and,
of course, the deafening feedback screams.
But, like Mercury Rev before them, JAMC was
suffering from the absence of a key member:
Jim Reid's partner in crime,
guitarist/singer/songwriter/brother William
Reid.
JAMC playing without William is like The
Rolling Stones playing without Keith Richards,
it just doesn't sound the same. While the cir-
cumstances surrounding his absence are
unknown, Reid and his criminally tuneful lead
guitar lines are an irreplaceable component of
the band's music.
Second guitarist Ben Lurie did do a remark-
able job of filling William's shoes, but the
songs just didn't sound quite the same.
But that's not to say they sounded bad.
Classics such as "April Skies," "Head On," and
"Sidewalking," from the band's early days,
were mixed in with newer gems like "I Love
Rock And Roll" and "Virtually Unreal" and,
together, pulverized the audience like a sonic
bulldozer fueled by sheer volume.
The highlight of JAMC's set came at the end,
during the encore, when Mercury Rev's
Jonathon Donahue joined the band on stage for
an extended version of "Reverence," an indus-
trial-strength tune that features the line "I
wanna die like Jesus Christ." Always a live
treat, the song's infectious bass-line/drumbeat
combination practically had the audience doing
calisthenics.
At about midnight the lights came on, the
smoke cleared, and the eardrum-warping
noise faded into silence. Absent bandmates
aside, JAMC and, especially, Mercury Rev
had put on memorable performances that
sent audience members home with smiles on
their faces and a loud, seemingly incessant,
ringing in their ears.

V; , yt:
^

While JAMC have,
never quite outdone
"Psychocandy" in terms
of artistic innovation, they
Jesus and have applied the same
aY Cain three-chord approach to a
Clutch Cargo, consistently good series of
Pontiac setygo eiso
Sept25,1998 albums that substitute the
high noise quotient for a
more astute pop sense.
Similarly, Mercury Rev
roared into early '90s with
a raging wonder of an
album, "Yerself Is Steam,"
whose idiosyncratic psy-
chedelic landscapes of
harmony and noise placed them in conjunction
with critically lauded contemporaries My
Oody Valentine and The Flaming Lips.
But whereas The Jesus and Mary Chain have
never really evolved past its original invention,
Mercury Rev have virtually reinvented them-

STEVE GERTZ/D#iy

The singer for Jesus and Mary Chain walls Into the mic at Friday's concert.

Tales of West intrigue

Monaco ballet sets classy

Cormac McCarthy
* ities of the Plain
nopf
Of the numerous books that are
published everyday, only a select few
are lucky enough to start out ahead of
the game. Cormac McCarthy's "Cities
of the Plain" is one of these books.
At the beginning of the year, it
*ould have shown up on any critic's
list as one of the most important
books to look for in the coming
months. It is the work of a highly
acclaimed American writer."Cities of
the Plain" is the final installment in a
trilogy of novels-a trilogy that start-
ed with the contemporary Western
classic, "All the Pretty Horses." What
is really impressive, though, is that the
public proved to be as geared up for
McCarthy's latest book as the critics.
'*e book spent weeks on the New
York Times bestseller list when it first
came out this summer.
So "Cities of the Plain" hit the
shelves with every advantage. The
real question is, did it deserve them?
For fans of the first two installments
of McCarthy's Border Trilogy, the
answer is yes.
On the first page of the book,
McCarthy satisfies at least one of the
ticipations of his admirers. He
brings together John Grady Cole and
Billy Parham, the protagonists of "All
the Pretty Horses" and "The
Crossing," respectively. The boyhood
adventures and passage into adult-
hood of each character take center
stage in the first two books of the tril-
ogy. So it is fitting that their friend-
ship, years later, is the foundation of
this third novel.
This is a book about cowboys,
Soons and horses. It is also about
what two men receive from their rela-
tionship with each other that they
cannot get anywhere else. It is about

the passion that leads one of them to
risk that relationship. It is about a
world that has been disappearing for
ages, but is somehow hanging on in
1952. Mostly, it is about the new
dreams that always appear to take the
place of the old ones that will never
come true.
Sometimes, it feels hopeless for
the reader to consider this last matter
during his or her journey through the
book. But McCarthy consistently
employs humor and humanity to
make the experience feel ultimately
worthwhile. One of the delights is the
masterful dialogue of these "natural"
men and those they encounter and
work with. Their conversations reach
unparalleled heights of charmed
absurdity.
Most memorable though, are the
two main characters. John Grady is
the so-called all-American cowboy,
as glamorous a figure as there can be
in the sometimes squalid world of the
book. Billy has a tougher, more cyni-
cal exterior. But Billy reveals the soft-
est of hearts as he tries to "protect"
John Grady from the woman that
draws him repeatedly across the bor-
der - to the cities of the Mexican
plain.
Alhough it has many good quali-
ties, McCarthy's latest is not a per-
fect book. McCarthy aims high here,
and while he often succeeds, he
sometimes only appears pretentious.
At these times the reader must endure
until the next lightening of mood. The
world of the characters is not pretty,
and it may discourage readers with-
out the patience to become attached
to its spirit. There is recurrent
Spanish that the average reader may
not be able to decipher. It is a book
that asks a lot from its' readers. Its
popularity then, might be surprising.
But readers who add their own sup-
port to McCarthy's success story will
receive much in return.
-Jeff Druc hniak

By Christopher Tkaczyk
Daily Arts Editor
The most astonishing and surprisingly excell-cnt
ballet of the year was presented this past Thursday
to Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline of
Monaco, who arrived in Detroit specifically for
the occasion. As is always predicted with royalty,
the Princess and her entourage arrived fashion-
ably late, causing a setback with the start of the
performance. Ushered into their middle box, the
royal guests were met with a standing ovation by
the gawking crowd - a highly unnecessary, if not
undeserved, display of admiration.
The only disappointing aspect of the actual pre-
sentation was the use of projected credits that
illuminated a white scrim while the Detroit Opera
Symphony played Sergei Prokofiev's famous

Romeo et
Juliette
Detroit Opera
House
sept. 24, 1998

overture. It's sad to see the
television world so heavily
influence standards that have
been instilled in the realm of
stage performance.
Presenting a contemporary
version of "Romeo and
Juliette," les Ballets de Monte
Carlo showcased a side of the
tale not often depicted in
Shakespearean stage perfor-
mances. Concentrating on
Friar Lawrence as the tragic
hero of the piece, the ballet
featured grand solo perfor-
mances by Gaetan Morlotti,
who portrayed the friar.

through a quick-moving dance in which he
expressed his inner pain and self-judgement.
Clad in the traditional Roman collar, he updated
the role to a more modern Catholic priest, com-
plete with two boy acolytes. Director and choreo-
grapher Jean-Christophe Maillot found inspira-
tion within the priest/acolyte relationship to fea-
ture a few sexual moments, indicating events con-
cerning supposedly celibate priests and young
boys.
Ernest Pignon Ernest's panels of white decorat-
ed the background of the stage - the famous bal-
cony scene was performed with a rising/lowering
walkway that wound its way into the backstage
flats. Costumer Jerome Kaplan relied on simple
tones of white and black interspersed with flecks
of gold and silver to distinguish the differences
between the Montague and Capulet families. The
Montague family mostly wore white with gold
accents, and the Capulets were adorned with deep
blacks and silvers. The women of the Capulet
family danced stealthily - a feat quite difficult,
considering the long, slightly tight black dresses
that they were wearing.
The contemporary tone of the piece wasn't
entirely dependent upon the set design and cos-
tumes; the dance style of the ballet reflected an
attitude of grace and dignity, all the while full of
life and the passion of young love. At the moment
when Romeo first sees Juliette, the young lovers
touched at center stage, with the rest of the com-
pany surrounding them. Later, at the battle scene
in which Romeo kills Tybalt, the dancers moved
as one, each strike of the arm one concise hit with
the power of 20 men. The scene became a brutal
death dance, at least, as far in ballet as brutal
goes.
A stunning performance was delivered by

standard
Francesco Nappa, as Tybalt, cousin to Juliett6,
who attempts to defend his family by pickink
fights with Romeo and his friends. Nappa's neat-
acrobatics demonstrated his powerful drive.
Ljiljana Peric, as the nurse, offered a slightly
childish touch to the role, evoking a youthfdl
attendant figure, more than the desired matronly
overseer that is so often characterized i
Shakespeare's play.
The dramatic aspects of the romantic tragedy
were played out in the beginning of Act Two with
an onstage puppet show. Using a sheet as a stage,
the dancers donned head puppets and quickly
went through the "Romeo and Juliet" story in a
mocking farcical display. Slapstick face-smacks
and absurdist violence provoked laughter not onl~y
from the audience, but the dancers onstage as
well. While the roles of the Lord and Lady
Montague were entirely cut from the perfor-
mance, the only represented parental authority
came in Veronique-Dina Jean's portrayal of Lady
Capulet. In her tall domineering presence, Jean
brought a nervous tone to her scenes.
Even more exciting and suspenseful were the
deaths of the star-crossed lovers. As every audi-
ence member most-likely knew the fate of the paii.,
each eye and heart was absorbed into the unfortu-
nate tragedy that befalls Romeo and Juliette.
Using the device of a lengthy red silk scarf,
Romeo, played handsomely by Chris Roelandt,
drew it from his pocket, indicating a menacing
demise of passion, tied it about his neck, and hung
himself. When Juliette awakened to discover the
wilted body of her once-blossoming lover, sie
used the same scarf to commit her own death.
As Friar Lawrence discovers the dead bodiet,
his guilt and evil-doing all come full-circle, offei-
ing a performance fit for a princess.

Intimate dances performed by Morlotti displayed
the friar's guilt and self-abuse. In a tender
moment following Juliette's consumption of the
poison, Morlotti exposed his guilty conscious

p,

SYRACUSE
STUDY ABROAD
Zimbabwe * England * Italy
ln &u'nrsg r .C a Jyt " rni'.ir,

& DESTRI
4.
A4

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COLLEGI

.OY THE COMPETITION W

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[ ] Entering as a complete team. Our team name is:
(] Entering as an individual. Please add me to a team
(] Entering as a partial team. Add players to our te
(] Registration fee enclosed: s24 for a team (up to5

BOWL,
'ITHYOUR MIND
M.
am.
5 players) or $7 per person for individuals or partial teams.
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(if available) (circle)
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