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June 14, 1980 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-06-14

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, June 14, 1980-Page 9
..+...r n...i ..... ... ... ..... . .... ........" .......... .
Lou's middle-age manifesto
- more personal delivery that left behind or a weak simpering father at sity is all but submerged under a flood
Growcing Up In Public both the poetic vision of the Velvet daya best of synthesizer vampa and hard rock
LouReed and the crass comic-book charac- is raised to play out the timeless guitar crescendos. In other words this
ArisAL5522 terizations of the period that followed, classical motives is Album Oriented Radio fare, and
Reed's new, more relaxed tone-part offilial love and incest, while it's not completely offensive the
By MARK COLEMANfsonaloe i proo tonplay This Freud-by-numbers analysis musical tension and open-ended ex-
.By ARKCOwith, sthemui aadi. Lasto ar' yh continues throughout the album. There perimentation that one would expect
How do you figure a guy like Lou Bellsth fous l gtoing wisth year snTo is a crucial difference between this and are sorely absent.
Reed? He could have retired ten years les pform Lu ing thtmpeter Dn virtually all Reed's other work. This agai and agi; thle or ing lines of
ago and waited for the world to catch up Chs, err gwihtumeerD time he isn't involved in a struggle for theaitl acgkn o the sealho Alo
with the Velvet Underground. Instead, ahry i w psyche, spilling othspr h il rc rtesel rmA
he embarked on a checkered solo One thing has remained constant hsnaiyt ow idarekotn:i per- Green and the Staples on "Teach the
carer nmache byanyothr pr- throughout. No matter how grandiose sonly tociavogdtha breskdrown:.He's Gifted Children." The band can hardly
career. unahed bys hanyoe per-di or spare the musical trappings, how ut- coortbecditnte fcsro acm- keep up with Lou on '"Keep Away" as
former.n.Who..else.has..performed..in...... ... .. .. .. orta...istnce...-...
..d. .. ...v..v.. ...{ ....... ........:.... i .. .i..ii u V i l iI U IC L i i ii r ............pi:w.....s....u....u.............s. .r......v.m.. .u;.::::: n....... gesuvety.v.... v'v"v.

I

drag, simulted an injection while per-
forming a song titled "Heroin," in-
sulted audiences to the point of a riot,
then broke down in tears after an anti-
semetic cat-call? The same guy that
that brutally chronichled the break up
of a marriage in the blood-curdling
Berlin, easily the most depressing
album ever set to wax.
Who could forget Metal Machine
Music, the two-record set of droning
electric feedback released on RCA's
classical label? Then there were the
hits: the transvestite novelty song
"Walk on the Wild Side" that somehow
found its way onto AM radio and the
forgettable Sally Can't Dance which
actually held down the tenth spot on the
album charts for a week or so. The
heavy metal headbangers are still
listening to 1974's Rock and Roll
Animal, a half-hearted attempt to pass
Lou off as the new, nastier Alice
Cooper. You try to figure it out.
THEN IN 1976 Lou deserted the path
to glory and started doing whatever he
really wanted. Beginning with Coney
Island Baby and culminating in Street
Hassle, Reed perfected a different,
G

terry bizarre or sick the subject matter,
an honest rocking voice always comes
through. Reed tells his tales of
decadance and dread in deadpan; a
man self-aware and un-self-conscious
at the same time, he applies a sardonic
and cynical wit to his unlikely search
for redemption through rock and roll.
You're probably thinking that Lou
Reed is a self-righteous bore by this
time and that would be right if the man
didn't posses an intuitive knack for cat-
chy phrases both lyrical and musical.
The factor of utter unpredictability
plays a big role in his appeal, too, and
Lou's ability to make mincemeat of
even the loyalist fan's expectations has
never been more apparent than on
Growing Up In Public.
I'M NOT SURE where the biggest
shock lies in this new album: In the
music, the lyrical content, or in Reed
himself. Subtlety hasn't been one of his
strong points lately, and from the initial
verse of "How Do You Speak To an
Angel" we learn that Lou has indeed
done some growing up.
A son who is cursed with a
harridan mother

But what a story! Lou Reed, perhaps
the most flagrantly ambigious perfor-
mer ever, has fallen in love with a
woman! And when he's not waxing cor-
ny intellectualisms about maritalbliss
("They're gilt edged polymorphous ur-
ban but somehow it works") he's hin-
ting at the causes of his own celebrated
bisexuality in "My Old Man," a punchy,
diatribe about the ambivalence bet-
ween father and son that could have
been written by one of my psychology
professors. Reed knows full well the
contradictions of his new status and his
old position and shrugs them off ar-
tfully:
Some people think being a man
is unmanly
And other people think that
whole concept is a joke
But some people think being a
a man is the whole point
And then some people wish
they'd never awoke.
IF LOU REED'S abandonment of his
previous decadent-and-still-alive-to-
talk-about-it outlook has taken a certain
edge off his lyrics, the music follows
suit. Co-written with keyboard player
Michael Fonfara (late of Toto-clone
band Tycoon), Reed's rhythmic inten-

ne spits out a stream of suggestively
self-revealing promises with an am-
phetamine non-chalance to quell a
jealous, possessive lover. The closest
this record comes to celebrating
decadance is "The Power of Positive
Drinking," which is saved from being
just another disposable drinking song
only by benefit of its hilariously acidic
observations of drunken behavior and
the soporific, stuttering chorus.
This toned-down stance is probably
just a resting point in Lou Reed's
career, a pause for'reflection and
revaluation. It would be a gross in-
justice (though a very easy one) to
write this album off as a "sell out," a
condescension to bourgeois life on the
part of someone who should know bet-
ter. This could be an indication of the
direction Lou Reed's career will take (I
hope not) but as for his next move it
would be a lot easier to try and predict
the weather. As it stands, Growing Up
In Public is no master piece, but is a
pleasant enough album that offers
some food for thought if one takes it on
its own terms. Like it or not, this is
where Lou Reed is at right now, and
whether he lives up to one's expec-
tations or not, he remains one of the few
honest voices left in a world of facade.
And as always he offers us hope: If Lou
Reed can enter middle age gracefully
and happily there's some hope for the
rest of us.
POLIO PROBLEM
GENEVA (AP)-With some 150
countries and territories providing
data, the U.N. World Health
Organization reports there were 35,590
cases of poliomyelitis during 1978.
China, submitting data for the first
time, reported the largest incidence of
the disease-10,408 cases.
In Europe, where most countries
have brought polio under control, only
805 cases were reported.

Shelley Duvall looking appropriately freaked out in 'The Shining,' also starring
Jack Nicholson. Stanley Kubrick's long awaited film treatment of Stephen
King's suspense shocker opens this week in Ann Arbor.
ThAnnMArFmFestil Prosents at MLB $1.50
SATURDAY. JUNE 14
ANIMAL HOUSE
(John Landis, 1978) 7.8:45 & 10:30-MLB3
NATIONAL LAMPOON and the esthetique de gross. Beloved Faber College self-
destructs in an orgy of the things that make college worthwhile: food fights.
toga parties, frat wars, heavy petting, back-seat sex, voyeurism, adultery,
sadism, statutory rape, and the homecoming parade. Bluto, Otter, D-Day, and
the gong. Boola Boola. John "But No-o-o-oo" Belushi.
Next Tuesday: Jack Nicholson in RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND and THE SHOOT-
ING at MLB.--

CINEMA GUILD
PRESENTS
COUSIN, COUSINE
Two cousins are attracted to each other at a family wedding,
but their romantic relationship is really sealed at a later funeral.
Saturday at 7:30 & 9:30. Plus: Bugs Bunny
And Sunday at 5:O@ & 8:4M
GONE WITH THE WIND
The film voted most likely to succeed. GWTW is more than
television can handle and must be seen on the big screen. Seen
and loved by every generation. Kids love to hear about when
their parents saw it. Frankly Scarlett, there's always TARA.
CG 'satOldA & D Auditorium
t ff at's hq~e gv~l ' s t r ii_

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