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August 08, 1980 - Image 7

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-08-08

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The Michigan Daily -Friday, August 8, 1980-Page 7
.....A rts e

Update on the blank generation

By JIM ROBINS
Who are these people who inhabit
Bookies on a Tuesday night? What
brings them to the gasoline vapor lights
of Six Mile to see yet' another English.
"new" rock and roll band (The Mem-
bers)? Is it a name that brings thesei
denizens of Cinderella's Closet, Fan-
tasy Fashions and the other chi-chip
second hand stores to the club tonight?
Bored on a Tuesday. Perhaps they,
work in restaurants and are only off in the
middle of the week. Maybe they're not
working at all-unemployed college

students (blame it on the recession)
living at home, sponging off mom and
dad, wanting to get gritty and hardcore
with the weekend light years away.
Could be Sally has some Valiums ands
then nothing will matter, and,
everything that ever hurt will go away.
IN THE parking lot so much that's
bad seems available. No security guard;
out here during the week. Walking from
the lot, trying to keep steady, there's!
'that place that sells the spiked'
bracelets, and genitals rings-separate:
or in variety packs, all under black"

"SKA" REVIVAL:'
The Beat goes on

lights. People are posing for instamatic
pictures in the street. The flash goes:
off: four waitresses in their late
20s-everything they wear is either;
tight, and white or shiny, their smiles
are pouting funny smiles-Frederick's;
of Hollywood comes to Detroit. The guy;
with the Kodak also hasa vial of Locker'
Room (amyl, poppers, etc.). They take
a few snorts all around. Isn't disco and
decadence a thing of the past?
Inside the door that big, big woman:
someone once called Mameechie, takes
the five buck cover. Brutus next to hers
stamps the hands. Radio people, press
people, photogs, ,they cry: "Media,!
media. Aren't I on their list?" They'
don't want to pay.
There's not much of a crowd tonight.
Comfortable? There are seats vacant at
the bar. There are even a few vacant
tables. Strange, so small a crowd for a
band that is English and has one of
those noveau-bohemia designs gracing
the cover of their first album.
IT'S NOT shoulder to shoulder, but all
ass and elbow on the dance floor tonight
as the Members launch into their
opening number. It's spaghetti
western music. It makes them smile,
'makes them want to get up and dance.!
Then the lead vocalist takes the stage
and its the same old-same old, all very
'well rehearsed. Nothing offensive,
'nothing especially new. They play their'
'British hit; "Sound of the Suburbs"
They stay away from soloing and1
adhere to the new British invasion]
rules: Rock and roll, reggae, ska, gang
'vocals, gang guitars; the spectre of the,

clash in all over this band. A week:
night in the Motor City with Triple A
minor leagues.
The Members are good, but not good
enough to break through the humidity,
put gas in the tank or cut through a case
of the summer flu. The Members oc-
cupy that place where they need a
loaded weekend crowd, who don't have
to worry about getting up the next mor-
ning, to fill in the band's empty spaces.
But the Members get by tonight. So
does the clubby crowd with the
prescription orders that say "refill 3
times and please drive home carefully
(better yet, borrow money for a cab)."
But what about tomorrow?

I Just Can't Stop It
The English Beat
Sire SRK 6©91
By MARK DIGHTON
Well, the Ska Revival continues to,
roll on. Against the critics' claim that
it is a reactionary, derivative, and
inherently limited movement, it con-
'tinues to produce fascinating and en-
joyable albums. Now for (at least in my,
mind) the most fascinating and en-
joyable Ska Revival release to
date-The English Beat's I Just Can't
Stop It.f
The English Beat sound like they are
to the Ska Revival what The Vibrators
were to the early punk
movement-older musicians that were
inspired by _ the new sound and em-
braced it with a ferocious expertise
unavailable to their younger in-
spirations. The Beat are not only more
melodic than The Specials, but also far
more demanding rhythmically than
Madness. In fact, I Just Can't Stop It is
easily the most rhythmically intense
album since the heyday of The Velvet
Underground (whose "Sister Ray" they
distorted rhythmically to an almost
unrecognizable degree in order to
produce "Two Swords"). They make
both Madness and The Specials appear
rather musically flat and rhythmically
one-dimensional in comparison. When
they cut loose on several songs, such as
"Hands Off ... She's Mine" it becomes
a serious task just to keep track of the
beat in the crush of conflicting reggae
rhythms.
IN CASE you haven't guessed it yet,
Rhythm is definitely the bottom line on
this album. Very few of the instruments
(except the sax) even take solos. It
matters very little that many of the
melodies and harmony vocals on this
album are simply stunning; they are

always secondary to the rhythms.
Because of this, The Beat are not as
immediately engaging in their
melodies as Madness, but their crystal-
clear production and well-balanced
sound surpass the specials by a mile. At
their best, The Beat pack all of their in-
struments into - the middle registers
where they can riff furiously, bouncing
into and off of each other.
Of course, there are some slower,
more traditional reggae songs, such as
"Rough Rider," but in the context of
this album these particular cuts seem
See "SKA", Page8

Yourapartment
cramped?
Read the
Dally Classifeds
tor the latest 'For Rent' into.

2nd
SMASH
WEEK
NOW
IN DOLBY
STEREO
MON, TUE,
THUR, FRI
7:15-9:45
SAT, SUN,
WED
1:15
4:15
7:15
9:45

LORD GRADE P'ets
A MARTIN STARGER PRODUCTION
"RAISE THE TITANIC"
suNs JASON ROBARDSI RICHARD JORDAN'- DAVID SELBY -"ANNE ARCHER ANDALEC GUINNESS
Executive Producer MARTIN STARGER Produced By WILIAM FRYE Directed by JERRYiJAMESON
Screenplay By ADAM KENNEDY Adaptation By ERIC HUGHES Based On The Novel By CLVE CUSSLER Music By JOHN BARRY
DOYsTs.EEO . PG|PARENTAL IWIANCE SUGGESTED 70MM/ ) E
SOME MtAEE M MAY E NOTSTUU E FORPAE4TEENA6ERS L-

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