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June 16, 1982 - Image 7

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Michigan Daily, 1982-06-16

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Arts
The Michigan Daily Wednesday, June 16, 1982 Page 7

Razor barely makes the cut

By Robert Weisberg
W HITE-REGGAE-night at Second
Chance was A bit of a bust.
Steppin' Razor, "New York's only
female reggae band," has a nice idea
and a few catchy songs but the band
lacked the experience and confidence
that would have produced a completely
enjoyable evening.
The opening act, Black Market, was
essentially a cover band. They attrac-
ted the most attention from dancers
when they played "Sweet Jane" and
"Twist and Shout," unlikely favorites
for a reggae band.

Steppin' Razor's biggest problems
were its lead vocals and bass. Katie
O'Looney did a good job on drums,
powerful but not overbearing; Aus
Byla's keyboard backing and singer
Sherry Lutz's - guitar work were also
fine; but when it came to singing, Lutz
seemed very tentative, lacking that
assertive spirit and range which
reggae vocalists need to have.
Adding to this, was Jah Geet Van
Cook, whose weak bass failed to
provide the distinctive reggae thump.
As bad as that sounds, though, it was
by no means a wasted night, and I
wouldn't give up on the band. The fact
that Cook just joined and Lutz recently
took over the vocals makes me think
that with some time, and possibly a new
singer, they may get it together. And
the mere fact that they are trying to cut
through old reggae stereotypes as an
all-women group makes one hope that
they do succeed.
Judging by their original songs, there
may be hope. Much of the material was
kind of a "ska & roll" or pop-reggae
mix that may offend the purists but in-
terests less picky folk like myself.
The music reminded me of the
English Beat's more reggae-esque
tunes; Reggae songs, but with upbeat
rock touches like the drum-heavy
refrain in "Chaos" which was quite ef-
fective, or ska-ish numbers like
"Reggae Woman"-"a song about
women getting a fair shake," explained
Lutz-with its high-speed vocals. I.
found the chorus of their theme song,
"Steppin' Razor," catchy enough that it
was still floating around in my head the
See REGGAE, Page 10

Byla
...on keyboards

Daily Photo by ELIZABETH SCOTT
Sherry Lutz, lead singer and guitarist for Steppin' Razor, played at Second
Chance on Monday.

Son of
By Chris Case
E VENTUALLY, Sylvester stal-
lone will look too old to pass him-
self off as a boxer. That will be at
around Rocky VII or VIII. Then that
qiSet little nerd with the glasses, the
one masquerading as Rocky's son, will
have biceps the size of grapefruits, and
he'll be flexing them in Son of Rocky. I,
II, III .
There's a point to all this. I object to
II's and III's largely on the basis of ex-
perience: they are too often rehashes,
superficial efforts to cash in on a
profitable idea. Rocky HI is really no
exception. Aocky sets up for a big fight.
Things look rough for a while and there
are a couple of crises. In the end he
wins and everyone (except the guy who
gets his face smashed in) is happy.
Yet Rocky III is, I suppose, also a
movie in its own right, and as such it is
not entirely bad. Its emotional impact
sends you out of the theatre jogging and
shadow-boxing, determined to push
yourself to new limits. There are worse
ways to leave a movie.
That impact is accounted for largely
by the general quality of acting. Vir-
tually all of it is lively and sincere,
which helps make up for the fact that
the time-tested story line is both tired
and poorly integrated. The story
touches upon too many things, from the

the Return of Rocky
politics behind boxing to the importan- In spite of this kind of fooling around,
ce of self-love, without presenting and in spite of the movie's vaguely
anything new or revelatory about any sickening, egotistical Rocky
of them. glorification, writer/director/actor
This makes the movie essentially a Sylvester Stallone has made a movie
shallow collage of different stories, in with some apparently serious inten-
which various characters emerge as tions. There are messages worth get-
important for brief periods of time, only ting, but they won't knock you out of
to recede again to their former stations your seat with awe at Stallone's human
as ornaments or props. understanding. There's nothing here
Rocky's wife (Talia Shire), for that we don't know and haven't seen
example, erupts from her role as some before.
' kind of decoration to spark one of the Much of Rocky III, in fact, treads the
" movie's more powerful scenes. She im- perilous border between the mildly
presses upon Rocky the importance of original and the cliched. Rocky's con-
doing things not for dead trainers or tender, Clubber Lang,(Mr. T (?)), is lit-
guilt trips or Harley-Davidsons, but for tle more than a souped-up Muhammad
himself. Ali. The souping, moreover, is done
While this advice may not cause your only with earrings and a fancy hairdo,
jaw to drop in wonder, it doesn't hurt to which are not in themselves enough to
have it drilled into one's head, and this turn a take-off into an original and
particular drilling is nicely executed. distinctive character.
But its all Talia gets to do, and when its T
over she's forced to resume her former The movie's appeal exists at a rather
position on the mantel. primitive level. We like to see muscular
Similarly, Paulie (Burt Young), guys whack hell out of each other under
Rocky's brother-in-law, draws atten- guises of personal determination and
tion to himself early on in another of the good sportsmanship. What you get from
film's better scenes. Paulie's frustrated Rocky III, basically, is a macho thrill
and upset because he thinks Rocky mixed in with the gushing good feeling
doesnt care about him. They have a of watching someone rise out of the
crisis, and Rocky makes up to him by dumps to personal victory.
giving him a job, but nothing comes of And I don't mean to sound too sar-
castic about that. These are real
it ro hs ontoPaulie is ex- feelings, and pleasant ones. Just don't
traneous, a mere clown to bounce jokes eect muc moe.
ffexpect much more.

THURS-IAL, 800, 110
..h . on image of beauty .
original, compelling and
na doubt controversial"
Marlel Hemingway
WEd-12.45, 3.11, 5.15, 7.30, 9:45
THURS-7:3S 945
(B)

vie ui.

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