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August 10, 1982 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1982-08-10

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Ar ts
Tuesday, August 10, 1982

The Michigan Daily

Page 7

High-tech rock n' roll
fologBy Jerry Brbnclnthat would weather changes
By JrryBrabnecin personnel.

IT'S A CHALLENGE to be a vener-
able, respected rock band these
days. An exploding universe of styles,
a largely discredited main stream, a
militant denial of craft and virtuosity,
p and lively revivals of '50s and early '60s
styles - all these factors seem to work
against a band like King Crimson.
But KC continues to develop and
elaborate on a stylistic foundation that
extends back to those archtypal ad-
vocates of complexity and pretense in
rock: Yes, and Emerson, Lake and
Palmer. Interestingly enough, the new
KC has been ignored by album oriented
FM rock stations, however, response
from the critics and the less reac-
tionary elements in the jazz audience
has been good.
When Yes released the live set
Yessongs in 1973, the band was at the
height of its popularity, and yet this was
the time that Bill Bruford left the band,
soon to join KC. Was he forced out?
Hindsight gives the impression that
Brufod chose to shift to a less spec-
tacular group, one with a secure cult

The Fripp-Bruford-Wetton edition
of KC released a series of well received
albums before Fripp became more in-
volved with his redefinition of the fun-
ction of a rock musician, delving into
solo projects and collaborations with
Brian Eno. In the liner notes -of his
album, "God Save the Queen," Fripp
expounds on a view oft contemporary
rock as locked in a trap of roles, expec-
tations, and what he calls a "vampiric"
relationship with the audience. His
Frippertronics tour was conceived in
an attempt to break down these stric-
To this end, Fripp played an inter-
national tour of solo performances in
small venues (including Ann Arbor's
Second Chance), often in the afternoon,
weaving ambient ;textures designed to
defuse the potent myth of the rock
Fripp now uses this styleincorporating
synthesizer and tape loop technology
and a minimalist form of repeated pat-
terns and arpeggios, as the formal un-
derpinnings for yet another guitar and
drum based rock quartet - a return to

Robert Fripp defusing the myth of the rock superstar at the Michigan
Theatre Friday night.

rock tradition.
This can be seen as innovation or cop-
out. KC achieves mixed results. Strong
points include a fascinating rhythmic
texture in which all the instruments in-
terlock and contribute on an equal
basis, and a challenging sound based on
the skills of the four virtuoso musicians,
allied with state of the art technology.
Weak points include the occasional
clashing of the values of passive am-
bience and flashy virtuosity, and an
uneven lyric content.
Belew's lyrics for KC's new album,
Beat, revolve around two main idioms
- the literature of the "Beat" poets
Kerouac and Ginsberg, and Belew's
own favorite theme, animals and the
jungle. "Neal and Jack and Me" and
"Satori in Tangier" are straight ahead
tributes to Kerouac, "Heartbeat" takes
its' title from a recent movie about
Kerouac, and "Howler" is about Alan
Ginsberg, the author of the famous
poem "Howl."
Also borrowed from the vocabulary
of the beat poets is the manic
travelogue metaphor in "Neurotica,"
complete with its hallucinated
descriptions of bizzare flora and fauna
and Lowell Thomas closing tag, "So
At the Michigan Theatre Friday
night, Art in America opened with an
overamplified, muddy set. Former Yes
and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
producer Eddie Offord is putting
together a Columbia LP by this band,
but they still have a way to go.
KC opened with a rather loose version
of "Thela Han Ginjeet," one of theb
highlights of their previous album,
"Discipline." The title is an anagram of

"In the Jungle Heat," and the band's
heavy, menacing sound is well suited to
a distracted account of nervous encoun-
See CRIMSON, Page 10
5th Ave at Lib"r y 761-6700
Funny talk D MI
and fast food
- - "" (R)
TUES-4:50, 7:00, 9:10
WED-12:30, 2:40, 4:50, 7, 9:10
TUES-5:20, 7:40, 9:55 (R)
WED-12:40, 3:00, 5:20, 7:40, 9:55

Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
Bassist Tony Levine playing his lute-like stick.

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