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May 26, 1983 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1983-05-26

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Page 12 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, May 26, 1983
MTV adds new dimension to record sales

Duran's Sim Le Bon runs panting
through the jungles and bazaars of Sra
Lanka. Styx's Dennis De Young is trap-
ped in a futuristic prison guarded by
robots. A sidewalk lights up under
Michael Jackson's feet. All move to a
rock beat.
Rock video is fast becoming as per-
vasive as the video game, while injec-
ting new energy into a sagging recor-
ding industry. And it's expected to get
even bigger. Sony Corp. recently
released the first "videos" available to
NEW BANDS and their financially
troubled record labels are its chief
beneficiaries, thanks to MTV, a cable
television channel that's being called a

national radio station with pictures.
The channel beams videos and stereo
sound to more than 12 million viewers
nationwide 24 hours a day. It plays 200
different tapes a day.
"The two most powerful forces in our
culture over the past two decades have
been television and rock 'n' roll music,"
says MTV programming director John
Sykes. "This is the first time they've
ever been put together, and the impact
has been incredible."
"WE'RE SEEING acts like Men at
Work, Stray Cats and Bow Wow Wow,
that really had no FM airplay, that got
a great deal of use on MTV and their
record sales just went crazy," said
Scott Ross of San Francisco's One Pass

Film & Video Inc., a major producer of
concert videos.
"It's almost like MTV is dictating the
formats of major radio stations across
the United States," Ross said. "Where
radio used to be one of the largest for-
ces in breaking records, it's really slip-
ping into second place."
A recent A.C. Nielsen survey of 2,000
MTV viewers indicates that what
people see is what they buy.
ASKED WHAT media influenced
their record purchases, 68 percent of
those surveyed ranked MTV as impor-
tant or very important; 62 percent put
radio in the same categories.
Joe Bergman, head of video for War-
ner Bros. Records, says a prime con-
sideration in deciding whether to make

a video for a band is the chance of get-
ting on MTV's playlist. Like most
album-oriented rock radio stations,
MTV uses no country and few black ac-
ts - a policy which has drawn some
"The record companies are realizing
that the bands can get more exposure
per dollar for vidseo than they can
touring," says Craig Sexton, general
manager of Video Pac Systems Studios.
At first, videos simply showed a band
performing. Now, bands seem to be
making the more expensive "concept"
videos with a story or images related to
the song, often using band members as



'Just Friends'provides safe, solid humor

(ContinuedfromPage 9)
someone who looks like he plays on a
softball team. He is a steady presence
rather than a person on stage, never
wavering in his support of Maura's
talent. Paul is a bit dull, though,
because his humor is sardonic in com-
parison to Maura's silliness and
He and Maura play off of each other
well, really seeming like they were
neighbors. Only once does Miller falter
in his performance. When %Maura
cruelly lambasts him, sending his sym-
pathy-saturated soul home after he tells
her Kenny died, he in effect rejoins
without dejection, "come and talk if
you want later on". At this instance, it

seemed his doormat-quality was too
exaggerated to be true. He should have
spoken the line with more dejection.
Judi and Shelly also seemed well por-
trayed, but I wished them offstage
nonetheless, perhaps because of the
tiresome personalities of these two
characters rather than the quality of
Shelly whirls into Maura's apartment
always gushing with her latest en-
thusiasm. Judi mopes continuously
because she is childless after seven
years of marriage. These two charac-
ters do not seem to have much purpose
in the play. They take up space and do a
lot of talking. Shelly is a non-stop chat-

terbox, Judi a moody melancholic.
They create a few laughs but are not
Throughout most of the play, Maura is
a tough no-nonsense woman in her
early thirties, but then success makes
her self-doubtful. The critics coin her as
a "self-effacing prodigious talent" -
but she cannot make the link between
her conception of herself as ordinary
and the star the press creates. She
wanders in her labyrinth of pain like
Minos, trapped in her ego, having
destroyed many of her paintings.
It is as though Connie Baron (Maura)
herself is going through these emotions
of self-doubt and pain, as though she
were not just acting but re-

experiencing them on stage. Her
characterization never weakens in its
faithful recreation of Maura.
The play has a happy New York-style
ending. The distraught female is not
saved by promise of marriage, but by
herself. She has come full cycle. It is a
triumphant play but not all that
original. The lines, mostly one-liners,
are funny but not revolutionary.
Just Friends is a very American play
circa the Neil Simon era, the era of
plays set in New York flats filled by
characters with self-anguish problems.
New York - the city of anxiety. Just
Friends will not reign immemorial in
theatrical history, but it is a good,
humorous play.


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