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July 28, 1989 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1989-07-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

'Page 10-The Michigan Daily-Friday, July 28,1989

The Nylons
Windham Hill
"Rockapella" - it's a term
which Canada's Nylons have per-
sonified by weaving together a pure
a capella sound reminscent of the
50s and 60s with updated, energetic
rhythms. Their originality continues
on the fourth LP, Rockapella,
which takes on an innovative spirit
that further develops their style.
Generally, more emphasis is placed
on the ensemble rather than on an
'individual singer plus back-ups.
The vocal textures shimmy and
sway, leaving behind a rainbow of
timbres from the thick multi-tracked
webs in "Drift Away" to streamlined

transparencies in their remake of the
classic "(All I Have To Do Is)
Dream." Especially colorful in its
vocal arrangement is the tune "Busy
Tonight," whose enticing calypso
rhythm provides a touch of savoir-
faire for the romantic listener.
While some of the new experiments
with different pop-type drum tracks
fizzle - as in the monotonous
"Count My Blessings" - others,
such as "Rise Up" and "No Stone
Unturned," come alive with catchy
rhythmic combos to enhance the
Judging by the Nylons' success,
"rockapella" may be fast on its way
to becoming a legitimate musical
term. -Sherrill L. Bennett

continued from p. 9
Zhang also elicits superb perfor-
mances from his company of actors.
Jiang Wen as the engagingly jug-
eared carrier is a lusty romantic lead,
treading the line between comic
braggadacio and sensitive hero quite
perfectly. The beautiful Gong Li as
the young bride gains in stature with
every moment on the screen. From
weeping bride to worker, mother and
fighter, Gong Li's performance ex-
emplifies a woman's growing
strength in a socialist society.
There's a pleasing democracy of
characters throughout Red Sorghum.
No one character dominates the pic-
ture; the panoply of winery workers,

Luohan the f>reman (and communist
organizer), Sanpao the bandit chief,
the butcher and his son are all in-
trinsic to the story and have the
color and vigor of characters from a
Turgenev tale.
All this ties in with the impec-
cable political creed of R e d
Sorghum, One in which socialism
is, as Brecht said, the most natural
and sensible way of living; as natu-
ral as misguided Americans think
capitalism is. Whatever your orien-
tation on these subjects, R e d
Sorghum remains an essential mo-
tion picture, one of the greatest of
the decade. No two ways about it.
RED SORGHUM will be shown at
the Michigan Theater at 9:50 p.m.
Friday, July 28, and at 5:15 p.m. on
Saturday. Tickets are $3.25 with
student ID.

Diamanda Galas
The Litanies of Satan
Diamanda Galas is a scary person. She sounds like an opera singer who
made a deal with the devil, and lost. Her two-"song" album The Litanies
of Satan is an amazingly dark piece of work, the kind of music that gives
you nightmares - while you're still awake. Close the shades, shut off
the lights, and start with side one. Sensitive listeners will soon be curled
up into a fetal position. Less fragile souls will either listen in awe, or flee
the room. Hearing this is an intensely emotional experience.
Galas is not easy to pigeonhole, although she could be lumped along
with the, oh-so-ultra-hip-and-postmodern "Serious Fun" crowd. She goes
beyond, though - way, way beyond. No cool affectations, here; this
singer takes her rawest emotions and spews them forth as wails and
screams and whimpers. She takes the essence of pain and turns it into
some very strange and wonderful music.
Sometimes she comes across like an obscene phone call, while at
others she brings to mind Linda Blair in The Exorcist. At one point on
side two's "Wild Women With Steak-Knives," Galas sounds like she's
both giving birth and being born at the same time. With the exception of
some drum thuds on side one's "The Litanies of Satan" (a piece based on a
poem by Baudelaire), she is accompanied only by her own voice. But the
electronics never take over here; they just enhance Galas' amazing vocal
abilities. What she does with her voice would destroy anybody else's
larynx in a minute.
WARNING: This is weird stuff. I don't mean weird like Pink Floyd or
Mojo Nixon. The Litanies of Satan is not for everyone. In fact, most
people would probably say that it's the musical equivalent of a cat being
skinned alive. But if you're not terribly self-conscious about alarming
your neighbors, and you can handle a heavy emotional burden, open your
ears up to this beautifully terrifying record. And close your eyes.
-Alyssa Katz
band"; the second generation discov-
Ii) n o)s atu r ered that music wasn't just an escape
from the establishment, but also a
continued from p. 9 way to make a living. And these
This 25th Anniversary outing is days, The Who - like Pink Floyd,
ironically entitled "The Kids Are Dylan, and perhaps the Stones
Alright 1989." The street fighting themselves, on a reunion tour of
kids of The Who's generation might their own this fall - now find
have wondered, "what else can a poor themselves in that third generation
boy do/ 'cept sing in a rock'n'roll where the aging artist realizes that
rock'n'roll is his only source of in-
come, as an industry. But The
Hated Batman? Who's straightforward acknowl-
edgement of themselves as a spent
Loved Bernstein? creative force is infinitely preferable
to the Gilmour-Floyd's pretense of
Leave your housemates alone- recording vacuous "art" as an excuse
tell it to the world in the to tour under a brand name and push
new product. Townshend and Co.
promised no artistic revelations for
myes o money, just a rip-roaring concer
Daily A rts pages of sonsba bandwhichoncereally
existed and was named the Who. It's
Cl 63'0379 a business transaction I'll take... fo
The Michigan Daily
to be a part of
Apply now for fall positions
in the Display Advertising
Positions available for Account Executives
and Assistant Account Executives
Pick up an application today at the
Student Publications Bldg., 420 Maynard
Deadline: August 1st

Hydrology and 1+2
There's a new outlet for artists
who've got a little extra time on
their hands and have grown bored
with their band's music: one records
an album of "new age" revisions. In
1987, former Xymox collaborator
Pieter Nooten and Michael Brook did
this to band's songs on Sleeping
with the Fishes; now, Depeche
Mode synth-programmer Alan
Wilder has taken the solo route.
In 1981, Wilder was added to the
Depeche Mode lineup, replacing the
happy pop sound of former Yaz
keyboardist and current Erasure
member Vince Clarke with a
slightly darker style. Unlike DM
songwriter Martin Gore, who just
released his own solo EP, Wilder
aspires now to a certain independence
from his band's commercially
successful name - going under the
pseudonym "Recoil" for this album.
Nevertheless, there are enough sam-
ples here to elicit suspicions that
Recoil is either stealing from or
simply is Depeche Mode.
Rather amorphous and reminis-
cent of Philip Glass' repeating
arpeggios, Hydrology and 1+2 also
recalls David Sylvian's "Words with
the Shaman" in that its new age
sound also has a beat. Repeated
themes and samples occur through-
out, allowing Wilder to build ideas.
"Grain," the first track, is
strongly Glass-influenced, but
Wilder applies his own signature
through a "Never Let Me Down"
drum beat, and a plethora of radio
samples - reminiscent of Holger
Czukay's work with Sylvian on
1988's Plight and Premonition. The
harshn rhythms are built upon in
"Stone," to the point of becoming
almost danceable. Still, the African-
style chants of the side-ending
"Sermon" are done in a loop,
contrasting to the LP's generally
ttechno-synth sound.
The second side is,"1+2" - or,
as one could nickname it, "name-the-
r Depeche-Mode-sample." It continues
along the same lines as the first side
but with recognizable bits from
"Blasphemous Rumours," "Shake
the Disease" and other songs. It also
features David Gahan (or a close fac-
simile) singing the only lyric on the
album - "History, remember his-
tory" - later, a snatch of his voice
is used asa rhythm sample.
All in all, the project allows
Wilder a certain freedom from the
tight lyric control Martin Gore exer-
cises on Depeche Mode's music. For
those who consider the group to be
merely a worthless pop band for
blackly-clothed poseurs, Hydrology
and 1+2 at least proves Wilder's
own credibility. Mr. Gore, the ball's
in your court...
- L. Marie Daher


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