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April 05, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-04-05

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ARTS
Friday, April 5, 1991

'The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Spring into dance with Spriggs x

by Justine Unatin

She danced in her chair, snapped her
fingers, and wiggled her arms in the
air while rat-tat-tatting the
rhythms of musical accompaniment.
However, this wasn't a perfor-
mance, but my interview with
dancer/choreographer Linda Spriggs.
"That's what we are as people, en-
ergy," she said, simultaneously em-
bodying her words. Spriggs will set
this same vivacity and creativity to
music this weekend in An Evening of
Dance with Linda Spriggs and
Friends. The performance will in-
Sclude six pieces from Sprigg's
repertoire as well as works by Gary
Abbott and Vera Embree.
Spriggs and Friends will harness
the power of movement and let it
rip in a dance-o-rama of emotional
and physical energy. According to
Spriggs, the show will present very
humanistic and straightforward

ideas rather than specifically social
or personal themes. "I don't like to
keep the audience guessing," Spriggs
said. "I dance what (the audiences)
feel." Spriggs uses this philosophy
in her four solo works, including
"From the Heart" and "I to Eye."
Sprigg's goal in these pieces is to
become like the physical and emo-
tional heart of the audience. She
hopes to transmit the feelings re-
lated to the difficult experience of
soul searching. Much of her energy
will be focused toward conveying
other loose, broad themes, such as
the experience of dreams or the pass-
ing of time. As Spriggs describes,
the themes were not fabricated, but
rather arose naturally from the
most prevalent experiences and
spontaneous feelings within herself
and the other choreographers.
Spriggs and Abbott both take
one leap further to abandon theme
altozether. Snriyizs will dance in a

go-with-the-flow no-theme piece ti-
tled "Interlude," while Abbott
will present his own bit of undeci-
pherable mish-mash in "Abscrap."
Spriggs describes her piece as one of
"pure movement, pure dance," re-
sulting from her natural and free
engagement with the seemingly
formless and dissonant music. The
piece exemplifies her love of
movement merely for movement's
sake. Spriggs also offers a bit of ad-
vice concerning the most abstract
excerpts of the show - just sit back
and take them for what they is.
The flexibility characterizing
the thematic structure of the show
holds true for the stylistic and mu-
sical elements as well. Spriggs and
Friends will offer a melange of
tunes ranging from "abstract" pre-
pared piano to the popular sounds of
New Age and jazz favorites. The
choreography will follow suit with
transitions between balletic. mod-

ern and ethnic movements. Of
course, a dash of spice will be added
in "Dream Variation," which will
include a reading of four poems
written by poet Langston Hughes.
Spriggs says she plans to per-
form her part in the show by ex-
pressing emotion and physical en-
ergy "through every pore of my be-
ing." In turn, she hopes that the au-
dience will relax and let themselves
be swept away by the dances. The
levity of the performance should
not emotionally exhaust the audi-
ence, but, as Spriggs says, "Leave
'em wantin' more."
AN EVENING OF DANCE WITH
LINDA SPRIGGS AND FRIENDS
will be performed Saturday at 8
p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the
Dance Building's Studio A Theater.
Tickets are $7, $5 for students. For
more information, call 763-5460..

The Feelies
Time For a Witness
Coyote/A&M
Although The Good Earth was
more deeply rooted in the rural pas-
toral sounds of suburban Jersey, this
is the Feelies' "roots" album. The
band has always believed, not
entirely inappropriately, that music
began with "Sister Ray." On
previous albums this was disguised
by a percussion team more concerned
with creating textures than with
propulsion, but on Time For a
Witness both the tempestuous force
and mind-racking distortion of
"Sister Ray" come to the forefront.
The opening tune, "Waiting,"
sets the tone for the record with
characteristic Velvets chord struc-
tures and faint ancestral echoes of
the guitar flip-outs of Sonic Youth
and the dry-wit vocal style of
Thurston Moore. Later on, the
quasi-Eastern mysticism of The
Doors provides the setting for Vel-
vets guitar licks and Sgt. Pepper
psychedelicized harmonies.
But it's the influence of the
Stooges that defines the record.
Time For a Witness has a noticeably
harder edge than any of their previ-
ous records, with razor smooth Ron
Asheton riffs, an overwhelming
bass, the Sufi drone of "We Will
Fall" and a cover of "Real Cool
Time." While Glenn Mercer's vo-
cals on "Real Cool Time" aim for
more Lou Reed style detachment
than Iggy's screaming angst, his so-
lution to his confusion is signifi-
cantly different than either.
Although they still seem to be
hopeless geeks hiding behind a Bob
Mould-esque supersonic wall of
sound, their new batch of songs sug-
gest a moralizing confidence born of
urgency. The narrator of "For
Now," the most definitively Feel-
ies song on the record, goes from ut-
tering "nuthin' happenin' at all"
and "no rest in a restless world" to
tentatively declaring "It's alright/
Yeah, it's my life/ It's O.K./ Better
off that way." The characteristic
fragile and pining lyricism of old
surfaces only on "Find a Way," and
the "perpetual nervousness" of
Crazy Rhythms has mutated into a
more accessible version of 4/4.
-Peter Shapiro
Manufacture
Voice of World Control
Nettwerk/IRS
It's ironic that Manufacture
would title their new record Voice
of World Control, since they're a
band that does not generally have
their own voice. Sure, they may use a
guest vocalist on a few songs (or
rather, singles) on a given album,
but the bulk of the songs are sam-
*e ple-driven industrial tunes. The
problem that plagues the band is
that their songs with guest vocals
tend to be overly pop-ish, seemingly
gold bond
cleaners

aimed at the "college-music"
charts, while the rest are passable,
but not particularly memorable
Front 242-like tunes (without any
vocals).
This was the case with the band's
last album, which featured the great
single "As the End Draws Near,"
with vocals courtesy of a guest fe-
male singer (no, I don't remember
her name). This time around, the
band recruits Nigel Butler, who
sounds so similar to Dave Gahan
that the unsuspecting listener could
easily think that he or she was lis-
tening to Violator. If someone were
to suggest that this was a shrewd
marketing scheme designed to lure
in unaware Depeche Mode-lovin'
record buyers, I'd be inclined to
agree.
This is not to say that the rest of
the record is garbage. As mentioned,
the band owes a great stylistic debt
to Front 242 and other similar
bands. The songs here feature state
of the art technology coupled with a
pretty decent dance beat. It's fair,
but not very exciting stuff. A few
songs, such as "The Bogey" and
"Drug Squad," stand on their own
merits, but for the most part the
record is forgettable. If they try
harder next time around, however,
Manufacture has the potential to do

Jesus Jones
Doubt
SBK
Something about Jesus Jones
reminds me of my high school days.
Not that they sound much like the
'new wave"t bands that were
popular at the time (e.g. Duran Du-
ran and New Order) but something
about their whole "aura" suggests
that they're on the lists of the cur-
rent crop of high school hep cats.
Something about this band screams
"required listening" to the left-
over teenager in me. They sound like
what would've happened if some of
those new wave dinosaurs had man-
aged to roll with the changes and in-
corporate some of the current "hip"
elements into their sound (e.g. hip-
hop beats, samplers, etc.) into their
sounds. Needless to say, it seems a
bit corny now.
But once one gets past all these
superficial impressions, one finds
that Doubt and to a greater degree
the band's first album, Liquidizer, is
actually pretty good. The songs
aren't world-changing great, but
they're not bad; they're standard
"alternative" rock tunes tailored to
be a product - but an enjoyable
product nonetheless. Some of them,

such as "Who? Where? why?" even
demonstrate that the band has a
pretty good grasp of the art of drum
machine programming and have
some dance floor potential.
The problem is singer/guitarist
Mike Edwards. His voice just
doesn't cut it; it's too raspy and
sounds as if he's straining to get the
notes out. This works to his
advantage on a few songs, such as
"International Bright Young
Thing," which has harmonies that
are so bad, they're good, and the sin-
gle "Right Here, Right Now." But
on slower tunes, like "Welcome
Back Victoria," the flaws in
Edwards' voice become all too
readily apparent.
In the end, Jesus Jones is destined
to roam that part of the Earth that,
say, Love and Rockets, are doomed
to: the land of pretty good,
innovative stuff that nonetheless,
just doesn't approach long-term
staying power. Not that more than a
few people won't buy their records
in the meantime. -Mike Molitor

Keeping up with the Smiths
Used to be, back in the '70s, a woman named Patti Smith (not Patty
Smythe, you morons) burst into a ho-hum music scene and blew it
apart with a vengeance. She put out lots of raucous albums worthy of
being deemed masterpieces, graced the stage of a bar called Second
Chance on a regular basis to showcase her amazing tunes, and life
was just that much cooler.
Now Wayne Kramer is free and the High Priestess of Punk has gone
on to live a much more subdued life, raising some kids and writing
some poetry. And Second Chance has evolved (or devolved) into the
Nectarine Ballroom. But Smith is back for one more round - and a
worthy cause.
As a swan song to the end of an era -this will be the Nectarine's last
live show, at least for a while - Smith and a host of other icons are
playing neon heaven in a benefit for AIDS research. .
Oh, yeah. Fred Smith will be there too. (And Scott Morgan and Scott
Asheton and Lenny Kaye and Jay Daugherty, as well.)
Doors open at 9 p.m. and tix are $15 (p.e.s.c.), available at
TicketMaster.
(Copyrighted photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe, courtesy of Robert
Miller Gallery and the Fotofolio Corporation)

I-

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1 a WINNER!
C YEACN0
;:.y D E B E G E R A C

A film by JEAN-PAL.
g J PERFECT STEREO

RAPPENEAU
MOMWn ' lIW
CA-iC

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7J T EXCEPTIONS)
761.9700 STUDENT WITH I. '3.50

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Where can you hear Der Rosenkavalier,
Cosifan tutte, and Aida in one evening?
Featuring School of Music voice
faculty singing selections from your
favorite operas
Power Center
Saturday, Apr. 6 at 8 PM
Tickets: $12
wt ,.Charge by phone: 764-0450
Students: $5 with ID
at the League Ticket Office
U. Symphony Orchestra, U. Choir
Conducted by Gustav Meier
Registrar's Bulletin BoardANONIG
ANNOUNCING:
The TIME SCHEDULE is now accessible from MERIT
Here's how to call it up:
(VT100 emulation required)
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will display the UM Data Systems Center Public Menu.
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4. At the command position type the keyword (Term) which you wish to view. This
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