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April 19, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-04-19

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The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Friday, April 19, 1991

Lounge is love
Capt. Dave and co.


last Ann Arbor show

by Peter Shapiro

T he Gold Room on Wheels (a
*lightly dulled, orange van with
sparkling yellow lights embracing
the panelling) pulls into the park-
ing lot of the Holiday Inn in Terre
Haute, Indiana at dusk. The band un-
loads their own equipment and
hauls it into a lounge bejewelled
with "Grandma kitsch" chandeliers
fashioned out of gold-plated like-
nesses of Cupid, plush velvet booths
embroidered with polyester flow-
*rs and tropical wall paper. "The
Girl from Ipanema" plays on the
stereo as the bartender makes the
band their complimentary round of
Godfathers and Dirty Mothers.
Welcome to the Land of Smooth,
a bossa nova utopia that exists in the
collective imagination of Captain
Dave and the Psychedelic Lounge
Cats. But the Land of Smooth is
ore than a state of mind; it is a
4iace where style transcends the ba-
nalities of workaday life, where the
real book guitar comps to Miles
Davis' "So What" insinuate them-
selves into a drunken body like
Sinatra's invitation to "Come Fly
With Me," where the bartender
knows your name and can improvise
a drink like a Captain Video on the
spot and stir it up just right, where
*veryone wears neatly pressed
slacks, where all the patrons know
the liner notes to all of the Walter
Wadderly Trio's albums, where all
ties have that handy button hole in
them, and where everyone, even the
women, wears a little dab of Groom
'n' Clean in their slicked back coiffs.
It is this smoothness (not
suavity or slickness, though) that
allows El Capitan to overcome a
;lightly thin voice and attain the
charisma and assurance of Steve
Lawrence working the Sands, while
the Lounge Cats transform into the

Burt Kampfert Orchestra.
Only through the obsessive
adherence to guitarist Dave's
axioms of smooth can a piece of
"witty" burn-out doggerel like "I
was sitting in bed smoking a bong/
Listening to Tony Orlando and
Dawn" turn into a deliciously silly
forced rhyme that Morrissey would
be proud of. After all, the cult of
the smooth, like the sutras of
Buddha, teaches us that there's "a
little bit of God in every orbiting
To reach this state of Nirvena
where the ego is destroyed in a
communion with Nelson Riddle and
Xavier Cougat, the Lounge Cats
ransack the reservoir of pop culture
to produce an aural collage reminis-
cent of a patchwork quilt, with el-
ements of paisley, op-art and
Hawaiian shirts. This rape and pil-
lage of the sedimented cultural
memory of the post-Baby Boom
generation produces a Dali-esque
landscape, where Stevie Ray
Vaughan, Miles Davis, KC and the
Sunshine Band, the Butthole Surfers
and "Ride My Seesaw" era Moody
Blues sip Rusty Nails and eat
Cuban-Chinese food while dis-
cussing the Baba Ram Dass lecture
they just attended.
But it's not a camp-for-camp's
sake attitude that motivates the
Lounge Cats. The members of the
band don't have their stack of
Rolling Stones records for personal
listening and an auxiliary collection
of Luis Gerardo Tovar albums for
show; they listen to the bossa nova
masters of yesteryear all the time.
The fifth grade fetish with the be-
guine and swing rhythms on the
portable Casio VL Tone that became
the fascination with resurrecting
Don Costa arrangements forced by
the cultural isolation of liuing in
the tundra that is North Campus

When Duck Soup appeared on
screens in 1933, the political farce
was summarily rejected by
Depression Era audiences. But criti-
cal review in the liberal '60s hailed
this as the greatest of the Marx
Brother's films.
Incessant flirtation with
Margaret Dumont buys Rufus T.
Firefly (Groucho Marx) the presi-
dency of Fredonia. Groucho's re-
sponse to the nation's economic col-
lapse and imminent war is to initi-
ate virtual anarchy. "A four-year
old could run this country," he an-
nounces, then whispers, "Get me a
four year old!" Groucho gallivants
about Fredonia, insulting Dumont
as well as any and all foreign digni-
taries. He takes umbrage at every-
thing, pursues women endlessly,
plays jacks, and prolongs a war be-
cause he's already paid a month's
rent on the battlefield. In the pro-
cess, he tosses out more puns than
Nabakov and cuts down the slight-
est propriety.
When Grouch learns that Chico
and Harpo are spying for Fredonia's

enemy, he brings them on board as
advisors and cabinet ministers.
Harpo's retarded brilliance further
suffuses the film with a kind of
ruckus-room attitude: his scenes
with a Lemonade Vendor (Edgar >.
Kennedy) are hysterical and his pan-
tomime of Groucho's reflection is a
classic. (Harpo may be the only'-
funny mime ever.) The chaos mounts>
to a feverish pitch when Harpo in-
sists on sleeping with animals and
the boys toss oranges at Dumont
while she sings Fredonia's national

Playing with Duck Soup are
Animal Crackers and Monkey
Business. All three films are sheer
lunacy, but only Duck Soup avoids
the hokey musical interludes, and
even Zeppo's presences isn't too irk-


The Marx Brothers triple bill
includes Animal Crackers at 7 p.m.,
Duck Soup at 8:45 p.m. and Monkey
Business at 10:10 p.m., all in Aud. A
of Angell Hall tonight.
-Gregg Flaxman

As lustrous as the gobs of Brylcreem and Groom 'n' Clean in their hair,
Captain Dave and the Psychedelic Lounge Cats fuse Burt Kampfert with
the Trammps and the Peanut Butter Conspiracy to create a
hallucinogenic trance of hyper-smoothness.

now allows the band to see the con-
nection between Joe Henderson's
dinner music and the bass line from
Alicia Bridges' "I Love the Night

Life," or the telepathic relationship
of Barbara Streisand and Jim
See DAVE, Page 9

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Unanimous Critical
Sorry, we don't even
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- Mrs. Westen (Drew's mom)

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The University of Michigan

Sun. Apr. 21

as little as
a unique study and touring program
WHEN I st 4-Week Session: May 27-June 27. 2nd 4-Week Session: June 26-July 26. Full
Session: May 27-July 26. WHAT 1. A comprehensive introduction to Talmudic and
Biblical analysis, Jewish history and philosophy, and contemporary theological, ethical
and political issues taught by an internationally-renowned staff of scholars. 2. Specially
designed tours of Jerusalem, the Galilee, the Golan Heights, Masada, the Dead Sea, and the
Negev. 3. Comprehensive instruction in Hebrew language. 4. An opportunity to
demonstrate your solidarity and concem for Israel. WHERE The program is based at the
modern Jerusalem campus of Ohr Somayach. WHO Jewish men between the ages of 19-

Carillon Recital by
Margo Halsted,
University Carillonneur
assisted by Phillip Burgess
Handel: "Or Let the Merry Bells Ring
White: "Emanations for Carillon Duct"
Bassett: A Masque of Bells
Mozart: Two Arias from The Magic Flute
Barnes: "A Carillon Duct for Two to Play"
Baird Carillon, Burton Memorial Tower, 3 p.m.
The Tower Room will be open during and
following the recital.
Campus Band
Myron D. Moss, director
Dennis AsKew, tuba
Del Borgo: Canzone
Sweelinck: "Ballo del Granduca"
Haddad: Suite for Tuba
Buckvitch: Symphony no. 1,
"In Memoriam Dresden"
Amram: "En Memoria de Chano Pozo
Hill Auditorium, 3 p.m.
Dance Composition Class
Studio A, Dance Building, 2:30-5 p.m.
Free admission
University Symphony Orchestra
and University Choir
Gustav Meier, Jerry Blackstone, conductors
Beethoven: Symphony no. 4
Poulenc: Gloria
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
University Philharmonia
Donald Schleicher, conductor
Erling Bkondal Bengtsson, cello
Shostakovich: Festive Overture
Haydn: Concerto for Cello in D-Major
Shostakovich: Symphony no. 5
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.



Tue. Apr. 23

Wed. Apr. 24

Young Choreographers' Concert
Studio A, Dance Building, 8 p.m.
Free admission

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