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April 23, 1991 - Image 10

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-04-23

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9

Page 10--The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, April 23,1991
i r

1NKD
Peek-a-boo: Best of NRBQ
Rhino
What would have happened if
Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson
were in the same band; if neither
became financially successful,
cheesy, experimental, burned-out,
neurotic or overly retrospective; if
they were into pro-wrestling; and if
they played nothing but small
venues throughout their careers? I
have no idea either, but those are the
images which came to mind after
listening to this double-CD collec-
tion.
I am not trying to make up rea-
sons why NRBQ's success has been
stifled over the last twenty years or
insults your musical tastes for not
paying attention to them, since I had
only known of two or three of their

songs before I picked up ths set. As
with most of Rhino's "best of'
collections, this is a history for a
relatively obscure band, intended
for serious fans and curious music
collectors alike.
The set contains 35 songs, which
might be a little long. Maybe if the
collection was condensed to a single
disc, songs like "Never Take the
Place of You" would've
(rightfully) had to leave the album.
When you hear the other tunes,
however, it's possible to become
hooked quite easily - that is, only
if you are prepared to not take ev-
erything too seriously. Titles like
"Howard Johnson's Got My Ho-Jo
Workin"' and "Captain Lou" show
the band's comic approach, as does
the name of their 1978 album, At
Yankee Stadium. "Deaf, Dumb and

!

Blind" and "Still in School," writ-
ten by bassist Joey Spampanato,
show that you don't have to be in a
post-punk British band to write a
song like the Beatles might have.
-Andrew J. Cahn
Thin Lizzy
Dedication: The Best of Thin
Lizzy
PolyGram
The whole concept of classic
rock bothers me. Do I like that mu-
sic because it is genuinely better
than what is released today or be-
cause it is simply older than the cur-
rent hits by Bon Jovi and Poison?
Thin Lizzy is not a good example to
use when trying to solve this
dilemma. Their tunes "Boys are
Back in Town" and "Jailbreak" have
been mainstays on WCSX, and their
are a few lost classics here. Most of
the collection, however, is simply
the music that Warrant would have
done fifteen years ago. This is
proven by the one "new" track,
"Dedication," which is nothing spe-
cial at all. Phil Lynott is thought of
by many to be a great songwriter,
but maybe by 2010, the same will be
said about Brett Michaels.
-Andrew J. Cahn
Xymox
Phoenix
Wing/Mercury
Although they have never been
by any means a great band, Xymox
has at the very least done a few no-
table singles, such as "No Words"
and "Obsession." Neither has the
band been original in its sound:

sparse, minor key synth and guitar
dirges (but sometimes with an up-
tempo beat) reminiscent of early
'80s New Order, Tears For Fears and
the Cure. Nonetheless, the band was
not a total waste; often, their songs
had a sort of derivative catchiness
that made them forgivable.
But Phoenix may change all that
- for the worse. On this album, the
band descends into the ultimate
realm of sappiness, formerly occu-
pied by OMD. Still worse, the songs
don't hold up; they flow in one ear
and straight out the other, impart-
ing a slight feeling of melancholy,
but not any remembrance. The sin-
gle, "Phoenix of My Heart," makes
a feeble attempt at rising out of this
depressing quagmire, but falls
short. (Throwing in a chorus of the
Troggs' "Wild Thing" at the end
didn't help much, either!) This is
rainy day music of the worst order.
-Mike Molitor

Xymox

Banned only in Canada, the band
with the coolest name in town
makes their public debut tonight at
that bastion of boffo, the Blind Pig.
The Tequila Mockingbirds tout
themselves as the band with "the
hippest groove on campus" and
make no bones about the fact that
they play no original tunes. They do
make bones about the fact that they
WEEKEND
Continued from page 8
cloak and thigh-high black leather
boots. She was a perfect example of
the teenage personality - alter-
nately sulky, defensive, angry, dis-
tressed about the death of her
mother and grandmother, and
youthfully enthusiastic about her
ability to be a substitute for Jack's
mother.
Cinderella (Kristen Behrendt)
displayed the most hideously '60s
costumes of the show - oranges,
psychedelic designs and a frightful I
Dream of Jeannie outfit - but
nothing overshadowed her lovely
voice. Behrendt made Cinderella far
more realistic than the fairy tale
character. A servant girl who has
suddenly been offered a prince and a
castle in contrast to her abusive
stepfamily only to find that her
prince is a philandering casanova
will naturally be indecisive.
Cinderella is central to the show's
plot, because her story plays on the
popular fantasy of "marrying into
money," showing us what can hap-
pen "ever after."
The cast made use of every curve
of the "giant, sloping paisley," as a
member of the pit orchestra de-
scribed the stage, but the signifi-
cance of the shape, representative of
the '60s, was lost because it failed
to symbolically represent the direc-
tor's concept of the show. Images
from the '60s were shoved at the au-
dience - quotes from Martin
Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy
painted in newspaper type, lists of
names of '60s illuminaries, and
"NAM" in large letters in the cen-
ter. This last example was rein-
forced by the ubiquitous

play a mean version of "Soul Man."
They used to play everything from
Kiss to the Dead; now they play ev-
erything from Chicago to the Dead.
But they say it all sounds like the@
Dead. And they say they don't even
all like the Dead. Replete with a
horn section, Park n' Blow, the
Mocks are comin' at ya tonight at 10
p.m. Cover is $3.
Mysterious Man (Mich6l
Sherman), who was garbed, myste-
riously, as a Viet Nam soldier.
The show's concept failed be-
cause it stretched the material too
far and channeled it too much.
Sondheim's lyrics can be interpreted
in many ways, and to insist that they
be interpreted in a certain historical
context robs the audience of the op-
portunity to see them in a different
light. The show was redolent with
pop images of the '60s, but few of
the conflicting ideologies or social
movements were filtered into alter-
ations in the plot. It might have
been more convincing to have had
Cinderella getting high as she went
into the woods so that she could
speak to her mother at her mother's
grave and talk to the birds, or to
have kept the idea (dropped in the
Saturday performance) that
Rapunzel (D'Vorah Bailey) became
a drug addict because her mother
(Caren Saiet) locked her in a tower 9
for 14 years. The characters were
dressed as '60s children, but the at-
titudes which should have accompa-
nied the costumes were not there.
What Into The Woods ended
with was the same idea that the
original show had - a moving ex-
amination of individual growth, and
a group of people discovering how
to make decisions, how to think on
their own and how to work together@
to make life better for the group.
"No One Is Alone," the final song
which has a dual message, brought
tears to my eyes and, depth to the
show, a show which has enough
good material so that directoral
choices did not interfere with the
strong performances or the wisdom
of the conclusions it draws.
-Beth Colquitt

oM Burnham Associates
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I

of ethnography about the Hopi
H OPI Indian lifestyle.
Continued from page 9 THE HOPI COLLECTION OF
museum; think back to that reading MISHA TITIEV is on display at the
level). This should not turn anyone University Exhibit Museum in the
away from the collection in the dis- Rotunda Gallery. There is no ad-
play cases, which are full of a piece mission charge.

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