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October 16, 1995 - Image 10

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-16

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IQA - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 16, 1995

"Lie Down with Dogs"
explores one man's
quest for a little fun
Tonight and Wednesday night, the
Michigan Theater is presenting young
New York filmmaker Wally White's
comical film "Lie Down with Dogs."
Billed as a "gay Gidget," the movie is a
character study regarding the very
charming and jovial Tommy, who lives
life to Its fullest and gets the
inspiration for all his actions from the
philosophy: "Just go for it." Although
he spends his days walking the streets
of New York, handing out flyers and
observing everyday life in the Big
Apple, Tommy really spends his time
antasizing about sexy men on the
beach. Come summertime, he leaves
the great urban cesspool and heads off
to beachy Provincetown in search of
both the perfect tan and the perfect
man. In the end, the film is a simple,
light-hearted glimpse into the life of
one man trying to find his place in this
world. Showings are at 7:15 each
nighty Student admission is $5.

RECORDS
Continued from page 9
Rocket From the Crypt
Scream, Dracula, Scream!
Interscope
Take a garage band and mix liberally
with trumpet and saxophone strains and
you get the way cool sounds of Rocket
From the Crypt. With songs that trip
right along the golden path of tastiness,
their new album "Scream, Dracula,
Scream!" is a worthwhile endeavor.
"On a Rope" is a repetitive little
ditty. "On a rope, on a rope, got me
hanging on a rope" doesn't look like
much in print, but it is pretty successful
as a basis for a song when belched out
in aproperly staccato manner. The open-
ing track is a fast drum driven little
punk song, with a crowd going "yeah"
that is related to CIV's "Can't Wait One
Minute More."
And there are plenty of mainstream
accessible songs on this album. "Bali
Lightning" is an example of a song that
is sufficiently "old school" for those
classic rock fans that seem to make up
such a large portion of the metropolitan
Detroit radio audience (at least if you
can infer anything from the number of
AOR stations in the area).
Yeah, it's basically guitar and drums
and bass, but with enough difference
that it makes a kind of Kiss/Bosstones
impression. Go for it, before the vam-
pire lobby gets it deleted for having an
offensive title.
- Ted Watts
Laura Love
Laura Love Collection
Putamayo World Music
I weep for this nation. Americans in
general have become so enthralled by
fluff and show that sub-par performers
sell millions of LPs while real musical
genius is often ignored. Take for in-

Range of Motion
Elizabeth Berg
Random House
"Range of Motion," Elizabeth Berg's
latest novel, draws conclusions about life
that alsoapply to itself. Neither is perfect,
but when something good occurs in ei-
ther, we can easily overlook the bad.
Berg's previous novels are "Durable
Goods," a coming-of-age story about a
Texas teenager, and"Talk Before Sleep,"
about a woman whose best friend has
breast cancer. This novel is like its prede-
cessors in its poetic imagery and well
drawn female characters,but stands alone
in the unlikeliness of its events.
Asthe book opens,the narrator, Lainey,
explains why her husband Jay is in a
coma. "He walked past a building, and a

huge chunk of ice fell off the roof, and it
hit him in the head. This is Chaplinesque,
right? This is kind of funny." While the
situation is implausible, its real tragedy
leads readers to suspend their disbelief.
Lainey tries for months to revive her
husband by trying to simulate his normal
life, although no one believes he will
recover. There are numerous scenes in
which Lainey tries to reach an apparently
unresponsive Jay, followed by the
thoughts Jay can't communicate. Their
situation no longer seems humorous.
Lainey finds a completely surprising
source of advice: Evie, the ghost of a
woman from the '40s who once lived in
herhouse. Evie dispenses household hints
and comfort as she randomly appears and
disappears. At first her presence is hard to
take seriously, yet by the end of the book

it seems entirely normal. Even though she
is not actually a living person, Evie is as
fully realized a character as any other.
Berg's writing style constitutes just as
much of a balancing act as her plot. The
book is filled with elaborate metaphors
that don't allsucceed. Some are too vague,'
like "He wore a white shirt with the
sleeves rolled up to the good place."
Others simply sound wrong:"She's wear-
ing a nurse's hat ... It looks sort of stu-
pid." However, there are also passages
with clear and effective writing: "Soon
the trees will meet in the middle of the
street, forming a high canopy. On a hot
summerday, youturn downourstreet and
feel like you're entering a cool, green
tunnel." If readers roll their eyes at one
overwritten page, they'll be astounded at.
the apt imagery on the next.

The title refers to the exercises per-
formed on Jay in the hopes of avoiding
the loss of his motor abilities. By the end,
it also comes to refer to the array of
choices we have in life, and to the won-
derful, terrible and unpredictable events
that canoccur. Jay's accident gives Lainey
awareness: "I used to wonderhow Iwould
feel if I were suddenly plucked from my
normal life. I wondered how I would see
it; wondered, in fact,if I would see it. And
I would say that I did see it. I would also
say that my gratefulness is unutterable."
In Berg's fiction, art imitates life. The
quality of "Range of Motion" varies
widely from page to page, but the strength
of the book lies in this variety. Berg's
talents in writing and characterization
more than balance out the flaws.
- Elizabeth Lucas

. -

i

stance Ms. Laura Love and her cola
ful, earthy, no-name brand clothin
dozens of bead-capped dreds and a ne
release of 1I songs, all a combinatio
of pure Celtic and African musical i
fluences with jazz, blues, soul and
little funk.
She's doomed to failure. Her musi
is pure, succinct in its simplicity an
beauty and an expressive tribute to A
rican-influenced musical genres whic
have given birth to the popular music
types of modern day black Americ
But, she doesn't wearTommy Hillfige
or Timberlanes, her name doesn't b
gin with "MC" and her music is sincer
She doesn't sing about being a mack
a ho'. She's not out to diss' anyon
You can't do "the Butterfly," "the Bu
ter cup," "the Bread-n-Butter" or an
other type of shake-yo'-ass dance mov
to her music. She's not a perpetrat
like many of our most popular perfo
ers clearly are. Laura Love is a simpi
human being celebrating the wondro
feast of music available to anyone wi
the open-mindedness to listen to ne
things and experience new sounds.
What Love doesn't realize is th
Americans in general aren't curio
They find one or two types of mus
they like and stick with it. They're t
impatient to give less popular music i
just due because they don't know orj
don't care. It's all about image.
Unfortunately, Love's simage isn
going to sell many albums. The deep
rhythmic "All Our Lives," the faste
paced, yet equally emotional "Ina Ha
beat," the African-chant infused "A
Me a Riddle I Day," the peace-flowi
"Take a Ride" and the jazz-influenc
"This Place I Love" will be heard fro
pitifully few CD players nationwid
The spirit of Love's "Afro-Celt" mus
will be shut from the ears and hearts
many Americans who need it. In t
end, a nation of conformists, close
minds and weak souls will have on
again denied themselves the expe
ence of true music, true joy, true lif
And, once again, they won't know
care.
- Eugene Bow
Sol y Canto
Sancocho
Rounder
A well-known and well-respect
professor of music and dance here at t
University of Michigan is known to g
a tad prickly whenever any of his st
dents refer to music coming from Ce
tral or South America as "latin." H
point is that it's impossible (ifnot ign
rant) to lump all the kinds of mus
played in the southern hemisphere
the Americas into one all-encompas
ing word. Nobody ever defines all
the styles in the United States today
"North American," after all. So ho
does the reviewer label Sol y Canto
"Sancocho"? It sounds great; it doesn
take someone with an extensive bac
ground in Latin American musics
figure that out. But in order to mo
accurately define the style, we have
choice but to refer to the CD jacket.
According to Sol y Canto themselve
theinfluences are "spicy dancerhyth
of the Puerto Rican bomba, the Colo
bian cumbia, the Cuban son, the Spa
ishflamenco, or the haunting melodi
of the Andes mountains." The genr
jumping might be the best thing abo
the album, because it keeps it from ev
becomingpredictable. Yes, the first so
sounds just as "latin" as the fourth, b
in an entirely different way. And withi
these different musics, Sol y Canto sti
finds ways to change the pace; two
the tracks are devoted to solos, one
them vocal and the other acoustic gu
tar, both of them beautiful and excitin

However, the group could be accus
of trying to cover too broad a range i
their debut. Some expert listeners mig
find the songs unoriginal.There are als
many other groups out there that pr
vide better examples of flamenco, so
cumbia or any other kind of "lati
music. But it's all here on one albu
and to the uninitiated ear, "Sancoch
sounds great from beginning to end.
-David Co

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