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The Daily Tar HeelFriday, November 3, 19895
Camper Van Beethoven took over
Cat's Cradle Wednesday night with
its eclectic but accessible brand of
rock -V roll.
For the uninitiated, the band mar
ries a traditional guitar-based rock
approach with the rather exotic sounds
of violin and mandolin.
The Campers began with "All Her
Favorite Fruit," from their most re
cent album, Key Lime Pie. Like much
of the set, the song was faithful to the
LP, with a slightly harder sound. From
the opening notes, the capacity crowd
was noisily appreciative.
A diverse blend of instuments al
lows Camper Van Beethoven to use a
variety of musical approaches, run
ning from folk standards to driving
rock. The loud guitars and quick
tempo of "(I Was Born in a) Laundro
mat" prompted frenzied pseudo-slam
dancing in front of the stage. But the
quiet sounds of the folk tune "Stayin'
Home With the Girls in the Morning"
was equally well-received.
The Campers blend original mate
rial with revamped covers. Predicta
bly, the band's cover of Status Quo's
"Pictures of Matchstick Men" brought
the house down. Also in the set were
a slowed-down version of Black
Flag's "Wasted" and snippets of clas
sic tunes such as "Kashmir."
The 90-minute set focused on
material from the band's First two
major releases, Our Beloved Revolu
tionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie.
The Campers were in fine form
musically. Lead singer and guitarist
David Lowery looked like a plaid
clad Bryan Adams, and his vocals
were up to par with the band's studio
performances. Viol in ist Morgan Fich
ter was both elegant and dramatic as
she tossed around her mane of hair,
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whether dreamily swaying or sawing
away in guitar-violin duels.
Guitarist Greg Lisher played in
triguing but unobtrusive lead guitar.
Drummer Chris Pedersen and bassist
Victor Krummenacher easily
changed from short, folkish instru
mentals to loud rockers.
The opening act, the Ordinaires,
was anything but ordinary. The nine
piece band contains two violins, a
cello, two guitars, two saxophones,
bass and drums. The all-instrumental
approach is like early Love Tractor
meets Camper Van Beethoven.
Though sporting a less accessible
sound than the headliners, the Ordi
naires did generate excitement with a
danceable set. The songs, drawn from
their two small-label releases, in
cluded "Metro North," "Boppin' All"
and "Racing Thoughts."
One saxophonist went for the most
intimate move of all going into the
audience for a solo. Certainly, though,
the Ordinaires' star performer was
drummer Jim Thomas, who provided
the relentless beat that was the band's
Wednesday night, both the Ordi
naires and Camper Van Beethoven
brought a distinctly different flavor
to the usual rock fare. The eclectic
mix of sounds was exciting and pro
gressive. With the Campers still on
their way up, this concert was an
ideal time to catch a band at the top of
its form, before success takes its toll.
Next time they should play Memo
rial Hall or another larger venue.
is the first one.
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Set hampers play's
The values of an older generation
and those of the "yuppie" era fought it
out in John Justice's play "Walking
Across Egypt," which premiered
Wednesday night at the Cabaret.
And, as Moses discovered in a simi
lar situation thousands of years ago,
there is no clear winner.
The play, based on the novel by
Clyde Edgerton, presents a series of
powerful conflicts dealing with family
responsibilities, the role of religion in
today's world, the redemption of the
past and the uncertainty of the future.
Martha Nell Hardy plays Mattie
Riggsbee, a strong-willed Southern
widow who desperately wants grand
children. Mattie's two children, Robert
and Elaine (played by Edward Smith
and Melody Williamson, respectively),
are adults and have moved out, though
neither has married.
The family is intruded upon by
Wesley (played by Brent Wilson), a
juvenile delinquent who has been liv
ing at a rehabilitation center and who
walks into Mattie's life one day. His
innocent, unpolished behavior clashes
with the conservative nature of the
Riggsbee family, and Robert and Elaine
are jealous of Mattie's attention to him,
attention they never received as chil
dren. The other characters are Mattie's
sister Pearl, played by Julia Eller; Alora
and Finner, Mattie's trigger-happy,
patriotic neighbors, played by Kelly
Taylor and Bob Dean; and an a cappella
gospel choir, The Loreleis.
Hardy does an excellent job of por-y-aying
a religious and family-oriented
older woman. The button collection,
passed down for several generations,
represents the heritage that will be lost
if neither of her children has a child.
Mattie struggles with her Christian
faith in trying to decide what God's will
is, and she is determined to lead her
children (Elaine is now agnostic) and
Wesley into a relationship with God,
paralleling Moses' long and arduous
journey leading his people from en
slavement in Egypt into the Promised
Land. Hardy's movements and facial
expressions illustrate well Mattie's
frustration in her mission.
The portrayal of Wesley's character,
on the other hand, is largely unrealistic
and unbelievable. It is hard to believe
that an adolescent, who has been either
ignored or in trouble for most of his life,
would instantly trust some woman he
has not met before.
Moreover, he often acts as though
he's 8 years old, while he looks as if he
is in his early 20s. One minute he's
perceptive and manipulative (especially
with Mattie), and the next minute he
totally lacks common sense.
One thing must be mentioned: The
gospel choir is a welcome departure
from the novel and complements
Mattie's personality well. And, after
hearing her screech out the words to
"Walking Across Egypt," one may re
ally appreciate The Loreleis.
The set for "Walking Across Egypt"
reveals the creativity of director Paul
Ferguson and set designer Sloan Dil
lon. The dance floor at the Cabaret is
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covered with a platform for the stage
with the audience on each side. The
versatile platform serves as the
Riggsbee house, featuring four rooms
but no walls, for most of the play.
The design is innovative but intro
duces a new set of problems. On a more
traditional stage, actors and actresses
are conscious of not putting their backs
to the audience when possible and di
recting most of their dialogue to it as
Obviously, this is impossible with
an audience on both sides. Too often all
that could be seen of a character was his
10 vote, Davis said.
General agreement with the court
decision was shown by the added board
"I'm excited that I was put back on
the board," said.Donnie Esposito, Fi
nance Committee chairman and board
appointee. "I just hope this doesn't mess
up our incorporation plans.
"I don't have a problem with the
decision. If that's the opinion of the
court, I'm willing to abide by it."
The board tried to do the "right th ing"
for students but perhaps "went about it
the wrong way," Esposito said. It was
the court's job to correct them, he added.
Student Body Treasurer Carol Hooks
said, "I'm glad we have all the mem
bers back on the board. We have much
Davis was also happy with his rein
statement, but he expressed disappoint
ment with the overall supreme court
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back, which could be especially, irk
some if he was standing in front of
another character. I
Another difficulty with the two-sided
. stage is in the layout of the rooms. The
living room is in the far left copier
(viewed from the entrance of the Caba
ret) and serves as the setting for the let-the-truth-come-out
scene for Robert,
Elaine and Mattie. Rather than seeing
the emotion and pain of children accus
ing their mother of abandoning them in
their times of need, the audience on the
right side is left distant from the action
and may feel somewhat bewildered.
from page 1
"I'm ecstatic about the opportunity
to once again serve in an official capac
ity on The Daily Tar Heel board. The
DTH is on the verge of returning its
student fees and attaining financial
Davis said he was proud to be apart
of this process but was discontented
because the board did not have an
editor's appointee and an outside pro
fessional. "I'm disappointed in the decision of
the supreme court because I believe
each of the members who would have
been added were in the best interests of
the Student Body," Davis said. .
"The editor is selected by the student
body to lead the DTH, and the input of
the editor through that appointee is
invaluable to the board and to the DTH.
An outside business person is an asset
as we move towards incorporation. I
suggest this slight setback for the stu
dent body will be rectified in the spring."
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