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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 41
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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 41

Austin, Texas
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Arts ntertainment Section Austin American-Statesman Friday, November 1, 1985 Music, D2 Sixth Street Beat, D3 Television, D10 Night life i-r ill Bennett is back 'Saloon singer' keeps classic songs timeless 'i, V' Day of Dead celebrates joy of life cycle By John Herndon Special to the American-Statesman If you've always wanted to see break -dancing skeletons, here's your chance. A uniquely Austin celebration of Dia de los Muertos Day of the Dead involving artists, poets, actors, musicians, dancers, charros, and low riders, features a proces--sion and exhibition tonight and a spectacu- lar Saturday. The holiday is often compared to Hallo-I ween, but is really quite different, according- to Ricardo Diaz de Leon, president of Mexic Arte, the arts group that is sponsoring the -Austin celebration. Mexico's Day of the Dead holiday com--bines European Christian and pre-Columbf-; an concepts of death to form a celebration of life. "The complete cycle of life includes death," Diaz de Leon said.

"We would celebrate death. We would go to a gravesite and bring flowers, sing, dance, rejoice, because you were going to paradise. Your life was just beginning." This is the only Day of the Dead celebration in the United States outside of California, according to Sylvia Orozco, administrative director of Mexic-Arte. A group of sixth-graders from Zavala Elementary School is creating an altar dedicated to the children who died in the Mexico City earthquakes, and seniors from Metz and Montopolis recreation centers are creating altars, she said. The celebration begins at 7 tonight with a procession from Sixth and Comal streets to the Arts Warehouse, 300 San Antonio St.

Artists, poets, actors, and mimes will parade with low riders, charros, and maria-chis. When they arrive at the warehouse, there will be an exhibit with readings and performances. The exhibit of altars will be on display through Nov. 30. Admission is free.

Festivities continue Saturday with a Day of the Dead Spectacular, a revue including music, theater, and dance, from 8-10 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 713 N. Congress Ave. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. After the show, there will be a dance at Club Islas, 217 N.

Congress Ave. By Michael Point Special to the American-Statesman Tony Bennett, who calls himself "a glorified saloon singer," has long since moved beyond needing peer group approval. After all, when the late Bing Crosby has called you "the best singer I've ever heard" and Frank Sinatra says you are "the best singer in the business" there's not much more to be achieved on that front. Bennett, who obviously can speak from experience, says the secret of success for a vocalist is as much what you sing as how you sing it. "You have to have the right song, no matter who you are or what kind of voice you have," he said in an interview.

"The song is what you're singing and it has to be perfectly suited to you and your voice. Anything else is a waste of talent." The singer is as proud of his visual art as his vocal accomplishments. Using his given name of Anthony Benedetto he has been painting professionally for years, continuing a lifelong interest in art. His work has been exhibited in significant galleries throughout the country. "I grew up singing and drawing pictures," he said.

"More than half a century later I'm still doing the same things. That's either the sign of a consistent talent or someone really stuck in their ways." Bennett's dual artistic interests have successfully coexisted throughout the years, beginning when he was attending the High School of Industrial Art in New York, studying to be a commercial artist, but also singing at local restaurants to supplement the family income. Immediately after his graduation from high school Bennett was drafted and served three years in the Army. Upon his return, he used the GI Bill to study voice and began to get involved in making a career as a professional musician. "My scuffling years began to end in 1949 Photo by Annie Leibovitz Tony Bennett says he's happy to see that young people are dressing up and listening to his kind of music again.

when I auditioned for a Pearl Bailey revue," he said. "Bob Hope heard me and asked me to sing with him, but he didn't like my stage name Joe Bari so we went with Tony Bennett. A year later Mitch Miller auditioned me at Columbia Records and I got a semi-hit, Boulevard of Broken Dreams." In 1962 Bennett recorded Left My Heart in San Francisco, the type of signature tune an entire career can be built around. The song made Bennett an international star and he has become so identified with it that few vocalists include it in their repertoire, so strong is Bennett's personal stamp. "It's still my favorite song, and not just because of what it has done for my career," he explained.

"I'd had hits before but nothing like Left My Heart in San Francisco. Recording it was like going fishing, catching a lot of fish, and then suddenly hooking into a whale. It was a once in a lifetime surprise." Tony Bennett will peform with the Buddy Rich Orchestra at 8 p.m. Sunday in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. 4Live and Die' tires viewer with violence Sunday Night life is a select guide to music this weekend in Austin.

We are two Wales: What do we know of this rocky peninsula, other than it is chilly, wet, and the birthplace of Richard Burton? Well, historians say there evolved from the murk of early Wales a culture which is mainly oral and aural, a culture of the spirit, unworldly, lacking any traditional visual expression and placing heavy emphasis on vocal music, especially choral music. Enter mass media and with it, rock 'n' roll and you get Gene Loves Jezebel, an intriguing Welsh group founded by two identical twin brothers. The band looks like an interesting marriage of ancient blood and modern sounds. At 10:45 tonight at Liberty Lunch with Flex. $5 cover.

Backbeat goes on San Francisco, also rainy and cold but somewhat less a place of the spirit, gives us the Dynatones, playing crisp, uptempo revisions of '60s dance music with an emphasis on rhythm and blues. At 10:45 tonight at the Continental Club with Poison 13. $3.50 cover. Glorious throats Jamaica rainy, very hot, and still reverberating from economic and political events hundreds of years old (see any history of the British slave trade) is a place that reached its own exquisite peak of spiritual expression when kids in the Kingston ghetto took the beat they heard on the radio fron New Orleans and turned it around. Unfortunately, the hug'! success enjoyed by Bob Marley and the Wailers (and other rocking combos) overshadowed reggae's doo-wop contingent, epitomized by the Mighty Diamonds, a vocal trio with a style as smooth as a brand-new stiletto blade.

An enchanting sound; a sure cure for reggae phobia. At 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Liberty Lunch. $6.50 advance, $8 door. North of Surf City Los Angels, dry and so agreeably temperate you often have the sensation of walking around all day in pajamas, is a city of great spiritual desolation (as chronicled by Raymond Chandler, Horace McCoy, and Robert Towne) but also a place of marvelous fun (as chronicled by the Beach Boys).

Although as a music center it has never come close to recapturing the glory days of the early '70s boom, L.A. occasionally lets a couple of good bands over the wall. Wednesday Week is striving hard, and Balancing Act is an all-acoustic group of smart kids with big tunes. Wednesday Week, Dharma Bums, and Balancing Act perform at 10 p.m. Saturday at the Continental Club.

$3 cover. The people's Tina Mississippi, seasonally wet and miserably hot, is sadly not much changed from 50 years ago when Ike Turner was growing up in Clarksdale. The impoverished state still ranks last in many important social services and quality-of-life factors. Turner got out, formed a band, and found Annie Mae Bullock (also born in poverty in the Deep South) on tour in St. Louis, married her, and renamed her Tina.

Ike's not doing so hot these days, but Tina, now halfway through her fifth decade, a free woman, contented Buddhist, and wealthy beyond Annie Mae's dreams, is celebrated for her undiminished passion and vitality. At 8 p.m. Saturday at the Erwin Center. Tickets are $14 and $16. Blue Ridge girl East Tennessee comprises broad valleys of great beauty, punctuated by rugged mountains and.

hills. On one of them, near Sevierville, Dolly Parton was born in a shack and raised alongside 11 siblings. Before becoming a Hollywood pop star in the late 70s, she wrote some of the purest and most unaffected country songs ever heard. She'll appear with Kenny Rogers at the Erwin Center at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $17.50 and $15.50. Chris Walters By Patrick Taggart American-Statesman Staff Review Civil war Television producer David Wolper brought Roots, Roots: The Next Generation, and The Thorn Birds to millions of viewers. Another Wolper series, his biggest yet, begins Monday. North and South stars Patrick Swayze and James Read. Funny French Gerard Depardieu and Pierre Richard put the buddy comedy in a new, warm, and cheery light.

Their performances allow La Chevre to pass as bearable comedy. Film critic Patrick Taggart says the problem is Francis Veber's directing. Show World car chase sequence, proving that Friedkin hasn't lost his touch for such things, even if he hasn't had a hit since The Exorcist. The bottom line, obviously, is that To Live and Die in L.A. is an exciting, tough street picture in the tradition of Bullitt, The French Connection, and the recent Year of the Dragon.

It is also consummately acted by its cast of lesser-knowns, Petersen being a real attention-getter as the driven cop. But there's too much meanness, too much of that dead-end feeling about To Live and Die in L.A. to allow it a permanent place on the shelf with The French Connection. It's a well-made, pulse-quickening action picture, but one that is, finally, as exhausting as it is entertaining. To Live and Die in L.A., rated for violence, profanity, at the Riverside, Westgate, and North cross.

partner, he is staked out at a suspected counterfeiter's warehouse. It is two days before the agent's retirement. Guess what happens. Like Mickey Rourke's wrongly motivated war veteran in Year of the Dragon, Chance puts himself on the trail of the killer, an iceman named Eric Masters (played to menacing perfection by Willem Dafoe) with the zeal of an avenging angel. He warns his new partner that he will stop at nothing to get Masters.

That message is a cliche, of course, even when it includes going beyond the law. But what is not cliche are the lengths to which co-screenwriters Friedkin and Gerald Petievich take us. This movie piles on twist after twist, character upon character. When the unexpected happens in this movie, it doesn't surprise, it wrenches the gut. We won't spoil any of it for you; just be prepared for anything.

There's also a terrific fective that cop is. Make no mistake, both the movie and its characters take every opportunity to get dirty. The film opens with what could only be called, in this day of triple-digit body counts and million-dollar explosives budgets, a routine full-body explosion. A terrorist has strapped dynamite to his chest and has attempted to crash a presidential address at the convention center. Sharp-eyed agent Richard Chance (William L.

Petersen) spots the guy and, with the help of his trusted partner and friend, forces him to detonate out of harm's way. So much for that side of Secret Service work. (The agency has two responsibilities, protecting the President and chasing "funny The next time we see the The mean streets of New York have nothing over the grimy, underworld byways of Los Angeles, providing you go to the right movie to look for them. Want to see the picture that makes Year of the Dragon look like an Easter pageant? Welcome to William Fried-kin's To Live and Die in L.A. Enjoy the visit, scumba Oops sorry, but this is a movie whose mean, nihilistic ambiance follows you all the way home.

Set in Los Angeles and pitting secret service agents against a skillful and murderous counterfeiter, the movie explores the cozy relationship between cops and the underworld. And as was the case in Friedkin's first tough-cop picture, The French Connection, the idea is that the closer the cop is to the dirt that is his enemy, the more ef ij 1 ajf ij iW a. J. y4U. t-, kC-F' -yH -I rrJm Cultural classics nhy Opera and modern dance performances will be featured on two Austin stages this weekend.

The Texas Opera Theatre, under the guest direction of Francesca Zambella, presents one of the most popular of all operas, Carmen, right. George Bizet's passionate classic will be performed in English at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Paramount Theatre. Also, the Taipei Contemporary Dance Theatre, called Cloudgate, above, draws on a range of ideas in movement from Eastern and Western cultures in its performance Saturday at the University of Texas Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Cloud-gate, Taiwan's first modern dance group, will perform a work titled Dreamscape.

For details, see stories on Pages D5 and D6. E-.

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