TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12
LIVE @ PJ's (102 S. First, Ann Arbor MI)
URGH! A MUSIC WAR (96 mins, dir. Derek Burbidge)
With peformances by: Police, Wall of Voodoo, Toyah Willcox, OMD, Oingo Boingo, Echo & the Bunnymen, Jools Holland, XTC, Klaus Nomi, Go Go's, Dead Kennedys, Steel Pulse, Gary Numan, Joan Jett, Surf Punks, Au Pairs, Cramps, Devo, Alley Cast, Gang of Four, 999, Fleshtones, X, UB40
The movie is heavily male, but the female singers -- Willcox, Carlisle, Jett -- distinguish themselves by their clarity. Joan Jett screams as fiercely as anyone, but you can understand everything she's saying, whereas many of the male singers rant unintelligibly (which can be its own kind of hostile fuck-you lyricism). The viewer/listener comes away thinking that Jett and the other women -- remember, this was 1980 and 1981, long before Courtney and Alanis -- have fought too hard to be on that stage to waste the opportunity to be heard; the men, accustomed to being heard, let their words clatter and fall every which way.