The Michigan Daily
Wednesday October 9, 1985
Theory reveals play tactics
By Beth Fertig
Critically acclaimed Enigma
recording artists Game Theory will
be performing tomorrow night at
the Blind Pig at 10p.m. Cuppa Joe
ji open the show; the cover is $4.
Daily staff writer Beth Fertig in-
terviewed Game Theory's
song writer/composer Scott Miller
by phone, last week while he was
working on his upcoming record.
Daily: Is this tour going to be your
first time through Ann Arbor?
Miller: Yes...we wanted to on our last
D: Is this your first time touring
alone, or do you headline with other
r: We were sort of headlining on the
last tour. We usually headline, but
we've never toured with another
D: How long have you been
M: For about three years. I've had
different bands as Game Theory. We
formed for the first time in September
of '82. That line up was Nancy Becker
on keyboards, Fred Juhos on bass and
Mike Erwin on drums. He was then
replaced with Dave Gill on our recor-
ds. Then (two years later) Dave had a
kid, Nancy had a kid, Fred split for a
band where he wrote all the songs.
Q: How did you find the people in
your new line-up?
M: I moved to the Bay area and
found all of these people. Dan Vallor,
who is managing this tour was pretty
instrumental in helping me find them.
But I kept the name because we
already had an album in the can as
on Real Nighttime - do you duplicate
those when playing live?
M: No, we don't use Simmons
drums anymore. Not many drum-
mers have Simmons. And whenever I
hear them I think of a TV commer-
I don't have anything in favor of
being stripped down like this. It's
whatever's available to us. Whatever
we can afford. I'm not adverse to ef-
fects, we're pretty adventurous with
our one synthesizer. Whatever we
have, we try to make the best of.
D: Do you foresee any merge with
the LA music scene?
M: We're friends with the Three
O'Clock, and I wrote a song on their
last record. As far as merging into the
LA scene, we've never had strikingly
good luck in the big city scene. We're
not really part of any scene anywhere.
So there's no pressure to conform.
D: How about the Davis scene?
M: I don't really know if there is a
Davis scene to speak of at this point
like there was in the early '80s with
The Suspects and The Dream Syn-
dicate. That was a scene. The college
radio would support it heavily. There
really isn't anything there anymore.
But it wasn't a made-up scene...they'd
go to each other's shows...and the
bands didn't all hate each other or
Nowhere is a scene, really. Davis is
the only one I've come across per-
sonally. Maybe in LA with the
psychedelic/garage bands for a
while...I don't know.
D: How about Athens, Georgia?
What about towns like that and Min-
neapolis and Austin - what makes
M: I don't think Athens qualifies as
a scene (from people I've spoken
to) ... Minneapolis, possibly...Austin
D: So how about this current tour
you're on - how big is it?
M: Pretty big. We go all the way
back East and South. It's seven weeks
including the time spent on the album.
D: Do you intend to stay with
M: I'm not real wild about staying
with them. There's a lack of interest
from them. We're signed to them, but
I'm going to try to get a deal with a
major label. Independents don't
Alot of people, I think, say that
they're committed to an independent
label when they're not.
D: Would it affect your band in any
way, to sign to a major label?
M: No. Most major labels allow
complete artistic control. If they think
you know what your market is. They
have plenty of maleable people that
they think they can just mold for a hit.
If we got signed, we'd just go ahead
and do what we like. The only thing I'd
hate is if they had an album in the can
and it stays there. Then, even if it's
good (when it comes out) it's not your
D: When do you expect the new
album to be released?
M: Hopefully fairly soon. Januray
D: Game Theory won Future Artist
of the Year ("Best Undiscovered New
Talent") at the 1984 CMJ New Music
Awards in New York. Could you tell
me about what that means, how it
happened, and how it effects the
M: CMJ has a tip sheet they com-
piled of radio airplay for bands by
stations, progressive stations. They
took a poll of subscribers, and took the
bands that are not signed to a large
record label...bands which had EP's
which did well. They then took a poll
of their subscribers (for the best
band). We won by one vote, I think.
But that hasn't really shot our
career through the roof. It might have
had something to do with Real Night-
time doing as well as it did.
D: How well is that - do you have
M: 6,000 sales now. We hit about
#11 on alternative radio charts.
D: Getting back to this tour, how big
are the places you're playing?
M: Minimum fifty people, largest
was 4500 in Fort Collins, Colorado. But
that's very untypical. Typical is 200-
D: Where are your fans concen-
trated? Are you enjoying any star-
M: We have a lot of fans back home,
but can't get paid much in the Bay
Area. The last LA show was pretty
decent. There's lots of LA fans, but
that's a recent development. There's
none in New York City. Lots in
Boston, Atlanta - college towns.
D: Do you consideer your style at
all influenced by Alex Chilton?
M: No, I'm not really influenced by
Alex Chilton. I'd already been writing
songs for years and had a record out
by '80. He allegedly sounded like me. I
like him; I think he's great, that's why
there's that 'influence' maybe a little.
It's like Elvis Costello's effect on the
Aztec Camera record. I really had my
style developed by then.
D: Do you plan to collaborate again
with the Three O'Clock?
M: I don't have any plans at the
moment but I'd love to. We just don't
see each other much. When we're in
the vicinity we visit...I'd like to
(collaborate) but I don't know. I
probably will sometime.
Game Theory - The latest band from the studio of Mitch Easter.
D: How about your new album -
the one you're currently working on?
M: We've done all of the basic
tracks, we'll come back to mix it
sometime by November. Mitch
Easter is producing it - we've been
recording it in his studio, here.
D: Are there any changes in your
sound on this new album?
M: It's kind of hard to put your fin-
ger on it...It's definitely different
from the last one. There's more em-
phasis on real musical sounding songs
- everything should succeed
melodically, first. They (the new
songs) are all based on some melody
that I hope would stand on they're own
against other melodies - like
"Yesterday" of the Beatles. They're
real melody-heavy. It's really no
more commercial sounding than the
D: The studio effects that you used
Minutemen - Project: Mersh
Following four sides of quantum
rock par-excellance is a challenge for
any band. But alas, the Minutemen
cry "Damn the torpedoes" and an-
swer the call of duty with their 6-cut
follow up to Double Nickels; the new
Mersh boasts a cover painting (by
frontman D. Boon) of stogied record
company execs contemplating sales
as one light bulbs with "I got it. We'll
Dave them write hit songs!" And with
Mersh, they might have done just
dSide one attests that if D. Boon can't
paint, he can write songs. Maybe not
hit songs, but songs. "The
Cheerleaders" opens the side, a sort
of "Double Nickels" update with its
somewhat sloppy jazzy sound. The
hip-hop-hoedown sound again elec-
trifies the fusion roots, but it's D.
Boon's "Think" vocals that give the
spng its M-men feel: Do you have to
see the body bags before you make
a stand?he asks. Before you pass this
off as a Double Nickels remnant,
what's this? A horn part? Very Tull-
ish, the horn part, courtesy of
someone named Crane, gives the song
a Chicagoesque feel, that keeps the
song as aesthetic as it is cerebral.
The quicker "King of the Hill"
follows, a jumpier, gulp, anthemic
chorus, backed by a frenzied tom-tom
and another uplifting horn piece. A
catchy, effect-less guitar solo rounds
the song off to make it the poppish
tune of the EP.
Contrasting the pop sound, the
Minutemen hold close to their garage
roots and pay homage to Jon Kay with
an anti-slick cover of Steppenwolf's
"Hey Lawdy Mama." Weak vocals
and bare guitar work make the cut the
album's weakest, but you know damn
well they'll play it in their live sets.
Bassist Mike Watt takes credit for
the EP's second side. His "Take Our
Test" puts the band in their profoun-
dest light. The confusing lyrics pour
over an almost hypnotic U2-ish music
line. When reality seems digital and
the big hankering cometh, I'll vote
yes' for life in the big 'choice'
poll. I'll be glad I did, Watt says in
the middle of the song, as the fine line
between poetry and punctuation-
muddied obviousness becomes hazy.
But with the climactic ending, Boon
repeats in a croon Forever with you,
ever without you as the rest of the
band drones out "Take Our Test."
Hypnotic, darn near psychedelic
harmonies from the men that brought
us the infinitely thrashy Paranoid
Time LP? Thank God for musical
Mersh may not have the quantum
effect of Double Nickels, but the
eclecticness and talent are still there.
And now the songs are almost, geez,
three minutes long. Quality counts,
and it's here. Boon's thoughtful lyrics
and sometimes Doorsy approach are
complimented amply by catchy riffs,
jumpy bass lines, and especially
strong drumming from George
Hurley. And lest we forget, the new
use of horns. The saga continues...
The Fleshtones - Speed
Connection II: The Final
"They're back...Paris March 4,
1985," reads the new Fleshtones'
album jacket. In case this title rings a
bell, or conjures up a brief deja-vu,
Speed Connection II is basically a
remixed American packaging of its
imported relative, Speed Connection.
The former album was mastered in
an incredible 36 hours (hence the
name) from a recording of a perfor-
mance this New York-based garage
band played at the Club Gibus in Paris
this past spring. Speed Connection
was available only on the French IRS
label, but alas - when the time came
for an American release, the record
company decided that the third night
the Fleshtones played to The Club
was, in fact the strongest set - and
thus mixed it down for Speed Connec-
tion II: The Final Chapter.
On a note of comparison, there are
only slight discrepancies between the
two recorded performances, other
than the price of imported vs.
domestic. There is a material dif-
ference of four songs among the
nineteen. But the overall performance
of the new record is wilder, brighter
and rowdier; and the sound produc-
tion, like the band, is raw, bristly and
vibrant. Their mean and dirty
Animalsesque style includes
thrashing drums, really cheesy
keyboards, and the harsh, energetic
vocals of Peter Zaremba.
SCII also includes the assistance of
R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, who
hops on stage with the Fleshtones for
the soul-filled and seedy "When The
Night Falls." This number then takes
the band, minus Buck, through a
rowdy version of R.E.M.'s "Wind
The Fleshtones are a party, no mat-
ter what the performance date. In
fact, any single track of Speed Con-
nection II should prove an instant
testament of this. From the spoken
French introduction, to the en-
thusiastic chiming-in of the French
audience on "La La La La Reprise,"
this album captures the Fleshtones
with all the energy of their full per-
FORD FOUNDATION DOCTORAL
FELLOWSHIPS FOR MINORITIES
AppliCations now available
in 160 Rackham
Deadline Nov. 15, 1985
Free The Bogomolny's
in the Soviet Union against their will for
- Your letter can make a difference!
COME TO THE FISHBOWL
Wednesday, Oct. 9 10-3
Thursday, Oct. 10 10-3
U of M Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry
Greek folk dance
amarred by dificulties
TRADITIONALLY, lighting is em-
ployed to create a specific mood
or atmosphere with the purpose of
enhancing the action occuring on
stage, discreetly accentuating the
performance. Poorly utilized, lighting
emphasizes the shortcomings of a
performance that might otherwise
The Kalidiskopio of Greece, in a
technically poor and unprofessionally
staged show at the Power Center last
Sunday night, was guilty of the
aforementioned offence, proffering a
performance that was little more than
a mish mash of assorted technical
blunders and poorly conceived
Consistently poorly timed, the lights
were indiscriminately flashed on and
off, and often combined incongruous
color combinations bathing the per-
formers in hideous hues of orange,
purple and white. These factors
proved most distracting when trying
to follow the movements of the less
than exuberant dancers, who con-
tinuously watched their feet and
lacked the general energy and en-
thusiasm typically possessed by folk
dancers. Sadly, it was not until the
finale of the first half, 70 minutes into
the performance, that the dancers
displayed the vivacious, confider'
movements that Greek folk dancing*
Singers flashed their inexperienC
like a neon sign by standing frozE
during instrumental sections of the
songs. Rather than involving then
selves and the audience in the oftE
spectacular music, the performers o
ten stared at the ceiling or turn(
their back to the audience.
In fact, the only consistently ente
taining aspect of the Kalidoskopio
performance was the music. Giorg(
Katsaros beautifully directed t:
Katsaros Television Bouzouki O
chestra, whose virtuosic renderings'
both modern and traditional GreE
music were the stand-outs on a stag
awash in mediocrity. Also impressiN
were two brilliantly vibrant solos, one
by Katsaros on the saxophone, the
other by celebrated bouzouki tenor,
Yannis Bithikotsis. Both evoked an
uproarious applause from the audien-
ce and were likely the high-point of
the evening's entertainment.
JOIN THE GREEK SYSTEM
Form Lasting Friendships
Enjoy the Greek Tradition
Freshman - Sophomore - Junior - Senior Women Welcome!
Mass Meeting: Wednesday, October 9, 7:00 p.m.
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union
Rush Party: Thursday, October 10, 7:00 p.m.
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union
Personal Friday, October 11, begin 9:00 a.m.-
Interview: Michigan Union
(Appointments prefered; interview sign-up at Mass
Meeting, or call Panhellenicfor appointment-
Preference Saturday, October 12, 4:00 p.m.
Party: The location will be announced.
ANNOUNCE PARTIES & SPECIAL EVENTS.
SEND MESSAGES & INFORMATION.
" FREE one day insertion
" offer valid thru specified dates only
" Place ads on Wednesdays at the Fishbowl or
weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at
The Michigan Daily, 420 Maynard.
* c ..... .. ... .. ..
......... . .................. .cc.g...
........... g...*. .... .... . .. .... ....
.... ... ..... .....c.... .. ........ ..............
c.. .. ................ * *** ......
.... .. ... .... ..ee egg
... ... ... ....
Q.g... . .. .c..
. e.. . ... . ........ I too..
*gg .c c. . .. . .... .....
e. .... .t...c~*
**** ** *