By Chris Lauer
Directed by Martin Scorcesce
ALFTER HOURS is the kind of film'
you can love, but from a distan-
ce. It's heartwarming, but in a dif-
ferent sense than, say, Citizen Kane, a
film you would embrace if you could.
With its on-target offbeat black
humor, After Hours instills a mutual
respect between the audience and it-
After Hours is sharp, knows it's
sharp, and revels in its sharpness;
and so can an audience. Finally a
movie that does justice to the absur-
dities and awkwardnesses everyone
knows but rarely speaks about.
After Hours and the audience meet
not on some fantasy intergalactic bat-
tle/breeding ground, not through the
Sbarrel of a machinegun cradled in the
arms of a psychoticallyrheroic Mr.
Muscle, not in the creases of Clint
Eastwood or Roger Moore's face -
no, After Hours is an adventure on a
less fantasticalplane, a plane no one
has to invent. Where exaggeration
and quirky humor are not only fun,
but also gratifying.
By R. Michaels
E VERY ONCE IN A WHILE,
certain elements of the ever ex-'
panding new music community
naturally develop outside of and
above the standard pool of genres and
adjectives. And much to the surprise
of many, such elements need not
come from New York, London, or
even Athens, Georgia, as the sounds
of Southeastern Michigan's own Sleep
In any of their numerous Detroit
area performances, Sleep's multi-
faceted, emotionallyand musically
charged assault creates an organic
sound circuit between the band and
their environment. Highly
sophisticated yet completely down to
earth, brutally noisy and aggressive
yet compassionate, warm and tender,
Sleep's music brings together many
of the opposing forces that tear in-
dividual human beings apart.
The rhythm section of drummer
Scott Schuer (ex-Linkletters and L-7)
and bassist Eugene Wicke keeps
things tight and funky (like Krakatoa
revisited). Their sounds mesh, move,
and collide, making any Sleep show a
physical happening. When hit with
tunes like "Breakout," ';2," or "The
Work Song," you may as well be
standing on a bed of red-hot oily sheet
metal with the way your carcass has
And on top of this looms the impor-
tant question "what do you call that
stringed instrument in Chris Girard's
hands and what did it do to deserve
such twisted and sadistic punish-
ment?" Of course it's just a regular
o1' guitar but it's got a monster of a
vocabulary, shaping and building
Sleep's music with sounds we
American s haven't been privy to sin-
ce the fall of Saigon. But don't worry,
it's not mere outer-space construction
site-style unfocused dissonance, as
Girard (ex-The Minus, Face. Farm
and the heinouly underappreciated
Phobolex) tempers the noise with
much care and subtlety.
But of course this stuff isn't purely
instrumental, thanks to
time frontperson Diana May (ex-
Face Farm) who is the final ar-
ticulator of Sleep consciousness. Like
the band itself, Diana's presence and
vocals are consistently unaffecting
and unpretentious, naturally com
bining intensity with gentility; Her
sound captures and expresses the
multi-dimensional reactions of an in-
telligent and sensitive person to the
complex (and often difficult) world
around them. On songs like
"Telephone Pole" and "Trading
Opinions," her pie-pan percussion an-
Griffin Dunne plays a computer programmer who has a nightmarish
evening in SoHo. It begins with a chance meeting at a cafe and from there
the torrent of quirky black humor never stops.
tics have become legendary.
So obviously, we're not dealing with
simple eclecticism or pedestrian
formula fusion. Sleep's music aspires
to nothing but its own potential, which
is itself being.constantly redefined.
To define it in terms of previous soun-
ds is anything buta mean endeavor.
Sleep honors its influences more in
feeling than in overt sonic reproduc-
Mixed with a set of original songs
(of which there are an extraordinary
amount), the band usually-throws in a
cover or two ,each reflecting a dif-
ferent aspect of their own approach.
Whether it's The Velvet Un-
derground's "Sunday Morning," The
Beatles' "She Said, She Said," Jimi
Hendrix's "Manic Depression," Joy
Division's "Colony," or the Blues
Magoos' "Gotta Getaway," covers
always fit easily into the Sleep
Their own songs span an even wider
stylistic and textural range, all while
maintaining a powerful and unifying
human quality. From the folkish
"Brain Can," to the pure pop hook of
"Got No Place to Go," to the demonic
rock power of "Runaround," all the
way back to the aforementioned
rhythmic space funk of "E2" or
"El," Sleep's music remains
cohesive, personal, and exciting. The
band remains dedicated to natural,
human expression and musical and
Within a few weeks, Sleep should be
releasing a four song seven-inch EP
on their own label, New Moon Recor-
ds. Opening with the moody and
dream-like "Confusion," the record
also contains two older Sleep-rock
powerhouses, "Walls" and "Un-
titled," .which showcase the band
when they're closest to the edge. It
closes with "Talk to Me," a jagged,
funky rocker with a particularly
nasty bassline. Altogether, it is well
produced and well programmed,
giving vinyl consumers just enough
Sleep to whet their appetites for more
live and recorded music.
Last week, I had the pleasure of in-
terviewing Sleep after a typically
heated and enjoyable practice
session. Bothon stage and on the
living room floor, the band is per-
sonable, accessible, and engaging.
Daily: How do you feel about being
a Detroit area band? Do you ever
think about moving to another city?
Scott Schuer: I don't think it could
be different anywhere else.
Chris Girard: There's probably lit-
tle scenes going on in a lot of different
cities. Things are looking a bit
brighter these days with more new
bands and local records coming out. I
like it around here.
D: Do you feel like you're part of
some sort of scene and if so, is it a
contributing factor to your sound?
Chris: We're probably influenced
by different groups around the area
just as we're influenced by our
favorite records from when we were
growing up. Groups that we like and
see can be inspirational to us whether
they're old or new.
Diana May: When you see people
who you know personally playing
right in front of you, it makes what
they're doing more accessible. It
made me more likely to have the
courage to do it myself.
The movie is lovable because for
about an hour and a half it's your
friend. You and it meet on common
ground and laugh at everything.
Everything. And then you part.
It's like striking up a conversation
Chris: There is kind of a scene just
in the sense that you see the same
kinds of people going to the same kin-
ds of shows. I see things becoming
more exciting these days. For awhile,
you had a hardcore movement that
was exciting and then a lot of stupid
things happened, more violence,
more imitation etc. and now it seems
that people are more into going to
shows and having a good time.
Scott: And sitting back and thinking
about the music and deciding for
themselves whether they like it or
Chris: There's a lot more bands
coming out that play the music that
comes most naturally to them as op-
posed to being generic or contrived.
Scott: Speaking mostly for Chris
with someone on a street corner who
turns out to be surprisingly in-
telligent. (Why "surprisingly"? You
and the movie know.) There's mutual
respect. And your heart is moved
because just the week before it
seemed like everywhere you went
there were crustacean-minded
inanimate machines bouncing from
task to task barely able to conceive of
absurdity and awkwardness let alone
see it or express thoughts about it.
Almost needless to say, After Hours
doesn't have any answers. But it's a
breath of fresh air like only a friend
can provide. You just can't embrace it
because it doesn't lie. Or maybe
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See all these great films proected on the large scr
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SLEEP: At leisure on their recent near-Eastern tour.
8 Weekenol/riday, Novenber 1, 1985