Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 5, 1985
Minutemen, Hyenas haunt Greystone
By Hobey Echlin
IN AS MEMORABLE a Halloween
as I can recall, the Minutemen and
Laughing Hyenas played the
Greystone Hall in Detroit Thursday
The Hyenas opened with a strong
five-song set. Playing on a red-lit and
pumpkin strewn stage, John Brannon
led the Hyenas with his gutteral,
howling vocal style, more a
cacophonous part of the sound than
defined lyricism, Brannon's
possessed-like approach seems to
have taken a decidedly inward turn
from his days of anthems with
Highlighting the Hyenas' set was
their exponentially bluesy "Red
Hour," with its gratingly churning
chorus, and a new song, featuring ex-
ceptional drumming from Mike Dan-
ner, in a heavily percussive, quasi-
The Minutemen followed, but not
before Minutemen roadies had taken
to the stage with their comic spoof of
Baptist preachers with their World
Salvation Ministry and their "Sure
I've sinned, but it's no big deal" an-
them. A healthy representation of
roadie creativity, the skit would have
been more at home on an SCTV show,
but, hey, it was Halloween and even
the teeny-bop element of the crowd
seemed into it.
After the comic relief, the
Minutemen took to the stage in witty
costume, with D. Boon looking like a
mutant trick or treater, bassist Mike
Watts looking like a pruned Napoleon,
and drummer George Hurley looking,
well, just.like a mutant, with a lone
blond shock hanging out of his mask.
So much for spectacle, the
Minutemen jumped, lept, and hopped
into their own brand of four-speed
rock and roll. The range was typically
Minutemen - predictably excellent
but chocked full of surprise. A sped-up
version of their brand new
"Courage," with its Madonna-esque
bass line, had the crowd hopping,
while the spasmodic M-men funk
sound found its fruition in the stop-go
"Toadies" from Double Nickels on
the Dime. The Spanish swing of
"What is It," from the new Three-
Way Tie for Last LP, kept the pace
moving, while the last ballad-esque
"stories" proved D. Boon's singing
ability as increasingly viable.
MTV fans sang along with the get-
up-and-shout "This Ain't No Picnic"
and applauded when D. Boon admit-
ted, "Punk rock changed our lives,"
during "History Lesson." The upbeat
and catchy "The Cheerleaders" and
"King of the Hill" may have been a
little weak without their horn parts,
but D. Boon's anti-anything-big-and-
powerful sentiments on government
involvement just about anywhere
rang through loud and clear.
Letting seriousness and artistic in-
tegrity take a decided back seat, the
Minutemen paid homage to "timeless
rock and roll" with a score of covers.
Steppenwolf's "Hey Lay Mama"
found itself revised into an upbeat
sing-along, and Van Halen's "Ain't
Talking 'Bout Love" was stripped of
its metalisms and given a raw, dare I
say, fun appeal.
More covers peppered the
Minutemen's finale, as a spirited ver-
sion of John Fogerty's "Green River"
was followed by Alice Cooper's
"Ballad of Dwight Frye."
"It's a song D. Boon and I used to
play off the radio in our rooms when
we were kids," said Mike Watt,
before performing 'the song, which
featured guest vocals from the
Hyena's John Brannon. The crowd
took to it and after a breather the
minutemen returned to mop up their
musical anthology with a rousing
cover of Who's "Substitute," with D.
Boon and Watt harmonizing in bet-
ween George Hurley's frenzied drum
Overall a fantastic show from San
Pedro's finest and Ann Arbor's
newest. Watch for the November 15
release of the Minutemen's "Three
Way Tie for Last" and expect vinyl
from the Hyenas about January.
As for the Greystone, it'll be open
for business for good as a showcase
for post-punk avant-garde-ship now
that Corey Rusk has bought and
renovated it with a bar and video
screen. Watch for the Butthole Sur-
fers and Scratch Kids coming soon.
Daily Photo by DOUG MCMAHON
D. Boon and Mike Watt of the Minutemen spread Halloween cheer and played damn good music at
Greystone, last Thursday night in Detroit.
Linda Tillery - Secrets
One of Linda Tillery's assets has
always been her ability to transcend
labels - she's been described as a
folk, jazz, and even gospel singer. On
Secrets however, this talent works
against her. Instead' of a successful
blending of different musical styles,
we get an album that flounders in
between, unable to take root in any
particular musical genre.
Tillery's voice on Secrets is
reminiscent of gospel, while the music
is reminiscent of a jazz club. This
combination might work, if the lyrics
didn't remind one of late James
Taylor. Nothing against Taylor, but
corny lyrics just don't fuse with the
jazzy musical style of Tillery's album.
The songs that do work, such as the
pleading "Basin Street" and the
seductive title track Secrets do so
because the different elements of the
songs - voice, music, and lyrics -
blend together well. The title track, in
particular, demonstrates Tillery's
promise. While the song is no example
of high artistic achievement, the con-
fident lyrics, Tell you girlfriend not
to come around, I've got you
covered up and down ... blend well
with Tillery's strong voice.
Conversely, "I'm so Thankful," and
"Count on Me" fail because the lyrics
meet the poetical standards of a love-
struck junior high schooler. No voice
can save these songs; their lyrics
doom them to mediocrity.
To her credit, Tillery has worked
with such notable artists as Holly
Near, Ferron, Ray Charles, Arlo
Guthrie, and Bonnie Raitt. Her voice,
pleasant and well-rounded, obviously
makes her an excellent back-up
singer. In order to make it on her own,
however, Tillery will have to add
something to her voice - emotion. Of-
ten times, female artists (even ones
with as different styles as Rickie LUe
Jones and Joan Armatrading) are
successful because of the pain, suf-
fering, or just sheer intensity
displayed in their voices.
- Peter Ephross
1 . I
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AN OXFORD EMANUEL
CONFIDENTIAL & INEXPENSIVE
3100 Professional Dr., Ann Arbor
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HELP WANTED: Student or organization to run
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Call (refundable) 1-518-459-3611 For Information.
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