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October 03, 1986 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-03
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music

GREEKS

w

He may be fast, but

'the Bach of rock?'

No way

Yngwie J.
Malmsteen
TRILOGY
Polygram
Yngwie J. Malmsteen has been
hailed by many as the next great
rock guitarist, destined to follow in
the footsteps of Beck, Clapton and
Paige. He's been called a "Swedish
Eddie Van Halen" by some, and
praised with even higher accolade
by others. Guitar World said he's
become the fastest rising guitarist
of the eighties, he was voted "Best
Rock Guitarist of 1985" by Guitar
Player's readers, Spin called him
"the Bach of rock..."
Be assured, Malmsteen is
fast-blazingly fast. He is perhaps
the fastest guitarist in rock today,
bar none. Unfortunately, that's all
he is. He once told Guitar Player
magazine that when he was a child
he wanted to fly over the frets of
his guitar like Keith Emnerson flew
over his keyboards. His analogy is
sadly misguided. He doesn't fly
half as much as Emerson as he does
like Woodstock from the Peanuts
comic strip. A touch of added
irony: Malmsteen is now opening
for the revamped, lesser quality
Emerson, Lake, and Powell in
some cities.
Now Malmsteen, the showpiece
of his Rising Force band, has a new
album. Trilogy, his third on the
Polygram label, is really quite bad.
Indeed, it answers the infamous
questions, "Why don't you like
heavy metal?" and, "What do you
get when you mix the worst lyrics
of Ronnie James Dio and juiced up,
Spinal Tap guitar solos?"
Each song is basically the same:
Mark Boals, formerly with Ted
Nugent, screams Malmsteen's silly
lyrics; Jens Johannsen and Anders
Johannsen, keyboardist and drum -
mer, respectively, lay down a
redundant rhythm. Yngwie plays
pentatonic scales in 32nd notes.
Actually, I suspect that if one were
to chart the notes of his solos,
they'd form a series of consecutive,
connected "M"s. What's worse,
there are two exceptions to this
worn and tired mold: "Crying,"
where Boals doesn't scream, but
that's boring because it's one less
out-of-tune instrument playing, and
the rambunctiously named "Trilogy
Suite Op: 5," but that's depressing
because in the middle Malmsteen
plays an exquisite, acoustic,
classical piece for about a
minute-then goes back to
practicing his scales.
From this segment alone it
seems that Malmsteen has the

Poison members Bret Michaels, Rikki Rockett, Bobby Dall and C.C.
DeVille spend a lot of time in front of the mirror.

Continued from Page 7
later. That separation has fueled
stereotypes of the black system,
according to members..
"It's been really painful to me
that there are so many stereotypes,"
Herbert said. "I think the largest
one is that we're so social."
The belief that all Greek
organizations revolve around a
social calendar makes it easy for
people to ignore what black Greeks
say is the main emphasis of their
fraternities and sororities-
community service.
Members also say that outsiders
incorrectly consider the black Greek
system as a way for blacks to
isolate themselves from others on
campus. But the stereotypes are
based on ignorance rather than
malice, they say.
"I really don't think they know
anything about us," said Melissa
Jackson, a member of Delta Sigma
Theta, conceding that at the same
time, black Greeks know little
about the white Greeks and
stereotype them as partiers.
According to Julius Turman, the
problem is communication.
"I think there's a mistrust of the
(white) system," he said.
IFC and Panhel are have begun
planning a unity forum for
members of both systems.
Organizers hope the event, yet to be
scheduled, will encourage blacks
and whites to ask questions, discuss
ways of improving ties between the
two groups and change the
Michigan Greek system's image as
a racially segregated portion of the
student body.g
INTERVIEW
Continued from Page 8
honest about character, many of the
students are sexually immoral and
they would be classified
whoremongers. I don't say that to
be unloving, but it's to help people
really take stock of what they are
and what they've become and what
they've allowed society to make
them, so they'll be shocked and
ashamed and stop doing it, change
their life.
D: Do you get discouraged by
students who heckle you, the
people who will probably never
really listen to what you say?
C: You can get tired. You can get a
little bit discouraged. Not everyone
will listen, and some are there just
because they think it's, fun. But I
don't take it personally. A lot of
times I can use it to my
advantage-it draws a crowd. I'm
like a farmer sowing seeds-I can't
be sure how they'll grow. The
condition of the soil, I don't have a
whole lot of control over. I'm
looking for the people who are
really open, who can examine their
lives. It used to be a lot tougher,
when I came here five years ago.

Now the majority of people are
really listening.
D : Why do you think that
homosexuality is wrong? Do you
think that AIDS is God's revenge?
C: No, God does not judge people
in that way. AIDS is a result of
operating a lifestyle outside of the
laws of nature. And if you start
living immorally long enough, it's
going to result in unwanted
pregnancies, syphilis, gonorea, and
if the sexual activity is perverted
enough, you end up with
something like AIDS. But it's not
God, he loves the homosexual. He
doesn't want him to practice it
because it's destructive. But he
cares about that person and he's
really hurt. He sees his children
being hurt and he doesn't like that
either.
D: Why is it destructive?
C: Well, it destroys the person's
concept of masculinity, the idea of
family. Family's no longer a
mother and a father, but it's two
consenting adults. It destroys the
idea of a conventional relationship
where there's fidelity, commitment.
Homosexuality promotes
promiscuity and lust and short-term
relationships. And if practiced
wholesale by everybody, it would
be the end of the human race
because it results in no
reproduction. It goes against the
laws of nature.
D: What is masculinity?
C: Masculinity are the traits that
God has built into the male species,
whereas feminity are the
characteristics in women: softness,
gentleness, tenderness, compassion.
With men it's initiative, the desire
to protect, bring order. Now there's
an overlap. I'm not saying that
women can't do some masculine
things and men can't do some
feminine things-they can. But the
dominant traits in a man should be
masculine and the dominant ones in
a woman should be feminine.
D: Is it God or Lucifer (Satan) that
tells people to bomb abortion
clinics?
C: Hey, where'd you get that
question? That's good. Well,,let me
answer it by saying this: I only
know of two abortion clinics that
have been blown up. One down in
Florida by some sincere kids that
felt like that's what God wanted
them to do. I don't think God told
them to do it. I don't think Lucifer
told them to do it, he's the one that
wants to keep the places intact and
functioning. So that I think they
did it out of their own conscience.
D: How do you and your wife
divide theTesponsibility of teaching
values to your children?
'C: It's a pretty equal thing. I read
bible stories to them, I sing to
them, I pray with them. If teaching
doesn't touch all areas of their
lives, then it's a bit hypo -
critical-superficial at best.
D: Will you stay in Ann Arbor?
C: Yeah, this is home. We've
bought a home, and we're going to
raise the children here.

FISCH
Continued from Page 8
takes time." Approximately 50
percent of black children in the
homelands (government designated
areas for blacks in which the land is
unsuitable for cultivation) die
before the age of five. Rows of tiny
graves are dug every day in
anticipation of the malnourished
bodies which will soon fill them.
"Change takes time."
"There is nothing we can do."
What can a hundred people carrying
signs do for the starving families
who live in shantytowns near
Johannesburg? Those hundred are
sending a message to everyone who
reads their signs and hears their
chants that the millions of starving
people are not just biodegrad -
ables-that we are diminished as
humans by the deaths of those we
cannot see.
Thousands of protesters can
accomplish a hell of a lot more
than one hundred. More voices
mean more media coverage. Thou -
sands of people can force an issue
onto the government's agenda.
Thousands of people can say to
their senators and fellow citizens,
"Here are the issues. We can't force
you to protest with us, but at least
think about them before you vote."
Most of us laugh at protesters.
At their youthful naivete. The
protesters wasting their time trying
to save the world. Those crazy
protesters who rallied against Jim
Crow laws, for woman's suffrage,
against slavery in the United States.
Those radicals screaming out
against the aerial bombing of El
Salvador, exploitation of farm -
workers, hunger in our inner cities,
and apartheid in South Africa.
Those naive dreamers.
Desmond Tutu is an archbishop
in one of the world's major
churches. He is a Nobel prize laur -
eate. He is ineligible to vote in
South Africa. "There is nothing we
can do."
And anyway, "it's not our
problem." Yet it is. The standard of
living Americans enjoy today
would be impossible to maintain
without exploitation. Much of the
fruit we eat, and the clothing we
wear comes from Third World
countries, where workers get slave
wages and live in poverty, while
producing food that they will never
eat and cloth that will never cover
their bodies. Exploitation means
maximum profit for American
companies. Savings in labor costs
are partially passed on to the
American consumer. "It is not our
problem."
Even if our standard of living
were not reliant upon exploitation
of the Third World, the inhabitants
of these countries would still
deserve our support. Just because
they live far away, do not wipe
themselves with Cottonelle, or live
in houses with two-car garages does
not mean they aren't peo -
ple-people who deserve a right not

to die of malnutrition, not to be
slaves, not to be bombed. "It is not
our problem."
George Steiner writes in
"Language and Silence":
"In the Warsaw ghetto (during
World War II) a child wrote in his
diary: I am hungry, I am cold;
when I grow up I want to be a
German, and then I shall no longer
be hungry, and no longer cold.' And
now I want to write that sentence
again: 'I am hungry, I am cold;
when I grow up I want to be a
German, and then I shall no longer
be hungry, and no longer cold.' And
say it many times over, in prayer
for the child, in prayer for myself.
Because when the sentence was
written I was fed, beyond my need,
and slept warm, and was silent."
"It isn't our problem."
"We're really busy this week,"
"Change takes time."
"There is nothing we can do." U

76

I~),4 1RK

2 lbsc
The 4
Open N
St

I1
Ple

Yngwie Malmsteen: simple, silly and overpraised.

potential to be one of rock's elite
guitarists. Instead, he chooses to
waste his time and our ears on
repetitious heavy metal. At present
the best that can be said of
Malmsteen and Trilogy is that
it's the best metal around and
probably the best since old Van
Halen. But that's not saying much.
-Akim D. Reinhardt
Poison
LOOK WHAT THE CAT
DRAGGED IN
Enigma
Despite their venomous mon -
iker, Poison isn't your typical
heavy metal group. They've
avoided the usual leather-and-chains,
satanic trappings of bands like Iron
Maiden, opting instead for an

androgynous, New York Dolls
look. And the music itself is often
much closer to punk than to metal.
Instead of screaming guitars and
high-pitched vocals, Poison features
hard, driving rhythms and hooky,
Ramones-style choruses. That
doesn't stop these boys from
sounding like Motley Crue on
some tracks, but overall they've
managed to find a somewhat
different sound.
The opening tracks on each side,
"Cry Tough" and "Talk Dirty To
Me," are among the album's better
tunes. The former is a standard teen
anthem distinguished by C.C.
DeVille's energetic guitar play and
an excellent vocal by Bret
Michaels; the latter is a fine rave-up
that sounds like a Ramones
outtake. But the best song here is
"I Won't Forget You," a heartfelt

lament over a past romance that
could, with its catchy call-and-
response chorus and ringing guitars,
pass for a '60s British Invasion hit.
Alas, the rest of the album is
pretty lame; it's listenable enough,
but boring. The usual themes
-tough guys and sexy women
-are here, but the band lacks the
punch to make these dumb songs
work. When they try to sound
threatening, as on "#1 Bad Boy,"
they wind up sounding limp.
Look What the Cat
Dragged In probably isn't loud
enough or dumb enough for most
heavy metal fans, but for the more
adventurous headbangers, this
might just be a refreshing change of
pace. As for the rest of you, you're
better off saving your money.
--Robert F. Garnsey
George Benson
WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS
Warner Bros.
Several years ago, George
Benson broke my heart by trading
in his fine jazz guitar for a mellow
set of vocal cords. But enough
whining. The man deserves
assessment based on the here and
now-which brings us to While
the City Sleeps, the singer's
latest collection of perfectly pal -
atable but mostly soulless Top 40
candidates.
Since every cut here is either a

steamy ballad or a would-be-funk
dance groove, one grows a bit
fatigued from an extended listening.
Benson only exacerbates this effect
with a remarkable similarity of
tempos and synthesized instru -
mentation throughout.
For example, cue-up side two
and see if the upbeat "Teaser" and
"Secrets in the Night" couldn't
easily be segued to form one sterile,
nine-minute tune. (But then again,
these are dance tracks, aren't they?)
Among the ballads, only the
lightly pulsing "Love is Here
Tonight" offers charm enough to
make those heartstrings quiver. Yet
even here, old George doesn't really
get down until he (all too briefly)
steps out with that ever-sweet
guitar. That this is true for the rest
of the album as well may represent
a betrayal of musical instincts: no
matter how polished his vocal
abilities, Benson still bares his soul
only when a trusty six-string does
the singing.
With its high-gloss production
and undeniably agreeable melodies,
While the City Sleeps will
probably sit well with fans of
Benson's recent work. But for
those of us who think there's
already one too many Luther
Vandross's in the world, we'll just
keep fantasizing about the jazz that
never was. But who's whining,
right?
-Joe Acciaioli

Eileen West :

4 ,

s "ra200 S. Univ
r1Pi769-006

PAGE 4 WEEKEND/OCTOBER 3, 1986

WEEKEND/OCTOBER 3' 1986

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