THINKING OF EMPIRE
;[ like to sleep in as much as the
nest guy. A week full of classes,
hotnework and pre-dawn personal
dadbreaks, plus the added drain of
parties and socializing that spill
into the early morning hours (and I
do: mean very early morning) feed
the body's desire to sleep deep into
the evening of the following day
(so much for football Saturdays).
ten I finally do pull out of my
slmber some twelve hours later, I
like to put something on the
turntable to ease my transition into
the world of the living - some -
thing mellow enough to avoid
separating my soul from my earthly
fotm, but driving enough to prevent
me from slipping back into a coma.
Various records have proved un -
worthy of the task; Thinking of
mpire, the SST debut of San
Francisco's Slovenly is a perfect
So how does Slovenly fit in as
my somnabulist spin supreme? I
hate to use the word, but it's
eclectic. Moods of the songs take
off in all directions like Miss
Liberty's oxidized copper tiara:
straightforward or abstruse, sooth -
'ng or jarring, jazzy or funky.
hards of melody dart like gleaming
rivulets of sweat all around the
listener, sometimes pouring out in
a fluid manner, other times oozing
out in herks and jerks. Guitars
mew and purr like a roomful of
kittens, then suddenly jackknife lile
a semi and roar like a pride of lions.
Confused? Well, if Ian Curtis
hadn't died and had taken his
laintive vocals and started the
Smiths instead of Morrissey, and if
Jeffrey Lee Pierce of the Gun Club
had lost his vocal chords in a lawn-
mowing accident and had decided to
concentrate on his country-tinged
chords as a second guitarist, and if
Coin Newman of Wire had decided
to donate some of his literate-to-an-
abstraction lyrics to the cause, and
f Tom Verlaine of Television could
omehow pull together this dis -
pa'ate group in a studio and produce
such a conglomeration, it would
something like Slovenly.
It's strange that this talented
quintet are now on SST, since they
don't pander to (most of) the labe's
post-Flag metallic dirge. Instead of
the, typical power chord/power
chord/wall of noise approach, Slo -
venly shuck formulas as basic as
epetitive choruses. Songs like
"Movement," "At Sea," and
"Interruptions" whirl and shimmer
like bicycle spokes, then stop on a
dime as the handbrakes are applied,
then start spinning again in a
breathless rush of seamless pre -
cision. Forces of cacaphony and
complacency crash concurrently
underneath the surface of the song
tricture, taking turns letting their
pointed heads bob to the top of the
miz in the form of tense chord
pregressions or relaxed soloing.
The resulting tunes achieve the feat
of :being simultaneously direct and
Of course, the LP is fit for more
than just groggy enjoyment. It's
the perfect accompaniment for
cross-country driving, or for wit -
bessing the turbulent shadows of
wind-rocked tree limbs cut violent
swathes of darkness across a wall,
or for sitting back against a tree in
the Diag and watching the aerial
skateboard ballet. In fact, it's just
the thing to listen to while sitting
in your room on a couch, slowly
eating yogurt and staring at the pile
of textbooks and homework grow -
Wu9 like a stalagmite from the rug.
ust close your eyes and allow
yourself to be conquered by
DIVING FOR PEARLS- DEEP
WATER DANCE MIX
The New Marines end up with
sand with this 12" single. The first
side is comprised of two versions of
"Diving for Pearls"- the dance
mix and shorter yet otherwise
indistinguishable "edited mix." The
song has a True West feel to it with
a monotonous naked drum beat,
ccasional guitar riffs, and the rare
The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 13, 1986-- Page 9'
THE WIND KISSED PICTURES
Christian Death takes time to set
the mood. The Wind Kissed
Pictures, a four song EP by this
English trio has the necessary
packaging for an escape into Vic -
torian romanticism via doom and
gloom. The album comes com -
plete with a handy-dandy prayer
book and pictures of dead people.
However, as soon as the needle hits
the wax, Christion Death falls flat.
On each of the four songs, lead
singer Valor drones on in a re -
petitive emotionless style that is as
boring as it is pretentious. Chris -
tian Death's attempt to evoke
images of Victorian romance fails
miserably. Lyrics such as and from
my bouquet I select another rose for
the carnival freak who writes with
her toes, from the song "Lacrima
Christi" are just plain dumb.
Christian Death takes preten -
tiousness to new heights of stu -
The music is restrained. You'll
find no gut-wrenching instru -
mentals on this record. "The Wind
Kissed Pictures" is a prime example
of Christian Death putting all the
effort into setting the mood (i.e.
Gitane Demone's moanings and
wailing babies in the song's
introduction) and little into the
actual song writing.
There is one moment of doom
and gloom ecstasy on this record.
It is the first ten seconds of "Be -
lievers of the Unpure." Gitane
Demone's haunting back up vocals
will send chills up your spine. But
ten seconds does not make up for
this horrifyingly dismal record.
Avoid Christian Death
religiously. -Dana Mendelssohn
Big drums. These guys got real
big drums. Good drums, loud
drums. And a really loud, whaling
voice that sounds louder than it
probably should- but that's good.
These guys are Rifle Sport and they
live in Minneapolis, and that's
what "Box of Dirt," one of the three
songs on their first EP Complex,
sounds like. "Box of Dirt" isn't a
great song, but it's got all the
makings of a really great song,
which is probably why it grows on
you like it does. "Bedroom Full of
Ice" is the record's fastest song, and
the tempo keeps changing which
proves that these guys know how
to write songs that don't get
ridiculously monotnous and re -
petitive. "Complex" is by far the
record's best song. It just assaults
one with punishing bass , and then
a noisy guitar comes out of no -
where and takes over.
There's something about this
record that makes one want to like
it, so I think I do. I guess the
jury's out until we hear another
batch of songs from Rifle Sport.
Talking heads don't say much in their new album, 'True Stories.'
- - - - - -i
The Talking Heads new album
True Stories is truly disap -
pointing. It continues the T-Heads
alarming trend toward pop music.
Not that there is anything wrong
with pop music, but for a band
which has proven itself through
innovative rhythms and unique
lyrics to be capable of more than
mindless pop, it is a letdown.
Perhaps one excuse is that the
album consists of songs from the
motion picture of the same title,
which was directed by none other
than David Byrne. 'If the music has
been written to accompany the
movie, however, it must be a pretty
dull flick. Now, you're probably
thinking, "Why so harsh?" If
you've only heardthe hit single
"Wild Wild Life" it is an
understandable response. That vap -
id, but fun, tune is the album's
best. Nor do the T-Heads seem em -
barassed by the lack of content in
their recent music. "People Like
Us" comes out with the statement
that, People like us/ We don't want
freedom/ We don't want justice! We
just want someone to love. And if
you've got a station wagon and a
white picket fence we'll take that
too. Pathetic drivel from a band
that used to pride itself on more
than aural masturbation.
"Dream Operator" is David
Byrne's attempt at becoming a
modern-day William Wordsworth
by glorifying childhood, yet falls
far short with lyrics such as,When
you were little/ And dreamed you
were big! You must have been
something/ A real tiny kid/ You
wish you were me/ I wish I were
you. Goo Goo Ga Ga.
A terrible album from a great
You've thought about it.
You've tried to imagine
what it would be like.
You know it would be
exciting. And a
challenge. And quite
possibly the most
rewarding experience of
your life.. .
Three Americans overseas in Asia, Africa
and South America speak frankly on what
Peace Corps life is like for them.
It isn't easy and it isn't for
everyone-they'll tell you that up front.
But if you've ever considered going
overseas in the Peace Corps, then now is
your chance to see and hear for yourself
what could be "the toughest job you'll
Note: Former Peace Corps volunteers will
be on hand to answer questions following
the 25 minute film. And it's free!
Wednesday, October 15th
U of M International center
for more information or an application call
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