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October 23, 1986 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-23

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Page 8- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 23, 1986


The Proletariat
Homestead Records
If the only images the term
"political music" dredges to mind
are the half-assed histrionics of the
Clash or the coffee house folkiness
of a Joan Baez organic type,
Homestead Records has news for
you with the release of the
Proletariat's long-awaited second
LP, Indifference.
Soma Holiday, the Boston
band's first long playing effort, was
hailed by critics nationwide as the
"second coming of Burma" upon its

release some four years ago, a
smoking goulash of post-punk and
hardcore styles that was as searingly
effective in driving its point home
as Sherman's torches were to
Atlanta. Indifference is a greatly
different album, yet avoids the
traditional pitfalls of second-album-
syndrome (i.e., jaded, world-weary
attitude, growing desire for radio
airplay, heavy-handed production
from the likes of Mitch Easter or
Todd Rundgren, etc.)
In comparison, the tempos on
the new record are slower than on
their debut, but the difference is as
negligible as the amount of caffeine
in Jolt as compared to Mountain

Dew. Indifference is the kind of
record which slaps you in the face
with the very first song (the title
track), grinds said face into street
pizza with the next ("Pride"), and
continues to slowly pound your
body free of all resistance
throughout the remainder of the
record, flooding your mind with
their sonic dogma. Song
topics/platform planks include the
plight of the homeless (I saw a
man/Begging for food/You say
'ignore him/He gets his share' -
"Indifference"), pornography, the
new Cold War, more attacks on
capitalism, and even a parallel of
American apathy and 'excess to
decadence on a Roman scale (Too
many soldiers/Too many fronts/Too
many problems left to be
solved/Miles away under the
columns/Vomit in the basin/Return
to your feast - "Columns").
These are no idle blatherings,
fad-of-moment ballads, or stick-a-
nation's-injustice anthems, how -

ever. Singer Richard Brown's
vocals, sounding like he ate a
carton of Lucky Strikes for
breakfast with a chaser of Tabasco
sauce, add the important dimension
of heartfelt (and throatfelt) sincerity
to the proceedings. Ripping up,
over, and through the angular
compositions, his sandpaper
delivery is downright convincing.
Unfortunately, Brown left the band
before the album was completed
(the songs have been recorded and
compiled over a period of three
years), but what would seem to be a
great hardship is remedied by his
replacement with female vocalist
Laurel Bowman, who lends her
pipes to "Homeland," one of the
album's strongest cuts.
Even if flag-waving/burning is
not your style, the mere crunch of
this record should more than make
up for any ideological differences.
More exciting than an Oval Office
address, louder than a protest rally,
and certainly more compelling than
the Michigan Review or the

Revolutionary Worker, Indiffer -
e n c e is a record that defies
indifference and demands attention.
Ranting and raving rarely sounded
so good.
-Mike Rubin

David and


The Center for Japanese Studies
A Brown-Bag Lecture by
Professor of Anthropology,*
University of British Columbia
A look at the religions
and practices of early Japan.'
12 noon

Imagine two guys from the
seedier side of Los Angeles who
have comically pessimistic attitudes
toward life. One day they decide to
write down all of the rotten things
they see going on around their
neighborhood and put those words
to music. Next thing they know,
they have created what may be one
of the best debut albums ever. You
have just imagined David and
David Baerwald and David
Ricketts have created an album that
truly reflects the times. The despair
of unattained dreams, the horror of

And they're both repre-
sented by the insignia you wear
4 as a member of the Army Nurse
Corps. The caduceus on the left
means you're part of a health care
system in which educational and
career advancement are the rule,
not the exception. The gold bar
on the right means you command respect as an Army officer. If you're
earning a BSN, write: Army Nurse Opportunities, P.O. Box 7713,
Clifton, NJ 07015. Or call toll free 1-800-USA-ARMY

Call 764-6307
for further

urban violence, and the emptiness,
of the material lifestyle are all dealt
with in appropriately bleak fashion
on Boomtown. The album'
presents an array of worthless
characters whose lives are hollow
and meaningless. "Welcome to the
Boomtown" the album's opening
song, presents one such character:
Ms. Christina drives a 944 /:
Satisfdction oozes from her pores /
She's got rings on her fingers /
Marble on her floors / Cocaine in
her dresser / Bars on her doors.
The love song, an old rock 'n®
roll standby, is handled in a.
similarly ugly manner. "Ain't So
Easy" tells the twisted story of love
gone bad: I'm sorry about your eye
/ I'll find some way to make
amends / It's only that sometimes/
I've got to break before I bend.
With lyrics like these it may
seem as though this album is a bit
on the depressing side. However,
the pessimistic attitudes of David
and David are so intentionally
overstated that the album begins to
take on the tone of a black comedy.
The music, which consists mostly
on heavy, sullen percussion and
haunting rythyms, blends perfectly
with the tone of the lyrics and the
overall effect is brilliant. Let's just
hope that as these guys move into
the world of professional rock and
roll their perspectives on life don't
become obscured. The last thing
rock music needs is a couple more
cheerful, carefree guys.
-Mike Race
(Continued from Page7)
abortion begins her dual quest to
save the world and to find Love.
Her search reveals many insights,
both political and feminist.
As a feminist text, Acker's novel,
contains many painful and satirical
anecdotes. Don Quixote surmises
that real Love must be a sickness,
if indeed it exists at all. For
women to experience heterosexual,
love they must suffer inordinantly.
The novel disturbs the reader with
recurrent images of men who beat
their lovers. Acker asserts that
sexual roles make women vul -
nerable. In this vulnerability,
women grovel to receive pain from
men. Such unrelentless pain and
suffering is the only way women
can garner attention from men
Only Acker's bizarre androgynous,
characters find sexual pleasure;
Frequently, Acker is justifiably crit
icized for being sexually explicit
almost pornographic.
One character (a dog, in fact
states, "repression is ruling my
world. Humans' most helpful an
most pernicious characteristic is
their ability to adapt to anything
First, Gestapo camps; now, here.'".
Acker's point of view is'
anarchisitic, she rallies against all
governments which inherently
dictate morality. White mall
landlords ultimately exemplify the
omnipotent state. Corrupt
government results in empty and 1
malleable bodies stripped of theim
souls, and therefore of all love and
emotion. These vacuous bodies
seek physical gratification which is

not sensual, but perverse and
Profound insight and impressive,
education shine through Don
Quixote. Acker manipulates
language with great ease and wit.
Vivid imagery and selective word
choice leave a poignant impact,
upon the reader. The textual flaws;°
such as her inconsistent style, seem
to be those of an inexperienced'
author. For anyone who is willing
to creep through some confusion
over plot as well as explicitly
sexual scenes, this is a highly
rewarding book.
--By Kaywin Feldman

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