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October 31, 1986 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-31

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Page 10 -The Michigan Daily- Friday, October 31, 1986

Sonic

Youth Breaking barriers

By Mike Rubin
This Sunday, the second of
November, marks the return to the
Ann Arbor area of one of America's
premier underground bands, New
York guitar pioneers Sonic Youth.
The Blind Pig show will be the
second Michigan appearance by the
-critically acclaimed quartet in four
months, following a July per -
formance at Traxx in Detroit that
was as close to Godhead as any four
flesh-and-blood humans can hope to
acheive.
.Through a string of records
(Sonic Youth, Confusion is Sex,
Kil Yr Idols, and Bad Moon
Rising) since their inception in the
early 80s (when they featured
Richard Edson, Willie ofStranger
'han Paradise film fame, on
drums), the band has been twisting
rock music through their
unorthodox techniques and over -
whelming intensity into a nearly
unrecognizable beast of massive and
noisy proportions. The dialectical
result was EVOL, therband's first
release on SST Records and the
finest American record of 1986.
Taut as a buck private's bunk bed
blanket and as sharp as the
razorblades in Halloween apples,
the album is a magnificent exercise
in tension, melding styles as
diverse as '60s pop, '70s metal, and
80s post-punk grunge together
with an avant-garde approach

(picked up from guitarists Thurston
Moore and Lee Ranaldo's work
with experimental composer Glenn
Branca) to fashion an attack
sonically beautiful enough to
crystallize your window's view
onto the pane of glass, yet
dissonant enough to burn your rug
and curl up your wallpaper.
Live, this mood of constructive
destruction translates into a quasi-
namby groove, a throbbing,
shimmering hum of out-of-tune and
manipulated (screwdrivers, drum -
sticks, and such stuck between the
strings) guitars that seeps over the
audience like San Francisco fog,
gently lulling the listener into a
state of near complacency, before
exploding under the force of a coup
de gras performed on the guitar's
neck, punctuating the still and
smoky air with burning spears of
feedback that go careening down the
expressway to your skull.
"We don't claim that our tuning
style is anything new or something
we invented," says guitarist
Ranaldo on his and Moore's
practice of tuning their guitars to a
particular chord, rather than a
conventional open tuning,
"Different kinds of tunings for
stringed instruments, especially
guitars, have been going on for a
long time- The Velvet
Underground made use of odd, E
chord-only tunings, for example.
We've just developed this technique

along certain personal and
idiosyncratic lines. We know how
to play with normal chords like G
or C, but that style really didn't
interest us.
"When we play live, we carry
about twelve or more guitars with
us, all tuned differently, so that we
have a lot of paired guitars:
Thurston and I will use a pair of
guitars in one song, and a different
pair in another song. Sometimes
we use a pair of guitars in which
we're each using a guitar in a
different tune from the other, but
they're the two that go together.
When you see a most bands play
live, the sound tends to get real
samey after a couple of songs,
unless they're a fabulous band.
What I like about what we're doing
is that we can vary our sound just
by picking up another set of
guitars... In a way, we use our
guitars like some people use foot
pedals."
The band just finished taking
their act on the road to a strange and
foreign place: Hollywood. "We got
invited out to do a soundtrack for
this film called Made in U.S.A
,which is being released by Dino
De Laurentiis in January," says
Ranaldo, "There will probably be a
record of that music, mostly
instrumental and score-type stuff, at
some point in the future.
Otherwise, we haven't written a

major chunk of new material. After
the tour ends in December, we'll
get ready to record an LP length
cover version of the Beatles'White
Album. That idea evolved about
the time we were doing 'Death
Valley 69' and thinking about that
whole period of time, and that
album seemed real representative to
us of a lot of things that were
happening then, as well as being an
incredible record."
Among other activities that this
busy band is involving themselves
in are the production of a video
compiled from footage from the
previous tour, as well as the
continuation of the Madonna-
homaged Ciccone Youth project
with Minuteman/Firehose bass-
monger Mike Watt, which
previously resulted in the band's
cover version of "Into the Groove."
Why Madonna?
"Well, we're totally infatuated
with her, we think her music is
great, and that what she represents
is really cool. She's a megastar.
The next thing we do as Ciccone
Youth will be a cover of 'Lady
Madonna' by the Beatles."
Sonic Youth's performance on
Sunday will be opened by ex-
Minutemen George Hurley and
Mike Watt's new band Firehose.
"They're great," says Ranaldo,
"Don't come late and miss them!"

a
e
F
f
w

q

New York guitar wizards Sonic Youth will be performing at the Blind Pig
on Sunday with the exciting new band Firehose. Showtime is set for 8
p.m., tickets are $7.

Books

Alexandra
Stoddard
Living A Beautiful Life.
Random House
$17.95, hardcover
Most people believe beautiful

lives are reserved for the leisure
class-- the rich, the famous, and
those who happen to be both.
Alexandra Stoddard in Living a
Beautiful Life: 500 Ways To Add
Elegance, Order, Beauty And Joy
To Every Day Of Your Life refutes
this misconception by describing
how anyone can live a more
beautiful, and hence, a happier, less

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UIVN
UNION

Arts

& Programming

This Week at the Michigan Union. .
Nov. 2 Beginning Woodworking Class
Sundays, 1-4pm, 6 weeks
Student Woodshop, 537 SAB
Students $20, materials provided
Nov. 3 Woodfinishing Workshop
Hands-on-workshop with Master Woodfinisher,
George Frank.
12-4pm & 6-10pm
Student Woodshop, 537 SAB
$15; $5 for registered Student Woodshop users
Nov. 4 Concert of the Month
The Harmonettes, U-M Womens Glee Club
Rosalie Edwards, director
8pm, Pendleton Room, free
Nov. 6 Arts at Midday
Nick Palmer, piano
Schumann, Brahms, & Gershwin
12:15pm, Pendleton Room
free
Nov. 8,9 Safety Class for New Users
Nov. 8: 9-1lam, Nov. 9: 1lam-lpm
Student Woodshop, 537 SAB
All Week Banners Exhibit
Silkscreen prints on fabric by
artist Sue Moran
The University Club
For further information, call 764-6498

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stressful life.
In this finely made book,
Stoddard takes the reader on a tour
of everyday life, showing how daily
activities such as eating, sleeping,
bathing and working can be
transported from the realm of the
mundane to the world of the
sensuously beautiful. As Stoddard
notes, "many people have a
tendency to save up 95 percent of
their money and effort to spend on
5 percent of their lives-- festive
occasions such as birthdays,
SZ All Shows Betore
L V 6 PM Daily
GEOnAA 0 AsoES COPRATUNs
1214S UNIVERSITY 668.6098
COLOR OF MONEY (R)
Sat. &Sun.2004:30,7:00,9:30
Fri & Mon Thurs 4:30, 700,9 30
!1..,GEOE KERASOTES aCAPORIACN
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COLOR OF MONEY (R)
Sat. & Sun. 2:00, 4:30,7:00, 9:30
Fri. Mon Thurs.4:30.7:00,9:30
TRICK OR TREAT (R)
Sat &Sun 115,3:15.515 7159:15
Fri. & Mon.-Thurs 5:15, 715. 9:15

anniversaries and holidays, and the
special, more public places in the
home . . . . Instead, the way to
live a beautiful life is to make the
daily 95 percent of your life
wonderful."
While, as head of her own
interior design firm, Stoddard
speaks chiefly to those in
permanent living arrangements, her
ideas can easily be modified to suit
those still on the move.
Stoddard bases all of her
suggestions on the idea of the ritual
as life essential:
"'Rituals' is my term for
patterns you create in your everyday
living that uplift the way you do
ordinary things . . . . The
difference between feeling bored and

feeling alive, I believe, lies in a
stimulating daily life that is
elevated into a fuller experience
through pleasing details."
Stoddard's ideas range from
writing letters with a broad-tip
fountain pen and unusual colors of
ink to 'scheduling' mornings in
bed, complete with breakfast trays
and heaps of pillows. She includes
the practical--ideal lighting, proper
nutrition, organization--as well as
the simply pleasurable--uses for
fresh flowers, tips for perfect winter
fires. Stoddard is, however, not
"trying to be definitive .... I'm
trying to provoke and inspire you
to set up your daily life for
effectiveness and grace."
Indeed, what elevates this book

from the world of the 'how-to'
book is Stoddard's insistence on
beauty as the food of the spirit.
With quotes from
Samuel Johnson, Rilke, Emerson,
Homer, Chaucer, and others she
illustrates how anyone can share to
some degree in the heightened
awareness of the artist. "Rituals,"
says Stoddard, "create moments
where living becomes art."
Although it is unfortunate to
find Stoddard occasionally
addressing the reader as a woman,
her ideas are invaluable for both
men and women, and the reader who
can ignore this flaw will find the
book otherwise superb. Insightful
and beautifully written, Stoddard's
book would be a fine gift to give to
a friend, or simply to oneself.
--Suzanne Misencik

Japanceyz
Tcech Cerntezr

SOUL MAN (PG-13)
Daily at 2:30,7:00,900
A FINE MESS (PG)
Daily at 5:00
RUNNING SCARED (R)
Daily at 2 00, 5:00,7:15.9:20
TRICK OR TREAT (R)
Daiy at5:15,930
THAT'S LIFE (PG)
Daily at 2:00. 7:20
STAND BY ME (R)
Daily at210.730,9:45
OUT OF BOUNDS (R)
Daily at 5:15 only
SOUL MAN (PG-13) 91/2 WEEKS (R),
TRICK OR TREAT (R),
STAND BY ME (R)
Midnight Fri. & Sat.
* Halloween Night."
Wayside Cinemas
9:00 Show
State Cinemas
12:00 Show
- Come Dressed in Costume -
WIN PRIZES
Domino's Pizzas, Movie Passes,
and a Trick or Treat Poster
(Let's Party)

SPECIALIZING IN THE MAINTENANCE & REPAIR OF
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- MITSUBISHI - ISUZU - SUZUKI
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* Our prices are inclusive - No hidden costs or surprises!
SERVICE
FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE DAILY TO DOWNTOWN
ANN ARBOR, CAMPUS & U of M HOSPITAL
Same day service on most maintenance
and light repair.

"Good
friends
don't let
good
fnends
smoke
cigarettes."
Larry Hagman
Cigarettes aren't good
for your friends. Adopt a
friend who smokes and
help 'em quit today. You'll
both be glad tomorrow.
AMERICAN
CANCER
iSOCIETY

OPEN 8 A.M.-5:30 P.M.
MON.-FR I.
ASK ABOUT OUR
SHUTTLE SERVICE
PHONE 761-1661

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Tech Center
5179 Jackson Rd.
Just 1 BIk. East of Zeeb Rd.

A GIFT
FOR YOU

STOCK UPON I
SWEATS I
Buy $30 Of Regularly Priced '
Merchandise And Get A
AC\ FREE PAIR OF SOCKS

The Center for Western European Studies
announces a new
SPRING LANGUAGE PROGRAM
IN ITALIAN,
TO BEGIN IN 1987.
The Program will be held at the Villa Corsi-Salviati; the Michigan
Study Center on the outskirts of Florence. It will run from May 10
to June 21, and will offer intensive courses in beginning and inter-
mediate Italian, and contemporary Italian Culture. The Program

F.

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