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January 16, 1987 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-16
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1986 leaves its mark on critics' record collections

enthusiastic, unduly harsh, and
always fond of filling up space with
their own (sometimes self-
righteous) opinions... critics are
often accused of all of the above.
Hell, who are we to disagree? But
since you asked, these are our picks
of '86, and we'll even tell you why.
As always, we encourage readers to
take our writers' views as seriously
as we do. So go ahead - take a
chance on a record if you agree with
a particular critic's opinion on
another disc. Just don't come to us
for any refunds.
VJ Beauchamp
Locally, both Map of the World,
and the new Frank Allison and the
Odd Sox puts Ann Arbor on the
map. And with material like Nat -
ural Disasters (Stigmata) from
Map, and the single "This is Your
Father Speaking" from Allison, we
may not see much of them here
again soon.
We saw a newly revitalized
R.E.M., both live and with Life's
Rich Pageant (I.R.S.). Their shows
just kept getting better, and the
album is the best since Murmur.
Examples of simplicity and super -
lativity came with Billy Bragg and
Nanci Griffith. Both Griffith's Ia
of the True Believers (Rounder) and
Bragg's Talking With the Taxman
About Poetry (Elektra), and their
performances at the Ark and the
Amnesty Intemational/AAMISTAD
benefit, respectively, were in -
Peter Case's and Richard
Thompson's new longplayers -
Peter Case (Sire) and Daring Ad -
ventures (Polygram) - both
glossily produced by Mitchell
Froom, were very disappointing. It
should be noted that both
Thompson and Case were repeatedly
splendid, captivating performers
this year.
The frenetic energy involved in
Big Black's Atomizer (Homestead),
and Christmas, the little band from
Boston with In Excelsior Dayglo
(Big Time) was often on my
turntable. Christmas is such a great
garage band. And how can you not
sing along with Liz Cox? The sort
of muscular power of Sonic
Youth's EVOL (SST) had the same
In more of a celtic vein,
Relativity, featuring the (Scottish)
Cunnigham brothers and the (Irish)
O'Domhnaill siblings (on Green
Linnet Records), brought together
wonderful, powerful music and
Gaelic and English vocals. Sophia
George came out of nowhere with
the reggae hit "Girlie Girlie," and


Our picky music staff liked
Christmas's debut album In
Excelsior Dayglo, as well as
the latest from Sonic Youth
(left, performing at the Blind
Pig in November).

preme Fashion (Suite Beat) are two
thoroughly fun and original bands.
Julie Jwrrjens
- That Petrol Emotion - Manic
Pop Thrill (Demon import).
" Game Theory - The Big Shot
Chronicles (Rational/ Enigma).
" Let's Active - Big Plans for
Everybody (I.R.S.).
" Shop Assistants - Shop Assis -
tants (Chrysalis/Blue Guitar im -
" Sam Lapides - Yesterdays
Dreams (locally produced cassette).a
" Hysteric Narcotics - Batteries
Not Included! (Raffscallion).
" Tryfles - Tryfles (Midnight).
" Sonic Youth - Evol (SST).
" Feelies - The Good Earth (Coy -
Other releases of note: The
Dentists' You and Your Bloody
Oranges EP (Spruck import),
Shoutless' 45" "Baby Come On"
(Swedish Rainbow import), Prim -
itives' Thru The Flowers EP (Lazy
import), Robyn Hitchcock's Ele -
ment of Light (Relativity),
Dumptruck's Positively (Big
Time), R.E.M.'s Lifes Rich Pa -
geant, Splatcats' Sin 73 (Moving
Target), and Died Pretty's Free Dirt
(What Goes On).
Reissues: Modern Lovers' The
Modern Lovers (Rhino), Nick
Drake's Fruit Tree (Hannibal), The
Remains (French Fan Club im -
port), and both Big Star's Radio
City and #1 Record (Big Beat
Local Music: Sam Lapides' tape,
Hysteric Narcotics' LP (see above),
the It Came from the Garage
compilation, It's Raining's 45"
"The Party She Cried/As If It Were
Today," and much more. Local
picks for '87: the Frames, Civil
Defense from Bowling Green(?!?),
and Matt Rubiner and Isaac Rosen,
a.k.a. the Colorforms.
John Logie
1986 was a relatively dry year
for records. Last year many records
were fighting 'for space. This year
I'm contending with weak or status
quo entries from favorite bands like
Jason and the Scorchers, Fishbone,
and R.E.M., and an uncomfortable
sensation that this year's records,
while good, are very rarely
outstanding. Nevertheless, in no
particular order, I give you:
- Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper -
Frenzy (Restless). Pretty much
more of the same from the
psychotic rock 'n' roll duo, but
covers of "Be My Lover" and "In-A-
Gadda-Da-Vida" (the latter on
Continued on Page 12

Continued from Page S
Best Movie That Wasn't
Released In 1986 But ThatI
Saw On Videocassette In
Return Of The Living Dead. I've
seen this thing five times, and
everytime I do I have more respect
for it. The best thing to happen to
both horror and comedy in a long
while, by turns hilarious and
gruesome. If Lux Interior ever made
a movie, this is what it would look
like. Rent it; it rules.
Actor With The Biggest Balls
In 1986
The winner and still champion...
Mr Clint Eastwood.
Worst Movie Of 1986
The competetion was real
intense this year - Quicksilver,
The Money Pit, Band Of The Hand,
Heartbreak Ridge, Legend,
Firewalker, Trick Or Treat, The
Wraith, Violets Are Blue - but for
sheer unredeemable wretchedness,
the pack was led by Never Get
Poop On Your Shoes, a film that
could only have come from the
darkest bowels of Hell itself. This
truly godawful vehicle for Ernest P.
Worrel had me stumbling for the
exit after only about 25 minutes,
and I have never - ever - walked
out on a movie before in my life.
The Second Best Movie Of
Sid And Nancy. Alex Cox's
surreal, idiosyncratic direction
robbed this harrowing tale of much
of it's emotional impact but turned
it instead into a visually
fascinating, unexpectedly hilarious
tribute to the spirit of punk.
The Best Movie Of 1986
Salvador, hands down. Little
seen and less appreciated, Oliver
Stone's melodramatic interpretation
of the events that shook El
Salvador in the early '80s went all
over the board - moments of
hilarious, lowbrow humor were
followed by scenes of intense,
graphic horror. Brilliant
performances from James Woods,
Jim Belushi and John Savage
rounded out this hellish
rollercoaster of a movie1 Hunter
Thompson goes to Central
Continued from Page 8
thy of national shrines.
America loves underdogs because
America once was one. The '40s
Mickey Mouse was a classic
underdog. Feisty and capable, Mick -
ey was more than willing to take
on challenges that seemed insur -
mountable. Mickey was posessed of

a fierce sense of moral respon -
sibility - in one comic Mickey
became a crusading newspaper
editor, battling to expose the
corrupt dealings of the city council
while Peg-Leg Pete busily
orchestrated the destruction of
Mickey's printing press. There is a
majestic idealism in Mickey's
adventures; he is forever changing
occupations, yet through persever -
ence and adherence to a noble moral
code, he succeeds. Other larger,
presumably more capable animals
are indebted to Mickey, because he
alone stood up for what was right.
Somewhere along the line
Mickey was transformed from a
rough-and-tumble crusader to a
suburban buffoon. Perhaps concern
over the violence of the cartoons is
again to blame. As a bleeding-heart
liberal I wince when a handgun-
toting Mickey threatens to "blast" a
foe, but Mickey never kills anyone!
His reserve and judgement with
regard to the use of deadly force
would be the envy of any urban
police department. And it must be
remembered that cartoon violence is
mock violence. In a cartoon world,
severe dismemberment can be
remedied with an Ace bandage.
Children are fairly sophisticated
creatures, and for the most part,
they are capable of recognizing
differences between cartoon violence
and punching their little siblings.
They do not, for the most part,
generalize cartoon physicality to the
real world. And if they generalize
cartoon morality to the real world,
that may well be a good thing.
Fortunately, there are alter -
natives to ABC and Disneyland.
The old Mickey Mouse (and a
fantastic Donald Duck) lives
through reprints published by
Gladstone Comics, and an excellent
line of videocassettes featuring
pristine Warner Brothers classics are
now available. In a nation mouning
a lack of great heroes, doesn't it
make sense to wean our children
away from the realistic violence of
Rambo, and tickle them with
classic cartoons?
Continued from Page 8
istical data floating around at the
time that a store couldn't possibly
survive selling books at a discount.
But nevertheless, the regents finally
went through. Finally, things got
off the ground around 1970.
D: Am I right to say that the
Cellar doesn't make any profits that
go toward the school?
S: Yes. The way the store was
structured initally by the University
was that, "We don't want to be
involved in he bookstore business.
We'll set the store up to be a
independant, non-profit, Michigan
corporation. We will fund the store
with initial working capital. We'll
rent them space in the Union.
They'll be a tenant like anyone else

and that's the end of our
affiliation." The only other
situation that they created was a
board of directors that was made up
of University people. There's a very
tenuous tie between the University
and the Cellar through it's board of
directors but other than that there is
no tie at all.
D: Is that what the bookstore
initially wanted?
S: I think that the students wanted
more of a co-op type of situation.
In some ways it's the best of both
worlds: we're an independant
corporation that does not have to
answer to the University. We don't
have them coming in saying, "You
don't have to make more money or
you have to give us this money
because we want to put up a
parking structure" which is true in a
lot of other campus situations. At
the same time, we have this
tenuous tie with the University
which gives us a certain amount of
official standing.
D: Did the store reach its goals?
S: The University Cellar was
created to be an on-going concern
that would continue to serve the
student body (by keeping) book
prices down regardless of who we
were competing with. Initially
several stores went out of business
because we came in and captured a
really large percentage of the
student market because we were the
student store, everybody knew
about us, they all had to vote for
us, put their five dollars in. It
reached a goal very quickly in
capturing a large part of the market
and providing a service for the
D: So, how did the Cellar get into
the predicament that it is in now?
S: You could say that the problem
started form the very beginning.
The Cellar was undercapitalized. We
didn't really have enough capital to
set up a store. Any time we wanted
to modernize we were forced to
borrow money. And everytime we
borrowed money that meant that we
had to play interest payments, take
some cash away from everyday
operating expenses in order to pay
the publishers or wholesalers or
venders to deal with banks. That
situation escalated to a point where
we were actually borrowing money
to pay off inventory buys.
There was also a tax case. When we
were in the Michigan Union, we
used to not pay property tax
because we were non-profit and we
were in a University building. The
city of Ann Arbor brought suit
against us demanding payment on
the property tax on inventory. The
University, at that point, went
through great pains to prove that
we were not affiliated with them.
We lost that case. Even though we
were growing very quickly,
financially, we got hit with this big
back tax issue - five or six years
in back property taxes. That's
where the line of credit problems
started to escalate where we not
only had to borrow money to get us
through the lean months but we

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also had to borrow money to get
cash on hand to pay off venders and
D: When did the banks decide to
deny loan requests?
S: There was no ownership of the
University Cellar. There was no
indication to the financial
community and the business
community that there was anybody
or any group of people that had any
real stake in this organization. In
the eyes of local instituation it was
sort of, "Well, who over there
cares?" They (the banks) were
basically nervous about the fact that
nobody owns us and we were


S: N

You'd better sit i
Has Ramona, the
got news for you



her album Fresh (Sonic Sounds) is
more of the same. Dino Betti van
der Noot's Springtime (Soul Note)
and Song X from Ornette Coleman
and Pat Metheny (ECM) are
examples of evocative, moving,
swelling jazz that gracefully throws
me across the room. Mathilde
Santing's Water Under the Bridge
(Gramavision) does the same thing.
This Dutch chanteuse caught me off
guard with this simple album,
simple in the way that wonderfully
classic things are honed down to the
essential beauty.
Beth Fertig
Although I've overlooked quite a
lot (including the Bad Brains record,
from which I heard but a few
excellent cuts), I can strongly
recommend any one of these per -
sonal faves.
- Of special note: Vagi Mus -
tafah-Zadeh was a Russian jazz
pianist who died in the late '70s.

Aspirations has been graciously
brought over from the USSR via
East Wind Records, allowing us to
hear his genius years too late. Also,
the haunting English songwriter
Nick Drake's previously unheard
tracks are included on the Fruit Tree
box, which also includes his three
Island Records releases.
- Butthole Surfers - Rembrandt
Pussyhorse (Touch and Go). Purely
twisted nirvana.
" Celibate Rifles - Mina Mina
Mina (What Goes On), The Turgid
Miasma of Existence (Rough
Trade). The newest rulers of the
post-punk/grunge guitar vein; from
SNick Drake - Fruit Tree (Han -
" Game Theory - The Big Shot
Chronicles (Rational/Enigma). Pure
pop joy.
* The Jazz Butcher - Bloody
Nonsense (Big Time). A great
compilation of Butch's best.

- Lawrence Butch Morris -
Current Trends in Racism in
Modern America (Sound Aspects).
An innovative, brilliant, "free art"
performance as conducted by Morris
(who has played with David Mur -
ray); it's demonic and hell-bent, and
entirely human.
- R.E.M. - Life's Rich Pageant
(I.R.S.). I agree with everyone else.
- Sonic Youth - EVOL (SST).
More fun with guitars than hu -
manly possible.
- Nikki Sudden and Dave Kus -
worth - The Ragged School (Twin
Tone). Gentle, ragged folk rock. A
collection of some of their best.
- Vagi Mustafah-Zadeh - Aspir -
ations (East Wind).
- John Zorn - The Big Gundown
(Nonesuch). Zorn and company
(re)interpret Enmo Morricone.
- Best Debuts: Christmas - In
Excelsior Dayglo (Big Time) and
Thelonious Monster - Baby, You're
Bummin' My Life Out in a Su -

Never in all my wor
exotic purchases of
Argentina have I dis
Yes, it's true, I was on m
dashing young waiter wit
me a Cafe' de Belgique.
Heavy cream...vanilla...coffe
Market. You may be asking
Ramona's child, Jerome, app
baby's nose twitch thinking E
Like I always say--If you have
Market lately, Honey, you hav
Come to the Corner Market for'3
recipes today. Ground floor, M

Weekdays 7:30am-12 midni
Weekends 12 noon-7pm
Michigan Union, ground ft



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