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Todd Rundgren leaves his mark on XTC'
It's pretty weird how things
come full circle, huh? Almost ten
years ago XTC was bashing aways
in Swindon, England, attempting toP
reconstruct pop by deconstructing
it, rejecting the lush, lethargic pop
of the '70s in favor of the stripped-
down hyperkineticism of punk.
Today they're found doing precisely
the opposite: making progressively,
more expansive and less poppy
LPs, eliciting comparisons to the
Beatles, the whole bit. XTC's new
LP, Skylarking is their most ex-
pansive and pastoral to date, casting
off all remaining reasons to
continue to call them a rock band.
Despite producer/pop mega-
lomaniac Todd Rundgren's valiant
efforts to leave his indeliable mark
on it, Skylarking succeeds on most
aesthetic counts. While Rundgrens
makes fine records for himself and
for artists who lack the direction to
do so on their own, he's uncalledt
for on an XTC record. His overly
distinctive production style seems
to bully the band, working against
rather than with them. For instance,
"That's Really Super, Supergirl" is
marred by overwhelming Rund-,
grenoid keyboards, making the band
sound like Utopia, not XTC.
Where Rundgren is reined-in,
though, Skylarking exceeds the
heights XTC previously attained.
"Summer's Cauldron," "Grass," and
"Season Cycle" are all vernal not-
quite-pop. "Big Day" picks up the
psychedelic threads of the band's
Dukes of Stratosphear project.
"Dying" is about as foreboding as
its title. "Earn Enough for Us" XTC, shown here in full regalia, is back with a new sound.
comes about as close as this LP can
to a rocksong, and is also one of its
best tracks. And "1000 Umbrellas"
has a beautiful string accom-
paniment and exploits Andy
Partridge's gift to vocally tread the
line between hilarious melodrama
and pathos, playing perfectly
against his tongue-in-cheek lyrics.
One of the best tracks of the LP andr
probably of the band's career.t
A few tracks lyrically and
musically don't quite take, victims '
of XTC's largely checked urge for
esoterica. On the whole, though, '
Skylarking is about as solid as
anyone could wish, full of typical
XTC wit and verve. If next time
out they'll stop flaking around with
completely inappropriate producers,
they may come up with the
completely classic and completely;
unlabelable unpop LP they've been
threatening to do for a long time.
-Julie Jurrens Agnostic Front: Will they offend more than they entertain?
"Victim in Pain,"
"Cause for Alarm"
Rereleased to capitalize on their
signing to Combat Core, Ag-
nostic Front's Victim in Pain is
hardly the classic that the sticker
on the front claims it is, although
it does owe a lot to classic bald
rock heavies like Minor Threat
and Negative Approach.
Cause for Alarm, named for the
lead guitarist's former band, is
faster, stronger, tighter, and shows
the predictable addition of double
bass drums and oodling lead
guitars. More nasal than ever, the
singsong vocals are thin and
fading fast, though not fast
enough to obscure lyrical gems
like "How come it's the
minorities who cry/ things are too
tough/ on T.V. with their gold
chains/ claim they don't have
enough/ I say make them clean
the sewers." These lines from
"Public Assistance" have drawn
fire from people who're bothered
by things like racial slurs...
people who are apparently (and
unfortunately) in the minority
because, according to their press
release, Agnostic Front's 1986
tour "had them packing the clubs
Now the question is whether
Agnostic Front is popular in spite
of what they say, or because of it;
the answer either way isn't pretty.
"My Kinda Place"
Previous to this record, the only
time I'd heard of Paul Geremia was
before a concert he gave recently. A
lot of people I knew were going to
see him, but for some reason I just
left it at that. His new album, My
Kinda Place, was the first I'd heard
of his music, and if his live shows
are as good as this record, you can
bet I'll not be foolish enough to
miss his future appearances.
This is a peach of an album, and
Paul Geremia is one engaging
performer. From the stompin' title
track, through a masterful inter -
pretation of Leadbelly's Calypso
number called "Money is King"
that has been in my head from the
first time I heard it, to a lovely
instrumental piece written by a
contemporary performer named
Steve Mann, to... well, you get the
idea. Simple, unadorned acoustic
blues that ripple with elegant force.
Continued from Page 8
can't blame him. His father was
rumored to be dying from cancer.
Allen was having trouble in school.
He was poor, and unpopular. And I
was robbing him of his chance to
take some of his frustrations out on
a relatively well-off, and big-
mouthed punching bag. But Mike
Nagel, of all people, made Allen
stop, by telling him that the fight
was over, and allowing me to skulk
I don't know whether Allen
thought the fight would make him
a schoolyard hero, but it didn't. I
got some sympathy, but no one
patted Allen on the back. For what
it's worth, I hope Allen got some
satisfaction out of the few punches
he was able to land beforeI wimped
out, and I hope things are going
better for him now.
My favorite fight took place in
sixth grade. Something I said ticked
Tony Shupe off. Because we both
had buses to catch, we agreed to
fight that afternoon right next to
the school building before the buses
arrived, thus limiting the length of
the fight to perhaps three minutes
maximum. Tony honorably offered
me the first swing. I accepted. My
momentum caused me to slip on
the muddy ground. I fell into Tony,
and he fell on top of me. The
teacher who rushed out to seperate
us used more violence than we had.
The teacher sat us down and
began to lecture us about fighting.
Tony and I were covered with mud,
and we giggled while the teacher
spoke. The teacher tried to stay
stern, but that just made us laugh
harder, so he angrily sent us to our
buses, which were waiting for us.
On the way out, he told us to "keep
your noses clean from now on!"
That sent me and Tony into fits.
A lot of kids asked me and Tony
about the fight, and about what Mr.
Van B. had said to us. I never said
much, and I don't think Tony did
either. Tony and I got along pretty
well after that. Sometimes we
would argue about who would have
really won, had we been smart
enough to block out more time, and
find firm, secluded ground. But
arguing was as far as it ever got.
We were both content to score it a
And I'm content to retire from
the fight game with a 2-2-1 record.
I'm proud of one win, ashamed of
the other. I endured one loss, and
deserved the other. And the tie was
a whole lot more fun than kissing
Continued from Page 8
pursue this year.
D: How would giving police
authority to campus security
officers change the way they do
H: You give uniformed officers the
responsiblity to make the campus
safe and what we need now is the
authority to do that. We've given
them the responsiblity but not the
authority. They have the same
authority to make arrests as any
citizen. The police department is
the only one that can take official
D: How effective have the
emergency phones on campus been?
H: The phone have increased the
number of reports we get. Before
the phones if you saw something
happening, the first thing you'd
have to do is think, "Where can I
get to a phone?" If it was late at
night it was very difficult to find a
phone. Now, if people see
something happening or are sus-
picious of something, they will
immediately go to one of the
emergency phones and call. It has
gotten us reports on a lot of things
we would not have gotten. It has
also caused our response to be a
D: Have the instances of sexual
assault decreased since the phones
H: I don't think they've decreased;'I
don't think they've increased. I
think the phones may have made
people feel more secure. If people
are walking across campus, they
might feel safer because they can
see that phone. They know help is
relatively close at hand. But I don't
think the phones are going to
prevent any assaults like that.
Continued from Page 7
organizations and writing for
student publications. His lack of
free time also prevented him from
concentrating on his course work as
much as he would have liked.
"I graduated with a B average. I
was a national merit scholar
coming here. I know I could have
done better than I did," he said.
Fetterman admits that his family
is "kind of psychotic when it comes
to work." He has had brothers and
sisters put themselves through
graduate school, medical school,
and MBA programs. He had to
carefully arrange his schedule to
take early morning classes, so he
could go right to work as soon as
he got out of class. He chose to go
to school here, although he knew it
would be difficult financially
because a good education is
important to him.
"In my family everybody goes to
college. That's where it's at. My
father is a clearly intelligent man.
But he kind of got stuck in
Laura, an LSA fifth-year senior
who didn't want her real name to be
used, laughs and says she's been
having trouble paying for school
and has been self-supporting
"forever." She said part of the
problem is that the financial aid
office never gives students enough
money, and because of this, she and
other students have been forced to
work excessively, sometimes at
two or three jobs, in order to make
ends meet. Laura disenrolled for
winter term last year in order to
take a job to pay back her loans.
Laura says she has had problems
with the University's financialaid
office. During her sophomore and
junior years she declared herself
independent and ended up receiving
less aid than she had before. She
also said she had staged a sit-in
protest at the office during her
freshman year because she had not
received aid - the office had lost
her financial aid file.
Laura said she worked 30 hours a
week during her junior year, in
order to cover tuition and medical
expenses. "One summer I ate pita
bread with honey on it and rice,"
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PAGE 4 WEEKEND/JANUARY 23, 1987
WEEKEND/JANUARY 23, 1987