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April 10, 1987 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-10

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 10, 1987 - Page 9

(Continued from Page 8)
Jefferson Airplane
2400 Fulton Street
RCA Records
Twenty years ago, the Jefferson
Airplane rose to the forefront of the
San Francisco happening scene and
launched the Summer of Love. The
media watched with enthusiastic
glee and dubbed singer Grace Slick
a "turned on girl."
The Airplane represented the
whole spirit of their times; they

Sure, all the Big Ones are
present on 2400 Fulton Street
"Somebody to Love," "White
Rabbit," "Plastic Fantastic Lover,"
and the languidly rocking "Won't
You Try Saturday Afternoon."
There's also a Woodstock perfor -
mance of "Volunteers," the
tempered soul of "Wooden Ships"
(better known in its Crosby, Stills,
Nash, and Young rendition), and the
experimental, far-out "A Small
Package of Value Will Come to
You, Shortly." The Airplane doing
what they did best, Slick's narrow

become a product of these times and
cannot recall there ever having been
a Jefferson Airplane, or if you'd
just like to catch up on musical
history with a real nice collection
(in original '60s sound, too, not
any of that "digitally remastered"
'80s sound), then 2400 Fulton
Street is a must buy.
-Beth Fertig
Rifle Sport
Plan 39
Ruthless Records
When we last left Minneapolis'
fearsome foursome we were sort of
in limbo. Their first record was
good, not great, but with loads of
hope and potential. We were
waiting for the next release to shed
more light on the Rifle Sport saga.
Well the next release is here, and
if nothing else, it once again keeps
us waiting for the next release.The
Plan 39 45" is good, but not great,
but once again it offers up a big
dose of hope and potential. Maybe
one of the reasons it doesn't kick
our butts forward is that it's a bit
older than the last release, so
instead of progression we hear
regression - which isn't bad in
itself; it's urgent, fast, quirky, and
mighty catchy. It won't set your
hair on fire, but watch out for some
-Danny Plotnick
The The
"Infected" is the ultimate love
song forthe paranoid 80s. Only
Matt Johnson (the The The) could
turn a line like "When desire
becomes an illness instead of a joy -
land guilt a necessity that's gotta be
destroyed" into a danceable machine
of a song. A demonic bass line
grounds the tune as whispy
synthesizer ghosts reach out like
hands, up and around the melody,
slowly compressing it until it
becomes a gigantic swirling mass.
Danceable angst is what Irfected
is all about. It's not as dark and
subtle as Soul Mining: it's louder,
has more beats per track, and is a
bit more produced (if you can ima -
gine such a thing) than that debut
LP. But it's a work of art, none -
"Out of the Blue (and into the
fire)," for starters, is a gloriously
ugly account of an experience with
a prostitute. Johnson relives every
dramatic detail of his sordid
existence through his songs. His
deep voice may have a very limited
range, but it's perfect for conveying

the wealth of guilt and frustration
which are at the heart of all his
lyrics. He only really falters on the
exceptionally heavy-handed "Twi -
light of a Champion," where too
many electronic effects spoil the
sound in an over-produced
Matt Johnson joins the ranks of
British rockers who are obsessed
with the imperialist 51st state
concept (Billy Bragg, New Model
Army) on the socially conscious
"Heartland." His "Sweet Bird of
Truth," the album's other single in
addition to the title track, is a very
tense, highly danceable groove
which is held together with a lot of

there's more than enough depth and
creativity on this record to keep the
cynics satisfied. After all, Johnson
is the biggest cynic of them all.
--Beth Fertig
New Alliance
Bass, bass, and more bass. That
is what DOS is all about and that is
what they deliver on their debut
DOS is a collaboration of bass
duets that are played and produced
by Kira (former bassist for Black
Flag) and Mike Watt (former
bassist for the Minutemen, now of
Firehose) and is the result of four
days in the studio.
The all-bass concept of the
album is original, and shows that
these two definitely know how to
play a creative axe, but its strict
format leads to DOS's downfall.
The album leaves the listener
wanting more, wanting something
to accompany these bass grooves,
like maybe an occasional guitar riff,
or drum beat, or vocals, or
anything. Besides Kira's vocals on
the album's final track, "taking
away the fire," bass is about all we
The album opens with DOS's
strongest effort, "the rabbit and the
porcpine" (this is how they spell it
on the album), that flows with a
surfy, garage-like sound. Unfor -
tunately, it doesn't take long before
the album's deluge of bass grows
tiresome and evokes the listener to
reach for something else to put on
the turntable.
Again, it's not that Kira or Mike
Watt aren't capable of producing

quality stuff from their four strings.
This album and what they've
accomplished with their current and
former bands show that they are.
It's just that all of this bass gets to
be too much.
The bass guitar has always been
in the shadow of its six string
brother, and in this respect, the
album successfully makes the state -
ment that it deserves some repect:
So if have a special interest in the
bass, it is probably worth your
money to check out this album.
To the average listener, though,;
DOS, may be of less interest. I
personally, was "bassed-out."
Watch for it in

... '80s mega-hype.

Grace Slick: From "turn
wdre the groove. Their songs were
fueled by acidic flower power, their
shirts were busy, and their bangs
ware long. They took their first
record company-issued advance and
pukchased 2400 Fulton Street, a
Victorian-era mansion near Golden
Gate Park, which in true spirit of
the times became an infamous party
hopse. Slick had a child and named
it god. With a small 'g', of course,
she didn't want to appear
-But the '60s were soon
becoming a hazy memory, and
berore long the Airplane evolved
iif Jefferson Starship - perhaps
irCdtrue spirit of the '70s - and
inkaded the AOR wasteland and by
the mid '80s Slick was left the sole
sqltvivor of the Airplane experience,
a purely recognizable relic steering a
cliinsy vehicle called Starship. Her
clops are as strong as ever,
phaps, but her music is certainly
nc, and nowadays she resembles an
odprgrown Benetton ad (maybe she
jtgt looks like an icon for these
times) while trying to make us,
fdiget her turned-on past. It's fitting
tlit with the current '60s revival
R$A would cash in by turning
bck to the Airplane and reissuing
their finest tunes; it's also some
damn good material that should not
bforgotten, and is in danger of

ed-on girl" to'80s mega-hype.

alto and Marty Balin's distinctive
tenor singin' and shoutin' in duel
force, wrapped up in a teriffic
collection with fascinating liner
notes by Rolling Stone's Ben
After listening to the two record
set back to back, it can at times
seem as if the liner notes are the
most interesting thing. The paisley,
electrofantastic Airplane's tunes
become a little tedius when one
realizes that they were not so much
musical innovators as they were
symbolic of musical innovation.
While they had some truly great
songs, don't get me wrong, the
Airplane, in retrospect, were really
more important for representing the
social phenomenon that was the
Nonetheless, if you are some -
how one of those people who has

sweat. On "Slow Train to Dawn"
he shares vocals with Neneh
Cherry, whose sweet, soulful voice
is a perfect match for his husky
growl. Johnson is just "another
western guy/ with desires that can't
be satisfied." This running theme
finally gets wrapped up on the
album's closer, "Mercy Beat,"
where the western guy tells how
he's signed a deal with the devil to
quench his barren soul.
The success of the critically
acclaimed Soul Mining three years
ago left many fans wondering what
Johnson - at heart a one-man act
- would do for a follow up. While
Infected might seem a stab at a
slightly more "commercial" or
dance-powered sound, on the whole

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