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October 02, 1987 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-02
Note:
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V V V V V U V

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-W

-W

Music
Guns N' Roses: A sick image but, the chords are cool

Guns N' Roses
Appetite for Destruction
(Geffen)
Heavy metal can generally be
divided into two categories,
"woody" and "tinny." Woody bands
include AC/DC, Led Zeppelin,
Aerosmith, Motorhead, and Black
Sabbath-"heavy" bands that know
the value of the thick strings on
their guitars.
Tinny bands include Tesla,
Megadeth, Ratt, and a legion of
pretender dwiddlemeisters who
persist in playing high-speed licks
in the guitar's upper register even
after it's gotten to the point that
only dogs can hear them.
To my mind, woody= good, and
tinny= bad, but this formula cannot
be so simply applied to the matter
at hand.
Guns N' Roses are both woody
and tinny, deliciously recalling
'Smith without the benefit of a
Steven Tyler sound-alike on vocals,
and yet clearly fond of that nasty-
clean Nipponese geetar sound. The
end result is a record that sends
Mike Rubin's fragile eggshell mind
into an enthusiastic topspin, and
damned if I don't like it in spite of
the clear and present danger these
guys' lyrics and demeanor present
to everything I hold dear.
When lead singer W. Axl Rose
protests, "They're out to get me /
They won't catch me / I'm
innocent" in "Out ta Get Me," one
is not inspired to wrap a consoling
arm around W. Ax's shoulder. Of
course they're after him! He's re-
sponsible for an album filled with
more ersatz phallic references than
the Spinal Tap LP, not to mention
lines like, "be my rubbermade
baby."
And these guys show much less
sense of humor about the whole
thing than the Tappers. To top it
all off, the original album cover,
now replaced by a tamer substitute,
seemed designed to send Tipper
Gore into fits.
But they can't believe in what
they've created: the hellraisin' im-
age, the stupid band logo, the
"world is my harem" mentality. It's
a put-on, every bit as much as the
Beastie Boys' image, or the Ra-
mones' stupidity is.
GN'R knows that many will
ladle it up because they believe in
it, and many more will see through
the whole thing and still find it
entertaining, and they make twice
as much money playing for both
audiences.
So Guns N' Roses play bitchin'
metal, layering it with lyrics which
are occasionally clever, but
routinely bullshit like "Rags to

deserving of this major label
treatment. He is the most likely
candidate to inherit the "King of
Zydeco" crown from the ailing
Clifton Chenier. He, too, plays the
keyboard accordian, while most
other performers play the more
limited diatonic, or button,
instrument.
While his music is often not as
traditionally pure as some other
performers', Dural plays with verve,
skill, and spirit, and is an active and
valuable cross pollinater for the
music, bringing many, mostly
blues, r&b, and modern dance,
influences to the music. He is also
a superb singer and arranger.
Included on the album are a cover
of Booker T and The MG's "Time
is Tight," as well as more
traditional zydeco ("Ma Fais Pas")
and swinging zydeco-pop ("On a
Night Like This").
While the album takes a few
small steps towards commercialism,
they are subtle and add to, rather
than detract from, the music.
Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural is
clearly an important figure i n
zydeco music and probably the
performer most capable of bringing
the music out of the swamps of
Louisiana and into the living rooms
of middle America.
-Alan Paul
Rosie Flores
Rosie Flores
Reprise
Rosie Flores is a tremendous
singer. In line with the vocal
tradition of Patsy Cline, she is also
part of kind of back-to-the-roots
movement in country music. She
may be the finest new artist to
emerge from this renaissance.
A glance at the inner sleeve re-
veals that .the backup outfit is a
lean quintet featuring guitars and
pedal steel; not a string or horn ar-
rangement to be seen or heard. And
the band is tough. They are afforded
an extra hungry sound as a result of
the production values of Pete An-
derson (of Dwight Yoakam's band).
The material ranges from rockers
("Crying Over You") to weepers
("Lovin' In Vain"), with a pinch of
Tex-Mex ("Midnight to Moon-
light") to provide the spice, with
accordion courtesy of Los Lobos'
David Hidalgo. This is a great
record that will appeal to (and even
surprise) traditionalists while de-
lighting all you cowboy and cow-
girl rockers.
Can't hardly wait for Rosie
Flores to set out another round.
-Marc S. Taras

LOGIE
Continuedfrom Page 8
Eventually I am no longer able to
bounce efficiently, and it is at this
point that I generally start dancing.
It is not a wise time to start
dancing. When sober, I am able to
remember that doing "the monkey"
with a full head-shake is inviting
whiplash to take up residence in my
spinal column. When wobbly, this
and other subtleties are lost on me.
When I've achieved the dictionary
definition of "dancin' fool," the truly
fashionably late arrive. They are
clear-headed enough to distinguish
between me and Fred Astaire by both
sight and smell, but they neverthe-
less are willing, when cornered, to
engage in polite conversation. Un-
fortunately, polite conversation is
yet another subtlety which is thrown
into question, and even under better
circumstances it's difficult to talk to
strangers.
"So uhh, hi. I'm John, where are
you from?"
"Uhh, I'm from Toledo."
"Oh, really?" At this point one is
obliged to explain one's own con-
nection to the named place, in order
to generate that warm 'It's a Small
World After All' feeling. "Y'know I
drove through Toledo once."
"How did you find it."
At this point a joke is in order. "I
just headed south on US 23. Heh."
"No, you know what I mean..."
At this point, one is obliged to
lie, lie, lie through one's pearly

whites. "Well, it sure was some-
thing. I've never seen anything quite
like it. You can bet I'll drive
through Toledo again!"
"I hated growing up there."
"Oh, well...uhh, I think I need
another drink. See you around."
Finally, after I've lied about vir-
tually every city in the continental
United States, not to mention an
occasional lie about a foreign coun-
try, and am wholly ready to surren-
der, I see her, and the music begins
to play. You know the song. "Some
Enchanted Evening." And she's
there. The stranger. Across the
crowded room. And I know, I know
even then that I want to raise this
woman's children.
I stagger past people who I've
lied to, occasionally knocking their
drinks to the floor, but I don't care.
The woman who I'm going to marry
is in the corner, and I'm working on
an opening line. Moments before I
reach her, I settle upon, "Hi, I'm
John Logie, would you like to go
downtown and get a blood test with
me after my nine'o'clock?"
But I never get to say the line.
The woman is inevitably tongue-
wrestling with one of two men...
Mel Gibson, or Ernest Borgnine. In
one case, I don't have a chance. In
the other, I don't want the chance
anymore.
It took me awhile to figure out
why the University openly encour-
ages mixers, but I caught on. Mixe::s
exist so that studying won't seem so
bad.

INTERVIEW
Continued from Page 8
now.
But anyone can do what I did -
just throw yourself out there on the
highways. When I say anybody I
have to immediately recognize the
fact that many people are hurt in this
society. Women would have a harder
time feeling safe, and a lot of Blacks
would not fit in. The don't have
enough faith in themselves and other
people to develop the same trust.
D: During your travels you have
had knives pulled on you and guns
pointed at you many times. Was it a
miracle that you got out of these
situations with your life?
H: Well, sometimes I got the
feeling that superior forces were just
guiding me through all this. I
constantly saw how people were just
victimizing each other. Of course I
also felt some of this anger at times.
But if you constantly build on the
good sides of people I feel that you
will promote and develop them. I
always thought that people did good
things to me although people just
do irrational things to act out their
anger.
D: Have you ever been been
criticized for commenting on
America when you are from
Denmark - or does that give you a
license to have an objective view?
H: If you claimed to have an open
society, let it be open for travelers,
for photographers, and so on. But I
didn't come here with this in mind,
and I do think that we often mock
people from other societies who tend
to see things we can see ourselves in
our own society. I can't see my own
society clearly, and I fully recognize

that.
If people criticize me for that, it's
because they don't want to deal with
these problems, or it's just a defense
mechanism.
D: How do you feel about people
who are blatantly racist? Do you
show them.any forgiveness at all for
being brought up in such a society?
H: Of course it's difficult not to
feel a sense of pity for people who
have gone toward such a severe form
of oppression. Those people who
end up being blatantly racist for the
most part have deep emotional
problems. They just end up take out
pain on the target group.
But the majority of people have
been trained by their liberal parents
not to show these sentiments. Even
if they hear people do it, they get
offended.It offends our ear if we hear
some fellow whites make blatantly
racist statements, we tend to reject
and further isolate them. We send
them toward the hurtful upbringing
from where their anger grew.
Of course I can't help being white
in this society for very long,
traveling for so many years, without
adopting all of these racist attitudes.
When I came over here young and
innocent, unshaped by this racial
climate, I couldn't identify with their
painful attitudes. That's why it was
so easy for me to stay on the Black
side all the time because they turn a
little resentful against whites. Now
when I can see racism like all
immigrants who come here, I have
to look at the perspective of what I
can do to help overcome these
oppressive feelings. It is really a
tremendous burden upon our minds
to carry these racist feelings.
If we really want to become
better, more capable citizens,

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Guns N' Roses: these scumbags can play some pretty decent chops.

riches or so they say / Ya gotta-
keep pushin' for the fortune and
fame." And the bullshit appears to
be working. GN'R are getting rich-
er, and more famous.
Appetite for Destruction is a
great listen, but, in the name of
humanity, leave it at that. Don't
get the tattoo.
-John Logie
Buckwheat Zydeco
On a Night Like This
Island
This album represents the major
label debut of zydeco, that
Louisiana musical gumbo of cajun,
blues, R&B, country, reggae, and
calypso musics. On a Night Like
T h i s could well be the
breakthrough LP for this good time
musical form.
Several of the songs were
included in the movie The Big Easy
(in case you were wondering what
those funky sounds were), and
maybe now, with the big boys'
marketing force behind him,
Buckwheat will be able to break
away from the small club circuit
zydeco music has been on for the
past 40 years.
Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural is

MUSIC
Continued from page 4
Live Skull
Don't Get Any On You
Homestead
Guitar bands are a dime a dozen
these days, but a really good one is
a rare catch. Like fellow New
Yorkers Sonic Youth, Live Skull
has won lots of favorable ink for its
innovative six stringed sounds.
Don't Get Any On You, recorded
live at CBGB last year, marks this
young band's latest quest for god-
shead.
Live Skull shares Sonic Youth's
love for building intense and dis-
turbing dueling guitar songs. But
compared to the Youth, who rely
on subtle tunings and textures, this
crew favors a more direct route. A
louder, harder route. Mark C. and
Tom Paine play their guitars like
serrated knives, whittling through
their own alarming musical chaos
to expose the raw, wriggling root
of that disorder. The sound is tough
to take, and when it envelops the
Skull's tales of pain, ugliness, etc.,
it almost dares you to take it.
As this live LP demonstrates,
when Live Skull burns, it really

burns. Bassist Marnie Greenholz
provides a sinister anchor for the
stratosphere-bound guitars on
"Pusherman," which resembles the
tense jamming of early Fall. "I'll
Break You" and "Fort Belvedere"
(both off last year's Cloud One LP)
are dramatic, frightening perfor-
mances.
But as this collection also
shows, Live Skull has its limits.
The trademark blaring guitar lines
can overpower the tunes, and even-
tually blur any differentiation be-
tween them. In fact, the band's
"sound" often comes at the expense
of all else - namely vocals
(completely incoherent on the noisy
"Swingtime") and a sense of hu-
mor. Judging from their previous
studio recordings, I don't think this
is just a live performance quirk, ei-
ther.
Thankfully, Live Skull has
enough propulsive energy to over-
come these quibbles, and Don't Get
Any On You makes for quite a live
showcase. Perhaps they have a way
to go before they'll be bonafide
guitar gods, but they're certainly a
fine act already. And that's no small
feat.
-Beth Fertig

B
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Buckwheat Zydeco brings the zydeco sound to a wider audience.

The Ben Vaughn Combo plays unpretentious rock.

PAGE 4 WEEKEND/OCTOBER 2, 1987

WEEKEND/OCTOBER 2; 1987

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