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October 16, 1987 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-16
Note:
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music
Synthesizers banished as guitars return to English pop scene

COVER STORY
Continued from page 7

volunteers to the residence halls to
deliver programs on alcohol use,
misuse, and abuse.

LOGIE

The Jesus And
Mary Chain
Darkdands
Warner Brothers
1987 has brought good news from
the English music scene: guitars are
cool again. Hip bands from the U.K.,
no longer need to rely on layers of
keyboards and computers to score on
the dance charts. Both the Cult and
the Cure have made dramatic gains
in popularity with their new "elec-
tric" sounds, while there are signs
that Depeche Mode might finally
disappear from the import bins.
The guitar is returning to favor as
various "gloom" bands rediscover
the original instrument for singing
the blues, and people are finally
admitting that they really did enjoy
the sonic roar of '70s British heavy
metal bands such as Led Zeppelin.
And now The Jesus and Mary
Chain, one of the first of these
newer guitar bands to make it, has
returned with its highly anticipated
sophomore album, Darklands.
The Chain's first album, Psycho-
candy, was the ultimate record to
annoy one's neighbors. It contained
plenty of noisy, demented tales of
falling walls and drowning fish. The
Chain's wigged-out guitar sound
relied on oodles of distortion and
feedback to set Psychocandy apart
as one of the best albums of 1985.
On Darklands the Chain has cleaned
up its sound, which may displease
fans of the first album, but allows
the band to emerge with ten new
tunes that still rely on the basic
structure of Psychocandy's incred-
ible guitar sounds.
In addition to purifying its guitar
sounds, the Chain has matured styl-
istically and lyrically. Darklands
features a wider range of styles,
including the incendiary speed pop
of the first two singles, "April
Skies" and "Happy When It Rains."
The Reid brothers, who cooper-
atively write all of the words and
music, even come close to
traditional ballads on "About You"
and the title track, both of which
include discernible acoustic guitar
playing.
The first line of Darklands'
opening song finds Jim and William
Reid declaring "I'm going to the
darklands / To talk in rhyme," which
they indeed do, revealing a gift for
poetic weather images unheard since
Jim Morrison wrote his last lines.
In fact, there are so many of these
repeated images that the band could
have called the album Screaming
Electric Dolls in the Rain.
William Reid may sound like an
unhappy camper, but he eventually
decides that "People die in their
living rooms / But they do not need
this God Almighty Gloom." on the

these stories and lives constitutes an
impressionistic history of America's
common folk.
Many have endeavored to preserve
this history. The craft of traditional
folk musician is taught by one
generation to the next in a lineage
which maintains the oral record.
Many traditional folk enthusiasts are
musicologists as well as musicians.
Two of these are Jeff Warner and Jeff
Davis.
Warner and Davis, who work for
the Smithsonian Institute, have
recently released Wilder Joy, a
collection of songs that span more
than a century. The first song on the
album, "Come Love Come," has
origins dating back as early as 1847.
Other songs tell tales of pirates,
frontier days, the Civil War, and the
Texas Rangers.
The songs on Wilder Joy exhibit
an authentic sound that testifies to
Warner and Davis' dedication and
love of their adopted music, which is
played masterfully on the traditional
instruments it was "written" for: the
fiddle, mandolin, banjo, concertina,
etc. These treasures of our collective
cultural memory are handed down
untainted by their faithful stewards.
If you are a connoisseur or collector
of traditional folk music, this album
is a must-have item; but if you are
among the uninitiated, it will
probably not light a fire.
A similar assessment can be made
of Jim Post & Friends. This is the
first traditional album for Post,
previously known for his '60s-style
folk music. His "friends" include
folk stalwarts David Bromberg,
Anne Hills, Howard Levy, Jan
Marra, Rollo Radford, and Randy
Sabien. Together they play a number
of folk standards like "Sixteen Tons"
and "Lily White." The music is
performed with the quality one
would expect from such a venerable
cast of performers; but, again, if you
do not like traditional folk music,
this album is probably not for you.
One other new release rounds out
the trio. Deborah Silverstein's
Around the Next Bend provides
proof that traditional folk music is
not merely a nostalgic avocation.
Around the Next Bend is a
collection of new songs written very
much in the traditional folk idiom.
Hailing from the Appalachian
region, a font of traditional folk,
Silverstein's bluegrass roots show
clearly.
The sensitivity and compassion
for the common people, trademarks
of folk, come through with simple
sincerity. Perhaps one now hears a
song about Chile instead of the
Civil War South, but the style is
unmistakable. The issues change;
singers come and go; but the music
remains.
-Tim Huet

Seitanakis, a business
administration senior, admits that
many students believe the Greek
system encourages, perhaps even
pressures, its members to drink. But
he denies these beliefs are legitimate.
"Anytime you get a group of
males together there might be
pressures to do something," he says.
"But a lot of people who aren't in
frats or sororities don't understand
what really does go on there. Just
because our focus is social...that
isn't where our real priorities are."
"But the parties are all the non-
Greeks want to see," Seitanakis adds.
He also points out a new Greek
trend towards throwing more
responsible parties - parties where
the police are called beforehand to
maintain control, parties where proof
of legal age will be required to drink,
and fewer parties that are "open" to
non-Greek students. LSA senior
Heather Lange, NCAAW coordinator
for the Greek system, says that
many campus sororities are for the
first time demanding non-alcoholic
drinks be available at parties, and
that several non-alcoholic parties be
held each year.
But fraternity rush - many
students' first exposure to the Greek
system - is definitely not alcohol-
free, says Herzog. Seitanakis says
that "dry (alcohol-free) rush" is not
favored by fraternities because "we
want to give people a realistic
view...of a situation where they can
choose to drink or not."
Because of national policy,
however, Alpha Tau Omega
fraternity does hold dry rush on
campus. ATO Rush Chair Jim
Taigman says he would favor the dry
rush even it it wasn't required.
"We can't get to know guys when
they're drunk," Taigman explains.
"We find that alcohol just isn't
necessary."
But Lange expects that ATO will
probably remain in the minority.
"(Dry rush) is a very daring step to
take," she admits. "It goes against
what a lot of rushees are looking
for."
"For a lot of students (drinking)
is the attraction to joining a
fraternity.
Lange's comment reminds us -
though we may dispute its severity
- an alcohol "problem" does linger
in some degree on our campus. Not
that we're any different from other
universities nationwide; indeed,
NCAAW will be a chance for
college students across the country
to become aware of alcohol-related
problems.
NCAAW, which will consist of
films, discussions, and alcohol-free
social events on campus, is what
Herzog calls "a strategy to teach
people about responsible decision-
making regarding alcohol use."
Within a month the new Substance
Abuse Peer Education Program
(SAPEP) will bring trained student

'For a lot of students
(drinking) is the attraction
to joining a fraternity.'
-Heather Lange,
NCAAW coordinator for
the Greek system
But will anybody "Be There?"
"There are enough people on this
campus who feel that you don't need
alcohol to have a good time," said
LSA sophomore Nancy Pont, who
said she would definitely attend
Friday's alcohol-free happy hour.
But another LSA sophomore
who wanted to remain anonymous,
said she would forfeit an alcohol-free
happy hour to "go to a regular bar,
because after a long week of classes
I'm ready to party."
The dichotomy of responses
completes a fuzzy description of our
campus alcohol -problem. Some
educators say it's improving; some
say it's becoming worse. Everyone
stresses education, but frankly,
Parnes says, "a lot of (education)
does not even work."
Herzog agrees. "Of course
people's attitudes aren't going to
change unless they want to change
them. We have to convince them
there's a problem, and then make
them want to solve it."
College, which teaches us math,
science, history, and how to drink,
measures the success of the academic
lessons with exams. But the test to
see if we are successfully educated
drinkers, suggests Herzog, will be
life itself - a test of responsibility
to be administered with every drink
we take. Herzog's motto, "Think
when you drink," may not be the
contradiction it appears. Responsible
drinking will require as much
concentration as our classes.
Today is Friday, the start of the
weekend. Whether our plans include
books or booze, says Herzog, the
weekend can mean only one thing.
It's time to start learning our
lessons.
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Continued from Page 8
made great use of. Every President
has lied to the American people,
but the best Presidents weren't
caught. Is it too much to ask that
candidates' lies be good enough that
we don't find out about them until
after the election?
In the cases of Hart, Biden, and
Robertson, the deceptions
uncovered were completely at odds
with the statements and
representations made by the
candidates themselves. Hart modeled
himself on Kennedy quite
efficiently, but when the question
of Kennedy-esque womanizing was
raised, Hart's answer did not
explain, as he is now trying to do,
that such a question should not be
asked. Rather Hart challenged the
media to prove the allegations.
They did. Bad answer to a borderline
question, but don't fault the media
for accepting the challenge.
Joe Biden presented himself as
the articulate voice of the
Democratic Party. As it turns out,
Neil Kinnock and Robert Kennedy
are the articulate voices of the
Democratic Party. Current
plagiarism charges were bolstered
by the revelation that as a twenty-
two year old law student, Biden
faced charges of plagiarism. Some
have suggested that this revelation
shouldn't have happened - that the
sins of the boy should not be
visited on the man. As a twenty-
two year-old law student, I think
this is crap. At this point in the
game, one either knows the reasons
for not plagiarizing others' work, or
is far too stupid to be President,
ever.
And how can Pat Robertson, after

years of demanding adherence to
Christian morality, brush off the
discovery that he knowingly
violated one of the basic tenets he
preaches as nobody's business? It is
one thing to speak from experience,
and guide others not to make the
mistakes that you have made. It is
another to hold oneself out as a
model, preaching one life, while
having practiced another. The
"indiscretion" is trivial. The
hypocrisy is not.
It's time for these men to quit
whining. I don't think the nation's
standards are too high. Such an
allegation is silly in light of the
last two elections. The American

peol
can
flaw
con
pres
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hap
Hou
the
the
thoi
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me
ben
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SwEATY, SoULFUL
A CAPPELLA SI NGING
SKiss HIM GOODBYE
H HAPPY TOGETHER
A C 8PUILYOUDROP
" THE JON SLEEPS
TONIGT
A CLOUDY/SRO PRODUCTION

MI
Ticki

Welcome New Students and Facul
Sze-C-iuart West
Restaurant
- Picked as "Ann Arbors' Best Chinese F
by Michigan Daily 1983,1984, 198E
Now that you've settled in..
Why riot join us for lunch, dinner or
Just show your student or faculty I.D. Card
And we'll give you a 10% discos
offer good for the month of October
Sze-Cuan West
2161 W. Stadium
Ann Arbor, MI
769-5722

Jim and William Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain return with a refined guitar sound.

closing song "About You," raising
questions about his future growth as
a songwriter. Also of note is the
lack of drug references that allowed
people to sarcastically label the first
album Blottercandy.
Darklands might finally propel
the Jesus And Mary Chain past its
unknown-cult-band-with-a-confront-
ational-name status. "April Skies"
has already hit number one in
Britain, and the album is chock full

of more strong tunes that should
attract even true guitar fans to the
Chain's brand of "electric cool."
-Brian Jarvinen
Jim Post
Jim Post and Friends
Jeff Warner and
Jeff Davis
Wilder Joy

Deborah Silverstein
Around the Next Bend
Flying Fish Records
The most distinguishing charac-
teristic of folk music is the degree to
which it is rooted in the past. As the
name implies, folk songs tell the
stories of everyday peoples' lives:
their tragedies, joys, fears, and
aspirations. The accumulation of

ff \

A

PAGE 4 WEEKEND/OCTOBER 16, 1987

WEEKEND/OCTOBER 16, 1967

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