The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, October 28, 1987
By Robert Flaggert
"Obviously, when you play the
same songs with different people,
the outcome is going to be different,
but our music always seems to
center around the loud, the crunchy,
and the ridiculous."
So says drummer Peter Prescott
of his band, the Volcano Suns who
has undergone three lineup changes
since their formation in December of
1983. This Boston-based band can
probably best described as "pop
sludge," but no one name can really
nail these guys down. At different
times they are powerful enough to
be considered hardcore, corny enough
to considered country/western, and
boppy enough to be pop. And yet,
their hottest songs do not always fall
into the same category.
It all began in the summer of
1983, six months after the breakup
of the late, great, Mission of Burma.
Prescott, who had played drums for
the band, was anxious to get on
with his musical career, and so
joined up with the likes of bassist
Steve Michener and guitarist Gary
Waleik to form the original Volcano
"The whole spiel with Mission of
Burma merely whet my appetite,"
claims Prescott. "I was ready to
move on to something new by the
time of the breakup, so it really
wasn't very long after that the new
band was formed."
And form they did. Prescott began
singing all lead vocals and soon after
they added a second guitarist, Jon
Williams, "to more clearly achieve
the live sound." Michener and
Waleik were soon replaced by
Williams and bassist Jeff Weigand.
This trio released two albums on
Homestead Records before their
breakup: the debut The Bright
Orange Years, and last year's All
Night Lotus Party. Their third LP,
Bumper Crop, also marks their third
lineup to date, with Williams and
Weigand replaced by Chuck Hahn
and Bob Weston. Once again,
Prescott remains the only common
ground between units. They are
happy with the result, but Prescott
admits the album was rushed.
"Chuck, Bob, and I were only
together for a month before we went
into the studio to record. I think that
they were a bit overwhelmed by the
idea of playing together for such a
short time and then going directly
into the studio."
The music is definitely original,
and, luckily for their followers, has
not changed substantially through
the lineup changes.
The best song on the new
Bumper Crop LP, is the title track,
a power-laden jam which intertwines
the raunchiest of raunch guitar.
wallowing in their self-produced
raunch muck. Some may recall their
last appearance in Ann Arbor, which
occurred right after the release of Thq
Bright Orange Years. Prescott
describes that show as "...pretty,
weird. See, there's been different
personalities with each of these
units, and sometimes the vibes are
bad. That was just a very strange
It seems that the Suns are
anything but limited in their talent,
and anything but boring in style.
When asked about what he thought
the band and its music was about,
Prescott just laughed. "It's all too
corny to go into. The band is
essentially about things blowing up,
things coming apart in a way.
But it's also Prescott who
probably sums up the Volcano Suns
S'The band is very ironic. Wi
make fun of things, but we also
make fun of ourselves, both
musically and lyrically. It just
makes it a little bit more interesting
you can poke the fun back at
The Volcano Suns will play the
ums, but they have Blind Pig tonight with Yo L#
Tengo; cover is $4.
The Volcano Suns have endured three line-up changes over the course of their three all
maintained the raunchy sound that will be in full force tonight at the Blind Pig.
among the bellows and screams of
all three musicians who claim to be
"...raising up a bumper crop."
Meanwhile the foremost of The
Bright Orange Years record is a
slow tune, almost a ballad, entitled
"Balancing Act." The slow strum of
a distorted guitar is heard over a quiet
drum beat while Prescott, sounding
close to tears, cries out, "It's a
balancing act, but I can't balance and
I can't act too well."
Live they are completely out of
control, raging across stages,
By Amy Hunter
Watch out, women - Don Juan
is coming to town. No, he won't be
trying to pick you up. Instead, he
and his cohorts will be providing
what Artistic Director John Russell
Brown calls "an evening of adventure
and surprise" with the musical
performance of Moliere's major
comedy, Don Juan. The play opens
tomorrow night and is presented by
Project Theatre, the professional
acting company of the University
School of Music.
Don Juan is the story of a young
man who does only what he wants,
even if it puts him in opposition to
society and its norms. It is in this
quest to remain true to himself that
Brown sees the relevance to today's
college students. "I cast Don Juan at
age 23 because I think many people
in their early 20's, like Don Juan,
simply try to please themselves
while others try to tell them what to
do," says Brown.
Not surprisingly, this type of sell
direction puts Don Juan (Peter
Carlton Brown) in many dangerous,
yet humorous situations. Brown
says, "In trying to know himself,
Don Juan risks his life, walks into
danger, and finally goes into hell.
It's both strange and funny. Moliere
sees that if you only do what you
think is right, you get into funny
Accompanying Don Juan
throughout all his adventures'is
Sganare'e (Kelly Walters), who
comically tries to keep him in line.
Of course, Don Juan is not legendary
for his search for self. As Brown
states, "He is the byword for
masculine activity. Don Juan
explores the relationship between the
mind and sexual fantasy. Sex draws
people into a territory that revalues
their life. Somewhere in sex is a
clue to their existence." This is all
treated in a light and fun manner, as
seen in the character of Donna Elvira
(Carol Helstead), who is Don Juan's
most recent wife and a woman he
stole out of a convent.
Project Theatre is filled with
talented professional actors and
f actresses. All are members of
r Equity, and their experiences run
from Broadway to the Shakespearean
LEARN AIKIDO: THE WAY OF HARMONY.
An introductory course taught by Sensei Takashi Kushida, 8th
degree black belt from Japan. Two classes start in November:
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AIKIDO YOSHINKAI8ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA
Festival in Stratford, Connecticut. In
direc ting Don Juan, Brown enters his
third season with Project Theatre. He
comes to the University from the
National Theatre in Great Britain.
His previous productions here
include D. H. Lawrence's Antique
Pink, Sophocles' Oedipus, and
Waiting for Godot, by Samuel
Of special interest to this
production is the music, which was
specially composed for it by Frank
Techelli. Says Brown, "The play is
written in a lively style, and
Techelli's original score sets the
scenes quickly and effectively."
Performances for DON JUAN
begin at 8 p.m.Thursday, Friday, and
Saturday, as well as November 5, 6,
and 7, with 2 p.m. performances on
November 1 and 8. Ticket prices
range from $12.50 to $6; student
seating is available at $4 with
. ..., .
. '/ ' A
CALL MARK STEPHENS
The University of Michigan is an
equal opportuniy, non-discriminatory,
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$4/hr with advancements to higher
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- No weekends!
- Close by 5:00-no evenings!
- 10% off textbooks and selected items at the
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' Free passes to most University Club events
.', i-i a IJ1 ,/4
"V. a e e4S//
.'. C~ .
\ i *~ .
"Black Children: Coping in a Racist Society"
Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiaty
and Associate Dean for Student Afirs
at Harvard University
and Medical Director of the Family Support Center
of the Children's Hospital in Boston
A Martin Luther King/Cesar Chavez/Rosa Parks Visiting Professor
Thursday, October 29,1987,4:00 p.m.
Clayton G. Hale Auditorium
Corner of Hill and Tappan Streets
The 1987 Fedele F. Fauri Memorial Lecture in Child Welfare
Presented by The University of Michigan School of Social Work
'" -. C
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