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October 30, 1987 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-30
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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MUSIC

Divine Horsemen score again with

inspired

lunacy

The Divine Horsemen
Snake Handler
SST Records
The desperate characters of the
Divine Horsemen's past records
have come back to haunt Snake
Handler, their hair-raising new LP.
The Horsemen have kept to their
innovative lyrical style and grizzly
tales; there's the nothing man who
must work as a snake handler, the
place where Mister Fate don't know
your name, and even Cain raises his
own ghosts. But there's also less
musical variety on Snake Handler,
less of the western influences of
Devil's River, and more focus on a
driving, steady rock and roll.
Not that the Divine Horsemen
can't handle their old shopping list.
They should be perfectly suited to
it, in fact. "Kiss Tomorrow
Goodbye" punches along with
buried frustrations in the Stones'
tradition. In fact, it sounds
suspiciously like "Gimme Shelter,"
which the band even covered on
their last EP. "Kiss... " is this
record's clincher. Julie Christenson
wails and woes with a true
professional's grace. Her voice is
one of the finest instruments to hit
rock and roll in nearly a decade. She
sounds like she should have sung
for the Rolling Stones, only Mick
would never have moved over to let
her sing lead. The "Big Gundown"
whistling sounds are also a nice
touch.
Dueling vocalists Chris D. (a
multi-talented man best known for
the Flesh Eaters, Slash Magazine,
and now No Way Out ) a n d
Christenson make a dramatic play
out of every song. They put all
their soul into their work. Chris D.
more or less speaks and pouts his
agony, but Christenson just lets go
and sings. In fact, it seems she's
taken a more central role on this
LP, with more lead vocals than her
collaborater. She pours her heart out
on "Curse of the Crying Woman"
and "Blind Leading the Blind."
Snake Handler's flaw is that ii
gets tiring midway through side
two. The Horsemen put so much
into their songs that they put too
much into them, running the risk of
playing them to death. And that's
where some more diversity and
tempo changes could really make a
difference. In live performance they
have so much energy that they're
inexhaustable (their show at
Paycheck's last winter was one of
the tightest, fiercest performances
I've ever witnessed). But on record,
that brand of energy doesn't always
surface through the grooves and
hold everything together so well.

the construction is much too tight,
as on the restrictive "Upon this
Boat at Sea," which sinks in its
tiring repetitiveness and Miller's
stilted vocals.
Miller and Max cover Hendrix's
"Manic Depression," a keyboard
version of the master's legendary
frenzy - only Miller's touch
smacks of a decidedly more modern
and scary entanglement. Much of
the other tracks are equally
disturbing, especially the instru-
mental percussion of "Hammers."
But as The Big Industry winds
down to its last two tracks, a calm
falls as softly as machines winding
themselves down. And a thousand
unanswered questions are left as
Roger Miller states, "we don't
know why..." -Beth Fertig
Suzy Saxon & the .
Anglos
Scream to Be Heard
Brat Records
Forget all the e x p e c t e d
comparisons of an all female band.
The Anglos don't sound like The
Go-Gos, The Bangles, or any of the
others you'd expect comparisons to.
Hell, this outfit has more in
common with Elvis Costello and
Nick Lowe, circa 1978, than with
any of the bubblegum "girl
groups."
Scream is a rhythm guitar-
powered dynamo which sounds
vaguely reminiscent of the
Plimsouls and Blondie at their best.
Saxon's vocals, powerful yet quirky
in a Julie Brown sort of way, tie
the whole thing together. The
lyrics, for their part, display an
unusually wry sense of humor. For
example, on "Chick Off The Old
Block," she objects, "You keep
looking at me like you think I
sustained a shock/I hardly knew that
girl/She's just a chick off the old
block."
And that's the key to this, the
band's second effort. Whereas
1984's Guilt By Association often
relied on cutsiness to compliment
the energy, here the machismo is
the driving force. In that sense, it
seems the Anglos have grown up.
Upon first listening, that seems
like a dissapointment. Nothing here
is up to par with "Boys In Dresses"
or "Get Out Of My Stomach" from
the earlier work. But the material is
definitely more consistent, and such
tracks as "Girl-A-Round" and
"Starting To Let Me Go" are such a
genuine pleasure that they've got
no complaints coming from this
corner.
Damn if this isn't one of the
best releases of 1987.
(Brat Records, PO Box 157
Richmond, VA 23201)
- Marc I. Whinston

INTERVIEW
(Continued from Page 8)1
I think the other thing theyt
should do is systematically begin
some education on racismand racial
violence - not just for the students,1
but for the staff and for the1
administration as well. And it should
be required.
D: So, there should be a
mandatory class?
N: Absolutely, mandatory,
including all aspects of racism and,
racist violence.-
D: What do you think about the
admissions standards for Blacks and
the declining Black enrollment here?
N: I think this University is part
and parcel of what is a national
development. It is a pattern whereby
the commitment of universities to
affirmative action to increaseing
enrollment of Black and third word
students ... these universities have
forfitted any involvment, they've
LOGIE
Continued from Page 8
re-directed their efforts to non-
mendicant charity. Their activities,
instead of being mindless, and
bringing them into contact with
people like me who are at best
grudging, would be useful, and
bring them into contact with grate-
ful people, or people who are
actually needy. I don't need Greeks
on the Diag, but there are people in
Ann Arbor who need able-bodied
young peoplein their homes, yards,
and hospitals.
But tomorrow morning the Greek
community will break from its
usual mode and be both entertaining
and free. Hordes of Greeks will
voluntarily charge into a huge,
bone-chilling quagmire for my
entertainment. And I would like to
thank the Greeks involved in
advance.
The women's match occurs
during the half-time of the men's.
The game has degenerated from
football to European football, to
soccer-but-you-can-use-your-hands,
to twenty-woman mud-wrestling.
I'm not particularly proud of the
fact that not all of the reasons I
have for enjoying this are
honorable, or moral. As entertain -
ments go, this one scores big on
the sleaze-o-meter. But another
thrill for me is watching women
who ordinarily seem to care a lot
about their appearance and demeanor
caked in filth, and pulling one
another's hair.
Then the men show up, and this
even more fun because they really
care who wins! I'm not saying that
the women don't care, but the men
actually hurt one another, they care
so much. Over the years I have seen
scads of bleeding, angry people. I
think I even saw a guy with a
busted nose.
Though I hope I'm not taken at
my word, this is the kind of thing
I'm willing to pay for. M

given up on it. I think that their
commitment to doing this was at
best a token commitment all along.
I do not believe that there are not
third world students of substance
who are ready to go to universities
and would love to go to universities.
But there is no commitment on the
part of these universities to recruit
third world students.
The other part of this is often
reflected in the faculty. The
percentage of third world faculty is
abismal. Therefore, it deprives not
only third world student from seeing
and learning from peers, if you will,
but it deprives the white magority
students of anything other then the
white male, McDonalds man as the
model of who you learn from.
D: What should the students and
the community be doing to combat
these problems?
N: Organize, organize, organize
and organize. It's imparative for the
student body to join hands with the
community. The students have it
their material interest to be much
more aligned with the community
and particularly the workers. This
means you turn the University from
being a sacred cow of privilege into
an insitution of service, which 'is
based and rooted in the community
and not in the unreal coporate world
of the University.
D: How should the community
look upon the admintration's actions
in dealing with acts of racism?
N: If the incidents of racism
continue, this should be labeled as
an aparteid like University. It should
be know that the Univeristy is
condoning racism, violence, and also
anti-democratic violence.
D: What the most effective tactic
in dealing with the administrations
of unversities over controversial
issues?
N: The full range of possible
tactics should be left open. Whatever
tactics are employed, they should be
based upon a bringing together of
students and staff, because the
interests of both the students and
staff are up against those of the

factory managers. niversities are
really factories. They are factories af
accumulation, not even of learning
anymore. One of the things that
must happen as in all factory
situations, is that the work force
must be as organized as possible. In
that context , they can begin to look
at and assess the possible tactics.

.

harassment weather because of your
religion, sexual preference, or race.
Something that big should impell
students to be better organized and to
do it on a state-wide basis. I would
urge, particularly students of color,
to form goupings for self-defense, so
that there can be a response when
nesesary. Not only at the University,

-jw

'I think it would be helpful to share with the
potential population of the University a fact book
about racist violence at the University of Michigan,
so people would know they would be coming to an
aparteid-like zone in terms of racial violence.'
Civil Rights Activist Prexy Nesbitt

I would not exclude, takeovers
and other kinds of direct actions, but
I would also say it may take more
creative efforts in this period of
1987. I suggest to you that some
ways, maybe to isolate the
University from outside, it may be
working around the imagery of the
University. I think it would be
helpful to share with the potential
population of the University a fact
book about racist violence at the
University of Michigan, so people
would know they would be coming
to an aparteid-like zone, in terms of
racist violence.
D: We are now seeing national
networking of students to fight
racism and aparteid, is the time right
for the formation of mass student
movement like SNCC?
N: I think the climate is very
much moving in that direction as the
conditions of students are rapidly
deteriorating. Even the super rich
students are experienceing conditions
that are more and more drastic for
them. University costs are
escalating, and what you get for that
investment is declining. You could
pay all this money to go to a
University where your door might be
smirched with excrament, or the
toilets that you use may be filled
with debris. You may be a victim of

but regionally. This one of the
places white students can play a very
important, supportive, back-up role.
I would urge the white students, not
attempt to organize the third world
students.
D: What type of agenda should
students follow for the future?
N: A progressive political
program. That means we're pushing
for change, that we're pressing for
better conditions for study, for
growth, for development, and
pressing for a non-violent
atmosphere in terms of racism. It's
all of our problem, keeping in mind
that the struggle itself is a
contribution to the resolution of the
problem.
D: What do think of violence
against the shanties on the Diag,
particularly the engineering road
rally in which students were urged to
take boards off the shanties?

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- THEFATHER OF TRUE AM
the bac
Women's Clothinc
1200 South L

The Divine Horseman move away from desert wailings and closer to straight rock.

Even so, this won't prevent
anyone from letting Snake Handler
keep right on playing.
-Beth Fertig
Roger Miller,
Maximum Electric
Piano
The Big Industry
Ace of Hearts Records
By the time you reach the end of
this record, it feels like the
soothing, welcome relief to a

violent storm. The only thing is,
you've also enjoyed it all along.
The Big Industry is Roger Miller
and his Maximum Electric Piano:
one man, lots of sound. He plays
an assortment of keyboard instru-
ments, none of which are synth-
esizers (as he vehemently attests on
the album's back cover). Roger
Miller is well aware of tech-
nology's proper place. His lyrics
confront the mechanization of
modern society, and his music is
tightly constructed and abrasive tn

meet this pressing demand.
Miller is an Ann Arbor native
who is probably best known for his
work with the Boston dynamo
Mission of Burma, and most
recently Birdsongs of the Mesozoic.
He is also very influenced by
modern composers - notably Terry
Riley. Riley's touch is heard in-
Miller's cyclical, swirling arrange-
ments, some of which are very
passionate and dynamic, like
"Portrait of a Mechanical Dog."
Other times, one could argue that

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PAGE 4 WEEKEND/OCTOBER3, 1987 WEEKEND/OCTOBER 30, 1987

WEEKEND/OCTOBER 34, 1987

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