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January 22, 1988 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-22
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7

I

MUSIC
The Gun Club ends four year hiatus with a bang

The Gun Club
Mother Juno
Red Rhino/Fundamental Music
It's been almost four years since
the last LP by California's loudest
outlaws, but you'd never guess the
band's been away so long. Then
again, the Gun Club of today is
pretty different from the Gun Club
of The Las Vegas Story.
For one thing, there's two new
players on Mother Juno to
accompany the hysteric shriek of
head honcho Jeffrey Lee Pierce and
guitarist Kid Congo Powers. This
one has also been produced by yet
another outsider: Robin Guthrie of
the Cocteau Twins.
What's happening here?
Surprisingly enough, the
Cocteau's ethereal swirl doesn't
interfere with the Gun Club's
trademark - raw, grinding R&B
action. In fact, it pretty much keeps
to the sidelines, with the exception
of maybe "Breaking Hands" and
"Yellow Eyes" (which includes a
guest appearance by guitarist Blixa
Bargeld of Einsturzende Neubauten),
on which the band slows down long
enough to let the cuts draw blood.
But when Pierce and company pull
their punches, as on the raging
attack of "Hearts," or the furious
"Thunderhead" ("she's got a simple
case of what you'd call some kind
of mental illness") there's n o
denying that the rhythm section is
tougher than ever.
It's a good thing this group
took some time off; Mother Juno
needed the extra breather.
-Beth Fertig

psychedelia of American groups
such as The Byrds and Love, as
well as that movement's early '80s
offspring, the English postpunk of
Siouxsie and the Banshees and The
Cure. Unabashedly engaging all the
excesses of the genre, The Shamen
take you on an exhilarating ride,
veering dangerously close to
kaleido-cliche at every turn. But by
drawing together the best ideas of
both periods of psychedelia with
experienced, skilled playing and
keen songwriting, they instead
manage to master a timeless spaced-
out groove all their own,
Thankfully, with all the jangly,
near-Eastern themes, placid acoustic
strumming and rich vocal har-
monies of the '60s weaving unpre-
dictably through postpunk's eerie
keyboards, jagged, crunching gui-
tars and stutter-step drums, The
Shamen vary their elements enough
to avoid falling into a rut. A
healthy dose of production effects
can't hurt: wide-screen stereo pans,
exotic percussion, soaring airplane
sounds. Still, the band's garage-
style approach gives a jolting, live
feeling to it all.
Unfortunately, singer Colin
Angus tells us that in Aberdeen
(pretty well out in the sticks as far
as Scotland's concerned), the local
pub-going toughs, intent on hear-
ing old Lynyrd Skynyrd and Zep-
pelin covers, would surely beat the
hell out of any psychedelic band
who get on stage. Hopefully,
enough American kids will tune in
to The Shamen's crackerjack brand
of multi-colour rock to welcome
their show to more traditionally
hospitable shores.
-Michael Fischer
The Creepers
Rock 'N' Roll
Liquorice Flavour
Red Rhino/Fundamental Music
"Oh Mickey you're so fine,
you're so fine you blow my mind,
hey Mickey.."
The last time you heard those
words they were shouted out on
MTV by an overgrown cheerleader
with a terrible nose job. But while
choreographer Toni Basil w as
turning on the teens and gracing our
screens with backflips, she unknow-
ingly provided perfect material for
Fall guitarist Marc Riley to cop
with his other band, the Creepers.
Riley might not look so hot in a
miniskirt, but he's done Basil's
song justice by throwing it on top
of the swirling, hell-bent title track
of the Creeper's new LP, and in the
next breath declaring, "all my records
are liquorice flavour..."

"Tearjerker." With the Creepers, Ri-
ley's absurd humor can really shine,
sort of like Robyn Hitchcock's best
mutterings, although it's still got
the darker side he shows with the
Fall.
Rock 'N' Roll Liquorice Flavour
is a step above most of the stuff the
Fall's put out lately, and it should
also garner Marc Riley and the
Creepers more fans of their own
right.
-Beth Fertig

SHEA
Continued from Page 8
"Do you know anyone who
can?"
I accepted that. Karen probably
didn't care that I didn't know what a
best boy was, and Orion probably
didn't care either.
So I called Touchstone Pictures.
Both their New York and their Los
Angeles offices.
Nothing.
Then I thought, why not ask my
knowledgable collegues what a best
boy is? Somebody on the staff
must know. Right? Nope. Blank
looks all the way around.
I was about to give up, and then
I thought, "You moron. You go to

one of the most prestigious
universities in the country. The
communications department is full
of folks who would be more than
happy to help you."
And I was right. Peter Bauland
has been a professor at the
University for 23 years. He grew up
in Philadelphia, spending his
Saturdays watching movies from
noon to 6:30. I went to him.
He knew what a best boy was,
"It's the assistant to the head
electrician," he told me. "That's
all."
Great. So I called Ken Droz, the
Director of Publicity and
Promotions at Robert Soloman and
Associates in Bloomfield Hills. I
told him I wanted to get in, touch
with a best boy. Now, I don't want
to say Ken is a publicity god, but

not only did he know what I was
talking about when I said "best
boy," he made some calls and found
me one.
Phil Jacobson is a best boy.
Despite the title, Phil is neither the
best nor a boy. He is 37 years old
and has been working in Hollywood
for ten years. He talked to me from
the set of Bill Murray's new movie,
tenatively titled Scrooge.
"When did you decide to become
a best boy?" I asked him.
"Well," he said, "it's not really a
decision you make. It's a
progression in the job, just like a
promotion. The most common
situation is that you work for a
lighting director or chief lighting
technican long enough, so that
you're working for him as a lamp
operator. Then eventually...under

the right circumstances he'll hire
you as his 'best boy."'
The job of the best boy, Phil
told me, was to "try to keep ahead
of the production." This means that
while the director is busy shooting
one scene, the best boy is preparing
things for the next one. This
means, among other things,
determining how much equipment
and people are needed for the
production.
"Do people make fun of the
name 'best boy'?"
"It's a strange name," he said.
"A lot of people get a chuckle out
of it."
But Phil warns that people who
want to get into the best boy
business better not do it for

glam
said.
12 to
stabh
mont
wond
work
doing
begir
Phil
luck.
TI
frien(
until
story
want
boy v
"V

Dokken
Back for the Attack
Elektra Records

Fields of Nephilim: Cool look, cool sound

Fields of the
Nephilim
Dawnrazor,
Beggar's Banquet
The scorching midday sun beats1
down on the dusty, deserted streets of
a small Western town. A locomotive1
is heard chugging into the train sta-
tion. With a hoot from the whistle
and a great sighing of released steam,
the engine grinds to a halt. Spurs
jangle and leather creaks as men in
worn, dusty riding gear step down
from the cars. It's.... it's... it's the
Fields of the Nephilim!
Yes, in these days of market re-
search and carefully conceived and
executed images, this band does have
a definite image. But the Nephilim
picked the coolest possible thing for

Substituting six-strings for six-
shooters, they dish out music remi-
niscent of early (pre-Electric) Cult
(as if Cult lead singer Ian Astbury
had had a Western rather than Native
American fixation). Lots of guitars,
lots of drums, lots of effects, and all
of it good. The music is heavily in-
fluenced by the Morricone sound-
tracks, and if you close your eyes
Pick of
the Week

Back for the Attack, Dokken's
fourth album, is a showcase for the
conflicts within this group. Band
leader and vocalist Don Dokken
wants his band to be huge, with
multiplatinum albums and sold-out
tours.
Admittedly, the rest of the guys
probably wouldn't mind, and with
the recent success of Bon Jovi,
Whitesnake, Poison, Cinderella,
and others, the time seems perfect
for Dokken to explode into megas-
tardom. But while Don Dokken's
plan of attack runs toward becom-
ing a pop-metal band, resident gui-
tar genius George Lynch refuses
musical compromise.
This musical conflict of interest
is reportedly one of the reasons this
album was over a year late. Listen-
ing to the album makes the musical
differences obvious. Cuts written
primarily by Lynch rock harder and
showcase his singular guitar play-
ing, while Don Dokken's songs
feature multiple layers of vocal
harmonies and pop-style arrange-
ments, with the guitar mixed down
and the solos shortened.
A word about the guitar playing:
it's brilliant! Rather than relying on
tricky scalar passages, arpeggiated
runs, two-handed licks, or any one
technique, Lynch mixes it all up
into a smooth, fluid style very dis-
tinctly his own. This style is best
displayed on the instrumental "Mr.
Scary," and "Kiss Of Death," the
album's first song. Hopefully Don
Dokken will realize the error of his
ways and just let this man play!
With the single "Burning Like a
Flame" receiving airplay, and
Dokken now on the road opening
Aerosmith's, tour, perhaps Don
Dokken and George Lynch can both
be satisfied. Remember, Whites-
nake started off last year opening
'for Motley Crue before their album
caught on. If "Back For The At-
tack" takes off, Dokken could be
huge, without compromising their
music. Wouldn't that be special?
-Chuck Skarsaune
See MUSIC, Page 12

INTERVIEW
Continued from Page 8
D: Do you think one of your roles
is to serve as a role model?
O.D.: Unfortunately, yes. I say
unfortunately because in the Ameri-
can context, a role model has to
represent success. And success can
be negative as well as positive. In a
depressed community, sometimes
the most successful man you see is
the pimp and the kids emulate him
because he is successful. So, along
comes someone who ain't success-
ful, who should be a role model. It
won't cut it. So, yes, I'm con-
sciously a role model. But I realize
the dynamics of role modelism and I
wish the:whole scene could be dif-
ferent. I'm a success, I'm a half-
assed celebrity, and I use it ruth-
lessly to get whatever point I can
across to these young people.
D: Your first New York production,
The Big Deal., was about the dual
pull of being a Black and an Ameri-
can?
O. D .: Well, the duality in the
character was his determination and
desire to succeed, to be a success,
but in order to be a success, there
were certain things he had to es-
chew. He had to prove that he was
not radical, in this instance that he
was not red, he had to prove that he
was not a friend of Paul Robeson's,
and all that sort of crap. In the be-
ginning, this is what he thought he
wanted to do but with the help of
his wife, if I remember correctly, he
was able, I hope, to see the light....
But the price of inclusion that
America exacts from all of its race
writers, not just blacks, is that they
give up a piece of their ass. Some-
where down the line; "give it up!"
Raise a fight with them..."give it
up, give it up."
D: It's an attempt to homogenize.
O.D.: Right! So, this guy is told,
'you can cross over buddy but
you've got to leave behind your
commitments or otherwise..." He
wanted to do it but his wife didn't.
D: In Purlie Victorious, you utilize
a lot of-stereotypes of Blacks to get
your point across. Would that work
have been acceptable from a white
writer?

O.D.: That would depend on how
he did it and what his intentions
were. You know I got a lot of skin
off my ass from a lot of Blacks over
Purlie. Some of them never did ac-.
cept it.,But I had a deliberate inten-
tion. Instead of fighting the stereo-
types that are out there, I embraced
them. I i'nflated them and made them
ridiculous as I knew them to be.
Stereotypes they were but they were
stereotypes whose purpose was to
serve the needs of the group rather
than the needs of someone who
wanted to oppress the group. It's a
subtle but very important difference.
That was what Purlie was about.
D: Do you think a big problem in
the racist struggle is that the ques-
tion "what is racism?" remains. Of

did give a certain ease to discussing
what racism was and what segrega-
tion was. But the truth of the matter
is that when the context changes,
the meaning of everything within
the context changes. We need a new
definition of racism and prejudice
and bigotry because the context in
which they occur has changed.
The definition I'm trying to work
for would be this way: on the one
hand, you've got bigotry, which is
personal, which is hatred, which is
sometimes psychotic, which is neu-
rotic. It means, in a personal sense,
one is ready to destroy, to do all
sorts of things. That's one thing.
On the other hand, you've got
racism, which does not definitely
have to have a personal or human

likes you, could very well be a racist
because the system puts him into a
different category because it's prof-
itable to do so.
D: That's a lot more difficult to
combat.
O.D.: It is but unless you can un-
derstand it, and define it, and ask the
question properly, you'll always be
crippled. So that's why I'm trying
to define racism. I haven't worked it
out yet but in order to fight it,
we've got to define it in a new way.
D: A lot of people say that any-
thing that's offensive to anyone
should be subverted. I mean books
or song with the wcrd nigger or

'We need a new definition of racism and prejudice
and bigotry because the context in which they
occur has changed.'
Ossie Davis

some
O.D:
think
even
some
to ret
we ar
we s
thing
deletf
persp
an ac
ous s
freed
cums
may
the 1
right:

RTS NE-W DC
1~~L1
m}
126 Ouellette Ave. (519)
January 22 FRI FAS
23 SAT FA

The Shamen
Drop
Fundamental Music

course it's still there but you can't
always put your finger on it. Is this
a big problem?
O.D.: No, because the problem
existed before that. The simplicity
afforded by the fact that segregation
was visible, and could be defined,
and you could put your finger on it,

connotation at all. Racism is an ex-
tension of power, which uses differ-
ences of one type or another for it's
own gain or its own extension of
power. It is organizational, it is in-
stitutional, it is measured in terms
of dollars and cents. And so the guy
sitting next to you, who even truly

,-

The past few years have seen
Scotland, long having languished in
the shadow of countless English
bands, surprise the rock world with
a remarkable number of acclaimed
artists: Glasgow's Lloyd Cole and
the Commotions, Aztec Camera,
Jesus and Mary Chain, and The
Blue Nile, not to mention Annie
Lennox of Eurythmics. Yet upon
listening to The Shamen's debut
album, Drop , you'd never guess
that this Aberdeen quartet -
probably Scotland's finest new band
of the year - are of the same
country that inspired the spacious,
Celtic mysticism of The Water-
boys, Simple Minds, and Big
Country.
The Shamen look instead to,
foreign lands; the '60s rock

their image/inspiration: the spaghetti you can almost see Clint squinting
Western movie genre as exemplified into the sun as he holsters his Colt
by Sergio Leone's series of movies .45. Dark, echo-laden vocals mum-
(A Fistful Of Dollars, The Good, ble doom and gloom lyrics while
The Bad, And The Ugly, etc.). bizarre tape effects (chainsaws,
The Fields of the Nephilim use trains, random screaming) invade the
an intro by Ennio Morricone (he did music.
all the soundtracks for the Leone Wonderful stuff for fans of good
films) as a launching pad for their music and Western movies.
album, and they never look back. -Chuck Skarsaune

mRIn
[mOTORS

Big Foreign
Film

ALL FiL
EVERY MON. &
VCR Renta
only

Riley's dead-pan vocals appropri-
ately counter the band's squirrely,
angsty playing. Their colliding gui-
tars crash and burn throughout
"Fillet Face," but also pull to a halt
and sneak through the surrealistic
"Bastard Hat," where Riley ponders
whether he wants to be a nice guy
today "or do I want to wear my Bas-
tard hat?"

Riley and the Creepers use irony
spartanly and instead focus more on
stringing apparent non sequiturs to-
gether, along with anything else that
crosses their path ("you can lead a
horticulture but you can't make him
think"). It makes sense to borrow
from Toni Basil, just like lyrics
from the Stones' "Street Fighting
Man" fit with the rest of his own

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PAGE 4 WEEKEND/JANUARY 22, ~988

PAGE 4

WEEKENDIJANUARY 22, 198$

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WEEKEND/JANUARY 22, 14f81

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