The phone rang, shaking me from
a heavy dream-filled sleep. Custard
donuts danced in front of my face as I
leaped off my couch, and seen that
the basketball players on the tube
just inches in front of my face looked
like ET. What were these alien bein's
doin' in my apartment, and where the
hell was the phone? Hmmmm, ba-
by, I was breathin' hard and cursin'
loud as I kicked aside piles of dirty
clothes, empty beer bottles, and
stinky pizza boxes. I heard the
damned thing ringin', but where in
the name of Alex Bell was it?
Finally, I found it underneath an
empty box of Flavo-Ice's.
"You sound out of breath. Were
"No, I weren't runnin' you damned
fool, I was sleepin.' Who the hell is
this, and what the hell do you want?"
It was the Weekend magazine
editors. Had I ever seen one of their
fashion issues, they wanted to know.
Yes, yes, I reckon I leafed through
one of 'em before I says. Well, the
thing is, could I please write a 21
inch column for their danged fool
spring fashion issue. It seems those
good ol' boys needed a little filler.
Looking around my apartment, at
the clothes-covered floor, I let out a
Could it be that these fellers really
wanted me to write about fashion?
Sorry fellas, I told 'em in a lickety
split, but I can't do it. I'd love to, I
mean there ain't nothin' I love more
than seein' this here little picture of
meself in the magazine. But fashion?
Who got in their heads to include
me in such foolish crapola? Now let
me make one thing perfectly clear. I
ain't makin' no wimpy apology for
bein' slightly less than a fashion
guru. Shee- it, I'm proud of the fact.
Yessiree, as sure as my ma can skin
a 'coon, I got better things to do than
to go afussin' and aprimpin' over
what piece of cloth I got draped over
my fat frame. A burlap sack'll do.
My idea of spring fashion is
cutting another pair of corduroys off
at the knees. Or loppin' the arms of a
flannel shirt. I ain't bought nuthin'
new since cousin Enid's weddin' two
years ago when I had to get me a suit
fitted. Nosireebob, fashion just ain't
my cup of brew.
Well, they says to me, it's got a
theme you see, it's "fashion under
stress," so maybe you can do
A theme? says I. Well, don't that
sound purty. It's still a pile of pig
Anyhow, I says, stress has agot to
be right down thar with fashion on
the Fat Al totem pole on account of
the fact that I ain't one to let that ol'
dread disease get to me. Boys, you
got a better chance to make a,
laughin" hyena cry than make me
stress out. Like my pa tol' me, if
you have to take a crap, it don't
matter how busy you are, you find
the time. Yeppers, and if you have to
sleep, you just go on ahead and find
time to saw yourself some logs. And
ifin you got to eat, you eat, and ifin
you got to relax, you pop yourself a
cold one and kick off your shit-
kickers. Life's just too goddamned
short to let yourself figger you ain't
got no time for the good things in it.
So I guess that there is my piece
on stress. See, I got my humongus
hands filled with laughing at life on
account of how I figger there ain't
but two choices in this crazy ol'
world: laugh at it or let it drive you
mad. And you ain't never goin' to
e a Pabst
see this fatman in Bellevue.
So the point in hand -- and that's
better'n two in the ivory tower - is
that with all the right proper things,
from tortuous smurfs in Panama to
cement on the diag, to fret 'n fuss
over, ifin you're feelin' stress over
what you're awearin', I feel right
sorry for you.
Continued from page 10
Windham Hill Records
The rise of so-called "new age"
music- the opening of a whole new
market to artists of truly musical
vision- has been one of the most
exciting, positive trends of the '80s,
often bringing instrumental
imagination to a pop music chart
plagued by the soulless, pushbutton
bimbo-pop of Tiffany, etc.
A refreshingly impossible-to-de-
fine category, new age can involve
styles ranging from acoustic-guitar
(Michael Hedges) to pseudo-fusion
rock (Shadowfax) or ambient solo-
piano (George Winston)-all artists
on the genre's. flagship label, Wind-
ham Hill. Despite the promise of
new ideas, one gets apprehensive
about new age releases-so many
amount to little more than dull, self-
indulgent keyboard noodlings.
Which is why a group such as
Interior comes as so breathtaking a
surprise-this duo encompasses all
the best possibilities opened up 'til
now by new age, combining subtle
atmospherics with the wide-screen
sound of film soundtracks and the
forceful rhythms of modern rock.
The album's title is appropriate;
Interior dismiss baroque new-age
wimpiness with the power of grand
designs. At their best, as the expan-
sive "Gaia" suggests, members Eiki
Nonaka (guitars, sampled drums) and
Daisuke Hinata (keyboards) aspire to
a style that puts the sublime elec-
tronic patterns of synth-composers
Vangelis and Larry Fast into the
simplified focus of pop structures.
The combination of Hinata's uplift-
ing arpeggios and ethereal sampling
keyboards with Nonaka's engaging
drum sounds and synth-bass rhythms
approaches the stately big-music dy-
namics of Shadowfax or rockers
And although the songs on Design
meld into a seamless whole, their
variety further testifies to a wide
scope of influences. The placid at-
mospherics of "River" and "Out of
Tokyo" expand on Brian Eno's am-
bience, while "N.Y. 1908" is the
closest Interior get to Winston, a
classically-influenced solo piano
piece. The beautiful "Shadows of
You" draws texture from ornate
acoustic guitar and breathy, wide-
open thematic spaces. And the ob-
tuse, surging bass of "Spring Walk"
is an experimental touch from the
cutting edge; significantly, the use
of MIDI sequencers and fully digital
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WEEKEND/MARCH 25, 1988