Wednesday, September 28, 1988
The Michigan Daily
Jad Fair and Kramer
Roll Out the Barrel
A virtual one-man musical renaissance, Mark Kramer is a hero of
mine. His band Bongwater released one of the best records of 1988
(Double Bummer) , Kramer himself produced one of the best albums
of 1987 (Half Japanese's Music to Strip By), and he also sold t-shirts
at one of the best Broadway shows in history (Penn and Teller).
These accomplishments would be enough to satisfy most people, but
not Kramer. The man is incessantly writing, performing, and
producing music that consistently gives me a bigger rush than
anything this side of a Savage Pencil picture disc.
Kramer's latest project, Roll out the Barrel (Shimmy-Disc), is a
collaboration with another hero of mine, Jad Fair. In case you don't
know, Jad is a singer/ songwriter/ guitarist for one of the greatest and
most innovative groups in rock history, Half Japanese.
Thrown into this already volatile mixture are an incredible array of
guests. Penn Jillette, John Zorn, Thurston Moore, and Kim Gordon
are just some of the awesome talents that contributed to Roll Out the
With this many people involved, you might start thinking that this'
album is a conceptual hodge-podge. And you'd be right. But it's also
one of the most powerful and hilarious hodge-podges ever pressed on,
vinyl. That said, here is the Roll Out the Barrel top ten (out of 27
1. "Subterranean Homesick Blues"- Penn Jillette yelping out Bob
Dylan's beat to a heavy bongo beat.
2. "California"- Kramer's incredibly beautiful song is hard,
melodic pop with a melancholy John Zorn sax solo. This is definitely
one of the greatest songs the Beatles never recorded.
3. "Cheerleader's Wild Weekend"- Jad Fair's hilariously painful
tale of high school abandon and abandonment... Hot damn.
4. "King Kong"- Jad recites Daniel Johnston's incredibly tragic
story of the doomed King of Skull Island. Thurston and Kim
contribute guitar noise, natch.
5. "Second Thought"- Here is Kramer's love of dramatic heavy
riffage collides head on with Jad's cries of desperation.
6. "Blind Hope"- A goofy but truly inspirational song. "But hope
did not give up on me. And that's the point I'm trying to make."
7. "When is She Coming"- Jad's waiting for love while Kramer
cranks a stuttering, feedback drone.
8. "Den of Angels"- Kramer's dream grunge with one of Jad's
most lysergic songs of love and fury.
9. "Twist and Shout"- The Beatles, rawer than raw, with Jad and,
Penn dueting. n
10. "Paths of Glory"- The dense, doom-filled finale, replete with
a collage of Kramerisms. Stan "the man" Kubrick would dig it.
Simply put, Roll Out the Barrel is as essential as an ass or an
elbow. Surely you can understand that, can't you? -Brian Berger
Guess what? There's a new Bon Jovi album! It's called New Jersey!
I'm from New Jersey! The state is great! The record isn't! How come?
This record sounds great! But it doesn't rock! Jon thinks he's Bruce
Springsteen! He won't shut up! These songs suck! Really! "Livin'
on a Prayer" was excellent! "You Give Love a Bad Name" was also
good! These songs are unoriginal! Uninspired! BORING! Jon! Kids
wanna rock! Like Guns-n-Roses! Like AC/DC! Jon! Kids live in New
Jersey! They want to party at the shore! They want to have sex in the
sand! They want rock and roll! Not Bon Jovi! -Brian Berger
Martin Tury, your host at the Beat, isn't the lead singer for the Holy Cows, but he performs a remarkable imitation while
introducing the Washtenaw County band.
BY BRIAN JARVINEN
SO you want to see some live
music tonight, huh? For $25 you.
could go see an arena show in
Detroit, or for $15 you could check
out touring acts in one of the
theoretically cheap rock clubs in the
metro area. Those prices don't exact-
ly leave you with any suds funds.
So once again you decide to stay
in Ann Arbor. Your choices now
include one of A Squared's frequent,
excellent blues shows, but maybe
you're not in blues mode today, or
jazz for that matter. How about
some reggae? For the same reason
you can't afford to get out of town
you can't afford any dope, so that's
out too, unless you enjoy jonesing.
All this stressful decision making
leads you yet again towards another
local pop/rock show (horrors!). Real
music fans know that the various
"(insert music/fashion style here)
Nights" at the U-Club just won't
satisfy their Marshall Amplifier Ad-
diction, nor will their far-too-quiet
"concerts." Thoughts of hearing
sloppy versions of "Louie, Louie,"
"Burning Down the House," and
"Proud Mary" for the umpteenth
time don't exactly get the adrenaline
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Telephone: (801) 943-0290
New club aims at fostering
local rock 'n' roll talent
When Tury took over as the
promoter at The Beat a few months
ago, he wanted to feature Ann Arbor
bands playing three sets a night.
However Tury has now begun using
opening bands because he "found
that most bands are uncomfortable
doing three sets of originals."
Starting in October, The Beat will
feature bands from throughout the
Metro area while still concentrating
on tree town tunes.
So far The Beat has been fairly
successful showcasing local rock;
the Folkminers drew one of their
biggest crowds ever when they
played their final gig there. Tury
sums it up: "This is what the town
needed. I really believe in turning
people on to original writings."
flowing either. Maybe it will be
pitcher night, you rationalize.
But there's no need to - local
lounge lizards now have a new
entertainment option, The Beat.
Located above the Heidelberg Res-
taurant at 215 N. Main, The Beat is
open Wednesday and Thursday nights
starting at 9:30 p.m
The Beat is booked by local
promoter Martin Tury (and no, he's
not the guy responsible for the Kites
and Maroon). Big deal, you're think-
ing. Just another place to hear
R.E.M. covers while the game is
on, right? What makes the Beat
unique is the emphasis on original
rock and roll. "The Beat is designed
to premiere local rock bands," Tury
explains. "No jazz, no reggae, no
blues. Maybe some folk-rock -
look at what Tracy Chapman has
done ... the main purpose is to
showcase original songs."
Tury is also a local sing-
er/songwriter who plays a 12-string
guitar alone or as a duo with a
female singer named Magdalina. Be-
cause of this, he knows "what it is
like to put everything you got into
an original song and not get any
response when it ends because of all
the the other things going on in the
Thus the Beat has no jukebox, no
television, and no video games -
but it does have a stage, a dance
floor, and an alcohol license, the
three key ingredients for live music.
Tury notes, "People really pay
attention to the bands."
This week THE BEAT has The
Strand with special guest Borax on
Wednesday night and .the New
Adventures and 66 Spy on Thursday.
Doors open at 9:30 p.m. and cover
is always $3.
Let us do your alterations!
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Gowns (Long, Short)........15.00 Dresses...................8.00
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