100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

October 07, 1988 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-10-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Easter 'Active' in
more than one way

A

night

of

Church conquers
the final frontier

BY JIM PONIEWOZIK

S OME people make a living
writing songs. Some people make a
living playing guitar on other
people's albums. Some people make
a living producing albums. This
usually leaves them with a certain
Aamount of time for luxuries like
sleep.
Other people don't know when to
stop.:,
"As we speak, I'm so tired I can't
express it," says Mitch Easter, while
doing a telephone interview, which
is something he does when he's not
sifting through tapes from dozens of
bands who want him to produce their
albums, which is something he does
when he's not mixing albums in his
home-built studio in Winston-
Salem, which is something he does
when he's not touring with his band,
Let's Active.
And note the order - because
Easter is quick to emphasize that,
even though he's probably best
known as the Guy Who Made The
R.E.M. .Albums, his
agrammatically-named band comes
first. This in spite of the fact that it
took them 2 1/2 years to release
their latest LP, Every Dog Has His
Day.
"That's not our fault at
all," Easter hastens to explain. "We
would have loved to make a record
immediately after the last one, but
there's just so much logistical stuff
you have to get rolling."
In any case, the wait has been
.well worth it. What? No, it hasn't.
,Waiting 2 1/2 years for a release
from a band this good is a pain in

the ass. But at least it was ended by
the release of the best album yet
from these North Carolinian twang-
popsters - a slab of guitar gems
tough enough to smack you a good
one 'cross the chops, but beautiful
enough to touch you where you
can't reach without a scalpel.
In 1983, when Let's Active
issued their first EP, afoot, the new.
music scene was showing signs of
stagnation; one-dimensional
synthesizer bands abounded and the
punk wave of the late '70s was no
longer able to muster more than a
feeble "oi." afoot, with its
whimsical, sugar-sweet melodies and
clear ringing guitars, burst onto the
scene like the liquid flavor in
Freshen-up Gum.
But after afoot and their
complex, layered follow-up,
Cypress, the original trio of Easter,
drummer Sara Romweber and bassist
Faye Hunter parted ways - the
rhythm section taking the band's
quirky, offbeat bounce, but Easter
taking the songwriting talent.He
reformed the band, this time as a
harder-rocking four-piece that
channeled Easter's singalong pop
melodies through a giant Marshall
stack for an almost Led Monkees
effect.
And the Zeppelin similarities
were not lost on at least one expert
-- Robert Plant himself. Apparently
old Pruneface got turned on to the
band via the BBC, and to Easter's
surprise, began showering praise on
them like live fish on a groupie in
every mag that would give him
space -- surprising limelight for a
band so obscure a club owner once

a

g

THE CHURCH (above), with opening acts LET'S
ACTIVE and TOM VERLAINE (formerly of
Television), will play the Michigan Theater Sunday
night at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16.50. Be there or do
your homework.

BY BRIAN JARVINEN
IF you think you have any concept
of the word "psychedelic," you have
no excuse for missing the Church
concert at the Michigan Theater on
Sunday night. Fans of psychedelic
music or um, ahhh, um, "sub-
stances" will definitely enjoy the trip
to the Milky Way and beyond that
awaits them.
"Psychedelic" is an overused word
- I probably broke three of my
English teachers' hearts already and
I've only written one paragraph. The
term is a musical catchall that en-
compasses every one from Jimi
Hendrix to Iron Butterfly to my man
Syd. The Church's music fits the
term, but that is an oversimpli-
fication: while they are influenced by
those explorers from the Decade That
Won't Die, the Church are complete-
ly 100pg original.
The Church began their musical
voyages in Sydney, Australia in
1980. By the dawn ofA1981, their
current lineup had solidified around
bassist, lead vocalist, and main writer
Steve Kilbey. The rest of the band is
Richard Ploog on drums and Peter
Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper on
the brain-wave manipulators, err, I
mean guitars. Over the course of five
albums and almost as many record
labels and distributors, the Church
mapped out their distinctive sound
and recorded a very-hard-to-collect
discography.
Earlier this year, the band released
their sixth album, Starfish. The
record came at a turning point in
their career. Their previous LP,
RESUME
SERVICE
For a resume that can do the
job, depend on Kinko-s.
kionko's"
the copy center
540 E. Liberty 761-4539
1220 S. University 747-9070
Michigan Union 662-1222
(open early, open late)

1986's heyday, featured "Colum-
bus," which received a smidgen of
radio support but didn't convince
Warner Brothers to keep them.
During 1987 Kilbey, Willson-Piper
and Koppes all released solo records.
Fans were greatly reassured last
winter when Arista released Starfish.
"Under the Milky Way," the first
single from the record, mirrors the
rest of the album in that Kilbey's
voice has a new maturity that
initially distracts long-time listeners,
but after reaching for the volume
knob the power of the now
uncluttered dual guitar attack reveals
itself, offering listeners a ticket to a
journey that passes the Voyager
satellites by the end of the first song.
Starfish comes closer than any
other record to capturing the intensity
of the Church's live sound. The two
guitarists take turns navigating while
Kilbey and Ploog maintain a fast but
steady reality. Last summer in Royal
Oak, the band played an impressive
two-hour set that drew heavily from
their last two LPs as well as their
first two, Of Skins and Heart and
The Blurred Crusade. The highlights
were many, including a cover of Neil
Young's "Like a Hurricane" and a
devastating second encore of "Hotel
Womb" and "You Took."
The band claims that their records
aren't as intense as their live shows,
something I didn't believe after a
zillion listenings of Starfish on
headphones. But after their Royal
Oak show left me somewhere in an
unmapped galaxy, I had to agree.
CAMPUS I
o BUSCH
R 12 PACK CANS
N -$4.49
+Tax
+Deposit
R -while supplies last
665-4431
818 S. STATE, ANN ARBOR
OPEN TIL MIDNIGHT SUN-THURS
2AM FRI&SAT

billed them as "Les Active."
"It's been really wild, he's been
mentioning us just constantly in all
the interviews he's done lately,"
Easter said. "It's just like this thing
from the blue... When we went over
to Wales in November to record the
record we ran into him, because he
lives near there, and it was the same
thing; he couldn't tell usenough
how great we were. It was just
weird. He was obviously completely
sincere because he knows the records
inside out"
But the band's newfound power
has gotten them more than just a
footnote in the next revised edition
of Hammer of the Gods; it's also
left them with a tighter live sound
than Easter could achieve with the
inventive but neophyte trio. "The
original trio was kind of erratic," he
said. "When it worked it was great,
but I never knew when it would."
On the other hand, the beefed-up
sound he achieves with the help of
keyboardist/guitarist Angie Carlson,
bassist John Heames, and drummer
Eric Marshall delivers a punch on

vinyl that should swell to Popeye-
size on stage. Though Easter still
writes hooks a-plenty, he now has
harpoons to stick them on instead of
8-pound test line, resulting in a
delivery to straight enough to sound
at home on - could it be - the
radio?
"I think it's possible," Mitch
says. "Most people, by the time
they've made a couple of records, are
fairly good; the thing that may not
happen is the promotional
machinery... I don't think our songs
are completely indigestible."
D aie
C Azbbiji !c15

Performing Pavane

...

Ann Arbor Repertory Theatre will launch its first full
season, as well as the University's Black Entertainment
,Series, with the performance of Black Pavane Sunday at
1:30 p.m. at East Quad's Halfway Inn. Pavane, according
to the theater, is "the story of Lorraine, a Black teenager
who is trying to overcome the obstacles in herself and her
ghetto environment, in order to realize her dream of
becoming a classical ballerina."
COL LEGE
B.O W L
Trivia Tournament
Register 4-Person Teams
Now for the Oct./Nov.
Open Tournament!

THE REVOLUTION WILL BE LIVE!!!!

Registration Deadline
OCTOBER 10

Register
at UAC, 2105

Michigan Union.

for more info
call 763-1107 '

L

JKIIJRESTAURANT
"24 YEARS EXPERIENCE"
CH EF JAN
TOP GOLD MEDAL WINNER
JUDGES SPECIAL AWARD
SPONSORED BY MICHIGAN RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION
MICHIGAN-CHEFS DE CUISINE ASSOCIATION
BEST CHEF AWARD WINNER
IN WASHINGTON D.C.

GIL SCOTT-HERON
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 8:00PM
MENDELSSOHN THEATRE, ANN ARBOR
CHARGE BY PHONE: 763-TKTS DETROIT AREA: 423-6666
TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE MICHIGAN UNION TICKET
OFFICE AND ALL /.K- .sra .
ECLIPSE PROGRAMS ARE MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY GRANTS FROM:
(// 1 Enowmnt Id / 1 k or he Arta s l
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
OFFER
A FOREIGN SERVICE CAREER
Representing the United States abroad as a
Foreign Service Officer
The Initial Step:
The Annual Foreign Service
Written Examination
December 3, 1988
Deadline for receipt of application:

Practicing Pharm.D.'s discuss
Career Options
for
Doctor of Pharmacy graduates
A U-M College of Pharmacy seminar
open to all students

October 14, 1988
You may obtain an application by calling
(24 hour line) or by writing:

(703) 875-7108

U.S. Department of State
Recruitment Division (ON)
P.O. Box 9317 Rosslyn Station
Arlington, VA 22209
or at you Career Planning and Placement Office

i

0

0

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan