Page 8-- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 13, 1988
Friends are Good as Gold
Don't be fooled by this photo! At last report, Pat DiNizio
(far right) of the Smithereens had grown back his cute little
goatee, so you won't be let down tonight.
Rock from the East ...
BY BRIAN JARVINEN
W HAT is college music? God
only knows. What is rock and roll?
Rock and roll is Buddy Holly, the
Beach Boys, the Beatles. The
Smithereens definitely play rock and
roll, but they are unfortunately con-
sidered part of the "college music"
Why is this? God only knows.
The Smithereens broke out of
nowhere last year with one of the
most successful independent LPs
ever, Especially For You, on
Enigma Records. The record finished
the year in the top 100, one of the
few debut records to manage the feat,
and one of only around 25 records in
the chart by bands that started their
careers in the '80s. The success of
the album rested on no less than
three radio-friendly singles, "Blood
And Roses," "Behind The Wall Of
Sleep," and "In A Lonely Place."
These are amazing stats for a band
competing in a world that rewards
bands who choose material picked by
13 year-olds (Bon Jovi) and waits six
years and five albums to anoint an
original band "America's Best Rock
And Roll Band" on the cover of
Rolling Stone (R.E.M.).
One would think that with five
radio/MTV singles (their new al-
bum, Green Thoughts, has generated
two more, including the excellent
"House We Used To Live In") and
albums available at every K-Mart,
the Smithereens should be the
hottest thing since Coca-Cola Clas-
sic. They're definitely more success-
ful than the countless original rock
acts still struggling on the indie la-
bels, but no one lines up when their
records arrive in the store. The band
is not mega-popular enough to be in
People, but are too slightly-popular
to be scorned by the hip underground
that picked up Especially For You
before Capitol started distributing it.
Instead, the band is kept going by
loads of college age kids who know
good rock and roll when they hear it.
The Smithereens are a standard
rock and roll quartet who play stan-
dard, Friday-night-freedom rock
songs. Their sound is instantly fa-
miliar; they don't pretend to have a
revolutionary sound. Yet they never
come close to the mumble-jangle of
so many current combos. The vocals
explain the band's appeal. Lead
singer Pat DiNizio has a distinctive
voice that charms the listener, and
works even better with the harmony
vocals from the other three mem-
bers. On top of these classic stylings
DiNizio writes simple sad tales that
could give Morrissey a run for his
money if it weren't for the fact that
DiNizio avoids asking for pity every
In a world bombarded by new
singles from Night Ranger and Sur-
vivor, the Smithereens remind us
that there still is some real rock and
roll left. Thank God they made it out
of Lodi, even if they haven't hit the
THE SMITHEREENS perform at 8
p.m. at the Power Center. Aus-
tralia's hot new crooner Paul Kelley
will open the show. Tickets are
... thrash from the
BY D. MARA LOWENSTEIN
C OUGHING up his own riotous
originals, and covers of bands such
as the Fleshtones, Social Distortion,
Gang Green, the Germs, Toxic Rea-
sons, and the Clash, D.J. Lebowitz,
an acoustic pianist and one-man
hardcore band from San Francisco
will viciously pound out your fa-
vorite thrasher tunes tonight at the
Having successfully failed on The
Gong Show, Lebowitz went on to
record his first LP, BEWARE OF
THE PIANO (Fowl Records), which
hit #1 on Berkeley's KALX Top 100
list in June of 1987. He's appeared
live at multitudinous hot spots in-
cluding The DNA Lounge in San
Fransisco, The Pub in Amherst,
MA, and Jed's in New Orleans.
If you're hip to the slang of the
subway generation, Lebowitz is for
you. Cole Porter fans beware, this
is not by any stretch of the
imagination "interesting cocktail
music"... this is hard core at its
D. J. LEBOWITZ will thrash the
folk out of the Ark at 8 p.m.
tonight. Admission is $6.50 or
$5.50 for members and students.
Bring your Minor Threat songbook.
How to make a hit.
The American Express' Card is a hit virtuallI
aIWnfhere VMu shop. from Los Angeles to
L ondon \hether you re buying books. haseball
tickets or brunch. So during college and after.
it s the perfect way to pa. for ust about
evertihing you ll want..
How to get
the Card now.
C College is the first
sign of success. And
because we believe in .our
potential. weve made it easier for
students of this school to get the
American Express Card right
now--even without a job or a
credit histor\. So whether you re an
underclassnian. senior or
grad student, look into
our automatic approval
offers. For details pick up an
application on campus. Or call
1-800-THE-CARD and ask for a
The American Express Card.
)on't Leave School Without It.