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October 17, 1988 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-10-17

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Billy Bragg
Continued from Page 8
but he's not that ugly. I'd compare him to
Hendrix, but he's not a junkie. He's like a mixture of
all of them, and that's what makes it difficult to pin-
point his exact genre.
It's best described as a rock 'n'
roll/folk/punk/rhythm 'n' blues gumbo, but I guess
that doesn't really tell much of anything. What really
matters is the actual music. Which is one, cheap I'm
told, guitar, and one man. Sometimes strumming,
sometimes finger-plucking, sometimes all-out grind-
ing. And always there right atop the microphone,
singing, shall I say, his heart out. And a beautifully
rusty, heavily British voice it is. Meshing with his
sharply-tuned guitar, creating a subtly-powerful sound.
None of that Tracy Chapman drool-and-strum slobber.
Flatout, he's one of the most talented musicians of
our time. Credentials galore; Between the Wars EP
voted single of all time in a British music newspaper,
and single of the week in three others, Brewing Up
With Billy Bragg to number two on the college music
Charts, "A New England" voted into the top ten in John
Peel's (yeah, of the Peel sessions) Festive Fifty,

extensive tours with the Smiths and Echo and the
Bunnymen (take that as you will), and sell-out solo
tours across the U.K.
Billy's currently touring for his new album, entitled
Workers Playtime, which is possibly his most politi-
cal, and interesting, project to date. Billy's politics are
omnipresent, like never before, in his songs - which
show blatant support of the British Labour Party, and
in his cover art - a beautiful painting of a gathering
of workers in what I suppose is the People's Republic
of China.
I am hesitant, however, to compare this to his pre-
vious recordings, for this album is anything but a solo
effort. In the past, the only other musician to appear
with some regularity (infrequently as it may be) on
Billy's vinyl was his best friend and road companion,
Wiggy, butWorkers Playtime incorporates numerous
other musicians. Included in the lineup are a bassist,
and surprisingly, a percussionist, and a pianist/back-up
vocalist who sounds amazingly like Tracey Thorn of
Everything But the Girl.
Billy Bragg is the musician everyone will lie to
their kids about seeing when they have families of their
own. I can hear it now, "Ah, yes. Billy Bragg. Saw
him while I was still in school, down in Ann Arbor..."
Yeah, right, dad.



The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 17, 1988 - Page 9

This 'Gore film' doesn't disgust, it disturbs

IF Chris Gore had his way, Redd
Foxx would be mayor of Detroit.
After all, "If he can run a junkyard.
he can run Detroit," says the incredi-
bly annoying 23-year-old renegade
filmmaker. That's how Gore thinks.
He dazzles, baffles, bores, and brutes.
He is full of paradoxes and
complexities, and he always has
something to say.
Gore is an artist, editor, author,
and underground filmmaker, who re-
sides in Detroit, home base for his
Film Threat magazine, the outspo-
ken authority on the Independent
Underground Film movement. His
new film, Cool Teenager From The
Planet X, comes to Ann Arbor
Monday night, but don't be fooled by
the title: "It's just some marketing
gimmick, it has nothing to do with
the film," Gore explains.
The film is set in Detroit's Cass
Corridor, where crack houses and
violence rule the streets - these are
the settings that Gore loves best. The
main character, Stephen, is based on
a real person Gore knows, and the
film follows his search for art, sex,
and drugs - "the boring rituals
worth living for," says Gore. But
don't look for a cinematic
extravaganza here, since the film cost
Gore less than a Yugo would.
Actually, he would like to see Cool
Teenager banned from Detroit. "I

wish it was banned. I feel like it is
because I can't seem to find a place
to get my film shown."
Chris Gore doesn't care, though.
"I'm not in this for the money. If I
were, I'd be making the next Star
Wars episode. No, I just love to
make films." Along with his sarcas-
tic and often abusive manner, there is
a rebellious creativity in Gore. He is
a perfectionist and workaholic, never
satisfied, always driving for more to
do. Currently, he is editing a movie,
putting together his next issue of
Film Threat, and working on a book.
"I like to have lots of things going
on all the time."
Is Gore pleased with Cool
Teenager? "I hate it," he says wryly.
"Maybe I could trick some art gal-
leries into showing it and convince
them that it means something. Peo-
ple in the art world are so fooled."
Chris Gore is definitely provoca-
tive, besides being repulsive and
ridiculous. He'll continue to convey
his art his way: with a touch of
criticism, cynicism, sarcasm, and
humor.. and he'll continue to make
bad films. "After all," he reflects, "If
you set out to make a bad film, how
can you fail?"
Chris Gore's Cool Teenager From
The Planet X appears tonight with
two of his short films, Betaville and
Doorman at Eyemediae which is lo-
cated at 214 N. Fourth Ave. Call
662-2470 for more information.

Continued from Page 8
homeless, and spoke out on issues
ranging from racism to the environ-
And with these experiences in
low she came back to transform
them into empowering ballads that
stretch far beyond the Red River.
Listen to "Black Widow," the story
of the wife of a man killed in Viet-
nam. Or "Graffiti Limbo," a
tongue-in-cheek denouncement about
the unjust death of Michael Stewart,
a Black graffiti artist who was ar-
rested and then strangled to death be-
fore 11 white cops in a New York
city subway station. When the case
came to court, the coroner had lost

the evidence, and

all the police went

It's this power that propelled
Michelle up the independent label
charts with Texas Campfire Tapes
and placed Short Sharp Shocked at
number two on the college album
charts. And it's this popularity that
has her touring throughout the
United States and Europe both solo
and with Billy Bragg.
So you can understand when I
engage in a little Lone Star flag-
waving. After all, it all began at the
Kerrville Folk Festival, when an
unnamed English man approached
Michelle and asked her if he could
tape her on his Walkman. So amidst
the crickets and the roaring trucks of
a nearby highway, she sang and she
sang and she sang. And these songs

became the simple but captivating
catalyst entitled Texas Campfire
And you can understand why I'm
so touched by her. She is living
proof that you can take the woman
out of Texas, but you can't take the
Texas out of the woman. You can
hate Texas for its constrained, close-
minded attitudes, but you can't hate
its wild, wide-open optimism.

"I wish (Cool Teenager
from the Planet X) was
banned. I feel like it is
because I can't seem to
find a place to get my
film shown."
-Chris Gore


The Universityof Michigan
- ef

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Michigan residents who have been out of high school more than two years
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Contact the Office of Financial Aid for details and application.

And they're both repre-
sented by the insignia you wear
as a member of the Army Nurse
Corps. The caduceus on the left
means you're part of a health care
system in which educational and
t career advancement are the rule,
not the exception. The gold bar
on the right means you command respect as an Army officer. If you're
earning a BSN, write: Army Nurse Opportunities, P.O. Box 7713,
Clifton, NJ 07015. Or call toll free 1-800-USA-ARMY.

Mon.-Fri. 8:15-11:45 and 1:00-4:00
Thurs. 10:00-11:45 and 1:00-4:00

NOVEMBER 15, 1988

Call Us










We will be accepting family housing applications on:
October 21, 1988, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Office of Orientation
wants you to have an


Applications are
currently available
in the Office of

No need to line up early, we will take all applica-
tions from that one day (10/21/88) and hold a
DRAWING. So your chances of a good position are
the same whether you come in at 8 a.m. or 4 p.m.
These applications are for family housing placement
from December 15, 1988, through June 30, 1989.
Apply in person at:
The Housing Information Office
1011 Student Activities Building
on October 21, 1988.
If you have any questions, call 763-3164.
- .YT T0 . 1' K". 1

Orientation, Room 3000
-Michigan Union

- ~S~J -


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