Tuesday, January 10, 1989
The Michigan Daily
By Harlan Ellison
Everyone has had nightmares so
uncanny and vivid they seem real.
Harlan Ellison's tales are so real
they might give you nightmares.
The final odd tale following the
16 seemingly unconnected others
contains a nightmare Ellison
actually had. After the acknowledge-
ments, introduction, table of con-
tents, an almost silent, slender page
hosts the words "There is no mem-
ory with less satisfaction in it than
the memory of some temptation we
resisted." Here starts the beginning
of the frayed thread that runs through
each question mark arising from
Ellison's interesting proposals.
A former writer for The Twilight
Zone and winner of the 1988 Edgar
Allen Poe Award, Ellison, in his
own words, "scares away the casual
reader." The profound overtones in
each of the 20- to 30-page stories
come from a man who also covered
the Chicago race riots 'with James
Baldwin and championed the Equal
Rights Amendment in his speech
circuit for years. As evidenced by his
almost too vivid imagery, televis-
ion-like setting, shortened style and
dramatic flair, his career(s) as a
* reporter, columnist, essayist, and tel-
evision and screen writer are all
strangely able to work themselves
into his prose. Ellison is a man as
interesting as his tales.
17 stories comprise Angry
Candy, an "assembled artifact" of
past experiences, dreams, possibili-
ties, lives- and, more importantly
deaths - both personal and univers-
al. The necrology, or, at times, more
Sappropriately necrophilia, begins
with tales progressively named
"Footsteps," "Escapegoat," "On The
Slab," and "Stuffing" and ends up on
"The Function of Dream Sleep."
Cacaphonic wording and syncopation
that is one beat off produce a box of
assorted temptations which might
not taste as sweet as they appear.
His seductive, slightly stream-of-
consciousness style leads the reader
to the edge of a situation but lets the
leap of belief, of choice, up to you.
But any box of candy also has
inherent faults - it often doesn't
last long enough to completely
satisfy and is often a little too sweet.
You might know them as The Band
With The Silly Looking Videos.
OK, nobody's perfect - but with 19
songs of this quality, what's a gim-
mick or two between friends?
Lincoln (named for Lincoln,
Mass., spawning place of the two
Giants, John Linnell and John
Flansburgh) is not a relaxing album.
Filled with jerky guitar chords and
images of animated scarecrows,
shoehorns with teeth, and wrecking
balls, Lincoln is, well, tense. The
clipped, game-show-buzzer chords
leading to the lines "Make a hole
with a gun perpendicular/ To the
name of this town in a desk-top
globe" in the lead track, "Ana Ng,"
set the tone for the rest of the album
recreated the sensory overload you
got from flipping through your pre-
cable 12 channels so fast your Mom
said you were going to break the
But any generation that can distill
the news from CNN is capable of
reaping sense from this sonic col-
lage. For every Dadaist line about
jumping into fountains is a nugget
like "What's the point in ever
thinking about the tomb/ When
you're much too busy returning to
the womb?" And for every foray into
mock lounge crooning ("Kiss Me,
Son of God") or wedding-band polka
("Shoehorn With Teeth"), there's
several top-notch pop melodies
("They'll Need A Crane," "Where
Your Eyes Don't Go," "Stand On
Your Own Head") that reach deep
into your heart and pull out a giant
string of colored scarves.
For all the havoc that the media
explosion has wrought, it has at
least produced good in Lincoln.
They Might Be Giants have produced
the perfect objet d'art for the chil-
dren of the Electronic Fireplace -
an album that doesn't try our atten-
tion spans while reminding us that
just down the street from the
Cleavers was very likely a kid who
grew up to shoot up a Burger King.
Don't touch that dial.
The Price of Progression
Geffen seems to be relying on gimmicks to break
new bands these days. Rock City Angel's three sided
debut album worked well, but they had the ballsy
tunes to back it up. Unfortunately, Columbus Ohio's
The Toll's debut single/video "Jonathan Toledo," a
10:09 cry-for-the-Indians opus, has no balls at all. As
if one "We Will Fall" style indulgence wasn't enough,
The Toll had to also incule the 10:32 "Anna-41-Box."
The Toll's politically correct tales of Native
Americans, sexual liberation, and hypocritical
religions are admirable enough I guess, but that
doesn't make up for boring tunes. Songs like these
aren't impossible to do; just ask Ted Nugent if he's
seen any "Great White Buffaloes" lately.
- Jia arvinn
- a twisted look at Americana
which makes the bizarre seem more
bizarre by marrying it with the ordi-
nary. C. f. (see, f'rexample) the
cover, a photo of a church-like mini-
structure emblazoned with portraits
out of a 6th grade history book and
two clocks reading different times.
They Might Be Giants present us
our culture the same way it presents
itself to us - through snippets and
soundbites, jumbled almost beyond
sense. "Purple Toupde" retells the
news of the '60s through the eyes of
a child of the era overdosed on media
("I remember the year I went to
camp/ Heard about a lady named
Selma and some Blacks"). By com-
bining lyrics ranging from the sub-
liminal ("Every jumbled pile of per-
son has a thinking part that wonders
what the part that isn't thinking
isn't thinking of") to the ridiculous
("I'm going to see the cow beneath
the sea") with music from power-
pop to polka, the two johns have
They Might Be Giants
So there I was, sitting in my liv-
ing room with MTV's 120 Minutes
on the set, watching the latest videos
by The Band With The Ten Minute
Long Songs, The Band From Ice-
So you've just stood in line
for two hours to buy $200 worth
of paperback books. "I'm gonna
die," you think. "I'm definitely
So of course you don't want to
read when you don't have to.
After all, why would you want to
read the latest in fiction and the
newest non-fiction? It's nobody'
you'd ever study in class - all
these authors are still alive. And
you wouldn't have room for the
Well, if you're really crazed (or
just can't pass up the free
books), then don't miss this one-
time opportunity - write for the
Daily Arts book section. Call the
Arts department at 763-0379.
land, The Band With The Singer
With The Really High Voice, when
I rose up in indignation (as I am
wont to do in fictional narratives)
and cried, "For God's sake, doesn't
anybody just write good songs
Nothing happened. The heavens
didn't open up to give me an answer,
no one knocked on my door selling
copies of the perfect album, and
MTV just went on to play a song by
The Band With The Political Lyrics.
Welcome to the world.
But the next day, I did pick up
Lincoln, by They Might Be Giants.
Entwistle and/or Daltrey arc sup-
The Advertising Department of
will be closed on Monday January 16
in recognition of DIVERSITY DAY.
All ads for Thursday January 194
will be due on Friday January 13 at 2:30
summer in Israel, a
year a study, kibbutz,
aliya? Meet with a
representative of the
Jewish Agency's kib-
butz' aliyah desk, who
will be at Hillel to
answer questions and
about a wide variety of
programs in Israel.
Call 769-0500 for an
Thursday, January 12
10 am -2:30pm
Thursday, January 26
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endorse the Daily's opinions
or agree with its editorial policies.
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The Summer of
Minority Students: Interested in
becoming a Resident Staff
member with the Housing
Attend one of the Pre-Orientation
Workshops for Minority Students!
Talk with current minority student
-rn) and professional staff about
resident staff positions!
Learn about the selection process
that begins in late January!
LIKE COMING OUT
At Scientific-Atlanta, we subscribe to an ag-
gressive philosophy of working to win. If
that coincides with your view of a career, we
offer great opportunities for the innovative
use of your talents and for professional and
As a winning edge Fortune 500 communica-
tions company, we are an established leader
in cable television electronics and satellite-
based communications networks. We are
also a key supplier of electronic instruments
and control systems.
Find out about the opportunity waiting for
you at Scientific-Atlanta. Plan to come to our
company presentation on Wednesday,
January 11, 1989
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Tues. Jan. 10, 6-8 pm
Nikki Giovanni Lounge
Kucar nr nn Wn un
Wed. Jan. 11, 6-8 pm
Reception immediately following in the