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March 10, 1989 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-10
This is a tabloid page

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Power-pop platoon performs
Aren't Canadian
spirits always
better, anyhow? 4
By Brian Jarvinen

A Condominium of Your o
for the Price of the Dor
or an Apartment


When critics write about pop
music, they invariably use adjectives
derived from the literal use of the
word 'pop.' Lately, though, pop
music tastes more like Kool-Aid
than anything else; you can drink the
stuff forever and not get any
satisfaction. Listening to The Pur-
suit Of Happiness, on the other
hand, is more like drinking revved
up 100 proof Southern Comfort;
definitely sweet, but packing one
hell of a kick. (I guess that would
make Metallica the Everclear jungle
juice of rock, but that's another
TPOH's sugary delights result
from the interplay between front
man Moe Berg andbhis excellent
backup singers Kris Abbott (who
doubles on guitar) and Leslie Stan-
wyck. The kick is supplied by guitar
power-chords and the insistent
rhythm section ofdrummer Dave
Gilby and bass player Johnny Sin-
The band first reached American
audiences in late '88, but they have
been gathering steam in Canada for a
while now. Edmonton natives Berg
and Gilby formed the band in
Toronto in 1986; before that Berg
had been in several bands and per-
formed as a solo artist. Several of
TPOH's songs date from Berg's solo
act, including the ubiquitous "I'm
An Adult Now," the video for which
first broke the band in Canada in
'86-'87. This, in turn led to several
Canadian independent singles and
eventually to a contract with
For their major label debut, Love
Junk, The Pursuit of Happiness

Listening to The Pursuit
Of Happiness is like
drinking revved up 100
proof Southern Com-
fort; definitely sweet,
but packing one hell of
a kick.

Introducing Tower Plaza Condomini
a community which combines "off cc
independence with "on campus" spire
much, much more. . .and all for the
price your paying to live in a dorm or

went in the studio with produ
Todd Rundgren, a perfect mat
given that TPOH songs are easi
mistaken for a new Utopia sing
The work with Rundgren has g
nered the band plenty of attenti'
which Berg described as a "bonu
While working with Rundgren, t
band re-recorded some of their son
of which Berg says, "I'm still hap
with the old songs but obviousl
like the new versions from worki
with Todd better - the old or
were recorded under primitive con
tions." Of the band's obvious Ru]
gren influence, Berg has said in
other interview, "The truth ist
record would have sounded a bit l
Todd no matter who was producin
Since the release of Love Ju
"I'm An Adult Now" has done fa
well on rock radio, but the videor
relegated to MTV's 120 Minu
show. This is odd, considering
song's previous video success (al
with a different, cheaper versic
Berg notes "We've had more vid
in Canada. I don't really underst
the video industry here yet. I ct
really spend my life worrying ab

AV ~

y I

& * j I. A
The newly-mature Replacements will play the Michigan Theater tonight, in concert with Pursuit of
Replacements:Re s
without a clue grow up

di- By Jim Poniewozik
nd- Ever notice how, when sitcom
an- producers want to kiss up to the 18-
our to-24 target group, they slip in a
ike reference to whatever cool new rock
g." 'n' roll band is hip with kids today,
daddio? Well, a few weeks ago, on
nk, an episode of Day By Day, a teenage
irly character exited a scene saying he had
was to pick up the new album by - not
ates Bruce Springsteen, not Michael
the Jackson - but the Replacements.
bbeit On national TV.
n). If you flipped channels to MTV,
eos you may have seen their video, "I'll
and Be You," featuring Paul Westerberg
an't looking suav-ey and debonair in a
bout golf shirt. Not on some special "new
i music" show at 1:30 a.m. In the
-middle of the day. For normal hu-
mans to watch between Rick Astley
and Vixen.
Welcome to the big time, boys.
The Replacements, it seems, have
become the world's favorite prodi-
gals. People are using words like
"reserve" and "maturity" to describe
the band that recorded "Gary's Got a
Boner." Tousling their newly-kempt
hair and chiding them about what
little monsters they were when they
were just this big. And what little
monsters they were.
From their first concert as a pack
of drunk, scared kids in Minneapolis,
to their coming out as a pack of
drunk, scary adults, the Replace-

ments have always embodied that
which is childish in rock 'n' roll.
Singer/songwriter Westerberg, gui-
tarist Bob Stinson, bassist Tommy
Stinson, and drummer Chris Mars
mixed a love for the classic pop of
bands like Big Star and the Raspber-
ries with a hate for peace and quiet,
and attacked the resultant monster
mash of ill-fingered chords with a
4th grade gym class fervor.
And if this was evident in their
early studio work (and album titles)
like Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out
the Trash and The Replacements
Stink, it was even more so in their
live shows. The four-man garage
army quickly became known for
crashing through covers such as
Elvis' "Do the Clam" like a bowling
ball through a set of glass pins,
roaring through originals with
string-breaking fury, then falling
drunk off the stage.
But as the band gained critic's
kudos with 1984's Let It Be,1985's
Tim, and 1987's Pleased To Meet
Me, they also racked up some
losses: Bob Stinson (kicked out after
showing up several songs late for
one too many of the band's con-
certs), Westerberg's single status (he
married a former Schoolkids'
Records employee), and much of
their bad-boy standing.
Enter the late '80s Replacements:
redeemed, rested, and ready to live

past age 30. On their latest, Don't
Tell A Soul, Westerberg takes dark,
confessional looks at insecurities
professional ("The things you hold
dearly/ are scoffed at, and yearly/
judged once and then left aside" form
"They're Blind") and personal, as on
"Back to Back". Westerberg writes of
"rebels without a clue," as he calls
himself: people who don't know
what they want, but want it badly -
and who are getting ever farther from
it ("The richer are getting richer," he
sings on the funky "Asking Me
Lies," "The poor are getting drunk").
What are probably the best lyrics
of his career are backed up by soulful
tunes that surprised many by rarely
venturing beyond mid-tempo.
Though some lack the sheer pop ef-
fervescence of Pleased, the new
songs reach new heights of warmth
and subtle visceral probing. And
Westerberg shows on "I Won't" that
he can still rant like the crabbiest
So Junior's given up his incorri-
gible ways and come home for the
weekend. He's settled down, gotten
hitched, and cleaned up his act. But
Friday night, the folks are leaving
him alone with the kids. And they're
still a little nervous... 01
NESS play the Michigan Theater
tonight at 10 p.m.

~A Great Location! 1 block from cai
stores, restaurants and entertains
your doorstep.
~A plush lobby with the security of a
-26 floors of spectacular views of capi
the football stadium and the city
-On site management and mainten
serve you 24 hrs a day, every day.
_Maximun soundproofing providint
privacy and quiet and your own pe
All these advantages and more f
same cost as a dorm or an apart
Reserve your unit today for fall C


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