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April 07, 1989 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-04-07
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r-. 4 #-4 *:.:~r


- d Y 1 S. _


Mediocrity reigns

n Turner'
Pierce Turner
The Sky and The Ground
Beggars Banquet Records
"Simply the best of the American
music" said the Irish Echo; "a bit of
inspired genius" said CMJ; "in a
league most rock artists never ap-
proach" said Variety; "poppycock!"
this pop writer says. The Sky and
The Ground will be hailed as a mas-
terpiece by the kind of people who
read Joyce's Portrait Of The Artist
As A Young Man and then bore you
at parties with details of all their
personal "epiphanies."
Turner sounds like wonderful
Marianne Faithful after another
decade of self-abuse. He's the cliched
singer-songwriter, the troubador with
angst on his sleeve and a guitar

Is latest
slung over his shoulder. The album
is all worthy, wordy stuff with
strumming guitar and a few classical
arrangements thrown in for good
measure. The lyrics are a catholic
mixture of Kate Bush's hippy-dippy
musings, Van Morrison's mysti-
cism, Suzanne Vega's SoHo solip-
sism, and Kerouac on the road to
nowhere in particular.
So ok, maybe this is a little
harsh; Pierce isn't that bad. He's
probably a good bloke, a nice chap,
a concerned young man, but he's
also mediocre - mediocre the way
decent, hardworking pop stars like
Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds and
Kate Bush are: honorable but boring.
Turner just doesn't tease, cajole or
move the listener. There's nothing
See Turner, Page 13

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Does Paul Weller have a fraternal twin? House of Freaks makes you think...
Jam ripoff? No, but close

House of Freaks
Paul Is Dead Rumor #2: In 1982,
the Jam's Paul Weller was sitting in
a British coffeehouse when he was
accidently crushed to death by an

espresso machine. The band's man-
agers replaced him with an uncanny
look-a-like who lacked any musical
talent - leading to the band's
breakup and the subsequent abysmal
Style Council.
But they saved Paul's brain.

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Freeze-dried it, shipped it over the
Atlantic, and in a diabolical experi-
ment, transplanted it in the body of
Richmond, Va. songwriter Bryan
Harvey. Unaware of his new iden-
tity, Paul lived on to form a new
OK, House of Freaks don't sound
that much like the Jam. But the duo
of Harvey and drummer Johnny Hott
come weirdly close on acerbic and
beat-conscious songs like "Sun
Gone Down" and "The Righteous
Will Fall." Proving that a guitar
player and percussionist can achieve
musical complexity far surpassing
Mojo and Skid, Tantilla uses the
tight, spare structure to expose areas
of the psyche we don't like to ex-
pose. Case in point: "Kill the
Mockingbird," where Harvey un-
leashes the biting resentment of
loneliness on everything happy in
the world ("Shoot him from the
boughs/ It's a sin to sing/ It's a sin
to fly"), his bare electric guitar
scraping across his impassioned
howl like a nail file across the back
of your knuckles.
Tantilla is a chronicle of losers,
forced to scratch out livings "under
the summer sun/ with a knife and a
gun" ("White Folk's Blood") or to
seek small comfort in the face of
life's ravages ("Broken Bones"). For
all their bitter social commentary,
however, the songs aren't blindly
angry, but rather tender and human.
And pleasant to hear. "Sun Gone
Down" and "I Want Answers," are
musical Vitamin C tablets, sharp
with criticisms of a world that "made
me believe in a malevolent God" but
still brightly marching to their up-
dated Merseybeat atop Hott's cow-
bell-laced percussion and Harvey's
See House, Page 13

Cover Story
Continued from Page 10
by congress.
On the state level, only 13
states still fund Medicaid abor-
tions; the passage of Proposal A
last November stopped Medicaid
funded abortions in Michigan.
However, statistics published in
Against the Current, a progressive
magazine, indicate that approxi-
mately 95 percent of poor women
seeking abortions still manage to
obtain them.
Since funds were cut, it is esti-
mated that 15,000 poor women are
annually forced into compulsory
motherhood, because they were
unableto secure their legal right
to abort. Many women, particu-
larly women of color, are forced to
turn to illegal methods because
they are economically unable to
afford an abortion. Most often
these methods are hazardous to the
health of the women who are faced
with no other alternatives.
According to a study published in
the February-March issue of the
National NOW Times, 49 percent
of pregnancy-related deaths in New
York were caused by illegal abor-
tions. Of these deaths, 50 percent
were Black women, and 44 percent
were Puerto Rican women.
The campaign against legalized
abortion has taken shape outside
the courts as well. Since last
summer, "Operation Rescue,"
anti-abortion activists have
brought their campaign, challeng-
ing a woman's right to an abor-
tion, to the clinic doors.
"'Operation Rescue' tries to close
clinics with civil disobedience"
said K.T. Remen, a member of
Voice for Choice, a street theater
"'Operation Rescue' verbally
assaults women going to clinics,
by calling them 'baby-killers', or
by screaming at them 'I'll take
your baby' or 'murderer,"' said
Remen. Pro-choice advocates, like
Voice for Choice, have taken up
the role of "defenders" of the
women who are trying to enter
clinics hit by Operation Rescue
forces. Remen described Operation
Rescue workers and their tactics as
"They are trying to freak women
out, to stop them. Many of these
women are seeking health-care,
like gyn check-ups, and they are
being stopped." said Remen.
Al Kresta, pastor of Shalom
Ministry in Taylor, Michigan and
participant in many Michigan
"Operation Rescue" mobilizations,
questions the pro-choice move-
ment' s focus on women who seek
abortions. "Its tragic for women to
seek out back-alley butchers,Abut
life is full of inequities. And
abortion on demand doesn't get us
to the root of the problem."
Kresta refuted allegations that
Operation Rescue workers verbally
assaulted women going into clin-
ics. "Our people are instructed to


TM oc
3 da
g ne
4- not -


not even make verbal appeals to
women. I know of only one
woman who made a plea of 'don't
kill your baby', and she was rep-
rimanded for that."
A second major legal assault on
the Roe v. Wade decision has been
waged against teenage women
having abortions. Twenty-five

states have some form of parental
consent requirement, although
about half are enjoined against en-
forcement. Pro-choice advocates,
however, believe that any law re-
quiring teenage women to obtain
permission before they have an
abortion causes needless trauma.
On the other hand, anti-abortion

advocates "don't believe that abor-
tion is the answer" said Kresta.
"Many teens, even after being
taught, don't practice birth con-
trol....They then use abortion," he
said, "it's dealing with the prob-
lem much too late."


For Exam Preparation
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- Improve Your Test-Taking Skills
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" Achieve Your Maximum Potential Score


outside of clinics which perform abortions.

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