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September 18, 1989 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-18

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0

I 'Page 14-The Michigan Daily -Monday, September 18, 1989

New music,
Old Skull
n youth converge at NYC's seminar

BY GREG BAISE

H E was sitting in the gutter in
front of CBGB, in his shorts, shirt
unbuttoned, cowboy hat on, splash-
ing his feet in the water.
"Great show, uh, Shannon," I
r °Sm~
1said.
The lead singer for the Cows
*-;halted his gleeful playing and looked
t,:up at me. Two pinhole-sized pupils
, eted my adulating smile, instantly
*numbing my jaw, psychically slap-
ing that stupid grin off of my face. I
#,^alked away, melting into the crowd
f usual suspects, a crowd that
ithina week would be consumed by
.,tawking non-usual suspects who all
ore these goofy nametags and
Fookedeither like all the guys I didn't
;alk to in the dorm last year or else
,ike they could be one of my parents.
These were the industry people
iarticipating in the New Music
4eminar. They came from all over
,<""onverging upon New York City in
ttemptstogettheirbandssigned,
S '±make some networking moves, get
lots of free stuff, and see a lot of
shows, especially at CBGB's, the
pVlecca of Punk where all of the NMS
,people made their pilgrimages, not
really caring who was playing inside.
That night, I cared who was play-
in inside. The Cows flooded the au-
dience with some grunge stew, stir-
ring it up with their guitars and hurl-
.,ing gobs of it into the crowd's ears.
Clot too many people sang along, but
t ;then again, this Minneapolis quartet
had yet to release their latest album,
"Paddy's Got a Tail (Amphetamine
Reptile), complete with lyric sheet.
L But within a week, my pupils,

like Shannon's, would recede into
my skull. I would be incriminated for
being just another schmoozer, a
freeloading loser who didn't pay a
single cent to get into the shows.
But I hate paying money, so I was
very happy. Bands would complain
about not getting paid because of
happy jerks like me. Don Fleming
from B.A.L.L., in between songs at
the Pyramid Club, demanded to see
our badges. As we complied, he
shouted to us, "Get the fuck outta
here!" while Kramer, Shimmy-Disk
mastermind and B.A.L.L. bassist
threw out all kinds of freebies to the
grabbing NMS attendees, giving the
loathed hands exactly what they
crave: free stuff.
And lots of it. For the short time
I was at the seminar itself, which
was held at the Marriott Marquis in
Manhattan, I loaded up on all kinds
of demos, albums, CD's, trade rags,
business cards, phone numbers,
posters. Not to mention all of the
shows I got into for free, just by
showing my badge, although the first
show I saw wasn't actually part of
the seminar, so I had to pay to get
in. Hey, life's tough.
That first show was Old Skull,
two ten year olds and an eight year
old, who opened for Geffen recording
artists Sonic Youth at the Ritz in a
show that also featured the world-fa-
mous Laughing Hyenas and those
hairwags Mudhoney. Old Skull faves
like "Jesus Died on the Cross" and
"Homeless" congealed better now
that the band was slightly more ma-
ture than when they were the two
nine year olds and a seven year old
that recorded Get Outta School
(Restless).

The Ritz crowd, which was de-
scribed by some as being "Nitzer
Ebbish," were baffled by the
Laughing Hyenas. Most of them just
stood there in terror, as John
Brannon's incomprehensible vocals
ruptured many an eardrum, and John
Brannon's spit removed much white
makeup from the faces of the boys
and girls in the crowd. The crowd
wag-wag-wagged to Mudhoney, and
primed themselves to wag away to
such Sonic Youth headbanging clas-
sics as "Stereo Sanctity" and "Silver
Rocket."
Sonic Youth cruised through
their career from "The Burning
Spear" to "Eric's Trip," pulling out
lots of guitars and unconventional
guitar, well, "picks" like drumsticks
and screwdrivers, plus something that
looked like an electric dulcimer. Old
Skull got to stay up past their bed-
time, crouched down behind an am-
plifier, watching in awe as Thurston
Moore and Lee Ranaldo attacked their
guitars with all kinds of strange in-
struments. Not to be outdone, Old
Skull could be seen the next night at
the RAPP Center for the Performing
Arts, beating their guitars with their
own drumsticks, as well as banging
scrap metal and their skateboards to-
gether.
GWAR, the seminar's Antarctic
delegates, were the headliners that
night, but I decided to split after Old
Skull, who were fourth on the bill
again. I thought that when GWAR
came on, I could just bop right back
in. Wrong! The RAPP was packed,
and they were not letting anybody
else in. However, I could see the dry
ice mist and the glowing skulls on
stage from outside, and I could hear
the howls of terror as GWAR un-
leashed their barbaric musical atroci-
ties and let the blood flow. Maybe
Alice Cooper was an apprentice with
these guys or something. I ended up
seeing Electro Love Muffin at some
Mexican restaurant with neon decor
on Broadway.
Instead of seeing Ofra Haza and De
La Soul at the Palladium for the
NMS opening party, I went to
CBGB's on Sunday night to see
America's premier gay male
supremacist musicians, the Frogs.
With their glittery silver tuxedos and
bat wings, as well as explosions and
a smoke machine, they almost put
Kiss to shame. Happy Flowers ar-
rived right after the Frogs finished

at
k

A 2-HOUR TREKS AO* THON!
0 STAR TREK BLOOPERS
* Animated Star Trek " Special Three-Season Retrospective
" Previews & Behind-the-Scenes " 2nd Pilot Outtakes
" Plus-Official Star Trek Trivia Quiz
TUE-WED SEPTEMBER 19-20
MICHIGAN THEATRE
SHOWS 9:00 PM

I

Here are a couple of the up 'n
coming bands that graced that
mecca of melody, the New Music
Seminar. OK, so the cool folks on
top aren't Sonic Youth; they're their
sinister twins, Ciccone Youth. And
the gleefully label-defying 24-7 Spyz
consistently prove that the world is
actually one big jungle gym - the
plumbing at Rick's will never be the
same again.
their set, which included "Freebird."
Happy Flowers played for half an
hour, revelling in their own noise,
playing mostly stuff from 0of!
(Homestead), their latest album.
Imagine two six-year-old brothers
who hate their sister, relatives,
school, and occasionally each other
and set their frustrations to some
wild, free guitar and drum playing.
Now put two Virginians in their
early twenties in the six year olds'
places, and you have Happy Flowers.
The rumoured jam session between
Old Skull and Happy Flowers, sadly,
did not arise.
George Clinton, the headliner at
the NMS party, devastated the
Palladium, which, when I got there,
was packed, but steadily emptied as
the night progressed, until about
three hours later, when the P. Funk
All-Stars had finished playing their
second funk symphony of the

evening, and I was about twenty feet
away from the stage. Dr.
Funkenstein and the audience made
that Mothership Connection as the
band and crowd melted together into
one huge party whose soundtrack in-
cluded Motorbooty City favorites
"One Nation Under a Groove,"
"Maggot Brain," and "Flashlight."
Non-stop dancing under the
Funkadelic groove.
With 24-7 Spyz, promoting
Harder Than You (In-Effect), it was
non-stop stagedives and slamming,
the first dive being executed by said
band's lead singer P. Fluid. Their
version of heavy metal incorporates
punk, funk, reggae, polka, all melted
into an alloy that makes Metallica's
"metal" look as hard as bricks of
whipped cream. The Spyz played
Rick's here in Ann Arbor last

month, too early for the dorm/frat
crowd to become enamored by their
cult of personality, and they won't be
back for a while, but when they do,
they'll be big. And harder than you.
Speaking of next big college ro
things, look for Galaxie 500, atA
who are being courted by several ma-
jor labels. Their slow, tense,
Feelies/Clean kind of songs drew a
huge crowd at the Pyramid, where
they played with B.A.L.L., ex-Fug
Tuli Kupferberg, and some other
Shimmy-Disk artists.
Oh, and then there were the semi-
nars. I went to three of them, t
most exciting of which was tI
Drugs and Rock seminar. Tony
Wilson the founder of Factory
Records, moderated the panel, which
included Rodney Anonymous from
the Dead Milkmen, Rudolf, the
owner of the five-floor Manhattan
dance club Mars, and Einaar from the
Sugarcubes, who sat around and acted
bored, even when those zany barbar-
ians GWAR broke in and caus4
some disruption.
The 10th annual New Music
Seminar: five days and nights of mu-
sic, meeting influential people,
namedropping, lack of sleep, and get,
ting free stuff. Hey, anybody's eyes
would look like Little Orphan
Annie's after all that fun.

I Ema

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FALL

JOBS!

(in -

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ling group

UAC's Own coed a

cappella sing

0

MASS
September 19

MEETING
(after UAC meeting)

In the Pendleton Room

AUDITIONS
September 21 & 22
sign up at meeting
For more info call the UAC office at 763-1107 or stop by 2105 Michigan Union
i12

PM

Good Times! Great Pay! Terrific People!
We want YOU at
MICHIGAN TELEFUND
-$5.00-$7.00/hour plus bonuses.
-Flexible, evening hours.

WANTED:
Part Time Employment

STUDENT
PHONATHON
CALLERS

The School of Education will interview students by phone who will be
hired to call alumni nationwide for an alumni fundraising phonathon.
" Phonathon held Sundav through Thursdav. October 10 -

I

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