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October 23, 1989 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-23

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Gurus of
blow it
"PLAY Loud."
The Hoodoo Gurus hit Ann Ar-
bor tonight in support of their new
album Magnum Cum Louder, and
your life won't be complete until
you see the band Nina Hagen de-
clared the greatest thing to ever hit
Los Angeles after allegedly prostrat-
ing at their feet. They're arguably
the best guitar-based rock/twisting
pop culture band this side of the
.Meat Puppets. With an unpreten-
:tious, straight-ahead, never-dying-
only-occasionally-resting energy, the
Gurus have never seemed to realize
they are the coolest WOW band of
*the '80s.
While not even feigning a bitter
socially conscious attitude, they sing
of barbie dolls, hayrides to hell, and
poison pens in a manner one could
read as reeking of sarcasm on the
whole state of affairs. This is not
meant to imply they are superficial
idiot performers, but merely to sug-
'gest that their interest in civilization
doesn't extend to criticizing society
directly. Soaring singles like

The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 23, 1989 - Page 9
Farmer's daughter
meets Heaney
disciple at Guild
ABANDON that Grad library cubicle, waltz out into the brisk October
air, and pull up a cozy chair next to Sara Messer at Guild House. This
evening, poet Messer, seated in the "story-telling chair" she claimed even
in childhood, will draw listeners into the mysteries behind the "while
churches" and "cows and mountains" that are the trademark of New Eng-
Messer, a graduate of Vermont's tiny Middlebury College and former
writer for Yankee magazine, has a extensive experience with the quirks of
the people of the Northeast. Like the man who built a rocket in his back-
yard, and the one who makes jewelry out of moose dung. But it is the
clanspeople of the farms high in the mountains that dance into her poetry,
their lives made real in her recurrent animal imagery. "A Passage to
Monhegan" is set on a mailboat en route to the island off the coast of
Maine. The poem captures the raw nature of a farm boy through the eyes
of an "unnerved" female voice, while water rushes into the boat at inter-
This writer is also a dancer. The way she describes the structure of her
poetry reflects many years of training in ballet, as well as her current
preference for modern dance. She will tell tales with the "rhythm, allitera-
tion, internal sounds, and music" of poetry. Messer particularly takes
pleasure in the work of Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and Alice
Walker. After she left her dance concentration at the University of Utah,
she attended The Breadloaf Writers' Conference, where she met Kevin
Walker, who will also read tonight.
So Messer chose to put narrative poetry, "in the center of (my) life."
"It's the most difficult thing you could do - so I decided to do it,"
says Messer. "When I sit down to write a poem, I want to tell a story."
The poet, inspired by the outdoors, likes to sit outside while compos-
ing her poetic tales. So, if you spot a woman writing on her front porch
while you walk through See GUILD, page 11

Ann Arbor awaits the battle of the big shows. The Hoodoo Gurus (left to right: Rick Grossman, Brad Shepherd,
Dave Faulkner, Mark Kingsmill) plan victory in.tonight's feud with Mudhoney. It's a tough one: the Nectarine's
closer to campus, but the Blind Pig's a lot cheaper.

"Bittersweet" and "Like Wow-Wipe-
out" from their 1985 LP Mars
Needs Guitars! and "Come Any
Time" from their current release
make you just amazed that one band
can pack so much into three to five
While biting their American teeth
on college radio and overcoming
their retro/comic book image of the
mid-'80s, the Hoodoo Gurus have
consistently maintained their no-
frills, no-stops direction. Even with
a new label (RCA) and a new bassist

(Rick Grossman), they remain the
coolest band from Australia because
of (or is it in spite of?) their many
American influences. They always
seem poised on the brink of main-
stream success but never take that
small step as American counterparts
the Replacements have.
Even if baseball is not your
thing, "Where's the Hit" from Mag-
num brings the excitement to your
very own stereo. The live option ex-
ists to see it in person. (Don't even
consider the sensible alternative of

spending less money to see Mud-
honey tonight.) The only thing the
Hoodoo Gurus have in common
with everyone they've been com-
pared to is that they're better. Taking
competence and adding as much
strength and depth as your imagina-
tion will allow to that word will not
even begin to describe the greatness
of the most amazing band of the
1980s playing really loud.
HOODOO GURUS play tonight at
the Nectarine Ballroom at 10 p.m.
Tickets are $13.50 in advance.

Nicolas Collins
100 of the World's Most
Beautiful Melodies
Trace Elements Records
In the backwash of the Cagean
edict that "any sound can be a mu-
sical sound" I find that I have no
great instinct for originating sounds
of my own, and much prefer to re-
cycle existing ones. I love radio,
bird songs, cheap electronic toys,
the confusion and tension of a sound
divorced from context - one mo-
ment abstract, the next a recogniz-
able tag.
-Nicolas Collins
Nicolas Collins is a gadget freak.
He mated a $12 trombone with the
guts of a Commodore 64, an Ursa
Major digital reverb unit, a re-
tractable leash, a synthesizer breath
controller, and a numeric keypad.
Why? He wanted a real-time signal
processor with more "physical pres-
ence than the switches and knobs of

most electronic instruments." I'm
not sure about the physical presence
of this Rube Goldberg hybrid' of
modern digital electronics and pri-
mordial brass technology, but the re-
sults could've been called "Inter-
pretations of an Epilectic Seizure."
The CD contains 42 duets with
saxophone, cello, violin, trombone,
mutantrumpet, bass clarinet, electric
and acoustic guitar, harp, organ,
whistle, recorder, tuning fork, and
voice. The trombone-propelled elec-
tronics let Nicolas sample, edit,
loop, transpose, and splice on the fly
while the real musicians improvised.
He also mutated pre-recorded samples
and radio static. A few of the tracks
(all instrumentals) sound like music
- a few remind you of childhood
Sometimes I had to consult the
liner notes to tell what instrument
was playing beneath the din of dis-
torted samples. Towards the end of
the CD Collins seemed to have more

control over his invention; the sam-
ples blended with the music better.
He also created some hilarious mo-
ments: well-positioned spasms of
static during Shelley Hirsch's lyrical
soprano solo, the electronic wheez-
ing of perverted guitar chords, bird-
calls intertwined with harp arpeg-
gios, the chaos of warped sax
The concept of this album -
sampling and playing those samples
during the same performance -
marks an innovation comparable to
Bob Moog's invention of the syn-
thesizer. Refinement of the technique
will inspire musical advances equally
impressive, opening new possibili-
ties in interactive synthesizer and
MIDI technology.
--Brian Vastag
The Jesus And Mary
Blues From A Gun (12" EP)
Blanco y Negro U.K.
It's good to have the sickness and


depravity of Jim and William Reid
back on the turntable following a
lengthy hiatus since their Darklands
album. "Blues From A Gun" is
taken from their forthcoming album
Automatic, and is another killer sin-
gle. It's a return to feedback and a
more abrasive sound after the relative
mellowness of the last album. The
fuzzbox is on overdrive, the plec-
trums are tougher, and the decay and
decadence are more finely tuned than
ever. The song's a sadistic classic
that takes up where "Hey Joe" and
John Lee Hooker's "I'm Gonna Kill
That Woman" left off. As usual, the
lyrics play with sundry rock clich6s,
Jim twisting them enough in his
performance to create a pretty appeal-
ing mutation. "I guess that's why
I've always got the blues," Jim in-
tones with resignation; "I don't
care," he moans, ennui dripping
from every syllable. "Blues From A
Gun" is like T. Rex at their Metal
See RECORDS, page 11


Visit with admissions officers
and deans from U.S. law schools.
Information on admission
requirements, prelaw courses,
career opportunities and more.
October 23, 1989
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mich ig an Union
11U" Unnrn "" 'Mi ri
Caree-r Planning ftPlac ltent
A Unit of Stuident Srie

A Unit fStudent ServCeS

Pizza, Subs andl Salads
Eat-in or Carry Out
(11 a.m.-2 p.m.)
Corner of State and Hill
e heoti
JIIC / ITheatre,
e The
c c
anc hea
Danc ,. pat Dnce heare mpat Dace h r I a n(
~otreImpat Dace Teatr Impct Dnce heate DIm
Dac n T
ac Dance he e tD
pact Dnce Thea
a ~~mpo pt
ac Impac tDnce Teae
rcte Im actDanceTheatpe
,atmpte Impact DanceThea pe
.De pac
P heateIc a nceTheare ImpactDneThar m

The beginning of life.
The beginning of
your career.
At Merck, they both stand for wonderful times and personal growth
you'll always remember.

We're a preeminent developer of health care technology as well as
careers. Producing a wide range of answers to infection, pain and
disease. What's more, Merck is a world leader in the protection of
animals and crops.
To an exceptional graduate, this means growth. Simply because of
Merck's continuing success in its endeavors and major plans for the
If you're at the head of your class in engineering, life and physical
science, business, liberal arts or law, you may qualify for an extraor-
dinary career with Merck.

For more information on how Merck can help you
reach your most ambitious career goals, sign up for
a personal interview when Merck visits your campus.
Or, you can write directly to: Theresa Marinelli, Manager, College
Relations and Professional Employment.
Merck. Because to you, the end of school should mark the beginning
of a rewarding career.

We not only develop extraordinary products, we develop extraordinary careers. rIN T ER V IEW S O N-:
Merck is an equal opportunity employer M/F. __ _


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