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October 23, 1989 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-23

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 23, 1989 - Page 11

RECORDS
Continued from page 9
Guru sexiest. Crack, fast cars, bul-
lets, violence in the naked city come
to mind in its aural assault.
"Shimmer" starts off with one of
those fragile guitar lines on the Vel-
vet Underground's third album. First
singing on Darklands, William
Reid has now perfected the Raskol-
nikov slur; he sounds as if he's
about to descend into paranoid
schizophrenia at any moment. The
song's a slow burning fuse that you
just don't want to put out.
"Penetration" is the hardest song on
the record. "Give me penetration/
I'm gonna take you 'til I die/ 'til I
break my spine," snarls Jim to abra-
sive guitars and a techno-like beat.
It's the cry of a maniac, and I want
to see it performed by choirboys at
Westminster Cathedral. The final
track, "Subway," is traditional Mary
Chain, ripping the Beach Boys to
shreds and melting the Music Ma-
chine. It's a 1960s go-go classic that
belongs in a biker movie. Scratchy
guitars haven't sounded this good
since the Buzzcocks' Spiral Scratch
EP.
We need more sex, violence and
self-abuse of all kinds in our pop
music today, and The Jesus And
Mary Chain's brand of noble ni-
hilism and "Up Your Bum!" senti-

ment is a welcome palliative to
Jesse Helms, Christian platitudes
and the anti-drug hysteria (the new
McCarthyism) with which we're be-
ing assaulted. -Nabeel Zuberi
Nice Strong Arm
Cloud Machine (12" EP)
Homestead
Nice Strong Arm, who played the
Pig about a week ago, have a nice
strong disc here, comprised of an ag-
gressive hardcore distortion thing,
argumentative, sometimes staid
sing-screaming, tricky but harmless
beats, and enough guitar attack to
sustain any underground fiend shak-
ing through an aggro fit. The songs
sort of merge into each other as the
second side was recorded live with
audience noise included. The first
two songs, "Cloud Machine" and
"Cop Show," come off like your
standard guitar riff-fest with certain
nods to postmodern weirdness.
The last two are more satisfying.
The guitarist (there are no band
members listed) seems to be satisfied
with moving the thrash in a general
forward direction rather than pound-
ing your head into the ground with
one groove. Overall, a satisfying
piece of vinyl, but no better than the
standard fare that the hardcore scene
seems to offer nowadays, sort of
pseudo-pop with a nod or two in the
drooling direction.
-Forrest Green III

REVIEWS
Continued from page 10
the giant. This was difficult, as he
never showed up.
Pan came onstage to explain his
problems to the audience. Zeus, it
seems, does not like him - he
keeps changing Pan's favorite
women into waterfalls, shopping
malls, saxophones, and psycho
killers (qu'est-ce que c'est). Pan
consulted the oracle - a local
branch - which told him that Zeus
really didn't like him, and was going
to punish him by making his bas-
soon disappear.
After much dancing and singing
and general hilarity, Pan and the
nymph were left alone onstage. The
two declared "It's time to party!" and
jumped around to illustrate that
point. The Professor came out for a
standing ovation and the audience
left for more mainstream pursuits.
Professor Schickele's P.D.Q.
Bach is musical parody at its funni-
est, its silliest, its most on-target.
Thank the good Professor for bring-
ing P.D.Q. into the spotlight (and
sometimes out of it), for if old Jo-
hann Sebastian had known what kind
of composer - and I use the term
loosely - his last child would be-
come, I'm sure he would have dis-
owned the baby completely, shipped
him off to some distant country, and
made sure the kid never grew up to
shame the Bach name with what he
liked to call music.
--Cindy Rosenthal

Beer drinkers
have a blast
Saturday night, The Blind Pig
was the mighty overflowing Nile of
beer. Empty pitchers lay strewn all
over the floor, empty bottles pyra-
mided up to the ceiling, and harried
servers turned into bloodshot zom-
bies. As the aroma thickened and the
floor slickened, the sounds being
generated onstage grew increasingly
important, meaningful, life-giving.
It was the Blasters up there, the
Los Angeles retro-rock outfit led by
Garry Shandling lookalike Phil
Alvin. With a controlled intensity
that gave a body to lines like "Don't
dog me to death 'cause I ain't ready
to die," Alvin led the band through a
two-plus hour set and a tremendous
encore much to the delight of the
biggest crowd I've ever seen at the
Pig. People were just going nuts.
The presence of studio legend Lee
Allen on saxophone, a strategic
Clarence-like foil to Alvin's sing-
ing, got every booty in the house to
shake at least a little bit.
New York avant garde swingers
The Ordinaires, a polar-opposite in
terms of aesthetic goals, surprisingly
won just as much frenzy from the
crowd. Somebody said to me at one
point that the Kronos Quartet is a
rock band that sounds like a string
quartet and that the Ordinaires are a
cINEDIRE T6RY

chamber ensemble that sounds like a
rock band. Makes sense to me, I
guess. I do know that I may have
never seen or heard a more exciting
drum solo, and that I'll never be able
to listen to Led Zeppelin's
"Kashmir" the same way ever again.
-Mark Swartz
Ho ho ho and
a bottle of
sl ivovitz
"Sexy singers like Tom Jones
and Englebert Humperdinck get
brassieres and panties thrown at
them; I get hearing aids and bowling
balls," acknowledged Bobby Vinton,
"the Polish Prince," to the audience
Friday night at the Fox Theater in
Detroit.
The Prince, straight from shows
in Reno, Atlantic City, and Vegas,
dazzled the largely over-50 crowd
with stirring renditions of his old
rock standards "Roses are Red" and
"Blue Velvet."
After every song the normally re-
served audience bellowed "Ho, ho."
Donned in a literally sparkling
black jacket, Vinton explained this
odd ritual: "We 'ho-ho' after every
song to let you know were having a
good time."
Although Vinton focused on his
Polish favorites like "The Polish

Polka" and "Santa Must Be Polish,"
he made sure he left no ethnic stone
unturned by crooning Italian,.
French, German, Irish, and Jewish:
numbers. "I'm the only singer in the
world that can sing Belgian and:
Lithuanian at the same time," Vin-
ton boasted.
Vinton, whose career has spanned
three decades, separated himself from;
some of the other dinosaur singersr
on tour by unveiling new material
from his current country-Western
phase like "It's Been One of Those
Days When I Need One of Your
Nights."
The night's climactic set was: 4
condensed version of the Broadwy;
hit "Phantom of the Opera." Fog:
machines in full gear, the Prince
transformed himself into the Phan-
tom and hypnotized back-up singer
Beth Lawrence and the crowd with
his melodic strains.
It didn't seem to matter to the au-
dience what Bobby sang. Vinton
knows how to play his crowd. On
several occasions he entered the audi-
ence, without bodyguards, to kiss
women, autograph records, and give
birthday greetings.
The audience continued to "ho"
well into the night, but they were
not the only ones who enjoyed the
show. Vinton told the audience that
he sincerely was having a blast. "If I
could actsthis well I'd be on Love
Boat," he said.
-Alex Gordon

GUILD
Continued from page 9
tite blustery breezes of Ann Arbor,
chances are - it's Sara Messer.
Kevin Walker will stun listeners
v ith his title, "Ann Arbor, Michi-
gan, Donates and Delivers A
Garbage Truck to Juigulpa,
Nicaragua, Its Sister City." When
Ann Arbor asked its "sister" what it
could give to her, "she" politely re-
sbonded that a trash collection vehi-
cle would be just wonderful. And
Kevin Walker wrote about it.
Walker's flexibility of subject
matter reflects his recent exploration
of "imaginative technique."
Walker has recently struggled

with the fascination and liberality of
this practice and the loss of intimacy
with one's poetry that it can cause.
This "fanciful" method of writing al-
lows poets to "leap off from an
idea," and extrapolate its spon-
taneous energy. But Walker empha-
sizes the importance of sincerity and
focused emotion in his writing.
"It was getting heartless," said
Walker, "The poems didn't mean
enough for me,"
Walker "always wanted to be a
writer." In high school he began
writing free verse and enjoying the
poetry of Walt Whitman and Dylan
Thomas. At Harvard, Walker real-
ized, as many writers do, that simple
revising would make his work
achieve standards of excellence set by

himself and by others. But it was
studying under Seamus Heaney that
inspired him to continue writing.
"He really fired me up," said
Walker. The influence of Heaney
shows in Walker's poetry. Walker
weaves his work into a tanestrv be-
tween "two poles": the "melodic"
tendencies of Heaney, and the
"casual" nature of the writings of
William Matthews.
From there, Walker went to the
Bennington Writers' Workshop
where he discovered the future that is
his present reality - that of being a
prolific M.F.A. student.
SARA MESSER and KEVIN
WALKER will be reading at Guild
House, 802 Monroe, at 8:30 p.m.
tonight.
WEEKEND
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