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November 10, 1989 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-10

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Friday, November 10, 1989

Page 8

I

Mickey

Mouse they're not

NYC

'S

24-7 Spyz:

BY TONY SILBER
ORLANDO - Welcome to the
Never-Never Land of Disney World,
nestled in the warm breezes of the
Florida interior, where the only
sense of reality is the hotel bill after
a five-day stay at the Magic King-
dom, Epcot Center, and the new
Disney/MGM Theme Studio. This
is where all those 9 to 5 masses
come as if it were a magnet of relax-
ation. But it doesn't take anyone
long to realize that this Never-Never
Land is really a magnet for dollars.
The newest attraction down here
in Mickeyland which has all the
folks at Disney giddy is the new
Disney/MGM Studio. And giddy
they should be. This is not only a
tourist attraction, but it is also a
working, breathing motion picture
studio which will produce animated
feature films and animated shorts.
With the opening of this new studio
and animation facility, Disney will
now control an overwhelming bulk
of the animated film market more
than ever.
With the Disney/MGM opening,
Mickey and friends will have lots to
keep them busy in the years to
come. Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head
of Walt Disney Studios, promises
one full-length animated feature film
every 12 months, an incredibly pro-
lific rate of production. Katzenberg
is the brain credited with the MGM
theme park scheme, but he has also
been the primary reason Disney has
returned to greatness since some lean
years in the late '70s. He conceived
of and developed Touchstone Pic-
tures into a major outlet in the PG-
R film market and now that studio is
one of the most successful in the na-
tion, having turned out Good Morn-
ing Vietnam, Who Framed Roger
Rabbit, and Dead Poets Society,
just to name a few.
When Katzenberg came up with

the Florida animation studio idea, he
also had the man in mind to run it.
Walt Disney would have been proud
to find his nephew, Roy, at the helm
of this new and exciting venture for
the ever expanding Disney company.
Roy himself is elated about the
whole project.
"We've tripled our animation fa-
cilities with the opening of the
Florida studio and we'll try to make
an animated feature every year which
is as much as we ever made back in
the '40s," said Disney. The new stu-
dio will also allow Disney to exper-
iment more with Computer Assisted
Post-production (CAP), the tech-
nique used to mix live action se-
quences with animation in Who
Framed Roger Rabbit. "Now we'll
have more time to take advantage of
the technological achievements in
animation," he added.
Certainly, Disney has taken a
bold initiative in grabbing control of
the highly profitable animation mar-
ket. Although they have always been
at the forefront of 'toons, competi-
tion has developed recently, espe-
cially from one former Disney ani-
mator, Don Bluth. When he quit
Disney ten years ago, he took many
animators with him to form his new
studio, Hollywood Pictures. Bluth
and his associates release All Dogs
Go To Heaven next week to run
against The Little Mermaid, Dis-
ney's first animated fairy tale since
Sleeping Beauty in 1959. As one
may expect, Bluth is not very well
liked in Orlando, and the folks at
Disney would just assume send all
his Dogs to hell.
Animated films are big business
for many reasons, and Disney is
cashing in on them all. First, the
children's audience is large and al-
most exclusively loyal to animated
films until at least age six. Second,
there are only about five or six ani-
mated films each year, so many fam-

Harder than anyone
BY PETER SHAPIRO
24-7I Spyz don't hold anything back. Their music and lyrics are loud,
rhythmic, funky, and aggressive. Like Bad Brains, their stylisitic men-
tors, 24-7 Spyz take Rastafarian sensibilities and apply them to ghetto
life, specifically New York's South Bronx. This doesn't result in the
simple lilting melodies of rural Jamaica, but rather a blunt reflection of
the harshness of Gotham-size desperation.
As a result, they are brusque and uncouth. This atitude doesn't come
from a self-conscious pose of rudeness. 24-7 Spyz's stance is one of ur-
gency. There is no time to fool around with complex symbols and
metaphors. The message must be heard now, without any distillation. As
opposed to finding a polite middle ground, lyricist P. Fluid writes, "The
soldiers, they massacred/ 46 civilians Saturday/ At Fort Dimanche Mili-
tary Prison/ Outside Port-Au-Prince" in "Ballots not Bullets" off of their
Harder Than You album. There are no discreet pleasantries, just curt
journalistic realism.
Their music mirrors this matter-of-fact song writing. Elements of
hardcore, rap, speed metal, reggae, and Hendrix-style guitar wig-outs
combine to create a battering ram style. The guitar sneers and spits at the
listener, while the drums pound with a martial menace that threatens to
make your head cave in. The obvious comparison would be to Living
Colour, but 24-7 Spyz are less stylized and a lot harsher. Where Vernon
Reid's distortion is slick, guitarist Jimi Hazel achieves a meaner, more
discordant tone.
All of this is not to say that 24-7 Spyz is a band of atonal depres-
sives; they realize that their message would not be effective if it just re-
inforced hopelessness. 24-7 Spyz add the Beastie Boys bacchanalian spirit
to their corpus of influences, especially on the amazingly vulgar macho
boast, "Spyz Dope." On "Grandma Dynamite" and their version of Kool
and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie," the band is fueled by some incredibly
funky bass slapping by Rick Skatore. This sense of fun is continued on
their homage to skinheads, "Tango Skin Polka," which proves that
Poland gave more to rock 'n' roll than just Bobby Vinton.
But Bobby Vinton would never be able to pull off their stage show.
At live performances, the band is, to say the least, raucous. Somersaults,
stage dives, and sweat make for a show that, while self-indulgent, is a
helluva lot of fun.
24-7 SPYZ play tonight in St. Andrew's Hall; doors open at 9 p.m. Tick-
ets available at Ticketmaster outlets.

The resemblance between Roy Dis-
ney (above) and his father Walt is
striking; appropriately, Roy, Vice
Chair of The Walt Disney Company,
is continuing his father's legacy by
making animation a top priority at
Walt Disney Studios. You probably
won't see another The Cat From
Outer Space for a long time. Jeffrey
Katzenberg (left), Chairman of the
Company, is keen on this too - he
even promises The Rescuers Down
Underfor next year.
glomerate. The opening of their
Florida animation facilities at the
MGM theme park has solidified their
control over a profitable and lucra-
tive aspect of the movie industry.
And of course, they have Never-
Never Land where monorails trans-
port wide-eyed dreams to an expen-
sive reality. This is Disney's play-
ground - their reward for some
genuine hard work in the last ten
years. Mickey may be a mouse but
he symbolizes a giant in the world
of entertainment.

ilies will end up seeing all of them.
Third, the large studios and distribu-
tors love animated films because the
cash return is almost guaranteed. Fi-
nally, the cost of producing an ani-
mated feature as opposed to a full
length feature is much lower, there-
fore the potential for profit is much
atronger.
Disney has grown from a single
animated film studio under Walt
Disney's leadership into a massive,
power-wielding entertainment con-

m

Michigan Alumni work here:
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Detroit Free Press
The Detroit News
NBC Sports
Associated Press
United Press International
Scientific American
Time
Newsweek
Sports Illustrated
Because they worked here:
01 tc"Mcb"an 9af

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a
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Y,

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..

Stand Up.
Be Counted.
While You Still Have the Choice.

U,

a

Your right to

choose is in jeopardy:

" George Bush, bowing to pressure from the far right-continues to
veto pro-choice legislation supported by the majority of Americans.
* The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear three new cases
calculated to further erode Roe v. Wade.
" State legislatures all across America are poised to further restrict
abortions.
On Sunday, November 12, Americans will take action to dramatize
our support for the right to choose, to demand that this
fundamental American freedom be protected, to demonstrate that
we will never go back to the days when abortion was illegal.

6
I
I

Stand up with us on November 12, when
America mobilizes for women's lives.
CAROL KING-313-543-8250

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