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March 28, 1990 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-28

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ARTS

*_

The Michigan Daily

'Critics'
by Forrest Green III
and Nabeel Zuberi

rag

on

Wednesday, March 28, 1990
pop's

Page 9

sacred

cows

,rt. ,

Lou Reed and the Velvet Under-
ground
Thank you Lou, John, Mo, Nico,
Andy and the other guy for opening
up one of collective America's most
hypocritical can of worms -pseudo-
pop's culture of pretentiously weird
music. Almost all other similar
evils (maybe even the insufferably
masochistic Morrissey) can be traced
to them: the acquired "authentic"
quality of truly bad musicians, just
playing what they know - nothing;
the "real" quality in those decidedly
untalented but "soulful" down boys
otherwise known as "garage bands;"
and the horribly painful situation of
a bunch of pre-bohemian reverse
transvestite sub-Sprockets poseurs
(wow, so this is the Wild Side) -
to paraphrase from Repo Man,
"white suburban punks," crying
about how terrible it is to be prod-
ucts of the environment.
Lou himself remains a persever-
ing personification of the '90s yup-
pie in all its shame and disgrace, a
reformed culture vulture who once
partied over civilization's collective
evils by imseremself in them.
He became one of '70s art rock's
most visible raconteurs of wrong
followed by a post-revelation/drop
into obscurity - railing against
those same wrongs from the top of
his stainless skyscraper in New
York, whether they be drugs, soci-
etal vagrancy or general anarchy
while painting in designer blues for
all of society's malcontented masses.
Thanks for the conscience, Lou. I'll
bet that Phil Collins could've done a
better job. -F.G.
The Beatles
"Beatless," to be more accurate,
for the so-called "Fab Four" had
about as much rhythmic charisma as
the Moody Blues. These four lads
from Liverpool, England would
probably still be playing dodgy
R&B covers in local pubs and clubs
if pop manager Brian Epstein hadn't
taken a fancy to John Lennon in his
tight leather trousers. Epstein walked
into The Cavern one fateful night as
the group pounded out their dreadful
rendering of the Shirelles' classic
"Boys." He took to them immedi-
ately. Many more awful rip-offs of
Great Records by Black People sur-
faced on The Beatles' albums along
with the trite two-minute romances
that Lennon and McCartney had
written as spotty teenagers.
As soon as Epstein was manager,
the group willingly changed its im-

The Silver Beatles prepare to play a biker bar before Paul's untimely
demise.

age for major label EMI. On the
cover of their first U.K. album
Please Please Me The Beatles can
be seen smiling gleefully and greed-
ily in their corporate suits outside
the record company's London of-
fices. Like fellow Liverpudlians A
Flock of Seagulls, the group was
hyped in the national press on the
basis of the lads' haircuts, and much
was made of their "cheeky, quirky,
lovable working class humor." Most
Liverpool proletarians spat at news-
paper headlines, proclaiming
"Beatlemania!," realizing that the
boys were lower-middle class social
climbers that would leave the city
never to return. And indeed, The Bea-
tles forsook the city, leaving it at
the mercy of Gerry & the Pacemak-
ers.
After a series of tepid pop records
in the early '60s the group discov-
ered LSD and went conceptual. This
phase culminated in the release of
the art rock opus and most overrated
album in rock history Sgt. Pepper's
Lonely Hearts Club Band (Sgt. Pep-
per for short). A work of extreme
self-indulgence, featuring the
moronic "When I'm Sixty-four," the
album was more the work of snotty
muso producer George Martin than
the tripping foursome themselves.
After that, Paul met Linda Kodak,
John met .the shriekingly bad artist
Yoko Ono (with whom he shared an
interest in tasteless fur coats and
shockingly and radically lay in bed
for peace), George jumped on the
ethnic worldbeat bandwagon, meet-
ing various Indians of a spiritual
persuasion, and Ringo... well,
Ringo played the drums.-N.Z.
Besides, their cartoon sucked. -
F.G.

De La Soul
I don't know if you've heard
"Mama Gave Birth to the Soul Chil-
dren," from Queen Latifah's record,
but one thing becomes shamelessly
clear about these hip-hop Twee-
diedees and Tweedledefs in a real rap
context: all that Daisy crap is annoy-
ingly pretentious weirdness - just
for the sake of being weird. Pos
Dnous himself once remarked that
rap had become so rigidly competi-
tive and conformist that all he, Tru-
goy and DJ Cabbage Patch had to do
was wear their mothers' prehistoric
flourescent pseudo-hippie (oops)
Mod Squad hookups to get over,
helping millions of relieved middle
Americans to understand the infernal
jungle voodoo music that makes
kids go crazy and sell drugs. And
that's all that rap is about anyway
- De La Soul, Young MC and the
ridiculously blaxploitational NWA.
It was a great gimmick, standing
as symbols of "not selling out"
while simultaneously releasing six
to eight singles from the album.
"Isn't it kool when you cut your
hand and the blood is red instead of
sell-out green?" You said it pal, not
me. -F.G.
Morrissey
Misfit that he is, Morrissey
helped millions of alienated youths
realize that it's okay to wear all
black, since you don't really like the
sun, and you might actually break a
sweat, in which case you might get
a little bit of funk into that manic-
depressive shell of yours and actually
start enjoying life. Dammit, Morris-
sey, the joke isn't funny anymore.

Why don't you just kill yourself? -
F.G.
I dissociate myself completely
from F.G. III's above opinion be-
cause I want to sleep with Morris-
sey. Honest. - N.Z.
10,000 Maniacs
Forrest and I have this terribl
nightmare in which we are trans
ported into a dystopian future where
everyone wears recyclable cheese-
cloth dresses and berets, and Sting i
the President of the One World. Nex
to him sits the waif-like Natali
Merchant, the First Lady of Eco-
Pop. We both wake up sweating as
she breaks into "Hey Jack Kerouac.'
10,000 Maniacs are knit-your-own
muesli bores that should have
opened up a health food store i
Ethiopia rather than inflict their air
banalities upon us. Only dumb col
lege kids with the political con
sciousness of a gnat could find the
enlightening.-N.Z.
U2
"God is dead," wrote the greates
Prussian in the history of the world
Friedrich Nietzsche. U2 seems to b
ignorant of the fact, continuing t
quite faithfully dredge up the mind
numbing platitudes of religious doc
trine. Apart from their messianism
Bono et al. have chronicled th
"Troubles" in Northern Ireland witt
a willful lack of analytical sense an
sensibility. To add insult to injury
the group is currently in it
Yankophile phase (Prattle and Ho
Hum), wanking over a past that onl
ever existed in Hollywood B-movie
or a Jack Kerouac "novel." What U
has to do with the Blues beats me
-N.Z
But there's more to it than that
Besides the Replacements, there's n
one in rock who inadvertantly "sol
out" with more absurd ramification
than U2. These guys have the nerv
to revolt on Casey Kasem's hit pa
rade, whining about political mean
inglessness, then they turn aroun
and do a movie - just for the hel
of it. They have the nerve to visi
Elvis' grave and not dance on it, an
for the love of heaven, how man
live records can one band do - on
after every consecutiverstudio al
bum? Is this being experimental, o
just plain lazy? However you stic
it, U2 are eating their own wast
matter with those damn knitte
brows. We don't need another hero
- F.G.
Sting
Just one word and it starts with
capital "P." What more needs to b
said? - F.G.
Young MC
The single most commercial rap
per of them all, Young MC wrot
one of the biggest selling singles o
all time, "Wild Thing," as well a
his own spiel. When he took th

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2

stage at the Grammy ceremony this
year, it seemed that there was no
hope for hip hop. But Flavor-Flay
changed all that with a single cameo.
Don't try to hide those skeletons in
the closet, Young. - F. G.
R.E.M.
Thank God for pop music. If it,
wasn't for this creative outlet for
young "artistes," we would have
some really bad poetry and fiction.
Thankfully, kids with Pretensions
can be confined to the sphere of pop
music where they aren't quite as of-
fensive. Such is the case with
Michael Stipe, a guy who thinks he
has something worthwhile to say.
Stipe was more palatable when he
was surrounded by Byrdsian chords
while mumbling incoherently. At
least then you didn't have to hear his
murky, obscure references to radio
free Europe, gravity, etc., etc. But
now, Stipe is another one caught by
the misguided disease of Being Lit-
eral. No longer are his words
drenched in the mix, but you are
forced to listen to trite comments
about Green politics and watch

videos that have Benetton kids jump-
ing up and down on the spot, shoot-
ing "Stand." -N.Z.
The Cure
And if Morrissey does get di-
membered by a double-decker bitS,
surely these jolly chaps should fol-
low him. Robert Smith has all the
aural charisma of nails over chalk-
board, wailing about imaginative
subjects like giant spiders and
French beggars. Disintegrationr in
its entirety isn't the most inspiring
thing to listen to with open earS
it's almost like viewing old films of
the Holocaust. Now add that requi-
site bassline, the same one that these
interchangeable Eurotwerps use' ftr
every one of their dance tr'aci;s
(actually only good for writhing
with a vague sense of rhythm -
Sprockets can't step), and in a nut-
shell you've got a soundtrack for
suicide. Smith, in his never-ending
search for anti-pretentious melo-
drama, says that Disintegration will
be the group's last record. Sure, and
Ian Curtis is alive and well pumping
gas with Elvis. - F.G.

A had young emcee on the mic.

Rackham Student Government
RUN FOR RSG IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION
Openings in:
Division I: Health & Biology
Division II: Physical Sciences
Division III: Social Sciences & Education
Division IV: Art & Humanities
AND PRESIDENT &
VICE-PRESIDENT
Applications available in room 102 Rackham. Call 763-5271
for more information. Application Deadline: March 30, 1990
Women, lesbians, gay men, people of color, and persons with
handicapping characteristics strongly encouraged to apply.

The University of Michigan
M SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Weds. Mar. 28

Take Six
Sponsored by the Afro-American Music
Collection
Tickets $10-15 from Ticketmaster
Hill Auditorium, 8:00 PM
University Players
Timothy Mason: In a Northern Landscape
Tickets $7, 764-0450
Trueblood Theater, Frieze Bldg.
Thurs.-Sat. 8:00 PM; Sun. 2:00 PM

Thurs.-Sun.
Mar. 29-April

1

. Read Gotta Love It Daily Sports
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Smart
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S a ve up tof
on Balfour Gold College Rings.
Brain wave! Special savings on Balfour Gold
College Rings going on right now! Save $30 on10K,
$50 on 14K and $80 on 18K Gold College Rings.
Have a smart attack-hurry in soon! Because this
intelligent offer won't go on forever, and you're too
smart to miss out!

I

All events free unless specified. Wheelchair accessible.
For up-to-date information on School of Music Events, call the
24-Hour Music Hotline - 763-4726
The Department of Communication
Announces Two Public Lectures on Media Law
The Edward Stasheff Lecture
Reuven Frank, Former President of NBC News
"Free Press vs. Fair Trial"
Wednesday, March 28 at 11 a.m. until noon
Natural Science Auditorium

%, J rr"- A --., I

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