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April 11, 1990 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-04-11

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I

Page 8- The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, April 11, 1990

R E CORDS
Continued from page 5
may seem that the band is about to
break up. But Gold Afternoon Fix
shows that while The Church may
not be at their creative peak, they are
by no means a thing of the past.
Especially since this is much better
than any of their solo work.
-Mike Molitor
Juice
Juice
-Rainbo Records
If you think Juice is one of those
bands for those annoying, patchouli-
reeking hippies who ruin perfectly
nice spring days by playing campfire
sing-along versions of Dylan tunes
on the Diag, well, you're only half
right.,4&#- after the demise of
Flashbiealcong-haired. freaks co-
opted Juice so they could get to-
gether andainbow dance and pretend
to funk out to "Brick House." But,
:there's a lot more to the band than
providing vibes for tribal gatherings
of Ann Arbor's '60s refuse.
Juice's sound is patterned around
the music of bands like Little Feat
which existed in some nether region
between the stylings of New Orleans
and Memphis but is a tad more
poppy and less distinctly regional.
This de-twanging of the music ac-
centuates the groove and the techni-
cal/skillful aspects of the band's
playing. Although the music as a
consequence sounds a bit dated (on
the classic rock side), it does become
more accessible.
'The problem is that, in this quest
to not sound like stoned southern
boys, the music, particularly Alex
Johnson's guitar solos, occasionally
sounds like those sterilized Dixie
rockers, .38 Special. Hyatt Yu's

bass groove and Ben Wilson's key-
board fills give the music some
punch and fill out the sound nicely,
but the somewhat bland percussion
undermines this. When the compla-
cent drum patterns are enhanced by
congas or wood blocks, the music is
enhanced by this added texture.
The problem with most bar bands
is that when you are actually able to
hear the lyrics, they're disappoint-
ing. Fortunately, this isn't really a
problem with Juice. While there are
some forays into hipster lingo
("There ain't no difference between
the right and wrong/ Because every-
body's got something crazy going
on") or Bon Jovi territory ("I've got
a job in a factory, it's the only one
in town/ It's got its ups and downs,
but its the only job I found"), most
of the songs deal with hopes of
whimsical transcendence and are
filled with catchy turns of phrases
that are effective verbal hooks.
Hooks form the crux of Juice's
music. While it doesn't provide an
esoteric glimpse into the human
condition, it is good, simple groove-
propelled rock 'n' roll.
-Peter Shapiro
Great White
.Twice Shy
Capitol
Great White's seventh release,
Twice Shy, has been a "hit" for
almost a year. Their recent snubbing
of Ann Arbor by cancelling their
April 10th concert date aside, this
album plays along in basically me-
diocre fashion: nothing amazing but
a mere solid hard- rockish ok album.
Overwhelmingly influenced by
'70s Rock like the Nuge, Aero-
smith, Alice Cooper and, especially,
Led Zeppelin, Great White could not
have taken much notice of subse-

Great White has been influenced by a lot of other bands. We mean really
influenced.

quent happenings in the music
world, save being one of many wor-
shipful Zep imitators. But they are
not as blatant assome others
(namely Kingdom Clone and Bon-
ham) because they do add some of
their own style. Although Mark
Kendell started as a speed-metal gui-
tarist, this album lumbers along in
the same vein as the band's influ-
ences. Their own bluesy sway blinks
through some songs, but in general
it is just standard, fair hard rock that
probably appeals to the average
MTV viewer.
Most everything on this album
that blatantly steals does not work.
Neither do the too-numerous power
ballads or road songs that dominate
the album. Jack Russel's vocal style
blows all Robert Plant wannabes
away; he uses the same voice inflec-
tions and phrasing on songs like
"Heart the Hunter," "The Angel
Song" and "She Only." "Move It"
sounds like Van Halen without the

umph. "Hiway Nights" never gels
quite right; it sours because it lacks
the grit that makes songs about trav-
eling decent.
What works are the more light-
hearted moments on the second side
that stand out a midst the mostly
blah soft songs. "Mista Bone"
churns as an Aerosmith-influenced
good rock song. Their smash cover
of Ian Hunter's "Once Bitten, Twice
Shy" is arguably the high point of
the album, limiting the band's influ-
ences to nothing more than influ-
ences and generally being a good en-
joyable cover.
Perhaps Great White's musical
fate can best be compared to the
bands for whom they opened in the
'80s: Night Ranger and Twisted Sis-
ter. After those bands' successful tri-
umphs, they were never heard from
again. We can only hope - unless
Great White somehow turns to orig-
inality.
-Annette Petrusso

The Media Monopoly
by Ben Bagdikian
Beacon Press/$12.95
As much as you may hate to ad-
mit it, you have in your hands one
of the rare instances of truly free
journalism left in America: the
Daily is not owned or controlled by
a corporation, is under no pressure
from advertisers to monitor its con-
tent and publishes a wide variety of
opinions without fear of whom it
may offend. This, according to Ben
Bagdikian, is the exception in
printed media rather than the rule.
Published originally in 1983,
The Media Monopoly at that time
pointed out that most of the nation's
25,000 media voices (TV, radio,
newspapers, etc.) were owned and
controlled by 50 corporations, a dis-
turbingly small number. The updated
edition, published last month, shows
that the number has dwindled to 23.
These controlling corporations he
calls the "Private Ministry of Infor-
mation."
Scary names like "Private Min-
istry of Information" are not what
one expects from a former editor at
The Washington Post. In fact, there
are places where he commits the
journalistic offense of not immedi-
ately backing up what he says with
facts, statistics and references. At
times, he simply doesn't seem ob-
jective.
That is exactly what Bagdikian
says is wrong with most newspapers
today: they are all the same because
Read
Lincoln's Minutes
in the Michigan Daily

"objective" reporting, in sticking to
"just the facts, ma'am," necessarily
relies on authorities for those facts,
which he asserts puts more control
of the news into the hands of the4
right-wing establishment and takes
journalists away from digging deepeg
into the context of the events they
cover, like what causes them and
how they will affect society. In lieu
of that, the nation is left with a
"journalism of nouns."
Much of what he says rings true.
When was the last time you read one
of the local chain papers and were
fascinated by the news? Or did it just
seem like a printed and expanded ver-
sion of CNN? Herein lies the attrac-
tion of Media Monopoly: It will
enlighten you as to who does what,
how they do it, and specifically, how
they do it to you through the media.
This book covers all media, us-
ing plenty of unsettling examples to
anger and chill, although the amount
of evidence can sometimes leave you 5
cold to the prospect of wading
through all of it. The effort is re-
warded, though. Throughout the
book, Bagdikian believably plays the
possibility of Orwekian mass mind
control against the present realities
of increasing media control by a de-
creasing number of controllers. The
result of this sometimes humorous
interplay is significant: it puts the
reader on guard of his or her intellect
in the presence of the media and
shows the danger of taking its legit-
imacy for granted.
-Beaumont Brush

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