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October 10, 1990 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-10

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ARTS
Wednesday, October 10, 1990.

-ie Michigan Daily

Page 5

900 Foot y
Jesus :
appears
b mianke Mvio
}
by Mike Molitor d

Consolidated mixes ti

"I'm at the point where I don't
eken want to answer that any-
ore," Mark Griffin, a.k.a. MC
Ft. Jesus, told me from his hotel
room in Cincinnati as I asked the
ievitable question about the name.
"It's from when Oral Roberts
,weeded money to build his univer-
4ity and said he was going to die if
he didn't get it. He said a 900 foot
Jesus appeared to him and told him
not to worry. Also, it was about the
only stage name I could use in the
hole English language."
Griffin began his group in the
; ,iddle of' 1988, when he and D.J.
Zero, a frequent patron of the Dal-
4Ip record store Griffin worked at,
Sggrted recording songs together. In
O$cember of 88, the duo put out an
independent e.p., Too Bad, that at-
trcted the interest of Canadian
record company Nettwerk. Last
ear, they released Hell With the
id Off, a record that defies catego-
Trzation, but which is probably most
.succinctly described as industrial
sip hop. Strange stuff coming from
,ru "Army brat" who developed any
.efarly taste for Herb Alpert records.
I was wondering why you put out the
promotional photos without your
face on them, yet when you play
live you're just a "normal Joe."
,.G.:"That picture was the cover
of our first e.p. and I thought of it as
Fort of a metaphor of the psychotic
┬žtreet person who hides behind his
fMligious beliefs. Also, I'd like to
think that not showing my face
would lead people to make more of a
mpntal effort in trying to understand
wihat we're all about, rather than just
pigeonholing us. But yeah, I am sort
f an ordinary-looking guy, aren't
I saw you guys when you opened for
Severed Heads. How did that tour
go?
M.G.: "That went okay and we got
along pretty well. I've liked Severed
;pads since about 1983, but now
'm happy to be touring with a band
tat's more like we are. I mean, I
like Severed Heads a lot and it was
&ool to hang out with them, but
yNe're not really like them much.
We're much more compatible with
Cpnsolidated."
4re you still using the video camera
to show Zero scratching? What can
we expect from the live show?
M.G.: "No; that was too expensive
to go out and buy those huge
screens. We just bought a couple of
thousand dollars' worth of lights,
,The immanent conception of
justice is not based on rules
Qr authority, but upon integ-
rity, integrity of self and
tntegrity of relationships.
STARHAWK
Power Center, 12 OCT., 7:30,
$12.00 or $8.00 s/s

by Forrest Green liI
White males in America are
having a tough time just being
themselves, and Consolidated are de-
termined to make it even harder. The
dance group, mixing industrial den-
sity, house dynamics and rap atti-
tude, is an impressively radical fac-
tion. They are determined not only
to fight the tide of the music corpo-
ration, but to spread an anti-sexist,
anti-racist, anti-oppressive message
to the people as clearly and logically
as possible.
There is a distinct intransigence
to Consolidated that makes them
particularly formidable. This three-
man group has a militant philoso-
phy, as well as anger, behind its
music. Lead vocalist and lyricist
Adam Sheburne, drummer and video
programmer Philip Steir and key-
board operator Mark Pistel, are all
heterosexual white men.
Their debut album is entitled The
Myth Of Rock and it is a dissection
of the forces of corporate capitalism,
ideological sexism and racism that
are consistently prevalent in the
music business. Their effect is
actually unlike the robotic slam-
dancing consciousness that takes
place at a Front 242 or Nitzer Ebb
show.
Rather, with extremely imagina-
tive sampling of tracks by N.W.A.,
Miles Davis, George Clinton, and

Public Enemy backing them, Con-
solidated creates a more chaotic, free-
form frenzy to dance to. Their mes-
sage is very much like the strictly-
ordered program of a revolutionary
party, although a much needed sense
of humor comes through as well.
"White American Male (The
Truth Hurts)" is almost self-parody-
ing, with Sheburne ranting, "What
have you ever done to make up for
centuries of institutional racism?"
One particular break snatches very
humorously from N.W.A., declar-
ing, "The jury finds you guilty of
being a whitebread, chickenshit
motherfucker." Elsewhere, Consoli-
dated creates plaintive reveries, like
the docile "Stop The War Against
The Black Community," or "Love,
Honor and Respect," an indignant at-
tack on rich men who would gladly
attempt to take away the reproduc-
tive rights of poor women. The out-
fit does not plot to put down any
particular group but rather to balance
the scales for all people, implying
an actual belief of Consolidated in
music's power to change the world.
"There are a lot of contradictions
in what we do... we try to let the au-
dience know, when you buy a record,
you're subscribing to a commodity
economy," Sheburne says.
Steir isn't quite so condemning
as his bandmate. He promises that
tonight, after the noise ends, there

ie grooves
will be some audience participation
in the form of a question and answer
session. "We want to be able to ex-
plain to our audience the linking of
racism, sexism ... all under oppres-
sion." Sheburne adds in, "We want
our audience to challenge us, not to
passively accept what we say. We
give them loud music, light, videp,
but our most important contribution
is the question and answer session.-
On the band's musical influences,
Steir cites "everything," while
Sheburne comments favorably on
the mentioning of a Miles Davis
groove within the simply awesome
"Josephine The Singer:" "We do a
cover, 'It's About That Time,' from
In A Silent Way. We drop a lot of
Miles, he's a big influence."
Consolidated turns out to be trly
comprehensive and open-minded
enough not to collapse under the
weight of their many contradictions.
"We try to keep in mind that we Ve
actually a commodified produdt;"
Sheburne says, in line with ther
message that all music is regressi-e,
ultimately no better than any otl~r
form of media. "When the puff s
find out that we're backed by a major
label, they think we're corporate
slime." May tonight's show prdo6
them wrong.

DJ Zero displays his Neiman Marcus hat. By his side stands a Magrite-
influenced MC 900 Foot Jesus.

though. Consolidated are using a few
video monitors. And their drummer
is playing with us on...most of the
shit. I wanted to get back to more of
a live feel when we play."
Being from Texas, what do you think
of the Austin music scene?
M.G.: "It's just like any other
town-99 percent boring bullshit.
There are some pretty good bands
though...The Skatenigs are pretty
cool, and I like Retarded Elf and Bad
Mother Goose. But yeah, the whole
Austin scene is a myth, really. You
can walk down Sixth Street and see a
lot of bands, but most of them are
old fat white guys playing the
blues."
Are you guys working on any new
material? How do you go about
composing?

M.G.: "We've got an e.p. with the
song "UFOs Are Real" on it coining
out in Europe in a couple of weeks.
I think it will only be available here
as an import, though. When we're
done with this tour, we're hopefully
going to go back into the studio and
do another record. Usually I write
most of the stuff until it's almost
ready to record, and then Zero comes
in and adds some beats and some
scratches...As far as Herb Alpert
goes, I don't know if I'll ever be
able to work that in, though."

CONSOLIDATED opens for
900 FT. JESUS tonight.

MC
me

f

MC 900 FOOT JESUS and CON-
SOLIDATED play at the Nectarine
tonight. Doors open at 9 p.m., tick-
ets are $10.50 in advance (plus evil
service charge) at Ticketmaster
and at Schoolkids' (plus less evil
service charge).

y.
~, .

4-
I 4
,

$ .
t .ve

:+

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