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October 30, 1990 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-30

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ARTS
Tuesday, October 30, 1990
%%% Not-so-real life in the City

The Michigan Daily
*The
Trees
t.al to
*Forrest
by Forrest Green Il
The Screaming Trees wah-wah to
their Zen grandmother in heaven.
Listening to their newest effort, the
pejorative "tame" started to come up
during our collective transcendental
circle jerk. But the Trees continued
to thrash on, and by time the track
climaxed we too were all climaxing,
on a different plane. Even their tamer
(read: more focused) jams glow with
a purgative spirit firmly embedded
within the eye of the hurricane. The
best guitar-bashing groups all played
or play with the subliminal intent of
escape, and the Screaming Trees
emit tangential bursts of sound rem-
iniscent of them all: Mudhoney's
rudimentary primal-scream wah-
wahs, the Velvet Underground's ma-
niacal grunge-for-humanity's-collec-
tive-corruption frenzy- fests, and
Sonic Youth's inclination toward
empyrial dynamics.
The Screaming Trees are Shawn
Holster on drums, Van Conner on
bass andMark Lanegan vocalizing
while Gary Lee Conner is the
essential center of consciousness-
fraying feedback and distortion trail-
blazing. They are now based in Seat-
tIe, and their current EP, Tim e
Speaks Her Golden Tongue, was
recorded there with assistance from
Chris Cornell of Seattle's most
"cerebral" grunge band. "We're not

Page:5

Metropolitan
dir. Whit Stillman
by David Lubliner
Imagine for a moment spending
winter vacation from college not go-
ing to the movies or visiting family,
but instead spending two straight
weeks in black tie attire, sipping
cocktails in New York City's ritziest
hotels and discussing the validity of
classic philosophers in the 20th cen-
tury.
Sound disgusting? Pathetic? In
Metropolitan the upper-class youth
lifestyle is both, but Whit Still-
man's witty script about Park Av-
enue party life makes this world ul-
timately endearing and entertaining.
These kids experience the same ev-
eryday problems with parents and re-
lationships that affect us all. Their
lifestyle is so entrancing that at
times you can't help but think that
it might be exciting to live like that
for a little while.
Stillman's narrative is presented
in short vignettes. His sharp cuts
from one conversational scene to the
next establish a lively pace for a
movie that consists entirely of peo-
ple sitting around and talking. His
style and the genuine performances
of his actors make this low-budget
independent film the most original
and engaging piece of work to be re-

leased this year.
The eight main characters of
Metropolitan travel the debutante
circuit and convene every night for
an "after-party," in the Upper East
Side apartment of Sally Fowler.
There they worry about the decline of
their social class, the threat of failure
and the fear of not living up to the
expectations established for them.
Stillman, screenwriter and direc-
tor, lived in this kind of world while
attending Harvard. After graduating
from college and dabbling in pub-
lishing, he worked on the script for
Metropolitan. While the production
is slightly artificial - understand-
able considering that the film was
produced within a $100,000 budget
- his narrative is so intriguing and
well-written that one can't help but
become caught up in these
characters' lives.
The members of the self-pro-
claimed Urban Haute Bourgeoisie (or
UHB, for short) are portrayed by a
bunch of young actors whose actual
lifestyles are far removed from that
of their alter egos. As Tom, Edward
Clements plays the film's protago-
nist and resident skeptic - an out-
sider because he is a resident of the
West Side of Manhattan. But Tom
becomes inexorably drawn into the
elite circle that he claims to con-
demn, proving that he is as much a
phony as the rest of them. He criti-

cizes the works of many authors
while later admitting that he only
read the the literary criticism of the
writing, not the novels themselves.
Christopher Eigeman is a stand-
out in his portrayal of Nick, an acer-
bic commentator on everything he
observes. Although he plays the
boaster, Nick reveals his own inse-
curities when going to visit his fa-
ther and stepmother in the suburbs.
He confides in Tom, "You have to
promise me that, should I die'this
weekend, there will be a thorough
investigation."
Among the female members of
the clique, innocent Audrey, a more
sophisticated version of Molly
Ringwald, is the most interesting.
Played by Carolyn Farina, Audrey
has difficulty expressing her love for
Tom but can easily debate the liter-
ary worth of Jane Austen with him.
Stillman makes it possible to
identify with characters who live'in a
world as different from our own as
another planet. We rpay not relate to
the Park Avenue parties, the formal
attire or the endless discussions of
social class conflicts; but when
Sally Fowler and her friends Play
their own version of Truth or Dare,
revealing their insecurities as well as
their sexual secrets, we at least feel a
sense that we've been there too.
METROPOLITAN is showing at the
Ann Arbor 1 &2.

Sex, psychedelia and Screaming Trees; these are a few of our favorite
things.

really a part of it," Van explains,
"but we like that music and stuff...
We ended up being a part of it, in a
way, just because we recorded over
there... knew everybody. But we
started before that stuff all started."
Actually, the Screaming Trees
have been around awhile; their first
LP, Clairvoyance, was a Velvetone
release while the previous, Buzz
Factory, was on SST. "We were the
only Northwest band on SST, at
least, and the only one putting out
records for a while, and then Sub

Pop started. Most people lump us in
there now. In the old days, they re-
fused to." Now that the Trees are
with Epic records, their anger has a
cleverly calculated edge to it. "Who
Lies In Darkness" runs into a false
distortion fade before it explodes into
some of the most violent fuzzbox
ejaculation the Northwest ever heard.
As for tonight's : show, Van
wonders if his band, with Social
Distortion, will overwhelm the
Blind Pig with various followers and
See TREES, Page 7

" "''

Allied Health
Professionals &
Administrators

P

A conversation with.....
Marti Giks of The Wonder Stuff

by Mike Molitor
The members of The Wonder Stuff
began hanging out in the small club
music scene of Birmingham,
England when they were about 14
and 15 years old. The English punk
movement was raging across the
country at the time, inspiring the
members to try their hand at music.
As drummer Martin Gilks said,
"We saw bands and we'd say 'we
can do better than that."'
After various unsuccessful
attempts at bands, the four members
came together in March of 1986.
Two weeks later, they were playing
their first gigs. In September, they
released 1,000 copies of a four-song
e.p. Record company attention in-
creased as the band built up a large
following. After holding out awhile,

the band decided that the only way
to make money was to sign on the
dotted line. The result was 1988's
The Eight Legged Groove Machine,
and the rest is history.
1 had a chance to talk to Gilks,
earlier this month a couple of days
after they played at the Nectarine
Ballroom in Ann Arbor.
M.M.: We've been having a bit
of an "Elvis controversy" here where
I write. Any comments on the man?
M.G.: You know that Elvis
cover compilation put out by
N.M.E., a magazine....
M.M.: You mean The Last
Temptation of Elvis?
M.G.: Yeah, well they asked us
to do a song for that and we basi-
cally told them to fuck off. Miles

(Hunt, the singer) told them "I never :
liked Elvis and I never sang the
blues." So that's what we're calling
the new record Never Liked Elvis.
M.M.: When's that coming out? G.h . ts
M.G.: Probably around February
here. When we're done with this
tour, the five of us are going to go
back to the studio to finish it up
We should have it done by Christ-
mas. See STUFF, Page 8

V Plan a future that soars.
Take your science-related degree
into the Air Force, and become an
of ficer in the Biomedical Sciences
Corps. You'll learn more, you'll grow
faster-you'll work with other dedi-
cated professionals in a quality envi-
ronment where your contributions
are needed.
In short, you'll gain more of every-
thing that matters most to you. You
and the Air Force. Launch now-call
USAF HEALTH PROFESSIONS
COLLECT (313) 463-8599
AD e

y. "

JOSTENS
GOLD RING SALE
IS COMING!

Order your college ring NOW.
Stop by and see a Jostens representative,
Wednesday, Oct. 31 thru Friday, Nov. 2,
11:00a.m. to 4:00p.m.,
to Qcdt from a mnidtc Iin of nnrid rinns

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