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November 02, 1990 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-02

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ARTS
'The Michigan Daily Friday, November 2, 1990

Page 5

Plastic People reassemble
by Peter Shapiro ____

Legendary Miller comes
home; Cows visit, as well

Throughout parts of Europe, the
names of Milan Hlavsa, Josef Jan-
icek and Jiri Kabes strike with the
same agitative resonance as Chuck
D;, Johnny Rotten, Bob Dylan or
Soody Guthrie. Although they were
as- overtly political as their musical
progenitors, The Velvet Under-
ground, the legendary Czechoslo-
vakian band, Plastic People of the
Universe, were perhaps the most
revolutionary band in the history of
rock ' n' roll.
The Plastic People of the Uni-
verse's music was deemed harmful
oise by the Czech government in
he early '70s, setting into motion a
chain of events - including impris-
onment and property burning- that
was meant to take the fire out of not
oqly The Plastic People, but the en-
tite Czech underground movement.
Unfortunately for the Husak regime,
their Helmsian activities only served
to forever enshrine The Plastic's
music as the spirit of rebellion.
* After nearly 20 years and political
changes that made Vaclav Havel -
assuredly the only world leader fa-
miliar with the music of the Vel-
vets, Zappa, Captain Beefheart or
The Plastic People for that matter -
the president of Czechosolvakia, The
Plastic People have metamorphosed
mito Pulnoc. Retaining three original
members and the same disconcerting
brand of late-'60s avant-garde rock,
albeit with a greater accent on
hooks, Pulnoc carry on the tradition
that caused The Plastics to be incar-
cerated in hard labor camps.
Descending from the same line of
ancestors that spawned such indus-
trial, feedback-infused, post-punk,
neo-avant-garde experimental groups
as Pere Ubu, Sonic Youth and vari-
ous Arto Lindsay incarnations, Pul-
-noc's music dwells in a world of

by Greg Baise
L ike some kind of harmonic
convergence, the Cows are play-
ing Ann Arbor the same night as
Philip Glass. Although a jam be-
tween the two is highly unlikely,
everybody should enjoy knowing
that as Philip Glass recreates
Koyaanisqatsi live, on stage at
the Club Heidelberg will be a
band who opened their first
record, Taint Plurbis, Taint Unum
with a cover version of Glass'
score for Koyaanisqatsi. This

"decisions, decisions" situation is
symptomatic of an artistic deluge
in Ann Arbor this weekend,
stronger than any of the waves of
feedback that Thor Eisentrager
dams up with his guitar.
Eisentrager is the guitarist for
the Cows, a bunch of nice and
noisesome lads from Minneapo-
lis, who arose from a cesspool of
static in Gibby Haynes' Grade
PCP longhorn steer abattoir. On
their latest Amphetamine Reptile
release, Effete and Impudent
Snobs, the Cows romp from the

sexbeat of "Sitting Around" to
songs about being down and out
like "Preyed On." Eisentrager
sticks his guitar in the proverbial
dike as fuzz leaks all over a plod-
ding "Dirty Leg," and hard-
core/mosh beats pop up every
now and then. Previous records
have sported music to take your
helicopter out and hunt dinosaurs
by ("Camouflage Monkey,"
"Chow"), and the Cows' contri-
bution to Dope, Guns and Fuck-
ing in the Street ("Almost a
See GIGS, Page 7

I

Pulnoc is second in the potentially long line of former Eastern Bloc bands
to come to Ann Arbor. They have promised not to stay as long as Gaza.

Bartokian chord changes and dis-
placed melancholy. Echoes of
Coltrane's tenor battles with
Pharaoh Sanders co-exist with the
Velvets' subterranean rock romps
like "Sister Ray" and an Eastern Eu-
ropean minor key- style of Beef-
heart's "My Human Gets Me Blues."
Inheriting an intellectual approach to
music, Pulnoc's music can edge too
far into the Gothic or the self-con-
sciously arty, especially whenvocal-
ist Michaela Nemcova sings in a
hollow deadpan reminiscent of the
character in Munch's "The Scream."
But, for the most part, their music
carries the spirit of a profound strug-
gle that has turned into a heretofore

unimaginable ecstasy, even removed
from its social context.
Opening for Pulnoc will be two
other avant-garde acts, Azalia Snail
and No Man. Azalia Snail is a
"rock" musician who combines dis-
cordant feedback with bizarre acous-
tic instruments like zithers. She will
be performing with a backdrop of
experimental films. If it's not as pre-
tentious as a freshman R.C. student
in a literary theory class, it'll be in-
teresting. Its tough to imagine a
stagnant Roger Miller gig. But it's
the appearance of Pulnoc that makes
this show the most important event
See PULNOC, Page 7

It took Jackson native Tom
Chaney nearly four years to get his
movie made in Michigan, but he fi-
nally did it. Wendigo is a low-bud-
get horror/fantasy that recalls the
monster movies of the '50s. It fea-
tures an all-Michigan cast and crew
and was shot in local cities ranging
from Mt. Clemens to Houghton.
Director/writer/co-producer
Chaney teamed up with co-producer
David Thiry of Ann Arbor and their
friends to shoot the film. Filming
alone gook over two years, as they
worked only when enough money
was collected to film the next scene.
The cast, working for free, also had
to be intermittently gathered from
around the state for shoots. Actors
were forced to maintain a consistent
appearance over these two years so
that their looks would not change
from shot to shot in the finished
film. A break came when Gary
Sorenson and his Grand Haven-based
group, Cinemakers, put up the
money needed to finish the film.
The finished result is a campy
horror story about a monster called
the Wendigo, whose spirit is acci-,
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dently awakened by a drunk Michi-
gan hunter in Northern Michigan.
The Wendigo and his evil minions
then proceed to devour the hunters
one by one, growing more and more
powerful with each feast of flesh.
One particularly nasty creature bursts
out of a pot of chili to terrorize
them. Luckily, a young but power-
ful girl is summoned to battle the
hideous Wendigo to the death.
Wendigo does well to avoid the
conventions of recent slasher films
in favor of an old-style monster
movie approach. Its low-budget pro-
duction, with crude effects, raw vio-
lence and nonprofessional actors. has

a fun, unpretentious appeal. The
soundtrack music was composed by
former Stooges guitarist Ron
Asheton, who also acts in the film.
Unrelentingly loud and often ironic,
it adds to the raw, rock 'n' roll feel-
ing of the movie.
Wendigo, unfortunately, is no
Evil Dead, another horror film di-
rected by a Michigan native (Samn
Raimi) and Ron Asheton is no Bruce
Campbell. The film never transcends
its lame story line, despite some fun
special effects like the stop-action
animated monster. It is not at alb
scary, nor is it very funny; some at-
See WENDIGO, Page 7"

Scott-Heron speaks his mind
by Forrest Green 111 luted and utterly legitimized by the tion of our government over th

e1

in the past 10 years since Gil
Scott-Heron moved out of his per-
sonal center of public attention, his
iessage has faltered. The counter-
culture of rap that took directly
from his influence has become com-
pletely assimilated by the popular
mainstream that Gil was denounc-
ing. Cable TV gives
"revolutionary" groups like Public
Enemy plenty of air. In the ex-
change, Gil's essential message,
"*Women will not care if Dick fi-
nally got down with Jane on Search
For Tomorrowl because Black peo-
*ple will be in the streets searching
for a brighter day," has been di-

mainstream.
When white liberals were ea-
gerly swallowing the doctrine of
Martin Luther King Jr., they ig-
nored the more immediate, more
confrontational and comprehensive
perspectives of other leaders. Mal-
colm X reached out in order for
African Americans to forget the op-
pressive, deceiving context of racist
America and mobilize with the
many similarly-oppressed colored
people of the world. Eldridge
Cleaver spoke the truth that Blacks
were and are basically a class of
people being repressed through
economics as well as race. So did
Scott-Heron, who wrote the domina-

revolutionary factors he champi-
oned as a "Winter In America" on
the album The First Minute of a
New Day.
See REVOLUTION, Page 7

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*WE FEATURE THE
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994-1367
1002 PONTIAC TRAIL ANN ARBOR.

*MINIMUM ORDER
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