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September 17, 1990 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-17

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ARTS
Monday, September 17, 1990

*he Michigan Daily

Page 5

Midnight Oil
makes you dance

The Sundays on Monday

by Ronald Scott

by David Lubliner
At was a typically humid, sticky
summer day in midtown Manhattan.
As the usual retinue of yuppies made
their way through the crowded streets
on their lunch hour, a band called
Midnight Oil was setting up a
makeshift stage to perform in the
middle of the street, directly in front
of the Exxon Building.
The Oils, playing in front of a
anner reading, "Midnight Oil
'"Makes You Dance, Exxon Oil
Makes Us Sick," performed songs
about pollution, exploitation of
mine workers and societal rebellion.
As the show opened, Peter Garrett,
lead singer of the band, walked up to
the microphone and screamed at the
masses of investment bankers and
corporate executives, "Your dream
world is about to end!"
Tonight, Midnight Oil brings
their act, an volatile blend of music
and politics, to the Michigan Theater
for a one night stand in Ann Arbor.
Although the Australian band was
originally formed in 1977, it was
their breakthrough 1987 album
Diesel and Dust, including the hit
single "Beds are Burning," that fi-
nally brought them attention in the
United States. Their most recent ef-
Rort, Blue Sky Mining, went gold
within weeks, driven by "Blue Sky
Mine," a catchy, borderline pop tune
about the exploitation of workers in
Australian coal mines.
The group's distinctive sound is
boosted by its recognizable lead
singer. Garrett stands 6 feet 6 inches
tall with long arms and legs and a
bald head, shaven because his blond
, hair was too much of a distraction
hen photographing surfers on the

North Beaches in Australia. Garrett
has unlimited energy, constantly
twitching and gesticulating his body
on stage while belting out his lyrics
in a loud, screeching voice.
Garrett is practically a spiritual
leader when on stage. He holds noth-
ing back in encouraging the audience
to join him in Midnight Oil's rous-
ing anthems which often foretell
doom and plead for change.
At the same time, it is hard to
believe that this man is a lawyer, a
politician and president of the gov-
ernment-sponsored Australian Con-
servation Foundation. He has be-
come one of Australia's leading
spokespersons on issues of ecology
and nuclear disarmament.
In 1984 the Nuclear Disarmament
Party convinced Garrett to run for a
six-year seat in the Australian Par-
liament. He lost the election by a
narrow margin but in the process
formed a grass-roots coalition of
young rockers and their parents,
malcontented with the government's
nuclear-arms policies.
There is no question that he and
his bandmates bring their political
beliefs to the forefront in most of
Midnight Oil's songs. However, un-
like other politically active bands
such as U2 who have obscure albeit
good intentions, the Oils possess
clear-cut goals. And just when their
message borders on becoming self-
righteous, they come back to what's
most important - the music -
which runs the gamut from reggae to
folk-rock to pure pop.
Fans need not fear being sub-
jected to incessant pleas for political
change all night; the representatives
from Greenpeace and the Rainforest
Action Network keep their booths

A t a time when the English music
industry is enraptured by ambient
house music, enthralled by the idea
of Beats Per Minute and concerned
with the conjugation of terms such\
as techno-acid-industrial-hip-hop-
house, it is a pleasure to listen to
The Sundays. With an emphasis on
wistfully charming guitar-based pop,
The Sundays have managed to both
fill a certain musical void and remain
on U.S. college radio charts for over
two months. Their success has been
both immediate and overwhelming
considering their first performance
ever was in August 1988. Now, just
two years later, The Sundays are
supporting their debut release Read-
ing, Writing and Arithmetic with an
American tour that will grace the
Nectarine Ballroom this evening.
Aesthetically it is an odd venue
for a band whose appeal lies in re-
straint, understatement and an inter-
est in songwriting that is lacking in
club-oriented college music. As gui-
tarist/songwriter David Gavurin ex-
plains to Stephen Holden of The
New York Times, "The mood of the
music determines the diction of the
lyrics." Which goes far in explain-
ing,' ...when its sunny outside/ think
about the time when I kicked a boy
and he cried/ I could have been
wrong/ but I don't think I was." The
lyrics often suggest snippets of a
very English lifestyle - afternoons
at tea, miserable weather and the un-

derground - echoing groups like
The Jam and The Smiths.
Vocalist Harriet Wheeler's style
has been compared tq The Cocteau
Twins, 10,000 Maniacs, The Inno-
cence Mission and perhaps more'ap-
propriately Edie Brickell and The
New Bohemians. Having received
deservedly laudatory reviews in

Gavurin
America, The Sundays have even
prompted some critics to tag them,
"A Band On The Cutting Edge." If
that label suggests something posi-
tive about the group it's appropriate,
but doesn't it sound so damn Ameri-
can?
THE SUNDAYS play the Nectarine
tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.50,
$13.50 at the door. YO LA TENGO
opens. -*

DAVID LUBLINEF/DaJiy
Midnight Oil's show tonight might not be as confrontational as this one
which took place in mid-town Manhatten this summer. But it'll be just
as fun.

4 9".

1~

and t-shirts in the corridors outside
the theater. What you'll find on the
inside is a lot of dancing, heart and
especially, sweat.
MIDNIGHT OIL appears at the
Michigan Theater tonight. Show
starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20
at Ticketmaster and the Theater.

WANTED:

STUDENT
PHONATHON
CALLERS

THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO
BECOMING A NURSE IN THE ARM!
And they're both repre-
sented by the insignia you wear
as a member of the Army Nurse
Corps. The caduceus on the left
means you're part of a health care
system in which educational and
career advancement are the rule,
not the exception. The gold bar
on the right means you command respect as an Army officer. If you're
earning a BSN, write: Army Nurse Opportunities, PO. Box 7713,
Clifton, NJ 07015. Or call toll free: 1-800-USA-ARMY, ext. 438.

Part Time Employment
The School of Education will interview students by phone who will be
hired to call alumni nationwide for an alumni fundraising phonathon.

$6.00 per hour,

incentives, bonus pay,

plus great work experience!
Callers will be expected to work a minimum of two calling sessions
each week. Phonathon held Sunday through Thursday evenings.
For interviews, call 763-4880 TODAY!!
The University.of Michigan is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportnity employer.

ARMY NURSE CORPS. BE ALLYOU CAN BE:

I I

1

SCHOOLKIDS' WILL
PAY YOU $1.00 CASH
TO BUY THE NEW
COCTEAU TWINS CD
FOR THE ALREADY
RIDICULOUSLY LOW
PRICE OF $8.99.
TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT TO THE
FIRST 100 CUSTOMERS- PLUS SPECIAL
DISCOUNTS AND GIVEAWAYS TO BE
A MMCt lM(elr

5

oph Shou ProductiorS
PRESENTS=

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176, *

8pm

- dnionb 8aroom

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