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December 05, 1990 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-12-05

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ARTS
The Michigan Daily Wednesday, December 5, 1990
*Get loose with New Potato Caboose
by Andrew J. Cahn

Pace 7

You're under 21," said the
bouncer at the Bayou in D.C. as he
was covering my hands with two
large black X's, "and if you're seen
drinking alcoholic beverages or at-
tempting to remove these X's, you
will be asked to leave."
At the time, I did not pay much
attention to his threat, for I was al-
ready headed towards inebriation. Be-
sides, I was prepared to do whatever I
could to keep me, my sister and our
friends from leaving the New Potato
Caboose show earlier than we had
expected. We had heard of the wide
range of cover tunes they play.
According to Debi Moore, a
publicist for the six-piece band, at an
NPC show, listeners are "as likely
tp hear Jimi Hendrix's 'Little Wing'
and Little Feat's 'Dixie Chicken' as
(they are) to hear George Gershwin's
Summertime."' Needless to say,
when we walked in, the group was
finishing up a full-band arrangement
of John Prine's "Angel From Mont-
gomery." Following that, they
kicked. into a few of their original
tunes, and we realized that we would
be in for an interesting show.
The heart of the band's appeal is
that each member of the band has his
own role in the groove. What really
keeps them moving along is the
band's backfield of Jerry Smith on
- bass and John Trupp and John Mc-
Connell on drums and percussion.
The other members of the band, gui-
tarists Doug Pritchett, Don Laux and
Sam Pointer and keyboardist John
g Redling all share vocals, and while
they alternate leads, what works best
is when all four of them harmonize
an the choruses.
Although none of us were
* familiar with the songs on their
lbum, Promising Traveler, the
music was funky enough to keep us
involved, and after the third or fourth
choruses, we were able to pick out a
few lyrics and sing along. After
about five of their own tunes, they
took a break, but we didn't want to,
so we ordered another round... and

Madonna
"Justify My Love"
Despite the holier than thou
campaigns of Wildmon and Rakolta
against the perceived degradation of
television's morality that started
when those filth mongers at the
networks allowed real live women to
appear inside the brassieres on lin-
gerie ads, the boob tube has been too
puritanical to live up to its nick-
name.
Human sexuality has historically
been treated with the same openness
as a Jesse Helms campaign tech-
nique. Sex has never been seen as
anything but an inherently evil tool
used to gain leverage in insidious
power games. Of course, the roles
played by these wanton (post?) coital
pawns have been defined entirely by
the male libido.
With this one-sided view of male-
female relations as the setting for her
apocalyptic new video, Madonna sets
out to create the most potent
genderfuck to date. Like her monu-
mental "Open Your Heart" video,
"Justify My Love" immediately
challenges masculine definition/
subordination of women in narrative
structures by centering the story
around her experience; she is subject,
not object. Exchanging bodily fluids
with her exceedingly seedy stud
Tony Ward and a whole cast of bi-
sexual men with penciled in mus-
taches and suspender-clad leather
queens, Madonna the auteur flaunts

every sexual taboo imaginable aside
from bestiality.
All right, so the black and white
documentary style that makes the vid
look like a low budget porn flick
(which it's supposed to) and her car-
toonish surprise after the orgy don't
exactly make it the most mature and
honest discussion of sexuality. But
it does address issues that this na-
tion, controlled by uptight, shriveled
white men with magnified Napolean
complexes, would never dare to
touch/confront.
Madonna takes this country's
long-standing tradition of placing
women on dainty and innocent
pedestals needing the protection and
libidinous leadership of paternalistic
men and burns it in a fire of nasty
gender crossing. Madonna is the
center of the lustful activity, ev-
erything revolves around her subjec-
tivity; even the orgasmic look of de-
sire on Tony's face depends on her
own pleasure.
Turning male-centered narrativity
on its head, Madonna has created a
piece with incredible potential for
liberation. The censorship of this
landmark is to be expected in a na-
tion that refuses to deal with sexual
issues on an honest, realistic level.
Like Ice-T. says, "You have the
right to remain silent/ Fuck that
right/ I want the right to talk/ I want
the right to speak."
-Peter Shapiro

Attention all Potatoheads! The Caboose will be pulling into the Blind Pig tonight to play an eclectic mix of
covers and originals.

another after that.
To open the third set, they went
into their interpretation of Elton
John's "Honky Cat," but we would
never hear the end of it. Just then, a
man wearing a Bayou Staff T-shirt
larger than many of the human
beings I have met in my life noticed
the Marks of Cain on our hands
which were clenching our drinks.
Obviously, we followed his direc-
tions as he escorted us from the
building.
What bothered us was not that we
got kicked out of the bar, but that
we could not see anymore of the
band. The wait, for me at least, will
be over tonight, when New Potato
Caboose makes their Michigan debut
at the Blind Pig. Although they do
have a large cult following around
D.C. and other Eastern cities, they

are now mounting a national cam-
paign, on which they intend to
maintain their 20 show a month
schedule. They are also in the pro-
cess of recording their second album
which should be out sometime soon.
Even though their name comes
from the title of a Grateful Dead
song on Anthem of the Sun, they are
not "the New Dead," nor do they try
to be. With their own laid back

grooves, they hope to establish
themselves as an important band for
the '90s. Hopefully nothing, includ-
ing the lovely weather they'll face en
route to Ann Arbor, will derail the
success of New Potato Caboose.
NEW POTATO CABOOSE choo-
choo at the Blind Pig tonight. Doors
open at 9:30 p.m. and the show
should start around 10 or 10:30
p.m. Cover is $4.

CLASSIFIED ADS! Call 764-0557
0 aokken Xeig
National Wonor SoclAet
New-inductee meeting
Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 8:00pm
Pendleton Room of the Union
Officer elections will be held

LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO CA
CALL ANN ARBOR REALTY.

We Offer You Campus:
" Apartments
-efficiencies
-1-6 bedrooms
" Houses
-3, 4, 5, or 6 bedrooms

LL HOME?
ar a (.

" Special Accomodations for LARGE GROUPS

*24 Hour
Maintenance

Listings available at the office
or at the Off-Campus Housing Office

Mon-Fri 9-5

663-7444

616 Church St.
(across from Rick's)

ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT
APPLYING TO
GRADUATE SCHOOL AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF 4ICHIGAN
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION?
If yes, come to a meeting:
WHEN: TODAY, 6 p.m.
WHERE: Room 1322 (Tribute Room)
School of Education Bldg.

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