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September 09, 1991 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-09

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily;

Monday, September 9, 1991

Page 5

Brits take on 'Sheriff Fatman'
Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine: more than just a funny name

by Annette Petruso
first offive parts
*British Pop has traditionally had
an appeal, if not a profound effect,
on American popular music ever
since the Beatles invaded in '63-
'64. Since the Fab Four, numerous
bands have hit our shores in search
of a larger audience,from the Kinks
to the Sex Pistols to Def Lepard to
Judas Priest to Iron Maiden to
Duran Duran to Siouxsie and the
* Banshees to the Smiths to the five
bands featured this week.
Chances are you haven't heard
much about these five guitar pop
bands profiled this week (unless
you've listened to Windsor's radio
station, the Cutting Edge 88.7 FM,
or seen the occasional video on
MTV). All of the bands have just re-
leased their first records in the
States in the past few months, and
#some have just completed their first
tours. They're established in
Britain, and most only know about
America from what they've seen on
television.
"They censored the word 'the' on
Top of the Pops (a British music
television show) in England. They
left the word 'Sex' in, but they
called it Carter, Unstoppable Sex
Machine," explains Jim Bob, one
half of the duo named Carter, the
Unstoppable Sex Machine. He spoke
in a droll drone on the telephone
from the Chrysalis offices in New
York City.
Carter USM (as they are affec-
tionately abbreviated), a pair of du-
eling guitars and samples, make
complex yet eclectic music. The
other half of the pair is Fruitbat:
0"I'm very short-sighted, I got big
ears and I like hanging upside
down," he says. On their album,
they flesh out their basic electric-
stringed crunch with sound samples

from life, and occasionally from
records. Their songs, as on their first
American release, 101 Damnations,
tell stories and mold characters,
with a church bell here and small
detail there.
Carter isn't preachy, but they
aren't afraid to confront issues they
feel are stimulating. "When we
wrote these songs, although they ac-
tually are about social issues or
whatever, politics and stuff, it's
just because that's the kind of thing
that makes me want to write songs.
There's no great master plan or any-
thing to change the world... There's

nothing worse than musicians...
telling you what you should do
while you're sleeping in a cardboard
box or whatever... you should be
voting for this person or that per-
son. So we try to avoid that as much
as possible," Jim Bob explains.
Simultaneously, it's the charac-
ters they create that make the songs
so potent. Jim Bob says "An All
American National Sport" on
Damnations is "a true story about
this tramp in London." "These two
guys, they brought him some food
and stuff and were nice to him and
then when he was asleep, they came
back and set fire to him," Jim Bob
says. "And it was a pretty horrific
thing, obviously, and I mean at the
time it was reported in all the media
in England..." The song itself takes
the point of view of the' homeless
person: "I unpacked my troubles/
from an old Safeway bag/ under-
neath Cardboard City lights/ these
two characters brought me sup-
per..."

Though the songs often refer to
British problems and situations,
Fruitbat points out that "obviously
some of the place names and nick-
names of things won't be under-
stood, but generally there's poverty
in America, there's alcoholism in
America. The general idea of things
is going to come across..." Jim Bob
adds, "We can't write things specif-
ically for certain countries. 'Cause
that's part of the appeal, I would
have thought, you know, that it is
very British."
This kind of music live seems
like it would be atrocious, a cross
between Milli Vanilli and Janet
Jackson. Carter performs to a back-
ing tape, with no full live band,
Fruitbat says it's not really that
bad. "It's a lot better than it sounds,
let me tell you," he explains. "It's
not a trick. We don't make any pre-
tense, we just say we play to a back-
ing tape. But it's probably the livest
music you'll ever hear... We both
See SEX, Page 8

Jim Bob (front big nose, funny hair) and Fruitbat (rear, surname Carter,
hence the band's moniker) of Carter USM, which, slightly rearranged, is
USMC. "Like a satanic message that we're trying to get people to join
the Marines," says Jim Bob.

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 earn-
ing a BSN, write: Army Nurse Opportunities, P.O. Box 3219, Warminster,
PA 18974-9845. Or call toll free: 1-800-USA-ARMY, ext. 438.
AMY NURSE CORPS. BE ALLYOU CAN BE.

W H AT'S
HAPPENING

RECREATIONAL SPORTS
Intramural Sports Program

WANTED!!

SPORTS

OFFICIALS

EXPERIENCE NOT NECESSARY.
TRAINING CLINICS CONDUCTED PRIOR
TO EACH SPORT BEGINNING.
CALL 763-3562 FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

HAIR TODAY,
GONE TOMORROW-
THAT'S WHAT I THINK
ABOUT BOOK RUSH.

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SEPTEMBER 1991 BOOK RUSH

Sept.
1
HOURS:
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LABOR DAY
2
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Sept
3
HOURS:
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Sept
4
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Sept
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Sept
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Sept
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