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September 17, 1991 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-17

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, September 17, 1991

RECORDS
Continued from page 5
ten better.
Metallica has been working
toward a sound that is fast and hard
but musical at the same time, with
songs that change tempo in seconds,
with words threatening and con-
fusing but ultimately optimistic.
They are looking for an LIbermetal,
and though they may never find it,
the results of their efforts can often
be amazingly musical.
People may confuse music with
noise, but "Enter Sandman" and
"My Friend of Misery" tell us that
more than making sounds Metallica
is making music; "The Struggle
Within" and "Through the Never"
tell us that they still rock; "Holier
Than Thou" and "The God That
Failed" tell us that their lyrics
still cut deep; and the whole album,
when played end on end as loud as
possible, will pull you in and shove
you about and let you know this
above all else: for as long as they've
been about, for as much as they still
do music they'd be safer not doing,
Metallica still kicks ass.
- Antonio Roque
The Geto Boys
We Can't Be Stopped
Rap-A-Lot
Yes, those malicious enemies of
politically correct protest music as
dictated from above and beyond are
back. And as before, the force of
sheer willpower being exercised in
We Can't Be Stopped makes the
Geto Boys admirable figures in this
universe called rap. The controversy
arising from their lyrics has caused
them to be dropped from Def
American, the major label that re-
leased The Geto Boys through pio-
neering rap producer Rick Rubin.
But the Geto Boys did not wait
for another contract. Instead they

recorded through Rap-A-Lot, a
considerably smaller company with
less money. Thus the production is
sub-standard on some tracks. The ab-
sence of unnecessary flash and luster
that is, in part, destroying rap makes
this album a hallmark in its sim-
plicity and integrity. And then, the
grotesque cover featuring Bushwick
minus the eye he allegedly shot out
only celebrates the appeal a bit
more. This confrontational spirit
extends throughout rap's widely
divergent levels with a sledgeham-
mer bluntness.
The sampling of the opening bars
of Latifah's "Ladies First," only to
be rudely cut off with a needle slip,
begins Willie D.'s "I'm Not a
Gentleman" with a cleverly com-
bative spirit. The lyrics are im-
mediately arguable, but also in-
sightful. D. is a sexist, but he pro-
vides his complete lack of social
demeanor as a basis for understand-
ing him. Then the inclusion of the
track "Punk-Bitch Game," basically
a rewrite of Sly's "Don't Call Me
Nigger, Whitey" with the trade-off
of racial epithets exchanged for a
verbal battle of the sexes, opens this
field of discourse a bit more.
The real gem on We Can't Be
Stopped is the clearly self-deprecat-
ing gesture "My Mind Is Playing
Tricks On Me." Scarface glumly
considers suicide, while Bushwick
awakens from a fight on Halloween
to find his hands "bloody, from
punchin' on the concrete." The
gritty, melancholy motion of the
groove is driven with guitars and a
beat that simply trudges through
the ugly world the Boys have
depicted. This grim spirit, alongside
the starkness of the lyrics, explains
why the Geto Boys' music is so pop-
ular. It's an honest consolation for
whatever we refer to as insanity.
-Forrest Green III

up with eight to fill the band, as
well as the crazy bodyguard-turned-
drummer Mickah (Dave Finnegan).
The Commitments rehearse,
grow tighter, play amazing gigs,
sleep with each other, fight and,
when they have an opportunity to
move forward with a record deal,
fall apart. The group never makes it
out of hell as the Commitments,
but, hopefully, they've learned to
believe in themselves (though it
isn't apparent at the end if they:
really do).
The transition to a higher state
of confidence as musicians, perform-
ers and people stuns because The
Commitments is full of real people
and places. Kids are everywhere -
half of Ireland's population is under
25. Jimmy's father (Colm Meaney)
thinks that "Elvis is God," and
can't understand his son's soulful
musical tastes.
There isn't room in the movie to
even slightly explain every cha-
racter's background. We get an idea
that lead vocalist Deco's (Andrew.
Strong) anger and assholeness comes.
from somewhere within. But his in-
complete character doesn't matter
whenever he opens his mouth and
sings. 16-year-old Strong's gritty,
throaty voice is fully mature with
grain, gravel and a depth unsur-
passed by most other singers of any
age. Apart from being a constant
prick with the vocal chords of the
devil, Strong doesn't act much. His
character however, fits into the
story well.
It isn't obvious that all the main
characters (save Bronagh Gallagher
as overworked back-up singer Berniea
and Johnny Murphy as old, long-
nosed braggart/ladies' man Joey1
"The Lips") in the film are note
played by actors, but musicians.
Their facial expressions and small
movements - especially Arkins',
during the audition scenes - add a
profundity that Hollywood actors
have lost by trying to "feel good"
all the time.
But the sequences in which the
Commitments perform, or'even just
practice, are the most potent of the
film. The actors mesh as musicians,
playing for their lives and dreams,
giving their characters something t'
look forward to, as Bernie says, in a
life of unemployment and nothing
to do. Music becomes the preferred
release, and the depth of soul makes
it that much more powerful.
THE COMMITMENTS is playing
at Briarwood and Showcase.

IU:-IS
LJ

- MULTI COLOR SPECIALISTS
- ARTIST ON STAFF
- RUSH ORDERS
" NEAR U OF M CAMPUS
1217 PROSPECT, ANN ARBOR 665-1771
VFF with this ad

The Commitment-ettes are (-r) Imelda (Angeline Ball), Natalie (Maria Doyle, a former member of the Hothouse
Flowers) and Bernie (18-year-old Bronagh Gallagher, who is a professional actor in real life, not a musician -
atypical for the cast of this film). Bernie's minding the kid. Cute, huh?

'MENTS
Continued from page 5
to manage two friends, guitarist
Outspan (Glen Hansard) and bassist

Derek (Ken McCluskey), in a band.
But the kind of band Jimmy forms
- a soul band that covers American
hits - is unusual and powerful,
playing the tight music Black

Americans once used to escape their
own hell. After auditioning every
unemployed musician in Dublin -
much like Parker did when he cast
The Commitments - Jimmy comes

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