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October 08, 1991 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-08

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 8, 1991 - Page 7

The Milltown Bros.
come to Motown

by Annette Petruso
"I think L.A. is the weirdest
place... There's so many plastic peo-
ple walking around, it's bizarre.
Women with their faces tucked back
and big scars on the back of their
necks where they've had their faces
pulled and stuff. Lots of false
breasts as well," reflects Simon
Nelson, guitarist of the Lancashire-
based British guitar band the Mill-
*own Brothers, on the weirdest
things in America.
The Milltown Brothers aren't
strange by any means, save their own
normalcy and lack of concern for
many things outside their own mu-
sic, which isn't quite the vortex of
Chapterhouse, nor the preachy gui-
tar pop of Ned's Atomic Dustbin.
"I think I see us as one of those
ImoSt traditional songwriting
ands that sort of, like, you say, fall
between (indie and pop)... but at the
end of the day, bands like R.E.M. and
U2 fall between those two ex-
tremes as well, and they're massive
bands," Nelson says.
This divergence is most evident
on the band's American debut al-
bum, Slinky, featuring an assort-
ment of styles and sounds. And no,
*t's not named after the toy. "It's
actually sort of a slang word that
we just used and bumped around,"
Nelson says. "It just means some-
thing that's happening, something
that's pretty good. It's got a bit of a
sexual slant to it as well as you can
probably imagine."
Most distinctive, and consistent,
is Matthew Nelson's (yes, he's
Simon Nelson's bro) voice, a nasally
pubescent cry which greatly resem-
bles Bob Dylan's in style. The
band's music is based mostly in
blobs of Hammond organ combined
RECORDS
Continued from page 5
dramatic, and the build-up to the
chorus makes you want to sing
*along. The album's first single,
"Get A Leg Up," should do all
right, and like "Now More Than
Ever," this tune is aided greatly by
the changes of dynamics and ar-
rangement.
"Crazy Ones" is the standard,
"Tumblin' Dice"-influenced cut
you expect to find on any rock re-
cord, but it transcends mere imita-
tion. The only true slow tune, "Last
*Chance," features the sweet inter-
play between guitar and drums of
Mike Wanchic and Aronof (one of
the best drummers in the biz'), and
the way the faint organ of John
Cascella leads into the heavy bridge
is a sign this band really knows
what they are doing. "Melting Pot"
is the record's representation of the
Mellencamp diatribe, but instead of
being cheesy, the way the words are
sung over the fiery backing track
sound cool.
This record is a true success, but
the main question is, "Does John

Mellencamp still matter?" Will
people treat this record the same
way they treated Sting's Soul Cages,
as another fine record whose sales
fell way below expectations? Even
if that doesn't happen, Mellencamp,
as he sings on the third tune, "Ain't
ever satisfied." Regardless of what
he may think, the fans will appreci-
ate what he they have waited years
for. The only way he could truly
piss us off is if he doesn't tour...
-Andrew J Cahn
NOTES
Continued from page 5
0 itself to our arts and culture.
5000.
NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND
will appear every other Tuesday,
right here... Stay tuned.

with distinctive, not quite jangly
guitar bits and rhythms, climaxing
and falling throughout the course of
every song. "(The Hammond organ
has) a good sound. It goes with the
guitar very well. It's very uplift-
ing," Nelson says.
The Milltown Brothers make
moody music with a grim happiness
to it. "It's just emotional things,
really, because I concentrate on
creating more on the musical front.
I sort of do the original chords on a
lot of things. But from Matthew's
point of view, I think it's a lot of
personal experiences and I think he
won't admit it, (but) he's met a few
girls in his time and things like that,
a few sordid relationships, but also
sort of environmental things. He's
quite interested in that as well, and
he does read a lot... so, from a ly-
rical point of view, there's various
things," he says. "I would say it's
very easy to write a song. It's very
hard to write a good one."
One of the Milltown Brothers'
best tunes, besides the single
"Which Way Should I Jump?"
which sounds like John Mellencamp
could have produced it, is
"Nationality." The song's tone un-
dulates from piano to bass and
guitar to a Stone Roses-like jam
conclusion. Matthew Nelson's up-
lifting vocals and an emphasis on
cymbals give "Nationality" a crash,
a tension which is never really re-
solved but just fades away.
"That was written at the time of
the soccer World Cup and we all
noticed how patriotic everybody
became. Suddenly there was this
massive jingoism that was going on,
and everybody was sort of glued to
the TV. And then, when the record
came out, the Gulf War was sort of
happening. And it's just frightening
what nationality can do. I mean,
you've got so many cases of extreme
nationalistic feelings in the past and
what they can do. People think they
are better than somebody else. Lots
of people can get killed, so it's
about that really," he says.
Image has always been a problem
for the Milltown Brothers. Some of
their songs, such as "Which Way

Repulsion
dir. Roman Polanski
For a while, it seemed that Roman Polanski was on his way to becoming
one of the greatest Hollywood directors of all time. Through a bizarre se-
ries of events, however, the director of such classic movies as Rosemary's
Baby and Chinatown became a fugitive from the law who still cannot set
foot on American soil. His wife, Sharon Tate, was one of the victims of
Charles Manson's murderous rampage in Southern California. A few years
later, a distraught Polanski found himself on the other side of the law
when the police accused him of having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Rather
than stand trial, Polanski fled to Paris, where he now lives.
Polanski's brilliance and deep talent is evident in Repulsion. The radiant
Catherine Deneuve stars as a childlike woman, innocently repulsed by men
and sex. Deneuve's sister leaves her alone in the apartment they share for
two weeks, causing Deneuve to retreat into her own world and ultimately
go insane. Her performance, like the film as a whole, is quietly powerful.
Her character is not a raving madwoman, but a shy quiet girl who has re-
pressed her emotions and desires for so long that when they explode, they
are beyond her control.
Polanski cleverly manipulates the audience to increase the shock value
of Deneuve's mental breakdown. The casting is inspired; her angelic beauty
lulls the audience into thinking that she is incapable of the ghastly acts she
commits when she goes insane. When her relationship with an ardent ad-
mirer unfolds, the film seems more like a traditional romance than like a
suspenseful horror story. Polanski uses subtle devices to suggest Deneuve's
growing insanity. The telephone rings urgently, symbolizing the
unwelcome intrusion of the outside world into Deneuve's apartment,
while the decaying body of a dead rabbit becomes a metaphor for her
decaying mental state.
The genius of Polanski lies in his ability to tell an outrageous story in a
straightforward manner, an ability that is sadly lacking in Hollywood
these days. Once compared to Hitchcock, Polanski is now a mere footnote in
the history of cinema. His unfulfilled potential is a loss for all film
lovers. Repulsion will be playing today and tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the
Michigan Theater. -Aaron Hamburger

The Milltown Brothers' Simon Nelson professed to love "fey and
delicate" women. Perhaps the bros (counterclockwise from left to
right, Simon Nelson, Barney James, Matt Nelson, James Fraser, Nien
Brindle) appreciate that quality in themselves as well.

Should I Jump?," sound like the
band could be from a Midwestern
haven for boys with a slight '60s-
electric-folk fetish. "When we first
came over to the States, we got an
American manager and he'd seen the
photograph of us in the N e w
Musical Express and he saw the
name, the Milltown Brothers, and
he thought we were from Pitts-
burgh or something. So maybe we
should come from Pittsburgh,
Cleveland or wherever. I don't
know, Milltown, I mean, Milltown
could be anywhere. It just happens
that the mill towns we're talking
about are in the Northwest of
England, the cotton mill towns.
"As for the musical sound, quite
a few of our influences, we would
admit, are American, ranging from
the Byrds to Dylan to R.E.M. even.
It's that sort of folky-tinged sort of
rock-pop sort element that we've
been interested in. But I mean
there's a lot of British things that
are playing a part in what we do as
well," Nelson says.
Midwestern implies blandness,
and the Milltown Brothers are ac-
cused of that quality as well. "Oh,
we're very ordinary boys. That's ac-
tually not true. People have just got
to discover it. They're not willing
to look any further than the fact
that we don't wear fashion-breaking
new clothing or we don't say outra-

geous statements in the press... And
it's a little bit neurotic, the British
music press, and I think they love to
see either a pretty girl as a lead
singer - they absolutely love
that.... (They write) about the
Darling Buds, the Primitives, that
sort of thing. They slap them on the
front cover because they have a nice-
looking girl," Nelson says.
"And now it seems pretty boys
are in fashion. There's lots of those.
Maybe twenty-one-year-old art stu-
dents have something to say about
the state of the world that's become
so outrageously important. We're
not ordinary boys, really. I've been
to university. I've got a degree, you
know. I'm not fixed... I don't think
you need to rely on your image, you
ought to rely on your music and the
strength of songs because that's
what'll give you a career in the long
run...
"It's just the fact that we call
ourselves the Milltown Brothers,
which is slightly old-fashioned. We
come from a very old-fashioned part
of the county. And we, um, write
songs."
See the MILLTOWN BROTHERS
open for the Wonderstuff at St.
Andrew's Hall on Wednesday.
Tickets are $6.50 in advance at
TicketMaster (p.e.s.c.). Show
starts at 9p.m.

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THE UNWERSrrY OF MICHIGAN
OFICE OF THE PRESDENT
2074 FL2M1NC AhAMN RATO- BUILDING
ANN ARBOR, MK}IJGAN 48149-1340
313 764-6270 FAX 936-0775Ocoe8,19

October 8,1991

Dear Student:
As you know, the University of Michigan has engaged in a new mission for the twenty-first
century-the challenge of diversity. To make progress toward this goal, we need a
commitment and a plan. During the 1991-1992 academic year, I have chosen to use the
Presidential Initiative Fund, a gift of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, to sponsor a Michigan
Mandate Leadership and Learning Student Competition. On behalf of the Competitions
planning committee, I am asking for your support and cooperation in making this
information available to your peers and encouraging their participation.
The purpose of the Student Competition is to provide incentives, resources, and
recognition to individual students or student organizations for creative proposals that
promote the goals of the Michigan Mandate for creating an ethnically diverse multi-
cultural university. Students or student groups may apply for grants ranging from a
minimum of $200 to a maximum of $3500. The proposals should be for projects that
encourage innovative and/or experimental programs that are not part of an ongoing
activity or program. The projects may be of an educational or training nature; they should
help bring about social and cultural diversity, develop intercultural leadership skills, and
strengthen communication to improve understanding and cooperation among campus-
wide groups.
Any graduate or undergraduate student or student organization may apply. Applications
may be picked up at the Student Organization Development Center (SODC), the Office of
Minority Affairs (OMA), and the North Campus Commons Administrative Offices. They
should be submitted to the Student Organization Development Center by November 1,
1991. In addition, there are resource teams available to students if they are in need of
assistance with the application process. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel
free to contact the Student Organization Development Center at 763-5900 or the Office of
Minority Affairs at 936-1055.
I am confident that you will realize the importance of this effort to engage individuals from
a wide variety of cultures present at this University. It is also important to encourage and
promote intergroup cooperation among the participants and the intended audiences to
truly develop mutual understanding in a diverse and pluralistic campus setting. In order to
achieve the goals of the Michigan Mandate, complete involvement, energy, and

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