The Michigar Daily- Friday, October 11, 1991 - Page 11
Continued from page 10
are reminded that "there is nothing
so strange as the soul...." David
Kaplan does not let us forget this
fact. There is nothing so strange as a
soul, and when presented correctly
there is nothing more identifiable or
moving. Kaplan's Frank is both.
Let's use our imaginations for a
moment. What if there was an alien
being, let's say from the planet
T'toom, who grew up listening to
radio broadcasts from Earth? Let's
also say that his civilization has ma-
naged to learn fluent English from
these broadcasts. Then let's really
suspend our disbelief and say that the
alien in question becomes especially
hung up on the old Philip Marlowe
radio series. Toss in a little inter-
stellar travel, and the sentiment that
"those poor goons on Earth need
me" and you've got Mel Gilden's
tale of Zoot Marlowe, water-pistol-
But where do the Surfing Sa-
murai Robots come in? Well, Zoot
makes his first appearance on Earth
wading up onto the beach at Malibu.
His reception committee just hap-
pens to be a bunch of surfers. Not
really surfers, though, because no-
body actually surfs anymore - they
just bu.y "surfbots" and operate them
You will recall that Zoot ven-
tured to Earth to emulate his hero,
Philip Marlowe. Luckily, he gets
his chance right off. Someone has
smashed all of his surfer buddies'
surfbots, and the big.Surf-O-Rama is
coming up fast. And to make things
more mysterious, nobody in Malibu
has any surfbots for sale, or even
spare parts. Then, in the process of
investigating, Zoot gets a second job
from the chairman of SSR (the peo-
ple who make Surfing Samurai
Robots) to find his missing daugh-
ter, Heavenly. Zoot starts his case.
I know that you're wondering
how it is that an alien life form that
looks like Opus (Bloom County) af-
ter severe liposuction can so easily
assimilate himself into human com-
* pany. I, too, was skeptical, but Gil-
den has it all figured out. First, he
sets the novel in California (no-
torious for tolerance of aliens and, as
the novel would later have us be-
lieve, gorillas wearing suits). Se-
cond, he has all the surfers high on
Yoyogurt (a sort of psychedelic
health-food). And third, he has the
hero casually wave away his appear-
ance by claiming that his "mother
took something in the sixties."
So with that problem solved,
Zoot dons his newly bought trench-
coat and fedora and goes out to try
his Chandleresque Marlowe patter,
without mercy., for he knows, in his
own words, "How to squeeze a
hyperbole till it screams." Rooms
aren't dark, they are "darker than the
inside of Grampa Zamp's left
nostril." And when faced with the
question of L.A. traffic, he obsemes,
"Automobiles seemed to have paq d
off and had big litters while I as
It's not Chandler by a long shot.
Gilden writes suspiciously like a
guy trying to write a funny spoofof
Chandler's style. It wouldn't wo*k if
Zoot weren't an alien, if robots
didn't surf and if gorillas wearing,
suits weren't chasing our hero.,.lut
fortunately they all do, and edfy-
thing else seems to fall into place.
-A. J. Hogg
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FLEMING ADMINISTRATION BUILDING.
Nirvana: Bigger than Jesus Jones?
Riding in on the grunge-pop train from Seattle, WA, is Nirvana, those fabulous fans of flannel. Nirvana's be-
come the hotteSt band on the face of the planet at the moment. So hot, in fact, that the band's record label,
Geffen, had to cancel a promised interview with the Daily because, doggone it, they're just too darn popular!.
I'd love to knock Nirvana for being snide, pompous sell-outs to the industry,.but I can't. Their new album,
Nevermind, is a blistering collection of amazing.but warped pop songs, bathed in a sea of glorious feedback
and distortion. Like contemporaries, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., the once-independent Nirvana has made
the big jump to a major record label while still creating stellar music. The band is playing an all-ages show at
St. Andrews' Hall in Detroit tonight, along with Chicago's Urge Overkill (see page 9), but it's already sold-out.
But show your "teen spirit" and go anyway; maybe you can scam a ticket out front, and when they become
mega-superstars and their video is stuck between EMF and Mariah Carey during a "Hit Block" on MTV, you
can say that you saw them when they where still-"cool."
Continued from page 8
* Monks probably like them, too.)
'While touring, the tapes on the
floor of the Monks' van range from
Peter Hamill and Black Sabbath to
Willie Nelson and Cream. Says
Krummenacher, "I just listen to
whatever's going on... I don't like to
listen to a lot of college radio stuff,
because I just think it's so rigid in
format. You know, it's like the
* whole Sub Pop label idea. Bands
have a distinct sound that's recog-
nizable by the label? That's ridicu-
Jous. I like grunge, I'm into it, I
think it's a great thing. But any-
thing, when it becomes a cliche, is
With such eclectic tastes and
wide-ranging talents, the Monks'
concerts are more than a dull re-hash
of their albums or guitar showboat-
ing. "We don't do the typical py-
rotechnic fanfare that I think is usu-
ally associated with a lot of guitar
bands," says Krummenacher. "We
won't just get:.up there and, you
know, turn the amps up to ten and
thrash about on stage. It's not really
our approach... we do tend to do a lot
of covers. We do old Fleetwood
Mac songs, you know, like really
old Fleetwood Mac songs, the
Hendrix song on occasion, a Eugene
Chadbourne song on occasion. God,
what else? Nino Rota, who was a
composer who wrote a lot of music,
for Fellini films, we do a medley of
his tunes, which tends to take people
quite by surprise."
THE MONKS OF DOOM play at
the Bling Pig tomorrow night..
HIERONYMUS FIREBRAIN, fea-
turing former Camper Van
Beethoven member Jonathan Segel,
opens. Doors swing at 9 p.m. Cover
is $6 ($9 if you are between 19 and
WHO'S CALLING THE SHOTS?
Continued from page 8.
the visual similarities between the
two bands, because I wear glasses
and John (from They Might Be
Giants) also wears glasses. I don't
,work hard at trying to distance our-
selves from the comparisons. It just.
. "I . think that in every city
around the country, there's going to
be some pockets of people who are
going to say this is different, people
who are going to say, 'I really can't
put my finger on it, but I like this."'
Even when faced with relatively'
little national exposure, this posi-
tive attitude separates Drink Me
from the rest of the pack. Although
the inevitable comparisons to They
Might Be Giants will probably con-
tinue, Drink Me is a band decidedly
on their own eccentric and
DRINK ME plays tonight at Club
Heidelberg with CAPTAIN DAVE.
AND THE PSYCHEDELIC
LOUNGE CATS. Cover is $4, and
doors open at 9:30 p.m.
ALCOHOL AWARENESS WEEK 1991
RA lthirty-year-old category. They prefer Tickets are $12.50 with student I.D.
RACKEEN them to be Black and male," and $15 without, at the Michigan
Continued from page 9 Brackeen says. Union ticket office. Also, the
"They're basing things on per- THE JOANNE BRACKEEN School of Music will host a free
sonality, on looks, on age, on race. QUARTET plays two shows tonight workshop with the Quartet today at
They ptefer people in.the fifteen-to- at*8 p.m: and 10 p.m. at the Ark. 3 p.m., at the Ark.
RESERVE OFFICERS' TRAINING CORPS
YOUR UNCLE WANTS TO PAY FOR COLLEGE.
BUT ONLY IF YOU'RE GOOD ENOUGH.
Army ROTC offers qualified students
with good grades scholarships that pay
tuition and most educational fees and
Sprovide an allowaicefor textbooks
You'll also receive up to a $1000
FORMER MANAGER OF THE
AND BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF
"NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE."
"TALES OF GLAMOUR
EXCESS AND THE
SUNDAY " OCTOBER 13,1991 * 7:00 pm