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November 11, 1991 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-11

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The Michigan Daily Monday, November 11, 1991 Page 5

Carter USM hits USA
Fruitbat the Unstoppable Sex Machine talks on
the EMF tour, the new album and the Pop Life

by Annette Petruso
The cast: Your humble hack (me);
Fruitbat (real name: Leslie Carter),
one-half of the Brit duo Carter the
Unstoppable Sex Machine; Kris, the

. ::


ever-harried publicist at Chrysalis
(Carter's record label); and a name-
less, but patient and polite hotel
clerk at the Park International
Hotel in Leicester, England.
The time: Very early in the
morning, just as campus yawns and
stumbles into the shower. In
England, it's late afternoon.
The scene: Your humble hack pa-
tiently waits for Fruitbat to arrive
at his hotel in Leicester. She only

wishes to be adrift in rock 'n' roll
dreams. The Polite Hotel Clerk in-
sists that the Carter party will not
be arriving until after midnight.
Kris insists that the band will be ar-
riving any minute now. Finally, af-
ter many interactions with the
Hotel Clerk and Kris, Fruitbat and
your humble hack converse.
The story: Fruitbat explains,
quite apologetic and all: "We were
late. We got stuck on the motor-
way." Really? I thought it was a
conspiracy among record companies.
Wait, there's more: "The night be-
fore, the stage collapsed while we
were putting the lights and equip-
ment on stage. So it was supposed to
be our day off yesterday, so we did
the gig yesterday instead. I mean, it
was pretty good. I mean, the entire
audience just came back the day af-
ter. It was brilliant."
Brilliant is what everyone is
calling Carter, in Britain at least.
Their new single, "After the Water-
shed," has garnered critical and po-
pular praise.

these are real songs, not experimen-
tations with gadgets and voice alter-
ing. Jim Bob (the other half of
Carter, the one who sings) screams
with passion and feeling in
"Bloodsport." The cymbals crash
disturbingly in "Sealed," while
"Flowers" has the twosome un-
characteristically playing acoustic
guitar at the beginning. Poignancy.
Touching. Real. Confusing in a good
Who gives a shit if they proudly
play to backing tapes live. It has to
be good.
But isn't their practice of point-
ing fingers at social problems,
without offering solutions a bit
suspect? Anyone can see the negative
effects of alcohol abuse, wife beat-
ing and guns by reading the news.
"We're not really in it to offer so-
lutions," Fruitbat says. "We're just
in it to make comments, really.
We're just writing songs about the
things we care about. If we see some
sort of injustice in something, then
it sort of prompts us to write a song
about it. We're not politicians or
anything." Hmm, cop out?
But they are big Pop Stars in
Britain now. "It's all sort of snow-
balled a bit over here. We're getting
screaming girls at our gigs now.., It
has got quite a lot bigger and I have
noticed that people are treating us in
a different way. We're getting
treated more like pop stars, whereas
before we were just Jim Bob and
Fruitbat... Now people are really
sort of nervous about talking to us,
cause we're slightly famous," he
humbly explains.
The question is, Will that happen
over here, after they tour with
EMF? "We've stepped up another
stage (in Britain). I guess it would
be slightly stepping backwards
again for us, going to America and
supporting EMF," Fruitbat says.
"We're really looking forward to
it. If we came over by ourselves,
we'd play much smaller venues and
play to much smaller audiences....
We've got a ready-made audience...
eighty percent of them are going to
like us just because they like EMF,
and it's in the same kind of vein. So
The New Musical Express says,
See CARTER, Page 8

Just when you thought that this new wave of English pop bands was over, there is Blur. Hey! How old are
these guys anyway? Have either (l-r) Graham Coxon, Alex James, Damon Albarn or Dave Rowntree started
shavina vet?

Blur, to oversimply, is another
one of those British guitar pop
bands being snatched up by the
dozens by American record labels.
Not as high-powered as Ned's
Atomic Dustbin, Blur is more like a
group of laid-back riffers. The band
-gives the indie scene a small, short
nod with its touches of feedback
(like the beginning of "Bang").
Blur doesn't do the overwhelm-
ing guitar wash thing like the Stone
Roses, but incorporates that quality
into songs like "Repetition." Like
the Dylans (but not so intensely or
obviously) the band uses bits from
the '60s, such as the organ.
Blur's niche, then, is its simple,
musing music, with an eternally
suave, smart-ass, not-too-serious at-
titude. Using Stephan Street
(Morrissey, the Dylans) as producer
on a majority of the tracks insured
that Blur would have some cool
noises too.
What also works is Damon
Albarn's knowledgeable vocals,
which proclaim his nonchalance.
"There's No Other Way" is
Albarn's capture of a basic essence
of pop: "I don't want to think at
all." The song moves well, and with

the addition of the Hammond, or
pseudo-Hammond, touch, the sound
is basic pop but fully satisfying.
"Bang" continues on a similar
course, beating a little faster, but,
like the album as a whole,
uncomplicated and undemanding.
Albarn's style makes these words
realistic: "I don't need anyone/ but a
little love would make things
He and his band are not without
depth. "Birthday" is a gentle, shuf-
fling song that expresses queasiness
of one's birthday. "I don't like this
day/ it makes me feel too small."
Blur captures this freedom from ar-
tificiality, which drives the band
into a realm of honesty and
forthrightness, both musically and
lyrically - a refresher for the soul
of popular music.
-Annette Petruso
Thompson Twins
Warner Bros.
Forget everything you know
about the Thompson Twins. The
new and improved Twins is not the
band it once was, a pop sensation of
the '80s.
The group has now joined the
new wave of British rock. Pioneered
by such big name acts as Jesus Jones

and EMF, and perfected by such
lesser known acts as Primal Scream,
this is a movement that is taking the
U.S. club scene by storm.
The recipe: add one part
rhythmically hip, dance-oriented
drum track, plus three parts funky
synth and piano groove, springcle
lightly with distorted thrash-style
guitar, and glaze with singable
vocal melody. The result: an
irresistible '90s-style fusion of rock
and rhythm.
The band's latest release, Queer,
is a perfect product of just such a
The album's first track (and
probably its best), "Come Inside,"
features a highly energetic chorus
and an extremely danceable beat.
The presence of the guitar is subtle
but adds a flavor previously absent
from most Thompson Twins music.
The tune is receiving a fair amount
of air play on alternative music
radio shows, but is probably not
easily recognizable as the Thompson
Twins. For this reason, it is likely
that this album will not enjoy a
great deal of commercial success.
And this is unfortunate, because
the album does have quite a bit to
offer. Other tunes worthy of note
are "My Funky Valentine," which
See RECORDS, Page 8

Fruitbat (bottom) explains touring: "The basic thing is traveling to the
gig, doing the gig, getting drunk, waking up, traveling to the gig, doing the
gig, getting drunk, you know, for a couple of months. That's the way it's
been for nearly six months of this year." Guys - take a week off.

Weekend in Review
" So, you think you're young;
writers question the nature of
breakfast; Les Blancs is a blank


Nov. 14-15

9:00-11:45 a.m.
12:30-4:15 p.m.

Registration for Nursing students
and Graduate/Professional students

Foetus with Die Warzau
* St. Andrews Hall
November 9, 1991
You know that you're getting
old when:
1) You like the opening band (in
this case, Die Warzau) more than
you like the headliner. "I could get
into this angst-ridden-techno-dance
2) Uncontrollable yawning sets
in by the time midnight rolls
3) You ask yourself, "Why do
all these bands have to start so
damned late?"
4) When the main band (in this
case, Foetus) finally starts and your
eardrums start to bleed. "Why can't
that Foetus guy turn down his
5) You look upon the slam-
dancers below with disdain. "You
know, if those kids would only
redirect those negative energies to-
ward something positive..."
6) You can't stop looking at
your watch. "Any other morning,
I'd be unconscious by now."
7) You leave the concert early in
order to keep that pressing engage-
ment with your favorite Serta
-Richard S. Davis

magenta backlighted screen.
Written in the '60s, Lorraine
Hansberry's script was the first to
treat the subject of the African
struggle for self-determination. The
play drove home the horror and
tension of the collision between
European and African cultures and
societies. In mustering all of its en-
ergy toward this political explica-
tion, though, Les Blancs lost some
of its human character, and by the
end, the potentially real characters
receded into flat vehicles for ideo-
logical tirades.
Director Charles Jackson mas-
terfully evoked a feel for Africa as a
homeland in a kind of sensual tour
de force. He drew on the assets of
meticulous lighting and set design,
exotic costuming, Biza Sompa's
hypnotic drum music, and Linda
Spriggs' choreography for Dafinah
Blacksher's dance scenes.'Sudden,
well-timed bursts of loud noise in
gunshots and explosions underlined
the horror represented in the killing
and the conflict.
When Tshembe Matoseh (Jiba
Anderson) returned home from
Europe to his tribal home in Africa
for his father's funeral, he looked
ambivalently at the rebellion cur-
rently underway against oppressive
European rule. Having taken a wife

Tshembe tells his brother, Abioseh
(Joniah Martin), the priest. Except
for a few brief mentions of the good
old days when the brothers were
kids, Tshembe, Abioseh and Eric
(Sam Prince) seemed to lack any
.See BLANCS, Page 8

Registration by appointment begins Nov. 18 and ends Dec. 6 (except for weekends and Nov.
27-29). Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. The exact appointment time and registration location will
be printed on the Student Verification Form. Students will be asked to register according to
the following priority group sequence.

Group I 100 + credits
Group 1185-99 credits
Group III 70-84 credits
Group IV 55-69 credits
Group V 40-54 credits
Group VI 25-39 credits
Group VII 0-24 credits

Group I will register first followed
by the remaining groups.
Registration times are assigned
randomly within each group.


Graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in Architecture and Urban
Planning, Art, Engineering or Music and Rackham students enrolled in these
programs must register in room 153 Chrysler Center. If alternate appointment
permits are needed, students must go to 153 Chrysler Center for these. All other
students will register at Room 17 Angell Hall.

Remember, you must have these materials in order to register:
Student Verification Form-this form will indicate the time and place to register. (Check
the Time Schedule to determine how SVF's will be distributed.)
Student ID card (The University picture ID card will be required.)
Election Work Sheet
Override Forms-if course/section has an entry restriction
Financial Hold Credits
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