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November 22, 1991 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-22

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The Michigan Daily- Friday, November 22, 1991 - Page 11

:' "
high -jinks
Ren & Stimpy
animate kid TV
by Rosanne Freed
W itness the fan who proudly
displays the picture of a psychotic
canine tattooed on her arm. And the
*mesmerized group of faculty and
grad students on this very campus
analyzing latent messages of cul-
tural fragmentation. And unsus-
pecting parents lured by their own
children into an obsessive relation-
ship with imaginary animals.
They've all fallen victim to
something grotesque and glorious
- The Ren & Stimpy Show, an ab-
surdist animated series starring an
extremely edgy Chihuahua and his
stupefied feline companion. The Ren
& Stimpy Show hardly made a ripple
when it debuted on Nickelodeon
this fall, but currently, it's the kid-
die network's most popular cartoon,
with an eclectic cult following who
hail from Duke University to Dis-
Nestled in Nick's Sunday morn-
ing cartoon lineup along with the
earnestly bland Doug and Rugrats, R
& S is the flasher on the playground.
The show is a rude celebration of the
repressed, with ugly main charac-
ters, bodily blasphemies of farts and
hairballs, and unbridled sadness,
jealousy and joy. Ren is a hairless
Mexican hound with a Peter Lorre
accent and a nasty attitude, who
prays for "huge pectoral muscles"
and lapses into Space Madness.
Stimpy is his close companion, a big,
dumb cat who carries around a box
of edible kitty litter and shows
See REN, Page 11

Nick Lowe
The Wilderness Years
The rock music industry of the
past five or six years can easily be
characterized as a TV game show
called "Digging for Dollars."
Record companies are scrambling
like crazed contestants to mine all
the vaults of rare and previously
unreleased material that they can
include on retrospective box sets
and CD reissues. This way, long-
time fans - who already own all
the group's releases - will be
enticed to buy them. So far we've
seen this happen with Eric Clapton,
ELO, Bob Dylan, the Sex Pistols,
David Bowie, Elvis, Led Zeppelin,
etc. Nearly every super-act of the
'60s and '70s is amply represented in
the "three R's" (Retrospectives,
Reissues and Rarities), with the
notable exceptions of the Beatles
and, of course, Mr. "Cruel to be
Kind" himself, Nick Lowe.
Until now. Actually, not much
of Lowe's material, rare or other-
wise, is readily available. Never-
theless, UK-only Demon has seen fit

to put together The Wilderness
Years, a hit-and-miss collection of
Lowe's rare singles and previously
unreleased outtakes and demos from
1974-77, so called because these
were the years after his leaving
Brinsley Schwarz (his first group)
and before joining Rockpile. To
Demon's credit, T W Y has a
whopping 18 tracks - most of
which are interesting, some of
which are fun and a couple of which,
unfortunately, are dumb.
The interesting includes a slow-
paced demo of "Heart," on which
Lowe himself plays all the instru-
ments; "I Love My Label" - a
tongue-in-cheek jingle for Stiff
Records (never used); "Fool Too
Long" - a 1975 demo for Dr.
Feelgood (rejected, but later appear-
ing, along with "Heart," on
Rockpile's Seconds of Pleasure);
and "I Got a Job" - a jazz-funk
number Lowe claims he "can
remember neither writing nor
The fun, on the other hand, is ex-
emplified by "Let's Go to the
Disco" and "Bay City Rollers We
Love You," two songs that, accord-
ing to the liner notes, Lowe
recorded in 1975-76, with the inten-
tion of getting himself fired from
then label Liberty/UA. (It worked.)
"Rollers," oddly enough a hit in
Japan, is one of the funniest songs
I've ever heard, and to me, largely
justifies the $20 I spent on the disc.
The refrain features Lowe - backed
by a chorus of teenage girls -
singing: "Derek, Alan, Eric we love
you/ Les and Woody do you feel the
same way, too/ You're making all
our dreams come true/ Bay City
Rollers we love you."
Which now brings us to the
dumb - "Rollers Show" (the
slightly-less-silly follow-up to
"We Love You") and "Heart of the
City." Dumb, in this case, does not
refer to the songs - both excellent,
upbeat rockers - but instead to the
goofball at Demon who compiled
this album. Neither of these two
songs is previously unreleased, and
they are by no means rare. "City"
appears on at least three other re-
leases (two from Demon itself),
"Show" on at least two. I mean,
come on! When are record compa-
nies going to wise up and realize
that they can only repackage the
same material a limited number of
times before no one buys it any-
Except me, of course. Where's
the Who box set? How about a Pink
Floyd retrospective? Oh - a Simon
& Garfunkel three-disc gift box!
-Alan Glenn

Love Child
Well, OK! Just when I was about
to recede into some heavy-duty
studying as a way of life, while
solely collecting Moondog boot-
legs and souvenirs 'cause I thought
the American underground had gone
corporate, shitty, or away from
local record stores, along comes
Love Child, a multi-gender trio
(OK!) carrying the torch of the
American Rock Underground into
said vinyl caches courtesy of the dis-
tribution of Homestead. And girl,
let me tell you: boy am I glad that
flame is still alight!
The boys and girl in Love Child
often switch vocal duties. Alan
Licht and Will Baum switch off be-
tween guitar and drums in a non-
sleep-inducing way. Rebecca Odes
provides bass throughout, and the
trio always adheres to guitar-bass-
drums, throwing in an organ a few
times. With these essentials they
rock - seriously, funnily, hornily,
sincerely, naively, intelligently, and
yet, most importantly, non-dilet-
tantishly. Rock isn't a fashion or a
haircut or a 23 Envelope album
cover for Love Child. It's ROCK -
and that's all right.
And you know it's all right
when an album like Okay? contains
a tune (called "Know It's Al-
right") that probably could have
saved that lad from Zen Arcade a
trip to the institution, had he been
able to slip through time and listen
to it back in 1984. Ghosts of Husker
pop up all over this album, like in
the Hartesque power-depresso-bal-
lad "Slow Me Down." But it's that
"Know It's Alright" tune that my
needle keeps returning to: Alan
Licht dealing with some fucked-up
fucking or relationship, as some
chips of Mouldian Flying V barrage
provide the solder to fuse Love
Child into such a fine tradition.
Love Child isn't haunted, though
(at least no more than the rest of
us). At other times, things get
Hobokeny in a Mercer/Million kind
of way: we're talkin' the instru-
mental "2" as well as "Chris and
Missy" - a Reedian some kinda
love/betrayal tale as mimicked by
younger folk. For those of you too
young to remember what it was like
existing when SST 56 (Flip Your
Wig) wouldn't be released until
next month, Love Child veers into
primo Pixie/Breeder territory too,
but I'm not about to hold that
against them. It's not like Love
Child is a bunch of trendy copycats
or anything - they've been around
since at least 1988 and they just
happen to listen to the same an-

The members of Galactic Cowboys (1-r, Ben Huggins, Monty Colvin, Alan
Doss and Dane Sonnier) are almost as ugly as that banner behind them.

tecedents as any other guitar pop-
pers talented enough to get signed
to a fine, fine label. But while the
Pixies debase away into major label
pointlessness, Love Child keeps that
Reed-Richman-Wynn-Calvin John-
son continuum continuing, or that
hybrid hybridizing (yeah, that's a
word) and you know that's okay.
Get the point? Okay? is beyond
OK; it's some of the finest indie
stuff to be released, shall we say,
this decade? Yes, let's. OK?
-Greg Baise
Galactic Cowboys
Galactic Cowboys
Galactic Cowboys' self-titled
debut album definitely reflects the
band's Texas lineage. It's Country
meets Metal. It's melodious
acoustic meets guitar grind. And
while the Cowboys are by no means
the best new band, they have some
original sounds and ideas which
form a solid foundation for future
There's definitely a statement
made by a band which starts its de-
but album with a long, dissonant
cow moo. The first song, "I'm Not
Amused," is a mixture of eerie
acoustics and hard rhythm guitar,
with a harmonica solo thrown in to
punctuate the Western influence.
"Sea of Tranquility" features ev-
erything a good metal song should
- pounding drums drive a churning
rhythm guitar, and the singer shouts
lyrics with psychedelic backup vo-

cals. Unfortunately, this is one of
only a few tracks where the singers
style coincides with that of the
Throughout a majority of the al=
bum, the mood set by hard, raunchy
guitars and primal drums is broken
by the vocalist's "teen-idol" voice.
"Why Can't You Believe" is full Of
punishing guitar, perfect for the an-
gry-young-man theme, but the
whole effect is massacred by the
overly beautiful voice of the lead
singer. In other songs, such as
"Speak to Me," it seems as if the
band is afraid to push its harder
sound over the edge to heavy. The
members build up on a good riff, but
when it comes time for a scorching
solo, the guitarist is unable to de-
liver. Whether it's due to lack of
talent or a bad decision, such short-
comings are frequently a disap-
There is at least one song where
the Cowboys bring it all together.
During "Kill Floor," the guitarist
completely jams, even pulling off a
sitarish solo. The drums, which are
solid throughout the album, are
right in step. Even the lead singer
manages a primal, hard-rock screech.
Perhaps the Cowboys need to get
a little experience, have the lead
singer gargle drano or undergo a
voice change, and learn to cut loose.
If this happens, the band's next re-
lease could be a consistent, high-
quality hard rock album.
-Colleen Bos



Continued from page 9
"The best thing is that you learn
responsibility and how to work as a
team. Everybody enjoys being in
Band, and I've made some of my
closest friends in it. Being in Band as
a freshman helps you to feel secure
and not as lost.
"The worst thing is that not ev-

erybody gets to march. (Which is)
also good, because it makes people
work to keep positions, and (non-
marchers) work harder so they can
march." Although the Band is Rose
Bowl bound, not everybody can go,
so there will be tryouts next week
to select the qualified performers
BAND makes this year's final home
appearance at tomorrow's game.

The University of Michigan

Sat. Nov. 23
Sun. Nov. 24

University of Michigan
Men's Glee Club
with Ohio State University Men's Glee Club
"In the Stadium and on the Stage"
Tickets: $8, $6, $5, $3 (764-1448)
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Campus Chamber Orchestra
Matthew Savery, conductor
Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Schubert: Symphony no. 8 in b minor,
Beethoven: Symphony no. 5 in c minor
Hill Auditorium, 3 p.m.
French Classic Series
"Music for Organ and Trumpet"
Michele Johns, organist, and Darin Kelly,
Music of Couperin, Vivaldi, and Leoillet
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, 4 p.m.

Continued from page 8
and the song "B Our Guest," sung
in a broad French accent by Lumibre.
The only major criticism of the
film is that it undercuts its main
theme - you can't judge a book by
its cover - by having the Beast turn
into a handsome prince before Belle
marries him. I can't think of a single
good reason for having the film end
this way, except for one, suggested

to me by a fellow movie-goer: "If
the Beast didn't become a prince at
the end, then how would they
fuck?" Yes, I am sure the folks over
at Disney had that in mind when
they opted for the classic happy end-
ing (a wedding between two beauti-
ful people) rather than dreams of
the film becoming the first
"animated feature" to earn 100 mil-
lion dollars at the box office.
today at Showcase and Briarwood.

Mon. Nov. 25

Chamber Choir and
University Choir
Theodore Morrison, Jerry Blackstone,
Music by Susa, Brahms, Holst, Argento,
Barber and Mozart
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Michigan Youth Jazz Ensemble
Chris Creviston, director
Music by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington,
Rodgers and Hart, Thad Jones and La Barbera
Rackham Lecture Hall, 8 p.m.
University Symphony Orchestra
Paul Makanovsky, Matthew Savery,

Tue. Nov. 26



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