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Wet dogs, random fires and 'Chicken Man'
The Graphic, Pepperdine U.
9/1/91. We moved in today. There are six of
us in three bedrooms. It's a quaint little
townhouse - perfect for hard-working college
students. So I guess it was
pure luck that we landed it.
Tom, our landlord, was
packing up his family and
moving out at the same time
we were moving in. He wore
a USMC T-shirt and spoke in
hushed tones. The already
high level of confusion was heightened by
three huge, drooling Alaskan Malamutes
racing around the living room, rolling on the
orange shag carpet, trying to dry off from the
bath Tom had just given them. It was an ugly
Tom soon left us with nothing but a wet dog
smell and a Georgia O'Keefe print used to
hide a fist-sized hole in the drvwall.
9/3/91. Although it's been two days, the
smell ofwet dog only seems to increase. Mindy
said she has flea bites on her legs.Jeff said she
was "probably just imagining things." The
upstairs toilet runs all night and rarely flushes
9/15/91. We had our first party last night.
Our friends kept asking, "Where's your dog?"
while cops harassed them in our foyer for
underage drinking. Later, after we had all
gone to bed, the police came upstairs to say
9/16/91. I woke up to discover that one of
Jeff's rugby teammates barfed on my
toothbrush. Tom's son dropped by with the
lease since we had neglected to sign one before
we moved in. He didn't seem very comfortable
being around us, so he just put it on the table
10/5/91. All of the people who sleep
downstairs, including Jeff, are covered with
flea bites. They are arguing that they should
pay less rent than Matt and me, who sleep
upstairs. But Matt disagrees, citing the upstairs
broken toilet. "Everything's even," he says.
10/18/91. The backyard caught on fire
today for no apparent reason.
10/30/91. The garbage disposal has been
,: . -...,, G
broken for the past four days. The backed-up
food is beginning to reconstitute itself into a
creation Mike has named "Chicken Man." The
lease hasn't moved from its original spot on
the kitchen table.
11/9/91. The exterminator, who was
supposed to show up and get rid of the fleas,
didn't. The Home Owner's Association left a
nasty note on our door warning us that we are
subject to a $25 fine if we keep leaving the
garage door open.
11/12/91.Jeff put small amounts of sulfur
in the corners of the living room, claiming, "It
will drive the fleas into the center of the room
where we can kill them." The dryer broke
11/14/91. The plumber came to fix the
toilet today. He told Doc that due to the
accelerated wood rot, he wouldn't be surprised
if one of us fell through the bathroom floor
sometime soon. This news somewhat cheered
up the people who sleep downstairs, who are
still bitter about their flea bites.
11/29/91.Jeff crashed into the side of the
BRIAN SHELLITO, THE DAILY NEBRASKAN, U. OF NEBRASKA
garage with his car, nearly bringing down the
balcony. He said he'd fix it later.
12/5/91. Chicken Man is still alive and well.
Mike thinks he's neat and wants to keep him at
least through Christmas. The persistent dog
smell led us to the decision that maybe we
should stop entertaining in our home.
12/7/91. The lease has been sitting on our
table for months. It is covered with various
mug stains and phone numbers. The word
"BOOBS" is scribbled in blue magic marker in
the upper right hand corner. It is still
12/8/91. Fearing that we will be fined if we
open our garage door, we park our cars in the
visitors' lot and walk the rest of the way.
12/16/91. Tom came by today to pick up
the lease that none of us had ever bothered to
sign. We found it under the toaster, wiped off
the crumbs and signed it. Tom asked if we were
hasing any problems. We couldn't come up
with anything that's unusual for off-campus
living, so he left after wishing us a Merry
By NICK ROBERTS
TheDaily Bruin, U.of California, LosAngeles
Hev, all you metalbeads Out there:
It's time to put away the Black
Sabbath albums, stick in the ear
plugs and make doubly sure
there's nothing flammable
around. Spinal Tap is back after a
long, eight-year sabbatical. And as usual, they're
louder than hell.
Yes, be forewarned, the veteran British rock
entity once destined for the "Where are they now?"
file has resurfaced in the rock world. And though
Tap's members have been keeping a decidedly low
profile since their image was trounced in Marty
DeBergi's 1983 rockumentary classic, "This Is
Spinal Tap," this year could very well be looked
back upon as a turning point in the heavy metal
band's long, disastrous career.
The members of the group decided to reform at
a funeral ceremony held in honor of Ian Faith, the
band's former manager. But Nigel Tufnel, Tap's
temperamental lead guitarist, is the first one to
admit that money is the prime motivation behind
the band's decision to record again and embark on
a two-month U.S. tour this summer. But does he
really think that Tap's latest album, Break Like the
Wlind, has a rat's ass of a chance of selling when
placed up against the likes of Guns n' Roses and
"Well, no one knows, do they?" he replies,
apparently a bit miffed at the question. "See, no
one in the world can predict anything like that.
You can't predict records, you can't predict
movies. If they could, then they'd be making
money and people wouldn't be getting fired every
When asked if the members of Spinal Tap had a
clear mind of what they wanted to do with the
album when going into the studio, Tufnel quickly
replies, "Yes, we knew exactly what we wanted to
do - we wanted to have it come out so that people
could hear it. That was our main objective." Derek Smalls,
the group's mild-mannered bass player, voices a similar
"We're trying to get people to buy it - that's the idea this
time. Before, we've said, 'Right, here's the album, buy it if
you want it.' This time, we're saying, 'We really don't care
whether you want it or not -jjust buy it. You can always
discover you want it later on, but by then it's too late, so buy
it now. Let it grow on you."' Does he mean like a fungus or
something? "Well... yeah. Or like moss."
Break Like the Windpicks up where 1984's ill-fated Smell the
Glove LP left off - with the group plumbing the depths of
musical bravura and lyrical sensitivity, as has been the case it
seems with every Spinal Tap album in the past.
other parts of ourselves back on, and (this time) it
"You can't exist without creative tension
(though)," Smalls adds. "A band that doesn't have
any creative tension is asleep, is a sleeping band -
a dead band - or the Grateful Dead band. We
need that tension to keep our fires burning and
vice versa. The difference was there wasn't any
punching this time. There was fighting - I mean,
Nigel bites and scratches still - but not closed fists.
That was the difference."
Even Tufnel admits that intergroup squabbles,
especially those between he and lead vocalist
David St. Hubbins, were kept to a bare minimum
this time - perhaps due to the absence of the
band's other ex-manager, Jeanine Pettibone (St.
Hubbins' wife of six years and presently the owner
of aNew Age boutique in Pomona, Calif.).
"Jeanine is a handful," agrees Smalls. "But
fortunately she's pretty much out of the picture. If
she does make an appearance at any of the gigs,
despite the instructions to the security guards, we
have an instrument for her to play just to make her
feel as if she's involved, which is a tambourine with
all thejingly bits removed, and with no skin on it -
just a circle of wood, basically."
As for filmmaker Marti DeBergi (whom Nigel
usually simply refers to as the "hack"), it is clear
from talking with the two band members that they
both share a special sort of disregard for the
"We didn't really have that many problems last
tour," says Tufnel. "It'sjust that Mr. DeBergi chose
to show the mistakes, you see. People don't want to
see good news. They don't want to read in the
paper, 'Three babies completely healthy -
everyone's all right.' If you say, 'Baby kitten run
over by train,' they dash right out and buy it."
As for the upcoming tour, which kicks off in
May, both bandmates insist that what's happened
to Tap in the past - the personal conflicts, the
RECORDS sabotaged staging effects, the empty in-store
appearances, etc. - has all been placed
comfortably behind them. As Tufnel says, "You plan, you do
the best you can, you go out on stage and something falls
down - light falls down or a midget has a heart attack - but
these things happen. It's show business."
Tufnel's attitude sounds optimistic, but Tap fans beware:
It seems rather unlikely those who buy the albums and who
come around to see the show this time are really going to be
able to truly realizejust what they've gotten themselves into.
"Well," says Smalls, "everyone knows that we embrace a
certain amount of evil, just for the purpose of putting on a
good show. If you've seen the name Spinal Tap on a record
by this point in time, you know what it is you're getting into.
You don't have to be warned any further. We feel the name
Spinal Tap is warning enough."
COURTESTY OF MCA
Tracks like "Majesty of Rock," "Bitch School" and the
guitar-anthem title track (featuring a whole slew of guest
soloists including Slash of Guns n' Roses, Jeff Beck and Joe
Satriani) represent a "newfound maturity" in the band, says
Smalls. While that may not seem a fitting description for a
group of musicians who've been known to kick and scream
at each other in the studio, Smalls attributes the new
album's strength to the presence of "a more mature version
of the old feeling" felt on the band's previous work.
"I think we gave ourselves permission on this album to be
all the people we are," explains Smalls. "We were always very
conscious (before) of being a sub-people of that. You know
those people who get their arms sewed back on after an
accident? It's like that's what happened to us. We sewed the
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conditions. Students contend
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Do you believe students are
Call our toll-free number today
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February results This one wasn't even close.
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° "' ' - ;tom'
' - = t + ark ,:' * r
Oh no, not another British invasion
As the racefor the
White House is heating
up, we'd like to know
candidate is in this
election. Call and tell
us what you think.
If the presidential election
were held today, which
candidate would you vote for?
Call our toll-free number today
to cast your vote.
By ROBERT REID
The Oklahoma Daily, Oklahoma U.
The English pop band Lush could
probably "ooh," "ah" and "yeah yeah" their
way through the band's second full-length
release, Spooky, and it wouldn't make much
difference to the listener.
The record's 11 songs are composed of
spaced-out/mucho-effected guitar parts
with chorused, murmuring vocals falling
into an indistinguishable haze. All this rides
just above a downplayed, but still peppy,
It's the newest revision of an age-old
"British invasion," with bands like My
Bloody Valentine, Ride and Swervedriver
fighting for American ears. Some call it
"dream pop" played by "shoe gazers." But
Lush's singer/songwriter/guitarist Miki
Berenyijust calls it what they do.
"I'm not entirely sure what 'dream pop'
means," Berenyi said over the phone during
a recent break from Lush's European tour.
"You'd be better off asking a journalist in
(England), seeing that they formed that sort
of label.... Do you know anyone that can
describe their own music?"
The most common descriptions of Lush,
since the band's first recordings in 1989,
have relentlessly compared the band with
the '80s pop gala Cocteau Twins. The fact
that Robin Guthrie, producer for Cocteau,
also produced Spooky, doesn'thelp much.
"We sort of get a bit irritated because
people can be a bit lazy," said Berenyi, who
shares song-writing credits and vocals with
longtime friend Emma Anderson. "They'll
just listen to the record and they'll go, 'Oh
yeah, Robin produced it.' They'll
immediately say, 'Oh, don't you think
you're just like a sub-standard Cocteau?'
Obviously we don't, or we wouldn't put the
Lush's pop product is a refreshing change
to the Manchester-manufactured hip-hop
drivel that has dominated America's overseas
interests in past years. Yet, Berenyi claims
that the Manchester scene has actually been
"dead for about two years" in England -
surprising news for Manchester nativesJesus
Jones, EMF and Happy Mondays.
"Some of the music (from Manchester)
was really good," Berenyi said. "But it was
incredibly made for boys who go to football
matches. No women involved at all, which
pissed me off a bit."
Lush will continue their American tour
this month - something they love to do.
While Berenyi insisted that America "pisses
all over Britain," Drummer Chris Acland
said, "Every time we went (to America)
we've had a brilliant time. The audiences
are a lot more open-minded out there.
They're a lot less bothered about what's in
and what's out. Theyjust like to listen to the