The Michigan Daily
Friday, January 31, 1992
Swervedriver mires U2, Mad Max
by Annette Petruso
ill guitar-based noise rule for a
while, or will techno really come
into its own'? This is the ultimate
question. Will guitars be the van-
guards of the next big thing or some
kind of machine?
."It hasn't come into full effect
yet, this new sort of guitar revolu-
tio," says Jimmy Hartridge, gui-
tartst for Britain's Swervedriver.
"IC's happening now, and Nirvana's
soilt of spearheading the movement
as'far as I can see. And it's going to
be massive next few years.
"Nothing lasts more than a few
years in the music industry, does it?
There are always going to be bands
that play guitar and make a real row,
bu't it's just whether it's cool to
like them or not, you know'? Espe-
cially in England."
Hartridge should know. Swerve-
driver's blend of guitar images on
their U.S. debut Raise - distinctive
from the rest of the Creation pack
because it's not an ethereal wash of
sound but a very real collage of gui-
tars making dusty noises - could be
compared to several bands' expres-
sions of musical attitude:
1) The most obvious comparison
Swervedriver encounters is J2's
America obsession as expressed on
Joshua Tree. Guitarist Jimmy Har-
tridge defends the band against the
"There's similar imagery, yeah,
there's that," he says. "We've been
influenced by that for some reason. I
don't know why. It just happened
really. You do get the same kind of
stuff ... imagery, but different ap-
proach of course. It's just like a ...
fantasy really. It is for them as well
as it is for us."
2) A weird likeness is drawn be-
tween Swervedriver and American
guitar cult heros, Dinosaur Jr.
"Yeah, we used to. I mean we
like them a lot or we used to like
them," Hartridge claims. "I don't
listen to them quite as much as I
used to 'cause time change and you
move on, you know'? But, I mean we
used to listen to them quite a lot.
And we had a lot of sounds that
sounded a lot like them when we
3) The favorite comparison is
found in the guitar expression of the
Post-Apocalyptic Western - Mad
Max really - harsh yet down-to-
earth in a fantastic sort of way.
"Yeah, not intentionally but
yeah," H-artridge agrees. "We're one
of the few bands that evoke that im-
age I suppose. That's good though,
you know, we're into that."
Guitar images are important
when discussing Swervedriver's
sound because Adam Franklin's vo-
cals are buried, de-emphasizing the
importance of the lyrics. The few
syllables that are sung are basically
Look at these pretentious Brits, Swervedriver with their "cool" T-
shirts, pouty poses, and attitude-filled aura. But can they play guitar?
meaningless, save for the effect that
they create as noises in the context
of the guitar sounds.
"That's the way we get them to-
gether really," Hartridge says.
"You know we just have a jam. And
on those ones, especially the ones
with very long intros you know, we
put it all down and just find a place
for it, I suppose."
Swervedriver's music is, there-
fore, a physical experience.
"Yeah. That's just the sort of the
way we like it. I think, you know,
maybe vocals will be up front in fu-
ture releases," he cOps out.
Swervedriver is interesting and
does something a bit different than
the rest, but there are potential
problems with live performance.
Guitar pandemonium is hard to
recreate live, and many reviews state
that this band can't quite manage it.
Hartridge replies in very typical
fashion: "Well, it's a bit more raw
How many times have you heard
that? He continues, "It's probably
... more guitars live actually than
there are on the album. We got a re-
ally good sound live. I should think
it comes across really well and it's
SWER VEDRIVER plays St. An-
drew's Hall tonight whi the
POSTER CHILDREN opening. This
is an all-ages show. Doors open at 7
p.m. Tickets are $5.50 in advance
at TicketMaster (plus evil service
by A. J. Hogg
Tony Hillerman once said, "My mystery novels seem to me to be a way
to cause others - those who would never plod through an anthropology
text - to share my interest. And my respect."
This respect, the underlying acceptance of the possibility of a differ-
ent way of life, is the most outstanding feature of Hillerman's books. Of
course, as expected from a best selling mystery writer, his plots are.
well-constructed, his suspense is hair-raising, and he compels the reader
to turn the pages. The books, and the characters themselves, however, al-
ways return to the conflict between the acceptance of differing tribal
lifestyles, and their place within modern America.
This consideration extends to his choice of protagonists. When asked
why, given the choice of a number of Southwestern Indian cultures, he
chose the Navajo tribe for his detecting team of Joe Leaphorn and Jim
Chee, Hillerman said, "Two reasons. One, they're the biggest (tribe).
And two, they're my kind of people. I've always liked them and their
culture, and I like the fact that they're very open.
"Some of the Southwestern Pueblo Indian tribes' religion, theology,
and philosophy is such that if, for example, you're a Hopi and a member
of the Antelope clan, and you're responsible for a certain ceremonial,
you're not supposed to know anything about the ceremonial that is con-
ducted by the One-Horn society. So you see, it's pretty bad form - bad
manners - to be butting into those kinds of religions where only thee
initiated are supposed to know.
"The Navajos are wide open, their religion is a family matter, so ifs
you're friends and you're invited, then they're glad to have you."
But far from portraying his respect as a one-sided, this-is-how-all-i
Navajos-feel lecture, Hillerman sets up a vast gap in the beliefs between
his two Navajo sleuths. Leaphorn, Holmes to Chee's Watson, has aban-
doned all the traditional tribal beliefs in exchange for a detective's req-
uisite belief in reason, cause and effect, and rationalism.
On the other hand, Chee moonlights as a medicine man, a singer of the
healing Blessing Way. Chee maintains a firm grasp on the ancient beliefs,'
as if, as Leaphorn muses, "an island of 180,000 Navajos could live the old
way in a white ocean." Leaphorn subsequently dismisses this possibility'
as, "Not practical. Navajos had to compete in the real world."
In lillerman's novels this conflict, as in life, is never fully resolved.
But this Saturday Hillerman may discuss the effect this opposition has'
had on his writing. "I tend to take a look at the audience before I decide
exactly what I'm going to be talking about," he said. "I'll probably talk
about how I try to use Navajo cultural and ethnographic material as part
of my plots and I'll talk about one or two specific books, how they tend'
to evolve, how they go from original idea to finished product."
This may give any expectant fans some insight into his work in
progress, again a tale of Leaphorn and Chee. "The two Navajo cops are
both in it, " he confirmed. "(The novel) concerns the Korshari cult of the
Cloud fraternity. (The books) tend to change as I write them," he chuck-
led, "but this one will turn on an incident of a ceremony involving the
TONY HILLERMAN will be speaking at Hillel's Irwin Green Audito-
rium at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 1. Tickets are $8, $for students.
Call 769-0500for more information.
.--.,yf iv~ .
z, ' x
Tony Hillerman: author of cliff-hangers, or just an everyday cliff-sitter? The
author of over 14 mystery novels enjoys spending his off time in the
incredibly bleak hills somewhere near his New Mexico Home.
Blues legend Willie
Dixon dies at age of 76
Most of the best moments in rhythm
by Forrest Green 111
and Pete Shapiro
Despite the devastating darkness
of his songs, the raw, sexual drive of
Willie Dixon's lyrics and the libidi-
nous energy of his bass playing
spoke of a life force fu- more pow-
erful than his music's flirtations
with evil would suggest.
Fusing the eerie images of love
and death from the Delta blues with
the electric excitement of a South
Side Chicago fish fry, Willie
Dixon's tales of romps with as-
sorted jail bait gave the blues, and
later the music of the Rolling
Stones and others, both its glee and
its sense of danger. Dixon's view of
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love obliterates pain with a veneer
of lust so strong that everything
but pure physicality fades into the
Recording and writing songs for
artists like Muddy Waters, Howl-
ing Wolf, Little Walter, Bo Did-
dley, Koko Taylor, and Buddy Guy,
he catalyzed the axis of rock and
blues with. a sometimes compel-
lingly stark and pervasive lyrical id.
Most of the best moments in
rhythm and blues lyrics are in Di-
xon's discography, including clas-
sics "Little Red Rooster," "Bring
It ()n Home," "Wang-Dang-Doo-
dIe," and "Spoonful.'
Having dealt with weight prob-
lems throughout his life, Dixon
died of natural causes at the age of
76, Wednesday morning.
The snow's melting. You can get
around without breaking your leg
on the ice or freezing your tuckus
off, but you still don't have plans
tonight, do you? Loser. It's OK. You
can watch late, late night TV!
Start with the Home Shopping
Spree (2 a.m., CBS). Buy, buy, buy
that genuine ceramic hobby horse
that plays "Beautiful Dreamer."
When your credit's sapped, move on
to THE movie: Return. (3:30 a.m.,
CBS). An Arkansas girl meets a cute
guy, who, of course, is possessed by
the spirit of her dead granddaddy.
SO LAID BACK AND SO COOLU."
-Vincent Canby, NEW YORK TIMES
"PRETTY DAMNED FUNNY"
-Jerry Talimer, NEW YORK POST
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UAC/M-Flicks Saturday Feb 1
Nat Sci Auditorium 8:30 & 10:00 pm
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who what where when
Sunday marks the beginning of If you saw Billy Bragg at the,
Eclipse Jazz's Java and Jazz se- Michigan Theater last semester, you.
ries. This free coffeehouse series may remember the funny non-musi
which highlights Detroit-area ar- cal opening act in the form of come-,
tists will take place in the Tap dian Barry Crimmins. He's an ac-0
Room of the Michigan Union for tivist as well as a comedian, and his
the next three Sundays. This Sunday liberal barbs are a must see. He be-
features Kenn Cox, a pianist/ gan his career in the early '70s in
composer/ bandleader. Next Sunday Boston, and since then has per=
the Lunar Octet will jam with formed everywhere in the country.
their blend of jazz, rock, African, He returns to Ann Arbor's Arl
funk, Latin and blues. The final (how appropriate) tomorrow night
appearance will be Janet Tenaj on at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8.75, $5 fo
February 16. Call 763-0046. students in advance at TicketMaster.
i s '
Friends of the Ann Arbor Public Library
Saturday, Feb. 1
10Sam - 4pm2
-_ Sunday, Feb. 2
ANN ARbOR 1& :
5TH AVE. AT LIBERTY 761-4700
$3 l DAILY SHOWS BEFORE 6 PM
$ 0IJ ALL DAY TUESDAY
I aAnn Arbor Civic Theatre
II~ Second Stage Productions
the death and life of
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