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February 19, 1992 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-19

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-ARTS
The Michigan Daily Wednesday, February 19,1992 Page 5

Primal Teenag
Teenage Fanclub is perfectly pop
by Annette Petruso the Manic's interpretation of the
band.
The New Musical Express de- "I think we definitely look
scribes the Scottish band and more towards the past," he says on
Creation recording artists Teenage the telephone from his home in
Fanclub's appeal best: "The latest Glasgow, Scotland. "In terms of
batch of Fanclub material (i.e. sounds, contemporary or what's
their LP Bandwagonesque) is happening around at the moment,
tighter, genuinely raw but warm I don't think there's that much
- as opposed to the gross-out around ... to be honest."
rock of the American AOR or That blanket condemnation ex-
even the cult hardcore pop of cludes the Manic Street Preachers.
Dinosaur Jr / Husker Du." "At least they're entertaining,"
This madness comes from the McGinley rationalizes. "I think
near perfection evident on TFC's there's a lot of bands at the mo-
two LPs (leaving aside the con- ment in Britain who are really sort
tract filler, import-only, instru- of faceless and they're boring.
mental-only Kingmaker), 1990's A Um, I mean I wouldn't really say
Catholic Education and the that I'm a big fan of their music,
aforementioned Bandwagonesque. but they're sort of a cartoon punk
No other band has captured the band. I think they're interesting, if
essence of rock/pop as expressed nothing else."
by the Beatles and Big Star, TFC, too, is interesting musi-
though Matthew Sweet makes a cally because the band does two
valiant attempt on his made-for- things that no other contemporary
the-over-30-crowd LP Girlfriend. band has. The band revitalized the
TFC has taken the harmonies and short bliss of the two-minute pop
the guitars that made those bands song ("What You Do to Me," "Pet
great, and refashioned them (like Rock") not seen since the early
adding some post-punk harshness '60s. TFC also resurrected the in-
here and there) into their own strumental as an art form
sound. ("Satan") from the self-indulgent,
Even the godawful retro band I-am-a-guitar-god-listen-to-me-
the Manic Street Preachers has solo school - unheard of since
insight into what makes TFC Duane Eddy's "Peter Gunn."
click. When reviewing TFC's 1:54 McGinley says that these two
single "What You Do to Me" in characteristics of TFC's music
the NME, one of the Manics said, aren't accidents. "What ever we
"They understand that the past is feel like doing, we dcn't try and
always going to be more beautiful question it. We'll just do it."
than the present. They've gone to On the abbreviated pop song:
back to records which they love "We've always been sort of con-
which is what we've done." scious about this. A lot of bands
TFC guitarist/vocalist seem to have these songs which
Raymond McGinley agrees with are basically like two minutes and

e creations hit St. Andrew's Hall

Primal Scream extols goneness
by Scott Sterling
Primal Scream is about Rock and Roll. Not ambient, acid-house dance
music, post-mod hippy new age, and definitely not the dubious and am-
biguous tag of being "alternative." Primal Scream's honest, all-encom-
passing music is all of that and much more, which is what good rock 'n'
roll is all about. From bluesy, Rolling Stones-in-dub ballads to all-out
dance floor anthems, Primal Scream defy the trite categorizations that
people love to slap on bands.
Their third album, Screamadlica, topped practically every British
"best of' list in 1991.
"It's a very diverse, cross-bred kind of creation," explains key-
boardist Martin Duffy. "It's very honest and adventurous. A lot of rock
bands get lazy, and they fall into one bit. They just listen to other rock
bands. With us we try to stay as open as possible to all kinds of music. It
doesn't matter what kind of music it is."
But Primal Scream's sound wasn't always such a cross-culture experi-
ence. Their first two albums, Flower Groove and Primal Scream, were
both gloomy, post-punk dirge-fests for the depressed trench-coat
brigades.
"I think it was just a natural change. We didn't sit down and think
let's do this (dance music) now. There was no pre-planning, it was just
spontaneous."
"I think it comes from constantly developing," Duffy continues. "I
think we're just getting better at what we do."
The catalyst for these changes came as a result of the 1988 "Summer
Of Love" in Britain. This is when acid house, all-night rave parties and
the hallucinogenic drug Ecstasy radically changed the face of British club
culture.
"At that time, rock concerts were getting quite conventional. There
was a lack of excitement there. But with the dance music subculture,
there was a lot of experimentation going on, something totally new.
We'd been into dance music for years, people like George Clinton or
whoever," Duffy says.
With Primal Scream about to embark on their first American tour,
their top priority is to avoid presenting a conventional (i.e. boring) con-
cert experience.
"We turn each show into an event. We have a DJ come on before us,
and he'll play his style, then we play our show, and then Andy
Weatherall (renowned British DJ/producer) will carry on playing music
after us, and he plays brilliant music. I think that after three or four
hours of music, you really kind of get into it. There's no seats to get in
the way, you can just go and dance, before, during, and after the show. It
just carries on for as long as we can keep the place open."
See SCREAM, Page 8

Many "critics" have written that Teenage Fanclub are a homely-looking lot,
not at all the sex symbols that pop stars ought to be. Raymond McGinley
(right) says, "Although everyone worries to some extent about their ap-
pearance, we don't worry about it professionally. I mean, if you could see
what some of the NME journalists look like (laughs heartily) ... I don't think
(they) should be criticizing anyone." Neither do we. They're cute.

they feel like they have to wop
them up to four minutes because
that's what you do.
"I think we sort of felt like we
had a song which only lasts for
two minutes or one-and-half min-
utes, you should just leave it that
way and not worry about it ... We
don't mean to have long songs and
short songs. I think the original
idea can suggest itself to a certain
length and you really shouldn't

extend it beyond that or try to cut
it back if it's longer."
On instrumentals: "I think
there's a lot of bands who would
prefer to do instrumentals, you
know, like the Doors. I mean, I
wish the Doors were an instru-
mental band so we didn't have to
listen to Jim Morrison's rantings
and ravings over the top of the
music. And Led Zeppelin, I like
See FANCLUB, Page 8

Forum debates the future of

by Michelle Weger
T he University's Trueblood
Theatre was the place, Monday night
was the time, and if you weren't
there, you missed learning firsthand
an extremely important piece of in-
formation about the arts community
in Ann Arbor. You're it.
This month, the University's
Department of Theatre and Drama is
teaming up with Performance Net-
work to present a series of public
lectures-discussions-empowerment
sessions dealing with the intertwin-
ing topics of art, politics and eco-
nomics.
Monday night's forum was the
second of three, and was billed sim-
ply as "Arts and Politics in Mich-
igan." A panel of speakers shared
their views on public funding of the
arts, especially in light of Governor
Engler's dismantling of the Mich-
igan Council for the Arts in January
of last year.
One of the speakers, Judith
Iapanos, sits on the newly formed
Michigan Council for Arts and
Cultural Affairs. After much public
outcry at his attempt to wipe out

state arts funding, Engler authorized
the creation of the new Council,
which is made up of fifteen guberna-
torial appointees.
Rapanos pledged that the Council
would strive to fulfill its many re-
sponsibilities. These include: expan-
sion of the availability of the arts to
all citizens; strengthening of local
arts organizations; development of
partnerships between public and pri-
vate supporters; and encouragement
of the inclusion of arts as part of es-
sential education. "Arts are abso-
lutely necessary in the education of
our youth," she said.
Another member of the panel,
State Senator Lana Pollack, (D-Ann
Arbor) voiced concern that Council
members are appointees. While she
made it clear that she is not worried
about the current make-up of the
Council, she declared that there are
"enormous forces in this state"
which, given such an opportunity,
would use that kind of position to
censor what we see, hear and read;

her implication, of cc
a governor's politica
directly influence tI
projects that would r
The third speake
erburg, served for
(1978-1991) as a
spending eight of t
the legislative comm
died arts funding. F
President of Public]
bying group known4
Consultants, Inc. Hi
flected an insider's v
ficulties of policy m
He noted that ani
in the funding crisi
the state has to d
capita income rate
well-above average
'70s - when fund
for the arts was grow
the national average
a result, the legisla
deal with higher ex
could reasonably be
economic recession.

Michigan's arts
ourse, being that As enlightening as the panel's as-
L interests could sertions, explanations, and insights
he kinds of arts were, the forum was intended less as
eceive funding. a lecture and more as a public meet-
r, William Sed- ing where those interested in the arts
r twelve years could share ideas about the role of
state senator, art in the community, and how polit-
hem as chair of ical and economic realities affect
ittee which han- that role. Forty or so gathered that
He is now Vice evening, not as audience members,
Policy for a lob- but as participants; they consisted
as Public Sector mostly of artists, arts administrators, .
s comments re- and educators.
iew into the dif- Even before the invited speakers r,
aking. gave their views, the participants
important factor were asked what they wanted to
is now faced in learn by attending the forum. One
o with the per- audience member wanted to know
dropping from just how much support for the arts
in the 1960s and there really is in society at large. -
ing and support Another questioned the viability of
ing - to below arts programs surviving on public
in the 1980s. As funds rather than in the marketplace.
iture has had to Still another wanted a definition of
xpectations than who the "arts community" is.
met in times of Following the panel speeches, Who would have thought we'd look back at James Blanchard's reign as the
See FUNDING, Page 8 good old days of arts in Michigan? Oh Jimmy, we hardly knew ya.

- --

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WHO: All eligible graduating LS&A seniors (through
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