The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, March 11;1992
Ofzihee we sing f
Hfypnoics kick out thee Motown jafms $
b Nima Hodaei
The music of the '60s and '70s has
influenced, in some shape or form,
many of the bands that record music
today. For England's Thee
Hypnotics, time might just as well
have stood still at that point.
Drawing heavily from the sounds of
bands such as the MC5 and the
Stooges, Thee Hypnotics' drummer,
*Phil Smith, quickly makes his rever-
ence for the Detroit music move-
"The whole excitement that it
generated at the time is pretty hard
to equal," says Smith. "The Stooges
were more of a sex thing, which I
think is really important in rock 'n'
IPeople in England
have said that if we
had been from Seattle
or New York, we'd be
- Phil Smith
roll. The MC5 were more of the po-
litical thing ... I don't know man,
fuck, did they know how to motivate
liveness! They were like living art.
"The whole idea of the Motor
City sound to us, is music which
changes gears. You start off in first
gear, you hit second, you hit third,
by the time you hit fourth, you are
gone. That is what we aim for. We
just love those bands for what they
Because Thee Hypnotics was not
around playing music during the
'60s and '70s, the press has been try-
ing to fit the group with today's
movement of guitar bands (Nirvana,
Sonic Youth, and the British guitar
wash bands). This task has become
increasingly difficult, since Thee
Hypnotics does not fit the mold of
many of these other performers.
Combining the soulful, Morri-
son-like vocals of James Jones, the
bluesy, classic rock guitarwork of
Ray Hanson, the thumping rhythms
of bassist Will Pepper with Smith,
Thee Hypnotics clearly hearkens
back to the days of Iggy, Rob, and
the rest of the scene. Yet, at all
times, the band stays refreshingly
"I don't think we're part of any
single movement," states Smith.
"When you think of the new wave of
guitar bands, the reference automati-
cally goes back to the earlier days of
Sub-Pop. We had a record out on
Sub-Pop (Live'r Than God - a half-
live/half-studio release), but we
don't really sound anything like
"I think we have a bit more
rootsy-ness about us. We listen to a
lot of blues. It would be nice to think
we could be (part of a movement).
People in England have said that if
we had been from Seattle or New
York, we'd be huge. But because
we're from England, the press kind
of automatically stereotypes us. It's
kind of a hard stigma to get rid of."
Thee Hypnotics' stint with Sub-
Pop was short-lived once the band
decided to make the transition onto a
major label (RCA's Beggars
Banquet). They have released two
albums on their new label: 1990's
Come Down Heavy, and their latest
recording, Soul, Glitter & Sin.
This latest offering from the band
is a concept album of sorts.
Produced to sound like an American
gangster movie soundtrack, each
song delves into the heart of
Americana, which the group experi-
enced firsthand on their tour of the
U.S. a couple of years back.
Thee Hypnotics sit, like the Mafioso, in the corner with their backs to the wall, eyes on the door. Notice the all-American Marlboros on the table.
"We wanted it to sound kind of
like a movie soundtrack simply be-
cause some of the lyrical content has
got a bit of depth to it," Smith ex-
"It's a listening record and in or-
der to make it (one), more than an
average rock record, we wanted kind
of a movie soundtrack production. It
was something that felt right at the
time. Rather than do something that
was 'hip', we thought we'd do
something that we wanted to do for
ourselves. American people seem to
pick up a lot more on the movie
theme probably because it's Amer-
The band should be afraid of be-
ing labeled 'retro', with all these
classic rock references and Amer-
ican motifs running through their
albums, but don't tell that to Smith.
"Even our own record company,
in places like Germany, have called
us 'Those retro-rockers from Soho,"'
he says. "I mean, for fuck's sake,
why aren't Guns N' Roses called
retro for sounding like Aerosmith?!
"Rock 'n' roll is rock 'n' roll. It
has been going since Buddy Holly
and Chuck Berry. 'Retro' - we deal
with that tag all the time. OK, so we
wear flairs, we play with wah-wah
pedals, and vintage equipment, but
we still make a different kind of
Thee Hypnotics' "different kind
of sound" comes to Detroit tonight,
the city most responsible for their
start in music. Like the previous
performers they admire from this
area, the band expects the audience
to come alive and ready to jam.
"It's a ritual," Smith says, in de-
scribing the group's live perfor-
mance. "When it happens, it seri-
ously fuckin' happens! People can-
not come and just expect to watch.
Because if they do, then they are not
going to get their money's worth.
It's a celebration. Any rock gig
should be a celebration. People
should just freak out, dance, have a
good time, and walk away feeling
kind of drained."
THEE HYPNOTICS perform tonight
at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit.
Doors open at 9 p.m. Call 961-
MELT for more info.
*doeskn't pay 'o
even with a
Brief poems of i
by Karen Talaski
Once UponA Crimel
dir. Eugene Levy
by Marie Jacobson
hat do Richard Lewis, Sean
Young, Cybil Shepherd, James
Belushi, John Candy and George
Hamilton have in common? They all
headline in Once Upon A Crime, the
latest Naked Gun-type knock-off
directed by Club Paradise star Eu-
* Set along the balmy shores of the
French Riviera, Crime tracks the hi-
larious cover-ups surrounding the
mysterious murder of a wealthy
Monte Carlo countess. Although we
have no idea "who-dunnit," we do
know who didn't - and that's
where the fun begins.
Lewis plays a down-and-out
American actor who finds himself
Hairstyling to Please!
6 Barber Stylists-
John Candy plays the same role in Once Upon a Crime that he plays in
movies like Who Killed Harry Crumb and, come to think of it, Uncle Buck,
and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. A character actor. Uh-huh.
When it comes to describing her own work, poet Eli-
zabeth Spiresis not one to give any easy answers.
"The poet is not one to describe their style. The
reader should do it," Spires says. "If you have read any
of my poetry, you can describe my style as well as I
Spires' poetry collections(Globe (1981), Swan's Is-
land (1985), and Annonciade (1989)) contain adult con-
fidence mixed with child-like confusion. In "Tequila,"
she writes, "Bragging I told them I'd go back / to any
year in my life / and live it over. I lied / and said
nothing had ever scared me." Through her poetry, she
communicates the universal fear of growing up.
Death is a common theme in her work as well.
"Death Dress," describes how grief and death touch ev-
eryone. Spires shows them as inescapable realities.
"You were not buried in it. / It is not a dress to be
buried in. / You wore it, and now to give it to me."
Spires also writes historical poetry. In "Salem, Mas-
sachusetts: 1692" she speaks for the victims of Matthew
Hopkins' (the infamous witch-hunter) torture, "We were
responsible for it all. / We were waiting for you,
Matthew Hopkins, down there / under the dull pond
Spires knew she wanted to be a poet when she was
twelve. "I read a lot as a child and as a teenager. I
thought I was going to be a short story writer until I
started writing seriously when I was an undergrad (at
"But I liked writing poetry better because of its
brevity," Spires said. "Poems are shorter which makes it
easier. When I write, I do a lot of drafts: I like to play a
lot with phrasing, tinkering with them endlessly."
Spires' work has been inspired by many different
poets, including Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and'
Elizabeth Bishop. Also, art has been a big influence on
"Usually, a photo or painting is the starting or depar-
ture point for my poems. I like to use a visual base as.
much as possible," Spires said. "They are rendered as,
much as possible in visual terms with a lot of imagery.":
Along with writing poetry, Spires teaches in the Wri-
ting Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and in the
See SPIRES, Page 8
helping an eccentric Young return
the countess's missing dachshund.
But when they discover the coun-
tess's body in the garage, the couple
bolts, fearing that they're the prime
suspects in her murder.
At the same time, Shepherd and
Belushi are on vacation. After Be-
lushi loses his shirt at the casino, he
steals a suitcase in desperation. Un-
fortunately, it's the suitcase Lewis
and Young left at the villa, and
someone has stuffed it with none
other than the countess's chopped-up
corpse. Gotta hate it when that
See CRIME, Page 8
THE PSYCHOLOGY HONORS SOCIETY PRESENTS
A FREE FILM SHOWING
THURSDAY, MARCH 12th
a film about multiple personality disorder
2413 MASON HALL at 7:00 pm
NOTE: Film is open to all interested (and free!)
it'll send little shakes down your spine
Take the time to say thank you! !
Submit your nominations for
The University of Michigan
Student Recognition Awards
1 9 9 2
To honor outstanding student contributions
Her voice will set you reeling.
Her piano and lyrics will shake your soul.-
This is the first solo album from an extremely talented artist.
Features the first single "Silent All These Years,"
"China" and "Crucify."