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March 13, 1992 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-13

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 13,1992- Page 9

'It's cool man'
LA. Guns haunt the city in black

by Kristen Knudsen
After "The Ballad of Jayne" went
Top 30, L.A. Guns finally started re-
ceiving some recognition. It doesn't
matter that this group is, in some
ways, the father of Guns N' Roses
- guitarist Tracii Guns founded
L.A. Guns with Axl Rose - it took
'Everything's gotta be
like black and
tattooed, man. That's
just the way this band
is.
-Kelly Nickels
Bassist
a Top 30 single to bring this band's
originally melodic hard rock music
to a mainstream audience.
Bassist Kelly Nickels, working
with co-guitarists Tracii Guns and
Mick Cripps, vocalist Phil Lewis,
and new drummer Bones, is happy
with the success that "The Ballad of
Jayne" achieved, and rejects charges
that releasing a ballad is bad news
for a heavy metal band.
"A good song is a good song," he
defends. "The Stones used to do kil-
ler slow songs, ballads, whatever -
there's so many - it just shows ver-
satility. Nobody's just got one focus.
When you're a songwriter you've
gotta be able to create."

He's still not sure, though, how
"The Ballad of Jayne" was created.
"(It) was kind of written about
like watching the Playboy Channel,
this thing on Jayne Mansfield. The
way it (the song) was written, a lot
of people could relate to it."
Most of their songs are easy to
relate to, because, as Nickels ex-
plains, "Most of it's kind of like
what happens to us, of friends we
know, and things that happen."
"Phil (Lewis) is like really
weird," Nickels continues, which is
why some of L.A. Guns' songs are
not so easy to understand. "He's
into, I don't know - weird things,
like 'Magdelaine' (from 1989's
Cocked and Loaded ) - those
lyrics. They're really cool lyrics, but
I don't know where he would get
those. (Maybe) from reading differ-
ent kinds of shit."
These "different kinds of shit"
include vampire novels, books with
which the whole band has a strange
fascination. This is apparent on their
new album, Hollywood Vampires.
"Yeah, that's us," Nickels ad-
mits. "They work good, you know,
it's a good look. It works good with
the band. I mean, I don't know, Fire-
house, if they were into vampires, it
just wouldn't seem right.
"That's us, man," Nickels re-
peats. "When we started, we used to
go out all the time and we'd always

4.

A Ma. Bell Service Announcement
Oh Lord my God, Creator of the Universe, once again you caused me
to remain awake the whole night through. Toward dawn I think I man-
aged to forget myself a little, but you couldn't really have called it sleep.
More like floating from layer to layer of non-sleeping, from shade to
shade of white, if there was any such distinction. On the wall beyond the
foot of the bed, first light was spreading like a stain. I lay on my back and
wvatched it grow, thinking for no good reason the story of the shaikh, how
'e, who had once firmly grasped the thread of life, fell from the way, en-
trapped himself in every form of error and apostasy, and was lost.
This brief bit of sleeplessness has been brought to you by Madison
Smartt Bell, novelist and short story writer, from the beginning of his
most recent novel, Dr. Sleep. Undoubtedly, few busy (exhausted,
underfed) folks attending a university like this one would have such
fantastic insomnia.
Today (you lucky stiffs) Bell might read from that bit of his work at the
Rackham Amphitheatre. Drop by at 4 p.m. and you just might get to hear
what happens after the shaikh was lost. Or not.
Regardless, Bell's short fiction has been in just about any magazine
you can think of (with the curious exception of The New Yorker) and he
has been caught reviewing books for the New York Times Book Review.
Us work has been translated into German, Danish, Spanish, Japanese,
Portuguese, Dutch, and (as his vita points out) British.
But don't worry, we're pretty sure that the reading will be in English.

had to leave the band.
see the same people at night, at clubs
and stuff, but during the day you
never see anyone, and it's like what
do these people do for money? How
do these people live? Everyone's got
their own secrets; during the day
they're kind of normal, whatever
happens, and at night ... it's cool
man.
"It fits really well with every-
thing," Nickels concludes. "It felt
good with the hours we were keep-
ing."
Hollywood Vampires to the core,

the Guns' drummer is named Bones,
and has black hair.
"Everything's gotta stay in kind
of the same context. We're not
gonna get a blonde drummer,"
Nickels laughs. "I don't know why
we're so weird like that. Every-
thing's gotta be like black and tat-*
tooed, man. That's just the way this
band is."
L.A. GUNS appear Saturday with
The Electric Lovehogs at the Ritz in
Roseville. Tickets are $12 at Ticket-
master (p.e.s.c) or at the door.

'U' Choir is valiant in battle against winter

University Choir
"Concert of American Music"
Hill Auditorium
March 10, 1992
The cold was temporarily rel-
ieved Tuesday night. Thank the
University Choir and its "Concert of
American Music."

Poetry, Playboy, politics and prose

The program's core was a set of
"Mid-Winter Songs," a delightful
mix of ballads and up-tempos by
Morton Lauridsen. Choir director
Jerry Blackstone introduced the
work, summing up the songs as "the
thought of one railing against the
terrors and terribleness of winter."
What made the concert so ap-
pealing was its personality. It was
not a recital of standard American
favorites but a blend of odes, love
songs, laments, comedy and praise,
highlighted by the embellishments of
the chorus and soloists.
Colorful pieces included Cop-
land's "Las Agachadas (The Shake-
down Song)" in which the chorus

showed its versatility, making strum-
ming noises to accompany selected
soloists. Gershwin's "The Jolly Tar
and the Milkmaid," featured tenor
Eric Milligen's comic narrative,
which amused the audience. Mil-
ligen pulled off singing and acting
concurrently, humorously posing as
a grizzled sailor in his tuxedo.
Ending with the triumphant "Da-
niel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord,"
the University Choir presented a
show-stopping, gospel-like rendition
of the story of Daniel. Tenor Joshua
Funk added to the exuberance of the
song with his captivating strength,

filling the room with his high notes:
The Choir's program was unique
and refreshing; the problems that
arose were few, and were also the
inevitable obstacles that occur in.
large groups. For the most part, the.
Choir had a very clear and well-bal-
anced sound, strongly under-scored
but not overshadowed by Scott
VanOrnum's piano accompaniment.
And for a brief 70 minutes,. win-
ter was forgotten and Hill Audi-
torium was transformed with the
promise of spring.
- Melissa Rose Bernardo_

by Darcy Lockman
Words on the page, prayers, even
shouts of rage,
What do they count against tanks,
missiles, guns?
For each line that you write, each
war you wage,
Ten thousand hands write reams to
drown your one.
- David Mura,
"Hope Without Hope"
Does Japanese-American poet
David Mura really feel, as the title of
this excerpt suggests, that hope does
n6t exist, even within the confines of
hope itself? And is he really waging
a war with his words?
Mura says no. "I do not write po-
etry to argue a social pattern. I write
to widen people's awareness. You
have to be realistic in attempting to
change the world. There is a lot of
injustice, but that doesn't mean you
just sit there and despair. We all
make choices, we choose how much
we are aware of in the world. We
can connect ourselves with problems
such as the homeless, or Apartheid.
Or we can ignore it."
This 'choice to ignore' is not one
that Mura has made in either his
poetry or his prose. Much of his
writing concerns Japanese-American
history, a part of the past that has
often been deliberately buried.
"In my writing, I try to deal with
ways in which we (modern day
Japanese Americans) come to terms
with our own community. Part of my
work is written to explore what this
history means to us.
"How does the time that our

parents spent in internment camps
affect us today? How do young
Japanese and Asian Americans come
to terms with media stereotypes and
racism? And how do these relate to
intimate issues like sexuality?"
As a minority who writes about
cultural issues, Mura is often regard-
ed not simply as an artist, but as a
Japanese artist. He says this labeling,
however, does not bother him.
"There are so many good, young,
Asian-American writers right now. I
feel great to be grouped with them. I
grew up in the Midwest, among a
community with a very small Asian
population. I spent years trying to
assimilate, but I am no longer inter-
ested in denying my heritage. It was
a long struggle to gain this identity,"
he says.
In maintaining the identity that he
is now proud ofgMura struggles with
recurring waves of Japan-bashing.
"It makes things difficult for my
family and myself. How would I feel
if I were walking down the street
with my daughter and we saw people
bashing in a Japanese car? I would
not feel safe."
"I think there are a lot of impor-
tant trade issues with Japan. But
people's reactions to those issues are
not just based on rational analysis of
trade. There is an emotion behind it
that is fueled by racism."
Mura deals with this racism both
by talking and writing about it. He
says, "I hope by throwing things out
there, they will change. The things
I'm writing about have to do with
the future of this country.
"In the next century, America

will no longer have a white majority.
What we are facing is a decision
whether we are going to learn to-
gether, or end up like South Africa."
Mura deals with more than just
multicultural issues. Sexuality is also
a major focus. He explores common
experiences: the first time he saw a
Playboy magazine, feelings about his
daughter's future, and the taboos of
interracial sex.
DAVID MURA, author of Turning
Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei, will
be reading from his works of poetry
and nonfiction at 7 p.m. tonight in
the Rackham Amphitheatre.

Michigan

Student

Assembly

campus wide student government
Call for Candidates
for the
Campus Police Oversight Board

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99
SPIRAL/VELO
BINDING
Under 1" Width, Over 1" @ $1.99

Two Positions Open
Elections Monday, March
and Tuesday, March 31

30

- ''.

mi

Candidate Packets available in MSA office:
3909 Michigan Union or call 763-3241
for further information.
Application Deadline is
March 18, 1992 at 5:00 pm

Dollar Bill;
CopyingPIC
11 Church '.50
Phone: 665-9200 Fax: 930-2800

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Working with'children
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Saturday, March 14, 1992 - 8:08pm
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