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April 01, 1992 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-04-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

"

ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, April 1, 1992

Page 5

*Energizing SubPop -ers
A grunge-less Seattle really exists, and its in Dayglo!

by Nima
"I'm a dreamah" Hodaei
A new SubPop sound is emerging.
In the forefront of this movement
stands the Seattle quartet, Love
Battery. Featuring the psychedelic,
rootsy stylings of vocalist Ron Nine,
guitarist Kevin Whitworth, drummer
Jason Finn, and bassist Jim Tillman,
Love Battery explodes in your face
with ferocious wah-wah pedaled,
trippy music, in a way quite unlike
their Northwestern contemporaries.
In a phone interview from Toronto,
Nine speaks of the stereotypes
thrown on the band.
"One of the biggest things when-
ever we come into a town is - Sub-
Pop this, SubPop that," says Nine.
"We're not Mudhoney. At the same
time, I really like Mudhoney and I'm
definitely influenced, but so far
we've only had several instances of
people stage diving and causing
havoc at our shows. It's hard to say.
I think we are right now at the van-
guard of a new crop of SubPop
bands.
"I don't think any of those bands
really sound alike. Admittedly, there
is a thread of similarity, in .that ...
Jack Endino did all the early produc-
tion. We actually came out of that

same period and same scene. Most
of those people are our friends, and I
think the thing that was great about
it was everyone was trying to sound
different."
Love Battery first broke onto the
scene with Between the Eyes, a gor-
geous album of late '60s-influenced
rock and punk. The first single,
"Between the Eyes," garnered won-
derful reviews in music publications
around the country, sparking much
interest in SdbPop's latest offering.
Without the big grunge sound
and deafening guitars on their side,
Love Battery was definitely from a
different cut than most of the Seattle
bands of the time. Now, in 1992, the
band's sophomore album, Dayglo
arrives. New bassist Jim Tillman
joins the line-up for Dayglo, an al-
bum that captures the powerful bal-
ladry of the band, with a little less
emphasis on psychedelia.
"We did our first U.S. tour for
two months," states Nine. "We got
the new bass player. Jim entered the
band even before Between the Eyes
was done. He was actually in on
some of the mixing sessions.
"I think there's nothing like play-
ing every night for two months to
really gel a band. I think we became
a live band whereas before it was

sort of iffy. We really have a sense
of chemistry now that we can bring
in to not only our performance, but
also into our writing and collaborat-
ing. I think Dayglo is a lot more co-
hesive than Between the Eyes."
With their stock rising, the in-
evitable question of major label sign-
ing comes up. However, Nine steers
clear of specifics, only alluding that
there has been some major label in-
terest. Like other performers on in-
dependent labels, Love Battery is
wary of making commitments to
corporate rock conglomerates..
"There is a certain point that you
have to be on a major label to break
across into (the mainstream)," ex-
plains Nine. "Even the Top Ten on
the CMJ (College Music Journal)
charts are all major label stuff. So, I
think there is a point where it's al-
most required that you be on a major
label to have a certain amount of
success, which we definitely would
like.
"All we know for sure right now
is we're going to record and put out
an album as quickly as possible, and
that'll be on SubPop."
Currently on a tour in support of
Dayglo, Love Battery brings their
show to Ann Arbor tonight. Nine is
full of anecdotes about touring expe-

Despite their meta-grunge approach, Love Battery insists on grungy photos of themselves. How avant-garde.

riences.
"I consider us a good live band,"
he says. "Last time we played Seat-
tle, was nuts. I could barely sing, be-
cause the microphone stand kept be-
ing kicked over. In San Francisco,
all the kids jumping around stage
were breaking my guitar cords! Then
at the same time, we go somewhere
else and people will just stand and
listen."

Even if you stand and listen, you
might not wat to miss the opportu-
nity to see' this band in an intimnate
club setting before they hit the biz
time. Seattle has once again come
through with a top-caliber band. Is,
the city really so influential in creat-
ing great performers?
"Someone was telling me we
have the highest suicide rate out

there." says Nine. "I can believe
that, if you spend just a winter oul
there. It's a dreary place."
LOVE BATTERY performs at the
Blind Pig tonight with HOLY COWS.
oPening. Tickets are available at
"it kelmaster for $5 (p.e.s.c.). Doors
open at 9:30 p.m. call 996-8555 for
more info.

Squash Dangerfield's

Ladybugs
dir. Sidney J. Fune
by Chris "Leapt right off
the screen" Lepley
* Ladybugs is the latest effort by vet-
eran yuk-master Rodney Danger-
field. As Chester Lee, a butt-kissing
salesman who wants a promotion so
he can marry his sweetheart, Dan-
gerfield tells all his usual jokes and
makes all his old faces, but he
doesn't entirely ruin what turns out
to be a cute movie.
In order for Chester to get his
promotion, he has to milk' a winning
season from the company-sponsored
girls' soccer team, the Ladybugs.
With his trusty side-kick, Julie
(Jackde of 227 fame), he tries va-
liantly to make champions out of a
rookie team.
Chester's personal problems in-
clude getting his girlfriend Bess
(Ilene Graff) to marry him, and
learning to get along with Bess's
Son, Matthew (Jonathan Brandis,
best known for the classic Never
Ending Story ii: The Next Chapter).
Chester comes up with a plan to kill

two birds with one stone by dressing
soccer player extraordinaire Mat-
thew up like a girl ("Martha") and
using him/her as a ringer to save the
team.
But why, you ask, would a 14-
year-old boy agree to dress up like a
girl just to help a man he doesn't
like? Think hard, because some-
where deep in the Brady Bunch-
trained recesses of your brain you
already know the answer. His dream
girl must be a member of the team!
Yes, you guessed it: Vinessa
Shaw plays Kimberly Mullen. Not
only is she Matthew's dream girl,
but she's also the boss' daughter.
Shaw's performance is subdued and
touching, and she and Brandis make
a cute couple, especially when he's
wearing a dress.
The rest of the film is clich6 but
it's not bad clichd. Of course, each
cute little member of the Ladybugs
gets her time to shine, triumphing
over little girl problems like wearing
thick glasses and too much make-up.
The inevitable sight-gags involving
Matthew/Martha were predictable
but still fun, mostly due to Brandis'
angst-ridden performance.
The biggest problem in the film

Ladybug
is that the situations which could be
funny - the team going skinny-dip-
ping and inviting "Martha" along, or
"Martha" having a soccer ball
kicked hard into "her" crotch - are
over in seconds, while Dangerfield's
stupid jokes seem to last forever. It's
almost too bad Dangerfield is in the
movie at all, because the rest of the
cast is much more entertaining.
The film is perfect for pre-teens,
even though it perpetuates stereo-
types about sex-roles which
teenagers could do without. Mat-
thew's fantasy about Kimberly is es-
pecially offensive in a Miss-Ame-
rica-Pageant-swimsuit-competition
sort of way, but the majority of the
jokes are harmless.
The refreshing thing about films
like Ladybugs is how you feel when
you emerge from the theater. Sud-
denly the day is a little brighter, the
grass a little greener, and you feel
confident that, in a universe where
someone as butt-ugly as Rodney
Dangerfield can believably get the
girl, world peace is not an impossi-
ble dream.
LADYBUGS is playing at Briarwood
and Showcase.

With a bomb like Ruby, Aiello ought to star in Madonna's video, "Papa Dont Preach 2: Electric Boogaloo."
Mackenzies stale Rubyis Sno gem

4

Ruby
dir. John Mackenzie
by Marie "Jamboree" Jacobson
Ruby shamelessly rides the hype generated by Oliver
Stone's controversial, critically-acclaimed JFK. But
while JFK was a cinematographic coup, well-re-
searched and carefully-constructed, Ruby is nothing
more than its shallow, money-grubbing cousin.
JFK had my bid for best film of '91, so any com-
parison at all is bound to be a harsh one. All contrasts
aside, however, Ruby can't stand on its own two feet.
The film features a mediocre Danny Aiello in the title
role.
Jack Ruby, owner of a sleazy Dallas nightclub, had
unequivocal connections to both the FBI and the Mafia.
He traveled to Havana and Las Vegas on Mob business
and he shot Lee Harvey Oswald. This is all we really
know about the man.
But the speculativeRuby wants to fill in all the holes.
To do so, the film explores the platonic relationship
between Ruby and one of his niost popular strippers,
Candy Cane (Sherilyn Fenn). Candy fleshes out the
human side of the man who killed Oswald: his kindness,
his generosity, his insecurity and his courage.

Which is all well and good until we learn, in a foot-
note at the end of the movip, that there is no Candy.
Never was. After taking you for six bucks, Ruby takes
you on a two-hour wild goose chase.
Candy is the filmmakers' whore - she allows them
to indulge their ill-researched conspiracy theories while
providing the perfect opportunity to add some T &A to
an utterly blah set. She does little more: Alternately
dumb as a post and smarter than any of the other charac-
ters in the film, Fenn's Candy never adds the depth
Ruby desperately needs.
On all fronts, Ruby falls painfully short of its goal..In
its attempt to portray Ruby as the perenial outsider, a
Jewish nightclub owner struggling to reestablish the re-
spect of the Sicilian Mafia, the film hardly evokes the
sympathetic response it relentlessly craves.
Mackenzie's film suggests that Ruby, at once a
hopelessly confused bit player and a calculating killer,
instantly identifies with Oswald. Why, then, did Ruby
assasinate the guy?
Ruby never really poses or attempts to answer the
important questions that made JFK such a powerful rpic-
ture. While Stone's film was criticized for its paranoid
conclusions, Ruby is too fanciful, unfocused and schi-
zophrenic to even invite serious contemplation.
RUBY is playing at Showcase.

We all know Rodney Dangerfield's range is out of this world, and now he's finally found a showcase that does this
talent some justice. Notice the depth of expression, the pain behind those eyes. Oscar, here he comes. Oomph!

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