The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, April 8, 1992
Stinson bashes with his own new band
by Nima Hodaei
Graeme Downes (center) ponders why his classical experiments bring out
"Love" and "Left Banke" comparisons. Here he is flanked by drummer
Gregg Cairns (left) and bassist Mike Stoodley (right).
Verlaines ready to fly
by Greg Baise
Through no fault of their own, a bunch of great bands from New Zealand
have created an incredible body of work while going largely unnoticed in
places like the good ol' States. Although the bands centered around the
Flying Nun label and other NZ indies can easily rival any other musical
scene you'd care to mention (yeah, even Athens; yeah, even Seattle; yeah,
even Osaka), these bands must just be too good to gain world-wide popular-
So if you're a lucky New Zealand band that cares, you grit your teeth as
you prepare for your second jaunt across the United States. One night you'll
open for wispy punk veterans like Television Personalities; on other nights
you'll open for Irish singer/songwriter Luka Bloom. Both nights you'll fit in
perfectly. Although you won't be as popular as Ned's Atomic Dustbin, a
dedicated group of fans will come out from the recesses of whatever town
you're in - ready to hear your mature rock and roll, your baroque folk-
This is especially true if you're the Verlaines, Graeme Downes' band
from Dunedin, New Zealand. Downes studied many a music course at the
University of Otago in Dunedin, which is reflected in the selection of classi-
cal instruments used to augment the three-piece Verlaines' tunes. Even the
relatively stripped-down Some Disenchanted Evening (Homestead, 1990)
features clarinet on several pieces.
Meanwhile, the latest album, Ready to Fly (Slash, 1991), is a return to
the lusher variety of augmentation that Downes gently exposed to an unsus-
pecting world on Bird-Dog.
Bird-Dog, from way back in 1987 or thereabouts, is a genuine master-
piece, a less-crazed yet equally as frosty Forever Changes, with its brass
See KIWIS, Page 8
Tommy Stinson has been keeping
himself quite busy, thank you. The
bassist for the Replacements has a
new band to work with, Bash 'N'
Pop, now that the 'Mats are "if not
on a permanent hiatus, at least a real
long one," Stinson says.
A foursome which also includes
Steve Foley (drummer on the last
'Mats tour), bassist Kevin Foley
(Steve's brother), and guitarist Steve
Brantseg, Bash 'N' Pop, as the name
might indicate, is 'in your face mu-
sic,' not unlike that of the Re-
"Basically, the whole thing came
about in the middle of the last
Replacements tour," explains Stin-
son. "I knew that I was going to
make a record for Sire/Warner Bro-
thers. They had already picked up
my option in a verbal sense. And as I
went through the end of that thing, I
decided I wasn't going to put out a
grandiose Tommy Stinson solo pro-
ject. I'd much rather start a new
band than do that."
Make no mistake about it though,
Bash 'N' Pop is clearly Stinson's
personal project. This time around
he's fronting the band - singing
lead vocals and playing the guitar.
As Stinson explains, "It's fun. It's
such a rush every time to get up
there and be that. It's a little scary at
times, but I've adapted well. This is
what I've wanted to do for a long
time. I've wanted to sing and play
guitar, and now I've got the band to
do it with."
With Bash 'N' Pop, however,
comes the long shadow cast by the
Replacements. Any album put out by
former members, will inevitably
come across strict scrutiny by 'Mats
fans. Stinson takes such comparisons
and criticism in stride.
"Certainly, I would be fooling
myself to think that I didn't sound
OK, which one of these hip swinging dudes is Tommy Stinson, 'Mats defector and leader of the band? The guy on
the far right is too frazzled, he's Steve Brantseg. Zoned-out, in his pajamas? Nah, that's Kevin Foley. And of course,
the Woody Allen wanna-be on the far left is Kevin's bro Steve. Tommy is that mafioso in the middle. Cool Tommy.
like the Replacements," says Stin-
son. "I grew up in that band, so I
think there's a lot of it there. Plus, I
think over the years, I've learned
how to write songs through listening
to the music that we listened to in
the band and our songs that Paul
(Westerberg) wrote. I really don't
care about it. I'm starting my own
thing here and if it sounds like the
old things, then what's the problem
with that? I'm certainly not going to
pretend that I'm a fuckin' disco king
or anything fucked up like that. I
mean, I do still play and like that
kind of music."
When asked about the Re-
placements, Stinson graciously an-
swers all the questions, knowing
they'll come up yet again and again.
He displays a very laid back style
which is an indication of the number
of years he's already spent in the bu-
siness. Possibly weary of all the
bands he's seen, aside from Bash
'N' Pop, there's not a whole helluva
lot about music today that interests
"I know that there's a lot of
crappy, seventies throw-back bands
right now, making a killing, and
that's appalling, I think," states Stin-
son. "On the same hand, there's a
couple of bands, I shall not name
specifically, stealing the worst of the
'Mats and fuckin' making a mint off
that. I don't know that they've stole
it from us, but they're getting away
with what they laughed at for five
years by us."
Whether critics find Bash 'N'
Pop humorous, is yet to be seen.
Something makes you feel, however,
that Stinson will keep doing what-
ever it is he pleases.
BASH 'N' POP willperform at Blind
Pig Thursday night. Tickets are
$7.50 (p.e.s.c) in advance at
Ticketmaster. Doors open at 9:30
p.m. Call 996-8555 for more info.
Chirpy Parton gives it to us straight in Talk
dir# Barnet Kellman }
by Marie Jacobson
the more he realizes that he's falling
for the self-proclaimed "doctor of
The way I see it, a romantic com-
edy needs two essential ingredients
if it's going to work: romance and
humor. Hello, Mr. Kellman?!
What we have here is Dolly
Parton being Dolly Parton (all chest
and charm) and James Woods being
James Woods (your basic well-
meaning but anal-retentive guy). The
pair are too busy fleshing out their
respective roles to create any sort of
plausible romantic relationship.
Even with the romance factor in
dire straits, Straight Talk ought to
produce a few belly-laughs. And
how! Within the first ten minutes,
Dolly almost falls off a bridge. Ho
Straight Talk, starring Dolly Parton
and James Woods, is one of the most
predictable, colorless romantic co-
medies to hit the big screen in years.
Director Barnet Kellman tells the
same tired rags-to-riches, boy-
ryline that Pretty Woman used two
The plot is just as simple: Dis-
missed from her job as a small-time
dance teacher because she always
takes time out to counsel her clients,
Shirlee Kenyon (Parton) leaves her
verbally-abusive boyfriend in Ar-
kansas in search of greener pastures
Once in the windy city, Shirlee
eventually finds work as a switch-
board operator at a struggling radio
station. But in a whirlwind of mis-
taken identities, WNDY's new em-
ployee finds herself on the air as the
station's new talk-show psycholo-
gist. She's a natural, and the phone
lines begin ringing off the hook for
Shirlee's quick-witted, advice.
There's one problem, of course
- "Dr. Shirlee" is no doctor at all.
News reporter Jack Russell (James
Woods) smells a rat. But the closer
he gets to blowing Shirlee's cover,
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ho ho! She scarfs down other
people's chow in a diner. Stop, I'm
gasping for air! She wows James by
dissembling her industrial-strength
bra! Will the chortles never stop?
It doesn't get much better. Clear-
ly modeled after Good Morning,
Vietnam, Straight Talk relies heavily
on the spicy banter of its radio
personality. Unfortunately, the script
falls back on numerous "lak mah
daddy used tah say ..." hillbilly gags
that are about as fun as beating a
red-headed stepchild with a corn
husk. You get my point.
STRAIGHT TALK is playing at
A National Town Meeting
The Rhetoric of Hate
Thursday, April 9, 8:00 pm
G378 - Dental School
A nationally broadcast satellite tele-conference
on Anti-Semitism, Holocaust Revisionism and
Inter-Group Conflict on Campus
Featured speaker: Nat Hentoff,
nationally acclaimed columnist for the
Village oice and the Washington Post
For information call 769-0500
The University of Michigan Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives presents the 2nd Annual Healthcare Symposium:
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y1 jV3ti 14 . S
HEALTH SYSTEM REFORM:
DIVERGENT VIEWS FOR THE UNITED STATES
Friday, April 10, 1992
1:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.
School of Public Health II - Thomas Francis Building - Main Floor Auditorium
Dennis L. Schornack, Dr. P.H., M.P.H.
Senior Policy Advisor to Governor John Engler (R)
Deborah Chang, M.P.H.
Health Policy Advisor to Senator Donald Riegle (D)
Dolly, you sure are chirpy. You sure are country-cute. You sure are gonna
capitalize on that southern charm until your wigs unfurl, aren't you?
David J. Campbell, M.H.A.
President and Chief Executive Officer-Detroit Medical Center
Marguerite R. Shearer, M.D.
Director-Michigan State Medical Society
Chair-Legislative Committee of the Board
Marianne Udow, M.H.S.A.
Senior Vice President of Planning and Develpoment-
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Spring into . , . o
some cool, refreshing
cookies anywhere in the Continental U.S.
MM M M M MM mMd
Democrat and Republican Initiatives and Reactions from Key Players in the Healthcare Industry
Open to the Public Refreshments will be served
For more information please contact Wendy Asik @UM via MTS
THE PRICE OF JAPAN-BASHING:
Academy Award-nominated documentary
7 p.m., Tonight
Graduate Academic Dean
of Sacred Heart Major Seminary