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January 13, 1993 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-01-13

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Th ichigan Daily 1,93Pg

'Feed' lacks 'Pets or Meat's


by John R. Rybock
Hey, I got a great idea! How about
a documentary on running for Presi-
dent? We'd focus on the mediaand the
candidate, showing the stuff that did
not make it onto the Eleven O'Clock

Produced and directed by Kevin
Rafferty and James Ridgeway

station does an interview via satellite,
the satellite broadcasts for several min-
utes before the interview is conducted.
What results is footage of the
interviewee, in this case a presidential
candidate, sitting in front of the cam-
era chatting, reading, or sitting there
doing nothing.
This leads to some great moments
not intended to be filmed, such as
when Jerry Brown, waiting to be inter-
viewed, hears the newscast mention
Tsongas. "Tsongas?" he complains,
"What about getting to me, you
asshole?" Not one for the campaign
The problem with these moments
is that they can get old fast. Colorful
comments such as Jerry Brown's are
rare -most of the time, the candidates
just sit there. Since Bush did very little
campaigning for the primaries, almost
all of the film of him is him poised
before the camera waiting. After a

combined five minutes of this, the
audience feels more uncomfortable
than the candidate himself.
Another problem with the film is
that it seems to lack focus. It begins
with scenesof candidates waiting to be
interviewed, from Bush's sitting to
Kerry's fixing his audio. But then it
seems to jump around, to Gennifer
Flowers on "A Current Affair" to
Hillary Clinton pressing the flesh (No,
no, no. I mean shaking hands).
The main problem may simply be
the subject matter. Presidential cam-
paigns can move quickly, especially in
the early primary season. Thus, it is
easy for documentary filmmakers to
change their focus. First, they are work-
ingon the candidates behind the scenes,
but then Gennifer-with-a-G pops up.
Then Hillary Clinton gets national at-
tention. Then, on the verge of release,
Ross Perot jumps into the fray. It is all
too easy to stray, and unfortunately,

this film does. The filmmakers try to
incorporate everything instead of fo-
cusing on one element, andtheresultis
arelatively structurelessfinishedprod-
Fortunately for the people at the
Michigan Theater, they teamed up this
film with a stronger one. At the end of
"Feed," Michael Moore is credited
with aiding the funding of that film and
is given special thanks. Moore's film,
"Pets orMeat," is playing with "Feed,"
and documents Moore's return to Flint
after he made his successful "Roger&
Me." (For those who are wondering
about the title, "Pets or Meat" comes
from the rabbitlady in "Roger & Me.")
By itself, "Feed" is weak. But teamed
up with "Pets or Meat," the overall
movie experience is saved.
FEED is playing with PETS OR
MEAT at the Michigan Theater
starting tomorrow.

OK, it's already been done. "Feed,"
produced and directed by Kevin
Rafferty and James Ridgeway, focuses
on the candidates in the New Hamp-
shire primary from this past election.
It's adamn fine idea, Imust say, but the
actual film itself leaves something to
be desired.
What is interesting about "Feed" is
the use of satellite 'backhaul.' When a

Jerry Brown calling the broadcast news anchorman an asshole.

Spin Doctors rise
by Andy Kahn
The sudden rise of the Spin Doctors can only be described as a phenomenon.
They have been known throughout the New York area for years as Blues Traveler's
best friends and official opening band, but in the last six months, they have
exploded and their second record, Pocket Full of Kryptonite is nearly platinum.
Instead of praising the band for its success, let's flash back to when they were
abunch of nobodies outside of the East Coast. Despite their lack of national success
before this past summer, the Spin Doctors continued to be a hard-working outfit,
jamming before adevoted following who nowhave the privilege ofsaying they've
been down with the boys from the start.
My own memories of the band begin in the Summer of 1990, when I first got
into Blues Traveler. Almost every time one of their shows was advertised, the Spin
Doctors were listed as the opener. Their loopy, psychedelic logo was somewhat of
a turn-off at first, forI thought they would be too caught up in the retro-sixties thing
which was probably at its peak that summer.
I never caught any of those shows, but friends of mine did, and returned with
stories about a continuous show, in which there did not seem to be two bands. The
Spin Doctors would play for a while, and then one by one, their members would
leave the stage, and the Blues Traveler guys would gradually appear. This on-stage
transition has been a trademark of these shows ever since. My friends were
impressed by the performance, and described the Spin Doctors asareal-funky band
with a freaky singer, Chris Barron, who likes to talk a lot, and looks like either
Shaggy, Rocky Dennis, or Ginger Baker, depending on the day.
When Blues Traveler first came to Michigan in October 1990, I asked them
about their companion band. Drummer Brandon Hill said, "They open for us and
kick our ass, and sometimes we open for them and kick their ass. Basically, it's a
lot of mutual ass-kicking."
That comment piqued my interest in the band, and when I heard they had been
signed to Epic and that their first record was going to be out that winter, I had to
get it. The label was less than helpful when I tried to get a copy to review, so Ihad
to find itmyself. Someone who did get Upfor Grabs for free mustnothave thought
much of it, because I finally found a used cut out at Wazoo the following Spring.
The live disc, which includes the first appearance of their current hit, "Little Miss
Can't Be. Wrong," was one of my favorites over that summer.
An interesting note about that summer is that I met a girl named Cordelia at
some show who knew a great deal about the New York club scene. I asked her if
she heard of the Spin Doctors and she said, "I remember when they used to suck!"
For those of you who have Up for Grabs, she is the same Cordelia who is thanked
in the liner notes.
By the fall, Kryptonite was released, and I thought it was great. That October,
along with an article about the New Music Seminar, we listed them as a "Band to
Watch" along with Phish, Brand New Heavies and Smashing Pumpkins. Despite
our endorsement, the only person I knew at the time who actually bought was LSA
senior Mike Romero from my History of Jazz class. He, along with a few of his
friends, even saw them at Harpo's, generally a graveyard for over-the-hill pop-
metal bands.
"This funk-metal band Lucy Brown opened up, and all these cheesy metal
heads were into them," Romero said. "and then there was all this MTV dance stuff.
When the Spin Doctors started playing, everyone except us left. The band played
six songs, and then they took off."
Obviously much has changed since then. This past March, when I called their
office to see when they were coming to Michigan again, their secretary nearly
beggedme to give them any kind ofpress. Eightmonths and amillion records later,
they're too big and tro busy for us. That's okay, though. They deserve it.
HlE SPIN DOCTORS are playing tonight at the Michigan Theater at 7:30 pm.
Call 763-TKTS.

EMF "Where kinky hair goes to unthought of
dimensions." In other words, this fly
Stigma jam doubles as a science class.
EMI The single of the 1992.

EMF nailed their rep with the title of
their latest release, "Stigma." No one
really cares about the boys of summer
1991. Not unbelievably, this teen pop
sensation barely causes a ripple now in
the big, hard music picture. But if the
public would only close their minds to
the past and look at EMF on the basis of
"Stigma" and their fall '92 EP, "Unex-
plained," they'd hear an expressive, le-
gitimateboppy pop band. EMF balance
the sparring synths with the edgy guitars
to produce a harder, deeper, more com-
plex sound than even "Unexplained."
The brain in the band, guitarist/pro-
ducer Ian Dench, knows what's up: he
garnishes the basic EMF eagerness with
soaring backup singers, string solos and
dramatic chords. Unfortunately, it's all
in vain. No one cares any more, and its
unlikely anyone will getbeyond the fact
that EMF are really more than a one-hit
wonder., If they're still around in five
years or so, and continue to develop
their own ecstatic sound, maybe some-
one will.
-Annette Petruso
Digable Planets
Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like
Pendulum Records
Much like the first time ya heard De
La Soul's "Me Myself & I," or A Tribe
Called Quest's "Bonita Applebum," the
debut single fromNY' sDigable Planets
is an instant hip hop classic.
Stepping out with one of the deepest
and most subversive acoustic basslines
ever, "Rebirth Of Slick" slinks its way
effortlessly into the aural G-spot of the
brain. The tracks nods along on funky
finger snaps and ajazzier than that horn
sample. Trippy squiggles float in and
out of the mix, while rappers Butterfly,
Doodle-B, and Mecca theLadybug (who
qualifies as hip hop's new pin-up star)
flow smokin' rhymes.
"Rebirth Of Slick" utilizes Butterfly
and Mecca's chance meeting at a party
as an analogy for the meeting of differ-
ent African minds that resulted in the
birth of hip hop culture. The verses
reveal the continuity between "60's
funky worms with waves andperms"to

-Scott Sterling
Dog Eat Dog
Yes, I was skeptical too. But if you
can get past Warrant's ridiculous new

wardrobe of chains, spiked leather, and
wire-mesh T-shirts, then you might be
surprised. Maybe even slightly im-
No Warrantalbumis complete with-
out the standard, tasteless slice of
"Cherry Pie," and "Dog Eat Dog" is no
exception. This time they offer us "Ma-
chine Gun," "The Hole inMy Wall" and
"Bonfire," which persists despite its
lyrics, thanks toariveting arrangement.
Lest we doubt the change in War-
rant, "April 2031" and "Andy Warhol

was Right" showcase a new aspect of
- dare I say - talent. With children's
voices on both and an orchestra on
"Andy Warhol...," amomentous lyrical
content emerges in unfamiliar, yet ex-
citing Warrant territory.
Also compelling is "Bitter Pill"
which, riding on the recent popularity
of "Bohemian Rhapsody," cleverly in-
corporates opera and a "Mad German"
Warrant's world may be "Dog Eat
Dog," but the fact that their music rises
above their pitiful image and repulsive
album cover demonstrate that it's also a
place where anything can happen.
-Kristen Knudsen


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Boy those guys from EMF are trying to look tough. But they do have talent.


ViA2 9

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