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April 12, 1993 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-12

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Page 10-The Michigan Daily-Monday, April 12,1993
Ugly Kid Joe laughs their way to the bank

Bake That Mud(Honey) Cake Down
Back in the carefree days of youth, the more culinary-minded of us
concocted glorious triple-layer cakes made of only the finest ingredients:
sticks, leaves, grass, and most importantly, mud. Tuesday, we get to revisit
those long-gone days of creating crazed confectionery delights, when
SchoolKids' Records hosts the first ever "Bake A Cake For Mudhoney"
contest Roll up your sleeves and get with that stove, because whoever
can concoct the wildest, kookiest, tastiest, most out of this world cake for
the Mud Hens wins a veritable cavalcade of faboo prizes! "What prizes?,"
you ask? Not only will the winner receive a portable CD player, a bona fide
Betty Crocker cookbook, AND backstage passes to Mudhoney's show at
the Michigan Theater, that talented pastry whiz also walks with FRONT
ROW tickets to the gig. Celebrity judges include DJ's Christina, Kelly
Brown, and Greg Gynp(per) from radio station 89X . Also keep your eyes
open for the Honey's themselves, who might stop by to catch a sugar buzz.
Rumor has it the losing cakes might become part of a post-contest food
fight, so be prepared. The festivities kick off at 3:30 (by which time all
cakes must be registered).

by Kristen Knudsen
My original plan was to interview Ugly Kid Joe
back in October, however I was told at that time that
they didn't even "have time to breathe." You gotta
love those kooky publicity reps. I guessed it made
sense, though; the band was on the road in supportof
their new album, "America's Least Wanted," which
was sure to make or break the one-hit-wonders
responsible for the popular, sarcastic novelty song
"Everything About You." So, being the mellow and
laid-back kinda girl I am (those who know me, shut
up) I saidhey, noproblem. Just laughed itoff. So then
I hear that Ugly Kid Joe is coming back to Michigan
in April and this time, Iam granted an interview. But
then the show is cancelled. Something tells me this
isn't working out. But, hey, I can laugh about it. Ha,
ha. The interview is already set up with singer
Whitfield Crane and all my questions are ready.
We'll do it anyway. The appointed day rolls around
and Iam excited to hear from Whithimself if he and
Karen "Duff' Duffy are still an item (just curious,
OK?) and his take on Ann Arbor's coffee shops (he's
been known to expound upon the general subject).
Phone rings. Guitarist Dave Fortman is "dying" to
talk to me. Although by this time he's been in the
band longer than the original guitarist, he did not
take part in the recording of their smash EP "As Ugly
As They Wanna Be," so automatically all compari-
son questions are out the window. Ditto for all those
specifically directed toward the hyperactive singer.
(Who can be heard, by the way, yelling in the
background- so close and yet so far...). Think fast,
improvise. Ha, ha, ha.

Fortman explained that Ugly Kid Joe decided to
take a break from the road until their tour with Def
Leppard this summer. This choice was at least in part
provoked by flying beer bottles at one of their recent
shows. Apparently, three bottles were thrown on
stage, hitting Whit on the hand and guitarist Klaus
Eichstadt on the top of the head. No serious injuries
were sustained as UKJ was officially welcomed to
the trials and tribulations of a heavy metal band (or,
in this case, "medium alloy metal" as they often call
themselves). In the meantime, they made a video for
"Busy Bee," anew song which unintentionally marks
a more serious direction for the band.
"I wrote it, it's just me stoned at the piano two
years ago," Fortman said. "I didn't really write it
aboutanything ... Thebasicmeaning thatcameoutof
it I guess in the end, that I didn't even know existed,
thateveryone else tells me what they think about it-
it's about people too caught up in their own lives to
see the world and see the beauty of what's going on
in life."
This follows theirrecentremakeof Harry Chapin's
folk rock classic "Cats in the Cradle," a childhood
favorite of Whit's (and everyone else). The usually
tongue-in-cheekjokesters were careful to handle this
song with seriousness and respect. "When I joined
the band, we went in the studio to record it so I went
and I played all the 12-string parts. I learned it just
like the album and stuff so it would sound a little
more towards the original track,"Fortman described.
"I guess we were kind of blessed by doing that. We
kept to the original format, and then Bam! It turned
out to be a huge hit (going gold)."

Ugly Kid Joe's mature new attitude may result in
the demise of their "Ugly Kid" trademark, the ob-
noxious red-headed kid that defaces both of their
album s. Seen posing on "America's Least Wanted"
as the Statue of Liberty with his middle finger acting
as torch, the kid was said to be an amalgamation of
the personalities of all the guys in the band. You
know, he was the troublemaking kid that never did
anything rightand didn'tcare. ButFortman revealed
that may all be changing. "We're thinking about
dumping it.We're all getting older. Things are going
to mature naturally, anyway. There's nothing you can
do about it, and now we've shown the world that hey,
we do have a serious side. So maybe we'll go back
(with the next album) maybe half as funny as we
were before. Half serious and half funny."
"America'sLeast Wanted" addsmore sides to the
one-dimensional brat on its cover, balancing fast and
slow, funny and serious. But don't worry - songs
like "Cats in the Cradle" and "Busy Bee" in no way
overshadow the characteristically silly novelty tunes
which sent "As Ugly As They Wanna Be" to multi-
platinum status. "Everything About You" (featuring
SNL's"Pat")and the '92remixof"Madman" (about
a psycho killer loose in Disneyland) have fueled
descriptions of Ugly Kid Joe as "Faith No More
meets the Three Stooges." As far as whether Ugly
Kid Joe is seen as ajoke is of no concern to Fortman.
"We pretty much just don't really care what
people think," he said. "I't'sjustmusic; we did it and
it's out. There's no serious goal. There's no image-
goal. It's just us putting out music."
And laughing all the way to the bank.

Plenty of hope in this
Satanic 'Interview'
by Melissa Rose Bernardo
A very evil-looking figure in ghastly makeup gave me my ticket and handed
me ared program with burnt edges. An equally ghastly figure frisked me as I was
entering the theater. A sign proclaimed "Abandon Every Hope Ye That Enter." It
was clear that I was not entering the Arena Theatre; I was entering hell. (Someone
commented on the irony of all of us fighting to get good seats in hell, due to the
general admission policy.) And it was hot as hell in that theater - I mean in hell.
"A Hopeful Interview with Satan," OyamO's self-proclaimed "modern morality
fable," was a successful dramatization of hell and the fate of its inhabitants.
You're asking what this whole interview thing is about. Icarus Asphalt, anewly
deceased writer, is senttohell. He claims that he wants to interview Satan, and give
her a good image. Of course,in order for
PChimtopublishhis book,shemustlethim
A Hopeful Interview return to life. The play chronicles his
attempts to leave hell, a series of inter-
with Satan ruptions and finally his own judgment.
Arena Theatre Andby the way-Satan is ashe. And
April 8, 1993 sheisbrass, crass and proud of it. She has
afilthy mouth and a smile that could kill.
And she knows some mean wrestling moves. Sarah Hauck was unrelenting as
Satan; she effectively depicted the many dimensions of OyamO's Satan - the
torturer, the judge, the sensual woman, the fallen angel, the humanitarian and the
would-be lounge singer. (Yes, before she was Satan, she was a singer in France.)
Hauck managed to be all those Satans without becoming redundant or clichd.
Paul Molnar was a one-dimensional Icarus, which is inherent in the character.
Molnar was an appropriately inquisitive and overly-zealousjournalist, attempting
to outsize his role as prisoner and enter the more powerful role of Satan. But he
continuously employed the same hand gestures, the same posture and the same
inflection in all of his lines. Despite a spectacular torture scene, writhing and
twitching in a burning chair, Molnar's Icarus became tiresome and uninteresting.
As the Attendant, Heather Finnegan was an entertaining spectacle throughout
the show - screaming, jumping up and down, flailing her arms, spasmodically
And by the way - Satan is a she. And she is
brass, crass and proud of it., She has a filthy
mouth and a smile that could kill. And she knows
some mean wrestling moves.
twitching, and contorting herself in various ways. She forced us ("I want
everyone to sing with me, motherfuckers!") into screaming her twisted anthem:
"Pain! Ilovepain! Itmakesmenew again!"Finneganmade good useofextremes;
for example, obnoxiously bellowing "ASS-" and barely audibly whispering
Kevin Green was both amusing and shocking as the New Satan. He entered
with a warm "Mazel Tov!" singing "IfI Were a Rich Man" from "Fiddler on the
Roof." But the fun-loving Jewish man adapted to the role of Satan instantly,
dealing with Icarus by ripping out his tongue and sending blood dripping
everywhere. Green delivered a fierce monologue directed at the human race in
general, but affected each one of us individually with his force and brutality.
"Despair is the greatest sin in the world!"he screamed. Additionally, through that
powerful monologue, he managed to keep his Jewish accent.
I learned a lot from OyamO's hell. There are no women in hell. Elvis is there,
so I guess that means that he's dead. And Shakespeare is in hell. (I know; I'm as
devastated as you are. I had always hoped I would meet him in heaven.) And a


The band Ugly Kid Joe has a reputation for being obnoxious, like that annoying redhead on their album covers.


No Blue RazzBerry BlowPops for 'Sandlot' stars

Continued from page10
of Mr. Evans.
I'm not sure if it was David Mickey
orme that made the interview so bland,
but I really wanted to move on to the
They came traipsing in a few mo-
ments later clad in your requisite base-
ball hats. They were Grant Gelt and
Mike Vitar, who respectively play
Bertram and Benny in "The Sandlot."
But wait. There was a third one with
them.ItwasMike's olderbrotherPablo,
who plays the grown up Benny for the
last few minutes of the movie. He was
quite a hot potato. I felt like Cindy
Brady with Television-itis. Luckily he
sat in a chair across the room and I was
able to divert my eyes.
We got down to business. My as-
sistant Douglas produced two Blue
RazzBerry Blowpops for them to try,
butFelix intervened because they were
going to the Detroit News next. Per-
haps blue tongues wouldn't be appro-
priate for the front page.

The boys were a little perplexed
when I asked them what color Crayola
they would like to be and why, but they
answered everything else like pros.
Grant, who likely had an attention
deficit disorder as a small child, and is
definitely not like his nerdy character
in the film, said that he hadn't seen any
muggings or drive-by shootings in
Detroit, but he brought "a bullet-proof
vest, just in case."
Mike talked about the red Chero-
kee he will buy from his brother, and
about taking Dad's car for a spin when
he was 13. Upon hearing this, Pablo
informed his sibling that the price on
the Cherokee was now going up. In the
movie, Vitar plays the River Phoenix
"Stand By Me" role as the likable
Benny. In order to face the menacing
"Beast," Benny dons some pretty fancy
PF Flyers. Vitar liked the shoes.
"They're better than the Pumps," he
said. At that point, as he often did
duringthe interview, David Mickey
piped up and told Vitar he could get
him a pair through his connections.
My sidekick Douglas then offered
the all-important question, "Do you

have a girlfriend?" Trained in the ways
of Hollywood, neither actor would
divulge a name, afraid of insulting the
other nymphets. Pablo didn't answer
the question at all. Both of them talked
about school, saying acting was just a
hobby. Gelt is planning on spending
the summer doing a play in Chicago
and Vitar is up for the lead in "Mighty
Ducks 2." For the remainder of the
time, Grant and Mike acted like nor-
mal teens, joking and laughing on the
couch. That was very refreshing to see
and I was almost afraid to leave them
with David Mickey. They even said
they were having fun. How lovable.
The boys were a little
perplexed when I
asked them what color
Crayola they would
like to be and why...

afraid to look at him because he would
have the same effect on my brain as
NutraSweet and I would be struck by
a momentary loss of my short-term
memory? He turned away and I was
Downstairs, Douglas and I waited
for the valets to whisk my car over and
a limo was parked up on the side.
Douglas told me it was probably theirs,
but I disagreed. Of course, it did turn
out to be theirs.
We exchanged heartfelt good-byes
with the boys. My car approached and
so did Pablo. He gently put his arm
around me and told me that he wasn't
really offended that I asked him no
questions. Then he informed me that
his whole family is really, really, proud
of Mike. What a guy. He might have
said something else after that, but I
don't know, 'cause by that time I was
gone. Here's thekicker:He went toget
in my car. I said, seductively as pos-
sible, "Do you need a ride?" But he
said, "No thanks," and got in the limo.
After my heart slowed to a reason-
able pace, I got in the car and Douglas
and I drove into the sunset.


Felix cut in on the good time and
the interview was over. Pablo, how-
ever, was deeply insulted that he had
been asked no questions. Ididn'tknow
what to do. Should I explain that I was

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