12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 3, 1993
By KRISTEN KNUDSEN
They sing the popular song "If I
Had No Loot," but the members of
Tony Toni Tone don't have to worry
about that. The self-described "Sons
of Soul" have innovatively blended
the sounds of original R&B stars
James Brown, Aretha Franklin and
Ray Charles with the contemporary
sounds of hip-hop and rap. Having
toured already with Earth Wind and
Fire, the Tonyies now have two hit
albums to their credit, and are cur-
rently on the road with Janet Jackson.
With "Sons of Soul," their third al-
bum, Tony Toni Tone further define
themselves as the new generation in
"It's old school meets new school,"
described guitarist D'wayne Wiggins
of TTT's retrospective yet modern
sound. "We grew up listening to a lot
of the old soul music. A lot of that
music was sort of our education. We
bring R&B back
also grew up in the era when rap came
up onto the scene. So we kind of mix
them both together. We start out with
guitars and drums and bass and all
that, and we kind of like color it with
the hip hop vein."
Whenever possible, D'wayne, his
brother, singer / bassist Raphael
Wiggins, and their cousin, drummer
Timothy Christian Riley, prefer not
to sample old soul songs, instead
choosing to recreate the whole mood
through new music. In this way,
D'wayne said his band, along with
rap and hip hop groups, is helping to
bring back the R&B sound of yester-
year which had been lost in the early
"There was a lot of synthesized
kind of stuff coming out (in the early
'80s) and the drum machine stuff was
real, real heavy,"D'wayne explained.
"The drum machine stuff is real, real
heavy now still, but when you incor-
porate it with some of the real instru-
ments, it's all different. (Back then),
it went down to the point where people
just concentrated and depended on
those things. We incorporate that stuff
into it but it's not our foundation."
"This album has to be our greatest
contribution to music," D'waynecon-
tinued. "If the public really accepts it
the way we hope then I think there
'It's what we originally
grew up playing.
There's a lot of real
music on there and a
lot of real instruments
on there. A lot less of
- D'wayne Wiggins of
Tony Toni Tone
will be a lot of people stepping forth
and doing the real music thing again;
bringing R&B back, and standing for
what it's about."
According to D'wayne, "Sons of
Soul" differs from the group's first
two albums in its strong adherence to
the old tradition. Unlike "Who?" and
"The Revival," "Sons of Soul" is not
specifically designed for commercial
"It's the latest so it's gotta be the
greatest," D'wayne said. "It's what
we originally grew up playing. There's
a lot of real music on there and a lot of
real instruments on there. A lot less of
I . *
Tony Toni Tone try to recapture the classic sound of the music they grew up with on their latest, "Sons of Soul."
that overproduction stuff."
Despite Tony Toni Tone's mini-
mized concern for commercial
achievement, "Sons of Soul" has been
hailed by critics as a musical master-
piece and songs like "Anniversary"
have held it high on the charts. But to
D'wayne, keeping the old soul tradi-
tion alive has been just as rewarding.
"When you sit back and you listen
to a Marvin Gaye album, or an old
Stevie Wonder album, you get a cer-
tain feeling - it's a soul vibe,"
D'wayne said. "We would hope that
(our album) could touch the souls of
many people, as far as them respect-
ing where original R&B comes from.
Even if they're too young to remem-
TONY TONI TONE will appear
with JANET JACKSON Saturday at,
Joe Louis Arena and Sunday at the,
Palace at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are 4
$29.75. Call TicketMaster for info.
The University of Michigan
School of Music
Sunday, December 5
Erling Bl6idal Bengtsson, cello; Katherine Collier, piano
" Schubert: Sonata in A minor, "Arpeggione"
" Boccherini: Adagio and Allegro in A
" Bach: Suite No. 6 in D for solo cello
" Koppel: Sonata for Cello and Piano (1956)-local premiere
Recital Hall, School of Music, 4 p.m.
Butterfingers Angel,. Mary & Joseph, Herod the Nut, &
the Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in a Pear Tree
Play by William Gibson; directed by John Neville-Andrews
Theatre & Drama Department Production
Tickets: $14, $10; $6 students (764-0450)
Power Center, 2 p.m.
Digital Music Ensemble
Stephen Rush, director; Ed Sarath, soloist
Electronic art, music, and dance
" Works by Corea, Rush, Prince, and Debussy, played on keyboards,
synthesizers, samplers, and MIDI wind controllers
" Fractal-based computer graphics; interactive video/MIDI "rug"
McIntosh Theatre, School of Music, 4 p.m.
Jazz at the Michigan League Buffet
Michigan League, 5:30 p.m.
Jazz at the Union
University Club, Michigan Union, 6:30 p.m.
Monday, December 6
Chamber Choir and University Choir
Theodore Morrison and Jerry Blackstone, conductors
" Works by Anonymous, Bruckner, Victoria, Willan, Ron Nelson,
Britten, Holst, Berlioz, and Mathia.
NOTE: Tonight's Jazz Composers Forum has been canceled.
Tuesday, December 7
University Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras
Donald Schleicher and Gustav Meier, conductors
" Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
" Debussy: Nocturnes
" Kevin March: Aurora Industrialis-world premiere
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Thursday, December 9
Holiday Choral Festival
U-M Women's Glee Club, Men's Glee Club, and Arts Chorale
Theodore Morrison, Jerry Blackstone, and Jonathan Hirsh, directors
" Britten: Ceremony of Carols
" Morrison (U-M Director of Choirs): new work
" Rutter: Gloria, with brass choir and organ
" Seasonal works by Pachelbel, Peeters, Handl, and Betelehemu
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Jazz Composers Orchestra
Rackham Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday, December 9-11
Dance and Related Arts Project
Interdisciplinary, collaborative theater event featuring dancers, vocalists,
choreographers, composers, musicians, theatrical designers, sculptors,
photographers, and writers
Tickets: $5 (763-5460)
Studio A, Dance Building, 8 p.m.
Friday, December 10
Symphony Band and Concert Band
H. Robert Reynolds, Gary Lewis, and Dennis Glocke, conductors
" Palmer: Elysian Spheres (Symphony for Band)-local premiere
" Works by Benson, Prokofiev, Arnold, Liadov, Adams, Schuman
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
School of Music Faculty Recital
Jean Kim. baroaue violin: Edward Parmentier, harpsichord
Tevin Campbell there is no doubt the slow jams will
soothe It's one for the CD nlaver
It's hard to say if Tevin Campbell
is actually ready yet, but at the very
least he is poised to be a premier heart
throb to the next generation. After a
first album of songs devoid of heavy
sexual references (was he really 14 in
'91?), Campbell's "i'm ready" is an
endeavor full of high powered slow
jams. (He's even got a mustache on
Last time Al B. Sure provided the
majority of the production, but all that
is lost with his exit is more than com-
pensated for by the talents of Babyface
(three tracks) and Prince (four tracks).
All in all, the slow jams got sexier
(but still sweeter), while the political
and musical power of Prince's "Uncle
Sam" and "Paris 1798430" add force
to Tevin's incredible voice. It seems
that Prince has begun to mold the
youngster in his image in these songs
- and although the implications for
Tevin personally are quite terrifying,
the musical results are great.
Three of the four Prince songs
were actually made in 1992, so it is
difficult to ascertain the future of their
hook-up. Regardless, the whole al-
bum is quality, with preference going
to the less polished Prince tracks, but
for all those in the lovey-dovey mood
.p yustn Hos.
- Dustin Howes
Newest in the line of cheesy metal
bands passing themselves off as "al-
ternative" is the foursome Greta (they
let everyone know they're "on the
edge" because one of the
bandmembers wears a dress). Despite
the semi-cool name and album cover,
this band and its pseudo-intellectual
metal posturings are predictably pre-
dictable. "School On Fire" explores
the fantasies of the bored high school
student: "the teachers can all retire /
'cause I set the whole school on fire."
The lyrics remain mired in adoles-
cent, angst-filled cliches; "I'm so
fucking hungry and horny and mad,"
from "Insomnia" pretty much sums
up Greta's philosophy. Some of the
lyrics are downright stupid and offen-
sive: "He's going to get that cunt /
She's going to pay for what his mother
done" from "Off the Slug" and "My
love is dead but I am unscathed / Her
body is stiff but I have been saved...
Bye-bye" from "Love is Dead" are
laughable in their inanity.
The trite lyrics and overall stale
quality of the band could be redeemed
if there was some substance to their
sound, but once again Greta bores the
listener to tears. Most of the songs are
turgid, plodding numbers that give
even the worst cheese-metal a bad
name. The melodies and arrangements
start off slow and go nowhere fast;
Greta is one in a long list of bands that
needs to learn that volume does not
equal talent. "No Biting" is an apt title
for an album this stale, repetitive and
stupid: it's painfully obvious that
Greta's musical ideas have no bite.
-- Heather Phares
It ain't going to wack you over the
head with sonic brilliance. Well, at
least it won't immediately. The tunes
come off as the type of one-hit won-
ders that grace the airwaves of 89X.
After a few plays, however, the catchy
hooks get imbedded in your brain and
that's the sign of an effective pop
Most of the songs are fun-filled
and funk-alternative based along the
lines of the Spin Doctors, but the
departures are equally enjoyable.
From the classic blues-rock of "In the
Grass," to the punk rock opener "Twi-
light Ball" and the Ride-esque "Op-
eration Herve," Hash delivers solidly
in all styles attempted. The most
memorable song is the one with the
best chorus - it's "I Forgot my Blan-
ket," and it'll leave you humming.
There's little that is brilliantly
original about Hash, but the songs are
catchy and diverse. The production is
kind of light for a major label release,
which is either a blessing or a draw-
back depending on your perspective.
- Gianluca Montalti
Ice Cream Headache
From the plains of Oklahoma comne
Radial Spangle, a quartet that com-0
bines the hollow, moody artiness of
early Sonic Youth with the loopiness
of Mercury Rev. Dave Fridmann, the
ex-bassist for Mercury Rev, engi-
neered this debut effort and is respoh-
sible for the cavernous sound of "Ice
Cream Headache," exemplified by
such songs as "Raze," "Gutter Chain"
and "White Paper Basket."
On "Canopy and Shoe," "Dream0
Problem" and "Birthday," the vocals
of Alan Laird and April Tippens take
the forefront, blending harmony and
dissonance into a unique vocal coun
terpoint to the sparse, jangly guitars
and buried dlrums that are Radial
Spangle's trademark. The sound on
"Ice Cream Headache," though not,
innovative and not nearly as bizarre
as the group would like to imagine, is
nonetheless entertaining and a goodO
example of early '90's punk-pop.
Radial Spangle makes astrong, though
not explosive, debut with this album,
which is not nearly so painful to listen
to as the title might suggest.
- Heather Phares
Sex Clark Five
Sex Clark Five is one of the best
bands you've never heard. Although
they have a small but intense cult
following, they have yet to break into
the mainstream or even the alterna-
tive mainstream. However, their lat-
est, "Antedium," may garner them a
few new fans. Their style, self de-
scribed as "strum and drum," bor
' See RECORDS, Page 13