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December 10, 1993 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-10

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 10, 1993 -17

Julee Cruise
The Voice of Love
Warner Bros.
Who can forget the mix of fash-
ion, music, sex appeal and dementia
that was "Twin Peaks"? Unfortu-
nately, more people have forgetten
than David Lynch, Angelo
Badalamenti and singer Julee Cruise
are expecting. While their new al-
bum, "The Voice of Love," is not
"bad" by any stretch of the imagina-
tion, it is as stale as a three-year old
piece of cherry pie.
What made the series "Twin
Peaks" and the movie "Twin Peaks:
Fire Walk With Me" (and their re-
spective soundtracks) so noteworthy
was the completely novel feel and the
attention to detail that each produc-
tion had; "The Voice of Love" is a sad
mix of rehash and filler. Some of the
songs are actually boring, a dubious
achievement that the Lynch/
Badalamenti/ Cruise collaboration has
never accomplished before. The songs
are either ethereal, slightly gothic
confections, or overly slick imitation
jazz. "Movin' In On You," "Friends
For Life," "The Space For Love" and
"She Would Die For Love" are poor
derivations and imitations of ground
already covered in Cruise's first, im-
pressive album "Floating Into the
Night "
"Up In Flames," "Kool Kat Walk,"
"Questions In a World of Blue" and
"The Voice of Love" are successful
derivations and imitations of ground
already covered in the first album.
Either way, if one is adie-hard "Twin
Peaks" fan, "The Voice of Love" is a
nice way to fill out the collection; but
it's not necessary for the rest of the
world. All in all, this album is the
soundtrack to nothing.
- Heather Phares
Violet Wine
V Violet Wine
Moodswing Records
You've heard the hype, now hear
the truth. Violet Wine's self-titled
debut on Moodswing Records is an
excruciating excursion into college-
rock pap. Moodswing Records is an
apt name for their label because you
can go from hating this record to
hating it even more in one sitting.
Taking equally from Pink Floyd's
instrumental meanderings and
R.E.M's jangly acoustic core, Violet
Wine has created an extremely boring
collection of songs. This would be
bad enough, but once they toss in an
early'80's keyboard sound (you know
-Survivor, Europe, et al) on "Drink-
ing A Rose," they'd better not plan on
being taken very seriously.
Also, how do you drink a rose?
" The band is obviously attempting to
write poetic, metaphorical garbage or
some other form of artistic bullshit,
but Violet Wine goes way, way, way
too far. For example, on "Pause at
13," a listener is treated to this "gem"

of a lyric, "Things of orange moun-
tain ranges glistening in morning's
sky / Like fickle frames of chocolate
icing on some child's cake I know /
These surrounded fantasies inside my
yearning spirit's flow." Another dandy
line can be found in "Tie Up The Cat"
with "David had a girl with hair of
plaid / Like her personality that left
him sad." Bill Shakespeare they ain't.
No one's expecting excellence
from a local band's debut album. But
Violet Wine has tried too hard to
come out with a record that shows off
their complex musical structure, in-
strumental layering (which they have
in abundance) and poetic license
(which they can't seem to find). What
they end up producing is spineless,
art-school music that goes nowhere.
Good music to sleep to.
-Matt Carlson
Beverly Johnston
Alternate Currents
Centrediscs
Considered one of Canada's pre-
miere percussionists, Beverley
Johnston proves her reputation and
demonstrates her versatility in the
modern compositions on "Alternate
Currents."
Beginning with a subdued and
surreptitious mix of vibraphone, gongs
and chimes, the title composition
builds a slow pulse. Currents alter-
nate from non-tempo moods to a
speedy 12-tone fling at the mid-point.
"When They Do" is the most di-
vergent and fresh piece on the record-
ing.Inspired by the writing of Gertrude
Stein, the composition's title is drawn
from Stein's "A Book Concluding
With As A Wife Has A Cow," and the
piece's structure is extrapolated from
Stein's syntactical reorganization and
cubist literary renderings.

As you might expect, the music in
"When They Do" is fragmented but
maintains its continuity through re-
stated and slightly rephrased percus-
sive verses. Just as the piece begins to
sound like a skipping recording,
Johnston moves on to create trills,
sharp buzzes, and other abrupt sounds
over the smoothness of a Louis
Armstrong record played in the back-
ground.
Freedman's composition "Bones"
ripples with quick marimba runs
through high pitches and calls for
every imaginable marimba technique
Johnston's hands can'provide.
Even though Johnston is undeni-
ably a forceful percussionist, the CD's
production dampens her instruments'
natural sounds, rendering them al-
most synthetic. Even the woody reso-
nance of the marimba cannot fully
overcome the soggy production.
Paired with Johnston's subtly sexual
pose accompanying the liner notes, I
have to wonder who Centrediscs is
trying to target: lonely classicophiles
who like smoothly digestible new
music? Sounds perfect for adventur-
ous geriatrics.
- Chris Wyrod
Strip Mind
What's in your Mouth
Sire/Reprise
It's been said that there are two
types of metal bands: those that ripped
off Metallica and those that ripped off
Slayer. The secret to success in this
endeavour is to steal some elements
and make up for the rest with a bit of
originality. Strip Mind takes from
Metallica as well as Biohazard (who
bit off the whole hardcore scene), but
fails to add any of their own elements
to the mix.
Why major labels invest money in
garbage like Strip Mind is a true mys-

tery. Rock anthems like "Pentapussy,"
"I Wanna Fuck Your Girlfriend" and
"Jingle My Bells" reveal the idiotic
mentality present here. The macho
metal music flows evenly with a few
interesting hooks to awaken the lis-
tener. One of the few highlights is the
opener "Bastard," which sounds a lot
like Biohazard, but it seems to be
where the band feels the most com-
fortable.
- Gianluca Montalti
The Carter Family
Volumes 1 & 2
Rounder Records
Don't these people ever sleep?
Having recently finished their multi-
volume Jimmy Rodgers retrospective,
the folks at Rounder are embarking
on a nine-volume library of the Carter
Family's complete Victorrecordings.
The first volume, "Anchored in
Love," captures A. P., Sara and
Maybelle Carter at the birth of their
recording career in 1927. They had
spent most of their lives scraping to-
gether a living in Poor Valley,
squeezed in Virginia's unforgiving
mountains. But, by entering the stu-
dio, they stepped into history. Many
of the songs in volume one and two
set a standard in country music for
generations.
A.P.'s time-worn voice grounds

Sara's resonant vocal clarity in their
rural roots. The strong string momen-
tum of Sara's auto harp and
Maybelle's sparse but precise runs
propel the vocals.
"Anchored in Love" opens with"
the first recorded version of their sig-
nature song "Keep on the Sunny Side."
This early rendition is unaffected,
unaware of the fame it would bring
them. Along with the expected lam-
entations and tragic ballads, volume
one has down-home renditions of 19th
century gospel tunes, such as "River
of Jordan" and "Little Cabin by the
Sea."

"Chewing Gum," a silly and sweet
anecdote, is an unexpected gem from
these first sessions.
By the time the songs in volume
two were recorded (1929), the Carter
Family had become some of the most
prominent musicians and profitable
commodities around.
Yet, the Carter Family continued.
to dip into their country culture, sing-
ing early folk ballads from their Vir-
ginian youth. They sing "I'm Think-
ing Tonight of My Blue Eyes" with a
See RECORDS, Page 19

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