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September 10, 1993 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-10

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The Michigan Daily -Friday, September 10, 1993 -19

Continued from page 16
can not merely have "access" to a
Nintendo, you actually have to own
one. This is why children nag their
parents tobuy them their own Nintendo,
Which Sheff himself describes. While
b5ids do talk to one another about
Nintendo, they only do so with other
Nintendoowners. These friendships are
often based solely on Nintendo owner-
ship. The Nintendo "cult" encourages
children to pick their friends based on
what they own, not who they are. This is
hardly something we should applaud,
as Sheff does.
Sheff. is equally uncritical of
Nintendo's alleged racism. In 1990,
employees of Nintendo of America,
Nintendo's U.S. operation, charged
NOA with racial discrimination. NOA
officials denied these charges saying
that the company "employed 110 ethnic
minorities, a number representing 14.3
percent of the permanent work force.
(The percentage included all minori-
ties, including Japanese)" [emphasis
Sheff is content to accept NOA's
denials. He does not cite what positions
these employees held or how many of
them were Japanese, even though he
could have learned these things when
he interviewed NOA's top managers or
when he visited NOA's Seattle head-
quarters. Sheff simply does not push
Nintendo hard enough.
Sheff's uncritical stance makes
"GO" a dull read. Unless you really like
Nintendo or big business, "GO" may
not hold your interest until the end.
- Oliver Giancola
Contihued from page 17
"So being your woman is the same as
being your maid?/Well you better re-
think that, honey child."
Whetherthey'reeasing through clas-
sics or trying out their new material, the
members of Back Porch Blues create a
relaxed ambience uncommon on "new"
blues records. All that's missing is the
creak of the chairs on the porch, and
while studio polish is detectable, it's not
by any means overwhelming. If this is
back to basics, more power to them.
-Dirk Schulze
Get Highthe Price
Spirit/Psycho Specific Records
Swell is an airy alternative group
with little talent, assuming the songs on
this 45 are indicative of the bands over-
all work. The a-side, "Get High," is the
more listenable track because of its
happy pop feel. It also features strained
vocals, insipid drug-culture lyrics, and
uninspiringly monotonous music. The
music consists mainly of a repetitive
bass line, a repetitive drum part, and a
pair of erratically included yet still re-
petitive guitar riffs. And still it is much
easier to listen to than "The Price." This
is unfortunate because it is theoretically
abetter song than the a-side-the lyrics
are more intelligent, it is more musi-
cally intricate, and the vocals are far less
strained. Somehow its problems con-
geal to form a worse song than "Get
High," particularly the cheesy acoustic
riff and the abrupt end of the song.
Ignore Swell.
- Ted Watts

Einstein's Dreams
Alan Lightmany
Pantheon Books
Imagine a world in which time flows
backward. How would your percep-
tionsbedifferent? AlanLightman'snew
book "Einstein's Dreams" is an inter-
esting interpretation of how different
properties of time would change our
lives. Alan Lightman is professor of
Physics and Writing at the Massachu-
setts Institute of Technology. He has
several books under his belt, but
"Einstein's Dreams" is his first work of
"Einstein'sDreams" begins with the
famous physicist getting ready to sub-
mit his theory of time to the German
Journal of Physics. He has become ob-
sessed by the properties of time. His
feverish work has left him physically
and mentally exhausted. He has been
plaguedby frequentdreams. "Einstein's
Dreams" isachronologyof these dreams
stretching from April 14th to June 28th,
1905. Each chapter describes a separate
possible characteristic of time.
Forexample, the firstdream on April
14th illustrates how life would be af-
fected by a world in which time was
circular. In this world every event has
happened an infinite number of times in
the past and the future is an exact repeat
of the past. Every success, triumph, and
pleasure a person experiences will hap-
pen again. Lightman writes, "In the
world in which time is a circle, every
handshake, every kiss, every birth, ev-
ery word, will be repeated precisely."
"Each dream is a description of a
possible world based on different prop-
erties of time. The possibilities include:
time as a sense, time with three dimen-

sions or time as a visible dimension.
Ligltman writes about how the differ-
-ent possibilities affect people, society
and nature. As these are Albert'sdreams,
each example centers around turn of the
century Germany.
"Einstein's Dreams" is noteworthy
for its superb European feel. Lightman' s
writing is crisp, clean and exciting.
Moreover, Lightman is able to give
difficult concepts flesh and blood. He
illustrates how different characteristics
of time alter the relationship between
mother and son, lovers, enemies or
classes. He describes worlds in which
work, society, religion, families and
politics are different and unfamiliar.
There are few criticisms of
"Einstein's Dreams." Because it is di-
vided into separate and unrelated chap-
ters, it lacks the easy flow of conven-
tional fiction. However, these divisions
make it excellent for short reading
stretches when you are on the bus or
between classes.
In addition, "Einstein's Dreams"
doesnotinclude enough about Einstein.
He was a fascinating man, and the book
would be better if it had more details
abouthis early life. Moreover, thereader
never discovers which of the dreams
constitute Einstein's theory. Which
dreams apply to this world?
"Einstein's Dreams" is an outstand-
ing and original novel. Lightman is able
to capture the essence of drastically
differing realities and relate them to our
world. His descriptive technique is ex-
cellent and his writing is superb.
to contemplate how time significantly
structures and influences our world.
Not bad for a novel.
- Scott Plamondon

Used CD's controversy heats up as
record companies ban together

Used compact discs have inundated
the market and that is just the way
retailers and customers like it. But ma-
jor record companies would like to end
this new trend in music buying.
In an effort to curtail the sale of used
CDs, record companies are refusing
advertising to retailers who continue to
deal in resale. And the retail community
is angry.
Fron the consumer's point of view,
many don'tknow what the record com-
panies are doing.
"What I think is unfortunate is that
most consumers aren't aware of it (the
controversy)," said Thom Goodwin of
West Bloomfield. "If they (record com-
panies) keep used CDs out of stores it's
a way of controlling prices." Goodwin
buys two or three CDs aweek, both new
and used.
"Whatbothers me most is thatrecord
companies think they can do this and
bypass the customer in the equation,"
he said.
Retailers concur.
'We feel what they are trying to do
is wrong," said Roman Kotrys, owner
of the three store chain Repeat the Beat
and co-founder of the Independent
Music Retailers' Association (IMRA).
Four of the six major record compa-
nies have joined in the fight, which,
according to Kotrys, began when the
Wherehouse Record chain based in
California began selling used CDs.
WEA, CEMA, Uni and Sony Music
take exception.
It doesn'tcome as asurprise that the
companies want used CD sales stopped
because they don't make money off the
sale and neither do the artists.
Don't forget to
come to the
Michigan Daily
Mass Meeting
on either
September 16th
at 7:30 p.m. or
September 20th
at 8:00 p.m. at
420 Maynard

But Kotrys says that the company
and artist have already been paid from
the first sale so there is no problem with
reselling it.
The record companies claim that the
sale of used CDs diminishes the quality
of the product they are trying to market.
"They're saying that we are dimin-
ishing the value of the product," said
Kotrys. "But what about compact disc
clubs where you can get eight CDs for
a penny?"
Companies also claim that used CDs
hinder artists just breaking in. But re-
tailers maintain that it really helps the
new artists because people feel freer to
experiment when they don't have to
spend as much money.
"Record companies use stores like
ours to break new artists," said Kotrys,
"and by not using us, they'll be shoot-
ing themselves and the artists in the
Some believe that the record com-
panies are the cause of the popularity of
used CDs - by keeping the cost of the
discs so high, they are actually forcing
consumers to find an alternate route.
'They brought it on themselves,"
said Steve Minter, owner of the Disc
Connection in Troy. "Consumer prefer-
ence is there for used. People are tired of
paying $14-15 for CDs."
'With CDs, more and more people
are turning to used because they don't
scratch upaseasily,"saidLornaKuschel,
manager of Solo Records, CDs and
Tapes in Bloomfield Hills, "and they

get more sounds for their money."
But not everyone is putting up a
fight.CDWarehousein WestBloomfield.
is discontinuing its used CD service in
an attempt to comply with the record,
"The only way to pass along savings
to the customers is to continue to buy
from the manufacturers," said Larry
Grodsky, manager of CD Warehouse.
"The only thing we can do to maintain
the best relationship (with themanufac-
Curers) is to do what they ask."
But the majority of used CD dealers
do not intend to stop selling. However,
not all are optimistic that they will be
successful in their fight.
"Anytime you get that much powei'
unified," said Minter, "they're going to
be tough to beat. The-could care less
about the mom-and-pop corner record
"Somewhere down the line, they
may extinguish the little business."
Beginning through
Doctorate from U of M.
20 Years Experience.
Near Central Campus.
For More Info.

Vince Neil
Warner Brothers
Vince Neil, former screamer of
Motley Crue, has managed to put to-
gether a solid hard rock album for his
first solo release. If you loved Motley
Crue's "Girls, Girls, Girls" or "Dr.
Feelgood" albums, you'll more than
likely love Neil's "Exposed."
As far as the music goes, this is
better than any Motley Crue album. Of
course there are a couple of ballads that
are sure to be hits, but most of the songs
don't seem to be custom made for the
pop charts. A lot of these songs have
The playing style of lead guitarist
Steve Stevens (Billy Idol's former gui-
tarist/songwriting partner) alone adds a
good flavor to each song. Stevens is still
the king of guitar effects. The best part
about Stevens is that he canjust as easily
play razor blade, head banging metal
guitar as he can play classical or jazz
guitar (all three styles appear on this
album). I can only hope that other hard
rock guitarists follow his example of
diversity in the future. Vince Neil's dis-
tinctive voice is as good as ever.
With songwriting partners such as
Jack Blades (ex-bassist for Night
Ranger, now inDanneYankees), Tommy
Shaw (ex-guitarist for Styx, also in
Damn Yankees), Phil Soussan (Ozzy
Osbourne's bassist around the "Ulti-
mate Sin" days), and Steve Stevens,
Vince's lyrics aren't too bad on "Ex-
posed." Most of the songs focus on sex
and women, but that is probably for the
best. Nobody would seriously swallow
any sort of Michael Jackson "Heal the
World" from this blondie. It would be

nice to see what Neil could write on his
own without the experience of Nikki
Sixx and Mick Mars (Motley Cre's
songwriting team, more or less) or the
previously mentioned co-songwriters
on "Exposed" to serve asacrutch. Don't
hold your breath.
-Jim Whitaker
Craig Chaquico
Acoustic Highway
High Octave Music
Craig Chaquico (cha-key-so), the
lead guitarist for Jefferson Airplane
makes his solo instrumental debut with
"Acoustic Highway."
No, this isn't another Joe Satriani or
Steve Vai album full of cold, showboat
guitar wizardry. This album is a treat for
the ears of those who love to listen to an
acoustic guitar being played with a lot
of emotion. Yes, there are some effects
used on his guitar here and there by
Chaquico, but he uses them scarcely.
If you've been listening to Tanger-
ine Dream or other new age artists who
tend to use synthesizers and drum ma-
chines, give this album a shot. This
album is alive and breathing throughout
its delightful acoustic journey. It is ex-
cellent study or "vegetating" music.
- Jim Whitaker

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