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March 09, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Is

More to Melon than bees

By KRISTEN KNUDSEN
Enough about that damn Bee Girl. The members of
Blind Melon-singer Shannon Hoon, bassist Brad Smith,
drummer Glen Graham and guitarists Christopher Thorn
and Rogers Stevens-are people too! And Blind Melon's
music, a bluesy, groovy grunge, is not based on an image.
Any sort of image is, in fact, exactly what Blind Melon
rebels against.
"You've got people like Whitney Houston that sing
someone else's songs and she won (several) Grammys
and American Music Awards," Smith said with disgust.
"Unfortunately, the masses think that she's the greatest
thing on earth when the fact is that most other musicians,
that call themselves musicians, are a lot more of an artist
in the purest sense."
But for every Whitney Houston, there's a Blind Melon,
proving that the out-of-the-ordinary can make it big too.
With "No Rain," a catchy tune about plain living, Blind
Melon made a star out of a Bee Girl, and gave new
meaning to the term Buzz Clip.
"It's like what the hell? What the hell are people
thinking, man? It just cracks me up," Smith said of the
girl's unexpected popularity. He added that the original
cover of a recent "Rolling Stone" interview featured the
band "chopping up" the little honey. As this was too
graphic, the magazine chose what they deemed the less
scary of their photos: the band naked.
"We felt like clothes gave us image so wejust took'em
off," Smith joked. The Bee Girl was instead killed, or at
least turned into a grandmother, in the group's follow-up
video, "Tones of Home."
Of "No Rain," Smith just laughed, "It is a cute and
overwhelming video and it just touched the hearts of
millions."
Kidding aside, millions is right. Blind Melon's self-
titled debut has sold more than two million copies and the

band has shared the stage with the likes of Neil Young and
Lenny Kravitz. But success has not been overnight for
Blind Melon. Their album, which was released in
September 1992, failed to attract much attention until "No
Rain" took off a year later.
"Being rich and famous is definitely an overstatement
right now for Blind Melon because we're still out there
struggling," Smith acknowledged. "We have a lot of debt
to pay off because it took us so long to even get people to
pay attention to us. We've got a long way to go.Ijust don't
want to be the Ugly Kid Joe of 1993."
Long-haired guys, amusing videos ... but Blind
Melon's got the music to back up their hopes for longevity.
"I think the younger generation is much more in tune
not with image and looks, but with good music and people
who have something to say," Smith said of the glam /hard
rock era. "The mainstream was so weak for so long, that
something had to take over and there's no better candidate
than alternative because it's very diverse."
Blind Melon's version, which Smith compares in
mood to the Steve Miller Band, is hard to categorize. One
critic Smith recalled described their sound as similar to
Jefferson Airplane's. "I'm like hello!" Smith exclaimed.
"I have no idea where they pulled that from."
Not surprisingly, then, Smith and the band dismiss
critics. They also resist the temptation to act like the big
rock stars some would argue they are.
"I thought that success would be sippin' martinis in
Tahiti," Smith said, "but unfortunately I'm back on the
road still doing the exact same thing that got me there
anyway."
Well, not exactly. At least the Bee Girl's dead.
BLIND wil apear wth A iceD'uandThe
Meat Puppets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the State Theater
in Detroit. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15;
call 645-6666 for more information.

Ed Harris stars in the completely unoriginal "China Moon." Real good to see his career blossoming as of late.

'Moon'9s
BY MICHAEL BARNES
Film Noir has become recycled
fodder for Hollywood. In the 1940's
and '50s, this genre of "dark cinema"
hit its peak. A hard-boiled detective,
China Moon
Written by Roy Carlson; directed by
John Baily; with Ed Harris and
Madeleine Stowe.
say Humphrey Bogart, chases after a
murderously wealthy femme fatale
through a morass of dark alleys and
drawn venetian blinds. It seems
nowadays certain writers and directors
latch on to noir for its slick images of
intrigue and mystery just as the
neighborhood skaterat has the
mandatory pink comb in his or her
backpocket for that necessary facade
of cool. In any respect, the look ain't
original and "China Moon" starring
Ed Harris and Madeleine Stowe is
testimony to this.
The plot reads like a seedy
Raymond Chandler novel. Ed Harris
plays Kyle Bodine, a loser detective
with no prospects who is sent to
investigate a grisly murder in a south
Florida ghetto apartment. The intrigue

glow not ongia
builds as a similar murder turns up in the budding romance and intrigue toa
the mansion of a wealthy banker, sweltering tropical climate. Many
Rupert Munro. In a typical noir scenes are shot at night to capture the
fashion, no one comes clean: Munro moody, dark noir look. The black of
beats his beautiful, seductress wife, night is as necessary to these films as
played by Stowe, who incidentally is a cactus or a dusty rawhide boot is to
set to inherit $12 mil lion. Bodine then a western.Cold somber blues saturate
begins apassionate affair with Stowe's backgrounds to further create a steely,
character. A bed dries not do this duo anesthetical atmosphere. Blood
justice - they must consume one splashes across cool bathroom tiles
another in the exotic locales of and the blank walls of a car wash to
southern Florida. Notable amongst intensify the aura of modern
these flings is a skinny dipping session bleakness. Visually the film is striking.
in a moonlit bay. The bodies keep Mystery seems fit to unravel in the
falling and the film builds up to its tropics but, instead, we get the
predictable climax-is Bodine going predictable events of typical noir fare.
to get iced by the shady seductress? Baily's trite symbolism makes the
Harris is steady as Detective film even more silly. The title of the
Bodine. He shows more heat in his film becomes a recurring motif
interaction with his partner played because, as Detective Bodine
notably by Benicio Del Toro then in explains, "My grandmother used to
his passionate trysts with the steamy say that when the moon is like a big
Stowe who executes the dangerous old plate of china, strange things
bitch persona quite well. Both happen." Baily ends the film with a
characters suffer though from the shot of that bewitching symbol of
shallow molds ofnoircharacterization night and the effect is more humorous
- the Detective is the typical swell then mysterious. "China Moon" is
guy in over his head with the necessary interesting and definitely worth
stylish but predatory babe. watching, butif you want sex, intrigue
John Bai ly, a noted and glamour in the tropics, old reruns
cinematographerof such films as "The of "Miami Vice" do it better.
Big Chill" and "In the Line of Fire" C1INAaMOONis paying at
directs the film. He works to translate Briarwood and Showcase.

Various Artists
Planet Rap (a Sample of the
World)
Tommy Boy Records
"Planet Rap" is a collection of rap
songs that are currently popular in
other countries, such as France,
Ireland and the United Kingdom. This
CD shows that rap, as an art form, has
tnade an impact, not just in the United
tates, but throughout the world.
However, this CD is, for the most
part, nothing to shout about.
From the rap cuts, it goes without
saying that some countries' rappers
got it goin' on. "Daddy," performed
by Adl (Sweden), who has a voice and
rap style very similar to Tupac's, is a
prime example of rap that could
probably hit it big in the U.S.
Sootfunk's (Denmark) "Huffin' &
Puffin'," rapping to that Black Sheep
tip, also shows that some foreign rap
groups know what's up. Groups like
MVP (Canada), Mama's Funkstikools
(Australia) and Prophets of the City
(South Africa) are also among the
groups which perform as if to say,
"Hey, I'm down, too!"
Unfortunately, this CD also
howed beyond a doubt that there is

still much wack in rap. Some of the
groups sounded so fake and forced it
made me wish for the artistic genius
of Vanilla Ice. The music of the MD
MCs (Brazil), "Salvador Astral," is
proof that steel drums don't belong in
rap music. Whoeverdidthescratching
and mixing on "Legge del Taglione
(An eye for an eye)," performed by
Articolo 31, needs to be taken out and
shot. The group Microphone Pager
(Japan) tries to take popular rap to
another level with the song "Begin
the Revolution." "Tries" is the
operative word here; "fails" is the
result.
Just as every cloud has its silver
lining, this CD does contain some
fresh cuts which somewhat make up
for the BS tracks that have to be put up
with. It's nice to see that rap has come
so far, but as some of these songs
show, rap still has a ways to go in
some countries. If you're the type
who buys an entire CD for one or two
songs, you should have no qualms
with buying this CD. For the rest of
you, I'd just wait for someone else to
buy the CD and then just copy the six
or seven good cuts. If you do decide to
buy the CD, a word of advise: prepare
to do a lot of fast forwarding and

rewinding.

- Eugene Bowen

Blur
Modern Life is Rubbish
Food / EMI
Blur are under the influences.
Under the influences of The Kinks,
The Jam, The Beatles, early David
Bowie and any number of other Great
British Eccentrics in Popular Music.
Blur are also under the impression
that they are carrying on this tradition.
But as it is so painfully obvious to
hear, they don't have two original
musical ideas to rub together; a cool
record collection does not a good band
make.
Nor does a cool record collection
a good album make. Every stylistic
turn that they have "borrowed" from
their elders, from singer Damon's
supremely annoying faux-Bowie
accent to their genuine-imitation
Kinks-like jangleremindsthelistener
of those older, better groups and makes
one wish they were listening to them
instead of this blur of Brit-rock
See RECORDS, Page 8

San Francisco based major bracket investment
bank seeking native speaker of Mandarin and/or
Cantonese for Analyst position.
College degree required.

The Fifth Annual
Pre-Med
Students'
Symposium
Teing a Part of the Changing Medical Profession'
Featuring Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Susan Hershberg Adleman
Saturday, March 12, 1994
*1W liiiIII 143- U1IAmi-- - - A I ' I I

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