Squealing kids flock to 'D2'
*By CHRIS LEPLEY
If you haven't been to see a PG rated film (let alone a
G rated one) in a while, go check out "D2: The Mighty
Ducks," the sequel to that other Mighty Ducks film
D2: The Mighty Ducks
Written by Steven Brill; directed by Sam Weisman; with
(obviously). The ticket line at Showcase was filled with
squealing youngsters the day I saw it, all decked out in
their Mighty Ducks paraphernalia. The audience was
eerily reminiscent of that scene in the first Gremlins
movie when the Gremlins are all inside the movie theater
before they get blown up by Zach Galligan and Phoebe
What can I tell you about the plot? Well, it's a film
abouthockey. It has lots of hockey in it. There's good guys
Snd bad guys and it's easy to tell them apart, and the good
guys always win (if you think I just ruined the movie for
you by telling you that, then stop reading this unless you
think you can sound out the big words).
Emilio Estevez (the so-called talented member of the
Sheen family) reprises his role as sleazy lawyer turned
hockey coach Gordon Bombay. As the film opens Gordon
is playing on a semi-pro hockey team and seems headed
for the NHL until an injury benches him for good. Tibbles
(Michael Tucker), an executive for Hendrix sporting
goods, picks Gordon to be the coach of Team USA at the
*unior Goodwill Games in Anaheim, California, and the
Ducks are back! Er, they're back. I didn't mean to get so
excited there. Sorry.
The nice thing about a movie like this is that the
villains are easy to spot. They're evil, usually without
redeeming qualities, they resort to cheap tactics like
exploiting their opponents' injuries (see the last scene of
"The Karate Kid" if you don't believe me) and they
always wear black.
The team from Iceland takes the part of the villains,
although the way they're characterized, it seems obvious
that if this film had been made a few years earlier, the
Russians would have been the enemy.
The teams the Ducks face in the Goodwill Games are
portrayed in typically insensitive Disney fashion. A coun-
try full of impressionable youngsters will see this film,
and come away from it thinking that it's appropriate for a
hockey team from Trinidad and Tobago to wear tie-dyed
hockey jerseys, have dread-locks, and have a steel kettle
band playing in their stands. Or that it's appropriate to
tauntplayers on the Italian team by saying, "you skate like
you ate too much spaghetti."
Also typically, product promotion is characterized as
an evil in this film, yet Disney spares no expense to
promote their new hockey team, the Anaheim Mighty
Ducks. When the film team receives their Team USA
jerseys, one kid asks, "Why can't we have our own colors,
the Duck's colors?" Gordon replies, "We'll always be
Ducks at heart, Charlie," even though a more appropriate
response would have been, "We're wearing red white and
blue because we're Americans, you snot-nosed little brat."
During the final game, it's only after Team USA dons new
jerseys (sporting the official logo of the Anaheim Mighty
Ducks) that they can beat Iceland and win the day.
This film is an uncomplicated little piece of escapism.
If you're the kind of person who can be uplifted by an
inspiring film, then this one might be a temporary upper.
It's pure fantasy, a dream of a world where every kid has
his / her role to play, and his / her contribution to make to
the team, but it can be seductive in its simplicity. And it
can sure as hell make you feel old.
D2: THE MIGHTY DUCKS is now playing at
Showcase and Briarwood.
The Samples have remained independent and say they'd like to keep things that way.
Independent and pruoud
TheSamples make a name without a maj or label
Hips and Makers
Kristin Hersh, leader of the icono-
clastic art-rock band Throwing Muses,
set out to make a solo acoustic album
that doesn't sound wimpy. The result,
"Hips and Makers" (which is also her
debut as a solo recording artist), more
than achieves this goal; in fact, it is
one of the best albums of this short
Away from the confines of her
band, on this album Hersh explores
quieter material than she does with
the more kinetic and eruptive Muses;
however, "quiet" does not by any
stretch of the imagination mean
"peaceful" or "calm." Indeed, with
the help of cellist Jane Scarpantoni,
she creates some of the most textured
ind exciting acoustic music recently
made. The frantic, visceral openings
of "Sundrops" and "Tuesday Night"
pit Hersh's guitar work against
Scarpantoni's cello to striking effect.
The two instrumentals "Sparky" and
"Lurch" also feature the two musi-
cians' technical prowess.
Since the focus is off of volume,
Hersh's striking lyrics have even more
'mpact. "Start with your eyes / when
Whey eye me in twilight / picking up
pieces of mine / Tie me up with the
twine in your eyelight / string me
from heaven to time" from "Beestung"
is just one example of the subtle,
enigmatic wordplay that makes each
of Hersh's songs a little like a poem
and a little like a puzzle. This could
seem too artsy for public consump-
tion, but Hersh pulls it off because of
&er keen sense of melody and her
keening, honest voice.
Her haunting melodies and
heartrending vocals are what "Hips
and Makers" is all about; along with
being one of the most beautiful al-
bums to be released this year, it is also
one of the most poignant. Much of
thatisduetoHersh's singing; theway
she sings "It's not too late" on
i Beestung" and "You can't leave me
now / I haven't left you yet" on the
excellent "Me and My Charms" re-
veal the quiet despair latent in rela-
tionships. But "Hips and Makers" is
not all tears and sighs; the fury of
"Teeth" and "A Loon" sears the lis-
teners' ears; one wonders how fright-
ening these songs would be if they
were recorded with traditional "rock"
instruments. The serenity of "Velvet
Days" and the title track plus the
romanticism of the single, "Your
Ghost," which features vocals by
R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe makes "Hips
and Makers" an album of many moods
and emotions, but of consistent inten-
sity and quality. Endlessly listenable.
- Heather Phares
From the eclecticism of Georgian
music comes Shrunken Head's "Of-
fering." The first task that must be
accomplished is to get past their ri-
diculous name, unless ofcourse you're
into psychology or sadomasochism
or something. After that, what's left is
a decent, if uneventful, band.
For the most part, their musical
elements are pretty typical. They've
got the low-toned grunge rhythm gui-
tar and, oh yes, the lead jangle guitar
a la R.E.M. (or Byrds or whatever).
Not that these are bad by themselves,
they're just presented
unenthusiastically. The bass rarely
presents itself very strongly, with the
exception of "Crawldaddy," where a
flaming slap-bass comes out of no-
where. The drums are actually quite
good, giving the music a much appre-
ciated fiery, driving feel. Not much
can be said about the vocals; they just
suck, but what else is new.
The lyrics are admirable, but pre-
dictable. They touch on the mundanity
of life ("Killing Time"), the frustra-
tion surrounding the mundanity of
life ("Broken Brain"), and, you
guessed it, metaphysics ("Whither?
Hither"). They also managed to write
a couple of the funniest love song's
I've ever heard. I know that as soon as
this album hits the big time, we'll all
be whispering sweet nothings like "I
love you / and I'll always be true/it's
only you/thatl love to screw" ("More
Comfortable") into the ears of our
loved ones. Somebody has to tell this
band that the trite love / sex theme
was hip a couple generations ago and
was done tongue in cheek, not phlegm
Overall, "Offering" leaves little to
complain about, but much to be de-
sired. I guess the best that can be said
is that Shrunken Head is an anytown
local band, but one you'd actually go
and see if it wasn't too cold out.
Grateful Dead Records
For those of us familiar with the
lyrical whimsicalities of Ken Nordine
"Upper Limbo" is an interesting col-
lection of live performances by the
king of radio nihilism. Ken Nordine
has mastered a self-made art form of
spoken word combined with modern
technology that is particularly unique.
Nordine prefers to call his mode of art
Word Jazz, because of the improvisa-
tionally driven manner in which he
conveys his brand of FM poetry.
"Upper Limbo" is topically con-
current with what his audience has
come to expect of him. Irony, coupled
with a Burroughs-esque inflection
creates an experience which can
heighten any altered state. Ken
Nordine is a buzz unto himself, and
can drive any distortion of reality to
new heights of personal reflection
"Upper Limbo," though is more
By TOM ERLEWINE
In a time when "independent mu-
sic" is synonymous with guitar
grunge, the Samples don't necessar-
ily fit into the scene. However, it
would be a mistake to not call them
independent, because that is exactly
what they are. After a discouraging
stint on a major label, the Samples
decided to ditch the traditional meth-
ods of recording and distribution and
start their own record label, W.A.R.
(What Are Records). Surprisingly, the
band hasn't starved or gone broke; in
fact, they're more popular than many
bands on major labels, frequently sell-
ing-out venues the size of the Michi-
Of course, the Samples were not
an overnight sensation. As drummer
Jeep MacNichol explained, "We went
on tour after playing for just a year.
We took a total chance. Most bands
wait until they get something going,
but we just left. I think that's why we
have crowds everywhere - we liter-
ally spent a few tours playing to 10
people in the place. It was exciting
just to get out and play music." Over
the years, their fan base has spread
across the country; there is no place in
the U.S. where the Samples don't
have a strong following.
Part of the Samples' success is
due to the fact that they constantly
tour. Last year, they were one of the
main attractions at the H.O.R.D.E.
festival and then they toured in sup-
port of their latest album, "The Last
Currently, the band is on the last
leg of their "Last Drag" tour and are
WEEKEND ETC. IS
LOOKING FOR A
TO THE ARTS
JOHN AT 763-0379.
preparing to release a new album this
summer which will differ from their
"It's more of a package sort of
album," said MacNichol. "Our first
one was very much of a package be-
cause all the tunes are kind of light-
hearted and similar in certain ways.
For your average person listening to
music, it was an album they could put
on and listen straight through and be
real happy, whereas 'The Last Drag'
'We went on tour after
playing for just a year.
We took a total
chance. Most bands
wait until they get
something going, but
we just left.'
drummer, The Samples
they'd have to flip. A few tunes didn't
always fit your mood; you had to
single them out."
Although MacNichol likes "The
Last Drag," he did admit that the
album wasn't perfect. "I liked all the
tunes," he said, "(but) so many acous-
tic ones weren't my (kind of) songs.
Like the last acoustic tune Sean did, I
didn't really relate to at all; (it's)
about Marilyn Monroe and I could
give a fuck about her. Some of them
were real personal, so they don't re-
ally mean anything to me. But most of
them, as a band, I like a lot."
MacNichol said there won't be as
many introspective numbers on their
next record. "That's what we're gonna
steer away from on the next album,"
he explained. "(We're going to) make
the album more of a band album. I
mean, some of the tunes on the next
album we made up in sound-checks
and made up live, just slipping into a
jam. We'd catch it on tape and we'd
go, 'Wow! That was cool! Let's make
it a tune.'"
Like many of the bands on the
H.O.R.D.E. tour, the Samples are
known for their long, live jams, a vibe
that is hard to duplicate in the studio.
"I think our live shows are where it's
at," admitted MacNichol. "Our al-
bums maybe depict a quarter of the
way we really are live. Live, we're a
little more edgier and very unpredict-
Still, MacNichol likes to record.
"You can really dissect everything
and make the song strong," he ex-
plained. "We'll go in with a strong
song but all this other shit will come
out in the studio that we didn't plan
on, that's sort of the little gems of an
album - the very unplanned stuff."
While waiting for the new album,
Samples fans can catch their tour,
which hits Ann Arbor tonight. And
after the album is released, fans can
rest assured that the Samples will be
back out on the road, doing what they
do best - making music.
THE SAMPLES are playing at the
Michigan Theater tonight; Kevin
Montgomery is opening. Tickets are
$15 for fans of all ages; doors open
at 7:30 p.m.
Black & White!
The Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives
is looking for energetic, reliable, and highly
motivated students for its:
Career Exploration Summer
M*id-June through August S, 1994
Program Description: Students hired will supervise
high school students from southeast Michigan who reside on
campus for one week visits, during which times these 10th
and 11th graders will attend workshops, presentations, mini-
lectures, field trips, etc. The emphasis is on the student
exploration of his or her career interest.
You should get a little experience
before you navigate these roads:
- i -® -M - m