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October 25, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-25

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Sandra Bernhard
*xcuses for Bad Behavior,
Part I
550/ Epic
Comedienne extraordinaire Sandra
Bernhard has released one strange al-
bum. "Excuses ..." has spoken word
pieces and covers of famous songs that
give the album the feel of a recorded
performance art piece. That means that
it has an artsy, offbeat feel to it, but in
*ces is too removed and obscure to be
truly engaging to listen to. Her mono-
logues are generally funny (especially
the title track, "The Letter," in which an
outraged fan lambastes Bernhard for
notbeingmilitantly lesbian, and "Phone
Sex," which is a mix of spoken word
and music that is arguably the best cut
on the album), but her songs result in a
hit or miss mix that works when
ernhard has the right material, as in
ecasesof"YouMakeMeFeel Mighty
Real," "50 Ways to Leave YourLover"
and "Lonely Town." At its best, "Ex-
cuses ... "is funny, accurate and clever.
At its worst, it is merely interesting. At
least Bernhard doesn't have to make
any excuses for it.
- Heather Phares
9alah Hathaway
a Moment
Virgin Records
Lalah Hathaway, a woman sleeker
than Iman and finer than Janet Jackson
on a good hair day, is on the musical
climb without "a Moment" to spare.
Her mature, alto voice, combined with
the kind of music you'd hear in clubs
tkes this album a pretty good buy for
your money.
From the upbeat to the relaxed,
Hathaway covers the entire gamut of
musical emotion. "A Moment" begins
with "Let Me Love You," the hit dance
single that'll have you nodding your
head and snapping your fingers with-
out realizing. The uplifting sounds of
"Rise" will definitely grab your atten-
tion, and it has a pretty catchy refrain.
*o You Suppose" is a beautiful, sad
slow song about a woman being cheated
on by the man she loves. The story is
same old, same old, but the song is still
You'll definitely like the CD, and
fellas if you don't, you'll definitely
love the CD cover.
- Eugene Bowen
Various Artists
CBGB's 20th Anniversary
New York's ground zero of cool
has turned 20, and for the occasion

plenty of bands that made their big
splashes there showed up to play. In a
flurry of audio tape sure to be the center
of many slavering fan boy attentions,
Gianthasculledsomemighty fine tracks
from the shindig for this compilation.
As the Jesus Lizard live album "Show"
came from these tapes, it is hardly an
arguable point.
The bands actually tend to sound
better live, as evidenced by the harder
version of "Private Idaho" by the B-
52's. And the live tracks are better than
lots of other comparable recordings:
Anthrax's "Got the Time" is far better
than anything on the "Live: The Island
Years" disc of a few months ago.
CBGB's alternativeness comes
through in very standard ways. There
are at least three bands with a surfy'50s
evil sound, and bands that are often
associated with the club such as Living
Colour and Helmet are include.
CBGB's knows what it's known for
and could hardly be expected to vary in
an anniversary show.
This recording has found the com-
pilation pitfall of including a bunch of
bands that any given listener probably
doesn't want to hear, however. No
matter. If you're a fan of any of the
bands on it, you will be forced to buy it
anyway. Make the best of it, cuz really,
it's not that bad.
- Ted Watts
Trippin Wit No Luggage
Ruthless Records
Out on the West Coast a brother is
ridin' the surf, but making his own
waves. Like most everyone from Los
Angeles, Steffon has caught thatGeorge
Clinton P-Funk bug, but instead of
sampling Clinton he creates his own
brand of funk with Rhythm D. The
result is good; commence to head-bob-
bin' because he fills out the digital
synths with a few real nice Twin
Hypesque bass lines and prominent
A lot of the album is just for rockin'
parties, but there are a few stand out
creative tracks like "Frost Bit" (about
an African-American kid in the sub-
urbs) and "Young and Trippin" (about
being young and trippin'). His flow is
not anything spectacular, but it is sur-
prising. He is an Eazy-E project and not
frontin' on the violent life. All in all,
not anything spectacular, but it's solid
and creative enough to have some lon-
-Dustin Howes
700 Miles
RCA Records
Four tracks into the second album

by 700Miles (yeah, I've neverheard of
the first album either) lead singer John
Carlin makes an impassioned plea for
us to understand the "naked wire."
Obviously apowerful metaphor, Carlin
almost made me believe that this "na-
ked wire" was an extremely traumatic
experience for him to even bring up; by
cleverly emoting the phrase differently
with every repetition, he is letting us
into that world of the "naked wire." Is
he the "naked wire"? Is it the
unachievable goal of our lives? Or are
we all the "naked wire"? When the
music finally fades, we are left with
many questions about this indecent
700 Miles aren't awful (lyrics
aside..."You wear the silver shirt" is
another winner), they're just dull. Pro-
gressive hard rock is a tough job, and
the band turns the lack of spontaneity
into an artform. It's very pretty at spots
and non-threatening, like a watered
down Jane's Addiction or a less inter-
esting I Mother Earth; mediocrity does
make nice background music, As with
all muzak, it's best not to sing along.
- Kirk Miller
DJ Culture
The Stress Compilation
Vol. I: Sasha and David
Vol. IL Steve Lona and
Kimball Collins
Moonshine Music
Theconceptitselfis intriguing: take
world famous DJs, give them records
from the internationally known Stress
label and allow them to spin and mix
back to back. These albums have many
layers of importance and enjoyment;
providing each listener with a unique
listening experience.
The music itself is phenomenal.
The Stress label practically wrote the
book on progressive club music; each
track is recognizable yet unique. Pro-
gressive club music is acombination of
disco and house music that is both
modern and retro. Heavy on soulful
vocal tracks, the songs are dynamic
and memorable.
And then there are the DJs. These
albums are important because they give
an overview of the DJ styles prevalent
in many of the world's different dance
districts. Vol. I is represented by Sasha
and Dave Seaman, both DJ celebrities
in their own right. Sasha is one of the
top UK DJs and Dave Seaman is the
former editor of Mix Mag and one of
the minds behind Brothers in Rhythm.
Vol. II features two American DJ
from the musical meccas of California
and Florida. Steve Loria, from the
former, shows his skills by creating a
musical tapestry of "funky tribal mu-
sic" which epitomizes much of the
sound of the West coast. Kimball
Collins, who metamorphosed
Orlando's dance music scene, creates a
more bass driven set that could only
have come from the state famous for
Miami Vice.
Moonshine records is ever com-
mitted to forwarding the recognition of
DJs across the planet and the Stress
Compilations allow listeners to become
aware of what is happening in dance
scenes all over the world. DJs from
Detroit need only pop in one of these
CDs to learn how the spinners from the
UK represent. And for the informal
listener, these discs are pure dance

music bliss. Progressive enough to be
funky, but not so underground as to be
incomprehensible, the Stress Compi-
lations are another aid in your quest to
free your musical mind.
- Ben Ewy
Nice & Smooth
Jewel of the Nile
Polygram Records
Coming back atcha wit those same
rhymes done on that smooth, relaxed
tip, Nice & Smooth look like one big
paradox. Looking at the CD cover, you
see these two guys tryin' to act all hard
and stuff, and the semi-gangsta beats of
many of the CD's 11 cuts support their
image. But when the rhymes flow -
and yes; they do flow-theseboyz still
sound like an interesting collage of
elements from Pharcyde and MC
Rrn n c

Brian Benben and Mary Stuart Masterson clearly cannot comprehend why they have made "Radioland Murders."
'Raioland' murders clitself

Do you want to see what Mom, Dad, and the grandpar-
ents did for entertainment before MTV, before Howdy
Doody, before there was acathode ray tube that could irritate
human retinas?
They had to listen to radios. Can you believe that? They

Directed by Mel Smith;
with Brian Benben
and Mary Stuart
struggle, it fails to entertain.

had to listen to
lousy voice acting
and terrible sound
effects. Worst of
all, they had to
imagine theaction
that we today see
on a screen.
W h i l e
"Radioland Mur-
ders" honors our
ancestors' audial

from the draft room to the studio. The police chief (Michael
Lerner) and his underlings chase Henderson throughout the
building. Unfortunately, all the commotion prevents a clear
narrative from developing. Lousy comedic writing does not
benefit the weak story.
A corporate sponsor suffocates on nitrous oxide, to die
laughing. Ha ha. Several other sponsors have to urinate but
they cannot because they are trapped in a lounge. Ha ha.
Lame jokes throughout make "Radioland" very boring.
After enough of them you start to squirm in your seat and beg
for the ending.
The insipid humor becomes somewhat tolerable by
recreating the spirit of the radio age. There is an abundance
of fabulous thirties attire, outlandish costumes, and great art
deco sets. The characters are dressed as coffee pots for
commercials. There are cigarette girls. There are references
to Peter Laurie, Betty Boop and Fred and Ginger. These
elements spark some life into an otherwise deadening pic-
ture and rightly glamorize and glorify a bygone age.
George Lucas wrote the story, but his "American Graf-
fiti" does a much better job of incorporating the spirit of
radio into movie. This lame duck does not bode well for
George, especially now that he is supposedly writing the
next Star Wars Trilogy. The results of "Radioland" could
depress him and make him drop the project thateveryone has
been anticipating for 11 years.
So show George your support. Invest six bucks in a bad
movie. Take your folks and grandfolks with you and learn
how they got their jollies a long time ago in a galaxy far, far
RA7hDOLANDMURDERS is playing at Showcase.

WBN is having its first national broadcast in 1939, only
nothing seems to be going right. The writers are not finishing
the scripts in time for the shows and someone is murdering
members of the production.
Roger Henderson (Brian Benben) has the difficult task
of serving as the studio's best writer even though the police
have implicated him in the murders. He also has to save his
marriage to Penny (Mary Stuart Masterson) who, as the
unofficial director, must keep the show running despite the
murder and mayhem.
The story moves at a frantic pace as actors race toward
mikes. The band changes costumes. A page races scripts

Don't Question Mark's greatness

Something mysterious happened
Saturday night. With characteristic
zaniness and charm, Fortune and Mal-

In fact, Question Mark and the Mysterians sound
100 times more coherent than that other '60s
band that's still chugging along, The Rolling

Question Mark
and the
Rick's Cafe
October 22, 1994
tese (with the Phabulous Pallbearers)
and Ten High played a great gig of
blistering rock originals and covers.
But there's no mystery in that. The
stunning enigma occurred when the
headliners of the evening came out
after two of the finest local acts any-
where and turned what they were do-
ing into an insignificant pile of ash.
Actually, Question Mark and the
Mysterians reduced every other con-
cert and band in the known universe to
To the uneducated, this statement
will be taken lightly. "I guess he digs
the band," you'll say. But no, what I
am proposing is not an opinion that
Mr. Mark and his mighty Mysterians
gave the greatest rock concert of all
time at Rick's Cafe on Friday - I
propose that it is nothing short of a
scientific fact.
And like most new scientific facts,
this one will get a few chuckles, some
ridicule and mostly ignorance, but un-
less you were present at the show, there
is no way that you can completely
rebuke this fact. And considering that
Rick's was not even half full for the
monumental scientific discovery, my
guess is that most of you can not argue.
Yep - Einstein, Edison and me.

mean the guys playing pool and drink-
ing Bud in the back). Those who really
came to see a show, not knowing what
to expect of the '60s garage band from
Michigan, know they witnessed a his-
torical event. Sure, the group had one
really big hit with "96 Tears" thanks to
the simplest, catchiest keyboard riff
ever written, but could a bunch of
middle-aged men who have played only
three times since their break-up in the
late'60s still rock hard? The Mysterians
and Question Mark (who paraded out
in skin-tight, bell-bottomed, powder-
blue hot pants that showed off more
than you would ever want to see) an-
swered with a tremendous "yes" by
being piercing, smooth and tight.
In fact, Question Mark and the
Mysterians sound 100 times more co-
herent than that other '60s band that's

still chugging along, The Rolling
Stones. And Question Mark's new
songs leave anything on "Voodoo
Lounge" trailing far behind. The band
played a few new ones, such as "I Love
Elvis Music," that quite often were
better than their old standards. In fact,
the only weak point was a rather tepid
version of the Stones' "Satisfaction."
Of course, Question (who I believe
had his name legally changed to Ques-
tion Mark) and the Mysterians ended
the evening with an explosive twenty-
five minute version of "96 Tears," in
which Question yelled out "One more
time!" about four or five times. And
then, when the song was nearly over,
Question disappeared as mysteriously
as he had entered - with unconquer-
able confidence, showmanship and piz-

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Would you like to talk about feelings concerning
your sexual orientation in a safe place?
Support groups are now forming for men and women.
*Closed Group, Sundays 6:30.8:00pm
*Open Group, Wednesdays 7:00.9:00pm




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