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November 08, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-08

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RTS

Kappa show's epitome of style

BY EUGENE BOWEN
An aura of elegance surrounded
"A Night at the Set VII--the Epitome
of Style." The seventh annual talent

Union Ballroom
November 4, 1994
show sponsored by the historically
Black Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,
Inc, was held last Friday in the Michi-
gan Union Ballroom.
According to Blair Adams,
Polemarch of the Kappa chapter at
the University, "it is one of the only
outlets for showcasing African Ameri-

can talent on the University campus.
Without it, a lot of talent here would
proba bly go unnoticed."
Talents of all kinds were sported
before a crowd of 400 Black Univer-
sity students, alumni and friends. Both
planned and surprise appearances
were commonplace.
Last year's talent show winner,
Karisa Harris, set the evening off on
the right foot with her stunning per-
formance of Nat King Cole's "In-
separable." Harris didn't sing com-
petitively this year because fraternity
rules bar competitors from winning
two years in a row.
"I guess they wouldn't let me com-
pete because they knew I'd win again,"
she said jokingly.
Other showcasers included Patrice
Petway, who sang "I Just Wanna
Know," an original piece, helped keep

the evening going smooth. Also no-
table was the five-female vocal group
Infinity. These ladies' performance
of En Vogue's "Part of Me," im-
pressed all with its simplistic beauty.
The award for most creative, how-
ever, goes to three women: Mpatanishi
Tayari, Tamarah Moss and Francine
Cartright. Their dramatic interpreta-
tion of the struggle of African Ameri-
cans using Black music and dance,
both past and present, was something
not soon to be forgotten.
The talent competition was fierce.
Mitchell "Creeper" Patterson and Nate
the Great, a rap duo better known as
Herban Black Poets, were first. They
ripped up the stage kickin' rhymes
nonstop. But the act didn't stop there.
Out of nowhere, rappers Omar
See KAPPA, Page 8

Infinity sing at the Kappa show on Friday night. KRISTEN SCHAEFER/Daily
Get in on the secret of Pale Saints' sweet stuff

S*M*A*S*Hing punkers hit the US

By ANDY DOLAN
Unlike a lot of bands that were
once tagged with the "shoegazer" la-
bel, the Pale Saints are still around
and still creating intricate pop tunes
laced with just the right amount of
beauty and bitterness, Their lineup
has undergone quite a few shake-ups
since they began in 1990, but their
apnd has still managed to steadily
rogress and expand up through their
third LP, "Slow Buildings."
It seems strange at first, then, that
Pale Saints have never quite had their
moment in the limelight. Despite al-
most unanimous critical acclaim and
two dazzling albums - 'The Com-
forts of Madness" and "In Ribbons"
- they've never even had the expo-
Lur eof an"alternative" hit singlelike
fide's "Leave Them All Behind" or
Chapterhouse's "Pearl" to grab the
attention of a few extra listeners. In-
stead, the Pale Saints have been more
or less left to their own devices,
namely, a knack for writing
addictively bittersweet songs that
never seem to lose their raw emo-
tional power.
"Slow Buildings" is the farst Pale
"jaints album following the departure
~ffounding member Ian Masters. As
bassist Colleen Browne recalled, "Ev-
eryone was very relieved (when Ian
left). It was best for him and for the
band because things were getting a bit
tense, but I think everyone was a bit
worried because you never know
what's gong to happen in that situa-
tion."
Browne also explained that Ian's
.&parture allowed the other band
members more freedom to explore
their own creative directions. "Their
first album was equal input, but on In
Ribbons' Ian took over a bit more,
which everyone wasn't really that
happy with, and I think 'Slow Build-
ings' is more back to the whole band
having input into it, so its much more
of a group effort."
?"'Slow Buildings' is almost like a
mrt album, really," she continued. "It
has more of a rawer sound, which was
something we wanted. It just has more
natural sounding instruments. The
sound is how we were sounding live,
so we tried to capture something rep-
resentative of that."
Despite this new direction, songs
like "King Fade," "Always I," and
, uggestion" still contain plenty of
~ePal e Saints' trademark guitar
rushes, but, as usual, the songs never
lose their sharp edges in meaningless
atmospherics. However, as Browne
explained, the band had once dis-
cussed revamping of their sound en-
tirely
"Hugh Jones produced In Rib-
bons' and he was the first choice for
this album, but then we thought maybe
*was time to reinvent the band and
we were afraid that it would sound
similar to In Ribbons' if he used him,
which was a bit stupid, really! So we
did some songs with Mark Freegard,
which didn't work out very well, and
we just came around to Hugh again."
"What we needed was someone to
come around and listen to (what we
had) with a fresh perspective," she
~ntinued. "We actually thought of
wrking with Steve Albini at one
point! We wanted so much to get that
raw sound but we mentioned it to
(4AD boss) Nvo and he said I don't
think so.' I don't think that was quite
the sound we were looking for."

Pale Saints have just begun their
first headlining tour of the U.S., after
doing some tours supporting Ride and
'("Slow Buildings") has
more of a rawer sound,
which was something
we wanted. It just has
more natural sounding
instruments. The sound
is how we were
sounding live, so we
tried to capture
something
representative of that.'
- Colleen Browne,
bassist, Pale Saints
Ian McColluch. As expected, much
of their set focuses on the newer ma-
terial. "We're trying to do a few old
songs," Browne explained, "but it's

difficult because Meriel (Barham, the
band's vocalist) doesn't want to do
any of Ian's old songs. I'm doing one
of his and we're working out one
from 'In Ribbons,' but it sounds a bit
different."
"Slow Buildings" probably won't
be the album that catapults the Pale
Saints into "alternative" stardom, de-
spite a killer single, entitled "Angel."
But as anyone that's experienced their
craft knows, that's never really been
the point of their music.
What's always been more impor-
tant is their amazing talent for blend-
ing so many elements of aggressive
guitar rock and sweet, intricately struc-
tured pop music together into their
own unique sound. The strange thing
is, it seems like more people would
want to get in on a secret like that.
PALE SAINTS will be playing
Wednesday at St. Andrew's Hall
with Lisa Germano and Asha Vida.
Get there early - you'll hate
yourself if you miss any of this
show. Doors open at 8 p.m., Tickets
are only $6.50 in advance, 18 and
over only. Call (313) 961-MELT.

By HEATHER PHARES
The newest British band hoping for
fame and fortune is S*M*A*S*H. The
North London trio are eager to play for
American ears; every gig they've
played over here has gone well - all
four of them. Ed S*M*A*S*H, the
band's charismatic singer / guitarist,
explained: "We did the New Music
Seminar in July. And we've donePhila-
delphia, Washington and New York.
"The venues are 100, 200 capacity,
so it's all pretty low key."
Ed's glad to play in the smaller

clubs. "It'ssomething we've been want-
ing to do. In Britain, we've been play-
ing larger places with roadies and ev-
erything, so we'repleased to play small
clubs and meet some funky Ameri-
cans," he explained in his thick Cock-
ney accent.
Meeting those "funky Americans"
has been a welcome experience for
S*M*A*S*H. "They've all been re-
ally generous andnice,"Ed said. "We're
enjoying meeting people over here that
are our age and maybe in the same
situation that we're in over in England."
At least in
A mi ric a
S*M*A*S*H will
be heard by un-
prejudicedears.Ed
is upset with the
British press for
including his band
in the "New Wave
of New Wave"
trend. He sighed,
"That's a British
music press thing.
They are not taken

seriously over here, and people are
open-minded enough to not lump us in
with that New Wave thing. The Ameri-
cans have spotted a big difference be-
tween us and those other bands.
"We've left Britain now. In the
press we've gone from being darlings
to despised," he said grimly.
See S*M*A*S*H, Page 8

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