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January 18, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-18

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


'I

Stone Roses'
By TOM ERLEWINE
Six years is an eternity in pop music.
In that time, bands live and die, trends
&me and go, records are made and
roken. More importantly, several gen-
erations of teenagers come of age dur-
ing that time; not only do they come of
age, they grow up and stop buying
records. Simultaneously, the new gen-
eration of record-buyers has no idea
about the previous generations heroes;
they are content to listen to Green Day
and Offspring, without giving so much

The Stone
Roses
Second Coming
Geffen

as a thought to Guns 'N' Roses, U2,
Madonna or Prince.
Or the Stone Roses, for that matter.
It's been along, long time since the
Stone Roses were popular. At the be-
ginning of the decade, the band spear-
headed a pop music revolution. Mixing
the hook-laden guitar sensibilities of
'60s pop with a dance club-conscious
beat, the Stone Roses began a craze in
England, where thousands of teens
wearing baggy pants poured into hazy,
druggy clubs to dance the nights away.
ountless bands followed the Stone
ses (including the Happy Mondays,
Inspiral Carpets and the Charlatans),
but none of them captured the
Madchester movement quite as fully as
the Roses themselves. The difference
was simple - they had catchy, fully-
formed pop songs courtesy of guitarist
John Squire and they were also a real
rock 'n' roll band. Despite their some-
hat precious sound and Ian Brown's
ryvocals, they acted like street punks
- they were even arrested for vandal-
izing the office of their former record
company.
For all of 1989 and 1990, the band
was absolutely huge in England, but
trouble began in early 1991, when legal

resurrection
troubles with their record company sent
them into seclusion. After a couple of
years, they signed a reported multi-
million dollar contract with Geffen and
were scheduled to deliver a record by
the beginning of 1993 ... and nothing
happened. For another two years, the
band stayed in hiding, working on the
album, almost breaking up, scrapping a
couple of albums and restarting the
whole thing all over again.
By late 1994, most fans had almost
given up hope of seeing a new record in
theirlifetime. And that's when the Stone
Roses began their comeback. They de-
livered a single, "Love Spreads," in
November and their long-awaited sec-
ond album, appropriately titled "Sec-
ond Coming," was released in Decem-
ber in England. True to form, the band
didn't manage their comeback well -
the single peaked at #2 and the album
fell off the top of the charts after one
week. Nevertheless, in terms of sheer
numbers, the record was performing
better than their debut, and Roses-ma-
nia had returned in England.
Now comes the hard part - the
Stone Roses have to make it in
America, something they have never
been able to pull off before. "Second
Coming" arrives in stores this week
and it's difficult to gauge its reception
in the US. It's a given that their long-
time fans will buy the record, but the
album needs to attract new fans in
order to justify both Geffen's money
and the long wait. In short, the Stone
Roses need to appeal to teenagers
who have no idea who they are.
Does "Second Coming" appeal to
hip teenagers and old fans, as well? It
does ... to a certain degree.
With Squire's intoxicating riffs and
Brown's passive vocals, the Stone
Roses still sound like no other band.
Most of the distinctive features of
their debut are in place - the '60s
guitar hooks, the allusions to past pop
masterpieces, the pulsing beats - but
they have added scores of loud, bluesy
guitars, harder dance beats and a
See STONE, Page 8

By HEATHER PHARES
"Throwing Muses? Oh, yeah, they
were a really good band. Didn't they
break up a while ago?" says the typical
alternative music fan.
The answer to this question is a
resounding "No!" as the Muses return
to the music world after a far-too-long
break. That most of the music-buying

University
Sire/Reprise
population (and even the group's fans)
think Throwing Muses are defunct is
understandable, however. It's been
almost three years since the band's
last album, the critically acclaimed
"Red Heaven;" and key member gui-
tarist Tanya Donnelly left to join the
Breeders, and ultimately form Belly
in 1991.
Throwing Muses' leader, Kristin
Hersh, spent the time between albums
recording and releasing the excellent
acoustic album "Hips and Makers"
and the EP "Strings." All of which
logically leads one to believe that the
band had indeed split up.
But logic has hardly been a part of
the Muses' long and illustrious career.
Formed in the early '80s by the teen-
age Hersh and Donelly, Throwing
Muses were the first American band
signed to the prestigious independent
British label 4 AD.
At just 19, Hersh and her fellow
Muses released an amazing collection
of songs on their first album, "Throw-
ing Muses." Songs like "Hate My
Way," "Rabbits Dying" and "Deli-
cate Cutters" mixed psychedelia, punk,
pop and folk in a fresh, disconcerting
and fascinating manner. Needless to

Throwing Muses
throw fans a curve

say, this album is now unavailable do-
mestically.
The band's other early efforts.
1988's "House Tornado" and 1989's
"Hunkpapa"continued along these dis-
jointed lines, owing as much to musical
ability as to Hersh's well-publicized
struggles against mental illness. Her
condition, a kind of bipolarity, caused
her to hear voices and hallucinate -
and informed Hersh's music with both
a trancelike beauty and a frantic de-
spair.
After seeking treatment for herprob-
lems, Throwing Muses' music changed
accordingly. 1991's "The Real
Ramona" and 1992's "Red Heaven"
still encompassed many different emo-
tions and musical styles, but replaced
the almost too-intimate confessionals
of earlier songs with a more removed,
less anguished type of writing.
Then, just when it seemed that things
were stabilizing in the band, Throwing
Muses simply stopped recording.
Now, three years later, Kristin Hersh
and Throwing Muses are back with a
remarkable new album, "University,"
and the band, now a trio, has never
sounded better.
From the beginning of the album,
the gleefully wrathful "Bright Yellow
Gun," it's evident that the band has
found a way to blend the jarring quality
of the early years with Hersh's increas-
ingly catchy pop sensibilities. "I have
nothing to offer but confusion / And I
think Ineed a little poison," Hersh wails
overbright, stabbing guitars and ashim-
mying drumbeat.
It's a great start that's followed up
by "Start," which spotlights Hersh's
mercurial voice; she can change from a
whisper to a howl to a breathy sigh with
disconcerting ease. "Hazing" is the fi-
nal song in a trio of fiery, kinetic rock-
ers, and it's a thouroughly unnerving
bop about relationships: "Strange time
to be needing me, cheating me, freezing

Kristin Hersh is a genius. David Narzcio isn't half bad either .

me out ... I'll spend another day danc-
ing with you." Hersh's lyrics, cryptic
though they may be, nevertheless un-
cannily express emotions that are diffi-
cult to describe at all, much less in the
confines of a three-minute pop song.
But "University" offers much
more than just rock. Hersh's softer
side, shown on "Hips and Makers,"
beguiles just as much as her angrier
songs disarm, "Shimmer" is aptly
titled; the melody shines and glows
like an underwater treasure. "That's
All You Wanted" is a serene, angelic

lullaby, and the title track features her
sons Dylan and Ryder on vocals;
how's that for diversity?
The rest of the 14 tracks on "Uni-
versity" are also great; nary a filler
song exists here. In fact, the all-around
high quality of the record would be
tedious if it weren't so listenable.
"University" is both the Muses' most
accessible and varied album. Hersh's
palette of emotions grows exponen-
tially as she matures; this is definitely
one of the best albums of the year. Let's
hope this band never disbands.

'Voices from the street' sing the praises of Dr. Martin Luther

By JENNIFER BUCKLEY
"Homelessness is not uplifting,"
Broderick Johnson, Washington,
D.C. attorney and Law School

Voices From
the Street
January 16,1995
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

alumn, told the audience assembled
at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre on
Monday afternoon as he introduced
the acting troupe Voices from the
Streets.
It certainly isn't. But the perfor-
ance of the eight actors and ac-
tresses who comprise the Washing-
ton, D.C.-area traveling trope was
more than uplifting. It was inspir-
ing, challenging, accusatory, emo-
tional, passionate. Above all, it was
real.
Real, because the members of
Voices essentially acted out their
own stories Monday as part of the
elebration of Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. Day.
The series of sketches and mono-
logues about homelessness, depen-
dence and poverty fleshed out onstage
were doubly poignant because these
actors had already performed them
many times -in their kitchens, their
living rooms and their apartments.
Before they lost them.
"All of our actors and actresses
F committed students needed I

are homeless or formerly homeless,"
said Kate Hannon, executive director
for Voices from the Streets. "They
tell the stories of homelessness -
their stories - to educate others about
the issues they face in everyday life."
And they weren't easy to listen to.
Gloria Palmer-Hall delivered a
wrenching monologue about finding
herself and her seven young children
evicted from their cramped apartment
in the dead of a Washington, D.C.
winter.
"We were faceless, voiceless refu-
gees," Palmer-Hall remembered.
She also participated with Dwight
Fowler in a sketch that took place at
the Department of Health and Human
Services. The two revealed the diffi-
culty of wandering through miles of
red beaurocratic tape just to secure
food for a homeless family.
This story of "a social worker who
doesn't care," as Fowler described it,
preceded the story of one who does.
Ella McCall-Haygan described her
own fight to climb out of the cycle of
abuse and poverty she experienced as

a young mother and into the class-
rooms of American and Catholic
universities where she earned
Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in
social work.
McCall-Haygan now runs the
Capitol City Inn family shelter as a
licensed social worker. Over 700
children call those cramped rooms
home.
"How do I convert a hotel into a
sanctuary?" she questioned. "You
see, I walked in the shoes of the
people I serve ... They come from
homeless shelters like refugee camps
and housing projects like battle-
fields."
She battles this bleak situations
with hugs and words of comfort for
each of the children. "Each day, 700
times, I say, 'I love you, baby,' be-
cause society sure doesn't."
She continued, "I know what
you're thinking. 'She flunked Pro-
fessional Detachment.' But these
children are in danger."
Two of these endangered chil-
dren performed with Voices.

Shareefa Rasheed, 15, gave a mov-
ing State of the Union address from
the point of view of those most ex-
cluded in the President's habitually
optimistic one.
"They really are spokespeople,"
Hannon said of the troupe. "They
have so much poise and self-esteem."
As Rasheed showed in her impas-
sioned address, "They are the voices
-the articulate voices -- of the home-
less."
Twelve-year-oldPeppertina Wil-
liams performed the role of an HIV-
positive child and a little girl con-
fused and terrified by the murders
taking place in her own front yard.
"I'm going to die too, aren't I,
Mama," she remarked with gravity

and acceptance.
Rasheed and Williams represented
those most devastated by poverty and
homelessness, the children who lose
their dreams before their first tooth.
"The lesser children of no one's god,"
Fowler described them.
Hannon feels that their work with
the nonprofit organization, which
consists of about 100 individuals, pro-
vides not only a creative outlet but a
necessary source of self-esteem for
the kids.
"They all have talent and things
they can do," Hannon commented.
"All of our children have stayed on
the honor roll in their schools" since
joining Voices from the Streets.
Among the adults, "Nobody is in

KingJr.
a shelter," she said. "Most have at
least a part-time job. We work with
a small group, and we've made a
difference in that group Even if it is
a small one, it's still a difference."
A difference, indeed. Each of
the actors displayed remarkable con-
fidence and pride in their perfor-
mances Monday.
"They think of themselves as ac-
tivists, not actors. But they really are
spokespeople," said Hannon.
Not just spokespeople. These
men, women and children accom-
plished something extraordinary.
In giving voices to society's
voiceless, they challenged each au-
dience member to listen carefully
for society's deaf.

I.

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MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
enroll in soc 389, sections:

New Year
Celebrati~on.

WHAT The Second Annual Winter
Student Organization Fair
WHEN2 Wednesday, January 18,
1995 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM
WHERE Michigan Union Ballroom and
Pendleton room
Come in from the cold and see all that is
offered to you.
A *Jrel c,..,-ia.1 4 nn+ dr, -J.--,-nf t nQ ilhra X ,iI~hIAi

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P ject
Comm ty
T.. £'-

005 - Visit with
frail seniors in
various set-
tings
006 - Be with

January 20th

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