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January 19, 1995 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-19

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The Michigan Daily -- Weekend etc. - Thursday, January 19, 1995 - 9

" Tabloids and fun: the year in television

The best of books:

I'm not one of those people who gets excited because
they're showing two episodes of "The Nanny" in one
night, but I do watch way too much television for my own
good. I mean, I could be drinking. Drum roll, please.
It's been a sad year for television, a year when we were
supposed to get excited that "The Nanny" moved to
Mondays (that Fran Drescher is a hoot and a half, let me
* tell you), CBS and Fox changed stations and confused all
those bright people who couldn't read a TV Guide, and all
the critical favorites on TV were rip-offs of the critical
favorites on TV 10 years ago.
So with that, my Top 10:
1. "CoasttoCoastWithSpaceGhost"(Cartoon Network)
- The most bizarre show ever made, as '60s cartoon reject
Space Ghost hosts a 10 minute talk show full of surreal one-
liners. Best one: Space Ghost kills the Bee Gees.
2. The Kurt Cobain Marathon of Mourning (MTV) - If
only for John Norris claiming Cobain was the "victim of
a self-induced shotgun blast" and the man was a "singular
individual." As opposed to those of us who refer to
themselves in the plural.
3. All Cartoons - Take your pick among "The
Simpsons," "Duckman," "Rocko's Modern Life," "Eek
the Cat," "X-Men," "Animania'... they all were more
clever than any network show, and usually better acted. If
only Fran Drescher could get her own 'toon...
4. "TV Nation" (NBC, moving to Fox this year) The

last good magazine show, and no Connie Chung.
5. HBO Wednesday nights (HBO) - "Larry Sanders,"
"Dream On," and "Tales From the Crypt" are the only
reasons I spend an extra $10 on pay cable a month.
6. "Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS) - Any
show that advertises a product called Big Ass Ham is OK
by me.
7. "Friends" (NBC) - If you overlook that it's the six
whitest people in New York spending their days in a
coffee shop, it's very funny and well acted for a sitcom
8. Scientology infomercial - I saw this a few weeks ago
flipping through channels. It looks like it was made for
about $20 by a high school drama club in the '70s.
9. O.J. Simpson on the run (all channels) - The real
highlight of Connie Chung's year was her on-air-argument
with Dan Rather over using the word "coward" to describe
O.J.'s 45 MPH flight.
10. Anything by Aaron Spelling - He has a new show
about hot nurses in crisis, sort of "ER" meets "Models,
Inc." The man is a genius.
11. Every critically acclaimed show on TV: "ER" is
merely "OK"; "Chicago Hope" makes me Ann Arbor-
bored; "Homicide" and "NYPD Blue" were fine if you
forgot "Hill Street Blues; "My So-Called Life" is now
"Your Just Announced Cancellation."
Maybe I'll go outside this year. At least, until the full
O.J. coverage starts. Now, if they could just get Fran
Drescher in the TV movie about the killings...

Much like losing an arm in a farm
combine, good literature can change
someone's life dramatically. So it's
pretty sad that the life changing books
of 1994 were "The Celestine Proph-
ecy," "The Bell Curve," "Prozac Na-
tion, "The Book of Virtues" and the
Pope's moral treatise; these are not
the books we want to look back on in
ten years and say shaped a generation,
much like everyone in 1990 wants to
forget they bought eight million cop-
ies of Vanilla Ice.
So ignoring trends, hype, promo-
tions and various friends who liked
one or more of the above titles, I give
the Top 10 Books of 1994 That Could
Change Your Life More Than "The
Celestine Prophecy."
1. "Revelation X." The third book
from the Subgenius Foundation con-
tinues the teachings of Bob Dobbs,
proving you can mix wild sex and
drugs with religion. "The Subgenius
only inflicts harm for a higher pur-
pose" and "Are you considered
strange? Then you're probably better

than most people" are just two of the
wise teachings.
2. "Selling Yourself to Science,"
by Jim Hogshire, is the sure fire way
to get thousands of dollars for using
your body as a guinea pig.
3 and 4. "Complete Guide to Beer
Drinking Games" and "Beer Games
2" by Griscom, Rand and Johnson.
Revised and updated for the '90s,
these are indispensable for the beer
lover and people who need to know
50 synonyms for vomiting.
5. "Sabotage in the American
Workplace," edited by Martin
Sprouse. True stories of employee
theft, mismanagement and
backstabbing against the impersonal
big business bosses.
6. "Generation Ecch!" by Jason
Cohen and Michael Krugman. A nice
parody of Generation X crap the
media's been forcefeeding us for the
last year. Cool cartoons by "Milk and
Cheese" creator Evan Dorkin are a
7. "Revolution X" by Jon Cowan
and Rob Nelson. Not to be confused

, et cetera
with title numbers 1 and 6, this is a
direct, easy-to-read guide to politics
in the '90s. If they only ditched the
generation bonding efforts, it would
have ranked much higher.
8. -"Meditations For Men Who
Do Next to Nothing," by Lee Ward
Shore. Divided into one page chap-
ters with titles such as "Wit" and
"Fear," Shore creates the definitive
book for men in the '90s. "Today, I
will laugh in the face of adversity,
my wife, my boss or anyone or any-
thing that tries to crush my playful
inner child," he writes.
9. "The Ice Opinion," by Ice T. As
far as autobiographies go, it's either
this or "Reba: My Story," and I per-
sonally take the guy who wrote a song
called "Evil Dick" any day of the
10. "Dilbert" comic strip, by Scott
Adams. Proving that you don't need
artistic talent to draw, "Dilbert" is an
extremely bizarre and yet accurate
satire of corporate America. Not for
people who think Billy's .antics in
"Family Circus" are "wacky."

" The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd: Selected highlights from a wild, wooly, wacky and wonderful year in theater

The Melissa Rose Bernardo
awards for excellence (or
shittiness) In theater:
Most Hype: "Sunset Boulevard"
Best Replacement Casting:
Vanessa Williams in "Kiss of the
Spider Woman"
Worst replacement casting:
Marcia Brady in "Grease!" (Marcia,
* Marcia, Marcia! Why did Marcia get
to play Rizzo?)
Runner-up: Jerry Lewis in
"Damn Yankees" Maybe the produc-
ers were looking for the overseas sup-
port. Watch for a sudden influx of
French tourists on Broadway.
Most underrated performance:
Michael Haydenin "Carousel"
Most overrated performance:
*The entire cast of "Grease!"
Most under-appreciated new
musical: "Passion" Fall on your knees

and thank the Lord for Stephen
Most under-appreciated new
play: Neil Simon's "Laughter on the
23rd Floor" But Neil Simon got re-
venge (see related item, Biggest
Broadway Dis).
Must-see: "Sunset Boulevard"
Bring a change of underwear. Glenn
Close is that amazing.
Runner-up: "Show Boat"
Most unwelcome production:
"Beauty and the Beast" Welcome to
Broadway, Disney. Now go home.
The "Phantom of the Opera"
award for ostentation: "Beauty and
the Beast" The most expensive show
in Broadway history. "Beauty and
the Buck" is more like it.
Runner-up: "Grease!" Bring
your sunglasses. Day-glo orange may
be fine for construction workers, but

not for set designs.
The Energizer-bunny "still-go-
ing" award for a revival: "Guys and
Why is it still playing: "Jackie
Mason: Politically Incorrect." Don't
you wish Jackie Mason were on those
no-brand batteries?
Great to see you again: Stephen
Spinella in Terrence McNally's new
"Love! Valour! Compassion!" (Will
he be Tony-nominated three years in
a row? Will he win three years in a
The overachiever award: Direc-
tor Hal Prince, the first director to
have three shows running on Broad-
way simultaneously ("Phantom of the
Opera," "Kiss of the Spider Woman,"
"Show Boat"), plus one ("The Petri-
fied Prince") off-Broadway. He is the

Most embarrassing Tony nomi-
nation: "A Grand Night for Sing-
ing," the Rodgers and Hammerstein
revival which garnered a Best New
Musical nomination. My high school
did more professional shows.
Greatest vindication in the form
of an award: "Passion" taking Best
Musical, Score, Book and Lead Ac-
tress. After that 1988 fiasco when
"Into the Woods" was robbed of Best
Musical by "Phantom of the Opera,"
Sondheim finally got his glory.
Biggest Broadway heel: Andrew
Lloyd-Webber. I don't care if he is a
Knight; after what he did to Patti
LuPone and Faye Dunaway he should
be deported.
Biggest Broadway Dis: Neil
Simon, who took his latest play to
Seattle and will eventually open it off-
Broadway. You go, Neil!
-Melissa Rose Bernardo

The Shane Michaels Theater
The Omnipresent Award goes
to Joe Mantello who portrayed Louis
in both parts of "Angels In America."
He then went on to direct Terrence
McNally's latest, "Love! Valour!
Compassion!". His latest directing
project starred Faith Prince in a short-
lived play called, "What's Wrong
With This Picture?". Way to go Joe!
The Lower-than-Andrew
Lloyd-Webber Award goes to An-
drew Lloyd-Webber, who, in a pitiful
ploy for publicity, dropped Patti
LuPone in London, and Faye Done-
Away (pun intended) in L.A. to fi-
nally settle on Glenn Close for Norma
Desmond in his latest monster, "Sun-
set Boulevard." Ironically, Lloyd
Weber's justification for dropping
Dunaway was that her voice was in-
sufficient. Funny then that he would

settle on Close, whose voice is not
nearly as effective as, say, LuPone's.
Fortunately Close's acting makes up
for any inconsistencies just fine. And
fortunately for Lloyd-Webber, the
millions of dollars that he lost in
breach-of-contract suits (for LuPone
and Dunaway) will be more than made
up for in Sunset Boulevard hats, t-
shirts, pennants, programs, cast al-
bums, etc.
U And finally, The Hope-They-
Get-The-Message Award goes to
Neil Simon, who, in a move that
shocked the Great White Way, opened
his latest play, "London Suit" in Se-
attle at a non-profit house. Maybe the
message will finally be sent to those
misguided producers in New York
that when it comes to the theater, the
Art should come BEFORE the Buck,
and not vice versa.
- Shane Michaels

Daily writers attempt to inform you of the good music of last year

Continued from page 5
* Dirk Schulze's Top 10 Albums
1. Neil Young and Crazy Horse,
"Sleeps With Angels." Neil's latest
finds him alternately sad, contempla-
tive, pissed-off and, through it all, as
beautiful as ever.
2. Grant Lee Buffalo, "Mighty Joe
Moon." Spiritual descendents of Dr.
Young, the Buffalo boys prove that.
"Fuzzy" was no fluke with an amaz-
ing record of sprawling distortion and
tender acoustics.
3. Latin Playboys, "Latin Playboys."
A side-project for David Hidalgo of
Los Lobos, the band's debut shines
with paranoid guitars and beautiful
4. Sugar, "File Under: Easy Listen-
ing." Yep, even Bob Mould can have
fun. Seeing "Gee Angel" live was
5. Magnapop, "Hot Boxing." Yum.
Makes me rise and grunge.
6. Vic Chestnut, "Drunk." Meander-
ing and humid. Vic scrapes at his
obsessions and drags you along on a
far-from-sober journey.
7. Liquor Giants, "Here." The Re-
placements if Tommy was allowed to
write and sing sometimes. Good solid
American rock 'n' roll.
8. Pavement, "Crooked Rain, Crooked
Rain." I wanted to hate this record but
I cannot. Brilliant riffs and ultra-
catchy melodies.
9. Pearl Jam, "Vitalogy." For
"Nothingman." For "Better Man." Of
course, "Stupid Mop" is a bit too
10. Freedy Johnston, "This Perfect
World." No one writes better straight-
up pop songs.
Ella de Leona's Top 10 Albums
1. R.E.M., "Monster"
2. Pavement, "Crooked Rain,
Crooked Rain"
3. Hole, "Live Through This'
4. Liz Phair, "Whip-Smart'
5. Luscious Jackson, "Natural Ingre-
6. Freedy Johnston, "This Perfect
7. Beastie Boys,"Ill Communication"
8. Guided By Voices, "Bee Thou-
9. Ani DiFranco, "Out of Range"
10. Sugar, "File Under: Easy Listen-

Supersuckers, "La Mano Cornuda"
Honorable Mention: Liz Phair, "Whip
Smart," Pagans, "Everybody Hates
You," Beatles, "Live at the BBC,"
Cobra Verde, "Viva la Muerte," Big
Chief, "Platinum Jive," Thee
Headcoats, "Conundrum."
The tight rock 'n' roll rumble that
shook 1994 all year long was the
forceful might of four of the loudest,
hip-shakinest independent bands re-
leasing their best records to date. The
New Bomb Turks (Crypt Records),
The Cynics (Get Hip Records), The
Humpers (Sympathy For The Record
Industry) and The Mono Men (Estrus
Records) released more recorded
power between the four of 'em than a
whole year of major label suits could
muster up. Of course, King Eddie and
his lackeys followed close behind with
Pearl Jam's best record to date
"Vitalogy." The surprise of the year
was easily Motocaster's "Fully
Loaded," a stompin' southern-fried
metallic shake-down. 1994 was also
the year that R.E.M. stopped wearin'
its heart on its sleeve, stuffed James
Taylor in the closet and released its
best album since '87's "Document."
Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs, after
releasing the best album of '93 (the
'Whigs' "Gentlemen"), settled for
screamin' leads on the best soundtrack
of '94, "Backbeat." Sugar calmed
down and released a subtly intricate
work. And of course, the two biggest,
baddest joke bands in the nation, The
Leather Uppers and Supersuckers,
wooped it up for more than mere
hyucks. Sadly, the year 1994 must be
dedicated to the memory of The
Leather Uppers - R.I.P. (Rock In
Peace) my brothers!
Heather Phares' Lucky 13:
1. A tie between Pavement's "Crooked
Rain, Crooked Rain" and Kristen
Hersh's "Hips And Makers."
Pavement's pop genius blossomed on

their second album, and Hersh's elo-
quent acoustic solo album revealed
yet another facet of the Throwing
Muses leader's talent.
3. Nirvana's "Unplugged In New
York." If only for the band's stunning
versions of "The Man Who Sold The
World" and "Where Did You Sleep
Last Night," this record alludes to
what might have been.
4. Another tie, between Ween's
"Chocolate and Cheese" and Frank
Black's "Teenager of the Year." Dean
and Gene Ween make profanity, hal-
lucinogens and general tastelessness
an art form, and wackiness always
ensues when Frank Black helms a
cruise on his punk-pop spaceship.
6. Lisa Germano's "Geek the Girl."
Lisa Germano's atmospheric tone-
poems about awkwardness and alien-
ation reaffirm the connection between
suffering and beauty.
7. Hole's "Live Through This." De-
spite the hype, the ubiquitous
Courtney Love and her band made an
album that would have been success-
ful no matter what happened last April.
8. Come's "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
Thalia Zedek and her songs have more
intensity, turmoil and horror in them
than a ton of Trent Reznors.
9. Thinking Fellers Union Local #282
"Voices From the Universe." Look
up "quirky" in the dictionary and the
band's picture is right there. But the
words "innovative" "hypnotic" and
"brilliant" apply too.
10. Weezer's eponymous debut .
Yeah, they're geeky (in a cute way),
but their mix of the Cars and the Four
Freshmen is irresistible.
11. Magnapop "Hot Boxing." With
their tense, implosive songs and two
cool women fronting the band, how
could they fail?
12. Luna's "Bewitched." An aptly
titled collection of dreamy rock.
13. Another tie, between Daniel

album by album
Daniel Johnston is a cool guy.
Johnston's "Fun" and the Auteurs'
"Now I'm A Cowboy." Johnston's
twisted, funny-tragic songs have made
him a cult hero. The Auteurs make
consistently great, quintessentially
British pop. Besides, R.E.M's Peter
Buck thinks they're the bee's knees
and the cat's pajamas.
Ted Watts' Top 10 Albums '94
1. Helmet, "Betty." No dicking
around. Harsh and infective. Check
out the vinyl with bonus tracks.
2. Cows, "Orphan's Tragedy." The
best animal named band ever.
3. Cop Shoot Cop, "Release." Like
the heavenly host, but with lots of
4. Soundgarden, "Superunknown."
Popular with the masses and for good
reasons: it rules.
5. Therapy?, "Troublegum." Forget
Tull, these are the main Irishmen.
6. Melvins, "Stoner Witch." Plenty of
styles (tho not as many as Ween) and
done well.
7. Geggy Tah, "Grand Opening." In-
describable. For when you want
twisted but no guitars.
8. Gwar, "This Toilet Earth." Bloody

1994 was yet another breakthrough
year for video games and computer
software. With the return of some old
favorites, more blood, guts and gore
than ever before, and a few new ter-
rific titles, business was booming for
some, dying for a few,-and done be-
fore it ever began for others.
1994 was the first year since its
inceptionthat Super Nintendo began
to steal back the video game market
from the ever popular Sega Genesis.
Atari's Jaguar and 3DO were still
struggling to stay afloat, while some
other systems came and went before
we even knew their names. Macintosh
also decided to license clones for their
formerly exclusive format, but are
still having problems competing with
the PC industry's much more exten-
sive software catalog. However, the
biggest lemon of the year no doubt
was the ingenious Pentium process-
ing chip, that could probably help you
build a nuclear bomb in minutes, but
couldn't do the simple math that a $4
calculator can.
1994 was also the year of doom.
With games getting bloodier and
bloodier, "Doom" revolutionized first

person, virtual reality gore at a level
never seen before by most people.
Pearl Jam weren't the only people
fighting for their right to party this
year; with hearings from the govern-
ment to censor video games, the in-
dustry still continues its self-censor-
ship and ratings system. Other games
like "Beavis and Butt-Head" and
"Boogerman" declared farting a dan-
gerous weapon, and straddled the bar-
rier of good taste, making video games
much more interesting, and quite dis-
gusting too.
1994 also kept a retro attitude with
the return of two original '80s video
game favorites, "Donkey Kong" and
"Pitfall!" Now with superb graphics
and sound for the '90s, "Donkey Kong
Country" and "Pitfall: The Mayan
Adventure" reminisced the old clas-
sics (the original Atari 2600 version
of "Pitfall!" is hidden in the new
Most of all, 1994 marked the be-
ginning of the Daily's quest to keep
our wonderful readers on the cutting
edge, and introduced the new Video
Games and Multimedia section for
your reading pleasure. Hope you like
it, and let us know what you think.

Fartsand doom: high tech reviewed

9. Beastie Boys, "Ill Communication."
See 4.
10. Helios Creed, "Planet X." Alien
alternative. Buy or die.
Eugene Bowen's Top 10 Albums
1. Take 6, "Join the Band." These six
brothas have a harmony that puts even
Jodeci to shame.
2. Sounds of Blackness, "Africa to
America." They've come a long way
thanks to the grace of God.
3. Mary J. Blige, "My Life." Has
earned the title "Queen Diva of '94."
4. The Notorious B.I.G., "Ready to
Die." This guy is the dopest lyricist in
rap today.
5. "MurderWas the Case" Soundtrack.
Will the Dogg Pound ever stop?
6. Reg. E. Gaines, "Please Don't Take
My Air Jordans." Not a singer, not a
rapper, but a philosopher with
slammin' beats.
7. Zhand, "Zhand." These two women
put female duos on the map.
8. "Forest Gump" Soundtrack. Noth-
ing but the goodies of the oldies.
9. Drama, "Open Invitation." These
three women's voices that should be
hrnn .wr-

the East." Even though I have some
problems with some of Jeru's mes-
sages, he has probably the most skills
of any rapper to come out in a long
Portishead, "Dummy." Their combi-
nation of hip-hop mixing and surf-
board guitar sounds makes them the
leaders of a camp revolution.
"History of Our World Part One:
Breakbeat Jungle Ultramix by DJ
DB." Snatch this album up which is
the best of the fleet of Jungle CDs that
are being released
Prince, "The Black Album." Granted,
every good Prince collector already
owns a bootleg copy of this album,
but the sound quality of this autho-
rized version makes it worth it to
(re)buy the album.
Herbie Hancock, "The Complete
Warner Recordings." This album has
all of the Herbie classics.
Vapourspace, "Themes From
Vapourspace." Weaved together like
an orchestral piece, "Themes From
Vapourspace" is a completely coher-
ent and unified techno masterpiece.
Plastikman, "Music." Richie Hawtin
is one nf the nre-eminent fD and

.; .
:: - .


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