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March 03, 1995 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-03

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 3, 1995

Continued from page 9
other artists choose to follow. Chant6
Moore treats those topics, admittedly
the hugely central portion of her CD,
with a type of respect that almost un-
heard of at a time when curtness and
nonchalance seem to be the norms. She
sheds the "do-me-do-me-fast, do-me-
hard, but-just-do-me" image that so
many artists embrace, and instead fo-
cuses on how true love revolves about
turning "down the lights real low/take
it nice and slow./We'll make sure the
mood is right" ("Old School Lovin"').
Chantd Moore had already proven
herself with her debut release, "Pre-
cious." "A Love Supreme" simply reaf-
firms what anyone who heard her songs
before already knew. When it comes to
her music, Ms. Moore is unquestion-
ably all business and all class.
- Eugene Bowen
Daniel Johnston
Daniel Johnston is the classic tor-
tured artist. His struggles with mental
illness and his unrequited love for
Laurie, the wife of an undertaker, are
reflected in his, ahem, unique songs.

Taking equally from folk, punk and
the Beatles, Johnston's work has made
him a cult hero. Earlier albums like
"Hi, How Are You?" and "Yip /Jump
Music" garnered admiration from the
likes of Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder
and the Butthole Surfers' guitarist,
Paul Leary.
On Johnston's latest album "Fun,"
Leary lends a hand by producing and
playing guitar on most of the tracks.
And while the sound quality of
Johnston's work has improved, the
style and content of his music re-
mains intact. The bizarre blend of
influences on "Fun" make for an al-
bum of funny, scary and ultimately
moving reflections that are almost
too personal for a major-label release.
"I was a time traveller/ Listening
to the heavenly laughter / Laurie was
always with me / ever after, for ever,
ever, ever, ever, ever, ever / It must
have been a happy time," Johnston
sings on "Happy Time," a song that
could be considered psychotic if it
weren't so charming. Much of the
album follows this lyrical bend, but
the actual music varies from '60s
grunge-pop like "Love Wheel" and
"Rock'n'Roll / EGA" to folky num-
bers like "Mind Contorted" and "Sad
Sac + Tarzan" to experimental pieces

such as "Jelly Beans" and "My Little
Girl." All facets of "Fun" reflect and
express the at times whimsical, at
times disturbing visions of this singu-
lar talent.
Although his voice sounds dis-
concertingly like Stimpy's, the music
of this singular talent reflects the alien-
ated and eccentric feelings that plague
everyone. "Fun" is an acquired taste
worth developing.
- Heather Phares
Barenaked Ladies
Maybe You Should Drive
As Steven Page sings on this fol-
low-up to 1992's "Gordon," "Every-
thing old is new again."
The sensitive boys from Canada are
back with a 12-song release that basi-
cally remains true to the sound and
lyrics that made Barenaked Ladies a
success. While "Maybe You Should
Drive" makes for a fun spin on the CD
player, it's more of the same ol', same
ol' material from the Ladies. The band
shows little-if any - growth on their
sophomore effort.
The album is packed with their
standard catchy, pop/jazz hooks,
Page's high-pitched yet throaty vo-
cals, songs about love and relation-
ships (what else?) and the occasional
line that will make you smile. Typical
Barenaked Ladies.
The first single, "Jane," is the com-
panion to "Enid;" a catchy song written
for and about the contrary love interest.
The designated silly song would have
to be "A," a jazzy ditty that relates a
good portion of the first section of the
dictionary to another relationship: "A is
for Adam, which is how I sometimes
feel,"Pagerelates.On "AlternativeGirl-
friend," the Ladies mix it up with elec-
tric guitar and some energetic drums,
which is a welcome departure from
their synthesizersound; this track shines
brightly. Of course, there has to be a
tender love song or two: See "You Will
Be Waiting" and "Am I the Only One?"
Can't have a Barenaked Ladies album
without those.
The rest of the songs are of the
bouncy variety, but once again, that's
nothing new. While "Maybe You
Should Drive" isn't as good as "Gor-
don," it does redeem itself by grow-
ing on you gradually. All in all, the
Barenaked Ladies put forth a worthy
effort, but they're going to have to
work harder to impress their audience
next time around.
- Ella de Leon
Thug Life
Volume 1
Interscope Records
Poor Tupac Shakur, shot up and
serving time for giving some unau-
thorized "du-key love." At least
there's one bright spot for him. The
rap group Thug Life, which he
founded, has slam-dunked its fresh-
man release. This CD is no joke.

Tupac has already hit platinum as a
soloist; it comes as no surprise that any
group formed by him would be
Songs like "Shit Don't Stop,"
"Pour Out a Little Liquor" (first fea-
tured on the "Above the Rim"
soundtrack) and "How Long Will
They Mourn Me?" (featuring rapper
Nate Dogg) are a treat for any con-
noisseur of hardcore rap. The plain,
everyday language of "Volume 1"
gives its accounts of life on the streets
a streak of simplistic truthfulness.
Fellow Thug Lifers Syke,
Macadoshis, Mopreme and the Rated R
each have their own rap style which,
when brought together, makes the lyr-
ics in "Volume 1" even more fantastic.
I don't know what will become of
Thug Life now that Tupac is "away."
It would not be surprising if the other
members released without Tupac; they
certainly have the talent for it. But for
now we can focus on "Volume l"and
just leave the future of Thug Life as
- Eugene Bowen
Toots Thielemans
East Coast, West Coast
Pri vate
What is wrong with this record?
Thielemans is a virtuoso jazz har-
monica player; he has been for the
last 40 or 50 years. Every single
song on the album is a solid jazz
standard - from "Spring Can Really
Hang You Up the Most" to "Giant
Steps" to "Take Five."
And the musicians that Toots has
brought along! Herbie Hancock
(sadly, only on one track), Joshua
Redman, John Scofield, Terence
Blanchard, Charlie Haden, Christian
McBride ... all of these artists are
capable of carrying an album by them-
selves. So why doesn't "East Coast,
West Coast" sound as good as it
should? Most likely because
Thielemans has become too careful
and conservative in his playing and
These stunning musicians rou-
tinely get one or two choruses to play,
then the song ends. Thielemans him-
self rarely lets go; the closest he comes
is Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High,"
where he puts together a very cre-
ative, melodic solo. This is hardly the
norm, however. "Giant Steps" is taken
at roughly half the speed Coltrane
played. Each of the songs has the
same form: Melody, one or two solos,
Melody again. "Steps" is 2:30; "In
Walked Bud" 3:05, etc.
Toots Thielemans has to be cred-
ited with bringing so many good
musicians together to play so many
great songs. But "East Coast, West
Coast" is a shell of what it could
have been. This is too careful an
effort for such a talented player -
the music would sound better in an
elevator than in a walkman.
- David Cook

Toots Thielemans is the harmonica pla
Robbie Robertson
and the Red Road
Music for The Native Ameri-
Rarely has a blending of tradi-
tional and modern music achieved the
cohesion that this collection, recorded
as the soundtrack for the PBS special
"The Native Americans," does. It
makes no claims to be either a pop
record or traditional Native Ameri-
can music. What it is, is a mixture of
Native American chants and modern
guitars, of story-songs and rock num-
bers based around traditional themes.
The effect is rarely less than stunning.
Robbie Robertson, best known for
his work with the seminal rock group
the Band, finds ground where chants
can be supported by drum loops and
where ancient stories can become al-
most-slinky rock songs.
"Music for The Native Americans"
sounds more likeRobertson's 1987 solo
record than anything he did with the
Band. The beautiful love ballad,
"Golden Feather" would have fit per-
fectly next to "Broken Arrow" along
with the wonderful instrumental, "The
Vanishing Breed," with its yearning
guitar figure. The songs are open-ended
and deeply atmospheric, lending the
entire album a dark, spooky tone and
though Robertson uses keyboards and
programming to milk this mood for all
hecan, therecord is far from an ambient
wank-fest. It is simply beautiful music.
- Dirk Schulze
"These words and lyrics are merely
thoughts and ramblings during peri-
ods of homelessness, hopelessness,
drug induced confusion and frustra-
tion and are as usual subject to change
without notice," the liner notes on
death metal / sludge rock Buzzov-
en's new album claim. In otherwords,
it ain't pretty, Chuckie.
Applications Available
2023 Angell Hall
Deadline: March 6, 1995
Must be an LSA student
Compensation: Room & Board plus Stipend

iyer's harmonica player.
Death metal has a limited audience
purely because to the average listener it
sounds something likeacat being sucked
through an airplane engine, only less
appealing. Plus, the genre has turned
into a Florida backwater inbred com-
munityendlessly replicating new bands
with the same sinister names (Pungent
Stench, Dismember, Repulsion, etc.)
going over the same musical ground.
There's only so much one can do with
cat-stuck-in-airplane-engine noises.
But dammit, Buzzov-en try. They
sample a lot of eerie dialogue, have
some nifty socially conscious lyrics
("hatred is a family value"), and slow
everything down toaSabbath-likepace.
It's not quite to the level of newcomers
Fear Factory or Brutal Truth, but it's
pretty effective stuff and will piss off
everyone except diehard death
-Kirk Miller
Jonathan Butler
Head to Head
Mercury Records
Bringing back that old schoolR&B
mixed with a jazzy edge, Jonathan
Butler's 13-cut CD is a definite must
for any serious R&B lover. From be-
ginning to end, "Head to Head" pre-
sents the finest R&B singing and
musical styles.
Butler's voice in "I'm on My
Knees," sounding remarkably like
Smokey Robinson's mellow timbre,
has got it goin' on. The lyrics of "In a
Miracle" are nothing less than heav-
"Head to Head" also features many
instrumental (or almost instrumental)
cuts that definitely take it to the level
of R&B that few ever rise to. "Tete a
Tete" is one piece of instrumental
musical ecstasy which is followed
immediately by the Carribean-fla-
vored jazzy tunes of "Celebration.."
With "Head to Head" under his
belt, Jonathan Butler is definitely off
to bigger and better things. His voice
and his music make it a very nice CD
- Eugene Bowen


University of Michigan
School of Music
Sunday, March 5
Campus Band
Damien Crutcher, conductor
Hill Auditorium, 4 p.m., free
Faculty/Guest Recital: James Winn, flute, and
Siglind Bruhn, piano
" C. P. E. Bach: Sonata in G Major
" Franz Schubert: Variations on "Ihr Blumlein alle"
" Peter Westergaard: Divertimento on Discobbolic Fragments
* Ernest Bloch: Two Last Poems (Maybe...)
" Olivier Messiaen: Le Merle Noir
Recital Hall, School of Music, 4 p.m., free
Music of Leslie Bassett
Graduate music students perform in a special concert tribute to
Professor Emeritus of Composition Leslie Bassett
" Music for Cello and Piano
" Arias for Clarinet and Piano
" Fourth String Quartet
Recital Hall, School of Music, 8 p.m., free
Monday, March 6
Composers Forum Concert
New music by University of Michigan composers
Recital Hall, School of Music, 8 p.m., free

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