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April 05, 1995 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-05

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 5, 1995

I':-

'Leeds' reissue changes
impact of Who classic

By Tom Erlewine
Daily Arts Editor
At first glance, this reissue of the
Who's seminal 1970 album seems
like another installment in the band's
ceaseless series of pointless repack-
aging. No other group in history has
gotten so much mileage out of so
little recorded music. Stacks of shod-
dily assembled Who greatest hits

The Who
Live At Leeds
MCA

Take a Look Back at Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is the first punk rocker. If you don't believe us, take a look at
D.A. Pennebaker's remarkable documentary, "Don't Look Back."
Pennebaker followed Dylan as he toured England in 1965, right after he
went electric. Sir Bob was at the height of his career, tearing people apart
verbally and confounding everyone he came in contact with - he literally
terrorized people with his mind. "Don't Look Back" is worth it alone for
the scene between Dylan and Donovan, where Bob puts the well-
Intentioned hipple in his place with a performance of "It's All Over Now,
Baby Blue." See it at the Michigan tonight at 7 p.m. - tickets are only
$5. They just don't make rock stars like this anymore.
nkofa stirs emoti ons

albums clog cut-out bins across the
country - there have been at least
five records that contain nearly iden-
tical material released domestically,
in addition to a handful of rarities
albums that are nearly as repetitive
as the hits albums.
Theoretically, last year's box set,
"Maximum R&B," was going to end all
of the repackaging by providing a de-
finitive portrait of the band. Instead, it
sparked a new series of reissues (which
may have been the result of the box
being surprisingly haphazard in its ex-
ecution - several tracks had new parts
overdubbed or were assembled from a
variety of sources, like the live "See Me
Feel Me" and "A Quick One").
However, this series of reissues is
different - for the first time, the Who
and MCA are doing things right. Over
the course of 1995, MCA will be
reissuing the Who's catalog, restor-
ing the original artwork, remastering
the sound and adding a huge amount
of bonus tracks to each disc. "Live At

Leeds" is the first disc to be released
in the series.
Technically, "Live At Leeds" ful-
fills all of the promises of the series.
All of the artwork has been repro-
duced in minature, with unpublished
photos and newspaper clippings in-
cluded with the extensive liner notes.
Sonically, the disc is clear without
losing the hyper-distorted power of
the original album; thankfully, the
bass and guitar remain panned on
separate channels, which was one of
the most distinctive features of the
record. With the exception of
"Tommy" and a brief jam on Willie
Dixon's "Spoonful," all of the Who's
performance is included on the 77-
minute disc and all of the unreleased
numbers are as strong as the original
six tracks.
Initially, it would seem like nothing
went wrong in the repackaging and,
technically, that's true. However, all
the additional material has significantly
altered the very feeling and impact of
the original "Live At Leeds."
In its original incarnation, "Live
At Leeds" was generally acknowl-
edged as one of the finest live rock
albums ever released, mainly because
of the pure sonic fury of the Who's
performance. Before "Leeds," the
Who were a completely different band
live than they were in the studio;
while they had recorded several tight,
hard-rocking albums, as well as im-
maculately crafted guitar-pop, they
never had captured the undeniable
explosiveness of their live show.
Amazingly, "Live At Leeds" cap-
tured that sonic fearlessness. What
made it translate on record was the
intense fury of the half-hour album;

.-

Roger Daltrey, captured right before he became an insufferable twit.

the music went by so fast, it was hard
to tell what hit you, even with the 15-
minute "My Generation." Adding 40
minutes to "Live At Leeds" drasti-
cally changes the character of the
record. No longer is it a lethal blast -
it's a structured, well-paced record
that builds to a climax instead of giv-
ing you nothing but climax.
Of course, the additional music is
surprisingly solid-especially the roar-
ing mini-opera "A Quick One, While

He's Away," the chiming "Tattoo" and
the ferocious "I'm A Boy" -and it will
certainly appeal to the devoted Who
fan. In fact, it will only appeal to the
devoted fan. Where the original "Live
At Leeds" was an album for most ca-
sual rock 'n' roll fans, the new version
is only for the converted. Nevertheless,
the high quality of the repackaging as-
sures that the upcoming reissues of
"Who's Next" and "The Who Sell Out"
will be invaluable to any collection.

By Fred Rice
Daily Arts Writer
"Sankofa" is powerful and poetic.
It views slavery from the vantage of a
slave, a perspective that Hollywood
will probably never show you. The
title, an Afkan word, literally trans-
lates as "return to your roots to re-
cover what you have lost and move
forward." It's the film's crucial di-
rective, a moral, for both the central
character and the audience to abide
by.
But the director/writer/editor Haile
Sankofa
Directed by
Haile Gerima
with Oyafunmike Oguiano
and Nick Medley
At Michigan Theater
Gerima never allows this didactic
element to become preachy or over-
bearing. For the most part, he subtly
fuses this message into a gorgeous
work of art.
The film opens at Cape Coast
Castle, once a departure for slave
ships to America, but now a site
visited by several white tourists and
a fashion shoot. Mona, an African
American model, is posing in a neon
orange Tina Turner wig and a re-
vealing bathing suit for a callous
white photographer. While a bit
excessive, the gist is that she's lost
sense of her roots. Slavery still con-
fines her through contemporary im-

ages.
A spooky old man sneaks up on
her and orders her to return to her
past, and she somehow magically
transforms into a slave of the planta-
tion era South. Most of movie takes
place here, depicting the day to day
life of slaves and witnessing how .
countless brutalities gradually change
her.
Oyafunmike Oguiano's strong
performance draws the audience into
Mona's despair and pain, as well as
her courage and hope when joining
a rebellious group that will test her
sense of morality; she's given the
opportunity to kill her abusive
owner, even though she believes
killing is wrong.
Her story is interposed with that of
Joe, the head slave, who suffers from
a tortured sense of identity. He has
distanced himself from his people and
his blue eyes and lighter skin have
placed him in favor with the white
priest. Nick Medley delicately throws
his character into violent mood swings
and balances them through his serene
contemplation of church paintings of
the Virgin.
Indeed, many shots of contempla-
tive faces help make "Sankofa" so
visually striking. Gerima laces vari-
ous scenes with simple close-ups of
the field workers that express the
weary sense of dignity, and perhaps a
quiet rage, that the story is building
to. Gerima also conveys that rage
through beautiful use of color, from
the red scarves of the rebellious slaves
to the fields that they set ablaze.
"Sankofa" is incredibly moving.

Keep on digging the pop of the Dirt Eaters.

By Heather Phares
Daily Arts Editor
Friday's show at the Blind Pig
featured three of the finest local /
dream-pop bands: The Dirt Eaters,
Dirt Eaters
Blind Pig
March 31, 1995
Viola Peacock and Naming Mary.
Viola Peacock's set was a trip into
blissville, brought down to earth by
the band's powerful drumming. Songs
like "Gael," "Eating," "Colder" and
"Angel" were all driven by ethereal,
droning, repetitive guitar lines, ce-
mented by understated bass lines and,
of course, their kinetic drummer.

While some of the songs went on too
long and blended into each other, on
the whole the set was tight, focused
and entertaining.
The Dirt Eaters' set was also very
entertaining. A spin-off of the lo-
cally-based, critically acclaimed ethe-
real art-pop group His Name Is Alive,
their sound is similar to that group,
but noisier and more rock-oriented.
They've recorded with His Name Is
Alive on the group's last studio al-
bum, 1993's "Mouth By Mouth," and
have recently been gigging in the area
to try out new material.
Happily, their latest set was also
their best. While at earlier gigs (like the
10-band bash at the Majestic Theater
and their performance at WCBN's ben-
efit bash) their new material seemed
unfocused and inferior to theirprevious
weird, poppy successes, this time around

the Dirt Eaters and their music seemed
entirely ready for their audience.
Much of this has to do with the
superior acoustics and sound system at
the Blind Pig. At the other two shows,
the band's vocalist, Karen Neal, seemed
lost in the mix. But at this show her
voice, a rather delicate instrument re-
sembling Natalie Merchant's, was
miked well,only improving hersinging
on songs like "New Broken Jaw," "In
Every Ford" and "Gospel." Melissa
Elliot's guitar work was also impres-
sive; again, the sound at the Pig made
every intricate yet catchy riff and line
that much more noticeable.
Also interesting was the fact that
the band's usual bassist was absent,
with their normal guitarist and co-
songwriter Warren Defever handling
the low end. This instrumental
switcheroo lent the band a sparser,

stripped-down sound that was strik-
ing in its simplicity.
Musically, the new songs show a
lot of potential. "New Broken Jaw"
alternates between a quiet, forlorn
verse and a chaotic, squalling chorus,
"Bladder" combines some intriguing
polyrhythms and angular guitar lines
with Neal's fragile voice and many of
the other songs like "Pigeon" and
"Wyoming" blended these elements
of beauty, harshness and strangeness
into new forms of bent melody. The
only problems with the show were
that it didn't go on longer and that the
band currently has no new record that
they are promoting. However, word
has it that the band may be putting
something out soon. At any rate, keep
an eye and an ear out for the Dirt
Eaters; they're one of the best bands
around the area.

Goo Goo Dolls
A Boy Named Goo
Warner Brothers
Every wonder what happened to
good ol' rock 'n' roll? Well, rock 'n'
roll supposedly moved to Buffalo, the
home of the back-to-basics band, the
Goo Goo Dolls. With their fifth re-
lease, "A Boy Named Goo," the band
returned to the studio to make an
album replete with hooks, lines and
more than a few sinkers.

Taking their cue from the Ramones,
the Goo Goo Dolls want music to return
to the heyday of rock. Thus, their brand
of "hardcore pop" was born. Firmly
standing by the theory that there just
isn't enough gut-wrenching, guitar-
based rock in our "pure pop" world, the
Goo's have taken it upon themselves to
start a revolution, attempting to return
us to the days of old R.E.M. and the
Replacements. But, sadly, their latest
attempt is pretty non-revolutionary.
"Flat Top," seems merely to be stan-

dard jangle pop - fun, but nothing
really unique. "Name," one of the few
slower songs on the album, is actually
one of their best. You can hear the
lyrics, and the fact that it's unhurried
distinguishes it from the rest of the
album, all of which sounds pretty much
the same. Though the record is natural,
this seems to come primarily from the
fact that it sounds like someone just hit
the record button while alocal band was
banging away, then took the recording
to the studio to polish it up. Not the kind
of "natural" most bands are looking for.
Even more disappointing is that the
Goo Goo Dolls could not come up with
enough of their own material. Instead,
covers from the Lime Spiders and the
Enemies arefound, bothofwhich surely
sound better when done by the original
songwriters.
Overall, the Goo Goo Dolls have
set out with high hopes, and left us
with merely lower expectations for
next time.
- Lise Harwin
Juicy
For the Ladies
Slow River Records
Indie-pop goddesses that formed
a band to spite their possessive boy-
friends, Juicy are four women who
play music that is as much influ-
enced by riot grrl manifestos as it is
by Pavement's melodies. Songs like
"Rocketscientist," "Psycho Ex-Boy-
friend," "Rocketboy" and "Fuck
You I'm Cool" show that any
boyfriend's silly behavior isn't nec-
essarily the fault of any girl, or even
the girl's problem.
Oh yeah, and they rock too, in a
low-fi sort of way. Sort of like the

sitive feelings and home taping to
glorious effect. Juicy are definitely
a find; score one "For the Ladies."
- Heather Phares
Nick Drake
Way to Blue: an Introduction
Rykodisc
Though he never found the fame
he longed for while he was alive,
Nick Drake, now over 20 years dead,
is finally selling some records. Ev-
ery year, he sells a few more as
more are drawn to his breathtak-
ingly beautiful and small body of
work by the testimony of big names
in the music business like J Mascis,
Lucinda Williams and Dave Pirner. .
Each of his three albums and a com-
pilation of previously unreleased
recordings are available now, along
with a fine collection from all four
discs entitled "Way to Blue" that
serves as an excellent introduction
to Drake's music, a folk-inflected
blend of pop and poetry, beauty and
sadness.
Drake's recorded life is fairly
evenly distributed on "Way to Blue."
Five songs are taken from both his
stunning debut, "Five Leaves Left"
and his slightly overblown follow-
up, "Bryter Layter," including the
stunning "Cello Song," the brilliant
"Time Has Told Me" and the abso-
lutely amazingly beautiful "North-
ern Sky." Four songs are included
from Drake's troubled, introspec-
tive and incredible third album,
"Pink Moon." Though only two
tracks are chosen from the posthu-
mous compilation of rarities "Time
of No Reply," both are

0'

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114
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a ndyo u th t rav el o r a n iza t i o
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