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January 13, 1995 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-13

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

i m Mr nmgri ny - rruay, Jnury 1, ±'V -a

0New Bomb Turks blow up Ohio

All right, ante up bozos. You can
play your Green Day; you can tout
your Offspring; you can even bluff
your Rancid (but only if you have a
real straight poker face, if you catch
my drift). But, even before my turn
swings around,-I say the New Bomb
Turks will win all bets. The Turks
I* stand as the jacks of all trades - the
aces in the hole - in this supposed
"punk explosion" that's sweeping the
giant high-stakes card table that we
dub "the nation." They're four of a
kind, and, unless you have a full house
buried somewhere in your lap and
intend to cheat, I have you beat.
Yeah, yeah. All those California
punk bandspreachin'ourgeneration's
low self-esteem and masturbatory
prowess really have us all pegged,
don't they? Well, the New Bomb
Turks, from Columbus, Ohio, pos-
sess a few traits that are lacking in
Rancid Green Religion - humor,
creativity and musicality. They also
know a thing or two about our com-
mon neuroses that bind us together,
but unlike California's slack punks,
the New Bomb Turks have mastered
the art of high-energy performance
and highly inquisitive lyrics.
"I tend not to read (the lyrics),"
countered the Turks' guitarist Jim
Weber. "If an album comes with a
lyric sheet, I usually stay away. If I
like a song, then read the lyrics, and I
hate the lyrics, it might ruin it forme."
Well, perhaps. But singer Eric
Davidson's lyrics hold up under close
scrutiny. Davidson can indeed "turn a
word pretty good," as Weber said,
crafting his words through numerous

clever anecdotes about procrastina-
tion, fashion slaves, limp folk musi-
cians and the real world. In fact, the
Turks second album, "Information
Highway Revisited," thunders
through 16 scorching slabs of garage
punk mayhem, most of which are
humor-filled communiqu6s from the
front lines of the war between the real
world rat-race of greed and a fun-
filled life-style of procrastination.
Some of the best include the
opening rager "Id Slips In," where
Davidson slyly intones "You keep
trying just to please your ass / All
the while you're a slave to your
class / You end up following the
same old rules / You look around,
trying to clean your slate / Showed
up at your life so fashionably late /
Now all the makeup in the world
won't save your face;" the harmonic
praise of wasting time in "If I Only
Could," in which Davidson screams
"So it's time to waste some time /
and there's no time to waste; / I'd
spit this shit right out my mouth, /
but man I like that taste;" and the
apathetic fallout of "Grandpa
Atomic," where Davidson mocks
"If it ain't a bullet, my student loans
will kill me / If we're gonna be the
police of the world, I want my do-
nuts free."
If you're wondering whether or
not you should fold and toss your
hand in based merely on the Turks
lyrics, you must first let me describe
the majestic might of the band's mu-
sic. Unlike all of the California punk
bands who borrow large portions of
creative energy from '70s British
punk bands like the Sex Pistols and

the Damned, the New Bomb Turks
mix '60s British Invasion bands like
the Rolling Stones with American
punk bands from the '70s such as the
Saints and the Pagans. The sound is a
brilliant amalgamation which, when
coupled with the group's intensity, is
a blinding vision to witness live.
"We play loud, fast rock 'n' roll,"
Weber said. "We draw from all as-
pects, so it's not pigeonholed into one
category. I tend to stay away from the
punk moniker because it's kind of
entrapping nowadays. If you say
you're a punk band, people will think
you sound like Rancid, which is not
really the case."
However, like Rancid and the rest
of its motley lot, the New Bomb Turks
have recently achieved limited MTV
airplay (limited, as in once) of their
video for "Girl Can Help It" - an
unheard of feat for a band on the
independent, raunchy rock label Crypt
Records. Will the New Bomb Turks
become the Green Day of tomorrow?
"No," responded Weber. "Wedon't
have a huge record company behind us
with millions of dollars to promo the
shit and send payola out to the record
stores, radio stations and MTV."
However, Crypt Records recently
penned a new distribution deal with
indie giant Matador Records. And,
with Matador tied to Atlantic, could a
major label debut be in the future?
Maybe, but the 'Turks aren't sweat-
ing it, claiming happiness in their
current roles as underground sensa-
tions of the sprawling Ohio rock ex-
Do you fold? My hand's still hid-
den, and I could be bluffing. You

Punk rock titans the New Bomb Turks have finally realized that Billie Jean is indeed their son.

could call my bid and raise the bet by
strolling on down to The Blind Pig
tomorrow night and witnessing the
Bomb Turks blow up thejoint. It's the

only way you'll win.
tomorrow night at The Blind Pig
with Detroit's own Rocket 455.

Tickets cost onlyfive bucks in
advance at Schoolkids Records and
the doors open at 9:30 p.m. Be
there or be sauare daddy-o!

Romantic 'Speechless' has nothing to say
In "The Player," Griffin Mill, thet
egocentric and paranoid film pro-
ducer, is asked by a would-be screen-
writer if he is scared by a political
script. Mill confesses he is a political
radical. The producers of "Speech- TIN
less," should have been frightened of
political as well. Trite political. Point- 3v

Directed by Ron Underwood
with Geena Davis and
Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton was left speechless after seeing Geena Davis' "Angie."

less political. Banal political. More
accurately, trite, pointless and banal
Despite the presence of two very
likable and legitimate stars, Michael
Keaton and GeenaDavis, "Speechless"
never manages to convince as a roman-
tic comedy at the most basic of levels;
we never believe that its two central
characters should and do fall in love.
Thechemistry between Keaton and
Davis is infinitely more recognizable
than that in the two other highly-
anticipated Hollywood romantic
pieces to infest theater this year,
namely "I Love Trouble" and "Love

, -o

Affair." Yet it still fails to achieve a
genuinely touching and captivating
mutual relationship between the two
lead characters.
Kevin (Michael Keaton) and Julia
(Geena Davis) meet in a drug store
and fall in love temporarily only to
discover that they are speechwriters
for opposing political candidates.
From that point of discovery on, con-
flict ensues, compounded by the pres-
ence of the requisite other man and
woman in their lives.
The promising premise is, despite
claims by the filmmakers to the con-
trary, is in all likelihood rooted in the
relationship and marriage of oppos-
ing 1992 presidential campaign advi-
sors, James Carville and Mary
Matali n.
With the current success of their
book, "All's Fair," subsequent talk-
show tour in support, and Carville's
high-profile role in the Clinton cam-
paign documentary "The War Room,"
Carville and Matalin are currently a
highly visible couple. "Speechless"
is a promising attempt at capitalizing
on the fifteen minutes of fame of
these two strong personalities.
The fault for the failure of "Speech-
less" may indeed lie in its initially
most interesting aspect-the casting.
Keaton and Davis, both fine perform-
ers, are entering rather unfamiliar
water in this film and end up treading
it to stay afloat.

The charm of Michael Keaton is
decidedly not one of a romantic na-
ture. His typically quirky persona is
allowed to show only when the film
degenerates into a series of one-up-
ping one-liners. Too often his tradi-
tional tendencies are at war with the
romantic leading man image. As a
result we never really receive a full,
well-developed character from
Keaton, but bits and pieces of one.
Davis too is typically an offbeat
performer. The closest she may have,
previously come to having to display
degrees of love for a companion de-,
spite adversity and differing person-'
alities was "The Fly." Yet David
Cronenberg's modern horror master-
piece is more a metaphor for living
with, and loving, the terminally ill
than simply loving.
The promise of "Speechless" -
that it just may be the intelligent ro-
mantic comedy that Hollywood con-
tinues to not produce - is never ful-
filled. Certainly not an utter disaster,.
"Speechless" will satisfy the escap-
ists who can't recognize the formulas
from the real deal. Unfortunately, a
true, charming film is fighting to get
out, yet it ends up getting bogged
down by an unwillingness to move
the script past the obvious and a pair
of lead performers who never seem
truly comfortable together.
SPEECHLESS is playing at
Briarwood and Showcase.!

Continued from page 8
into a lot of country and western mu-
sic when she grew up which I think
you can hear (in our music), and I
listen to a lot of good '70s pop which
I think you can hear too. So, I would
say (our sound is) rock and let people
have their own scary little mental
Lyrically, Scrawl writes about dis-
illusion and disappointment in rela-
tionships, and, like fellow Ohio band,
Scrawl's good friends the Afghan
Whigs, the words are not typical paint-
by-numbers rock lyrics. They deliver
engaging and thoughtful stories within
the framework of the songs.
"They're very autobiographical,"
Harshe said about the lyrics. "And
they're very introverted. I know they
were hard for Marcy to write. Record-
ing them was just a really exhausting
process. Those lyrics were created
pretty darkly, yet they're still pretty
hopeful. Marcy and I need a lot of
emotion in the lyric department to
feel purged."

Scrawl and the Afghan Whigs are
only two parts of a larger diverse and
critically acclaimed Ohio music scene.
Columbus, besides being home for
the Ohio State Buckeyes, has Scrawl,
the New Bomb Turks and Gaunt. Cin-
cinnati remains the home-base for the
Afghan Whigs and Ass Ponys. Cleve-
land is called home by.Cobra Verde,
and, of course, the Breeders and
Guided By Voices hail from Dayton.
"(The music scene) is weird be-
cause it's always been that way," said
Harshe, "but it seems now that, with

The Office of /lcademicMulticultural'9nitiatives
is now taking applicationsfor
Student Leader
positions for the King/Chdvez/parks
College Day Spring Visitation Program
Application Deadline is 7anuary 2?, 1995
Student leaders accompany visiting middle school
students throughout the day serving as guides
and role models while providing information about
the college experience. Student leaders usually
work in teams of three. They should be fairly
outgoing individuals and have a keen interest in
and commitment to helping students underrepresented
in higher education develop personal motivation for a
college education. Many positions are
available, and scheduling can be flexible.
7pplications and job descriptions can be obtained at
The Office of /cademic Multicultural Tnitiatives
1042 7leming Yuilding, first floor
3For additional information contact
3elton Rogers at 936-1055

Guided By Voices and the Breeders,
it's just come to light. Ohio never really
jumped on a bandwagon; I think maybe
it was that perseverance in doing your
own thing that has paid off."
Scrawl will record a new album
this winter, "trying to start the cycle
up again," as Harshe said.
SCRA WL p ays tonight at The Brind
Pig with Pretty Mighty Mighty.
Advance tickets cost onlyfive
dollars and are available at
Schoolkids and all TicketMaster
outlets. Doors open at 9:30 p.m.



Geena Davis




The William W. Cook Lectures
on American Institutions
Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade

The School of Education will interview students by phone who will be
hired to call alumni nationwide for an alumni fundraising phonathon.
Tn.25 nr hnur incontive- hnnin nnv nI,, -rent wnrLernorience!

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