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April 23, 1996 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-23

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ft firwuym OWN

Readings from 'Suspicious River'
Local writer Laura Kasischke, who won a slew of Hopwood Awards while
a student at the University, comes to Borders tonight to read from her .
first novel, "Suspicious River." The reading starts at 7:30 and is free.

AKuesday 6B
April 23, 19969

Dancing toward fame
Ska-punkers crash at State Theatre

'MST3K' breaks
out of cult secrecy

by Brian A. Gnatt
Daily Music Editor
With their upbeat pop-punk melo-
dies and lovable ska rhythms mixed
With sugary-sweet female vocals, the
-Dance Hall Crashers are one band that
could dance right into just about
anyone's heart.
The powerful harmonizing vocals of
Elyse Rogers and Karina Denike, gui-
tarists Jason Hammon and Scott
DANCE HALL
CRASHERS
WITH BAD RELIGION
AND UNWRITTEN LAW
Where: The StateATheatre
When: Thursday, April 25
at 7:30 p.m,
For tickets, call Ticketmaster at
(810) 645-6666.
Goodell, drummer Gavin Hammon and
bassist Mikey Weiss make the Dance
Hiall Crashers quite an army in sightand
sound. With their major influences com-
ing from The Specials, The Clash and
most importantly ska-punk originators
Operation Ivy, DHC wear their influ-
ences on their sleeves, but what beauti-
ful sleeves they are.
"We're certainly not a punk band,"
Rogers said in an interview with The
'Michigan Daily. "There's somuch more
to being a punk rock band than playing
a couple of punk songs.
"As far as who we play with, most of
our friends and most of the bands we play
. with are in the punk scene and that's sort

of the road we travel. We enjoy that a lot
more than the ska scene right now in the
U.S. We do play ska, we always have and
we always will, but as far as what the U.S.
is calling a ska band, I don't think that we
necessarily fit in to that, and I don't think
the traditional ska kids here in the U.S.
would call us that."
DHC formed in 1989 asasideproject
of Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman of
Operation Ivy. The two left shortly af-
ter to devote themselves full time to
Rancid, but DHC picked up a few new
members and continued on their way.
They released a record on New York's
Moon-Ska Records, and broke up
shortly after the release in 1990. But the
band couldn't stay apart and reformed
for what was supposed to be one show,
but turned into quite a few more.
With the release of their spunky ma-
jor label debut "Lockjaw" last year on
MCA's new 510 label, DHC have been
touring constantly across the country,
building up a healthy fanbase through
their wildly awesome live shows.
"Everyone will always say our live
shows are better than our record, which
is a compliment to us, because it's more
real," Rogers said. "But we were very
happy with the record."
This trip through Michigan brings
the Crashers along with Cal-punk origi-
nals Bad Religion. For the summer,
DHC are on the bill for the second
Warped tour with NOFX, Pennywise,
CIV and in some areas The Mighty
Mighty Bosstones and 311.
Before the release of "Lockjaw,"
Rogers and the rest of the band were busy
with life asidefrom music. A graduate of
Berkeley wit a degree in political sci-

The lovable Dance Hall Crashers hit Detroit's State Theatre on Thursday.

By Michael Zilberman
Daily Arts Writer
With a certain amount of sadness, 1
have to announce that MST3K is no
longer the small screen's best-kept se-
cret. The Satellite Of Love has landed
at a theater near you, and there's no
denying a little sense of loss, always
present when a cult object suddenly
goes big; not unlike hardcore R.E.M.
fans helplessly watching "Losing My
Religion" climb up the charts and try-
ing to cope with the prospect of sharing
their idols with
"Seventeen" and
"Tiger Beat."
From now on, Myste
the devout The
MSTies may feel
a bit queasy upon
seeing Showcase
hawking"MST3K
combos" (pop- Directed
corn, large drink, with Mich
candy and a
poster).
They might like
to know, however,
that the creators of the show didn't
even seem to notice the transition to
the big screen. In fact, "MST3K: The
Movie" is actually nothing more (or
less, for that matter), than an above-
average episode of the TV show, com-
plete with a very short introductory
passage.
The plot of the movie still goes as
follows: Mike Nelson(played by, why,
Michael Nelson), is stranded in space
and subjected to a heinous "experi-
ment" by mad professor Dr. Clayton
Forrester (Trace Beaulieu), by being
forced to watch hundreds of grade-Z
movies. To survive, Mike builds a
couple of robot sidekicks from house-
hold appliances, and together they fend
off the assaults by creatively heckling
the movies. We're watching the said
stinkers from, behind their shoulders,
hearing their snide remarks overlap
with the dialogue.
That's all there is to it; the premise
is simple and ingenious, with loads
of peculiar overtones (declaring
postmodernist irony as a defense
mechanism, testing boundaries ofref-
erential humor, etc.) for those who
are interested, and a bunch of great
one-liners for those who are not. The
movie, thankfully, retains all the

..
,

qualities of the show - without going
into uncharted territories. It tries to
develop an actual plot, the strategy
that failed the otherwise terrific "Kids
In The Hall" movie and is most likely
to harm the upcoming "Beavis aj1
Butthead" project.
On some occasions, you're betteroff
not thinking too hard about the small-
screen roots of the movie, or you'll end
up getting distracted by changes in the
set or regretting the absence of TV's
Frank. In some other places, knowing
the show helps -
REVIEW it's downright hi-
larious watching
ry Science the authors try t)
ater 3000: find an equivalent
of commercial
The Movie breaks in a format
that doesn't re-
quire them.
by Jim Mallon As forthe movie
ael Nelson and on which the sar-
castic autopsy is
Trace Beaulieu being performed,
At Showcase well, it's "This Is-
land Earth,"a 1955
sci-fi flick featuring "aliens with a vies
ible panty line and a hero who doesn't do
anything," (as summed up by Crow T.
Robot).
It's clear that more labor than usual
went into writing the individual gags
(most of them have been tried out in a
couple of unprecedented live perfor-
mances). The intervals between the wise-
cracks are longer, too, which is smart
considering that the mass laughter in t
audience would drown out every othNJ
one.
They also got a bit raunchier - after
years of settling for "poopie!" it's hard
to resist the temptation to shout out what
has always been not-quite-said. Don't
worry though, it will still be useful to
brush up on your Kafka, Salinger,
Dostoyevsky and "Gilligan's Island"
before going.
And don't even think about leaving
before the end of the credit sequencf
The characters stay, poking fun at their
own creators' names in a head-spin-
ning grand finale. The show may be
canceled now, but by joining the pri-
mordial soup of Hollywood obscuri-
ties, it has emerged from seven years
ago; "MST3K" has completed the
circle and achieved an appropriately
ironic closure.

ence, Rogers said the band is made up of
some academics, with a mix of graduates
and Jason, who is one year away from a
getting his law degree.
As for her political prophesy: "I hope
to God Dole does not get any position,"
Rogers said. "It's obviously a shitty
thing having a very very staunch Re-
publican Congress with Clinton, be-
cause then just nothing gets done. I will

be voting for Clinton."
But for now, the Crashers are more
concerned with simply surviving their
current tour, all smashed together on
the band's tour bus.
"We've got Boggle, we've got
Pictionary. We need to be entertained all
the time, I think is our problem." Rogers
said. "We've got all the video games. It's
just big fucking Camp Snoopy bus."

Adams' Ensemble spins a new twist on Zappa

By Craig Stuntz
Daily Arts Writer
Quick, namethe American composer
of contemporary classical music with
the widest name recognition. "Philip
Glass," you might say, "or maybe John

Adams." Nope, try Frank Zappa, the
man who, in addition to almost single-
handedly making the '70s musically
relevant, remains to this day, years after
his death, amore animated and interest-
ing presidential candidate than any of

the major parties have managed to offer
up.
Composer and conductor John
Adams will lead the Ensemble Mod-
ern, a European group dedicated to
the performance of 20th century mu-
sic, in "From A dams to Zappa." an
evening of music influenced by
Edgard Varese, tomorrow night at Hill
Auditorium. This performance will
be the last date of the Ensemble's first
tour in the United States. (If you
bought your tickets early, note that
the date and venue have changed from
the original schedule.)
Most people, of course, associate
Zappa with the Mothers of Invention
and songs like "Dyna-Mo Hum," rather
than classical music. But he worked
extensively with the Ensemble Mod-
ern, most notably with the 1991 CD and
concert production "From the Yellow
Shark." Wednesday's performance will
featurethree selections from this project,
including "G-Spot Tornado," an acous-
tic transcription of a screamingly fast
and shamelessly poppy song that Zappa
and his cohorts programmed on a
Synclavier back in 1984.
The group will also take on two
other Zappa tunes that lesser musi-

ENSEMBLE
MODERN
WITH JOHN ADAMS
Where: Hill Auditorium
When: Tomorrow at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $20-$32. Call
764-2538 for more information.
cians (and transcribers!) would not
dare touch: "Get Whitey" and "The
Girl in the Magnesium Dress," both
of which were also created on the
Synclavier. Zappa was said to be ini-
tially skeptical that the latter could
ever be played by humans
In fact, a general theme of the con-
cert seems to be music that was con-
sidered too difficult for live musi-
cians to play. Conlon Nancarrow, a
resident of Mexico City, spent his
formative decades composing music
exclusively for the player piano! His
music, which layers canonic musical
lines, each in a different tempo, on
top of each other, is so complex that it
took him 40 years to find musicians
capable of playing it.
See ADAMS, Page 10B

Cocteau Twins
Twinlights EP
Otherness EP
Capitol
The Cocteau Twins, longtime mas-
ters of the dream-pop genre, return
with two EPs that provide different
takes on their sound, as well as pre-

John Adams leads the Ensemble Modern tomorrow evening at Hill.

ake The

E U

view some of the new material that ap-
pears on their "Milk and Kisses" album,
due at the end of April. "Twinlights"
comes close to being an "Unplugged"
from the group; theTwins strip the trade-
mark effects from their sound. "Other-
ness," however, remixes four songs into
trancey techno excursions.
Of the two, "Twinlights" is more suc-
cessful. The opening track, "Rilke*i
Heart" features understated piano and
guitars framing Liz Fraser's remarkable,
soaring voice. The high notes she hits on
"Golden-Vein" are nothing less than
amazing. The stripped-down version of
the Cocteau Twins works surprisingly
well, mostly because of Fraser's vocals
and the spacious, gentle nature of the
songs.
"Otherness," while still an interes
ing revision of the Twins' sound, i
not as entertaining as "Twinlights,"
mainly because the remixes of the
songs are long and vague. Fraser's
vocals are buried and the dance beats
seem tired. "Feet Like Fins" drags on
forever, as do most of the five-minute-
plus tracks on the EP. "Violaine" is
more musically entertaining than some
of the other tracks, but nevertheless it
sounds uncomfortably close to the
music in hip shampoo commercial#
Both EPs are necessary for die-hard
Cocteaux fans, however, as is the im-
port "Tishbite" single. While they may
not be getting any younger, they're
certainly not getting any less dreamy.
- Heather Phares

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