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January 31, 1996 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-31

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

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Continued from Page 5
Cibo Matto
Viva! La Woman
Warner Brothers
A female Japanese trip-hop duo that
writes songs about food and samples
such diverse artists as Ennio Morricone
and Paul Weller. How much kookier
and trendier can you get?
Fortunately, Cibo Matto (the name
means "food crazy" in their native
tongue) are much cooler and more lis-
tenable than their hip-hop hipster cre-
dentials might lead one to believe.
"Viva! La Woman" is filled with a
smorgasbord of sounds and melodies.
One moment Cibo Matto wax poetic
("Apple," "Le Pain Perdu"), the next
they're shouting and raising a musical
ruckus ("Beef Jerky," "Birthday Cake").
Elegant, ethereal ballads like "Sugar
Water" and"Artichoke" are right at home
with wacky numbers like "Know Your
Chicken" and a wry, sophisticated take
on the pop standard "The Candy Man."
Cibo Matto's ample samples lend their
music a sleek, jazzy feel that keeps their
sumptuous sonics from soundingtooscat-
tered. "Sugar Water" and "Theme" in
particularbenefit fromthis focusedeclec-
ticism. Like fellow trip-hoppers Tricky,
Portishead and (to acertain extent) Bjdrk,
the group's music is breathtakingly free
from preconceived musical notions. This
fun, spontaneous experimentalism makes
"Viva! La Woman" crazy, tasty food for
- Heather Phares
Roosevelt Sykes
Hard Drivin' Blues
More than any other musical form,
the blues is filled with unsung heroes
and neglected talents. One of these men
is Roosevelt Sykes, also known as "The
Honeydripper" (really).
Many people are familiar with old,
folksy sounding county-bluesmen like
Son House andespecially Robert Johnson.
The tin pan alley guitar strains and the
high, tormented voices are not as strange
to our ears as Sykes' music. Even though
he began his career as a guitarist, Sykes
switched to piano when he moved to the
city. He is different from many blues
pianists in that he is somewhere between
the loose, pop-oriented sounds of Peetie
Wheatstraw and Fats Waller and the
crunchy urban sounds of ivory spankers
like Otis Spann and Pinetop Perkins. His
sound is unique and brilliant.
Nearly every track is a lesson in early
boogie piano. Songs like "Noth
Gulfport Boogie" and "Dresser Draw-
ers" are filled with old-school boogie
devices like 16th note triplets and a
plethora of grace notes; in addition,
there are bluesy flourishes like rapid
glissandi, repeated notes played behind
the beat and stop time fills. On a less
dignified note, Sykes shows his alle-
giance to the old style by performing
fairly dirty sounding songs like "I Like
What You Do (When You Do What
You Done Last Night)" and "Dresser
Drawers" (consider these lyrics: "Got
my baby a new dresser for Christmas/
And she let ramble all in her drawers.")
Apart from powerful testimony on
the piano, Sykes displays great prowess
as a singer. Rooted in the gospel tradi-
tion, Sykes has a strong, declamatory
style like other church-influenced
southerners like Muddy and B.B. King.
This is a good record for blues fans
who are looking to expand their collec-

tion to something a little farther out of
the mainstream. Sykes has a sound all
his own, and the power and talent to
make a statement with it.
- James P. Miller
Various Artists
Punk You - Music For the Dis-
cerning Slacker Punk Vol. 1
EMI Records' compilation of mostly
'70s UK-punk is a pretty good collection
of the genre, with excellent quality mas-
tering and song selection. However, there
is one problem with the album - where
the hell are the Sex Pistols?
Apparently, EMI doesn't consider
the Sex Pistols to be an important part
of punk rock history. Maybe it's be-
cause they dropped the band shortly
before the Pistols achieved world star-
dom. Nevertheless, a record that can't
laugh at itself and leaves off the most
important band in punk history has a
serious deficiency. How fitting would
it havebeen to include the Pistols' anti-
EMI song "EMI" right smack on the
compilation? The world will never
While"Punk You" does overlap quite
a bit with Rhino Records' own "D.I.Y.
Anarchy In the UK" punk compilation,
it still adds a number of different and
quite superb tracks for a warmer feel.


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