3p Atdi u N
Wanna hear some southern-fried acoustic rock? Jackopierce, those
Texan melodic rockers are making their way to the Blind Pig tonight.
Come check 'em out for a mere $10. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Tickets
are available at Schoolkids' and the Michigan Union Ticket office.
February 20, 1996
By Kristin Long
Daily Arts Writer
Some movies can leave you feeling
g ; some can leave you with a tear in
your eye; some can make you angry;
and some can even leave you a little
scared. The film "Things To Do In
Denver When You're Dead," however,
touches upon each of these emotions,
leaving its audience with a feeling of
awe as they exit the theater.
It is a profound story of the life of a
mobster-turned-business man who has
*en hired to do a job that should make
him financially set for life. Andy Garcia
stars as the smooth-talking Jimmy "the
Saint," whose task is to round up his old
buddies and carry out the tedious duty.
The film begins with rather degrading
digs toward homosexuals. The audience
is given the initial impression that the film
will be nothing but killings, repeated ob-
in society. After the initial introduction,
bashing ends and the film explodes
Wto the heart of its story.
"Denver" has its share of blood and
guts, but because it is displayed in a
tasteful manner, we cannot classify the
film as a kill-fest. The central characters
are given a job by "The Man With The
Plan" (Christopher Walken) to scare his
psychopathic son's ex-girlfriend's new
love, so that she may run back to the son.
Confused? Good -- that's how you
ll be for a great deal of the movie.
het, it is not a bad confusion where you
are lost in the mix, but a confusion that
Things to do in
O Directed by Gary Felder
with Andy Garcia and
enhances the intricacies of the plot.
Needless to say, the plan goes sour.
As "The Man" says, the fellas become
"buckwheats." He sends the gruesome
*r. Shhh to seek and destroy them.
ayed by Steve Buscemi, Mr. Shhh has
Ann Arbor Summer
Festival 1996 Season
The Ann Arbor Summer Festival kicked
off its season last Saturday with a
"wlnter warm-Up" concert featuring the
incomparable Patti LuPone and the Ann
Arbor Symphony Orchestra. The
following is a partial list of the Summer
June 14. Top of the Park Opens
June 15: The Chenille Sisters
June 16: Poncho Sanchez
JXune 17: Mur-Mur.
Jun 18 Johnny Cash:
June 20: The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra
June 21: TBA
June 22: Urban Bush Women
ne 23: Kid's Day at the Top of the
June 24; The Sisters of Glory
June 25: American String Workshop.
June 26: The Mavericks
June 27: Dance Gallery/Peter Sparling
June 28: The Billy Taylor Trio
June 29: TBA
June 30: David Parker
- Melissa Rose Bernard
Punk Mr. T: Are you experienced?
By Brian A. Gnatt
Daily Music Editor
Known as much for its name as for its
music, Berkeley's Mr. T Experience isn't
just another one ofthose three-chord Cal-
punk flavor of the month bands. They're
the original East Bay thing.
Before Rancid, Green Day or Opera-
tion Ivy even formed, The Mr. T Expe-
rience was playing pizza parlors and
laundromats in the town that would
sometime down the line, turn into a
hotbed for a new and innovative punk
Dr. Frank, vocalist, guitarist and
songwriter of The Mr. T Experience,
remembers the days ofGreen Day open-
ing for his band in living rooms and
basements around Berkeley. Things
have changed a bit in the past few years,
but the bands are still playing together,
albeit with Green Day headlining this
time on their upcoming European sta-
dium tour. Dr. Frank said he could deal.
After 10 years of playing his punk
heart out in The Mr. T Experience, 3.1-
year-old Frank said he is content put-
ting out great records, even if he isn't a
MR. T EXPERIENCE
Where: The Shelter
When: Tonight. Doors 7:30 p.m.
At Michigan Union Ticket office.
larger-than-life rock star. As a part of
Berkeley's Lookout Records original
core ofhard-hittingpop-punkers, Frank
said The Mr. T Experience has come
farther than he ever expected.
"The idea of The Mr. T Experience
being mega-super-pop-stars is so far-
fetched, and The Mr. T Experience
even making another record each time
we do it is so far fetched, that I don't
think any record mogul is really going
to take us seriously," Dr. Frank said in
a recent telephone interview from New
Jersey. "With a couple of notable ex-
ceptions, I think the magic of East Bay
punk hasn't really reaped the awards
they expected. Some of the bands that
made thatjump to majorlabels haven't
done all that well.
"We sure could do a lot worse than
being on Lookout Records," he contin-
ued. "Lookout loves us like a mother
loves her retarded child. No matter how
many bad things we do, no matter how
many things we break, and no matter
how much we drool on ourselves, they'll
still stick by us and let us go on to break
more things and drool on ourselvesagain.
I can say that David Geffen probably
wouldn't allow you to break more than
a few things, and I don't think he'd like
this drooling thing we're always doing,
so I think Lookout Records is a much
more homey place to be."
With band-mates Jym (drums) and
Joel (bass), Dr. Frank writes and records
the band's thrilling and energetic pop-
punk masterpieces. Released last month,
the band's latest record "Love Is Dead"
cooks up another batch of Mr. T songs
all about love, loss, relationships, and
Prozac. The band's seventh record is
their most cohesive release to date,
packed full with 16 new ditties in the
band's classic 2 1/2 minute packages of
"It's the best execution of the concept
that we've ever managed to come up
See MR. T, Page 8
Gabrielle Anwar Is a babe.
the physique of a total wimp; however,
he is rather eerie and intimidating.
The majority of the plot deals with the
guys hiding from the assassin. Jimmy, as
the middle man, feels it is his job to help
them find refuge. They have all found
new lives, and this devastating event gives
their stories an uncomfortable twist.
Joe Heff (Jack Warden) narrates this
tale to patrons at a malt shop, appropri-
ately a favorite meeting place ofthe gang.
At first, it is hard to understand what he is
trying to say: once the plot starts moving,
however, he is a constant figure that puts
the movie in perspective.
One of the guys, Franchise (William
Forsythe), has a wife and kids to protect.
He is the stable, full-liearted individual
whose sensibility keeps the group
grounded. The othermembers ofthegroup
have rather peculiar life-styles. For ex-
ample, Pieces (Christopher Lloyd) runs
films in a sleazy porn theater.
Critical Bill (Treat Williams), a de-
ranged lunatic, works in a funeral home
and preps bodies. He is paranoid and
insists on having extremely high secu-
rity in his home. Then there is East
Wind (Bill Nunn) who has a small role
as the one-time jail man who now works
at Ike's Pest Control.
This flick even has its share of ro-
mance, which is, perhaps, the most en-
joyable aspect of the film. In a bar,
Jimmy encounters the ever-beautiful
Dagney (Gabrielle Anwar), who steals
his heart at the wrong time in his life. He
has the most powerful line: "You can
go years without a Dagney and then you
meet one." Their rendezvous is classy
and more than appropriate in the film.
Garcia's character is astonishing. He is
the guy that gets thejob done;even though
it's a dishonest job, he'll be there to take
the blame when things fall apart. He
wants all that any decent man would
want, but is willing to surrender his own
aspirations to make his loved ones happy.
In a way, everything moral, social and
political about "Things To Do In Denver
When You're Dead" is wrong. This is
probably what makes this film so incred-
ible and thought-provoking. Although it
does not have that happy-feel-good effect
about it, "Denver" is definitely worth the
price of admission.
311 opened the show for Cypress Hill at the State Theater on Friday night. MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily
Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar
countless other folk records. Here,
though, old sentiments like those are
somehow given new grace by the quiet
glow of the melodies. It's hard not to
become entranced by the gentle sway
of songs like "So Far to Fall," "Piper"
and "Further & Further Away."
Wheeler is a mature singer who avoids
over-sentimentalizing her easiest lyri-
cal targets. On the standout title track,
her simple vocal filigrees bring out the
sweeter side of the lyrics, which pay
loving homage to guitars and old friends.
As an added bonus, Wheeler has a
sharp satirical side that, by some accounts,
shows up more in live performance than
it does on record. The best example of it
here is "TV." In that song, she pokes fun
at America's TV culture by way of a
lament over all the prime-time goodies
("bowling shows, old guys fishin'/ bald
guy stuff, psychic network") that get
missed when the power goes out.
She takes even more direct aim at
those who hate all things liberal on
"Makes Good Sense to Me." Such people
are obviously some of Wheeler's least
favorite folks. Sarcasm pours out of the
speakers as she sings lines like: "While
we're repealing those gun laws/let's re-
peal those murder laws too."
Those songs add a bit of an edge to a
record that probably needed it. If Wheeler
were to marry her best melodies to lyrics
with convictions as strong as the ones in
her satirical songs, she would probably
fulfill the great promise she shows on
- Brian Duignan
See RECORDS, Page 8
Listening to a fine out-of-nowhere al-
bum always reminds me ofthe possibility
that the best singer-songwriters are often
those whom most people have never heard
of. With her new record, Cheryl Wheeler
joins my list of exciting artists who have
- throughout the course of their careers
- penned far more songs than auto-
graphs. That list includespeople like Mary
Karlzen and Grant MacLennan. All are
talents who deserve not to be forgotten.
With the exception of the hummable
pop anthem "Does the Future Look
Black," the record is nearly all straight
folk. Its lyrics are filled with the same
sort of memories and melancholic
musings on love that can be found on
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