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February 27, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-27

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Touching and sensual rite of passage
An erotic French coming-of-age movie called "Wild Reeds" will be
playing at the Michigan Theater this afternoon. The film deals with
politics, love, friendship and sex. The show is today at 3:15 p.m.

JI Tuesday
I-1~L:%L K 41

Jaez enchants fans,
keeps folk spirit alive

A 'Monster' of a concert

By Dave Snyder
Daily Arts Writer
Last Saturday night, the Michigan
Theater became a number of things, all
them magical. It served as an elegant
owcase for two immensely talented
folk singers, a gathering place for sev-
eral generations of music lovers, and
most of all, a community of love and
The largely older crowd was obvi-
ously there to see folk legend Joan
Baez, but gave a warm, if tentative,
greeting to opening act Dar Williams,
who proceeded to win over any doubt-
Joan Baez
with Dar
Michigan Theater
Feb. 24, 1996
ers with a generous, energetic set of
songs culled primarily from her new
Obum, "Mortal City."
Equally influenced by older artists
such as Baez and Joni Mitchell, and
neo-folkies like Ani DiFranco, Will-
iams proved why she's generating such
a buzz in the industry. With a charis-
matic, unassuming stage presence and
a witty, conversational style, the
Westchester, N.Y.,native had the sold-
out audience laughing at her anecdotes
d-listening intently to her intimate,
Bad Religion
The Gray Race
Atlantic Records
A lot has happened in the past 16
years. The '80s, as cheese-ridden as
ey were, have come and gone. Wars
have passed and leaders and countries
have changed. Punk died, and then rose
from the dead. Throughout all of this
time, Bad Religion, the godfathers (or,
rather, grandfathers) of punk, have con-
tinued to grow and flourish as a band.
Forget about every other "punk" band
whom you think is good - Bad Reli-
gion is the best, hands down.
After releasing two albums in the
&rly '80s, "How Could Hell Be Any
Worse?" and "Into the Unknown," the
band went on hiatus for a few years, and
came back stronger than ever in 1988
with "Suffer." "Suffer," and the follow-
ing three albums on Epitaph Records,
showcased BR's superior talent for in-
tense, 90-second spurts of raw energy,
driving rhythm and lyrics raging against
government, religion and any other so-
cial norm you can think of.
In 1993, Bad Religion signed with
tlantic Records, and released "Recipe
For Hate." This album showed signs of
the new directions Bad Religion was
headed. The songs were a bit slower, a
longer and more melodic, without losing
their edge. "Recipe For Hate" marked a
new high point in which Bad Religion's
career, and the follow-ups 1994's
"Stranger Than Fiction," became BR's
highest-selling album ever, largely based
the success of two ofthe singles,"21st
entury Digital Boy" and "Infected."
Even though their sound has slowed
down a little over the years, Bad Reli-
gion itself has not. Their ninth studio
effort, "The Gray Race," stands as evi-

highly literate music.
She shone most brightly when per-
forming her quieter numbers, "Febru-
ary" and "This Is Pompeii," and struck
a particular chord with her quirky,
marijuana-themed encore, "The Point-
less, Yet Poignant, Crisis Of A Co-
ed." While waiting to witness folk
music's past, the audience got a
glimpse of its future.
After an intermission that saw count-
less new Dar-lings rush to the lobby to
purchase CDs, Joan Baez took the stage
with her three-piece band to mesmerize
and unify the crowd throughout a two-
hour set that spanned her illustrious
Tracks from her new album of live
duets, "Ring Them Bells," were re-
ceived well; in particular, a rousing
rendition of the Indigo Girls' "Wel-
come Me" and Williams' "You're Ag-
ing Well," with help from Dar, pleased
the younger audience members. "Play
Me Backwards" and "I'm With You,"
off Baez's most recent studio album,
gave testament to her longevity as a
first-rate songwriter.
It wasn't until older material was
dusted off, however, that the expansive
Michigan became a small and intimate
environment, glowing with a warmth
seldom felt at such large performances.
Soon after the opening notes of 1971's
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie
Down," a choir swelled from the floor,
handelapping began, and Joan's still-
powerful voice soared with unmistak-

By Anitha Chalam
For the Daily
The verdict is in: Two out of two
out-of-state a cappella groups received
standing ovations at the Saturday night
Monsters of A Cappella VI concert.
Zero out of three campus groups re-
ceived such honor. Perhaps University
students felt unusually sympathetic
toward schools whose football teams
we have beaten. Perhaps we were ex-
cited by a change from the standard
Michigan a cappella fare.Perhaps these
out-of-state groups came prepared with
secret hypnotic techniques to make us
rise on command. Whatever the rea-
son, this is certain: though all of the
vocal groups performed well on Satur-
day, the Hullabahoos of the University
of Virginia and X-Tension Chords of
the University of Illinois definitely de-
served the praise they received.
Amazin' Blue, one ofthe University's
premier coed a cappella groups, started
offthe evening. Dressed intheirprotocol
formal wear, they performed four songs,
all ofthem intypical Amazin' Blue style,
full of swaying and jiving, as they musi-
cally uttered words such as bop, wank
and tang. Amazin' Blue was well re-
ceived by the audience, and gave a good
With a strange introduction involv-
ing a frog, goat and owl, the
Hullabahoos of the University of Vir-
ginia ran onto the stage from all direc-
tions. They looked appropriately
strange themselves, in jeans,
sweatshirts and robe-like garments,
made from the ugliest fabric patterns
known to man. In spite of their ugly
clothes, however, they were charming,
and as an added bonus, they sang very
well. The audience cheered straight
from the first song to the final one,
when it finally became hoarse, and
decided instead to stand.
The all-female Harmonettes were
third to perform. They had a lot to live
up to, following the Hullabahoos, but
they sang well. They tried to be cute,
but then performed a very sexually
suggestive version of "Sesame

, F r
fff s'
t t -

Monsters of
A Cappella VI
Feb. 24, 1996

Joan Baez performs at the Michigan Theater.

Street"'s "Rubber Duckie." This could
shatter all happy childhood memories
forever for anyone, and this traumatiza-
tion precludes further comment on an
otherwise fine performance.
With arather lame introduction by the
Harmonettes,the X-Tension Chordstook
the stage in preppy attire. They started
with the "2001" theme, conducted by a
referee. In the introduction that followed,
the X-Tension Chords promised plenty
of "in your face" a cappella, which they
delivered. This was an especially lik-
able group, that found the time to enter-
tain the audience with humor, as well as
song, in a game called "Movie Meets
Movie." They also provided the audi-
ence with social commentary on the
history of the pick-up line, which was
both informative and amusing, even if it
had nothing to do with monsters, a
cappella or the number six. Their sing-
ing was amazing, especially their en-
core piece, "Kiss From a Rose.
Last on the scene were the Friars. They
wore tuxedoes, but their childlike behav-
ior (which accounts for their incredible
charisma) was anything but formal. Their
songs corresponded to their attitudes -
even the one serious song was performed
a little humorously. Though they did not
receive a standing ovation, the Friars de-
served one. Apparently they thought so,
too, since they gave not one, but two
encores, the second one being my per-
sonal favorite, a TV-song medley titled
"Another Load of Crap."
The concert lasted a little more than
two hours. The time was well spent, and
so was the money, since the proceeds of
the show went to the Ann Arbor Shelter
Association, which has served the needs
of the homeless since 1982. For those
who missed it, don't let it happen agairr.

able passion.
The loving, almost eerily close atmo-
sphere remained throughout classics like
"Diamonds and Rust," "Jesse" and stan-
dards such as "And The Band Played
Waltzing Matilda," "On The Road
Again," and the unexpected R & B of
"Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" The
younger generation in attendance
couldn't help but be seamlessly swept
into another era, and even the most

uninitiated folk music fan felt like part
of a family.
Not long before Baez closed the night
with a chillingly beautiful a cappella
rendering of "Amazing Grace," com-
plete with a sea of voices to help her, an
audience member called out, "we love
you," and Joan replied, "it's mutual!"
After witnessing the concert, no one at
the Michigan could doubt eitherparty's

The members of Bad Religion contemplate the Gray Race.

dence. This album was co-produced by
Ric Ocasek, formerly of the Cars. "The
Gray Race" is the first Bad Religion
album that showcases new guitarist
Brian Baker's talent, and it certainly
adds an element BR has been missing
for a while. Baker, of the early '80s
punk band Minor Threat, took over for
longtime guitarist Mr. Brett, who left
the band to concentrate on running Epi-
taph Records full-time. Baker even co-
wrote four of the songs on the album,
but the true lyrical genius of BR is still
lead singer Greg Graffin.
"The Gray Race" is a little more
urgent than BR's last few albums, which
may have something to do with the fact
the record was recorded live, together
as a band, instead of the normal dub and
re-dub procedure common in music to-
day. The CD has a futuristic theme -
it's an analysis of what is going on right
now in the world, and where we are
headed in the next 15 years.

The opening title track talks of the way
we are destroying ourselves in the world
that we have created ("Turning true emo-
tion into digital expression / One by one
we all fall down / The gray race shrivels
trapped inside / The world it creates it's
black and white."). The first single, "Punk
Rock Song," questions political figures
("Ten million dollars on a losing cam-
paign / Twenty million starving and writh-
ing in pain ... One in five kids below the
poverty line / One population running out
of time."). "The Streets of America," a
slower, more melodic song than BR has
everdone, takesa blunt and startling look
into the desperate state of people today.
"Ten In 2010" more than any other
song - sums up this disc's theme of
warning and despair. It was based on a
radio report that the Earth's projected
population in 2010 is 10 billion. We are
headed for a world of poverty and disaster
:"Truth is not an issue,just hungry mouths
to feed ... Forget what you want, scrounge

the things that you need."
"The Gray Race" will be a pleasant
surprise for any long time Bad Religion
fan, and the more melodic feel of the
disc will definitely appeal to those who
used to say "all Bad Religion songs
sound exactly the same." Time has not
hindered this band one bit. They might
be old, but they still rock.
- Colin Bartos
Mercury Records
One-hit wonders are turning into a
fairly common thing in the '90s. While
the '80s had groups like Kajagoogoo,
Flock of Seagulls, and Big Country, the
'90's have groups like Tripping Daisy,
Loud Lucy, and now, Limblifter. The one
hit that I speak of is the current radio
favorite, "Screwed It Up," which, I might
add, is not really all that much of a hit.
The album is truly average rock. Noth-
ing great, nothing too horrible, and defi-
nitely nothing to turn Limblifter's debut
album into the Album of the Year for
1996. Recorded by brothers Ryan and
Kurt Dahle, the album reeks of first-time
traits. Though the brothers had played in
bands together before, neither had ever
sung lead on a recording, and they had
never played live as Limblifter.
All of this is clear as one listens to the
album. Neither Ryan nor Kurt has a
powerful enough voice to carry the lead
r~irk r, Classic
r*** Excellcnt
** ..Fair
* ... Poor
* Zero ... ABomb

on an entire album, though they both
put in a good effort. Even worse, they
don't have an especially unique qual-
ity to their voices which would at least
make listening interesting.
The lyrics are not particularly spec-
tacular. Take "Screwed It Up," with lyr-
ics that consist mainly of the title of the
song. "I screwed up. I screwed it, I
screwed it. I screwed up." Very deep.
Not surprisingly, the rest of the songs
don't have much more to say. Several of
the lyrics speak for themselves: "Tur-
moil in tinfoil, so we don't spoil," "Lack
of balance, crutch my shove," and "I'm
the cellophane," are all typical of the
mind-numbing lyrical wisdom that
Limblifter can provide you with.

Perhaps the funniest and best part of
"Limblifter" is the song "Deathdefier,"
where Ryan attempts a heavy-metal
voice while sticking to traditional rock
melodies. Even the most average al-
bums still provide some comic relief.
Often the songs all sound alike, a trait
not uncommon with most one-hit won-
ders. Listening to an entire album, but
thinking it's just one song on automatic
repeat, is never a positive sign.
As Limblifter tells us themselves in the
song "I Wonder If," "I wonder if I'm
nothing much." Ryan and Kurt Dahle can
stop wondering. While Limblifter may
have one hot hit, overall they're pretty
mediocre and definitely nothing much.
- Lise Harwin

The members of Limblifter sure know how to party down, brother.

We're oulta here
for a week due to
Sprng Break!
The Classifieds Department will
be closed March 4th through March 8th.
We will reopen on March 11th.

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