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March 01, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-01

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1

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Real music, real emotions, real life
Catle Curtis will appear tomorrow at the Ark for two shows. Curtis, a
former laid-off social worker, has a musical message very similar to
that of Tracy Chapman - beautifully simplistic and surprisingly
realistic. She will both delight you with her musical charm and
challenge you with her call for a more caring humanity. The shows are
at 7:30 and 9:30p.m.

Friday
March 1, 1996

5

I

Little thing
Brian A. Onatt
aily Music Editor
Bush is like a pile of doggie doodie
the stinkier it is, the more flies it
ttracts.
This was the case at the surprisingly
old-out show at the Palace of Auburn
Hills Wednesday night, where the Brit-
ish Nirvana rip-off Bush headlined over
he 3oo Goo Dolls and No Doubt in
wh t was an evening of utterly terrible
nd tedious music.
REVIEW
Bush
The Palace
Feb. 28, 1996
As a music reviewer, I've had the
opportunity to see hundreds of bands
erform live. Some were great, and
others, well, weren't. It is safe to say
however, that Bush's Wednesday per-
formance was the worst live musical
concert this reviewer has ever had the
displeasure of witnessing. Collective
Soul was boring, Warrant was bad; and
Candlebox even worse. But never, in
all the shows I have seen, have I ever
witnessed such a horrendous live band
amush.
The mere fact that this was the first
rock concert I ever fell asleep at is a
testament itself to the sense of boredom
felt while having to watch Gavin
Rossdale, vocalist and lead guitarist for
Bush, sing and moan his meaningless
dribble over a terribly long hour and a

skill: Bush comes down

half. As if they aren't bad enough on
their record, hearing Bush's music live
took me to a new level of hatred for the
band.
Kicking off the triple bill show was
the quirky punk outfit No Doubt, who
were in Detroit just a couple weeks ago
opening for Everclear. The band played
their big radio hit, "I'm Just A Girl,"
and a bunch of other tracks from their
latest record, along with a few of their
other oldies. Singer Gwen Stafani
jumped around the stage quite happily,
but her high-pitched vocals became a
bit annoying.
With hair flailing, the Goo Goo Dolls
came out next, opening with their latest
single, "Naked." The Goo Goos were
definitely the highlight of the show,
with their sweet poppy melodies and
fun attitude. Bassist Robby Takac sang
a number of tracks with his hoarse and
not-so-melodic voice. But lead vocalist
and guitarist Johnny Rzeznick saved
the day with a rocking rendition of the
group's recent breakthrough hit,
"Name." With the disco ball shining
and the crowd screaming, "Name" was
the best sounding of the band's mate-
rial.
"This is one of the first few places
where we've come and people gave a
shit about us, so thanks," Rzeznick said
as the band closed their set.
Now it was time for the big guns -
Bush. The house went black, with only
blue spotlights shining through the
smoke that was pouring off the stage.
After five minutes of blue light and
some terrible scraping noise sample

being looped over the speakers, Gavin
and his crew took the stage. They ran
into one of the many generic grunge
tracks off their debut, "Sixteen Stone,"
and then another, and then another.
By this time, it was evident the band
was there to be pompous and to pose for
the mostly 16-year-old audience. Off-
key and speaking incoherently,
Rossdale screamed in his British ac-
cent, "Hello Detroit, how you doing?"
and broke into a lazy version of their
MTV darling "Comedown."
To prove he's more sex object than
artist, between songs Rossdale pulled
up his shirt to get a rise out of the
ladies.
The band continued on their long and
boring trip through the filler that com-
prises their record, dominated by
Rossdale's less-than-perfect vocals and
the rest of the band's loose and lacka-
daisical approach to the songs.
Besides the poor sound mix, Bush's
performance of their music was ter-
rible. Almost all of the songs were
slowed with extra soloing and filler
added to bore the audience, in what was
obviously becoming a pitiful musical
performance. Between his "Fuck yeah,
Detroit"s and his growling screams,
Rossdale went on to sing the band's hit
"Little Things" in his grovely and whiny
voice. By this point in the show, the
singer's antics were getting old, the
music tiresome, and prayers of a quick
and painless end were being recited
across the arena. A
Finally the first set was over.
But the best was yet to come. Bush

Bush couldn't improve on its performance

BR"'N". GNA"/d'i"

hadn't played their two smash :hits
"Glycerine" or "Everything's Zen," so
the encore seemed a bit predictable.
Rossdale came out solo to perform
"Glycerin" and a new track he said he
had written. Not able to write a decent
song if his life depended on it. Rossdale
performed both the old and new songs
with his usual empty passion. Then the
rest of the guys came back out, guitarist
Nigel Pulsford, bassist Dave Parsons
and drummer Robin Goodridge, and
played a terrible and slow dragged-out
10-minute version of "Everything's
Zen."

Just when I was sure the show was
finally over, the band broke into an-
other song. This one sounded familiar,
but it wasn't a Bush song. It was being
played with the same drum beat from
"Little Things" (which Bush ripped
off from the Offspring), like the rest of
their songs, but there was something
vaguely familiar about it. Yes, it must
be the mandatory cover to wrap up the
show, "But what is it?" I asked myself.
When Rossdale began to sing the
words, "This one goes out to the one I
love / This one goes out to the one I left
behind," I knew Bush had found the

only thing that could spread the icing
over their dog pie cake - they covered
R.E.M. Bush trudged through an insult-
ing and blasphemous version of R.E.M.'s
"The One I Love," dragging out their
sickening show for yet another 10 min-
utes.
When they finally left the stage and
the lights came up, it was the first time
all night that there was a huge smile
plastered across my face. The smile not
only signified my joy of surviving a
Bush show, but that somehow I knew,
this would be' the worst concert I will
ever have to see in my entire life.

Williams
han~n
conceit
By Matthew Steinhauser
For the Daily
John Williams' effortless technical
skill and artistry captivated all in at-
tendance Tuesday night at Rackham
Auditorium. Arguably the world's
premier classical guitarist, the Aus-
tralian-born musician performed a
X derful range ofguitar music from
ous periods.
Williams requested that no notes
about the composers or the musical
selections be included in the program.
Instead, he provided witty and quite
lengthy explanations of many of the
pieces.
The guitarist eased the crowd into the
spirit of the evening with the familiar
melodies ofMichael Praetorius's "Three
Dances From 'Terpischore."' The third
IVolta was especially impressive.,
WVlliams maintained a delicate balance
between various voices, releasing the
clear, soaring melody over the lush lay-
ers of the bass line.
Williams selected mostly composi-
tions based on dance and folk rhythms.
Even the Baroque period's represen-
tative, "Chaconne" from "Violin
REVIEW
John Williams
Rackham
Auditorium
Feb. 27, 1996
Partita No. 2 in d minor" by Bach,
borrowed popular dance forms from
the period. In his composition, Bach
on basic flamenco chord pro-
gessions. Williams was able to cap-
ture the subtle melancholic flavor of
the flamenco folk tunes, while duti-
fully, preserving the measured rich-
ness of Bach's Baroque music.
Four pieces by the Spanish com-
poser Isaac Albeniz clearly high-

MC5's Kramer comes home to Detroit

k'

One of the world's most popular classical guitarists, John Williams, gave a
pleasing, beautiful solo concert Wednesday night at Rackham.

By Brian A. Gnatt
Daily Music Editor
Wayne Kramer is one of the most
innovative guys in music. As lead gui-
tarist of Detroit's legendary MC5, and
now in his solo project, Kramer has
consistently pushed the boundaries of
music.
Released earlier this week, Kramer's
second solo record, "Dangerous Mad-
ness," combines imperative socio-po-
litical issues with hard hitting
rock'n'roll.
"I feel like I've been redeemed,"
Kramer said in a phone interview on
Tuesday. "I've come from the highs of
the MC5, to the depths of depravity and
between, and been able to come back
and do this work, and ride through the
neighborhood screaming the fundamen-
talists are coming."
Tackling issues of street violence,
safe sex, the deserted streets of Detroit
and numerous other pressing issues of
the world today, "Dangerous Madness"
continues Kramer's tradition of social
protest through music. With songs remi-
niscent of the MC5's political activism
in the late '60s and early '70s, Kramer
is one of the few products of that era
who still has his mind set on changing
the world.
"Today, the situation is so out of
control, I feel like somebody's got to
say something about what's going on,
and that might as well be me," Kramer
said. "I've got a political history. I come
from a political time and a political
band, and this stuff really needed to be
addressed. The situation in America is
really going to hell in a hand basket.
"The bad guys, these Phil Gramms,
Newt Gingriches and Bob Dole and Pat
Buchanan are basically running unop-
posed," he continued. "There was a
time when there was a counter culture
that stood up against big business and
big government that said we're not go-
ing to go along with the program. To-
day, these guys are running rampant
and these guys are evil. They're scary
guys, and they scare the shit out ofme."
Since he grew up and began his ca-
reer in music in Detroit, Kramer said
the Motor City has had an enormous
influence on him and his music.
"Detroit's a great metaphor for
what's happening in the entire na-
tion," he said. "When I was growing
up in Detroit, it was a Norman
Rockwell and Converse sneaker wear-
ing, all-American place. Everybody

WAYNE KRAMERr
Where: The Shelter.
When: Saturday, March 9.
Doors open at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $8 in advance.
Attendees must be over age 18.
worked, everybody could go shop-
ping, everybody felt good about
themselves and their community. It
was really like a harmonious time.
"But once the endless greed of the
petroleum, auto and rubber interests
sucked all the money there was to be
made, and sucked a couple generations
of workers dry, there's nothing left.
It's kind ofwhat happened to the whole
country."
It was those desperate things that the
MC5 began writing about in the '60s.
Kramer claims that his was the first
band to begin taking on politics in their
music.
"Politically, we were like the big
bang. Before the MC5, people really
didn't take an active roll in anything
political," Kramer said. "If you were
an entertainer, you were steered away
from being controversial or talking
about the war or drugs or fucking or

anything that was real."
Musically, the MC5 pioneered the
musical boundaries of raw rock'n'roll
that would.later be called punk rock.
"Musically, there was a scene that
developed in Detroit that was very strong
and individualistic," Kramer said. "I
think it had to do with it being a factory
town and a blue-collar approach that
they work hard, and they want their
bands to work hard. The whole idea of
'Kick out the jams, or get off the stage.'
It was this idea of high energy. Ifyou say
rock'n'roll, it's the roll part. It's rock,
that's the hard part, but it's rolling."
After growing up and living in De-
troit, the MC5 ran into problems liv-
ing in the city. Because of problems
with the Detroit police, the band set up
camp in Ann Arbor, renting a house on
Hill Street.
Kramer said that today's youth need
to get involved in solving the world's
problems. "It seems like young people
today think everything's fine, and it's all
just going to work out by magic or some-
thing, and it doesn't. You have to be
involved on some level; you have to take
a stand on things. Because if you don't
stand for something, you'll stand for
anything."

lighted the performance. Four places
in Spain - Asturias, Mallorca,
Sevilla, and C6rdoba - inspired the
creation of the four pieces and ulti-
mately became their titles.
Williams performed the composi-
tions with a strong sense for the pieces'
passionate, folky rhythms, never re-
linquishing the images and spirits of
Spanish landscapes that inspired
Albeniz.
The guitarist followed with an amaz-
ing display of technical prowess firmly
anchored in the classical forms ofNicolo
Paganini's guitar compositions. Al-
though Paganini primarily wrote solo
music for the violin, he also tried his
hand at composing for his second in-
strument, the guitar. And his guitar
pieces prove to offer a technical test
similar to his infamously, difficult vio-
lin solos. Williams awed the crowd,
leaping with ease over the technical
hurdles in Paganini's "Romanza and
Caprice No. 24."
After a piece by the 20th century
British composer, Stephen Dodgson,
Williams concluded the program by

exploring some of the newly pub-
lished material of the Paraguayan
Agustin Barrios Mangore. Mangore
lived in the first half of the 20th cen-
tury, but the majority of his composi-
tions only recently became available
in published form. The guitarist beau-
tifully rode the soft, musical waves,
letting his guitar convince the audi-
ence why Mangore has become one of
the most important guitar composers
of this century.
The crowd voiced their admiration
of the guitarist with an immediate
standing ovation. Williams indulged
the approving audience with two short
encore pieces, performing a well-
known Neapolitan 'folk song and a
Mangore waltz.
Williams arrived on the University
campus with a difficult task: to please a
crowd of music lovers expecting the
world's finest guitarist. Williams aced
every facet of the test. He performed
with quiet assurance. His complete tech-
nical mastery of the music amazed the
audience. It was his charm, though, that
truly won them over.

Wayne Kramer plays at the Shelter on March 9.

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