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March 15, 1996 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-15

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 15, 1996 - 9

Continued from Page 5

Sparkiehorse is tiny. They like that.
umxiefub rinetrsssionplot
Sparklehorse is the project of Mark
ous, a former workman who is as
d ofwoozy, drugged-out country rock
as he is of long-winded album names.
Linkous' debut album, "Vivadixie ..."
has shades ofthe sparse beauty ofPalace's
indie-country, the cryptic ramblings of
Pvemenf and the psychedelic sonics of
theFlaminig Lips. "Homecoming Queen,"
the opening track of the album, sounds
like a Neil Young song recorded in a
closet while a circus was going on out-
'e. "Weird Sisters," meanwhile, re-
sembles aGuided by Voices tune played
at half-speed.
There's a cloistered weirdness to
"Vivadixie ..." that makes it both a
fiercely independent artistic statement
and a somewhat difficult listen. Mark
Linkous isn't making music for the
masses with Sparklehorse; each tune
has atlea'st one layer of weird lyrics or
sounds"that must be peeled off before
the great melodies and pop hooks can

"Rainmaker" and "Saturday" are two
of the more straightforward tracks on
the album, but for every one of those
exists a "Tears on Fresh Fruit" or a
"Hammering the Cramps" - songs
filled with backward loops, samples
and kiddie instruments that result in
some intensely weird vibes on
"Vivadixie ...."
At times frustrating, Sparklehorse's
music is ultimately rewarding. Behind
Linkous' at times too-whiny voice and
the album's prodigious 16-track length
is a genuine, simple beauty that ex-
presses itselfin a way that neither coun-
try-rock nor noise-rock can contain. If
you like your music curioser and
curioser, you'll find "Vivadixie..." full
of pop gems with a different sparkle.
- Heather Phares
We Got It
Taking Immature seriously can be hard,
I know. First off, every member of this
trio is 14 years old. One of the members
has dyed brown hair that would make
grandmothers shudder, and, of course,
the group's name choice doesn't help
them much. Nevertheless, Immature has
toned down considerably, starting with
the 1994 release "Playtyme Is Over,"
which included the gold single "Never
Lie" and the popular song "Constantly."
As member Marques "Batman" Hous-
ton" put it, "We're older now."
Immature got my attention with
"Playtyme Is Over" - a little bit; with
"We Got It," the group's newest LP,
they've kept it-a little bit. Their slow-
grooving "Feel the Funk" graced last
year's "Dangerous Minds" soundtrack,
and it can also be found on this LP.

Showing a versatility that pre-teens
seem to muster at whim, Immature also
performs the nicely upbeat "We Got
It." This song's video has got to be one
ofthe freshest out there right now, show-
ing the group boogieing with an old-
folks-home crowd.
Returning the trio to its slow-funk
groove is the slightly rough-sounding
"Just a Little Bit," which strongly con-
trasts with the almost shy-sounding love
song "Please Don't Go" or the heavily
laid-back "Pay You Back." Eventually,
Immature returns more upbeat and
happy than ever with "When It's Love."
But "We Got It" also has a few huge
kinks that need to be dealt with. The
primary area ofconcernis hideous beats.
Some of the music used on this LP are
murder on the ears. "Lover's Groove"
allows Immature to attempt some type
of simultaneous singing and rapping
mixture that just doesn't cut it. The
hollow, whiny noises which open
"Crazy" are straight-up dumb.
While the members of Immature have
some nice vocals, they are sorely lacking
in the production department. While sing-
ing harmony is of primary importance -
and Immature has that down - one off-
beat, one out-of-place chord can ruin a
song. Multiply this by the dozens of re-
tarded beats used in throughout "We Got
It," and you'll soon see the rough edges
that shred this LP's 13 songs.
"We Got It" certainly has its moments.
"We Got It" certainly demonstrates
Immature's growing musical maturity.
But "We Got It" also shows that Imma-
ture still has a ways to go. These guys
aren't Jackson 5, and they aren't New
Edition. They're barely an Another Bad
Creation. But, they have the ability to be
all these things and more. Only time will
tell if it will happen, but these guys are
only 14. They have time.
- Eugene Bowen

The Brat Pack, 15 years later: Notice the aged Anthony Michael Hall with his old "Breakfast Club" pals.
Cult Sclas -sic retursfo te'0

. Demolition Dollrods crank it up for WCBN-FM radio at the Blind Pig tonight

Listenup all you wild and wacky WCBN a
tons - tonight is the night for the
world-renowned WCBN Winter Benefit n A
BashIThe show kicks off with the:
rocka Wily,sounds of local sensation
Rumble, and then Detroit's own
Voebeats and Ann Arbor's Hentchmen.
*sing out the night will be a special
performiance from Detroit's own
Demiolition Dollrods, fresh off the
opening slot on Boss Hog's tour. CBN
tells us It's rumored that the Dolirods
will dress to impress, performing while
wearing only WCBN bumper stickers.
The show is at the Blind Pig, with
doors opening at 9:30 p.m. Admission
is only $5. All proceeds go to support
Ann Arbor's finest freeform radio;
station, WCBN 88.3 FM. 18 & over.

By Ted Watts
Daily Fine Arts Editor
The early '80s were an interesting time, full of slightly
annoying music and some notions about animation from the
National Film Board of Canada. In this environment "Heavy
Metal" was forged. Produced by Canadian educated Ivan
Reitman, the film is a melange of several different animation
styles used to tell a half dozen different stories relating to an
evil, sentient green ball.
The current re-release of "Heavy Metal" is quite a shock. The
film has a fairly
REVIEW healthy cult status.
H Meta On the screen, how-
Heavy Metal ever, the reputation
* * seems unwarranted.
Directed by Gerald For the most part,
the animation looks
Potterton; with John Candy both dated in style
and Harold Ramis and amateurish in
At State execution. In addi-
tion the stories are
not really all that compelling.
So, the question of why the movie has become a cult classic
should be brought up. The answer is really pretty simple:
Swear words and abnormally humongous naked breasts.
There's a ton of both here, and those are almost certainly the
reason this film's been dug up and put back on display. Well,
it's as much as a lot of movies have ...
The main tragedy of the movie is that it mucks about with
material from some very good sources in the comic book
world. The interpretation of Richard Corben's "Den" is
about the best narrative in the movie, but the visual style is an
absolute corruption of Corben's extremely lush drawing
style. Its animation is almost indistinguishable from an
episode of "Thundarr, The Barbarian," for crying out loud.
The story is cogent enough to carry you beyond this though,

and the presence of John Candy's voice as Den and the two,
sets of gigantic breasts in the segment make it enjoyable
enough. It's even humorous part of the time.
Nothing else really reaches the effectiveness of the
storytelling of "Den" in this movie, but a couple segments
have art design that is practically innovative. Comic luminar-
ies Mike Ploog and Howard Chaykin were responsible for
design in "Taarna," a story about a vengeful female warrior,
easily seen as a precursor to Aeon Flux. She has large breasts
and a niftily designed thong-based costume, a virtually
Anime face and villains that look a bit interesting even if they
are animated pretty badly. The interestingly realistic look of
"B 17" and the successfully humorous character designs in
Berni Wrightson's "Captain Stern" make for good stills,
though they are not really well used in motion.
Probably the biggest disappointment with the film is
that the soundtrack is very weak when it comes to vocal
music. The score, performed by the Royal Philharmonic,
is wonderfully atmospheric, but the songs by Journey,
Sammy Hagar and Black Sabbath (among others) are
terribly dated, poorly mixed into the film and ultimately
very detrimental to the movie itself. Devo actually deliv-
ers a couple of worthy tunes that fit the stories better than
any of the other songs, and they have never been referred
to as heavy metal. The name of the film must have
ultimately been a terrible burden.
There are a handful of things this picture did to advance
animation. It opened the eyes of the generation that had just
missed "Fritz the Cat" to the fact that there was something out
there in the little moving drawings besides Disney and
Warner Brothers. You can almost see the movie as a mix
between "Creepshow" and an animation festival steeped in
some bad AOR. There are better ways now to see animation
from out of the main stream, but it can still be good to look
back at what came earlier. At least you get to see a whole lot
of big breasts.





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Continued from Page 5
" It's been a thrill. It's been an inspi-
ration. It's been wild," said the 47-year-
old pianist, who likened performing the
series to "taking stock midway."
Would he do it again?
"I sure would," he laughed. Ohlsson
eans.this, and plans to repeat the cycle
London and is scheduling to play it in
several other European cities.
But Olsson is already getting nos-
talgic forAnn Arbor. Though he can't
yet give dates or times, he plans to

return. He said that the focus of the
sold-out crowds he entertained in Ann
Arbor generated intensity in his play-
"I've proved the point, even to my-
self, that Chopin is even a greater com-
poser than we imagined," he said, cit-
ing the masterpieces upon masterpieces
which filled the six programs.
"I sort of feel that the Chopin series
has become much more than the sum of
its parts," Ohlsson said. "It's become a
portrait of this composer, and his world
and his reigns. I hope it's not so much
changed people's perception of Chopin
but enlarged it."

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