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March 18, 1996 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-18

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 18, 1996
;erecor Oliver Stone to visit 'U' Wednesday night at Hill Auditorium
Academy award-winning movie director Oliver Stone (pictured, right)
ill be speaking to University audiences on Wednesday evening at Hill
uditorium. The topic of his lecture will be "Making Movies Matter,"
and he will be discussing the state of movies today. The event is
sponsored by Hillel and it is a great opportunity to see this master
filmmaker up close and in person. Stone, director of such recent
critically acclaimed movies as "Nixon" and "Natural Born Killers" is
also the recipient of Oscars for his work on "Midnight Express,"
"Platoon" and "Born on-the Fourth of July." He has served as director,
writer and producer of numerous cinematic hits, and his films have
garnered more than 25 Academy Award nominations during the past
two decades. So, how can go attend this highly-anticipated event? You
may purcahse tickets at the Michigan Union Ticket Office or at any
Ticketmaster outlet, or ... you may win a free pass to this special'
lecture. That's right: No waiting in line, no charge. All you have to do
is be one of the first 10 people to come to the Daily Arts Office on the,
second floor of the Student Publications Building, 420 Maynard St.,
after 12 noon today, and tell us in what role we saw Stone act in his
1991 hit, "The Doors." Passes will go fast, so hurry. This is not a
chance you want to miss.

Toadies make a run for the toy.
Rockers finally gain some much-deserved recognition

Continued from Page 8A
Jackson's performance at the ceremony.
It resulted in a perfectly timed burst of
publicity, including articles in USA
Today and coverage on info-tainment
shows like "Entertainment Tonight."
This media watch is one of few things
about the group that's perfectly timed.
Since he was 16, Cocker has worked on
the mix of sex, glamour, dirt and despera-
tion called Pulp, spending that time close
to poverty and closer to obscurity.
Last year, however, saw a fairy-tale
turnaround for the band. "Common
People," a working-class hero ofa single,
and the great album "Different Class"
miade them huge in the UK, Cocker espe-
gially. Revenge is indeed sweet for him.
- Now "Different Class" crosses the
Atlantic, buoyed by raves from the Brit-
ish press and the American success that
pulp's fellow countrymen Oasis enjoy.
Pulp is indeed in a different class:
They've created one of the most excit-
ing, pnusual albums in recent memory.
" Their musical roots are fashionably
tacky -disco, glam-rock and new wave.
Synths, twangy guitars and pounding beats
provide a deceptively upbeat foil to
Cocker's elaborate lyrics. The strutting
guitar riff on "Disco 2000" could be a
souped-up T. Rex lick ... or a rip-off of
Laura Branigan's '80s hit "Gloria."
"Monday Morning" nods to ska, and
ballads like "Something Changed"
could be from the soundtrack of some
lost '60s film romance. Pulp also cel-
ebrates David Bowie, from Ziggy
Stardust ("Sorted for Es and Whizz") to
"Low" ("F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.-
LO.V.E"). Pop hooks and irresistible
arrangements make each song a com-
pelling one-act drama.
As for Cocker's lyrics, he put it best
in an interview in Vox Magazine: "If
you write a really good song, it can have
as much impact as a novel." "Different
Class" holds a library's worth of bon

mots and devastating put-downs.
Though the album's liner notes disal-
low reading the lyrics while listening to
the music, it's the words that give Pulp's
songs such a refreshing bite.
They're cute: "If fashion is your trade,
then when you're naked I guess you must
be unemployed," from "Underwear."
They're nasty: "Laugh along with the
common people, even though they're
laughing at you" offof"Common People"
slams a rich girl's slumming. And they're
insightful: "Live Bed Show'"s "Some-
thing beautiful left town / and she doesn't
even know its name / now she plays a sad
game called 'pretending nothing's going
wrong"' distills agony.
"Different Class" is Pulp's best al-
bum and one of the best of the year. It
speaks to outsiders that dream of some-
thing better - in a way that's nasty,
funny and compassionate - from one
who's been there. Like Cocker's re-
venge, "Different Class" is sweet for
Pulp and their listeners.
- Heather Phares
Bootsy Collins
Keepin 'Dah Funk
"Alive " 4-1995
Like Maceo, Papa George and Fred
Wesley there are certain members of
the James Brown/P-Funk era that are
completely incapable of being square.
William "Bootsy" Collins is a member
of this dynasty.
Apart from being one of the greatest
bassists to ever spank a plank, Bootsy is
one of the few creative forces to be able to
hang with George Clinton and not look
like a leech. Everything he touches turns
to funk, and this new album is another
jewel is his sequined, feathered crown.
Collins recoreded his latest CD with
his New Rubber Band. Starting with "Ahh
. The Name is Bootsy, Baby" and
"Bootsy? (What's The Name Of This

Town?)," Bootsy proves he is a master of
the loose, contrapuntal Funkadelic style
as well as the tight, Detroit, horn-driven
Parliament school. The New Rubber Band
is about as-tight as anybody out there
today, including the original Rubber Band.
On such P-Funk classics as "Psychotic-
bumpschool" and "One Nation Under A
Groove," the fellas possess the fluid, pro-
pulsive heartbeat that made these tunes
hip lubricating classics as well as mythi-
cal jams.
Tracks like "Hollywood Squares" and
"Roto-Rooter" capture the ethereal, elec-
tronic texture ofclassic Funkadelic tunes,
using heavily juiced synthesizers, guitars
and even a flute. On top of this, the horns,
sounding a little top heavy at times, re-
main in alight, brassy register as well. But
even with both of these timbres, the band
is never far away from a heaping tea-
spoon of some of that funky stuff.
There's not many more laudatory
comments I can make about Bootsy that
haven't been made before. Besides
showing metric tons of unshakable mu-
sicianship, both discs are laced with the
loony good time that is as much a part of
the P-Funk tradition as an ironclad horn
section. Ain't nothin' but a party, y'all.
So put a glide in your stride and a dip in
your hip and come on over to the
--James P. Miller
Bootsylmay be very small, but he's still
got the bomb, the P-Funk.

By Colin Bartos
Daily Arts Writer
Things are really coming together
for the Toadies. After endless touring
in support of the major label debut,
"Rubberneck," the Toadies finally
gained some recognition with the ra-
dio and MTV success of the single,
"Possum Kingdom." Now the Toad-
ies are finally getting their big break
opening for the Red Hot Chili Pep-
pers' arena tour, and they are having
loads of fun doing it.
Lisa Umbarger, Todd Lewis, Mark
Reznicek and Darrel Herbert are no
newcomers to the music scene. The
Toadies were formed in 1989, when
Lewis and Umbarger worked together
in a record store and they decided to
form a band. They "were lucky enough
to steal (Reznicek) and (Herbert) from
other bands," Umbarger noted, and that
was the beginning of the Toadies.
Umbarger explained that the music
scene in Texas, where the Toadies origi-
nated, was "really healthy." "There's
like a lot ofbands (like Reverend Horton
Heat and MC900Ft. Jesus) who totally
paved the way for bands like us." The
road to get out of Dallas alone, though,
was tough. "We did stuff on our own
that we stole money for," bassist
Umbarger joked. "We'd like, steal
people's stuff and sell it and then go
into the studio. We like broke into this
church and hocked a bunch of organs
and then went into the studio."
The Toadies
The Palace
March 7, 1996
The result of all this thievery and
recording got the Toadies a release on
Grass Records. This EP got the atten-
tion of some major labels, and the Toad-
ies eventually chose Interscope Records
and released "Rubberneck" in late 1994.
When asked why they signed with
Interscope, Umbarger said, "They told
us to! They made us! I mean, look at
who they had on their label at the time.
They'd just got Helmet, Rocket From
The Crypt, and then they have Snoop
Dog ... they were a great label to sign
with to get your stuffout there. But they
still were a minor-major label."
Drummer Reznicek revealed how the
Toadies got their name: "The label said,
'Ya know, that Frogstomp (Silverchair)
record is out and it's hot now; the kids
dig it. The reptilian thing is good, so go
with it."'
"Rubberneck" is a seemingly dark
pop record that focuses on the realistic
aspects of life and religion. Umbarger
explained why so many of the songs

Straight out of Texas, the Toadies recently hit the Palace at Auburn Hills.

deal with religion: "Todd's dad is a
preacher. The end. ... So when you
have that kind of background, thusly
you can't get away from it ... even if
you don't necessarily agree with it in
Umbarger said that the ideas for most
of the songs just come from everyday
life. "People like Diana Ross make us
mad and we write a song about her. The
record company makes us mad and we
write a song about 'em. But then they
say, 'You can't write that song' and
they send us a memo ... saying, 'Why
don't you do this song?' and send us the
The first single, "Backslider," "is
just strict autobiography right there,"
Lewis explained. The song deals with
Lewis' baptism. "I Come From the
Water," which received a little air-
play on ZRock in Detroit this past
year, "is just your basic evolution
kind of thing," Umbarger said. "(The
song) is about one thing taught to you
in church and another in school,"
Lewis added.
The big hit single, "Possum King-
dom," is "The song everyone told us
would make it," Umbarger said. When
asked if they thought it would become
a big hit, Umbarger said, "It's hard to be
objective about your songs when you're
in the band."
The new single, "Away," seems
poised for the same kind of success.
"It's the only song on the record with
anything near a positive message,"
Lewis joked. The video for the song is .
kind of wacky, with Lewis sinking
further into the earth as the day goes
on. "The concept was taking yourself
out of whatever situation you're in
where you're not happy and putting
yourself in a better situation," Lewis
Touring has been a constant in the
Toadies' lives for the past year and a
half. In late 1994, on their first tour
ever (opening for Southern Califor-
nia punk outfit Samiam), they learned
a few things. "(Samiam) totally took
us under their wings and they knew
we were totally green and they showed
us the ropes ... it was cool," Umbarger

Minimal success has allowed the
Toadies to move from touring in a van
to a tour bus, which is much more
comfortable. "When you're in the van,
you can get a lot more bored,"
Umbarger reminisced. "In the bus ...
we don't have to ... make conversa-
tion and think of things to do. W*
used to have these really cool sing-a-
longs where our throats'd be sore so
we'd whistle or slap each other. Slap-
Playing in front of 10,000 people
on their current tour is a bit different.
"It's unnerving to look around and
see like a couple thousand more faces
back there behind you," Umbarger
When asked if they ever thoug.
they'd be in this situation, drummer
Reznicek said, "I knew it." Umbarger
added, "Mark's the only one. He would
tell us about it and we would say,
'Nooo!' I mean, not in your wildest
dreams." But Lewis added: "It's really
cool - Idon't think we're really geared
for it."
Lewis was wrong, because the Toad-
ies were geared for the 10,000-plus
audience at their recent concert at th
Palace; they got the crowd going early
with their tight stage presence. Their set
consisted of most of the songs on "Rub-
berneck," including "Possum King-
dom" and "Away," which got thepeople
in the pit hopping and thrashing. The
set also included a couple ofnew songs,
which Umbarger said are new to the
crowd, but like a year old to the band.
The crowd didn't seem to mind, and b y-
the time the set was over, the crowd w
warmed up and ready for the Chili Pep-
The Toadies are "hoping maybe this
fall to get into the studio and do some
more stuff," Umbargerj oked. "We have
a lot of material and a lot of good ideas.
... The new songs for the album arej ust
acoustic from 'Rubberneck.' ... We
figure there's a lot of life left in this
It's a good thing the Toadies don't tai,
themselvestoo seriously, because a less
band might fold under all this pressure.
The Toadies, however, are doing just


(classical and opera excluded)
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world, vocals and other pop music priced from $11.99
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Sale items excluded)


Contiunued fromPage 9A
the visual play of a poem on the page.
I'm very aware of it." But Joseph's
command of spoken rhythm was evi-
dent throughout. He likens the poet at a
reading to a musician searching for a
groove. Comparing his style to that of
Bob Dylan, he claims that no two of his
readings are ever quite the same.
A highlight of the reading was
Joseph's poem "An Awful Lot Was
Happening," an exploration of educa-

tion, war and love during his years at
the University. It depicts an era when
Ann Arbor was home to anti-warpro-
test, draft card burnings and a shortage
of jobs.
But much of what Joseph describ
remains the same, from the sunset a
Nichols Arboretum to the chiming of the
Bell Tower, the pressures of "too much
inductive thinking" to the difficulty of
"how to explain to myself how much I
love you." The poem captures the essen-
tial reality of life in Ann Arbor, summed
up by the final line: "An awful lot was
happening and I wanted more."




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The Psychology Peer Advisors Present
Winter 1996

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