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April 17, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-17

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 17, 1996

Women act alone in Basement Arts' new' ge'
U' theater senior brings her unique London experiences to the stage

By Tyler Patterson
Daily Arts Writer
An integral part of the playwriting experience is the
opportunity to see in a full and live performance the
world you created. This weekend Khristee Rich, a
senior in the department of theater and drama, will get
such a chance.
After working all year, her
play, "Coming of Age," is fi- COMING 0!
nally ready for production in Where: Arena Thei
Basement Arts. Rich wrote the (in the Frieze Built
play about herexperiences while When: Thursday tt
spending a year abroad in Lon- at 5 p.m. General
don. are free.
"It's an all-women cast. Seven
women," Rich explained. "And it takes place in the
flat in which they live in London. The school has
assigned them to live together."
The seven women, then, are forced to live together,
having no previous experience with each other. The

results are somewhat explosive.
Rich went on to explain that some of her influences in
writing the play were classes she has taken in the past.
"All ofthe ideas that Igot," Rich said, "were from in high
school when I took philosophy and psychology classes,
and they talk a lot about the different cycles you grow
through, like rebirth."
AGE i d Also very much a part of the
playwriting experience for Rich
:er is that it is serving as a tribute
ng) for a friend she met in London.
ough Saturday Obviously touched by her as-
dmission seats sociation with this woman, Rich
decided to write a play in her
"It's about learning," Rich explained. "It's about
growing. It's about women coming together and find-
ing strength."
Since it was written about people she knew, it was
interesting for Rich to see actors portraying their

roles. "For me I've been happy," Rich said,"They've
been able to emulate the characters who I actually
knew. So they've done a really great job with that."
Being in the Arena Theater, Rich was forced to
make some adjustments in the script, changing the set
design. In the original manuscript, the script calls for
a kitchen on the set, but since the budget for Basement
shows are limited she was forced to improvise.
Offering incentive for those interested in seeing
the creative process at work, Rich said, "Men will
learn a lot about women. Especially how women
act when men aren't around. It's a funny play. It's
crazy. There's a lot going on, so it will definitely be
fun to watch."
All in all, the entire experience has been a good one.
Having done a staged reading of the first act for her
Theater 420 class, Rich is now ready to see her play
under the lights, so to speak. Describing her play as a
story that needed to be told, Rich will finally get to tell
it - the only way a playwright can.

Big babies!
Goos drool into towl

Continued from Page 5
Jackson 5
The Ultimate Collection
Motown Records
If Motown Records wanted to, it could
quit promoting new recording artists
altogether. It could make all the loot it
needs by simply re-releasing the many
old-school jams produced by the leg-
ends who made the label so big that
even its birth-city, Detroit, came to be
known as "Motown."
Take, for example, the five-brother
collective, the Jackson 5. This well-
known group ran the early '70s with
their disco-driven fast songs and bal-
lads. Youngest brother Michael keeps
running things to this day, causing
people to faint and have heart attacks at
his concerts. Even middle brother
Jermaine had a few solo jumps in the
early '80s, and though we could care
less about Tito, the second-oldest, his
three sons have recently released a CD
under uncle Michael's MJJ Records.
"The Ultimate Collection" takes us
back to the days before daddy Joe was
accused of child abuse, before LaToya
posed for Playboy and before Michael
just plain lost his mind. It takes us back
to the Gary, Ind., beginnings of this
rockin' quintet which put child groups
on the map. It contains 21 songs listed
in the order they were recorded. Such
unforgettable hits as the danceable-to-
this-day "ABC" and "The Love You
Save," as well as slowercuts like "Who's

Lovin' You" and "Never Can Say
Goodbye," help compose the first third
of the album.
The middle portion of the album fea-
tures many songs which best exemplify
Michael's youthful, soprano voice (a
voice which, surprisingly, remains with
him to this day). The slow-sung "Got to
be There," the medium-motioned "I
Wanna Be Where You Are" and the
very fast "Rockin' Robin" all showcase
little Michael's singing above his broth-
ers. "The Ultimate Collection" also
contains a Jermaine balladeering solo,
"Daddy's Home."
Closing the album, we find the song
M.C. Hammer remade, "Dancing Ma-
chine." We also find the very beautiful
slow song, "I Am Love (parts I and II)"
and the psychedelic "Just a Little Bit of
You," another Michael solo.
"The Ultimate Collection" is chock-
full of those unmistakable parental
memories of a time when music was
music and artists put on a real show.
While some of us from the new school
may not quite understand the nostalgia,
it would be unfair and illogical to un-
derrate how greatly the influence of
'70s disco-funk sounds, like those per-
formed by the Jackson 5, can be felt to
this day.
- Eugene Bowen
Various Artists
Big Ones ofAlternative
Rock Vol. 1
Boxtunes / PolyGram
At this point in time, the world needs

a best of alternative rock as much as it
needs nuclear warfare. Well, maybe not
that extreme. But when it comes down
to putting Bush on a compilation of
anything other than an album of the
worst bands of all-time. there is some-
thing terribly
wrong. Terribly,
terribly, wrong.
Maybe I can
forgive the pro-
ducer of "Big#
Ones of Alterna-
tive Rock Vol. 1,"_
released by The
Box, an rarely re-
ceived competitor
bum is titled "Big
Ones of Alterna-
tive Rock"; nott
"Good Ones" or
"Best of Alterna-
tive Rock." i
Maybe they know, "Pass the Special Sa
this stuff is crap. Pass______p______
on the 12-song compilationyou won't
even find the best of alternative rock.
It's more like alternative rockers who
gave us the rights to put on our CD.
Among the tracks are White Zombie's
grizzly breakthrough "Thunder Kiss
'65," Bush's terrible "Everything
Zen," The Cranberries' "Dreams" and
Juliana Hatfield's "Universal Heart-
The Divinyls' "I Touch Myself" is
one of the few cool tracks on the comp,
along with G. Love & Special Sauce's
"Cold Beverage." The acid-fried Meat
Puppets' one-hit "Backwater" is here,
along with CIV's decent cut "Can't
Wait One Minute More" and Whale's
"Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe."
Deadeye Dick's "New Age Girl"and
Korn's "Blind" are real "alternative"
rock winners, and so is Danzig's "Until
You Call On The Dark," which rounds
up the disc.
A better title for this compilation
would be "The Best of Beavis and Butt-
head," because almost every song on
the disc was featured in the degener-
ates' show. Maybe Beavis and Butt-
head are the idiots programming our
radio stations.
- Brian A. Gnatt
Various Artists


soundtrack would supposedly bring all
this spectacular variety to a head. But
alas, with a few exceptions, this album
is sorely lacking.
The album's signature song is rap
group Lost Boyz's "Jeeps, Lex Coups,
Bimaz & Benz."
This song blew up
all over last year
forgood reason. It
is one helluva
hype hip-hop hit.
Rapper Tyme was
and Little Shawn
was even better
with "Dom
Perignon." Never-
theless, as far as
rapping went,
Lost Boyz didn't
have to break a
sweat out-
lyricizing these
ice, please." ThisCDiscom-
plete mediocrity at
times, which Mary J. Blige shows when
singing "You Make Me Feel Like a
Natural Way" remake. While not booty,
this song is nothing compared to the
original. The Jodeci brothers, K-Ci and
JoJo$ailey, weren't even all that sing-
ing (actually whining) "Beautiful." The
monotonous beats of Monifa's "I Miss
You" are a pain, but for some sadistic
reason, this song actually cause ears to
perk up for a while.
The once-hit trio Guy (Teddy Riley
and brothers Aaron and Damion Hall)
has a song on this soundtrack. "Tell Me
What You Like," is OK, but personally
I would've preferred hearing "Jam"
Gospel altoist Mavis Staples' "I'll
Take You There" makes a fateful at-
tempt to rescue this album from total
sing-a-ding dullness. Many may be fa-
miliar with the time she sang this song
with BeBe and CeCe Winans. I liked it,
but Staples certainly does a much better
job singing it solo. The oldsters contin-
ued to outshine their younger counter-
parts, with Gladys Knight's marvelous
vocal remake of"Good Morning Heart-
ache." Best of all was Al B. Sure!'s
sweetly sung ballad "Erase the Dayz."
Old school most certainly outshines
new on this album, but it isn't enough to
save a surprisingly lackluster album.
The music on the show's opening cred-
its is usually straight. So what went
- Eugene Bowen
The Refreshments
Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy
Mercury Records
The Refreshments are proof posi-
tive that sometimes appearances can
be deceiving. First off, the decidedly

By Elizabeth Lucas
Daily Arts Writer
A likely majority oftheGooGoo Dolls'
audience knows the band only through
the singles "Name" and "Naked" - or
because of the band's unusual name. As
singer and bassist Robby Takac com-
mented in a phone interview with the
Daily, "At the American Music Awards
this year, I was talking to this guy Darius
(Rucker), and he said we were the only
band with a name stupider than Hootie
and the Blowfish."
Butalthough the GooGoo Dolls share
MTV time with the likes of Alanis,
Bush and, yes, Hootie, this band is no
overrated one-hit wonder. It's not
widely known that they put in a decade
of work before the release of their fifth
and most recent album, "A Boy Named
Goo" - which was something of a last
chance for the band.
"(After the fourth album) we kind of
lost our priority status," Takac said.
"Sometimes it's really hard to stick
with a record, when they have other
records that are coming out. But it was
really frustrating for a while. It really
sort of depressed us, as a band."
The Goo Goo Dolls formed back in
1986, in Buffalo, N.Y.; they recorded a
first album and went on tour a year
later. After that, they worked continu-
ously for eight more years. "About ev-
ery two years we'd put out a record and
tour," Takac said. "We toured with the
Replacements, Soul Asylum and
Motorhead, but those were smaller
However, Warner Brothers was los-
ing interest in the band, and the mem-
bers themselves were having doubts
about continuing. "We probably would
have put things into perspective,"Takac
said, discussing what the band would
have done without a successful album.
"I mean, I'm gonna be 32 this year. For
10 years, I hadn't had any money at all;
I needed a little bit more cash. As for
making music, I think we would've
kept on with that, but not with the same
But then came 1995, and "A Boy
Named Goo" - the Goo Goo Dolls'
last stand. Takac recalled, "What we
said was, 'Look, we're gonna stay out
tacky cover painting of a World War
II bomber with the album title on the
side would make you believe that The
Refreshments are a fat-riffed pop-
metal band. But wait, turn the case
over. The guys in the band are sitting
on the side of the road, dressed up in
cowboy clothes, thumbing for rides
with their instruments piled around
Take a look at the song titles --"Blue
Collar Suicide," "Banditos,"
"Suckerpunch." The second song is
called "European Swallow," which you
recognize as a reference from "Monty
Python & The Holy Grail." OK, you
think, these guys must be funny country
rockers, a la Dash Rip Rock and South-
ern Culture On the Skids. By the time
you open up the CD to see several
photos of the guys in huge sombreros,
you don't know what to think.
The closest guess would be the sec-
ond one, pegging The Refreshments
as funny country rock. Unfortunately,
they're too county to be called rock
and too rock to be called country, a
combination which ends up sounding

000 000 DOLLS
Where: Breslin Center in
East Lansing.
When: Tonight at 7:30.
Call (810) 645-6666 for more
for a year. If the record doesn't break in
a year ...'. And luckily, in about eight
months, it did."
"Break" may be an understatement
in this case. "A Boy Named Goo" has
sales in the millions of copies, with
two singles receiving extensive radio
play. Takac attributed the record's
success partly to a new producer, bt
also felt that the band had always h
the potential to succeed. "I think up to
the last record before this, we were
still learning how to do things. But
the last one probably could've done
as well."
Along with the Goo Goo Dolls'
popularity comes a hectic touring
schedule. The band is currently tour-
ing the United States, opening for
Bush. "It's cool; it's been a long to
though," Takac said. "It's been going
for two and a half months, with about
another month to go. And it's weird
-part of it is, it's not our crowd. This
is pretty much Bush's crowd; ours is
generally older."
Takac described the band's arduous
future plans: "We're gonna be touring
Japan, then there's another tour of the
U.S., with Dishwalla and then with the
Gin Blossoms. Then Australia and Nv
Zealand, and another tour of Europ.
and then, it's Thanksgiving."
But the stress of touring is probably
an acceptable tradeoff for the group's
long-awaited success. As Takac said
enthusiastically, "It's great, man! I
mean, after all these years ... we're not
actually making money yet, but we're
breaking even. I don't know if 'sur-
prised' is the word, but I'm relieved; it
seems like it's really gonna hap9
right now. I think I'm just relieved now
that I know we can go on."
frighteningly similar to Hootie and
His World Famous Blowfish-which
is too bad, because the lyrics really
are pretty funny, for the most part.
"Ghost town on a Tuesday night /
That's OK, I'm feeling all right / It's
easier to grab a beer / Without a thou-
sand people here," they sing in "Do 't
Wanna Know," and that's one offk
more serious songs. The trouble is,
without interesting music to back i
up, the lyrics have a tendency to fall
flat, blending in with the steady, bor
ing drone of the guitars.
The one song that works all the way
through is "Girly," a rousing, quick-
moving tune in which thesinger in-
structs his girlfriend: "Beat me 'til I'm
black and blue and I'm hanging b
thread / Then we can get back up and do
it all over again." Songs like this show
that The Refreshments definitely have
the potential to record a great album.
Unfortunately, "Fizzy, Fuzzy; Big &
Buzzy" just isn't it. Better luck next
time, guys.
- JeffreyDinsmore
See RECORDS, Page 9

"New York


Victoryl The Jackson 5 returns to CD shelves with a new compilation.
The University of Michigan
presents the fifteenth annual
Richard H. Solomon
President of the United States Institute of Peace
Former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian
and Pacific Affairs
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines
Anne Keatley Solomon
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science,
Technology, and Health
Former Senior Policy Analyst for International Affairs
of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
"Putting Humpty-Dumpty Back Together:
Are Normal Sino-American Relations
Still Possible?"




I applaud the continual changes in
the opening-credit music that the "New
York Undercover" creators institute.
On no other television show can you
hear Tribe Called Quest one week, Reg
E. Gaines the next then Des'ree the
following. The "New York Undercover"


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