Performance Network's 15th season kicks off in a big way on
Saturday with the world premiere of University faculty member Ari
Roth's latest play, "Goodnight Irene." The show stars Broadway actor
Peter Birkenhead, previously of -Angels in America," and will run
through September 29. Showtimes are Wednesday to Saturday at 8
p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Student tickets are $9. Call
663-0681 for more information.
Pumpkins smash competition at MTVs'
Van Halen, Morissette highlight
annual Video Music Awards show
By Aaron Ronnie
Daily Arts Writer
Dennis Miller hosted Wednesday's
MTV Video Music Awards at New York
City's Radio City Music Hall, and, as
usual, the show was a mixed bag. On
the plus side, some deserving musicians
actually won a few awards, unlike the
(slightly) more bland and commercial
Grammy. There were a couple of decent
live performances, and some interesting
and unusual presentations of those little
moon-men trophies. On the other hand,
as with most MTV programming, there
Sept. 4, 1996
were hours of intolerable crap that one
had to sit through before something
The Smashing Pumpkins, the big win-
ners of the night, commenced the show
by playing their current hit, "Tonight,
Tonight." Although lead guitarist and
singer Billy Corgan's vocals were slight-
ly off-key, he and his band had the bene-
fit of a full orchestra behind them assist-
ing with the song's beautiful string
arrangements. The Smashing Pumpkins'
temporary drumming recruit, on loan
from the band Filter, substituted nicely
for ex-Pumpkin stickman Jimmy
Chamberlain, who was fired this sum-
mer for being a heroin junkie, the latest
in a series of addictions that greatly hin-
dered his performance in the band.
The Foo Fighters took home the
night's first award for Best Group Video
for their Mentos spoof "Big Me." Lead
singer Dave Grohl politely asked his fans
not to throw the candy at the band at their
shows, as I guess a handful of overzeal-
ous ones have been inspired by the
video, which parodies a few of the
unorthodox commercials for the candy.
This victory was a little bit of an upset,
as the Fugees were also nominated in the
same category for their No. I hit remake
of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly."
The Best New Artist in a Video went
to Alanis Morissette for "Ironic." Now
maybe it's just me, but wasn't Alanis
known as Canada's Tiffany or Debbie
Gibson a while back, meaning she's not
new at all? After listening to presenter
Rosie O'Donnell's Roseanne-like
singing of the nominees' songs, howev-
er, Alanis' voice actually sounded OK.
The next live act was the Fugees,
who played a medley of their hit singles
before they busted into "Ready or Not."
They were joined on stage by Nas, who
dueted with Lauryn Hill of the Fugees
for his song, "If I Ruled The World."
Probably the hottest group of the sum-
mer, the Fugees got arguably the
biggest pop of the night from the audi-
ence, especially when guitarist Wyclef
played his instrument with his teeth a la
Before handing out the award for Best
Dance Video to Coolio, for "1,2,3,4
(Sumpin' New)," presenter Flea of the
Red Hot Chili Peppers began stripping
his clothes off. The camera shot then
faded away from the half-naked bassist,
Best Video of the Year:
Smashing Pumpkins, "Tonight,
Best Group Video: Foo
Fighters, "Big MeA"
Best New Artist Alanis
* BestDance Video: Coolio,
"1,2,3,4 (Sumpin' New)"
8 Breakthrough Video:
Smashing Pumpkins, '"Tonight,
* Best R&B Video: Fugees,
"Killing Me Softly."
Best Direction in a Video:
Smashing Pumpkins, "Tonight,
9 Best Rap Video: Coolio,
Best Hard Rock Video:
Metallica, "Until it Sleeps."
* Best Alternative Video:
Smashing Pumpkins, "1979."
WBest Male Video: Beck,
"Where It's At."
0 Best Female Video: Alanis
N Viewer's Choice: Bush,
one of many acts censored by the MTV
arbiters of all things moral and family-
values-friendly. Following Flea's sponta-
neous flashing, host Dennis Miller said
"Flea" is a misnomer.
After the Smashing Pumpkins won
again for "Tonight, Tonight," this time
for Breakthrough Video,. Metallica
roared onto the stage for a faithful ren-
dition of their current single, "Until It
Sleeps." Although they possess a pow-
erful stage presence, their new, more
'90s look is less convincing than when
they used to whip their manes of hair
around at warp speed.
The middle part of the show was
quite boring. The Fugees' Best R&B
Video victory was a no-brainer for
"Killing Me Softly." LL Cool J's danc-
ing to "Doin' It" with his tightly clad
female co-singer was pretty racy, yet
somehow quite lame. Best direction
went to Jonathan Dayton and Valerie
Faris for Smashing Pumpkins'
"Tonight, Tonight." A relatively moving
performance of Neil Young singing
"Needle and the Damage Done"
seemed quite out of place, even though
its intent - to shed light on the serious
heroin problems of many of today's
rock stars - was commendable.
Coolio garnered a trophy for Best
Rap Video for "Gangsta's Paradise."
Hootie and the Blowfish gave it their
best shot live, but they still sounded
pretty poor (OK, I must be honest: I
switched to watch the Andre Agassi /
Thomas Muster U.S. Open quarterfinal
for part of Hootie, so it is possible that
they could have rocked out for those
few minutes, but as John McEnroe
would say, "Are you KIDDING me?!").
Why Snoop Doggy Dogg and 2Pac
handed out the Best Hard Rock Video to
Metallica for "Until It Sleeps" is beyond
me, but it was quite funny seeing drum-
mer Lars Ulrich give 2Pac a semi-hug
and whisper sweet nothings in his ear.
Breaking out of their infinite sadness, Smashing Pumpkins take home another award during Wednesday's show.
Following this awkward moment came
the stunning live musicianship of Alanis
Morissette and Bush (Oh, wait, I once
again missed part of the action to actual-
ly see some quality tennis. My apologies
to you, the reader, for not giving you a
full, "1 10%" effort during the three
hours of my life that MTV stole).
The Pumpkins cleaned house once
again, this time for Best Alternative
Video for "1979." Then came a
mediocre version of a mediocre song,
"Salvation," by the Cranberries. Lead
singer Dolores O'Riordan must be
complemented, however, for her efforts
to grow out an impressive, Albert
White-like domed hairdo. Bush miracu-
lously won the Viewers' Choice award
for "Glycerine," beating out most of the
aforementioned winners of other cate-
gories. During their acceptance speech,
one of the non-Gavin members of the
band said, "See you next year." Yeah, I
know, I was laughing too. Sorry, no
return invitation to you lads.
"Trainspotting"'s Ewan MacGregor
and Ewen Bremner introduced Oasis,
who looked like they didn't want to be
there at all. Lead singer Liam Gallagher
sounded quite whiny and was massive-
ly out of tune. After doing a pretty weak
rendition of "Champagne Supernova," I
questioned why they just didn't let
Liam's consistently "on" brother Noel
sing "Don't Look Back in Anger,"
Oasis' more current song. Regardless,
an openly pissed-off Liam had his inde-
cipherable Manchester-speak censored
by the MTV police, and he kicked over
a beer after the song ended, prompting
Dennis Miller to poke fun at him.
The best moment of the night was Van
Halen's standing on stage with David
Lee Roth back in the saddle, the way it
was when the band meant something
over a decade ago. He made a funny (and
censored) comment about how the last
time he was at the awards, people said, "I
want my MTV" He said now people talk
about "blowing each others' heads off,"
obviously taking a cut at gangsta rap's
recent popularity. Anyway, they handed
out the Best Male Video to a worthy
Beck, whose hilarious "Where It's At"
video includes country music fans line-
dancing to his chorus of "two turntables
and a microphone."
Alanis Morissette then received
another award, this time for Best
Female Video. This preceded Bone
choreography for "The Crossmids,"
which included waves of smoke.ahd a
horse-drawn carriage. Finally, aft the
Smashing Pumpkins won theirlast
award, Best Video for "T ht,
Tonight," the show terminateIvith
Kiss playing "Rock & Roll All ht"
under the Brooklyn Bridge. e:
was rather energetic, it really wqgigst
bunch of fattening men in their 4||ith
ridiculous face paint on trying -sal-
vage something from their past.n
Much like MTV|
Alanis did not go down In this the-a-tuhl AP PHOTC
At the top of this week's Billboard charts:
Copyright 1996, Billboard-Soundscan Inc.-Broadcast Data Systems.
1. "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)," Los Del Rio (RCA) (Platinum)
2. "I Love You Always Forever," Donna Lewis (Atlantic) (Gold)
3. "Twisted," Keith Sweat (Elektra) (Gold)
4. "Loungin," LL Cool J (Def Jam) (Platinum)
5. "Change the World," Eric Clapton (Reprise)
Copyright 1996, Billboard-Soundscan Inc.
1. "No Code," Pearl Jam (Epic)
2. "Atliens," Outkast (LaFace)
3. "Falling Into You," Celine Dion (650 Music) (Platinum)
4. "Jagged Little Pill," Alanis Morissette (Maverick-Reprise) (Platinum)
5. "Tragic Kingdom," No Doubt (Trauma) (Platinum)
U - ii
Read Weekend, etc. Magazine every Thur&y.
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