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September 10, 1996 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-10

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 10, 1996

Continued from Page 9
The Foremen
What's Left?
Reprise Records
Just in case the Foremen's debut
album, "Folk Heroes;" didn't satisfy
your appetite for hillbilly folk-rock
spiked with clever political satire, the
men in overalls are back with more fid-
dles, banjos and words that rhyme with
The genre of novelty in which the
Foremen squarely fall doesn't generally
breed any sort of progression or innova-
tion. In fact, even a second album is
somewhat of a shocker. So predictably,
there's nothing new on "What's Left."
Of course, it doesn't matter. This is still
funny stuff.
Proudly wearing their Tom Lehrer
influence on their collective GOP
sleeve, the band takes swipes at all the
satire-friendly political hot-buttons they
can come up with. On "School Prayer,"
lead Foreman Roy Zimmerman belts
out, "Those of you Who don't believe in
God / should feel free to sit quietly with
your fingers in your ears / like the athe-
istic heathens you are." PBS cuts are
lauded in "Privateers of the Public
Airwaves" and the environment takes
an expected hit on the opener,
"Scorched Earth Day."
This satirical ground has obviously
been trod before, but the Foremen do a
surprisingly good job of keeping it
fresh with their sincere, deadpan deliv-
ery and impossibly clever wordplay.
They also score points for remarkable
timeliness with a pair of convention-
anthems, "San Diego" and "Chicago
(Love Song To A Democrat)".
Full of glorious, tongue-in-cheek
GOP self-flagellation and deft

The Nixons return to Detroit
With their hit single "Sister," the Nixons may just be one of the next big things. Of
course, the song also sounds suspiciously like Pearl Jam's "Black," and we all
know that ripping off another band will make just about anyone a big hit. More
importantly, tonight's show at St. Andrew's Hall will also feature Imperial Drag,
made up of several members of the now-defunct pop-delight Jellyfish. With the
song "Are You A Boy Or A Girl," Imperial Drag proves that they still have the
humorand talent of their earlier incarnation. Check out both bands at St.
Andrew's, with doors opening at 8 p.m. And don't forget to catch opener James
Hal. Maybe he'll sound like Nirvana.
Study finds soap operas
promote unsafe sex

Democratic pot-shots, "What's Left?"
deserves to launch The Foremen
beyond their present anonymity. After
all, if Al Franken's "Rush Limbaugh Is
A Big Fat Idiot" can sell millions of
copies, shouldn't the election-year-
inflated market bear a right-bashing
soundtrack too?
- Dave Snyder
Butthole Surfers
The Butthole Surfers' last album was
all over the map and seemed kind of
messy. "Electriclarryland" on the other
hand is all over the map and sounds
amazingly together.
From the fast-paced "Birds" to the
laid-back experimental drum loop radio
hit "Pepper," the album delivers worth-
while tunes with satisfying regularity.
It's all garbled meaningless stuff
(more or less) that is interesting to listen
to. "If you want to know the truth /
You've gotta dig up Johnny Boothe"
and "I know your mother is a martyr / I
hear she has connections to the mob"
are a couple of lines from "Cough
Syrup" and are illustrative of the sort of
thing that makes the Buttholes an inter-
esting unit. There's nothing definite to
grasp, really, so you can't really pigeon-
hole the meaning of any given song.
You can't really nail down the sound of
the band either, as anyone who thinks of
the strains of "Pepper" and "Who Was
in My Room Last Night?" at the same
time can attest.
The album is full of catchy little
phrases. Things like "Everybody knows
freedom / You find it inside your head /
Everybody knows Jesus /You meet him
when you are dead" will get you hum-
ming at the most inopportune moments.
Some things on this CD can really
crawl under your skin, make a beeline
for your grey matter and entrench their
bad selves better than the Swiss can in
their little mountain-pass-filled country.
The album can be all things to all
people. No, that's a lie. But it can do a
whole lot more than most albums for a
lot of people. It's got arty stuff, it's got
nitro burnin' funnycar stuff and it's got
some stuff in French, I think. And it has
a three-eyed god on the back of the
case. Neato.
- Ted Watts
There really isn't that much to say
about the debut self-titled effort from

the Canuck quartet Pluto. One word
expressly comes to mind: ordinary.
Canada is a pretty boring place, and
it's only true to form that Canadian
music is pretty boring, too. There are a
few exceptions, but any place that gives
us such raw, sparkling talent as Alanis
Morissette doesn't have a whole lot
going for them. "Pluto" is formula
"alternative" radio-friendly crap.
I'm sure that the members of Pluto
aren't completely naive to the fact that
if they tried to sound like every other
mediocre rock band out there right now

Nancy Boy
Nancy Boy

Much like the Britpop craze in the
UK, American-British-Canadian hybrid
Nancy Boy campaigns to bring fun,
fashion and style to American pop
music. Led by celebrity kids Jason
Nesmith (son of the Monkees' Mike
Nesmith) and Donovan Leitch (son o
folk singer Donovan), Nancy Boy
melds a glamorous, witty image to


NEW YORK (AP) - When, after
weeks of smoldering glances, the male
lead of a daytime soap opera finally
ends up in bed with His brother's ex-
wife, they are unlikely to discuss birth
Why does this matter, you ask?
Because soap sex and its conse-
quences draw 40 million viewers likely
to emulate those daytime dreamboats,
said Katherine Heintz-Knowles, author
of a study released Saturday on soap
opera sex.
"We know that behavior performed
by characters who are attractive, power-
fuland popular are much more likely to
be imitated by viewers," said Heintz-
Knowles, a University of Washington
communications professor.
The survey found that, of 594 sexual
behaviors shown during five weeks of
soap operas, only 58 included the dis-
cussion or depiction of planning or con-

The study, released by the Henry J.
Kaiser Family Foundation, a private
health foundation, was presented to
network executives and soap opera
writers and producers meeting with
reproductive health experts at "Soap
Summit II." The first Soap Summit
was held in 1994; last year, the same
group held a meeting on television talk
The seminar is staged by Population
Communications International, an
organization that works with media
around the world to encourage family
planning and prevention of sexually
transmitted diseases.
"The dilemma (soap opera produc-
ers) have is they have to provide enter-
tainment," said Dr. Felicia Stewart,
director of reproductive health pro-
grams for the Kaiser Foundation. "The
goal really here I think ... is to try to
figure out some way we can be more

We're the Butthole Surfers. Our mothers are very proud of us.

they might sell a few records. This is
exactly why this album sounds so cal-
culated. A couple of the tracks, "Paste"
and "When She Was Happy," have been
receiving airplay on Detroit's 89X.
"When She Was Happy" is a catchy lit-
tle tune, but it is as mindless as the rest
of the 35-minute disc.
Lyrics like "She's special as special
gets, like snowflakes and cigarettes, like
lipstick for my girlfriend" on "Black
Lipstick" showcase the awesome lack
of songwriting ability of the boys in
Pluto in a nutshell.
People who like what they've heard
of "When She Was Happy" and "Paste"
will probably like this disc a whole lot.
People with any taste in good music
definitely will not.
- Colin Bartos

some fun, concise pop songs. They're at
their best on songs like "Deep Sleep
Motel," "Johnny Chrome and Silver"
and "I Don't Mind" - frivolous, frothy
pop spiked with loud guitars and lots of
"Nancy Boy" chronicles the life anD
times of a beautiful-boy rock band; it's
sort of a concept album about being
young, fashionable and snotty. While
Leitch's voice is a bit of an acquired
taste (particularly on ballads like
"Sometimes" and "Dearest Girl") and a
few of the songs are a little monoto-
nous, with Nancy Boy the style is the
substance. From cover to disc, "Nancy
Boy" looks and sounds good enough to
please trend-hoppers and music fan
- Heather Phares

The Foremen

Continued from Page 8
Seeing the production, it is clear why
it was renewed for a second season. The
production, from script to design to
direction to performances, is one of the
finest to be witnessed anywhere.
Richard Monette's direction of the
script, made famous in the '80s by the
movie of the same name, is fresh and
new. While very smooth, the direction
is not slick like a Hollywood produc-
tion. The raw emotions of jealousy,
greed and despair are surrounded by
gilded set pieces, shimmering costumes
and tremulous music by Mozart, creat-
ing brilliant opposition in the space.
Though Monette deserves a healthy
dose of the credit for creating this pro-
duction, his true strength lies in the
casting of the three leads.
Colombe Demers is new to the pro-
duction this second year, but she has
embraced the challenge and her perfor-
mance thrives. As Constanze, Mozart's
wife, her strength proves to be the back-
bone that supports the surprisingly vul-
nerable Mozart. Her decline into pover-
ty, her disassociation with her family,
and her pain in watching Mozart's
music go unappreciated is handled with

tremendous pride and dignity, a rarity in
such a young actress.
Stephen Ouimette, as Mozart, is well
on his way to becoming a legend in his
own right at the Stratford Festival. He
has an exorbitant amount of fun and
zeal at the beginning, coupled with a
heartbreaking vulnerability. His charm
and fun is slowly chipped away by
Salieri, until all that remains is a broken
shell of a man with barely the strength
to scratch out his final tribute, the
requiem for his father, arguably
Mozart's greatest accomplishment.
Mozart's decline is effortlessly handled
by Ouimette, and it is the type of per-
formance that will elevate the actor to
legendary status in the Stratford circle.
Already a legend is Brian Bedford,
who is consistently ranked as one of the
finest actors in the Stratford company.
His performance of Salieri is outstand-
ing. As only a master can, Bedford
charms and captivates, as we watch him
lead us through Salieri's decline, as his
bitter, gnawing jealousy slowly destroys
him. His transformation at the end is
awe-inspiring, capping off a nearly per-
fect performance.
This production of Hellman's "The
Little Foxes" can be considered

Stratford's All-Star game. Director-
Richard Monette has pulled out all of
the stops, casting the strongest actors
the company has to offer. In a play.
where a southern family feels that it is
"every man's duty to think of himself"
the layers of southern charm are slowi
stripped away, leaving only the horrific
core of human greed.
The two Hubbard brothers, Oscar
and Benjamin (Peter Donaldson and
William Hutt), and the Hubbard sister
Regina (Martha Henry), must raise
enough money to buy into a company
that will raise them from their reason-
ably wealthy status to the filthy-stink-
ing-rich level. Throwing a wrench in the
scheme is Regina's husband Horae
(the always outstanding Brain Bedford0
who, after a brush with death, has
returned from the hospital with a con-
science. Immediately, the white gloves
of decency come off, backs are stabbed,
family is betrayed and murder is com-
It is true that only family can be this
cruel to each other, knowing precisely
where to stick in the knife and twist it tq
create the most pain. William Hutt spig
cutting words from the side of his gra
cious southern smile, while Peter
Donaldson's Oscar, knowing he's out of
his league, must swallow his pride until
he can vent his frustration at the
expense of his frail wife, Birdie, played
with beauty and frailty by Diana
Truly the queen of the proceedings is
the unrelenting Martha Henry, as
Regina. Once she sinks her teeth int'
something, she will clamp down an
continue shaking until her victim
relents. The power struggle between the
three siblings is a joy to watch. You are,
on the edge of your seat, breathlessly'
waiting to see who arises victoriousr
from the cloud of dust kicked up by they
struggle. As in life, there can be only
one true victor, and all three will do
anything to be that one.
It is a remarkable piece of theate
and it is unlikely that an opportunity t
witness anything like this will present
itself in the near future. With its prox-
imity to Ann Arbor, any theater lover
ought to jump at the chance to see this
stunningly horrific portrait of the cruel-4

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