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September 30, 1996 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-30

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Ulbe Skltrgtmt&tflg

Book reading and signing
Jill Ker Conway will be reading and signing copies of her latest book,
"Written by Herself, Volume ll: Women's Memoirs from Britain, Africa,
Asia, and the United States." The fun begins at 7:30 p.m. in the
Rackham Amphitheatre. And best of all ... it's free. For more
information, call 668-7652.

Monday
September 30, 1996

cult hero Amos performs unique, captivating show
Pretentious singer pleases crowd at passionate Hill concert

Dave Snyder
ly Arts Writer
There's truly nothing like a Tori
Amos concert.
Merit aside, her performances are not
like any other's: Baroque, melodramat-
ic, cathartic, call them what you will. At
least they're
unique.
Less unique on E
Friday night was
ning act Josh
la yton-Felt, for-
mer vocalist and H
guitarist for
School Of Fish.
Clayton-Felt is a decent enough guitar
player and is blessed with a great
singing voice that effortlessly floats to a
Jeff Buckley-esque falsetto, but his solo
performance of songs from his new disc
"Inarticulate Nature Boy" tended toward
e monotonous side. He did have a few
appreciative female fans in the
audience, and his impromptu cover of

"Raspberry Beret" was at least worth a
laugh. But it's safe to say that no one
came to see Josh Clayton-Felt.
Amos, the main attraction, is some-
what of an anomaly: A mainstream suc-
cess with cult status. She's able to per-
form at large venues like Hill without
sacrificing too

result was almost more of a diary recital
than a concert.
Older songs like "Mother" and
"Winter" spoke of the innocence cov-
ered on her debut, "Little Earthquakes."

Self-indulgent and proud of it.
The die-hards, many of which chose
to bleat out "I love you, Tori" at various
inappropriate moments, were treated to
a handful of obscure b-sides, which

EVIEW
Tori Amos
Fill Auditorium
Sept. 27, 1996
even the second

much intimacy,
which is what
makes her shows
so different and
captivating.
She seemed
d e t e r m i n e d
Friday to draw
balcony close to her

The album's
" P r e c i o u s
Things" has be-
come a highlight
of Tori shows,
and her version
on Friday was no
less than spec-
tacular, with an
improvised coda
of guttural
screams and a
28-second-long
hold of the word
"grrrrl."

As usual, she
rdelivered an
}absolutely
singular,
undeniably
passionate show.

were often as
good as the
album tracks. In
particular, the
lesser-known
"Honey" shone.
The obligatory
cover, Fleetwood
Mac's "Land-
slide," was stark
and magnificent.
As usual, she

savagely personal songs, not so much
playing the piano as making violent
love to it as she dramatically tossed
around her trademark flaming-red hair.
Her set showcased songs from all three
of her albums, each of which is a dis-
tinct song cycle handling various emo-
tional and developmental themes. The

delivered

an

Tracks from her latest disc, "Boys
For Pele," explored themes of feminini-
ty; the pounding dance rhythms during
"Talula" and a protracted "Caught A
Lite Sneeze" were Amos at her best -

absolutely sin-
gular, undeniably passionate show on
Friday. It's easy to accuse Tori Amos of
excess and pretentiousness, and while it
may all be true, none of her fans will
care. That's where the fun is, and why
Amos is selling out shows everywhere.

Tori Amos tunes up for her big show at Hill Auditorium on Friday.

W~~ARRN ZIN4N/LDily

Barlow's Sebadoh
rises to the top

Springsteen proves
worth at Hill show

By Colin Bartos
Daily Arts Writer
What happens when you cross hard-
core punk ideals with an acoustic guitar,
a crooning, sensitive songwriter and
musical taste that covers just about
every base? You get Sebadoh, one of the
most talented and respected indie bands
to almost achieve commercial success
in years.
* Sebadoh was started by Lou Barlow
in late 1989 as a
side project while
he was busy with P];
Dinosaur Jr.
Barlow would
record just about g
every song that Tonight r
ever came to his
head onto a
alkman or a four-track recorder, and
wetty much created the genre we call
"lo-fi." As a member of Dinosaur Jr.,
Barlow was never all that happy, and in
1989, lead singer J. Mascis kicked him
out of the band.
Barlow talked about the messy
break-up in a telephone interview with
The-Michigan Daily. "It was mostly just
cause I was angry," Barlow said. "I'd
been, for years, in (Dinosaur) and it was
just a lot of miscommunication ... a lot
frustrated communication going on.
When I was kicked out, I just finally
blew my stack. I'd just been holding so
much in for so long; I just got really

E
at
r at

pissed off." The- result of the break was
the proliferation of Sebadoh, and many
songs written in hatred of Mascis.
It all turned out for the best, though.
"I think I knew that when it happened,"
Barlow said. "It was like ... 'You guys
suck! I mean, you guys really suck as
people!' I was just really mad. Being
kicked out of the band wasn't so much
a tragedy musically, you know. We just
weren't enjoying what we were doing. It
was so ritualistic, real-
ly loud, and ... I was
V I E W just real vindictive
after that.
Sebadoh Sebadoh became a
the Magic stick. very hard band to pin-
(810)645.6666. point - they were all
over the place. After
releasing three
albums on Homestead Records which
can be described best as random and
experimental, Sebadoh started record-
ing for Sub Pop. The band's 1992
release, "Smash Your Head On The
Punk Rock," displayed a lot of Barlow's
punk upbringing.
"When I was first listening to hard-
core, like Minor Threat and Black Flag
... that was the biggest influence on
me," Barlow said. "That kind of music
... and I'm also really into '60s music,
too." Later in 1992, Sebadoh released
"Bubble and Scrape," which, like
Sebadoh's previous recordings, didn't
seem to hold together too well. It was

By Dave Snyder
Daily Arts Writer
Bruce Springsteen's latest album,
"The Ghost Of Tom Joad," which he
showcased at Hill Auditorium on
Thursday night to exhilarating results,
might as well be called "The Ghost Of
Woodie Guthrie."
The Guthrie songs "Tom Joad" and
"Deportee" bookended an intimate,
mellow set filled with gritty folk narra-
tives culled from
the sparse, har- R E
rowing "Joad"
and its sister
album, 1982's "
"Nebraska," and H
studded with
older favorites ,
and stripped-down hits.
Springsteen, with a reputation as one
of the most thrilling live rock acts
around, showed himself to be one of the
most versatile, too. While he earned his
status playing loud, sweaty marathon
shows with his E Street Band, this tour
finds him completely solo on stage,
performing with a quiet intensity that's
just as effective.
The buzzing, sold-out audience,
which included famed rock journalist
Dave Marsh, looked on in awe as Bruce
reinvented himself as a modern-day
Guthrie. Introducing "Joad" tracks like
"Sinaloa Cowboys" and "The Line"
with stories of his travels West,
Springsteen overcame his biggest

S
till

career hurdle: Making the transition
from rocker to folkie without losing
credibility. He made the songs very
real.
This was a quiet show - Bruce
requested it so - but a few howls of
"Brooooce!" still managed to soar from
the crowd, seemingly to remind us of
where we were.
Of course, the crowd wanted to hear
the oldies, and they got what they want-
ed: "Point Blank"
VIEW was stunning,
"Promised Land"
Bruce a slow burner:
pringsteen and "Darkness
A uditorium On The Edge Of
Sept. 26. 1996 Town," a rousing
departure from
the somber vibe that swallowed most of
the show. He reworked "Born In The
U.S.A." as a ballad, ending the song
singing the chorus a cappella, save
some percussive guitar-tapping.
The audience also got lots to laugh
about. Springsteen's between-song ban-
ter was borderline stand-up comedy,
and while we probably could have been
spared an extended monologue on oral
sex, the talk was as key to the show as
the music. Hearing Bruce ramble on
about his mother, and laugh at his own
bad jokes, is the humanity missing from
too many modern performers.
Sure, it would have been great to hear
The Boss in rousing, full-band glory,
See BRUCE, Page 8A

Sebadoh will be performing tonight at the Magic Stick.

more like each of the band members
throwing in some solo tracks and mak-
ing a compilation out of it.
In 1993, drummer Eric Gaffney left
the band (kind of), and part-time drum-
mer Bob Fay started to concentrate a lit-
tIe more on Sebadoh. In 1994, Sebadoh
released "Bakesale." a hugely success-
ful album within the indie circle, and
the first Sebadoh album without any
real throw-away tracks. It was like the
band was actually trying to make a
record! The album featured the now
core Sebadoh line-up, with bassist and
vocalist Jason Lowenstein, drummer

Bob Fay, and guitarist and vocalist Lou
Barlow, along with some special guests.
While Sebadoh gained some recogni-
tion with the single "Rebound," Barlow
achieved real commercial success in
1995 with his side project, Folk
Implosion, and their hit single, "Natural
One." This was something Barlow had
never really seen before, and said he
really enjoyed. "It's great," Barlow said.
"I've been touring for ten years, so it's
like, OK! Mainstream acceptance is fine
with me - I got no problem with that."
Long-time fans weren't so happy
See SEBADOH, Page 8A

'V

Only three
more days 'til
Weekend, etc.
Magazine
appears in
Thursday's
Daily.
* Don't miss it!

7:00 p.m., October 1, 1996
in
Tap Room of the Union.

U

.:.

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