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October 07, 1996 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-07

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Women in corsets
Alternative cello rockers Rasputina plays its unique brand of music
tonight at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit. The trio of women plays cello
while wearing corsets. These girls believe a little bit of discomfort
equals really great music and yields far better discipline. They'll be
opening for Bob Mould. Doors open at 8 p.m. They might just change
your opinion of foundation garments and stringed instruments!

Monday
October 7, 1996

Mould prevails without Du

By Colin Bartos
Daily Arts Writer
If you're not familiar with Bob
Mould by now, you must have been liv-
ing in a hole the last 15 years, or just
don't care about music all that much.
Y're probably not alone, though.
The truth is, despite the hand he's had
in creating today's music, Mould is still
really only known in underground cir-
cles. The story started in the late '70s,
when Mould
began the semi-
nal Minneapolis PR
punk group
Husker Du. Early
Husker Du T
.s a straight- At St. A
forward hardcore Doors open
group, label-
mates of Black
Flag and the Minutemen, two of the
most influential punk groups in the
early '80s. Husker Du soon branched
out and experimented with other types
of songs, and by the time they broke up
around 1987, they had become the band
that new underground bands were try-
* to emulate.
After Husker Du, Mould released
two solo albums, "Workbook" and
"Black Sheets of Rain," which contin-
ued to draw off of the varied styles that
Husker Du had begun with later albums
like "Flip Your Wig" and "Candy Apple
Grey."
In 1990, Mould formed another
three-piece band called Sugar, whose
two official studio albums, "Copper
Oe" and "FU:EL," sold more than

500,000 records combined. Sugar com-
bined great pop songs with crunching,
distorted guitar, and would have been a
major deal if Nirvana had not broken
through and gained all of the attention
around that time.
Sugar broke up in 1995 when the
band members decided it was getting to
be too much. Mould explained the
break up in a telephone interview with
The Michigan Daily. "We simply got

EVIEW
Bob Mould
onight, with Rasputina
ndrew's Hall in Detroit.
at 8 p.m., 18 and over.

tired of it," he
said. "It got a lit-
tle too big for all
of us ... especial-
ly in Europe. That
wasn't what it
was supposed to
be and it just got
to be too much

quite fit into that trademark "Sugar"
sound, something Mould did purpose-
fully.
"It's almost like once you know
what's successful, it's real tempting to
just emulate it," he explained. "With my
current record, I was able to address all
those other components that maybe
weren't making themselves known in
the Sugar sense. I wrote so much in '95;
I had a lot of different avenues sonical-
ly to choose from. The 40 minutes of
the record sort of summarizes the I1
hours of stuff I ended up with when it
was time to make the record."
"Bob Mould" is an apt title for the
new record; Mould played all the
instruments, wrote all the songs, and
produced the record himself. "I wanted
for once to know exactly what it was
going to be like and I wanted people to
hear what it sounds like in my head
instead of how it sounds in my head
through other people playing it,"
Mould said.
The record is an adventure, like a
story to be read end to end, encom-
passing a lot of different styles. Most
of the songs are about failed relation-
ships, but also deal with many other
personal issues Mould has dealt with
the past few years. The songs range
from the mellower "Anymore Time
Between" and "Thumbtack,' to the
crunching sonic assault of
"Egooveride" and "I Hate Alternative
Rock," a title that stems from Mould's
dislike for the radio and MTV pop
bands who are now labeled as "alter-
native."

work."
Sugar's breakup was far more peace-
ful than Husker Du's breakup, which
Mould said "was fairly ugly and fairly
painful and really prolonged." He's not
dealing with the band thing right now
- he's just trying to concentrate on his
new solo material, something he says is
a lot better for him personally right
now.
"It's a lot less stress. There's less per-
sonality conflict. I have to do less care-
taking of the situation," Mould said.
"When you're working with a group,
the tours are really long ... you get
ornery ... and then what Bob needs
doesn't really matter."
Mould's latest offering, simply titled
"Bob Mould," pretty much continues
what Sugar was all about, yet doesn't

Bob Mould (center) with Sugar's Malcolm Travis and David Barbe.

"When everyday you talk to some-
body about your work, you're constant-
ly reminded that you were the architect
for what's happening now. (They
say)'You were one of the people that
caused all this to happen,"' Mould
explained. "I look at what's happened
and I'm going, 'Don't blame me that
every friggin' band on the radio sounds
alike!' I get tired of that. Damn, just
cause you built the building, you don't
know who the tenants are gonna be."
"Alternative rock is such a joke,"
Mould laughed. "OK, so you play both
alternative and rock? ... It's con-

sumerism. Here's a convenient label
and everything that falls under this is
good for you. When I look at the
Alternative Top 10, all these bands are
in the Top 20. Relatively, this is not
'alternative."'
Mould, this time around, is taking it
easy. The tour across the United States
features Mould with an acoustic guitar,
an acoustic bass player and a wide vari-
ety of songs, including "a lot of
'Workbook,' a handful of Sugar, a fair
amount of the new record and some of
the Husker stuff," Mould said. "I jok-
ingly call it the 'Greatest Hits' show ...

and I'm not ashamed of it." That's a lot
of material to choose from, and should
make for a very relaxed, yet intense and
interesting show.
Though he's been around over 15
years, Mould has no intention of calling
it quits any time soon. He has started
writing again and will start recording
again in '97. Mould definitely is not
dwelling in the past like some '80s
artists have been known to do. "If I was
the kind of person that really fed on
that, I'd never get anywhere," Mould
snickered. "I know I left a mark, but I'm
not done yet!"

Kane hits Borders to promote 'Running the Amazon,' 'Savages'

By Dean Bakopoulos
Daily Books Editor
When writer Joe Kane kicks off a three-week, nine-
city book tour in Ann Arbor tonight, he probably won't
be too concerned with the rigors of travel. Kane has
ventured into places much deeper and darker than
American cities and college towns. Tonight, he will
tackle tame terrain with a reading at Borders at 7:30.
Kane's travels are the basis for
his two books, "Running the
Amazon" and, his latest, PI
"Savages" (Vintage, 1996, 258
pp., $13). That book deals with
Kane's gripping adventures in the
Amazon Basin, where he spent
many months among the
Huaorani ("wow-RAHN-ee"), a
tribe of 1,300 nomadic Ecuadorian Indians who face
severe threats from American oil companies.
The Huaorani may be one of the most isolated cul-
tures on Earth. They wander on an area roughly the
size of Massachusetts, defending it with fierce warrior
tactics. Their language is unlike any known on earth.
Now, the Huaoranis face their fiercest threat ever: A
conglomerate of outside forces, from corporations to
environmentalists, who have varying, but similarly
sharp, interests in the Huaorani's oil-rich land.
"Savages" is a marvelous work of nonfiction -
well-researched, well-written and, well, fascinating.
It's a modern day David and Goliath story, written with
both poignancy and humor, rich in details and told

with sympathy. By book's end it's unclear just who the
real "savages" are - the oil companies, the meddling
environmentalists, Ecuadorian officials or adamant
missionaries; it is clear though that the true savages are
not the iuaoranis.
Kane said that he began his involvement in the
Amazon region under arduous conditions.,"1 first got
involved with the Amazon when I was invited to join

REVIEW
Joe Kane
Reading today at
Borders, 7:30 p.m.

an expedition attempting to
make the first source-to-sea
navigation of the Amazon. That
was back in 1985-86. Ten of us
started the expedition, two of us
made it to the end of the river
-- me and a Polish refugee,"
Kane said.

and missionaries. They were asking Kane to help them
express their own feelings over the fate of their land
and their people. Kane agreed.
In Ecuador, the rigorous environment and the isolat-
ed culture made Kane wonder if he would survive the
research. But Kane soon adjusted to the harsh sur-
roundings, and even more importantly, he gained the
friendship of the Huaorani. Learning their customs
and ways, he became qualified to bring their troubled
story to the rest of the world.
But in a place where even survival seemed uncer-
tain, how did Kane find the time to write the text that
eventually became "Savages"? "I carried a notebook
and made myself write a thousand words a day in notes
about whatever came into my head - even if it was
just the dirt under my fingernails. You have to get it
down while you're there in the field - later you'll
remember the big story, but you'll forget the details,'
Kane said. He carried a notebook around with him all
day, and then at night, he would blend his notes into
something along the lines of a story.
"The hard part about doing this when I was with the
Huaorani," Kane continued, "is that they always want-
ed whatever I had, so I had to carry extra pencils, pens
and paper to give away while I was writing. Also, it
took me a while to get used to writing while 35 or 40
people sat around staring at me." Kane also noted that
a big fear of his throughout the expedition was losing
his notes. "There was no place to get them copied," he
said.
See KANE, Page 8A

Kane said he was simply sup-
posed to write an account of the journey, but he ended.
up being part of the actual river team. That trip landed
Kane in the Guiness Book of World Records as the
first man to navigate the entire 4,200-mile Amazon
river, a journey done by foot, whitewater raft and sea
kayak. Kane eventually turned that adventure into
1989's best-selling book, "Running the Amazon,"
which has been translated into 13 different languages.
After he returned to California, the Huaorani tribe,
which in recent decades has developed some connec-
tions with the outside world, sent a letter to Kane care
of the Rainforest Action Network office in San
Francisco. The obscure culture found themselves torn
between American oil companies, environmentalists

ZBIGNIEW BZOAK

Author Joe Kane speaks at Borders tonight.

41

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