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October 09, 1996 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-09

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 9, 1996 - 11

Cherry Poppers
come into Detroit

By Lase Harwin
Daily Music Editor
Any fan of ska is in for a big treat this
Thursday night. This is due to the
appearance of three. excellent bands
-converging on the mecca of music
venues, St. Andrew's Hall. Attending
this ska-fest are Let's Go Bowling, Reel
Big Fish (a seven-member, completely
energetic ska band). and the Cherry
Poppin' Daddies.
The music of the Cherry Poppin'
Daddies is an unusual blend of swing
and ska, added to
a purely "modern
lock" sensibility. P RI
This combination C
has made the
Daddies one of
the West Coast's Tomoro
most popular
bands, consistent-
ly selling out shows throughout the
-Northwest and California. After tour-
ing extensively for the past year and a
,Calf, the Daddies are just now building
a major fan base in the rest of the
country. Their shows in the Midwest
have met with relatively success, given
their current status as somewhat of a
"local" band from an entirely different
part of the country. Fortunately, their
style seems to be universally appeal-
With music that has been know to
cause people to either do the Charleston
Continued from Page 9
"Tourfilm" and the video for "Half a
World Away," began to study acting
upon his decision to make the leap
from music to the big screen.
"Girls Town,", which won a
Filmmakers' Trophy and a Special Jury
Prize at the 1996 Sundance Film
Festival, marks McKay's first narrative
film effort. The movie began in
September 1993 with a story work-
shop, involving five women from dif-
ferent backgrounds who helped devel-
op and sculpt the storylines. Later, after
securing the support of actors Taylor,
Harris and Grace, McKay and the
group began a five-day-a-week work-
shop that lasted for months. The begin-
ning of the workshop involved visits to
,he streets of Hackensack, N.J., where
the actors were encouraged to explore
the neighborhoods and gather inspira-
tion for their characters.
As the process progressed, McKay
worked with the actors on developing
their respective scenes. In many impro-
visation sessions, Taylor, Harris and
Grace each fleshed out their characters
with the freedom to add their own flair
to their specific roles. In the end, the
Collaboration of all participants pro-
duced a script that was much different
than what McKay had originally
Looking back, McKay recalled that
one of the main points of discussion
was whether the girls should be in high
school or college. A fter entertaining the
idea of a college world, McKay decid-
ed that only a high-school environment
could work with the script.
"Part of the excitement of the story is
-"hat they're girls whose lunmucge and
velocity and being is not fully informed
by more academic things" he said.
"Girls in high school are much more in
a place where they can act instinctively
and act out. You're not necessarily as
responsible for the consequences of
your actions. And it's exciting to me to
be able to tell the story through that
kind of mentality."
-- Most of the actors in the film,
though, are considerably older than 18.
McKay's concern over this issue, how-

ever, disappeared after observing their
exceptional performances.
"I think Lili's performance in partic-
ular is kind of amazing on that level"
McKay said. "She's the oldest of the
actors, 27 or 28 now ... I went out of
my way to make sure that she was held
back a couple of times so she wasn't
having to play this 18-year-old, and yet
A think she could have passed for an 18-
year-old anyway. That's real acting to
"A lot of times, we see something
like that and they would just make sure
the hair was done right and make sure
the costume was done right and have a
script with all these kid words," he con-
tinued. "Lili's entire physicality, the
way she held herself, I mean everything
about her just screamed young person.
She really blew me away."
The "high school-ness:" language
and documentary-like style of "Girls
Town" has many people comparing
the film to Larry Clark's "Kids."
(Lauren Zalaznick produced both
films.) Still. McKay is reluctant to see


or throw themselves into a pulsating
mosh pit, the Daddies manage to create
songs that aren't just empty and mean-
ingless. Often, subject matter can range
from child abuse ("Drunk Daddy") to
regret and loss ("Inertia Rhapsody").
So even when you leave the pit sweaty
and tired, you've still got something to
think about.
Lead singer Steve Perry, like the rest
of the members of the band, has enough
energy to revive the entire downtown
area of Detroit. His repeatedly animated
performances will
alternately make
.VIEW you laugh and
3rry Poppin' shake your head,
Daddies depending on
night at St.Andrew's. whether he is
Doors open at 7:30. merely writhing or
mounting his
microphone. But
without a doubt, the Daddies' signature
performers are their horn players,
including Scott Hall on alto sax, Sean
Flannery on tenor sax and Dana
Heitman on trumpet. Whether they are
blasting the air with powerful jolts of
music or creating velvety trails from
chorus to chorus, the horns are always
both noticeable and popular.
In the past, the Daddies have had
opportunities to play with ska greats
Skankin' Pickle, Less Than Jake and the
Mighty Mighty Bosstones. In fact, their
opening dates with the Bosstones were

These Daddies like to pop cherries.
so successful that the two bands are
looking forward to performing together
again in the future. In addition to being
recognized by other bands, the Daddies
have also won several awards for their
unique blend of sound. They have
churned out amazing performances at
CMJ in New York, SxSW in Texas and
NxNW in Oregon. Their first album,
"Ferociously Stoned," also was com-
mended, receiving favorable reviews in
The Rocket (Seattle's newsweekly) and
Alternative Press.
With their third CD to date, "Kids On
The Street," the Daddies continue to
explore their pop / ska side, adding to
their punk arrangements that ever-pre-
sent taste of horns. Since its release, the
CD has managed to find its way into the
Alternative Chart in Rolling Stone and
has been listed in The Rocket's Retail
Sales Top Twenty for seven months.
With the volume of Northwest bands
that are now being signed to major
labels, this is a major accomplishment

Continued from Page 0
represented one woman, Elizabeth
Siddal, before and after her death. The
resemblance between the women was
striking, which added to the perfor-
mance. In correlation, two men took on
the character of Rossetti (Willets and
Marcus Wischmeyer), also dressed in
white and black.
The coolest part of the dance came
when Pelletier, Willets-Brooks and
Wischmeyer entered from the back of
the stage with lit candles in their hands.
The house was dark and the candlelight
created various shadows and eerie
lighting effects. The dance as a whole
did an excellent job of illustrating the
feeling brought out in the poetry.
However, it was difficult to focus on the
words of the poetry, and not to be car-
ried off by the dance and the music.
The second half of the production,
"To Julia," was extremely different
from the first. It discarded Ralph
Vaughan-Williams' music and
Rossetti's poetry for that of Robert
Herrick and Roger Quilter. The only
solid consistency between the two parts
of the show was the set; it remained a
garden, but added a touch of satin and
flowers, as well as a large bird cage at
the back of the stage. The reason behind
the presence of the bird cage was the
belief in Victorian times that whether

for any band that's still relatively under-
Interestingly, not all of the members
of the band are unfamiliar with major
success. Hans Wagner, the band's
newest drummer, was formerly a mem-
ber of Mister Bungle, the popular band
headed by Mike Patton of Faith No
More fame. Wagner's addition to the
band is a valuable one indeed.
With hard horns, big rhythm, good
guitar and killer vocals, the Daddies
are as good as it's going to get. And as
good as their CDs may be, they have
nothing on the live show. So come on
down to St. Andrew's, grab the skinny
ties and suspenders and be prepared to
dance your brains out. Not one of these
three bands should be a disappoint-
ment, even though Reel Big Fish's cov-
ers of song such as "Boys Don't Cry"
and "Take On Me" might bring on sev-
eral fits of laughter. No matter what
may happen, just sit back and let the
good times roll.

the door to the bird cage was opened or
closed determined the state of a
woman's soul. A closed door symbol-
ized a trapped soul, while an open door
meant that-the soul was free.
The dancing in "To Julia" was much
more vibrant and uplifting than what
was seen in "The House of Life."
Noonie Anderson was exceptional as
Julia in conveying the mood of the
piece. A smile lit up her face and mem-
bers of the audience's hearts as well.
Willets-Brooks also danced the part of
Julia, but her expression was virtually
blank which took away a little from the
feeling of the piece.
It was obvious for the audience to see
that "The House of Life" and "To Julia"
were performances from the heart. The
actors and dancers were in love with
what they were doing, and it came
across in their every movement.
Willets-Brooks' choreography, for the
most part, complemented perfectly the
feeling of the poetry. Jeffrey Willets
deserves much praise for his superb
singing and his acting as well. His song
and feeling were what brought every-
thing else together on stage. Overall, it
was a memorable performance that
demonstrated to the audience the power
of dance, poetry and song. It left one
with a feeling of accomplishment, for it
would be difficult to come away from
this show without learning something
about life, death or love.

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