The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 25, 1996 - 9
'-Iardcore Downset succeeds on major label debut
-o We Speak a Dead
Downset's newest release, "Do We
peak a Dead Language?" is trying to
uestion some of the fundamental prob-
ems that we face today. Downset is not
trying to be a role model, but is just try-
ing to point out that a lot is said these
This is Downset's second release, and
coming from an independent label,
many will question whether or not this
Los Angeles band has brought along
their integrity and hard-core
roots. Well, they have,
't only time will tellr
Wtheir true focus
;gins to fade away
Jnto the lights of
-he big top.
"Do We Speak a
ets the mood of
-vAbaward reflection and
.Adresses personal concerns.
Sf contains 13 well thought-out songs,
'iven by even more powerful music.
Rey Anthony Oropeza (vocals), Ares
guitar), James Morris (bass) and Chris
, e (drums) seem to be very dedicated
--W their music. They took this album
seriously, and so should their audience.
The album starts with an intro track
which is an excerpt of a Martin Luther
King Jr. speech, addressing this world
as not a black world or a white one, but
a world for all humans. Immediately
following, Rey screams, "Empower!,"
and the album is truly set in motion.
This is a song about believing in your-
self, and taking your life back.
Most of the songs combine hardcore
and hip-hop to create a sound some-
where between New York's Earth Crisis
and the flowing style of 311. It's defi-
nitely the new school sound, and it's
definitely worth checking out.
"Do We Speak a Dead Language?"
progresses to face the often
touchy issues of human
rights and injustices
on the tracks
"Fire." The song
"Ashes in Hand"
makes the claim
that "sex can be a
weapon," as Oropeza
rhymes through the
hardcore, hip-hop groove,
"This is not sexual liberation / we
have accepted desecration." Yet, on a
lighter side, Downset does a song about
respect within the L.A. graffiti scene,
called "Pocket Full of Fatcaps."
One of the coolest tracks is "Sangre
de mis Manos (Blood of my Hands)."
The whole song is in "spit-fire"
Spanish. I have no idea what it says, but
this would be a fun song for all of those
Residential College intensive language
"Do We Speak a Dead Language?" is
trying to open its listeners' minds
through its lyrics, and the music will
definitely open their ears. Downset
does not want to seem overly-political
or self-pitying, but they can't worry if
the world accepts it.
- Brian M. Kemp
Expecting to Fly
Sweeter than Oasis, more accessible
than Blur and more clean-shaven than
Supergrass, the Bluetones differentiate
themselves from the Britpop pack by
being nice, straightforward lads that
make nice, straightforward, well-crafted
Their debut album, "Expecting to
Fly," is full of chiming, charming guitar
pop songs that recall the golden age of
British pop, yet sound fresh and new.
The singles in particular sound like
immediate classics: "Slight Return" is
poignantly sweet, while "Cut Some
Rug" and "Bluetonic" both have an
irresistibly buoyant groove that's infec-
While the Bluetones' music risks
becoming too sweet and straightfor-
ward, the honesty and vulnerability in
Mark Morris' voice adds the right
amount of earnestness and energy to the
band's traditional music. Already hard
at work on their second album, expect
great things from the Bluctones.
- Heather Phares
What Girls are Made of
Three words come to mind when
describing Kaycee Grogan's debut
album "What Girls are Made of":
Surprising, refreshing and promising.
It is refreshing to listen to a new artist
who doesn't try to emulate other female
singers, but instead creates an individ-
ual personality for herself. In a music
industry overflowing with young
female singers, this 16-year-old Atlanta
native sets herself apart from the rest by
displaying originality and versatility.
This R&B album is a combination of
quality music and vocals, two things
that few new artists are producing
nowadays. On songs like "It's Alright,"
"Open Your Heart" and "Could I be
Fallin'?" Grogan displays the poise and
maturity of a music industry veteran.
On "So In Love," one of the more slow
tempo songs, she really gives listeners
an ear full of her strong vocal abilities.
"I Cry" is another song that stands
out on this diverse album. Grogan suc-
cessfully incorporates the use of vio-
lins, guitars and harmonicas, along with
a variety of other instruments, as she
croons this sad song of lost love. She
also shines on "Silly," a remake of an
old Denise Williams tune. Although
remakes of older songs have become all
too common on today's R&B and hip-
hop scene, Grogan's versatile voice
gives this song new life.
Without a doubt, Kaycee Grogan has
the vocal skills to go far in today's
We are Downset.That's why we're always so sad.
music industry. She shows that she has
the talent to hang with the likes of teen
queens Brandy, Monica and Aaliyah.
Such well-knowns in black music
today as TLC, The Goodie Mob and
Kris Kross have one thing in common:
Atlanta. Atlanta has for some time been
a hub for black music. And if the four
teens of Mista have their way, they will
soon be following in the footsteps of
their fellow Atlanta natives on their way
to fame. "Blackberry Molasses," the
first single from "Mista," is a nice, fair-
ly smooth son;, but it is by far not the
best song on that album. That honor
goes without hesitation to "Tears, Scars
& Lies." This song is one of the best
R&B songs to come out for some time,
and you can be sure that the moment
you hear it, you will keep rewinding.
The group's youngest member, 13-year-
old Brandon Brown is like a modern-
day Michael Jackson, leading his Mista
"brethren" (the members of Mista are
not related) with his higher pitched leads
in fairly decent songs like "What Love
Is" and "I'll Sweat You."
"Mista" still has a ways to go. Group
members could stand more toning of
their voices to give them a much more
pleasing harmony than they sometimes
exhibit. Nevertheless, Brandon, Bobby,
Darryl and Byron are on the right track
with this 12-cut release. Mista can most
certainly turn into something big some
- Eugene Bowen
eet the Bluetones. Even though we're blue, we're still happier than Downset.
ANN ARBV ORI II1&2 I
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DAILY BEFORE 6PM
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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1996 AT 7:30 P.M.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1996 AT 2:00 P.M.
CHIPPEWA MIDDLE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM
4000 OKEMOS ROAD, IN OKEMOS
TAKE 1-96 WEST AND USE EXIT #110 OKEMOS
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A?% P resented with financial support from the Michigan Council for
'~ the Arts and Cuhtural Affairs, the lngharn County Hotel/Motel
SFund, and the Greater Lansing Arts Council
r TAKE -96WS N S XI110OEO
eritish me icon
Tony Branch, Director of the British American Drama Academy
Tuesday, October 29th
Tony will be on hand to meet with interested students about the
following RADA Programmes:
LONDON THEVII-E PPresented in association with Sarah Lawrence College
at Regents's Park, London
THE MRSOM-MER IN OXFORD PROGRAMME
Presented in association with juilliard School and UCLA,
at Balliol College, Oxford
THE SHHESPHR-E P
Presented in, association with Skidmore College in
Stratford-Upon-Avon and London
~ 313 7f1-3355 04South Univers~ity
auMo m 1
C o o k i n g ?...
& gravy, a hot
ground beef and
served with a
tossed salad &
potatoes & gravy,
a hot vegetable,
The University of Michigan
School of. Music
Sunday, October 27
Stearns Collection Lecture Series
The New North Campus Carillon
Lecture followed by a carillon demonstration
and tour of Lurie Tower
Recital Hall, 2 p.m.
School of Music Halloween Concerts
University Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras
Hill Auditorium, 5:00 and 8:30 p.m.
Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.
Monday, October 28
Evan Chambers, director
Recital Hall, 8 p.m. .
Tuesday, October 29
The Andrew Jennings and Anton Nel faculty recital has been
Friday, November 1
Michigan Chamber Players
A Tribute to Brahms
" Song sequence
" Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E-flat
" Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor
Martha Sheil, soprano; Martin Katz, piano; Fred Ormand,
clarinet; Anton Nel, piano; Stephen Shipps, violin; Yizhak
Schotten, viola; Erling Bengtsson, cello
Mu vaunt of A rt R n_ t
Don't miss this rare 35mm screening of the
legendary 1981 horror masterpiece directed by the
late, great Lucio Fulci, the Italian Godfather of Gore.
With outstanding cinematography by Sergio Salvati
and atruly haunting score by Fabio Frizzi, THE
GATES OF HELL abounds not only in atmosphere
but also amazing over-the-top blood-letting in a
movie that combines the gory excess of George
Romero, the vivid style of Dario Argento and the
unnerving surrealism of Luis Bunuel. Heads are
drilled, brains are torn from skulls and a woman
literally vomits up her own intestines in this eerie tale