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November 06, 1996 - Image 11

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-06

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Author comes to Hillel
Writer Rodger Kamenetz will speak tonight as part of Hillel's
Celebration of Jewish Arts. Kamenetz is the author of the best-selling
"The Jew in the Lotus," the story of a fascinating spiritual discussion
between a group of religious Jews and the Dalai Lama. The presenta-
tion begins at 7:30 p.m. at Hillel, 1429 Hill St. Student tickets, avail-
able at Hillel, are a mere $4.

Wednesday
-November 6, 1996

11A

I - 1,

Illinois rocke
4JColin Bartos
'I)y Arts Writer
' !:And you just don't get it / You keep it copacetic /
And you learn to accept it / And oh, it's so pathetic."
If you haven't heard these lines blasting out of your
radio or MTV by now,' then you will any time soon.
ound For The Floor" is a hit, and it's the first for
-wer duo Local H (yes, I said power DUO), but don't
expect it to be their last.
Bassist / guitarist Scott Lucas and drummer Joe
Daniels hail from a small town in Illinois called Zion.
*Local H got together in 1987 to get the hell out of
Zion, and was originally a four-piece. Unlike any nor-
mal band, Daniels and Lucas decided not to replace
the other two members when they left. Daniels
'eplained why in a recent telephone interview with
"The Michigan Daily.
"The guitar player left and we were like, 'Oh, no big
deal. Scott plays guitar,"' Daniels said. "It's not like
'we needed 'em. Then the bass player left and we were
like, 'We always wanted to be a two-piece anyway.
Let's try to figure this out.' Plus it messed up the
chemistry. Me and Scott have been playing together so
long and we've always been the ones to write the
soings anyway."
Lucas plays bass and guitar at the
same time with a special bass pickup
'and amp in his guitar, which gives
Local H the thick sound of three or
*ur members with only a
drum kit and a guitar. This
technique was first used on
Local H's debut, "Ham-
Fisted," which came out in
1994. It was solid, but it did-
rilt get the response Local
H had hoped for.
."We got
slammed a
.t for peo-
1e sayin' it
sounded a lot

rs, Bush-haters Local H set to hit St. Andrew's

like Nirvana, which was bullshit," Daniels explained.
"If you listen to the record, none of those songs sound
like Nirvana songs. People just wanna put you in a cat-
egory ... I don't give a shit 'cause I love Nirvana.
"I mean, Dave Grohl (the former Nirvana drum-
mer) said it himself. The only band he thinks sounds
like Nirvana is Bush. Bush is a piece of shit. I swear
to God I hate that fuckin' band," Daniels said.
Earlier this year, Local H
released "As Good As Dead," a
literal book on life in their PR
hometown of Zion, Ill. The
album rocks hard, with a lot of
solid drummin, and more hooks Tomor
than a coat rack. The lyrics ca
vividly and cynically describe inform
the town and its people, yet it
seems so familiar that Lucas could be bitching about
your town, too. "There's a lot of angst in the lyrics and
stuff, it seems like," Daniels said. "But, really, they're
fun."
Among the many incredible tracks on "As Good As
Dead" are standouts like the anti-jock anthem "High-
Fivin' M.F.," in which the irony is much thicker than
anything poor Alanis Morrisette could come up with
for her sorry little "song."'High-
Fiving M.F.' is about jocks and
how they beat up kids. Can
you relate?" Daniels
asked. "Don't you just
hate that shit? You
know, they don't
know why they're
(at the show),
they're j ust
t h e r e
it's a cool
/rthing for
the '90s to
do." The whole
song makes fun

of jocks, yet seems to be the song they mosh the hard-
est to.
"'High-Fivin' is all power chords. Cheesy-ass metal
riffs that we incorporated into our feelings," Daniels
explained. "The only reason that song works is 'cause
we're playing it. Our attitudes aren't metalhead atti-
tudes, so it's kind of a joke since we are playing it."
The song sums up Local H's whole attitude. Much like

EVIEW
Local
row at St. Andrew's

IH
sHall.

Nirvana's "In Bloom," the song
caters to the very audience of
meatheads which its lyrics
abhor and ridicule.
Another strong track on the
disc, "Nothing Special," sums up
the way the band looks at itself.
"You know, we're just another
band," Daniels said. "But we

all Ticketmaster for more
ation at (810) 645-6666.

know we rock, we can kick just about any band's ass
when we get on stage. ... We're ourselves. We're not
putting on a front or no act."
Touring in support of "As GoodAs Dead" has become
a way of life for Lucas and Daniels. Various tours this
summer with bands like Stanford Prison Experiment and
Orange 9mm have kept Local H busy, as well as a cur-
rent stint with industrial act Gravity Kills and an opening
slot on the Stone Temple Pilots' winter tour.
When asked why Local H tours so much, Daniels
said, "Because that's the way you gotta build a fan
base and sell records. That's just what we do. ... Radio
works for itself and MTV works for itself, but we have
to be doing the other end, we have to tour. We've gotta
get in front of people."
Now that Local H has a hit single, don't expect
them to become big rock stars, or anything. "I'm glad
we're not a buzz band or anything, because then we'd
be over," Daniels said. "(Fame) doesn't bug me
because we're gonna do things right; we're not gonna
fuck over our fans."
It's refreshing to see a band who can keep a level
head and still be successful. After the upcoming win-
ter tour and new single, "Eddie Vedder," look for
Local H to stick around for a long while.

Local H arrives at St. Andrew's Hall tomorrow evening.

Vocalist Johnny Gill roars back into mainstream

Diverse themes thrive
at Basement Arts

Johnny Gill
=Let's Get The Mood Right
otown
Johnny Gill is no stranger to the
music industry. And on "Let's Get The
Mood Right," his latest album, he pre-
-sents his audience with more of the
same thunderous vocals that he's been
producing for more than 10 years.
"'This 14-track CD boasts production
and song writing by some of the most
famous and talented producers and
*ng writers in the music industry
today: Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry
Lewis, R.Kelly and the Characters (who
have produced songs for such artist as
Boyz II Men and Brandy), Troy Taylor
and Charles Farrar. Gill himself even
lends a helping hand in penning a cou-
ple of the songs on this album. The end
result is a combination of beautiful
music and strong vocals.
On ballads like "Maybe" and "Take
.We(I'm Yours)" Gill is his usual self;
ding strong, versatile vocals to put
these two already beautiful songs over

the top. Another beautiful song featured
on this album is "Simply Say I Love U."
Gill teams-up on this duet with musical
great Stevie Wonder to create a harmo-
nious offering sure to be any music
listener's delight.
"Let's Get The Mood
Right" isn't completely
without occasional
faults. A couple of
the songs are a little
cheesy and leave
much to be desired.
However, Johnny
Gill's singing and the
better material on this
album are enough to over shad-
ow these faults and make "Let's Get
The Mood Right" worth listening to.
- Jessica Simmons
Nada Surf
High / Low
Elektra
It's about time that a band broke

through with talent and a catchy sound
to take you mind off all the mindless
crap being put out lately: It's Nada Surf.
"High / Low," Nada Surf's Elektra
debut, is a surprising blast of pop-
punk energy which is neither
boring nor contrived. It
® y starts out fast and loud,
with the driving
"Deeper Well,"
which is just a win-
dow into how good
this album is going to
be. The songs don't all
sound the same, either;
something a lot of bands
have trouble with.
Nada Surf has already gained a little
bit of exposure, for its song and video,
"Popular." Vocalist and songwriter
Matthew Caws takes lines from an old
etiquette book and applies them to the
utter disdain and hatred a lot of us have
for that whole cliquey, high-school elit-
ist crowd. Remember the football stars
and cheerleaders that were too good to
talk to you? Well, Nada Surf gets the
last laugh in this one.

Johnny Gill just stepped in something.
Musically, the entire album is a roller
coaster that slows down at points, but
always picks up speed to start you
screaming again.
"Zen Brain," the last track on the
disc, is one of the many high points. Its
dark, melodic, almost nostalgic vision
is probably the tamest, yet most com-
pelling track on the disc.
Songs like "Psychic Caramel" and
"Treehouse" remind me of "Dirty"-era
Sonic Youth, with their driving tempos
and Lee Ranaldo-esque guitar riffs. The
stand-out, though, has gotta be "Sleep,"
where bassist Dan Lorca sings the vers-
es, almost in a whisper, while Caws
jumps in to sing the thrashing chorus.
It's an amazing track that showcases all
the different talents and extremes Nada
Surf possesses.
The whole album's lyrics are vague
and visionary, much like Sonic Youth or
Nirvana, even. When put behind the
excellent and catchy musical arrange-
ments and ex-Cars' Rick Ocasek's pro-
duction, the album shines. "High
Low" is definitely not one to "sleep"
on.
- Colin Banos

By Shanna Singh
For the Daily
Although the three productions share
the time span of a single hour, the Arena
Theater's upcoming performances are
"world's apart" according to Department
of Theater and Drama student director
Lauren Miller. Both "The Poet and the
Rent," written by
David Mamet,
and "The P
Sandbox," written
by Edward Albee,
come to the Arena With
Theater this week- Thursday through
end, bringing with Arena Theater.G
them two very dif-
ferent moods.
Opening the show is "The Poet and
the Rent," which Miller described in a
recent interview with The Michigan
Daily as "the funniest thing I've ever
read, seen, heard in my life.
"It's a silly, ridiculous play," Miller
said of the work, which Mamet origi-
nally wrote as a children's piece. The
plot centers around a flighty poet who,
as the title describes, desperately seeks
$50 to pay his rent.
"The play includes some crazy char-
acters," Miller said. One such character
is Aunt Georgie, a man in drag who is
constantly getting pies thrown in his
face, "though lots of people gets pies in
the face in this play," Miller added.
The other play stands in sharp contrast
to its upbeat neighbor. "The Sandbox" is

EVIEW
The Sandbox
"The Poet and the Rent,"
Saturday at 7 p.m. at the
General admission is free.

lovable charac-
ters, Mommy and
Daddy.
"It is interest-
ing to see the
contrast between
Grandma's viva-
cious personality
and the sterile

a beautiful piece of theater which Miller
described as a black comedy.
"I saw it a long time ago, and )Ae
always liked it," she said. Now givei a
chance to direct it, Miller believesthe
audience will feel the same. The plot
centers on a vibrant Grandma brought to
die at the sandbox by two younger, less

characteristics of
Mommy and Daddy," Miller said.
Although only 15 minutes long, "The
Sandbox" has much to offer thematically.
Through the use of some of its characters
as macabre symbols, the play attempts to
convey a quick message about death.
While it may not leave the audience
laughing in the same way as "The Poet
and the Rent," the play will have perhaps
a different, more serious sort of impact.
Two opposing sides of life, comedy
and tragedy, will be presented at the
Arena this weekend. For the studious
intellectual, the plays may provide an
innovative interpretation of life. For the
entertainment seeker, they will at least
get an effective study break. Either way,
the hour of free performances will be
an hour well spent.

Nada Surf is like totally at the mall.

i

"I'r:

We are about people and ideas.
Come meet with us.
Some of our customers might talk about our 2900 page catalog or the
more than 200,000 industrial supplies we stock. Some might be more
impressed by our convenience and speed. They are right, but it's people
and ideas that have shaped us for the last 95 years and have made us
psuccessful.
We're looking for more.
Please join us to discuss careers in our information technology and
operational departments. All majors are welcome to attend.
I ',.. ntp T ar.tian

Canterbury House
is sponsoring a live downlink telecast:
"Inheriting a Broken World"
A Nationwide Teleconference
Live from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Wednesday, November 6, 1996
8-10 pm, Eastern Standard Time
The Michigan Union, Kuenzel Room (main floor)
530S. State St., Ann Arbor
What do young people say about the global community they

t

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