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April 02, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I cuticNight at the Pig!
Come on down to the Blind Pig for an evening of great folk music.
Contemporary folk artist Jo Serrapere and Detroit's Sister Seed
will be sure to entertain your inner-folk-self to the utmost degree.
The Pig's doors open at 9:30. For more information, call 996-

April 2, 1997


Evercicar's Alexakis to play solo in Detroit

For those of you who haven't figured this one
out already, Art Alexakis is no Billy Corgan.
While both men write popular alternative rock
anthems, Alexakis for Everclear and Corgan for
The Smashing Pumpkins, there are more differ-
ences than similarities when it
comes to the rest of their musi-
cal work. "I'm not a perfect
guitar player or a perfect
singer ... nor do I care to be;'
the Everclear vocalist stated. "I Clute
go by feeling and vibes so I Callt
don't do as many takes as a
lot of cats do. I hear Billy Corgan will do 20-
something vocal takes of one song. I don't
do that. I do about two or three takes."
Instead, Alexakis would be more
likely to compare himself with
Neil Young. "(Young) is, like,
Mr. One Take. 'Neil, that's a
little bit off-key. I don't care,
it feels good."' But, with
that fact in mind, one
would think that
Everclear's upcoming
album, "Pure White
Evil," would be currently
available in record stores.
Of course, you'd be
wrong. Despite
Alexakis' feelings about
multiple takes, the
album is still a ways
from being finished.
At the time of
Alexakis' interview
with The Michigan
Daily, "Pure White
Evil" was still a little
rough around the
ntiac tomorrow. edges. "Right now we

have two songs totally done and mixed. Then we
have five more songs to finish up, last minute
things here and there. Finally, we've got to mix
another 12 or 13 songs," Alexakis sighed.
Amazingly, the vocalist predicts the album
should be out by the end of May. As Alexakis will
glumly say himself, "I don't know what I was

Art Alexaki:
Tomorrow at 7 p.m


doing. I think I was trying
to be Phil Spector."
Currently, Alexakis has
plenty to do with his time
apart from sitting in the
studio. Thursday night
will see Everclear's front-
man hitting Clutch
Entry in Pontiac for a solo

:ch Cargo's Mill Street Entry
810-333-2362 for more info
Cargo's Mill Street

acoustic show. But Everclear fans need not fear.
Bassist Craig Montoya and drummer Greg
Eklund are still an integral part of the band, even
if they won't be hitting Michigan this time
around. Interestingly, Alexakis didn't choose to
fly solo for the money, but instead for the memo-
ries. "I've got a bunch of new songs and I used to
do this years ago. I used to bus it. I'd like to get
back to that," Alexakis reminisced. "Strip all my
songs down to a really basic place and see if I can
pull it off. It's a challenge." Best of all, while fans
might miss the band's absent members, the
response to Alexakis' solo performance has been
outstanding. "People seem to go crazy for it," the
vocalist said happily. "It has gone great!"
Even with a solo acoustic tour, don't expect an
solo album anytime in the future. On this tour, the
band's singer hopes instead to do primarily
Everclear tunes along with a few more diverse
pickings. "Right now I'm just writing for
Everclear so those are the songs I'm doing;'
Alexakis shared. "I'll play a couple of older
songs. A couple of songs that haven't made the
records. Some new songs, some covers, whatever
I feel like playing."
If Alexakis does indeed play some of his
newer tunes, the audience should be in for a treat,

given the surprisingly electronic nature of "Pure
White Evil." Of the new album, the singer said
that it is, "different from a production point of
view as well as an arrangement point of view. It
has a lot more acoustic guitars. There are four
songs that don't have distorted guitars on them
... a first for Everclear! It's also got strings on
some songs, some horns, and then loops, drum
beats and samples all over it. It's a different
sounding record."
For Alexakis, this difference is something for
which he has always strived with Everclear's
recordings. "We wanted to
do something different on
the last album. But, we also<
wanted to make 'Sparkle
and Fade' a really consum-
mate rock record," the
vocalist shared. "With the
new album, this is the stuff
I've been listening to"
Despite the change in
certain elements of sound,
Alexakis has once again
managed to share elements
of his life through his
lyrics. Always frank with
his audiences, Everclear's
vocalist has been up front
concerning his past experi-
ences with drugs, making Alexakis with Everc
many of his songs all the
more heartfelt and personal to his listeners.
"People think a lot of times that with 'Sparkle and
Fade' I'm singing from a personal point of view
because it's first person, even though it's not. And
sometimes they think I'm not and I am. It's hard
to tell where it starts and it begins," Alexakis
commented. "It's more of the same on this record,
but it's at a different level. It's not the same things
as I was talking about before, but the next step
from them. I just write what I'm thinking and

When he's not thinking about songs, Alexakis
said he's thinking about bands. One of the A&R
representatives for Capitol Records, this singer
has been spending much of his time singing the
praises of other musicians. Though he isn't
allowed to share any of the details of what bands
have caught his eye, he admitted to "having a few
irons in the fire." Fortunately, Alexakis was free
to dish the dirt on this year's South By Southwest
music showcase in Austin, Texas.
After taking part in the South By Southv
annual music showcase in Austin, Alexakis, a
Portland, Oregonian, is
looking forward to scout-
ing bands in his own city,
thanks to the newer North
By Northwest showcase.
Though right now Alexakis
is reserving judgement; 'he
hopes that the Portland
showcase will meet '
success. "[North y
Northwest] doesn't seem
like it's going to fromthe
first few years. But South
>:.By Southwest didn't seem
like it was going to become
what it's become. They all
have their time," Alexakis
ar. For now, Art Alexakis
has his own time in t
spotlight. With an album to be finished, a s
acoustic tour and a challenging A&R job,
Everclear's frontman will have to struggle to
make time for his top priorities, his wife and
daughter. But, through it all, this vocalist will
keep his sense of humor and drive, whether head-
ing up a major label or teaching popular litera-
ture. Certainly, while the music might be pure
white evil, Art Alexakis' future remains anything
but ever clear.


Everclear's Art Alexakis will perform solo in Pon

All's not laughs for
new 'Arsenjo' sit-com

Animal rights record
gathers good material

Various Artists

By Kiran Nandalur
For the Daily
Arsenio Hall should be considered
the greatest magician in the world. In
1994, after "The Arsenio Hall Show"
was squashed in the ratings by Leno
and Letterman, he pulled a spectacu-
lar disappearing
act wherein he
went from a popu-
lar and novel talk
show host to the
line and anonymi-
ty almostw

work and marriage. Meanwhile, her
freeloading brother, Matthew (Alimi
Ballard), stays in their house and acts
to lighten the tension.
The problems with the show root
from the fact that the characters and
writing are simple and sappy. Atwood

E. V I E
Wednesdiays at 9:30 p.m.

seems absurdly
towards his wife,
and his supposed
anger towards
Matthew appears
contrived and

Three years later, in a time when the
public craves big name comebacks like
that of Bill Cosby and Ted Danson,
Hall somehow has been able to ride the
trend and get his own sitcom,
"Arsenio." Unfortunately, the show
doesn't highlight his stand-up skills or
his old "nasty" kind of humor. Rather,
it is a corny, lame and boring African
American version of "Mad About
The new ABC sitcom rotates
around Michael Atwood (Arsenio
Hall), an Atlanta sportscaster, and his
new wife Vivian (Vivica Fox of
"Independence Day"), an ambitious
law associate, as they try to balance

In the pilot,
when Vivian doesn't get promoted
and becomes isolated, he whines and
makes obsequious jokes about his
frustration in understanding her.
Then, a standard obligatory reassur-
ance of love occurs and the world is at
peace once again. Hallelujah!
Fox accentuates the ineptitude with
her poor delivery and once again
proves that models are an embarrass-
ment to the art of acting. For example,
when facing the dilemma of losing
credibility with her firm or propelling
her husband's career, she seems to be
smiling and content. In addition, in
her physical scenes with Hall, Fox acts
like she is under coercion, thus mak-

Arsenio Hall has a new show with a brand spanking new look. The comedy
"Arsenlo" co-stars Vivica A. Fox and airs Wednesdays on ABC.

ing chemistry between them impossi-
The show also fails on. the
grounds that it takes place in some
kind of warped pseudo-reality.
Vivian looks like she is 24, but she
is up for a partnership in a presti-
gious law firm. Matthew is suppos-
edly a distinguished college gradu-
ate but acts like a character from
"Martin." Finally, a marriage
between Michael and the beautiful
Vivian is as mismatched as one
between Sharon Stone and Cheech

Overall, Arsenio Hall should have
either stayed out of the limelight or
made a comeback on the stand-up cir-
cuit. Because as a sit-com actor on a
major network, he is unable to deliver
the satirical sexual and racial jokes
that once made him popular.
Otherwise, Hall should have at least
become part of a show with a better
premise than "Arsenio:' Then again,
considering where he was a year ago,
he probably didn't have much of a

In Defense of Animals 2
Caroline Records
Benefit compilations face a double-
edged sword in that quality and cause
both vie for attention. While the cause
of a benefit compilation may certainly
deserve merit, the quality of bands and/
or songs may not match the cause or
vice versa. However, "In Defense of
Animals 2" succeeds because of its
worthy cause and the mostly unreleased
tracks or remixes. Also, the bands fea-
tured represent the whole gamut of
today's music scene, such as punk-pop
(Elastica), hard rock (White Zombie),
and laid-back electronica (the Orb).
Other notable acts included are Bjork,
Chemical Brothers, PJ.. Harvey, Beastie
Boys and Morphine.
The compilation starts off with the
Elastica b-side, "Brighton
Rock" which offers one of
their best tunes that,
doesn't steal from
either The Fall or
Wire. The song ends
with drummer Justin
Welsh gracing us
with his lovely vomit-
like intonations. The
Beastie Boys contribute
"Son of Neckbone a track off
of "The In Sound From Way Out," EP
that demonstrates their talents extend
beyond old-school rap and hardcore
White Zombie offers a surprisingly
entertaining remix of "Electric Head"
that is an exclusive on the compilation.
This version seems much more darker
and spookier than the original. The now-
defunct Belly offer an exclusive track,
"Spaceman," that exhibits the countri-
fied vocals of Tanya Donelly backed by
an acoustic guitar. Massive Attack vs.
the Mad Professor's "Cosmic Dub
(Sly)," and the Orb's "Slug Dub (The
Lettuce Version)," slow down the pace
of the compilation with their respective
trip-hop and ambient feel. Meat Beat
Manifesto's exclusive track, "We've
Done It Again" aptly samples news
reports of animal rights injustices with
the counter of "We've Done It Again."
Each track on this stellar compilation
deserves mention and the variety of acts
featured enable this compilation to
stand on its own through the material
itself. However, the cause (animal
rights) presents itself constantly
through the realization that artists such
as Jack Dangers (Meat Beat

ceed. The inlay offers enlightening lit-
erature on what can be done to protect
the rights of animals while the Seitan
and Hummus wrap recipe by Mike*
of the Beastie Boys provides food for
your enlightened thought.
- Philip Son'
Robert Palmer
The Very Best of Robert
Guardian Records
As the end of the decade nears,-the
time for the '80s nostalgia albums has
come, and Robert Palmer, having gone
of the most memorable '80s videos,
must have felt it to be his turn to press
one. It's hard to forget Palmer and-his
popular "Addicted to Love"
video, featuring the singer
and a chorus line:d
mutant six-foo'
female clones in tight
black dresses with
.......: slicked-back hair.
Besides "Addicted
to Love" the disc also
includes 16 other
Palmer hits, including
"Bad Case of Loving You" and
"Simply Irresistible." The Palmer-ites
among you may now be saying to yc
selves, "I've already got those songs in
my extensive Robert Palmer album col-
lection. Why should I buy this album?"
Apparently Palmer asked himself the
same question and solved this common
predicament by adding "Addicted to
Love '97" to the disc. You'll be hard-
pressed to notice any major difference
though. Other than a slightly slower beat
and a deeper bass line, "Addicted '97" is
identical to the original.
The rest of the album abounds
cheesiness with song titles like "I Didn't
Mean to Turn You On," "Some Guys
Have All the Luck" and "I'll Be Your
Baby Tonight." This disc is so pop it hurts.
Although rock 'n' roll is still relative-
ly young, it has managed to develop a
few of its own traditions. The greatest
hits album is one. "The Very Best of
Robert Palmer" is another disc that fol-
lows in this tradition, and will pro
be available at gas stations, truck sto s
and convenience stores as well as the
local record store. If you have a burning
desire to recreate the '80s, buy the disc,
but ifyou're just looking for a little nos-
talgia, go see Star Wars. I hear it's ptet-

We've got some notes youl'l be
happy to take.


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