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April 04, 1997 - Image 5

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

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Looking for a little country flair? This second-annual fundraiser for
Child Care Network combines Southwestern cuisine, a silent auction
and dancing for a good cause. The fun begins at 8 p.m. at
Cobblestone Farm, 2781 Packard. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30
the day of the event. For more information, call 761-6040.

Friday
April 4, 1997

Caught between
Rock and a
funny place

By Eugene Bowen
Daily Arts Writer
Chris Rock is bringing the pain to the
University's Hill Auditorium this
Sunday. Sponsored by Hillel and Greek
Week '97, Rock is certain to give much
of the politically incorrect humor that

definitely get to feel the vibe of the
more outrageous side of Rock, the self-
described "Democrat with a Republican
wallet.'
And he's not afraid to let his opinions
be known. His No. 1 opinion? If it's not
hurting anyone, he doesn't care.

Will Oldham, formerly of the Palace Brothers, relaxes backstage at Lollapalooza.
Palace s Oldham hits
the road for solo tour

By Anders SmithLindall
Daily Arts Writer
They're the Palace Brothers, Palace
Music or Palace Songs. Under these
shifting monikers, singer/songwriter
@11 Oldham has released honest, emo-
tibnal, evocative and challenging music
that blurs the bor- _
ders between indie-
rock, old-time P
country, blues, and
Appalachian folk.
The band name Tr

0

isn't the only thing
that differs
between each record Oldham has done:
*t as variable has been the supporting
cast of musicians. Collaborators have
included his brothers Paul and Ned
Oldham, Plush's Liam Hayes, Gastr Del
Sol's David Grubbs, Tortoise's David
Pajo, Sebadoh's Jason Lowenstein, and
sound wizard Steve Albini.
The revolving-door parade of names
and players reflects Oldham's sense of
impermanence. "Nothing stays the
same," Oldham said in a telephone inter-
*w with The Michigan Daily from his
Couisville, Ky., home. "It's never entered
my mind to go into the studio and re-do
something. I've never once considered
repeating an experience.'
That pattern of change continues
now, with the imminent release of what
will be the final album bearing the
Palace name. The album, "Lost Blues
and Other Songs,' compiles all the
Palace material released on seven-inch
&gles over the last five years and adds
f handful of previously unavailable
tracks, the last of which was recorded in
1995. From this point onward, Oldham
will record and tour under his own
name.
Does this herald the beginning of a
new era? Not exactly. In mid-1996
Oldham released "Arise Therefore," an
album that bore no markings to indi-
pate the identity of the band that
corded it but, as a Will Oldham
"cord, was marketed as a Palace
album. Today, Oldham says that this
record was actually the first to repre-
sent the new chapter in his career. "The
spirit behind the Palace recordings was
naivete," he explained. "It was a total
spirit of exploration, absolute igno-
rance of what could be accomplished
and joy at being able to be in these fan-
tastic situations where I could go into a
idio with friends and relatives and
Totally admired musicians and engi-
;neers and have people all over the
world hear the record. The last record-
ing sessions that I considered to be
Palace were done two weeks after the

recording of (1995's) 'Viva Last
Blues.' 'Arise' was different. Before it
was naivete, now it's taking the things
that have been learned and trying to
use them."
When Oldham talks about being
ignorant and naive musically, he isn't
ex_________ exaggerating.
Unlike many musi-
LEV EW cians who played
Will Oldham their instruments
Sunday and dreamed of
e Magic Stick in Detroit rock-stardom as
with Run On children, Oldham
picked up a guitar
only relatively recently, instead devot-
ing his time to an acting career (appear-
ing in John Sayles' "Matewan," among
other films). But almost immediately
once he began to play and write music
- even while still learning how to fin-
ger chords - he convened a loosely
organized band called Palace
Flophouse.
What followed was the release of
three full-length albums (with one more
on the way), an EP, and nine seven-inch
singles. Beginning with his back-
woodsy 1993 debut, "There Is No-One
What Will Take Care Of You," through
1994's spare, meditative "Days In the,
Wake" and 1995's raucous "Viva Last
Blues," Oldham has garnered. critical
acclaim and cult-hero status.
He has also earned a reputation as
something of a mysterious figure, an
enigma who guards his secrets closely.
In fact, Oldham rarely plays live shows
and gives interviews even more infre-
quently. He admits, understandably, that
he is "frightened" by the thought of
fans and critics trying to figure him out,
"frightened" by their prying into his
private life, "frightened by the thought
that people think what they can know is
anything other than the-construction of
a particular character in a particular
song."
Soon the final chapter will be closed
on the Palace era, with the release of
"Lost Blues.' Oldham will continue to
make music, of course, now under his
own name, though he said, "someday
I'd like to find a way to market a
record just under the name of the
record."
For now, however, it is recommend-
ed that the reader take advantage of the
opportunity to catch Oldham in a rare
live appearance and look for the
duction to the many incarnations of
the Palace sound over a period of sev-
eral years. Oldham's work can be chal-
lenging to the uninitiated listener, but
is ultimately unique and richly reward-
ing.

propelled him
through "Saturday
Night Live,"
"Bring the Pain,'
on HBO and a new
talk show on HBO.
All this, as well as
movie credits like
"New Jack City"
and "CB4:'
Weighing in at
only 140 pounds
and forever hyper-
active on television,
a surprisingly laid-
back Rock said in a
recent interview
with The Michigan
Daily that he isn't
the intellectually
zany individual he
appeared to be, like
last year when he
was a political ana-
lyst for "Politically
Incorrect."
"For television I

s PREVIEW
Chris Rock
W Hill Auditorium
Student tickets $15, $18.50 others
I did vote for
Clinton ... He
used drugs, his
Wife is a problem,
his friends are all
going to jail. I
mean I can relate
to him"
- Chris Rock

"All this anti-
abortion and anti-
homosexualitypro-
paganda makes no
sense; I don't care
what you do as
long as it doesn't
hurt me;' Rock
said. "Honestly, I
am a pretty non-
chalant person.'
One of the things
about Chris Rock
that makes him so
controversial in his
humor is his criti-
cal nature of both
blacks and whites
and their relation-
ship with one
another and other
races.
"I think ' the
biggest problem
within the black
community is defi-
nitely crime and

Comedian Chris Rock brings his shtick to Hill Auditorium on Sunday.

start looking within for solutions.
Seriously, we need to be like 'Gilligan's
Island.' Nobody is going to help us. So
we can either keep sitting out on the
beach trying to make flares or we can
build a fuckin' hut and take care of our-
selves.
"As for whites, their biggest problem
is their sense of entitlement," Rock con-
tinued. "Pat Buchanan, while running
for president, was a good example of
the kind of uppity attitude whites often
have by virtue of being white.
"I actually interviewed Buchanan
when I was working for 'Politically
Incorrect.' And while I feel he's the
most racist man on Earth, I do respect
the fact that at least he had opinions. I

mean the other candidates - Democrat
and Republicans - were like the same
person. They were too afraid to come
out and say anything new.
"But in the end I did vote for Clinton
because to me he's more realistic and
human. He used drugs, his wife is a
problem, his friends are all going to jail.
I mean I can relate to him."
Hopefully, though, he's not able to
relate to the wife-getting-on-his -
nerves part of Clinton. After all, Rock,
at 31, has only been married for four
months. Regardless, Rock is certain to
receive much love from the University
community as he spouts irrevereul
humor all night long at Hill
Auditorium.

have to be more animated," Rock said.
"I mean, that's my job, that's what pays
the bills. But I'm usually more calm
than that"
Nevertheless, the Hill audience will

drug use;' he said. "We need to realize
that just because the stuff is available
doesn't mean we have to use it. We
gotta quit focusing so much of the
blame for these problems on whites and

SUMAKU KAWAI/Daily

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