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September 04, 1997 - Image 27

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-04

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148 - The Mmign -baily~eeld W M huyr S ptenr 4,

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music
Continued from Page 78
and magazine readers everywhere were
singing "Mmmbop" subconsciously in
their slggp.
Unfortunately, the consequences of
these maneuverings have thrown the
term "alternative radio" into such a
charcoal gray area that it is now virtual-
ly impossible to define. Because of the
attempts to make mainstream hits out of
"new" music (considered "new" only
because it may have a saxophone or a
trombone as its fundamental instrument
instead of the beloved guitar), one could

flip on a modern rock station and hear a new albums from several big name acts
wacky Squirrel Nut Zippers tune fol- such as Liz Phair, Hole, the
lowed immediately by an elec- Sundays and Sonic Youth,
tronically thumping song as these groups all
from The Prodigy. Such " d decided to delay the
inconsistencies only release of their new
serve to clutter the gene material until late
pool of today's rock fall or even the
with mediocrity. At the early part of next
same time they prevent year. As a result,
bona fide talents like The there was not huge
Dandy Warhols and anxiety over most of
Spiritualized from getting the stuff that actually was
their fresh musical ideas heard by released during the heart of
the masses. the summer months, although Radio-
The summer of 1997 was devoid of head's "O.K, Computer," Ben Harper's

"The Will To Live," Sarah McLachlan's
"Surfacing," Catherine Wheel's "Adam
And Eve," Toad The Wet Sprocket's
"Coil" and most recently, Oasis' "Be
Here Now" were the shimmering
exceptions.
Disappointments ran rampant during
the summer of 1997, most notably evi-
denced by 311's laughable "Transistor,"
Offspring's putrid eponymous release,
Dinosaur Jr.'s "Hand It Over" and even
Foo Fighters' "The Colour and the
Shape." Because of such flops, even
worse acts like Sugar Ray, Meredith
Brooks, Collective Soul and Our Lady
Peace were able to get their singles

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Why allow the
media to decide
what should and
should not he
heard?
played continuously throughout the
summer, plummeting the integrity of
radio even further into the ground. Not
even reverting to ska-rockers Less Than
Jake, overly radio-friendly Live or even
back to the used-up has-beens of INXS
or Depeche Mode could exhume mod-
ern rock radio from its self-made cof-
fin. One can only be grateful that Bush
and Silverchair did not contribute any
of their own material into the summer's
lackluster showing.
But not everything about the summer
of 1997 was a complete disaster In
addition to the previously mentioned
British acts, other releases from across
the Atlantic were more than worthy of
attention, especially Blur's self-titled
album, The Charlatan's "Tellin'
Stories," Cast's "Mother Nature Calls"
and ex-Stone Roses guitarist John
Squire's new band The Seahorses' "Do
It Yourself." Not to be forgotten are
Morrissey's intriguing "Maladjusted,
and also such singles as Embrace's
"One Big Family" and The Verve's
"Bittersweet Symphony?'
And things just might be getting bet-
ter in the months to come. Already the
rumor mills have been flying with
reports of newly recorded REM and
Pearl Jam material, speculated for
release anywhere between this
November and next February. Also.
material awaits from Echobelly, newly-
solo Tanya Donnelly and Garbage.
And so, summer has come and gone.
and with some luck the songs that char-
acterized it will also dwindle away with
the same haste from radio stations
everywhere. In the future, maybe listen-
ers should start to question the greedy
control freaks who head up corporate
rock. Why allow the media to decide
what should and should not be heard?
Instead of just buying albums from
whatever is on MTV at any given time,
or from whoeverfgraces the cover of
"Rolling Stone" from month to month,
perhaps some individual searching for
something that hasn't yet been tainted
by annoying commercial frenzy may
tumaup some good music. Chances are,
it will be a whole lot better than any-
thing you heard on the radio this sum-
mer.

Learning
Earning

The Michigan Daily X eq Magaine-Thu ay,September 4 1997
® Music Feature
Music industry fizzles dunng the eat o the summer months
By Brian Cohen nothing to show for it."These exact sen- modern rock ever, thanks to the lifeless institutions as Spin, Rolling Stone and "electronica," only to then cram and
Daly Arts Writer timents are not only applicable to wast- and uninventive efforts of groups like MTV, as well as virtually all "modern label handfuls of bands into one file or
As the lazy days of summer are slow- ed afternoons on the golf course or at Third Eye Blind, Tonic and Matchbox rock" radio stations, attempted to get another. It was also these same people
ly coming to an end, it is not uncommon the pool, but they also perfectly depict 20 drenching radios and music televi- creative this summer. They blended all who had no qualms about over-saturat-
for people everywhere to reflect upon the 1997 summer music scene. Without sion channels across the country. sorts of distinct musical genres, thereby ing the market with the same three or
the last three months and realize, "Boy, question, last summer provided nothing With seemingly no ounce of shame, creating such make believe musical cat-.' four "hit" singles until radio listeners
summer's already over and I really have short of one of the worst displays of the powers-that-be of such hallowed egories as "adult contemporary" or See MUSIC, Page 14B

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