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April 17, 1998 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-17

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 17, 1998 - 9

Machines march into

'Battle'

at Clutch Cargo's tonight

By Colin Bartos
Daily Arts Witer
Life couldn't be sweeter for the Suicide Machines
right now. With a new record just in stores a week and
a half ago, and about to launch a U.S. tour tonight in
their hometown, vocalist Jay Navarro, guitarist Dan
Suicide Machine, bassist Royce Nunley, and a brand-
new drummer are ready to take over the world.
The new record "Battle Hymns" is the band's focal
point for the moment, but band members say they're

The Suicide
Machines
Clutch Cargo's
Tonight at 8 p.m.
(

not about violence -just start-
ing a war.
"It has nothing to do with
violence whatsoever," said Dan
in a phone interview. "It has to
do with battling things like
ignorance, racism, stupidity,
people that wreck the environ-
ment ..."
The Machines are incredibly
psyched about the new record,
and rightly so. The band has
perfected its brutal punk-ska
flavor, moving leaps and
bounds ahead of its 1996 major

great record. I like it for what it is, but it's different,"
said Dan. "We finally refined what we were doing
with this record, I think. The style of what we're doing
... it's kinda where we've ended up after seven years
of doing this, you know?"
"Sonically, it's different - key thing to remember.
It's like, all the elements of Suicide Machines' music
is still there. You got the reggae, the hardcore, you got
punk, you got ska. It's all there, but sonically, it's a
world of difference. We went in there, we knew exact-
ly what equipment we wanted to use. We didn't do a
lot of production on it - no horns, no keyboards -
We wanted everything up front."
Another thing that has changed is the Machines'
lyrical bent. In the past, some songs may have been a
little silly, but "Battle Hymns" gets down to business.
"Bottom line is, to me, you wanna write songs that
mean something lyrically. That's a really good way to
get your point across to people. I mean, we're not try-
ing to preach to people or anything like that, but we're
saying, 'Here, take it or leave it," Dan said. "If you
don't want to hear it, that's fine, too. You can just enjoy
the music, enjoy the melody, or whatever ..."
"This band is still about having fun. We might have the
serious topics and whatnot on this record ... but when
you come to the show, you know it's time to have fun ..."
The Suicide Machines are one of the lucky few to
gain some recognition for their years in the under-
ground. With the popularity of punk and ska music

right now, the Machines are in a great position. Some
people still don't get it, though, and accuse the band
of selling out.
"Everyones always gonna be flying flags and point-
ing fingers and jumping up and down about every-
thing 'cause it's like people have that need to look at
other people's lives and situations rather than focusing
on themselves," Dan said. "There's a natural human
propensity to do that."
What Dan said he liked best about the punk and ska
scene today is "that it's risen up out of the under-
ground and a lot of people have started recognizing it
as a bona-fide form of music. It's always been there ...
for the people that want it. ... I've seen a lot of guys
that I've known for years actually make a living off of
it after struggling for so long. ... It's pretty cool."
"A lot of these bands have good messages, too, and
a lot of people are getting to hear them 'cause this
form of music is so popular right now," Dan added.
"But then again ... when something becomes popular,
there's a million bands doing it that rise to the surface
out of nothing."
Don't accuse the Machines of being one of those
fly-by-night curses, though. They've worked too hard
and long for that. Just come and see the real deal
destroy Clutch Cargo's, and with L.A. Fat Wreck
Chords' pop-punkers Limp and Detroit's own ska sen-
sation Telegraph opening up, you couldn't possibly
spend $8 or a Friday night anywhere else.

Courtesy of Hollywood Records
Where's Dr. Kevorkian? The Suicide Machines appear without Jack or the legal
representation of Jeffrey Felger at Clutch Cargo's this evening.

label debut, "Destruction By Definition."
"Overall, this record is to me, musicianship, song-
writing, vocals, the whole band just progressed so
much on this recording from the last. The last one's a

The University of Michigan
School of Music

I I
fn

Gale-force Guster winds into Michigan

By Ryan Malkin
D~aily Arts Writer
Guster, an aggressive acoustic rock
band out of Boston, is ready to play the
Michigan Theater. Guster first played in
Ann Arbor at Rick's on a Monday night,
and then the band moved on to an after-
noon.show at the Blind Pig. "After play-
at the Blind Pig, now we think we're
ready for the Theater," said Guster per-
cussionist Brian Rosenworcel.
Guster is getting its wish tonight, co-
headlining with Ekoostik Hookah at the
Michigan.
Guster was built from the ground up
and- after recently signing with Sire
Records and releasing its major label
debut, "Goldfly," the band is emerging
to the mainstream spotlight. "A lot of
rds will put all their eggs in their
label's basket and if they don't get radio
play, then they're done. There is no way
for themselves to sustain themselves.
We didn't want to have to put all our
eggs in that basket. So we just hit the
road. And we just added the label to
complement what we already had,'
Rosenworcel said
What Guster has is a unique ensem-
ble that "sounds nothing like what you
*uld expect from a band with our
musical arrangement"
Guster consists of Ryan Miller and
Adam Gardner on guitar and vocals,
while Rosenworcel lays down the beat.
"We could have added more musi-
cians to our band,
but instead we
really focused on
GuSter beefing up the
sounds of our
ichigan Theater instruments,
Tonight at 9 p.m. making our
acoustic sound a
lot chunkier and
making the
drums sound in
your face,"
Rosenworcel said
in explaining the
band's signature
sound While they still have not maxi-
zed what they can do with their
truments, they definitely arrived at a
rare sound, which is hard to come by in
the music business.
Delving into the roots of these musi-
cians reveals a variety of musical influ-
ences. While Miller listens to British
pop, Gardner listened to Kiss in high

Courtesy of Sire Records

Guster co-headlines a show with Ekoostik Hookah tonight at the Michigan Theater.

school. Still, Rosenworcel's playing
most resembles that of John Bonham,
former Led Zeppelin drummer. Yet their
collective sound is nothing like Kiss or
Zeppelin.
"The best thing you can do to
explain our sound is to fuse a few dif-
ferent bands that people may have
heard of, like Rusted Root meets Elvis
Costello meets, I don't even know,"
Rosenworcel said in trying to explain
the Guster sound, which is not an easy
thing to do.
Fans and skeptics alike are interested
in what exactly Guster stands for.
Although the band members hear this
question a lot, they where more than
happy to answer. Rosenworcel said,
"We just have no good answer. Lately
we've been saying its named after the
field goal kicking mule from the '60's
Disney cartoon."
For all the Guster fans and soon-to-
be-fans out there, wondering what
Guster plans for the future,
Rosenworcel offered a tentative prophe-
cy. "Our songwriting keeps going in
different directions. As much as
'Goldfly' is a different album from (the
band's previous debut)'Parachute,' our

next album will be different from
'Goldfly.' But we want to keep it inter-
esting and we want to keep it fresh and
we want to keep writing songs, mean-
while the label wants to give this record
a shot and see what kind of life it has.
So we're not gonna draw this out any
longer than we have to ... But I'd give it
a year before we'll probably have a new
record," Rosenworcel said.

So don't expect this trio to be back in
Ann Arbor for a while. Although they
may be opening for a large venue out-
door show this summer, it will conve-
niently skip the Midwest. This may be
the last Guster appearance for a while,
so get out to the Theater and soak up the
soothing Guster sound - because it's
going to have to sustain the crowd for
another year.

..-,

I
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k

0O
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ENTER THE FALL
DIAG BOARD LOTTERY
Appointments September 8 + 9
Deadline September 4
Lottery Packets Available Now!

4

Friday - Sunday, April 17 -19
Musical Theatre
Bemstein/Laurents/Sondheim: West Side Story
Gary Bird, director
Linda Goodrich, choreographer
Power Center, 8:30 (Fri.); 8 p.m. (Sat.); 2 p.m. (Sun.)
Admission $18, $14; for information phone (734) 764-0450
Friday, April 17
Symphony and Concert Bands
Hill Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Faculty/Guest Recital
Yizhak Schotten, viola
Andrew Jennings, Paul Kantor, Geoff Applegate, violins
Kim Kaloyanides, Carolyn Stuart, violins
" violin-viola duo music by Mozart, Rolla, Handel, Toch, Martinu
Britton Recital Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., 8p.m.
BDA/BFA Performance III
Dance students perform dance repertory
Betty Pease Studio Theatre. Dance Bldg.,8 p.m.
Michigan Student Opera Works
Handel: Semele
George Shirley, director
Tania Miller, conductor
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 8p.m.
Complementary tickets required; phone (734) 763-2697
Saturday, April 18
Men's Glee Club
Jerry Blackstone, conductor
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Admission; for information (734) 764-1448 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Contemporary Directions Ensemble
Kevin Sedatole, music director
Rackham Auditorium, 8 p.m.
BDA/BFA Performance III
Dance students perform dance repertory
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 8p.m.
Michigan Student Opera Works
Handel: Semele
George Shirley, director
Tania Miller, conductor
McIntosh Theatre, E.V. Moore Bldg., 8:30 p.m.
Complementary tickets required; phone (734) 763-2697
Sunday, April 19
Michigan Student Opera Works
Handel: Semele
George Shirley, director
Tania Miller, conductor
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 8 p.m.
Complementary tickets required; phone (734) 763-2697
Sunday - Tuesday, April 19 - 21
Sam Davis: Mina & the Boxes (world premiere)
John Neville-Andrews, director
Steve Bizub, conductor
Video Studio, Media Union, 8p.m.
Complementary tickets required; phone (734) 764-0450
Monday, April 20
Vocal Arts Lab
Voice students perform vocal repertory
Britton Recital Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., 6:45 p.m.
University Philharmonia Orchestra
Pier Calabria, conductor
" music by Berlioz, Wieniawski, Debussy
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Choreography, Production & Design Concert
Dance students perform dance repertory
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 21
Composition and Congolese Showings
Dance students perform dance repertory
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 2:30 p.m.
University Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Kiesler, conductor
* Mahler: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Friday, April 24
Ann Arbor Dance Works Performance
Faculty choreography performed by students and guests
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 25
Sally Fleming Guest Master Class
Pamela Frank, violinist
Britton Recital Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., 2 p.m.
Ann Arbor Dance Works Performance

Faculty choreography performed by students and guests
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 8 p.m.

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