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September 11, 1998 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-11

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 11, 1998 - 11A

I I

Six-fingered aliens beam into town

By Ted Watts
Daily Arts Writer
When you think of Rhode Island
you probably think of ... well, you
might not think of anything. But you
should think of Six Finger Satellite,
a Providence group of musicians
who have put out four full-length
albums of fuzzy rock on Sub Pop to
date.
While known for their Moog-cen-
tric output, their new album, "Law of
Ruins," is a bit more instrumentally
mainstream.
"This record we made a conscious
effort to try to write guitar songs,"
explained singer and Mooger J Ryan.
"Guitarist John MacLean was a little
bummed out after (our last album)
'Paranormalized,' because there was-
n't enough guitar stuff on it. But we
just couldn't write a good guitar song
around that time. It was just easier to
write synth stuff. So that's the way
the record was. This time we made a
conscious effort to not have any
songs where he played synth as a
lead instrument."
"Law of Ruins" feels more like a
guitar album than the band's previ-
ous output, but that isn't to say it's a
standard guitar album. While there's
a bit more of a Hammerhead vibe to
the album, Six Finger Satellite still
sounds like space rock's bad-ass off-
spring. That analogy is strengthened
on this outing, as vocals have been a
bit subdued.
Ryan agreed: "There are a lot of
instruments on it, or longer instru-
mental sections. I've always tried to
insert vocals into spots. I've never
thought of myself as a lead singer.
It's more of just a human voice for
people to maybe identify with. Ha ha

Courtesy of Universal
Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award for his role as Jake in the film
"Raging Bull." The movie will run this weekend at the Michigan Theater.
'Bull' rages agLaain
at the Michi

By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
* Raging Bull' one of acclaimed
director Martin Scorsese's master
pieces, returns to the big screen
tomorrow and Sunday, as part of
the 20 Fabulous Films series at the
Michigan Theater.
The film, based on a true story,

follows boxer
through his peaks;
Raging
Bull
Starring Robert
DeNiro
Starts Friday

Jake LaMotta
and valleys as a
professional
and a person.
R o b e r t
DeNiro, who
p l a y s
LaMotta,
went to
incredible
extremes for
the his Acad-
emy Award-
winning role,
first by train-
ing and work-
ing his body
into the shape

great deal of the boxing matches
from the perspective of the boxers,
giving "Raging Bull" an in-your-
face realism that few other sports
films have been able to accom-
plish. Audience members are liter-
ally thrown into the trenches to
watch as the participants go to
war.
The film also marks the first
significant role for screen veter-
an Joe Pesci, who plays Jake's
brother Joey. Scorsese must have
been happy with the results, as
he later cast Pesci alongside
DeNiro in "Goodfellas" and
"Casino." Pesci was nominated
for a Best Supporting Actor for
his work in "Raging Bull," as
was Cathy Moriarty for her role
as Jake's troubled wife.
"Raging Bull" was recently
placed on the American Film
Institute's Top 100 Movies of All
Time List, and although it failed
to collect an Academy Award for
Best Picture, its place in film
history is firmly cemented.
The big screen elevates the
black and white film to a whole
new level on the big screen,
allowing audiences more of an
opportunity to appreciate the
scope of the shots and Michael
Chapman's breathtaking cine-
matography.
Simply put, "Raging Bull" is
some of Scorsese's work and
movie fans should take advan-
tage of the opportunity to see the
film the way it was meant to be
seen.

Six Finger
Satellite
The Gold Dollar
Tonight at 8 p.m.

ha! I think songs
need vocals, I'm
not really a fan
of much instru-
mental music,
which seems to
be the fashion
these days."
At the same
time, there are
several long
voiceless inter-
ludes. "Those
weren't written
so much as

"Severe Exposure" had been pretty
spotty and not really that good.
"We just weren't going where we
were supposed to go, we just weren't
where we were supposed to be. We
did a five-week tour through Canada
with a bunch of Sub Pop bands, then
we did a three-week tour with Mike
Watt. (He laughs.)
"So after "Severe Exposure" we
figured out about touring, then we
went and made "Paranormalized"
kinda quick so we could tour again,
and we toured a lot with that record.
And this record was a long time
coming. We took some time off ...
This record sounds different because
one, we spent more time on the
songs, two, there was more of a con-
scious effort to write a certain type
of song and it's more of a hi-fi
recording."
But in spite of writing better
records, not everything has been. 97
octane and Double Quarter Pounders
for the band. "Sub Pop has under-
gone some downsizing, I guess, to
use a nice word for firing people. I
think they're doing what they need to
do to stay in business. I don't think
the record industry as a whole is sell-
ing lots of records.

"And it's getting harder to tour,
especially for midsized bands like
ourselves. We seem to be very popu-
lar with music critics and people who
write on bands, and we seem to have
a seemingly small contingent of
diehard vocal fans, but we don't real-
ly sell that many records ... I don't
think Sub Pop has ever really known
what to do with us."
Well, the label has known at least
to give Six Finger Satellite a contract
for two more albums. Band members
still need to hold day jobs though, in
various retail jobs that allow them to
go on tour when they need to.

Courtesy of Sub Pop Records
These six-fingered musicians aren't really aliens. They're the ones responsible for the death of Inigo Montoya Sr.

"It's a sacrifice to do something
you enjoy, it's all about making sac-
rifices," said Ryan. "That's some-
thing that we've grappled with in the
past, some better than others."
Hey, they've sacrificed so you can
go and see them. They may surprise
you, and they should certainly enter-
tain you.
Ryan's final suggestion for you?
"Come down and soak it up."
White Stripes and a Stoveboat will
open for Six Finger Satellite tonight
at The Gold Dollar; 3129 Cass Ave.
in Detroit. Call (313) 833-6873 for
more information.

of a professional fighter, and then
by packing on more than 50 pounds
for the film's final scenes.
LaMotta was known not for his
grace,or elegance in the ring, but
rather for his ability to take a
punch. One of the film's best
scenes involves a bloodied and bat-
*ered LaMotta telling Sugar Ray
Robinson (Johnny Barnes) "You
didn't get me down Ray." LaMotta
takes such pride in this, the fact that
he has been beaten to a pulp seems
ftmost insignificant to him.
In the film, Scorsese shoots a

improvised in
the studio, and we liked them so
much we included them in the
record. Which I think is better
because I think the record without
them would be kind of boring.
"We spent a long time writing the
songs, they didn't come that easy.
Some did, but a lot of the parts we
practiced a lot. Whereas the songs on
"Paranormalized" were written pret-
ty fast. That record was put together
pretty quick just as an attempt to get
back on the road. Our touring for

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YOUR OPINION

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