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November 23, 1999 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-23

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 23, 1999

T

BECK IN THE SADDLE WITH PARTY ALBUM OF YEAR

Five years later,
Femmes have lost
bit of violent edge

Good news for the time-crunched: You can
cross one more detail off your New Year's plans.
Your music playlist for the party is one step
closer to being done, because the most pervasive
album at any given shindig will probably be
"Midnite Vultures."
Beck's latest offering to the beat-jacker's gods
doubles as his claim to the throne the music
business's heavyweight champion party animal
- not bad for such a skinny hombre.
Apparently, over the last year, Beck found
some free time in his schedule from wrangling
with his record label in court. Not only does he
produce "Midnite Vultures" himself (obliterat-
ing any chumps who thought the Dust Brothers
were the secret ingredient in
the 1996 critical/popular
**** force of nature "Odelay"),
Beck he's done the one thing with
his final title shot of the
Midnite Vultures millcnnium that maybe
Geffen nobody expected. Behold
Reviewed by the reinvention of Beck
Weekend, etc. Editor Hansen, Sex Deity.
Jeff Druchniak Beck portentously begins
his regime as love god by
laying down the "Sexx
Laws." This opening track goes by in three
shakes of a white boy's ass, but not before tear-
ing the roof off with a killer horn section the
likes of which you thought would never come
back in style. This is only one of at least half a
dozen tracks on "Vultures" that will force all but
terminally incorrigible soul purists and the med-
ically dead to dance.
For some reason, Beck gets constant flack
from some quarters for never meeting a beat he
couldn't heist - as if the rest of rock history
had been recorded in individual vacuum shacks.
It's only because Beck is so clever (and so ency-

clopedic in his knowledge of great music worth
cribbing) that he appears on the radar cl'thei
credibility fascists, and this albuitm will only
invite more of the same oppression. Bleck ercn
seems to give himself a self-deprecating wink
with his choice of album title, the bones this
release scavenges make up a virtual murderer's
row of Beck's favorite midnight music.
That includes the filthy-gorgeous R&B ballad
"Nicotine & Gravy" (can I get a "salty chocolate
balls?"), the P-Funked-up rap detonation of
"Hlwd. Freaks," and the soulfully skanky Tom
Waits homage "Out of Kontrol." This being a
Beck record, there's always plenty of demented
but thoughtful ornamentation like a banjo break-
down or a backup-vocal fill from Mars to make
you grin while you grind.
But one influence looms largest almost unin-
terruptedly on "Midnite Vultures," and it's no
surprise: The shadow of tie former champion
tends to darken the ring long after Prince has left

the building. But hey, since Prince is so deter-
mined not to be Prince (or even to imitate Prince
all that well), Beck might as well be Prince, and
"Vultures" is the climax of that ambition. Keep
in mind, he's already got the nonexistent rear
end to fit into those purple leather pants - and
holy paisley, Batman, he even put a picture of
them on the album cover!
You've at least got to hand it to the man for
settitig a goal and going for it. Beck does an
equally stellar Prince impression as producer
(check out the "Black Album" beat on the roll-
down-your-windows-in-November jam "Peaches
& Cream"), as lyricist (it doesn't get better than
"Touch my ass if you're qualifisd") and as
vocalist. Thousands might check their receipts
just to be sure they bought the right guy when
they hear the unbelievably accurate boudoir
falsetto on "Debra.
Beck's lyrics still contain plenty of the lov
brother's tradctrtk ttscrutabitis. bhut lthes O
ltte graduated from u tnmiks ctool to sub i ie-
Iv tiuts.
Somehow, the sex-machine boasts gibe better
than anything with Beck's narrative flow -
"lady" rhyming with "Hyundai" sounds infi-
nitely better when the man with the unic invites
the former to step into the latter. And don't even
pretend not to be blown away by the poetry of
"Give all those pious soldiers another lollipop /
We'll stay here on the good ship menage a
trois."
The rarest of the many great things about
Beck is his ability to sound genuinely happy and
optimistic without getting less cool. The only
thing that can hurt this album is if it gets ripped
off enough to sound oversaturated even before
Dec. 31. Seeing as how there's only a couple of
dozen shopping days left before then, the out-
look is clear skies for the party.

Sometimes the snotty little loser
sitting next to you in the fourth
crade grows up to be a- celebrity.
Sometimes, he grows tip to be a
rock star. And then there's Gordon
Gano.
At 36. lie still acts, talks, sitnts
and even looks like that snotty little
loser you should have beat up. But
lie's got a special recipe here. Take
one guitar, acoustic bass and snare
._ drum, add a
- nasal, monoto-
nous voice, and
Violent you too can go
Femmes from loser to
Viva Wisconsin rock star.
Five years
eyond Entertainment after Violent
Reviewed by Femmes' last
Daily Arts Writer studio release,
Gautan Baksi this live CD
(taped in
Milwaukee) was composed of a mix
of music largely from the Femmes
earlier days.
Followers of the Femmes will
immediately compare this album to
their successful 1993 "Add It Up"
release, mixing live performances
with new music and unreleased B-
sides.
While "Add It Up" was refresh-
ing, lively and still progressing
musically, "Viva Wisconsin" simply
showcases the limited extent of
their talent, nothing more. The
Femmes attempt to capture a full
live concert ambiance, and with 20
tracks on the disc, keep the listener
somewhat entertained with more

than 72 minutes of live music.
Aside from the Femmes' anthem
song, "American Music," most"
the CD is filled with the dreary,
"I'm a loser" brand music
That's no joke, either. Gano even
spells it out in track two, "I am N-
O-T-H-I-N-G.. I am nothing!"
Bassist Brian Ritchie isn't exactly
Einstein, either, proudly declaring
between songs, "Okay, we've decid-
ed not to play songs we don't know."
Violent Femmes have played
energetic, playful shows across t
country for the past 16 ye i
Gordon Gano, albeit rivaling Steve
Erkel for dorks we would love to
hate, is still a fun, entertaining-per
former.
But, the extent of the perfor
mance that comes through on thi
recording is the sound alone. Afte
nearly two decades of the same tir
ing hits about anti-heroes and loser
doon, the songs are annoying
dreary.

Classi cal
Metallica
sily to the
last drop
An established metal band allows
composer Michael Kamen to add
orchestral parts to several songs
from its catalog.
Sounds intriguing doesn't it? Such
collaboration promises to somehow
bridge the gap between classical and
metal and deliver emotionally
charged and
musically grand
results. With the
live release,
"S&M," howev-
Metallica er, Metallica's
S&M collaboration
Elektra with the San
ewdty F r a n c i s c o
Daily Sts Writer S y m p h o n y
Adi A nRos Orchestra suc-
ceeds not in
bridging the gaps,
the two genres, but in delivering a
gloriously hilarious musical outing.
Certainly a humorous outcome was
not the intention, but it's hard not to
laugh your ass off hearing Metallica
classics like "Master Of Puppets,"
"The Thing That Should Not Be" and
"Enter Sandman" accompanied by
cheesy orchestra music. The experi-
ence is like trying to listen to
Metallica while somebody is playing
Danny Elfman's "Batman" score way
too loud in the background.
Spread over two CDs, "S&M"
opens with "The Ecstasy of Gold"
Indeed some Metallica songs do
possess an orchestra piece quality to
it, what with the complex time
changes, multiple parts and progres-
sions. But choosing songs like

Crue'Live' album
t~rzi s A .1 rkl I# C *'N"

gvcN uun glil uunu1
PnklI mrdA l 11TAi

"Fuel"'and "The Memory Remains"
as songs for collaboration with an
orchestra? "Fuel" in its original stu-
dio version is already a cheesy blues
based rock song; putting over dra-
matic string accompaniment to it
just makes it worse.
If the badly executed coming
togtier of metal and classical MUsic
isn't enough to keep you away from
this release, there's still Hetfield's
annoying uses of "yeahs," "baby" and
substituting "fuck" for other words as
many times as he can in his lyrics. On
this album's version of "The Thing
That Should Not Be," Hetfield in a
horrified tone quips "Oh My God!"
(Obviously realizing too late the
immense ass of himself and his band
he is making with this release).
Granted, with 21 tracks in total,
the law of probability is with the
band and they do manage to present
two songs that actually work within
the format of this release. "Human"
and "No Leaf Clover" actually are
well thought out metal songs with
orchestration. The two being new
songs is probably a factor to this as
the two styles are allowed a more
natural synthesis.
If you sincerely feel a craving for
classical music with metal muscle
(or vice a versa), look instead for
"Vivaldi: The Meeting" where
Slaver's former drummer, Dave
Lombardo, collaborated with com-
poser Lorenzo Arruga. It's a release
that delivers better results than this
ill advised outing by the artistically
exhausted Metallica.

If you grew up in the '80s, keep
reading this. If not, stop now
because xou'll 'nexer unudersiund. ,
and probably never buy this CD. '" "
There never huts amid neusm
will be a band which represent-smu
eud bad-box rock 'mm' roll as utch
as Motley Crue did in the '80s.
You wanna piss off your mom?
Play "Girls Girls Girls" on the
family stereo system, and let hem
read the latest Nikki Sixx inter-Y
view in Guitar Magazine: "I ':"t'i'i'rx '' A '
wanna fuck ALL the women!"
Their on-stage theatrics inclutd
ed lesbians, strippers (sometimes
even lesbian strippers), revolvin' drum-sets and cnough pyrotechitnics to liht
up the sky for the Y2K New Year's celeuration. Off-stage, large hair, vulgarity,
sex, drugs and sometitnes even a little rock 'n' roll consumed the band.
But, one thing becomes glaringly apparent after listening to their latest
album, "Live 1983-1999: Entertainment or Death."
Tommy, Nikki, Mickey and Vince are great musicians.
Tommy hardly sits still, pounding the skins with a
tenacity and ferociousness that makes you think he
Motley Crue dropped the soap in the shower room in the slammer.
Live 1983-1999: Nikki's Jack Daniels-filled veins still lay down the
Entertainment or rhythm while Mickey's long trail of facial hair stays out
Death of his guitar strings for impressive solo- guitar work.
Beyond/Motley And though age has taken its toll, Vince Neil still
Reviewed N boghtol
Daily Arts Writer defines the ultimate rock 'n' roll voice.
Gautam Baksi Listening to old ballads like "Home Sweet Home,"
you can picture huge arenas filled with drunk, leather-
wrapped thirty-something Harley fans waving their ten-cent Bic lighters
like stars in the sky. But then you open your eyes and suddenly the song
stops for an instant so Vince can utter his profound words of wisdom for
the night: "Oh you guys sound fucking great tonight... Yeah!" This CD is
certainly not destined to be a classic.
One highlight on the CD is the band's huge 1989 hit, "Dr. Feelgood." Mickey
pulls out his bag of guitar goodies as Vince leads the band in a well-played,
solid performance. Other sweet-sounding songs include "Same 01' Situation,"
"Looks that Kill," and the classic "Wild' Side." Overall, as the title mentions,
the albutn does a good job of highlighting Motley Crue's greatest hits.
When historians study rock history, they're able to decipher the popular-
ity of bands like The Police, Depeche Mode, U2 and REM. But to truly
understand the glam-rock scene, you had to be there. Motley Crue tries to
relive these glory days with this live CD. A more apt subtitle to this album
would be "Entertainment AND Death." for this era died a long time ago and
took with it the great live performances of Motley Crue.

strong with Hate
Eternal's 'Throne'

Long time Morbid Angel touring gui-
tarist Erik Rutan unleashes his tour-de-
force maiden release with his new band
to the death metal masses. With second
guitar provided by Suffocation main
man Doug Cerrito. bass by Jared
A.\duerson and drtlums iuuhmumanls' han-
dIled by new comer Tim 'Yum. Hate
Eternal is more than capable of impress-
ing cven the most jaded of death metal
heads.
The music on "Conquering The
Throne" is reminiscent of Rutan's only
recording work with Morbid Angel on
its "Domination."
Similar to that album, the riffs are
complex and full of odd bends which
gives the music a
sick, twisted feel.
Unlike that
Morbid Angel
Hate Eternal release, this
album is also full
onquering the Throne of brutal parts.
Earache Records No doubt an
Reviewed by influence brought
Daily Arts Writer in from Doug
Adlin Rosli Cerrito's long
established style
from Suffocation.
Drummer Tim Yeung is a talent to
look out for. His skills seem to borrow
from former Dark Angel drummer,
Gene Hoglan, and Morbid Angel's Pete
Sandoval but he manages to come out as
himself. Although being fast and furious
is the order of the day, Yeung still man-
ages to pull many of the punches and
produce tasteful drum bits throughout.

S[l o ginmitd.tmich.edu 1t= "" 1111]

Screaming duties are shared between
Rutan and bassist Anderson. Both have
rather similar styles of manic shouting
making it difficult to tell one from the
other.
The lyrical venom spewed by the0o
embody the band's name quite well. No
praises to the Dark Prince here folks,
just plenty of hate in songs like "Dogma
Condemned" and "Saturated' In
Dejection" where religion, society and
everything in between are mercilessly
attacked by tle group.
This is prime death metal designed to
ensure maximum sonic blows continu-
ally pound the listener. Hate Et
could very well live up to its album e
"Conquering The Throne," and becom<
the new king of the death metal empire
But, with the segmenting of the heav)
music crowd these days and rap meta
seemingly dominating heavy music, it
anybody still listening?
Breaking
Records Star*
System
****- Excellent
***- Good
**- Fair
- Poor
No Stars - Don't Bother
- if you missed a week
of Breaking Records,
check out the Daily's
archives online at
www michigandaily.com
0

MICHIGAN LEAGUE UNDERGROUND
911 N. UNIVERSITY AVE
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3
8:30PM
THE FOLK/ACOUSTIC OPEN MIC IS OPEN TO ALL FOLK/ACOUSTIC
SINGERS/SONGWRITERS FROM ANN ARBOR AND NEIGHBORING CITIES.
PARTICIPANTS MUST REGISTER AT LEAST ONE HOUR (730 PM) BEFORE
THE SHOW TO GUARANTEE A SPACE AND TO DETERMINE THE PARTICIPANTS'
ORDER OF APPEARANCE.
SHOW UP ON TIME, LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE. ADMISSION IS FREES
SPENSERE BY MICHIGAN LEAGUE PROGRAMMING BOARD: DIVISION OF STUDENT APFAIRS. FOR MORE INFORMATION,
PLEASE CALL 763 4H52.

From: Jose-Marie Griffiths,
University Chief Information Officer
To: all e-mail "sers@umich.edu
Subject: ITD e-mail service schedules outage
On Saturday, November 27, ITD's e-mail service will be
unavailable from 12:01 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. while IMAP
servers that house campus-wide e-mail service are moved
to a new data center. The move will take place during
regularly scheduled maintenance over the Thanksgiving
weekend to minimize disruption in service to the U-M
community.
IMAP/POP mailbox owners will not be able to access
their mailboxes while this work is being done.
If users attempt to access their mail while this work
is being done using Pine, Mulberry, Eudora, or other
POP or IMAP clients, a connection refused error will
be sent.
During the outage, all mail sent to IMAP/POP users
from other mail systems will be queued for delivery
when the servers are restarted. There may be short
delays in mail delivery while the backlog of queued
mail is delivered. No other interruption of electronic
mail routing is expected during this period.
We appreciate your understanding.
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