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October 24, 2000 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-24

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Voices o' gold...
Check out the Michigan Cnoir at 8 p.m.
at Hill Auditorium - free of charge.
Feting Brahms Zigeunerlieder.
michigandaily.com/artss OCTOBER 24, 2000

Bad Religion:B est unks on earth

By Elizabeth Hill
For the Daily
"Bad Religion is the best punk band
on earth," claimed guitarist Brian Baker.
He should know. He's been in the
band since 1994 and has been a fan
since their 1982 debut, How Could Hell
Be Ani Worse?
"If I wasn't in
a Bad Religion,"
Baker said, "I'd go
Bad to every Bad
Religion Religion show."
Clutch Cargo's Don't worry if
Tonight at 8 p.m. you haven't heard
of Bad Religion,
they stay pretty-
low-key for a
band that has
recorded 12 full-
length albums
(not counting solo
projects or compi-
lations). Longtime legends of the punk
scene, they still realize that plenty of
music fans out there have no idea who
they are, especially those who are If punks rul
younger than the band members them-
selves. In fact, they got a good look at tonight whe
clueless legions this past summer when Cargo's in
they opened up for Blink-182, or as the Blink tour
band likes to say, it occupied the "mid- "play and th
die spot." will be play
Wasn't it demoralizing to be the you've nevi
warm-up act for a trio of dick-waving arguably t
underacheivers? Not so, according to around. Plu
Bad Religion. Rather than focusing on than 220 so
their inferior spot on the tour, they pre- for 40, even
fer to concentrate on the 10,000-plus per and hear so
night crowds. Speaking
"We had a captive audience of mostly will undoub
addled 14-year-old girls who had never 2000 rele
heard Bad Religion, but know its cool (Atlantic),
to say you like them" Baker said. "We bore the aud
gave them an opportunity to do that." songs. Bad
You can have your own chance live shows.
Kin olver flo
By Jacide Reitzes
tor the Daily
In "Prodigal Summer" the latest novel from
acclaimed author Barbara Kingsolver, three stories of
rural inhabitants in an Appalachian farming communi-
ty entwine to create a beautiful
novel laced with themes of
nature, love, sex and isolation. At
the heart of this book is the
Barbara unavoidable connection of
humans to the earth around them,
that the land that joins them and
Rackham Amp. every living creature to it is a
Tomorrow at 5m. complex web of cohabitation.
More than just geographical
proximity, the characters of the
story and the external beings that
surround them are bound by the
universal desires they share, to
propagate their line and leave
their legacy to future generations.
The novel evolves over the
muggy days of one bountiful Southern summer, where
each of three protagonists undergoes transitions from
isolation to companionship. The story begins with
Deanna Wolf, a forest ranger in her mid-forties marked
by her deep reverence and knowledge for the wildlife
around her. In Deanna, one recalls the strong, indepen-
dent female archetype that Kingsolver has perfected in
past novels such as "The Bean Trees," "Animal
Dreams" and "The Poisonwood Bible." In the opening
pages of the novel, Deanna encounters Eddie Bondo, a
young, confident hunter of the endangered coyotes she

Couresy oAtad Re
led the world, these guys would be respected: California's Bad Reli

n Bad Religion plays Clutch
Pontiac. And unlike the
when they would literally
ien go to a movie, " the band
'ing a full headlining set. It'
er seen them, you're in for
he best live punk show
is, with a catalog of more
ongs and only time enough
the faithful fan should see
mething new.
of something new, the band
tedly play material off their
ase, The New Ai erica
but they promise they won't
dience with a full set of new
Religion is known for their
By their own admission,

they have become somewhat of a punk
Grateful Dead. Many fans of their live
shows don't even buy or listen to their
new releases, they just come for the
scathing live punk that the band consis-
tently offers up.
Frankly, for die hard punkers that
only love the live shows, I don't think
the new album is for you. It's a great
album, don't get me wrong, but if
you're looking for the three chord
thrashers of Suffr and Recipe For Hute,
just listen to Suffer and Recipe For
The New America, produced by the
legendary Todd Rundgren, is without a
doubt more stylized and less raw than
any previous 1BR release. The title track

bears more resemblance to the rock-
musical "Rent" than it does to classic
punk songs like "We're Only Gonna
Die" or "Do What You Want," two Bad
Religion staples. That's not to say that
Bad Religion has lost its verve or com-
mitment to the punk sound it pioneered
in the early '80s. When asked if the
record is due to a new creative vision
within the band, Baker conceded, "I
think creative vision is pushing a little
too far. Those are just the songs that
came out this time." Fair enough.
And if you really want to know, The
New America is not Baker's favorite
Bad Religion album. That would be
Recipe For Eate (Atlantic, 1993) fol-
lowed by Suer (Epitaph, 1987), nei-
ther of which he played on. Baker made
a long story short by saying, "It's better
than that last piece of shit we put out."
But he went on to assert that "( The New
America) is the best record we've put
out in three or four years."
Buy it or don't buy it, the new album
is not the hook here. The thing about
Bad Religion is they're amazing live.
Veterans of the fast-growing punk fest,
the Warped Tour, they simply love
playing music and they want people to
hear it. "That's the whole point," Baker
Even if you've never listened to one
song by Bad Religion, it's guaranteed
that you've listened to a band that
reveres them. From Rancid to Blink to
the Offspring to Green Day, they all
grew up on Bad Religion and they'd be
nowhere without them. Isn't it time you
gave Bad Religion a try?
One final Bad Religion note regad-
ing the November election: Just when
you thought all punk bands were press-
ing for revolution, think again. Baker
warned, "I appreciate the idealism of a
Nader vote, but back on earth where I
ve, it's just complete bullshit."
it observant narrator. Overall, the book
se and delight, like a warm summer breeze
'of winter.
tingsolrer readsfitm "ProdigalSunuei'"
Racktham Amhtitheatre to benefit two
tntetal gtoups. Call Shamun Drum for
A 7,"')7

Coutesy of
Remember that episode when Kramer cooked himself in butter? That was super
Mie whoThe.
new Kramer show'.
debuts on NBC

inshes in 'Prodigal
renders so sacredly. Their relationship softens Deanna's detached bu
toughened autonomy and penetrates her seclusion, fore- reads with ea
ing her to question her self-sufficient but hermit-like in the middle
existence. Birbara A
Also focal to the story is the character of the young otorowii at
and newly widowed L usa, left to take charge of her hus- local et'iro
band's farm and grapple with her in-laws whom she ticket in/b. 6(
never really knew in the first place. In order to keep the
farm running and to prove to herself to her husband's _
family, she will need the help of Garnett Walker, a t
crotchety old man who is trying to live out the rest of
his life within his set of routines that keep him with-
drawn from the rest of the community.
The aura of attraction is also central, as Deanna and
Eddie are drawn together by the same primal forces that
bind noths, and L[usa,in her pocket ofLgrief, is consoled
by a dream of a mountain satisfying her sexual urges.
The moon, with its ancient fertility connotations, serves
as an overseer to all that transpires beneath it.
Kingsolver writes with the assurance of a writer who
has already proven herself to the literary world, and this
novel delivers with the elegant and lyrical prose she has
established as a trademark of her storytelling. Her
knowledge of the ecological world comes through as
extensive but not intimidating. She describes the boun-
ties of the land and the idiosyncrasies of its animal
kingdom with the lush style these themes deserve.
Beyond the atmospheric poetry of the surrounding, the
emotional journeys of the characters are what lie as the
essence of her work.
The conclusion of the story does not tie up as neatly
as one would idealize, as the three stories never fuse
directly into a whole, but this is perhaps the most real-
istic perspective, with nature itself becoming the Barbara King.

By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer
Kramer? Where's Kramer'? You'll
probably be asking yourself the same
question after witnessing "The
Michael Richards
Show." Despite
the entourage of
three former
"Seitnfeld'" trit-
Richards ers producers and
a veteran sup-
porting cast,
Tonight at 8 p.m. Michael Richards
has little to work
with in this tired
new comedy.
Richards stars
as Vic Nardozza,
a sleazy private
detective who is
willing to use unconventional methods
to solve his cases. In the pilot episode,
a frazzled client (guest star Michael
Hagerty) enlists Nardozza's help to
investigate his wife's extramarital
activities. When his enlisted woman-
baiter Mitch (Johnny Lee Miller clone
Hamilton Von Watts) refuses the job,
Nardozza tackles the assignment him-
self, creating some awkward social sit-
The problem with the show is that
these awkward situations are uncom-
fortable for the actors as well. While
Richards runs his one-man show, the
supporting cast is left to sulk around
the office alphabetizing case files. The
agency's owner, Brady McKay
(William Devane, "Payback") is the
only one who registers. His sarcastic
wit and laid-back attitude provide at
least a slight contrast to the neurotic
Nardozza. New recruit Stacey Devers
(Amy Farrington, "ER") seems to be
added only for her pretty face: She has
no opportunities to flex her comic

chops or even develop distinct p
ality traits.
Kevin (Tim Meadows) and Js
(Bill Cobbs, "The Others") are t
more talents that have gone to waste
their subplot, Kevin is confounded
Jack's unexplained hostility tow
him. Kevin then writes a poem
express his admiration for Jack, wh
will, of course, inevitably cause Jack
rethitnk his behavior and make up.
what could have been a comical sil
tion, Cobbs is forced to deliver
ic one-liners in his James Earl on
esque voice. A dreadlocked Meador
generally hilarious, must have had
grit his teeth to portray his whit
With poor writing and an inact
supporting cast, Richards is left on
own to carry the show. Throughout
pilot, his character comes across a
smarter version of "Sein
Kramer. His detective work is ce4
wacky and inventive, and he alw
finds a way to weasel out of a situati
For a while, his physical come
works: One of the show's funri
scenes involves Nardozza attempt
to dance with a full body ache. Bu
plot that relies on this type of hurt
can only go so far.
To his credit, Richards tries to cre
a new, likeable character. He is alw;
able to deliver his lines with c v
tion, even if the lines themsel
unfunny. But the writers should g
him ample comic foils to feed off
What made "Seinfeld" work was
ability to showcase four distir
screwball personalities, engaging
witty dialogue and random situatio
With a beefed-up script and an ense
ble that's up to the task, "The-Mich
Richards Show" could work. But
now, you'll find yourself search*
those good old "Seinfeld" reruns

Courtesy of Harper Coins
solver will read from "Prodigal Summer."

'As"°7 ' r c 0 s 3fT v i i l; y o lle ge t Te' te.l e rtnmp s din e g ve o"a
. th~t 1c Is o can beA *hat you want, hr o tn fh ru h trt
Mcareerhuilder co

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