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February 20, 2001 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-20

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-8'°- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Dog in the Sand, Frank Black &
The Catholics; W.A.R.
By Erik Johnson
Daily Arts Writer
Frank Black has been kidnapped.
This is not your father's Frank Black.
However you say it, Dog in the Sand is
4efinitely not typical of the very influ-
:ntial Black Francis. If you're not
familiar with the name, Black was the
leat singer of '80s indie-rock gods the
Pixies, whose other members went on
to do lots of drugs and form such
bands as the Bieeders and the
Martinis. If you are familiar with bluesy rock, with the exception of the
Frank Black, you know his solo stuff very excellent latin/country track
has been diverging ever farther from "Llano del Rio." The lyrics are the
Pi xies-like sounds since the band's only holdovers from Frank Black's
breakup in the early '90s. Dog in the Pixie past. Lines like "I am a dog /I
Sand is Black's seventh post-Pixie am a sculpture" are trademark Black.
work, and has little or nothing to do The slow piano-driven "I'll Be Blue"
with indie-rock. has some of the best lines as Black
Black's vocal range, which ranges tells the listener "Like Jesus Christ on
,om high alto to low bass, is under- the hill/like the alleys of old Lyon/I'll
-pted on the album; he is almost exclu- be blue." Other standout tracks include
sively grounded in midrange. Most of "I've Seen Your Picture" and
the tracks on Dog sound like lost "Hermaplsroditos."
Velvet Underground and Rolling Unfortunately, though, Frank Black
Stones songs, right dawn to Black's and the Catholics' (which include for-
perfect mimicry of Lou Reed and mer members of Captain Beefheart's
Mick Jagger's voices. Black rarely Magic Band and ex-Pixie Joey
sounds like himself on this album; Santiago on guitar) Dog in the Sand
other tracks bring to mind Jim sounds mostly like a tribute to the
Morrison, David Bowie, Joe Cocker, Underground and Stones. The songs
and Dave Wyndorf, the lead singer of are very solid, but lack the normal
Monster Magnet. Frank Black flair. The album, as a
Dog in the Sand is arranged and result, is only slightly better than aver-
written brilliantly. Musically, the age.
album is a mix of the Underground's
eclectic simplicity and the Stones' Grade: B-
Live, Luna; Arena Rock
fi ... v ...............................r"..r ..:lf<

Human, Rod Stewart; Atlantic
By Chris Kula
Daily Arts Has-Been
The scene is outside of MTV's Times
Square studios during the shooting of
"Total Request Live." Standing in front
of a TRL camera operator, a 48-year old
woman screams, "Hi, my name's Cathy
from Brooklyn and I wanna request
Rod Stewart because he's sooo fine and
I loved his early-'70s work with The
Faces! Whooo!"
An unlikely scenario, right?
Apparently no one told Rod, because
his new album, the a-little-too-earnest-
ly titled Human, strikes the bizarre bal-
ance of adult contemporary schmaltz
and high-gloss production methods and
programmed beats that are endemic to
today's teenybopper scene.
Which, ironically enough, isn't a bad
thing when you actually put the speak-
ers in the windows. A catchy pop ballad

ents of the various hitmaking forces
behind this album. The R&B-lite
groove "Smitten" is dripping with the
: honey-sweet influence of co-writer
Macy Gray, while the soothing "Don't
Come Around Here" finds Stewart one-
upped by the sexy, kitten-purr vocals of
Scottish singer Helicopter Girl.
The majority of the album's II
tracks are pure adult contempo fare,
which is to be expected from the man
who recorded - with a straight face,
no less - songs like "Rhythm of the
F Heart" and "Forever Young." But on
hot-pop wannabes like the spastic title
sung by an established vocalist like track and the radio single "I Can't
Stewart is far more appealing than hear- Deny It," Stewart is grasping for a
ing the same song performed by yet younger audience that will undoubted-
another dimpled, semi-androgynous ly prove more estranged than Rachel
piece o' teen meat. Hunter.
As a result, Human endears itself If Stewart still wants to strike a par-
with a slew of warm, mid-tempo num- ticular demographic as "sexy," he
bers that nicely show off Stewart's dis- should forget about Carson and MTV.
tinctive, blue-eyed soul vocals, not to
mention the respective songwriting tal- Grade: B-

By Christian Hoard
Daily Arts Write
There are a number of things to love
ibout Luna, the band of New York indie
rockers led by Dean Wareham: Those
pretty, languid melodies, that coolly
unhurried guitar playing, Wareham's
pithy lyrics and deadpan vocals.
There's also ample reason to feel
indifferent about Luna: Those melodies
don't exactly bowl you over now, do
they, and their doggedly laid-back quali-
ties might very well turn off even those
hipsters attuned to the band's guitar-rock
forebears. Their best stuff indeed sounds
a lot like their worst stuff; the difference
is that the best stuff slowly ingratiates
itself, revealing hooks that you hadn't
thought existed or were hidden beneath
some guitar fuzz.
Live is full of their best stuff. Having
taped two long sets (at the 9:30 Club in
D.C. and New York's Knitting Factory,
respectively), the band had plenty of
material to choose from, and though
xfans will quibble with the song selection
- where's "IHOP," yo? - there's
almost nary a weak spot on the record.
"Tiger Lily" and "Sideshow by the
Seashore" sport the disc's two most
memorable melodies, but just about
eyerything here is engaging and emi-
nently hummable, something that cer-
tainly can't be said of the band's last two
Sweet November Soundtrk,
Various Artists; Warner Brothers
By Usa Rait
Daily Books Editor
I was especially excited to review
this CD, since my expectations for it
were so low, and God knows it's a lot
more fun to write bad reviews than
good ones. I must confess, however, to
my secret, sinking feeling that I was
actually going to like this soundtrack.
Indeed, the part of me that enjoys
watching "Martha Stewart Living"
while eating bon-bons and handcraft-
ing individualized macrame pothold-
ers really liked this CD a lot. Luckily, I
keep that side of myself repressed, so I
was able to move on and give this CD
the thorough bashing that it deserved.
The Good: "Rock DJ" by Robbie
Williams was on this soundtrack, can
you believe it? Does a twenty-some-
thing British man begin tearing chunks
of his skin off and throwing them at
people? Weird. "Off the Hook" by the
Barenaked Ladies also made a surprise
appearance, and I admit, I am disap-
pointed that suchfine musicians would
lend their work to the freakin' "Sweet
November" soundtrack. Some solid
oldies by Bobby Darin and Jackie
Wilson rounded out the four good rea-
sons to listen to this CD.
The Mediocre: "Cellophane" by

Pure Rock Fury, Clutec
Atlantic
By Jeremy Kressman
Daily Arts Writer
Man, I remember the '70s. Hqw
could forget them? Back in the day
I saw KISS, grooved out To
Zeppelin, checked out sorie
Sabbath. Dude, those were some
rockin' times.
OK, so I'm blatantly lying - I
was still ten years from being con-
ceived. But that doesn't mean: I
can't try and catch a "whiff" of that
same '70s era vibe with Clutch, and
their new production, Pure Rock
Fury. Clutch actually got their act
together in the early '90s, but
they've been drawing comparisons
to '70s rock gods Led Zeppelin ever
since.
Along with their connections
the kings of the Stairway, Clutch:is
known for their funk-tinged heavy-
metal/hard rock stylings. Heck, they
even throw some grunge in there for
good measure,tjust to make sure
they cover all the appropriate gen-
res.
Yet Clutch imitates like John Paul
Jones instead of the Jimmy Page.
You knew he was there, but you fi
get about him when an awesom
Page guitar solo overshadows Iis
bass work. Nevertheless, Clutch lias
carved out an interesting niche in
the metal world, by pairing their
metal sensibilities with southern
rock and funk.
The most unique element of
Clutch is their blending of live
material with studio tracks. It's:an
interesting technique, adding raw
energy and edginess to the prod*
tion. Check out tracks like
"Spacegrass (Live)," "Drinks to the
Dead" and "Brazenhead" to see
what I'm talking about.
Yet Fury is not a knockout,
instead it is more of a mood record
- the soundtrack for a night of
debauchery with its music lurking
in the background. What's not so
sweet is the tendency of Clutch
head off on extended jam-session .
While most of us agree the jam-
session is the staple of any self-
respecting psychedelia-influenced
band, I don't think it works as well
for metal or hard rock. It's more of
a novelty that wears off after a song
or two. Stick with the gristly vocals
and power chords and we may just
be on to something gentlemen.
Grade: B

Luna usually work slowly on your
senses; theirs is the stuff you listen to
after you get home from the party, not
during it. Here, they let their hair down.
"23 Minutes in Brussels" and "Friendly
Advice" find the quintet kicking out
extended jams, rocking loosely and flu-
idly but never straying too far from tune-
fulness. Guitars sway and hum softly,
speed up and take off as the groove heats
up, then return home, ready for another
dose of Wareham's captivating
songcraft.
You could argue that Luna's shot at
the alt-rock bigtime passed when they
were dropped by Elektra Records nearly
two years ago. But they probably would-
n't have hit it big, anyway, as these 14
tracks - all of which are way too good
for the current rock mainstream to latch
onto - suggest. Just think of this record
as Luna's very own Greatest Misses -
Live!
Grade: B+

me raspy-voiced AmanuaaGnost: A
song about being wrapped in cello-
phane - is it supposed to be kinky?
Surprisingly, "shame" is not just a
word that most aptly expresses the way
that Keanu should feel about his act-
ing, it is also a Duncan Sheik-ish tune
by the little-heard of BT. A typically
melodious and new-agey Enya song, a
Paula Cole and Dolly Parton compila-
tion and a Lenny Kravitz-mixed k.d.
Lang tune finish off the mediocre
songs on this soundtrack.
The Downright God-awful: Stevie
Nicks whines her way through a song
she wrote called "Touched by an
Angel." Some trick-ass hoes named
Tegan & Sara sing "My Number."
Tracy Dawn whinnies and neighs
through "You Deserve To Be Loved,"
and Celeste Prince croons "Wherever
You Are." The last three songs men-
tioned here all sound exactly the same
and therefore suck equally.
Grade: C

Nation, Sepultura; Roadrunner
Records
By Erik Johnson
Daily Arts Writer
In a short time, Sepultura will be
releasing their new album, Nation.
We must make sure that this does
not happen.
A petition drive, firebombing
their label, anything to keep this
piece of crap out of stores. In case
you don't know (and I don't blame
you if you don't), Sepultura is a
mostly-Brazilian four-piece, speed-
metal, hardcore-something band.
They make the kind of music that
the 35-year-old fat guys with shaved
heads listen to. The guys who pick
up junior-high girls, mosh at any
opportunity and live in mom's base-
ment.
As for Nation, it is, according to
Sepultura's label, "the most diverse
record of their career." Funny, I was
beginning to think that maybe
Sepultura was Portuguese for 'loud,
homogenous music.'
Musically, Nation blows; it is
almost all typical 'chugga-chugga'
metal that left me really, really look-
ing forward to the silence between
tracks. The only odd song was the

symphonic, orchestral instrumental
(Oh, wait! There's the diversity!)
that closes the album out. I thought
it was going to be a cool-ass
G'n'f'n'R'-type lead-in. Nope. Just
some weird-ass track. Whee.
The vocals, by American Derrick
Green, are terrible. He tries so hard
to be noticed that you just don't
care, but at least he wasn't rapping.
I was actually sort of looking for-
ward to "Politricks," a track featur-
ing vocals by Jello Biafra, ex-singer
of Dead Kennedys, but it sucks as
much as everything else.
Lyrically, the album was surpris-
ingly good, as the band tackled such
issues as overpopulation, corrupt
politicians, and the human condi-
tion.
Other than the lyrics, though, only
Igor Cavalera, the drummer and per-
sussionist, was worth listening to.
His tribal-influenced drumwork
actually kept my foot moving during
the times my mind was wondering
off elsewhere.
Sorry, Sepulfans (all several
dozen of you), Nation Sepulsucks.
It's just another boring album with
hard music and pissed-off vocals.
Whee.
Grade: D

Teen Spirit, A*Teens; Stockholm
Records
By Luke Smith
Daily Music Editor
Holy shit they've got Mr. T., quick
call Colonel "Hannibal" Smith! They
took his bulky frame and injected it
with the "Aryan Remedy" and then
melted his gold chains and hardware
down into gold bars to buy studio time.
There is no way we are gonna be
able to save the innocent of the world
this time. If Lieutenant Templeton
would hurry up and get his head out of
his ass we may be able to save Sergeant
Bosco from the Aryan Remedy before
he is completely turned into a
European. Gone are his bulging
African American muscles, and
Mohawk. There is no way he could
ever reprise his role as Clubber Lang as
a lanky white Swede with an affection
for bubblegum. Damn.
Captain Murdock is bringing the
chopper, we are gonna have to go by
air, I think Sergeant Bosco is being
kept "Halfway Around the World," and
if we don't get there soon, the effects
are gonna be irreversible. Mr. T will
never be able to bust out his "Slammin'
Kinda Love," if he is a Euro-pop icon.

Sweden, our sources indicate Sergeant
Bosco is trapped inside a small record-
ing studio with a bunch of sound engi-
neers, they are all national treasures, so
we can't injure anyone."
If we get the right "Sugar Rush"
we'll be able to slip inside their defens-
es like a "Firefly."Once we infiltrate the
base we will have only till the "Morning
Light" to rescue Sergeant Bosco.
Unfortunately, this mission wou
fail, and Sergeant Bosco would be
turned into Joey Fat-one. If you look
closely you can see the resemblance.
Bosco's post-Aryan Remedy DNA was
extracted and used to create the Aryan
protoype, scientists overseas with their
lenient drug laws have used that DNA
to create the A*Teens. They are the
immovable repose of pop music.
Grade: D

ItmWVltCM~AK

The Psychology Peer Advisors Present
On Tuesday, February 20th, from 7-8:30 PM
4th Floor Terrace of East Hall
Research opportunities, internships, and
volunteer work in psychology.
Featuring:
Speakers from Safehouse, other volunteer
organizations, and psychology professors.
All Focus Groups wid be held on the 4th Floor Terrace in E.H.
Enrter through the Church St. Entrance. The elevator is to the left.
Go to the l4th floor and followf the signs to the lerrace.

xTUDY ABROAD
IMMERSE YOURSELF in the linguistic and cultural landscape of
another country through the Overseas Programs at Columbia.
BEIJING * BERLIN * PARIS " ITALY
dy fId

Food For Thought
Who was the better fighter?
The flak (antiaircraft fire)
put up overthe skies of
Germany in World War Il
is legendary, but pilots that
flew in WWII and Vietnam
said that the anti-aircraft fire
over Vietnam was worse.
In addition, they had sur-
face-to-air missiles (SAMs)
to contend with. More to
come in future ads.
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
www.garylillie.com

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