4B - Thursday, February 19, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
T THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN 'HONEY'S DEAD' (1992)
By DAVID WATNICK
"I wanna die just like Jesus
That's how The Jesus and Mary
Chain jumpedinto their 1992 album,
ers hadn't turned the disc off by the
time irreverent opener "Reverence"
got around to "I wanna die just like
JFK," they probably should have
because the content of the lecher-
ous, "Lolita"-esque second track,
"Teenage Lust," is hardly gentler.
like a gratuitous attempt to ruffle
everyone's feathers. Its title sug-
gests an unceremonious disavowal
of the principles thatmade the Mary
Chain's groundbreaking 1985 debut
Psychocandy and its legendary cut
"Just like Honey" so enduring. And
the first two tracks of Honey's reek
of unapologetic violence and pedo-
philia. But in reality, the album is
more physical than violent, more
sexual than pedophilic and more
resembling of Psychocandy than its
immediate predecessor, the 1989
new-wave machine gun Automatic.
After spending the previous
five years relying on only a drum
machine to hold time, the Reid
brothers enlisted a living, breath-
ing person - Curve's Steve Monti
- to keep rhythm on the record.
As a result, the Mary Chain turned
into something of a traditional (in a
very liberal sense of the word) rock
The newer rock approach smacks
out of nowhere with the third track,
- the t
of the fc
one and Out," one of the include it on the album couldn't have
most radio-ready efforts. been too contentious - not only is it
iing textbook rock lyrics a perfect fit, it's a thesis statement.
s, rain, heart attacks, a girl It demonstrates just how the Mary
in black - with a melody Chain could abandon its various
ple that it can be hummed musical antics and still remain vital
ith by the time the second asa no-holds-barred rock band.
omes along, the track's out- If the album is defined by these
nacity is the only clue that twin peaks, then the valley between
ged in a post-punk music them is quite the fertile plain itself.
Jim Reid's up-and-down vocal on
lercoaster," generously bor- "Tumbledown" is a part dozens of
melodic passages from The mid-'90s alternative rock one-hit
take of "Mr. Tambourine wonders probably wished they had
a chance to sing on MTV. "Sugar
Ray" is a template for what Brit-
pop should have become if all those
As raucous rowdy British lads hadn't let the
influence of The Stone Roses lapse
1d musically far too early. "Almost Gold," built
on a seabed of feedback in the most
novative as it beautiful sense, plays like an astro-
logical prediction of Neutral Milk
s unexpected. Hotel's "Communist Daughter" six
years in advance.
Coming from aband as influential
as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Hon-
may be buried in the middle ey's Dead is unique in that it almost
two, but after its unrelent- certainly didn't push any buttons
ve of sleigh bells and heavy with the dominant songwriters
recedes, it stands as the only who emerged in its wake. It lacks
allenger to "Far Gone and the rebel-without-a-cause angst of
ir the honor of the album's Psychocandy, the melodic majesty
ack. It's no surprise either and soul of Darklands and the brash
wo songs are virtual twins, potency of Automatic. But it reveals
iwn to their chart prowess. that - beneath the fuck-all attitude
ercoaster" actually graced of the Reid brothers - the Mary
. top 50 as a single in 1990. Chain was a subtle shape-shifter,
the process, it laid out much remaining almost indistinguishable
ormula for Honey's Dead: big from its prior form while casually
s, big guitars, fast tempos stumbling on the pulse of emerging
stortion and feedback left trends before anyone else even had
background. The choice to those trends on their radar.
Novelist Michael Schilling, a University graduate, chills at Shaman Drum.
Connecting writers and readers
From Page 1B
Reading Series. These readings
allow members of the University
to showcase their writing to their
peers and Ann Arbor citizens. For
many writers, this is one of their
first opportunities to read in front
of a large audience.
"It forces you to feel like some-
thing's complete. It stops feeling
like it's something in progress,"
MFA student Elizabeth Gramm
said, describing the feeling of read-
ing her poetry aloud. "It's some-
thing more separate. It's so freeing
to just appreciate it by listening.
Getting to hear our peers just read,
it's a gift and we can just enjoy it
rather than thinking about tweak-
ing it or changing it."
Gramm explained that the MFA
program is a cohesive group. Brian
Short, MFA student and Gramm's
counterpart, explained the rush of
a reading as an audience member,
comparing it to seeing a theater
"There's something about see-
ing it happen. This amazing energy
that will never happen in the same
way," Short said.
Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and
oom runs the Work-in- Midwest). I feel comfortable here,"
ss Reading Series, allowing Bakopoulos said. "I've connected
to experiment with their to the landscape the openness of
plete and developing works he people, the mental space and
ding selections to an audi- the physical space you can get into
quickly where I live now there's
're all project-driven but plenty of space to live and work."
omething reaches publica- Michigan-based, award-win-
a way, the fun's over. You ning writer Thomas Lynch is the
or the next project," said author of "The Undertaking," a
e Lundin, Work-in-Progress non-fiction book based on his expe-
ctor, in an e-mail inter- rience as a Milford, Mich. under-
taker. Lynch is a regular guest
Work-in-Progress is about lecturer at the University and a
g that play-space open consistent Ann Arbor presence. He
making the attempt a public explained why the environment of
which means at least a per- Ann Arbor, in particular, is attrac-
ice, a product of sorts, but tive to writers.
at's dynamic and live while "Most writers who teach appre-
ing to be performance art," ciate the University as much for its
regular stipend and dental benefits
as they do for the 'life of the mind'
and instructive conversations
nn Arbor is that are a feature of such places,"
Lynch said. "For me, the invitation
)me to many to come and teach at Ann Arbor
had less to do with the dosh than
rard-winning it did with the community of writ-
, ers there - poets and storytellers I
writers. much admired and whose compa-
nyI found helpful to my own writ-
ing. And students, especially good
ones, challenge all one's aptitudes,
said. in the way that exercise keeps the
beyond the University and body fit."
g events, Ann Arbor's sub- The writing community in Ann
ature makes it a rich bastion Arbor doesn't seem to exist for the
eating narratives. Without purpose of fame or recognition.
tractions of city life, many There is passion and talent that is
s find the atmosphere quite apparent through attending these
modating for writing. events and hearing the voices and
n Bakopoulos, a University personalities of writers from all
te and the author of the levels of experience. While a book
"Please Don't Come Back reading may never fill the seats of
he Moon," read before fac- the Big House, the literary scene in
late January from his then- Ann Arbor is still very much worth
ingbook. Currently residing noticing.
consin, Bakopoulos hopes to "Writing is like any creation
a yearlong fellowship at the you have to do it for the love of
sity to teach and write. the game," Shilling said. "There
e) people I write about are are far easier ways to make lots of
nd my subject is here (in the money."
It's not too late!
earn up to 10 credits
have class outside
Need- and merit-based
Spots still open in spring &summer
classes at the U-M Biological Station
- UARTS 250 -
AN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIO-LECTURE COURSE
residency at the Abbey of Pontlevoy,
May 18 -,June 12, 2009
Four Weeks/Four Credits
Sac es the LSA Creative Expression Requirement
Tuesday, Febr ry 17, 5:00pm,Art & Architecture Bldg. Room
Wednes y, Feb 18, 7:00pm, Michigan Union Pond Room
Making creativity an integral part of students' lives and work.
Learn more now: www.artsonearth.org/students
This course is supported by the University of Michigan's Multidisciplinary Learning and Tearm Teaching Initiative
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