Page 14 - The Michigan Daily - Sunday, July 8, 1984
R.E.M. cooks up new wave dish
By Larry Dean
ATHENS, Georgia (APE)-The local
music scene may have gotten its
biggest boost yet as Athens heroes,
R.E.M., prepare to embark on their
biggest and most adventurous tour to
"We thought Albuquerque and
Wichita Falls were real feathers in our
proverbial caps," admits lead vocalist
Michael Stipe, "but with this globe-
trotting jaunt, the best is still ahead. I
feel it in my bones."
"Yeah," adds guitarist Peter Buck.
R.E.M. has been quite popular in
Athens since the legendary 40 Watt
Club first opened and began booking so-
called "new music" outfits like them-
selves, the B-52's and Pylon. That
popularity grew even more after the
release of R.E.M.'s independent single,
"Radio Free Europe," the Chronic
Town EP, and their subsequent LP,
Murmur, which garnered the band
many raves on critics' "Best Of" year-
The group is launching this mega-
tour to support their most recent
"It's pretty good," says drummer
"Yeah," adds bassist Mike Mills.
R.E.M. plays a music called "New
Wave," relying on outlandish
costumes, vulgar and salacious lyrics,
and an overall premeation of the
philosophy known as anarchism.
"That's not right," says Berry.
"No way," discerns Stipe.
"Uh-uh," chime in Buck and Mills.
"If we might rest control of this jour-
nalistic miasma for a bit," coo the
R.E.M. members, "we'll lay it all on
the line. Fair enough?"
The reporter swallowed hard, his
adam's apple bobbing up and down his
neck like a periscope. The guitarist
levelled the shotgun so that it was poin-
ted right between the scribe's eyes.
Hesitantly, he lifted his fingers from
the typewriter's keyboard.
"Smart move, Mr. Journalism,"
Buck said, pulling his gun back a little.
In the writer's tiny, paper-engulfed
apartment, the band members eyed
him like vultures eyeing their dying
"What do you want to go and write
garbage like that for?" asked Stipe,
cleaning his nails with a particularly
The reporter was careful with his an-
swer. "They pay me to."
"They? Who's they?" bellowed Mills,
his boyish face contorted with rage.
"N-nomy editors," he replied.
By Jeff Frooman
The members of R.E.M. look innocent enough, but you never can tell with those new wave types. The band performs at
Royal Oak tonight.
Berry leaned in closer. "Are
The writer considered this a moment,
and gave what he thought was the most
sane answer. "No."
The four musicians murmured a flood
of obscenities, gesticulating wildly
amongst each other, almost unaware of
their terrified, helpless, critical prey. It
was Stipe who uttered the next in-
telligible thing, as their brash
whispering died down.
"Why are you trying to make us look
dumb?" he asked.
"I'm not," the reported replied. "I'm
writing this preview for your upcoming
show at Royal-"
Buck thrust the rifle barrel into the
writer's gut. He buckled inward in his
seat, recoiling from the guitarist's jab.
"We're not New Wave!!" he screamed.
"Do we look or sound like Missing Per-
sons to you?-
"They dress up in goofy futuristic
costumes and try to act moderne, "
Mills interjected. Then, tugging at his
own unassuming jersey: "Does this
look moderne? This looks comfy to
The other bandmembers nodded their
heads, mumbling their agreement.
"I understand," said the reporter.
"But all I have to go on is this press kit,
and it says 'New Wave', 'salicious,' and
all the rest."
Stipe, disinterestedly picking his
teeth with the switchblade, yanked the
press kit out of the reporter's hand. He
There's something for everybody at
two shows that opened recently - one
at The Museum of Art and one at The
Exhibit Room of the Rare Books
Library. Both displays are general
showings that feature a wide range of
art works that share the common
theme of the performing arts. The
shows were planned in conjunction with
the Ann Arbor Summer Arts Festival.
The Museum of Art's Images of the
Performing Arts emphasizes theater,
music, and dance. It also includes, on a
smaller scale, film, circus, and pup-
petry. In the exhibit you'll find
photographs by Warhol and Steichen;
paintings by Picasso, Matisse, and
Whistler; sketches by Calder; costume
designs by Kirsta; and stage set models
by the Czechoslovakian scenographer
scanned it quickly enough and tossed it
back on the seedy desk top with an ugh
of disgust. "This guy's telling the
truth," he lamented.
"Yeah?" asked Buck, withdrawing
the shotgun from close range of the
writer. As he did, the writer saw that it
really wasn't a gun after all, but merely
a Rickenbacker guitar. And Stipe's
switchblade was a microphone. Yet his
stomach still ached from where Buck
had given him the ol' one-two.
"Yeah," Stipe echoed. "Look, we
didn't mean to harass you, but we don't
often go out of our way to chat with the
music press, and when we do, we don't
want our fans to get the wrong idea
"You might say we were just looking
after our own interests," implored
Mills, whose boyish counterance was
back in full bloom.
The writer's face flushed. "Well,
boys, it's mighty-nice of you to
apologize for giving me the stomach
ache of the '80s, but I have to ad-
mit-I'm not affiliated with the music
The bandmembers' jaws fell floor-
bound with precision timing.
"I'm the food editor at the paper, and
they couldn't find anybody else to do
your article. Naturally, any good repor-
ter believes in being objective, so I set.
Stipe flashed his mike in the
fluorescent desk lamp's glow.
Guided tours of the exhibit will be
held on Saturdays and Sundays at 2
p.m. until July 22.
The Museum of Art is open from 11
a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday
and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays
and Sundays. It is located at the corner
of S. State and S. University.
At the same time the Exhibit Room of
the Rare Books Library is featuring the
show The Performing Arts: Source
Material in Theater, Music, and Dance.
This display includes original
manuscripts, theater billings, books,
letters, photographs, theater prompt-
books, prints, and musical scores.
The Exhibit Room is on the seventh
floor of the Graduate Library. The
room's hours are 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Mon-
day through Friday, and 10:00 to 12:00
noon on Saturdays.
DETROIT, Michigan (APE)-The
body of a prominent restaurant critic
was found in his tiny apartment off
Mack Avenue. The critic, hailed by his
peers as "the cream of the crop" of food
experts, and "the Grandaddy of serious
culinary criticism," had been stabbed a
number of times and was dead ap-
proximately an hour before the-body
was found by a Little Caesar's delivery
In the wake of the critic's unexpected
demise, there will be a memorial and
fundraising service to help continue the
tradition of solemn dinner analysis he
pioneered. The ceremony will occur
this Sunday night, July 8, at the Royal
Oak Music Theater in Royal Oak,
Michigan, the critic's self-proclaimed
"favorite town in Michigan."
Playing at the service will be two
bands, the Dream Syndicate, from
California, and R.E.M., from Athens,
Georgia. The ceremony kicks off at 8
When asked why they had decided to
play a memorial for a food critic, the
bandmembers were quick to answer.
"He was one of our favorites," said
Peter Buck, of R.E.M "I, personally,
read his column often.
Vocalist Michael Stipe, bassist Mike
Mills, and drummer Bill Berry, also of
R.E.M., agreed with Buck's kind wor-
ds. Mills then added, "There won't be
another like him."
"Yeah," said Stipe.
minute mark, it only reminded me just
how short the show was, instead of
giving me an extra treat as an encore
One suggestion that would allow
Reeves some extra time for her per-
formance - even if there are to be two
in one evening - would be to eliminate
the horrible, unfunny comedienne
who opened the show. Known only as
"Mom," her jokes were stale and
vulgar - there's nothing wrong with
vulgarity, but at least make it fresh
vulgarity. Getting rid of this ridiculous
act would leave time for 20 more
minutes of Martha Reeves - a lot bet-
ter bargain for the money.