The Michigan Doily
The Pandoras, led by singer/guitarist Paula Pierce (center), come to the Blind Pig Tuesday, inverting the
sexual folitics of heavy rock'n'roll - once thought to be the world's safest bastion of archaic machismo.
But will Texans the Buck Pets, playing their song "Iron Cock" the night before, push us into taking sides?
'Phallic'power at Pig
Pandoras turn cliched Buck Pets appropriate
cock-rock on its head Texas-size guitar thrust
Comic Opera Elixir:
1830s pop refreshes
BY MARY BETH BARBER chestra almost drowned out the
leads, their talent shone through.
"I T'S the pop music of the Steve Simmons is magnificent
1830's," says Producer Tom Petiet as the young lover Nemorino,
of the Comic Opera Guild (COG) singing the world-famous ballad
about Gaetano Donizetti's The "Una Furtive Lagrima." Gina Lot-
Elixir of Love, coming this week- tinger, as Adina, charmed the-audi-
end at the Lydia Mendelssohn The- ence with her coquettish coyness
ater. "There's a reason why [opera] and beautiful soprano voice. Jean-
hasn't died.... It grows with you." Ronald La Fond would be perfect as
If The Elixir of Love is a proper the Sergeant Belcore were it not for
example of opera, then Petiet his slightly exaggerated staunch-
speaks the truth. Because it's in ness
English, Ann Arbor audiences will "Will I like it?" asks the young
have no trouble understanding this lover, speaking of the expensive
tale of a young man who does his love elixir. "You will love it," an-
best to attract his reluctant love, swers the doctor, .and then says,
including purchasing a counterfeit laughing aside to the audience, "It's
love potion from a traveling a bottle of Bordeaux. "
'doctor,' and enlisting in the Army. "Some people will go because a
Opening night on Wednesday friend invited [or coaxed] them, and
was a benefit for the Guild and the they'll end up whistling the tunes
Ann Arbor Hospice. The Ann Ar- as they leave," predicts Petiet. In-
bor-based COG, thanks to volunteer deed, it doesn't take years of musi-
assistance and sponsorship from the cal and opera knowledge to enjoy
Michigan Council for the Arts, has this $5 Elixir.
performed throughout the state and THE ELIXIR OF LOVE will be
is now in their fifteenth season of performed at the Lydia Mendelssohn
presenting relatively inexpensive Theatre in the Michigan League
opera performances. tonight and Saturday at 8 pm and 2
And the performance Wednesday pm on Sunday. Tickets may be
was charming - especially the purchased from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
music. "The singing is good be- today and 12:30 p.m to 4 p.m. on
cause most of the singers want to Saturday at the Michigan Theater
do it; most professionals end up box office, or at the Mendelssohn
performing it eventually," Petiet door. Tickets are $9 and $12, $S
remarks; although at times the or- with student ID.
BY NABEEL ZUBERI
If Jimmy Page's mighty guitar is truly an exten-
sion of his phallus, then the pouting Pandoras' grind-
ing six-strings grab macho metal by the proverbial
balls... and squeeze hard.
Back in the iconoclastic halycon days of godstars
The Clash and Sex Pistols, here in God's own country
a group of young women named The Runaways
(including a acne-faced Joan Jett and Lita Ford) decided
to take on the big boys at their own game. The
Pandoras aspire to the leathery metal/glam/punk kitsch
classicism of the Runaways - but sound like polite
valley girls trying to prove to us how dreadfully
outrageous they are.
Their new mini-album, Rock Hard, is thoroughly
impregnated with the pungent smell of sex. Offering
such scrotum-scrunching classics as "Six Times A
Day" and "He's Coming," the Pandoras turn macho
rock on its (throbbing) head; instead of peddling its
adolescent male fantasies, the Pandoras make the
heavy-metal revelation that girls can be hard and tough
and driven by lust too.
The Pandoras have practiced their pouts and let their
desires smoulder long enough to master all the familiar
three-chord licks and cliched gestures -although they
mention garage bands like the Seeds and the Count
Five as major influences, the Pandoras' sound instead
recalls Bon Jovi and Guns 'n' Roses. At least these
gals "kick out the jams" with more funk than Heart; a
little more camp and the Pandoras might ascend into a
league with Jett's pure, no apologies rock 'n' roll.
While they're not as sexy as Axl or Jon Bon Jovi, for
the adolescent heavy-metal nut or frustrated frat-boy
fan of "hot babes who rock," the Pandoras are a wet
dream come true.
THE PANDORAS bring their box of delights to the
Blind Pig along with local guests Rain on Tuesday,
May 9th at 10 p.m. Cover charge is $6.00.
BY BRIAN JARVINEN
"I don't even know what to say / I was trying to get
to sleep when the sun came up today." Honest. I
picked up a reelin' and rockin' new tape yesterday by
the Buck Pets; it's called simplyThe Buck Pets. And
since Mr. Boom-Box has an even worse guitar addic-
tion than me ('tis the only instrument which still
sounds close to half-right on it) the appliance de-
manded that I keep flipping this cassette 'til the reverb
managed to get thicker than the smoke in my
The Buck Pets hail from Texas; specifically Carl-
ton, which is reported to be somewhere close to Dal-
las. An appearance on 1987's geographical compila-
tion The Sound of Deep Ellum , on Island Records,
somehow led to their recently released eponymous
debut on the same label.
OK, the tunage: the lead-off track (on Kalamazoo
radio at least) appears to be "Iron Cock," a bodacious
title to say very little. One would expect this to earn
the Texans gobs of airplay on double-entendres/bad
pun AOR radio.
Still, the only obvious connection to the south here
is the faint accent on Thompson's otherwise Bob-
Mouldy voice. These exiles have been busy listening
to guitar records from Main St. and beyond, actually.
The power chord/drums syncopation make the LZ
words faintly applicable, and who can fault a band that
gives thanks to Neil Young? When this power quartet
hits their inter-decade overdrive, you should turn it up.
So, the question remains; can you wag your hair to
it? I probably could; for many it will probably depend
on individual tolerance for big-time-vs.-indie label af-
filiations. But for you ordinary citizens of this third
stone from the sun, Monday night is the chance to get
hip to the Buck Pets - almost from the very begin-
THE BUCK PETS appear at the Blind Pig Monday at
10 pm. Tickets are $7.50 in advance; those heirs to the
Motor City rock throne, the Junk Monkeys, open the
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