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July 12, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-07-12

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Hearing voices
Guided by Voices are one of the most innovative
bands in alternative music. See how much
Beatlesque indie-pop they can cram into St.
Andrew's Hall on Saturday, June 15. Call 961-
MELT for more information.

AlgaRTS

Wednesday
July 12, 1995

Mm%

'Species' alienates crowd

Orbit the satellite of love

y Kirk Miller
i Ar1 Writer
Sit, the gorgcous atien/utman she-
vil is looking to brecd. but forcefully re-
.ts a potenttal date- ipist with a tongue
rough his neck When the crack team of
vestigators and scientists arrive they find
te corpse but nothing else, so tough guy
'reston Lennox (Michael Madsen) goes in
earch of Sil in an acre of shrubbery behind
he house with Dr. Laura Baker (Marg
telgenberger of "China Beach"). It's quiet
too quiet. She looks up ...
WHAM!
It's ... a squirrel: A very nasty squirrel
at appears to be biting Baker's head off.
alsealarm. Theaudiencerlaxes.
"How many people get attacked by squir-
Is?" my friend asked me. (Seven? I don't
tow) But pissed-off tree creatures arejust
seof theproblemswith"Species,"including
bad script, one-dimensional, near-parodic
haracters and worst of all, a bland "Alien"-
poff extraterestrial.
What could be a great excuse for a
nilty Velveeta thrill-ride turns ugly in the
ands of Roger Donaldson. More exploit-.
tive than any B-movie or porno,
)onaldson creates characters so unlikable
sat I was hoping some alien lifesucker
vould just wipe them out. Sadly, many live
y the end of "Species."
The first 10 minutes suggest a better
tovie. After years of sending out radio sig-
- sls into outer space, some kindly aliens

n u Directed by Roger
Donaldson; with Ben
Kingsley and Michael
Madsen
Ar Briarwood and Showcase
send us back step-by-step instructions on
combining their DNA sequence with ours.
And being the U.S. government of evil
UFO conspiracies and jack-booted thugs,
we do it. Voila, a cute little girl, springs up
injust weeks and is strongenoughta'even-
tually escape. By the time she morphs into
adult Sil (newcomer Natasha Henstridge in
the film's best performance) she's con-
fused butonthe prowlformates.Oh,baby!
Experiment head Fitch (Ben Kingsley,
looking like he wished he was back in
"Gandhi") gathers a ragtag team of super-
scientists and the obligatoryhitman tohunt
her down. Unlike "Aliens," which allowed
characters to exhibit personalities through
the process of the hunt, "Species" spends
time trying to have the characters interact.
There's a romance, a clash of styles and a
lack of any personal chemistry. Think of
spending several weeks with a randomly
assigned group of students in a communi-
cation class hunting an alien and you get
the picture.

Henstridge is the alien in 'Species.,
Forest Whitaker does his version of the
useless group member, serving as an
"empath," able to sense emotions and pre-
dict events on a very vague level. "She's
angry," he helpfully suggests after seeing a
dead body mutilatedby Sil.(A fun way to
pass the time is stating the obvious before
Whitaker gets a chance. Impress your
friends!)
There's a tunnel chase and a cocoon
transformation straight out of "Aliens," lots
of topless shots of Henstridge, some weak
humor (the best line is repeated twice, so
we get the joke) and at least two instances
that leave room for a sequel. By the collec-
tive audience groan at the end this will not
happen ("Specieses" doesn't sound right
anyway).
"You're unhappy," Whitaker might
suggest. Yeah, me and the attack squirrels.

By Ted Watts
Daily Arts Writer
When you think of Sub Pop, what do
you think of? Is it the older grunge
sounds of Soundgarden and Nirvana? Is
it the current mellower sounds of Erics
Trip or Jale? Well, why aren't you think-
ing of the razor-toothed space music
sound of Six Finger Satellite? With their
new hyperactive album, "Severe Expo-
sure," out this month, 6FS has taken to
the highways and byways and is taking
their show on the road.
The music 6FS plays is definitely
worthy of attention. There is a pro-
nounced speed in the music, which ac-
cording to singer and Moog liberationist
J. Ryan is due to "drumming, and be-
cause we can, I guess. (Drummer Rich-
ard Pelletier) is a speed freak. In every
sense of the word. He likes things fast."
Additionally, the music contains
complicated and engaging rhythmic
changes. "It's definitely not accidental. It's
SIX FINGER SATELLITE
When: Friday
Where: Shelter
Tickets $7 in advance;
Doors open at 6 pm.
realizing what we can do, the erratic style,
meshingstuff together. A lot of times it just
kind of happens, but we definitely exploit
things like that. But not to the point of over-
intellectualizing it or anything, you just

ously. That was always our intention to
be that kind of more guitar band. ..We
had some recording time booked, and we
decided to keep it going. We'd always
had this electronic side to the band that
didn't appear on albums, but we've al
ways been writing music on our own, not
public consumption type of things, and it
turned out that that was the best way for
us to write songs as a group and we just
did it that way. ...That's where we were
at that time. We're looking forward to
the future of the group. This album ("Se-
vere Exposure") has electronic stuff, but
is more like (our '93 album) "The Pigeon
is the Most Popular Bird," kind of in be-
tween."
Ryan continued about the band',
sonic output: "We're very sound ori-
ented, I guess. Our whole album is done
on stuff we have, we found or bought.
They make great sounds. We've always
revolved around that love and respect of
strong sounding instruments, but totally
in a rock context. Our synthesizers are
played, not programmed - beat on,
pummeled."
In keeping with the machine themes
in their work, 6FS are also interactin
with computers on their World Wide
Web site (http://www.subpop.com/fea-
tures/humantouch/human.htm). "We're
gonna try to post stuff to it during the
tour. We have computer shit we're carry-
ing. We want to post digital images, live
camera stuff. We'll see what happens.
Keep your eye's peeled."
There are also the time-honored tra-
ditions of buying the album or seeing a
live show. But why not do all three? j

The Underneath' is a smart twist on the classic noir kindofdoit ";explainedRyaeirown
3y Scott Plagenhoef is anything but dark. matter which of their releases you have it
Daily Arts Editor Rather Soderbergh bathes "The Un- mind, fromtheircurrent guitar /bass /drums
The noir in film noir is quite literally demeath" in flourescent reds, greens and /vocals basis to any earlier incamation.
French for "dark." Yet even though Di- The Underneath blues to produce a dreamy, surreal effect "We recorded (our last record, "Ma-
rector Steven Soderbergh's fourth fea- Directed by Steven and accentuate certain relationships and chine Cuisine,") as an electronic trio. The
ure, "The Underneath," is thematically situations in the film's jagged narrative. record is entirely electronic. No bass
a classic noir featuring a disillusioned Soderbergh; with Peter Soderbergh's "sex, lies, and video- drums, guitar. We had gone througha
ind flawed protagonist, deviance, greed, Gallagher tape" star Peter Gallagher re-unites with lineup change, a pretty drastic one. Me and
femme fatale, crime, and above all a At the Michigan starting Friday the director to portray Micheal Cham- Rick the drummer, and (guitarist) John
naky, twisting plot of double-crosess, it SEE UNDERNEATm, PACE 9 were looking for a bass player, obvi-

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