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May 17, 1995 - Image 15

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-05-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

continued from page 11
have been spent on creating cleve melody
instrumentationtotakethe place of weird
The album openers are a study in con-
trasts: First comes the skronky anti-pop of
"Queen Bee and her Pals,"then the droning,
slightly dissonant "Ono Soul," with the
Most of the songs succeed on their own
warpedterms, like "Blues From Beyond the
Grave ""Feathers"and "Cherry's Blues."
"Pretty Bad" is one of the few clinkers, and lst
egy For All the Dead RockStars"is a 15- 4
ing or transcedent, depending on your pa-
tience level. Also pushing the album over to
the winner's sideisthecreepily beautifulart-
work by New York arist Rita Ackerman. All
inall,"PsychicHearts"isreallygood.Butyou Thurston Moore is itching to be a
knew thatalready,right? model for that modern punk look.
-- Heather Phares
Graham Parker
Squeezes out Sparks
Once considered insightful and vital
as an angry young man, now often
seen as bitter and cynical as an
angry old man, Graham Parker is
returning to the area in support of his
new album, "12 Haunted Episodes."
Parker, an eclectic performer,
amongst the first in the new breed of
singer-songwriters (which also
cluded Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe,
and to a lesser degree, David Byrne) z ..
to personalize rather than generalize
their lyrics is best known as a
progenitor of new wave and punk in
the late '70's. However In Parker's
music there can also be heard
twinges of rockabilly and even, much
like Costello, blue-eyed soul. Parker's
best albums, "Howlin' Wind," "Heat Treatment," and his 1979 triumph
"Squeezing out Sparks" stand out even in an era with no shortage of classics.
fter a period of dissapointing, sometimes directionless records, the still-
angry Parker is seemingly returning to form. If you're 18 or over you can catch
Graham Parker at the Magic Bag Theater in Ferndale tonight. Doors open at 7

ALL for or
By Mark Carison
Daily Arts Writer
Bill Stevenson is one of the found-
ing fathers of punk rock as we know it.
Besides having been the drummer for
one of the many incarnations of Greg
Ginn's notorious group, Black Flag,
his original band of high school losers
called The Descendents played a huge
role in creating the west coast punk
sound that has only recently become an
incredibly marketable commodity.
With the hilariously nerdy singer
Milo Aukerman and a rotating lineup
of bassists and guitarists, Stevenson's
Descendents made music that was
witty, exciting, energetic, and most im-
portantly, stood up proudly for their
youthful ideals. These ideals included
a defiant stand against preppies, lazi-
ness, rock posing and drug use, a love
of coffee (caffeine, caffeine, caf-
feine!), and the proud quest to offend
as many people as humanly possible.
Another ideal the band stood behind
was their concept of "All." The idea
behind All was simple: Always go for
greatness; with effort, anything can be

Wednesday, May 17, 1995-- The Michigan Daily --15
ie and one for ALL

ALL are natural born killers. Well, at least one of them is anyhow.

achieved, and everything should be
So, when Aukerman left the group
in 1986 to continue his education and
become a biochemist, the existing
group of Stevenson, bassist Karl
Alvarez, and guitarist Stephan Egerton
decided to change the band name to
"We had wanted to do it forever,
but we never could get a unanimous
decision," said Stevenson about the
change. "When Milo left, we kinda
wanted to create a whole new entity, so
we went for it."
But Stevenson says that there were
other reasons behind the changes. "In
'86, everyone was sick of the Descen-
dents," stated Stevenson. "I mean what
one or two hundred people we could
get in each city had already seen us,
and they weren't into us anymore. So,
by changing the name, I basically cre-
ated a new band in the eyes of the pub-
lic, who in my opinion are morons. At
the same time I made my old band leg-
endary in the eyes of the public, who,
again, are morons."
Though Stevenson's claims of pub-
lic stupidity sound silly, they actually
make a lot of sense in the ridiculous
world of the music industry. "Nobody
bought Minor Threat records when
they were called Minor Threat, every-
one hated them," he explained. "As

soon as we changed the name and did
a few tours as All, the Descendents
started selling all these records. We
sell more Descendents records in a
week now than we did when we were
playing under that name. I think it's
pretty hilarious."
Realizing that he was sounding a
bit too judgmental, he went on to add
"I guess it's not that the general public
are morons, it's that a lot of folks are.
I wouldn't want to come off as some
kind of intellectual. I'm an idiot just
like everybody else."
While All may be just a continua-
tion of the Descendents in a way, it
definitely has its own sound. While
punk rock is normally associated with
simple riffs and sloppy playing, All is
a tight rock band that tries to get every-
thing possible out of every single sec-
ond of each song. "Me and Karl and
Stephen are more into being musicians
than previous groups," said Stevenson.
"People sometimes talk about our cof-
fee, or our 'razor sharp edge,' or what-
ever, but the fact is, we practice every

day. Our sound might be kind of alien-
ating when you compare it to some of
those jangly college rock bands be-
cause those bands are so sloppy. All
we do is practice."
All's latest release, "Pummel,"_
with current lead singer Chad Price, is
a raunch 'n' roll romp loaded with
thundering bass lines, buzz saw guitar
sounds and vocal harmonies. It is also
the band's first release on a major label
(viewed by Stevenson as a necessary
move in these times of young arena
punkers) and it has the band drawing a
lot more young people to its shows. "I
guess it's maybe kind of exciting for
me," he admitted. "'Cause some of
these kids are coming out and viewing
us as a new band. It gives me the
chance to kinda go, No man, I'm the
real deal. I'm 31, but I can still kick

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