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January 10, 1991 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-10

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The Michigan Daily -Thursday, January 10, 1991 - Page 7

RECORDS
Continued from page 5
on it or on the back of the case, is
about a desire to drive a Zamboni
machine. "Now ever since I've been
oung/ it's been my dream that I
might drive a Zamboni machine/ ...
all the kids would look up to me."
1 The manager of the local arena won't
let him, but how many songs about
Zambonis exist in this world?
-Annette Petruso
The Trash Can
Sinatras
Cake
Go! Discs/London
"I'm old/ not wise/ just weary,"
claim these young Popsters in their
song "Best Man's Fall." They aren't
that old but The Trash Can Sinatras
make acoustic guitar-based music
aimed at tired, self-pitying young
adults. The first clue is their sleeve
blurred photos which obscure the
serious young men in dark gear with
fashionable haircuts. Some of
Cake's sounds defy this parody of
solemnness by being upbeat. The
Trash Can Sinatras try to make
themselves obscure yet accessible,
direct yet enjoyable, and they
actually succeed.
Cake sounds superficially lush,
like waterfalls of beauty, by
fashioning many layers and noises,
exploring the same territory as the
Dream Academy's debut album
(especially "Life in a Northern
Town"). The acoustic guitar jangles
.long with the electric guitar,
VIDEO
Continued from page 5
a"It's good to watch, but know
_that other people are watching you.
-At school, at home, even in the
O bathroom."
or "Let me tell you a story: I was
afraid of the dark when I was your
age, but then I grew up to be a big
strong man. Isn't that a good story?"
or what could be the motto of the
era, "Real grownups don't get up-
set."
Oh yeah, and it has one of the
classic song titles of all time, "The
Meatloaf Mambo."
- Mike Kuniavsky
The Year Without A

synthesizer, some strings and a
tambourine. The vocals are usually
muffled, buried in the involved mix,
but the vocalist is bland and
forgettable so it doesn't matter that
much. The lushness adds to the over-
all melancholia or drivenness,
depending on the song. But even the
bouncier numbers have some
elements that create a subdued air.
The annoying but amusing parts
of Cake are the band's lyrics that
make them sound like they feel so
sorry for themselves in their pathetic
life. "Thrupenny Tears" sounds
musically reflective and has such
pompous lines as "another perfect
song of grief," as well as a bad pun
for a title. Oh, my life is over and
I'm only in my early 20s. The other
bad pun titled song, "Only Tongue
Can Tell," features a cowpoke riff,
and says something about being
"short on wisdom" and "the urge to
get rich quick has never been so hard
to reach." "Best Man's Fall" alleges
"I'm looking twice my age" and the
gem at the beginning of this review
- all for no apparent reason save
love or self-condolence.
Cake is still a mighty album,
though. Songs like "Circling the
Circumference" shake with a driven
acoustic sound, accented by a bam-
bum-bump in the background and
touches of electric guitar.
Overlooking the fact that the
opening riff seems lifted from the
Stone Roses, "Circling" is a
pleasing number.
The lyrics wear thin, but then
most college-age students can relate

and the words are hard to understand
anyway. All of Cake's songs are
catchy and pleasure-giving, but the
Trash Can Sinatras don't seem to
realize one grows wise with age and
lamenting about their lack of it is
rather tedious.
-Annette Petruso
Renegade Soundwave
In Dub
Mute/Elektra
This is some of the best back-
ground music I've heard in a long
time. But that's the problem with
this new largely instrumental release
from groove masters Renegade
Soundwave - there's not much here
that really gets one's attention. Al-
though most of the tracks here are
excellent musically, even the best
instrumental dance music gets
monotonous after more than a cou-
ple of songs. Just try to listen to an
entire record by 808 State.
Another problem is that the
record recycles many old RSW songs
instead of creating new ones. For ex-
ample, "Recognise and Respond" is
basically a remix of "Cocaine Sex"
and "Black Eye Boy" is just a differ-
ent version of "Blue Eyed Boy." Are
these guys running out of songs af-
ter just one full-length record? Even
the two CD-only tracks from last
year's Soundclash are included (in
remixed form, of course) on this
disc. There are, however, some new
tracks here.
But in the end, the beats rule.
Renegade Soundwave and producer
Flood pump out some groove-heavy
tunes that any sane house DJ would

The Trash Can Sinatras actually look (gasp!) happy here. But they can't be. Cake is so somber and self-pitying
and emotionally drab. They are probably just posing.

welcome as fodder for the turntable.
This nondescript music could easily
be mixed into any house jam and it
appears as if that was the main
purpose behind In Dub. Perhaps this
disc would have been better released
to just house clubs and DJs instead
of the general public. But hey, if
you really get into (background)
house music...
-mike Molitor

Your Summer Job
more than Just emplOyment.

_lld . ilYL 1ViiiVl

Story Ever Told. Narrated by Shirley
Booth as the voice of Mrs. Claus,
Year tells of the time that Santa,
suffering from depression and ner-
vous exhaustion and a general disen-
chantment with all of the little girls
and boys of the world, decides to
hang up his red suit for a year. Two
loyal elves, Jingle and Jangle, are
sent by Mrs. C. to Southtown,
U.S.A., where they must find proof
that the spirit of Christmas is still
alive and well and thus inspire the
now cynical Claus.
Of course, Year has not been re-
membered for its shades of Sodom
and Gommorah plot, nor for the
great existential questions that it
raises ("There's no question in my
mind that he does exist, just like
love, waiting to be missed," sings
Santa himself in the "I Believe in
Santa Claus" number). No, The
Year Without A Santa Claus is
clearly the best Christmas special to
come out of the famed claymation
period of the mid-seventies for two
specific reasons: Heat Miser and
Snow Miser.
"Here he comes now, the big
ham," Mrs. Claus warns us as the
cheesy horns kick in and Snow
Miser enters his Ice Castle to sing
his wonderfully obnoxious tribute to
himself, complete with a line of

miniature Snow Miser clones echo-
ing backup. Does this catchy tune
sound familiar?
(Da Dump Dump Dump Daaaa
Dump Da Dump Dump...)
I'm Mister White Christmas,
I'm Mister Snow,
I'm Mister Icicle,
I'm Mister ten below.
Friends call me Snow Miser,
Whatever I touch,
Turns to snow in my clutch,
I'm too much.
The only comparable animated
heroes for kids today are Vanilla Ice
and M.C. Hammer, but Snow Miser
and his brother, Heat Miser, who re-
places words like Icicle with Heat
Blister in his similarly untouchable
song, are much cooler, much more
talented prototypes without the silly
outfits and excessive sampling.
Happily, the special has not lost
any of its charm with age. Mickey
Rooney does a nice job as the voice
of Santa, and the minimalistic clay-
mation effects work well and serve
to bring the viewer into a simpler
world. Little details are abundant,
like when Vixen is forced to wear
brown socks on his antlers and pre-
tend to be a dog, or when a cop
gives the elves a ticket for "wearing
funny-looking suits on a Sunday."
There are also plenty of great lines

that you'd never appreciate as a kid,
like the scene in which the little boy
who helps Santa and the elves intro-
duces himself. "My name is Igna-
tious Thistlewhite," he says.
"Everyone calls me Iggy."
The life-affirming resolution, ri-
valling Jimmy Stewart's ecstatic cry
of "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" at the
end of It's A Wonderful Life, shows
us all of the children of the world,
from every race and culture, joining
together to sing a song of love for
good old Saint Nick. And this was at
least a decade before Hands Across
America and "We Are the World."
- Mark Binelli
Sae the P!
O Daily Arts

Lm"folo

Working with'children2
in the outdoors.

1

Cuselors, superVI~Sar
Couf neorsuevisors, administrative
staff and other leadership positions,

L

Santa Claus
dir. Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules
Bass
Have you been told, did you ever
hear,
Of the furious furiousfidgety
year,
When Santa unhitched his sleigh,
And vowed he was taking a holi-
day?
These immortal lines open The
Year Without A Santa Claus, the
r Rankin/Bass claymation epic that to
many children of all ages will al-
ways be the Greatest Christmas

Interviewing at Hillel: Wednesday, January 16
Other Dates: 1/24, 1/29, 2/11, 2/19, 3/7, 3/20, 4/9, 4/17,4/25
Sign up: Call Hillel, 769-1500
F- Questions? Call Lew Hamburger at 661-0600

-----"Fr T'1' a

--odNMNuNEWn

Tamarack Camps are Jewish resident camps
directed by the Fresh Air Society of Detroit.

:r

Campus
essentials.

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A few hints for getting through college: study hard, bring your
laundry home on weekends and get yourself acquainted with
Michigan National Bank.
Aside from being the number one provider of student loans in
Michigan, we offer services with students in mind. Like
Independence Checking, alow-cost, no minimum balance
checking account. And the Michigan Money" card, free with
your checking or savings account. So stop in or phone
1-800-CALL-MNB. We can make campus life easier.
Student banking. It's just one more way Michigan National
is doing what it takes.

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