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April 03, 1991 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-04-03

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, April 3, 1991

According to bassist Andy Sheldon, the band will be giving away a canoe, but then again maybe they won't.
'These Samples don' sample
by Andrew J. Cahn

T his past Easter Sunday, the
Samples celebrated the anniversary
of their first show. Four years ago,
at a bar on the campus of the
University of Colorado in Boulder,
they played a show in front of five
people. "We hid Easter eggs in the
bar for shots of tequila," recalls
bassist Andy Sheldon. "I think one
guy found them all." He must have
been the life of the party.

Of course, much has changed
since then. The Samples' self-titled
debut album, released in January, has
reportedly sold nearly 30,000
copies, and their first national head-
lining tour brings a few of the
band's members into the state of
Michigan for the first time. If I was
to completely trivialize their sound
by comparing them to more well-
known artists, I'd say that their mu-
sic is in a folk/rock vein along the
lines of Edie Brickell, mixed in
with the singing style and reggae-
like rhythms of the Police.
Quite interestingly, although the
band has an electric lead guitarist,
rhythm guitarist Charles Hamble-
ton plays exclusively on an acoustic.
Sheldon says that having both
guitarists drastically helps their
sound, but does not imply that they
are completely mellow, as the songs
on their album may suggest. "Even
though we have an acoustic guitar,
we can still thrash on stage," he
says.
Lyrically, their songs touch on a
few important issues. "Close to the
Fires," "After the Rains" and
"African Ivory," with words by
singer-guitarist Sean Kelly, discuss
the respective plights of American
Indians, farmers and hunted ele-
phants. "There is a difference be-

songs are not preachy," he continues,
explaining that they don't attempt
to supply answers to the problems
they describe. Instead, he says, the
lyrics are "spoken through the
mouth of a child looking around and
stating the obvious."
Incidentally, although the
Samples have received much favor-
able feedback from both fans and the
members of the press, they have also
received great responses from young
children. A friend of Sheldon's, who
teaches seventh graders, played a
tape of the Samples for the members
of the class, asking them to write
reports on what they heard. Sheldon
was sent the papers and was relieved
to find out that there was a good re-
sponse among the children.
Another run-in with the most
easily pleased demographic came
when the band recently played the
town hall of a small Cape Cod
community. The crowd was made up
predominantly of mothers with
their young children. "There were
all these little kids dancing around
with balloons. It was beautiful,"
Sheldon says.
"We relate to under 10," he adds.
The Blind Pig, however, is restricted
to those 19 and older. Let's see how
they do in front of a more mature
audience.

RECORDS
Continued from page 5
The CD also includes two ver-
sions of "Radio Babylon," a non-al-
bum track that was included as the
B-side for the earlier single,
"Helter Skelter." While this song
is mildly interesting, it's nothing to
write home about. One would be
much better off with the brilliant
99% than with this lackluster
bunch of remixes, which, I hope,
doesn't indicate a future direction
for the band. Boring-ness doesn't
suit them well.
-Mike Molitor
Art of Noise
The Ambient Collection
China/Polydor
The Ambient Collection is just
that: a remixed compilation of some
of the Art of Noise's moodiest
songs.
The tracks are mostly instru-
mentals, heavy on airy strings and
bells, light on percussion. The
sounds that are remixed into the
background of the original songs
take the form of chirping birds or
children playing or a rolling
seashore or any number of other
noises that we hear everyday. All of
these elements combine to form
daydream-like songs - "A sense of
not being yourself, of being apart
from what you're listening to," as
the album cover reads - which may
make you pensive, but it made me
want to take a nap.
Although flowing classics such
as "Opus For 4" and "Camilla"
were included, the perennial moody
song, "Moments In Love," was not.
This is a glaring omission that
should raise more than a few eye-
brows of Noise fans. The absence of
"Love" probably points to a desire
to quickly cash in on a Greatest
Mellow Hits album, more than a
desire to come up with actual qual-
ity material .
The Art of Noise had high hopes
of combining and remixing their
moodiest pieces into one flowing
extravaganza, and it almost worked.
To quote the cover again, The
Ambient Collection is "a drift into
tranquility, in and out of reality."
Whatever. To paraphrase Morrissey,
"Reissue, repackage, repackage."
-Richard Davis
Young Black Teenagers
Young Black Teenagers
SOUL/ DefJam
How offensive are the Young
Black Teenagers? Slightly. Their
appropriation of this thing called
Blackness reaches an embarrassing
apex with "Chillin' Wit Me
Posse," a raga track wherein head
YBT Kamron attempts, rather
flatly, to toast. They work with the

best production crew in music (not
just rap) today, yet their rapping
voices are undeniably reminiscent of
the New Kids. What's more,
aforementioned rapper Kamron
gaffled his name from a friend of
mine in New York. More offensive
things have occurred in rap lately, of
course, like Vanilla Ice telling the
hardcore rap audience to kiss his
"white ass." No thanks, 'Nilla.
You've swallowed enough of our
cum already.
How black are the Young Black
Teenagers? Not very. It's not much
to say that there is no weak link in
their delivery as a group - actually,
they work best as a team. In the
brilliant "My TV Went Black and
White On Me," the overlapping of
their combined raps, imitating and
counterattacking the media a la
"Incident At 66.6 FM," is quite
intriguing. Unfortunately, no
particular YBT stands out from the
pack, either. However rhythmic
Kamron may be, his mackin' in the
funky "Traci" is mostly effective
due to ace production, not
exploitation of vocabulary. His one
big moment, "Daddy Called Me
Niga Cause I Likeded To Rhyme," is
a bold definition of the group's
blackness - anyone who strays too
far from America's tradition of
homogeneity stands to be the
equivalent of a nigger.
Then again, on a very basic level,
the YBTs still ain't no taste of

chocolate. The group's blackest
moment is a vindication of the
Lenny Kravitz lawsuit for "Justify
My Love" that never happened, a
track entitled "To My Donna." The
Bomb Squad has lifted Kravitz's
music almost exactly from the
original and spliced in a woman's
cries of sexual pleasure underneath.
The YBTs proceed to make
libidinous advances to, and an
absolute mockery of, Madonna's ;
vaunted immaculate concept. Given
that she is the most relevant
exploiter of white America's'-
collective sexual repression, "To-
My Donna" is a funky laxative for,
that monolith - in a sense, an even
bolder reversal of the social order
that Madonna plays on.
How revolutionary are the
Young Black Teenagers? Generally:-
speaking, they are a definite service-
to the Black culture in America.
Alongside Chuck D., Bill Stephney :M
and Hank Shocklee of the Bomb
Squad, they present a statement of
subversion in the form of cultural
assimilation and domination.
Unfortunately, to the countless
Black Americans who equate
suffering with pride, difference
with strength and polarity with
dignity, they will only be taken as a
disservice. Both sides of the
struggle would be, at least initially,
adversely affected by such a
revolution of the mind.
-F. Green II!

the copy center
49
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The Young Black Teenagers sound like they should be a rip-off, and as a
matter of fact, they are. Pretty much.

tween being an environmental ac- THE SAMPLES will be at the Blind
tivist and being environmentally Pig tonight at 9 p.m. with the
conscious," says Sheldon. "Our HANNIBALS opening. Cover is $5.

I I

SYMPHONY
Continued from page 5
tution. It provides a final step in
the education of young musicians
before they move on to professional
positions. "It's really an academy,"
explains Thomas. "We have cham-
ber ensembles, master classes, spe-
cial coaching - it's so much more
than just a touring symphony."
Nevertheless, the tour itself teaches
them something about how profes-
sional musicians must pace them-

selves. Of his work with the young,
players, Thomas says, "They have a
tremendous enthusiasm in their ap-
proach to the music - they have the
wonderful experience of playing
these great masterpieces for the
first time." Such spontaneity isn't
easy to hold on to. "We want them.
to grasp that, so they'll never forget
it," he says.

THE NEW WORLD SYMPHONY
performs tonight at Hill Auditorium
at 8 p.m. Tickets range in price from
$14-39, at the Union Ticket Office.

e

JOSTENS
GOLD RING SALE
IS COMING!

Order your college ring NOW
Stop by and see a Jostens representative
Monday, April 1 thru Friday, April 5,

I-.

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