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April 17, 1991 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-04-17

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Page 8- The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, April 17,1991

Dinosaur jr.
Green Mind
Green Mind sounds a lot like all
the other Dinosaur albums. This is a
good thing. That crazy blend of
thrash, trash and god knows what
else hasn't gotten any wimpier, even
with the absence of booming bassist
Lou Barlow. His replacement, Van
Connor of the Screaming Trees, fills
in just fine, thank you.
"The Wagon," Green Mind's
opening track, gets a tad tiresome
after a while, but hardcore Dino fans
must be sure to catch the accompa-
nying vid. It's not nearly as cool as
the best video ever made -
Dinosaur's version of "Just Like
Heaven," featuring Oscar the
Grouch in a Deep Wound t-shirt -
but it's up there with all those
other trippy shorts. Just goes to
show that claymation can be used to
an effect neater than those dumb and
overly-talked-about Peter Gabriel
Be sure to check out the title
track. It rocks like a Dinosaur tune
should. But best song title goes to
Track Two - "Puke and Cry." Ya
gotta love it.
Mascis whines, Murph thumps
and Conner keeps the ever-changing
beat to Green Mind . The result is
infectious music just dying to be
turned up to 10 (or 11, if your amps
go up that high). Nobody really

knows what college or alternative
music is, least of all me, but most
know what Top-40 is and Dinosaur
ain't it. It is hard to imagine that
patented J. Mascis voice going pop,
anyway, so the drone remains the
same and the distorted beat goes on.
And no, the girl on the album
cover isn't me.
- Kristin Palm
Various Artists
Tame Yourself
Note: If you own a leather
jacket, wear Revlon or like to have
an occasional thick juicy steak, pro-
ceed at your own risk. And if you
own anything with animal fur on it,
just close this paper up right now.
What the heck could unite the
Indigo Girls, Michael Stipe, the B-
52's, the Pretenders, Belinda
Carlisle, Exene Cervenka, k.d. lang,
Erasure, Fetchin Bones, Howard
Jones, Nina Hagen, Lene Lovich, Jane
Wiedlin and a host of others? Meat.
Or even more accurately, the absence
of meat.
Tame Yourself is a compilation
album, from all of the aforemen-
tioned artists, which focuses on an-
imal rights. The proceeds go to ben-
efit People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA),
which works against animal cruelty
in labs and the fur and meat indus-
tries, among other things.
It's so bloody hard to objec-
tively review compilations because
the musical styles are so different
and every song could stand on it's
own, for the most part. So to hell
with it, here are my favorites.
Awards, please.
Howard Jones gets the "Wow, is
this what he's been up to!" award.
His "Don't Be Part Of It" was a
pleasant surprise on Tame. It's a
tight, upbeat dance tune about ani-
mal rights activism. The drums and
bassline are tight and the synths and
vocals add a dreamy quality to the
The Indigo Girls and Michael

Stipe get the "Excellent as Usual"
award for the collaborative track
"I'll Give You My Skin." Combine
flowing acoustic guitars, harmonic
vocals and insightful lyrics and you
get a gem.
Fetchin' Bones get the "Yikes!"
award for their excellent ripping
guitars, drums, vocals and lyrics.
"No tears shampoo, so gentle and
kind/ A million rabbits, each one
blind/ Blessed are the tortured who
died for you". Wow. Enough said.
Nina Hagen and Lene Lovich get
the "Tsss! That's hot!" award. They
teamed up to write "Don't Kill The
Animals ('91 Mix)" which is a
Smokin' - note capital "S" -
dance track. The pounding drums and
bass make an interesting contrast to
their witch-like vocals. Thumbs up!
Let's go dancin'!
Jane Wiedlin gets the "Surprise!
I actually do have some talent"
award for her campy tune, "Fur."
After her last embarrassing video
spectacle, where she's hot in the
pants to make love to some stud -
just call her "ERA Jane" for short
- the ex-Go-Go comes up with a
surprisingly good tune. It's a tight
dance track that almost has a funky,
hip-hop feel to it. Maybe, she can
work up some credibility with this
effort. She needs it.
Aleka's Attic gets the "We're
good! Listen to us!" award. This
lesser known group produced a
smooth song, "Across The Way,"
that could be compared to some of
the Primitives work. The male vo-
calists of these two groups sounds
very similar. The vocals and instru-
ments combine to give an airy, flow-
ing style of music.
There is no possible way to com-
pare most of these artists to one an-
other. It's definitely an apples and
oranges thing. But nearly all of the
tracks are great and the cause is defi-
nitely worthwhile. Tame Yourself
is a great release to listen to, even if
you enjoy a burger or two.

This old pic of Dinosaur jr. is from way back when they were called Dinosaur. Since then, bassist Lou Barlow
(on the right with the glasses, yeah the one who looks like he.should be a computer programmer for I.B.M.) left
and Van Conner of Screaming Trees replaced him. Times, they do change, eh?

Continued from page 5
senting the country rather well -
screamed and whistled at this point.
"You've been wanting to," she con-
tinues, pausing for dramatic effect,
"know what the Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles have been up to!"
Mocking both the GIs, who com-
pletely tuned out by the end of the
sentence ("See, she really didn't
know what we wanted, silly
woman!") and the audience ("Oh,
golly, I guess they really aren't go-
ing to do something racy! Pooh on
my dirty mind! I should go and pay
penance by donating to the
Republican Party now!"), this one
sentence by Mandrell summarized
the whole event: a mockery of both
patriotism and self-sacrifice. The
event, in turn, summarized the
whole pop-media attitude towards
the war and, in an indirect way, the
reason for the Turtles' existence.
The Turtles have always been a
media phenomenon to myself,
someone who has never purchased a
comic book; they seem like an ironic,
self-reflexive commentary on their
own existence. The Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles: Volume One is not a
collection of the original criticisms
of the comic culture, but a collec-

i C,
f P.

tion of the comics put out for
"public consumption" after the
Turtles' marketing blitz was de-
termimed to be successful.
Initially a mockery of the
traditional comic medium - and
thus, of the narrow, conservative
views which that medium
communicates - the Turtles
unexpectedly became a hit. So maybe
they're just a devious ploy to use the
system against a hopelessly stupid
and naive public by some very
shrewd anarchist toy manufacturers.
In any case, they represent our
nation's attitude toward itself: as a
country of immature mutants with
worthless skills. How else can the
travesty of last Wednesday night's
"salute" be explained?
In a country where heroes have
always been in the mold of the clas-
sic white dominant male (George
Washington, Daniel Boone, Roy
Rogers, John Wayne, Clint
Eastwood), it's interesting that the
new heroes are mutated animals.
What's interesting about it, and
about the new Turtles film, is that
all of the stories concentrate on one
thing: mutation. All of the main
characters in the stories (the female
TV reporter doesn't participate in
this series) are some form of mu-
tated creatures, and all of their ad-

ventures concentrate on either over- W
coming mutation or exploiting it.
Now what does this communi-
cate? In general, it implies that be-
ing normal in our society (because,
technically, everything in the sto-
ries happens in our society, under the
streets of NYC) is insufficient to
battle the evil mutations of the
world. One has to become some-
thing else, something animalistic, in
order to be able to deal with the
"real world." Unlike the comics of
old - with their Supermen, Batmen
and Wonder Women - the heroes
here are physically disfigured, not
just normal-looking people with
hidden superpowers. They must not
just attain a new attitude, but - to
use David Cronenberg's term - a
New Flesh.
The implications of this attitude
on the self-image of today's chil-
dren, and the country, are open to in-
terpretation, but one thing is clear:
in a world of media wars and media
whores, it's not who you are, but
how good you look on Nintendo.
Oh, here's the book review: the
artwork stinks - it's simplistic
and derivative - and the stories are
simplified and stupefied to the
point of incoherence.
- Mike Kuniavsky

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