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November 15, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-15

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Not Another Listening Party
,Virgin Records god Ryan Goble is holding a listening party at Not
Another Caf6 tonight from 10 to 11:30 p.m. Come listen to music,
stock up on Smashing Pumpkins stuff and Ben Harper vinyl.

4K lai . OWTuesday,
November 14, 1995
1\uistiaMartinez bosses Boss Hog

By Josh Herrington
Daily Arts Writer
Boss Hog's lead singer Christina
Martinez has her act together. Over
the past three years, she has navigated
through much of the dirty work in-
volved in the music business, includ-
ing a time-consuming label switch
from Amphetamine Reptile Records
to Geffen. Because Boss Hog techni-
cally has no manager, Martinez has
had to do most of the "bullshit work."
However, with the band's latest al-
bum and tour, her efforts seem to
have paid off.
In spite of the fact that her
bandmate/husband's personality
seems rather overpowering - his
greatest success coming from the band
he named after himself, the Jon Spen-
cer Blues Explosion - Martinez has
nQ qualms about admitting that she is
in' charge of Boss Hog. "I get to call
the shots," she asserts with a satisfied
smile. If, say, Billy Corgan of Smash-
in'g Pumpkins were to make such a
statement, most music listeners would
cringe in annoyance, but Martinez
lacks the megalomania that turns mu-
sicians into brats. "It's not often that
I disagree with other people, or that I
have to play the authoritarian - but I
can. The four of us are pretty much in
synch. That's why this has become
the permanent lineup of Boss Hog."
Their third and most recent album
(not including the EP "Drinkin',
Lechin', and Lyin"') "Boss Hog" does

indeed depart stylistically from their
last album, 1993's "Girl +" - a title
which has provoked some to ask
Martinez that silly question: "are you,
like, a Riot Grrl?" "A lot of people
wanted to know if I was affiliated
with it, or what I thought about it. And
it's only because I'm a woman -
which is really lame. It's really sort of
a base connection to make. But that's
what I deserve for calling the album
'Girl +.' It was supposed to be ironic,
but a lot of people took it very seri-
ously."
As far as the title of their latest
album goes, they didn't just choose it
because they were bored and could
think of nothing else; according to
Jon, the album "was a new start."
"Boss Hog" represents the first fully
integrated effort from the present line-
up, complete with Jens Jurgensen on
bass and Hollis Queens on drums.
Their new-found solidarity tightens
the numbers on their latest album,
making them shimmer with the same
punk bliss (albeit less entropic) that
made Martinez and Jon's first band
- Pussy Galore - so successful in
the mid-1980's New York under-
ground scene. The album also fleshes
out the keyboard sounds which en-
hanced the Jon Spencer blues
Explosion's latest album "Orange."
"The keyboard really makes for a kind
of groovy element," she explains, as
it was being soundchecked on stage
before last Sunday's St. Andrews

show. "It's filled the things I thought
were awkward spaces."
When it comes to vocals, Martinez
generally "sing[s] about whatever the
hell I'm bothered about that day, what-
ever my grievance happens to be and
what the music provokes in me." She
describes her lyrics as if they were
entities in themselves, forming inde-
pendently of any kind of forced pro-
Martinez has no
qualms about
admitting that she
is in charge of
Boss Hog. "I get to
call the shots,"
she$asserts with a
satisfied smile.
cess. "A song will take an idea, and it
will just evolve and evolve until I
have to record it. At that point, I'll sit
down, write it and make sure that it
make sense and that it's cohesive."
This freedom is a far cry from the
Pussy Galore days, which she remem-
bers somewhat grudgingly. She feels
that performing for Boss Hog "is much
more gratifying for me now. Although
I like playing guitar, I didn't have

much to say in Pussy Galore. It was
somebody else's band. I was just sort
of a fifth wheel, really."
Now, Boss Hog seems to be the
focus of her life. With Martinez push-
ing the band forward and Jon negoti-
ating various projects of his own, they
seem to do little else. They don't have
cable, so they don't know or care
about anything having to do with
MTV. Martinez, being "no particular
fan of Mariah Carey," expressed neg-
ligible interest in popular music, or
popular culture in general. She did,
however, express her affinity for
Farmington Hills' own Elizabeth
Berkley, citing Jessie as her favorite
"Saved By the Bell" character. Who
knew?
When asked about her current tour,
Martinez regrets the fact that she can't
get out to see much while traveling.
But, according to Martinez, the band
does like to get to at least one strip bar
in every city. Their next stop is Cleve-
land, where Martinez hopes to "break
into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame
and put a Boss Hog sticker up."
It is precisely this kind of subver-
sive charm which makes Boss Hog's
live act so enjoyable. They are self-
propelling without being self-con-
scious, as Martinez reveals when
asked which bands she would most
enjoy touring with: "The Birthday
Party, the Scientists, and the Stooges.
That would have been a good bill -if
they all had to open for me."

Photo by JOE WESTSTRATE / Daily
The delicious duo of Boss Hog, Christina Martinez and Jon Spencer, last Sunday.

.4

Devil Love' is an intriguing, intense theatrical experience
Director John Neville-Andrews calls the play 'frightening' but wants audiences to judge it for themselves

T _

By Kristin Cleary
ForThe Daily
- The first words used by director
.ahn Neville-Andrews about his up-
cpming production of "Devil Love"
were completely unexpected. "I
Wouldn't recommend it to anybody
.. I hope the audience takes away
nothing of this play. Nothing, noth-
ing!"
Quite a peculiar way to start an
interview. As it seems, "Devil Love"
also promises to be peculiar, itself.
Written by K. Masters, a former
student of Neville-Andrews who
Wishes to remain "somewhat anony-
,mous," the work plays on some in-
tricate themes in today's society..
Set in modern times, the play re-
volves around the lives of two

unique individuals: A man who has
isolated himself in his apartment,
and a woman who is living a life of
partying to the extreme.
As Neville-Andrews said, "These
two people meet, and it's really a
collision - it's a collision course,
it's doomed, set for disaster from the
word 'go.' They don't think so but it
is." This collision course provides the
playwith a good deal of passion and
twisted action that will definitely make
its audience think.

The ideas and motifs exposed by
"Devil Love" are intriguing and at
times extremely intense. The play
deals with very explicit subjects that,
as Neville-Andrews thinks, will fre-
quently be offensive to the audience.
"It's frightening. It's a scary piece
because people recognize themselves
very much in it," he said.
This recognition is illustrated by a
series of identity crises that shape the
relationship between the two main
characters. Neville-Andrews ex-
plained, "The strongest theme is:
'Who are we, really?' Are we the
people we present to the outside world,
to our friends, to our loved ones, to
our families? Or are we someone else,
and is that someone else deserving of
being released?"

Neville-Andrews believes that the
answers to these questions will be
very disturbing to the audience. This
is one of his goals for the play, "...
It's not some nice little piece, it really
doesn't have any resolution. If I had
to compare it to anything I'd probably
compare it to the movie 'Kids."'
According to Neville-Andrews, the
play has been somewhat of a chal-
lenge for the Basement Arts Produc-
tions crew of the University of Michi-
gan Theater Department. "The big-
gest challenges of this piece have been
coming to terms with the violence and
the explicit nature of the piece. It's
very draining for the actors. It's very
physical," he said.
Originally practiced forlast spring,
the play unfortunately had to be side-

lined. Luckily, Neville-Andrews and
the crew of "Devil Love" have re-
sumed and "rejuvenated" the play
for audiences this fall. Neville-
Andrews recently directed the Michi-
gan Theater Department's produc-
tion of "Wuthering Heights."
The "nihilistic relationship" de-
picted in "Devil Love" promises to
make it one of the most interesting
productions to come to Ann Arbor.
Neville-Andrews believes that the
audience will either be "offended or
recognize something in themselves
that they might want to leave the
show and take care of. I want (the
audience) to come andjudge for them-
selves. But just be prepared when
they do come. It's a quick, punch-
you-in-the-face play."

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