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November 21, 1995 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-21

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uate £idi~du l

Back in Black
Frances Black that is, the Irish pop songstress. She performs songs by
the likes of Vince Gill and Nanci Griffith tonight at the Ark. Doors are at
8 p.m., and tickets are $13.50 in advance. And no, shedis not ex-Pixies
leader Frank Black under another name. Just go see the show and you'll
see and hear for yourself.

Page 5
Tuesday,
November 21, 1995

.

I

4

Hcy, that's Mr. Bu

y Ted watts
aily Arts Writer
Once upon a time on that earth-
uake-ridden strip ofthe entertainment
nd military industry known as Califor-
ia there was a band, and it was called
Ar. Bungle. One day, its singer,ablush-
ng young lad named Mike Patton,
oined a group named Faith No More,
there he became famous. In a video
hat was played a large amount because
xl Rose said he liked Faith No More,
'atton wore a shirt by the little band

named Mr. Bungle.
And then Mr. Bungle released an
album nationally. Joy! Many Faith
No More fans loved it, and many
other people loved it because of its
extreme themes and evil carnival rock.
Now it's about four years down the
line and they've released another al-
bum, "Disco Volante," and are tour-
ing for your amusement.
"Disco Volante" is a much differ-
ent album than the first effort, with a
much more experimental feel. Why
the change? "I'm not really sure,"
responded Bungle saxophonist Bir
McKinnon. "I think it has more to do
with the amount of time that had
passed since (the first album.) Be-
cause since the last album, everyone
was shifting around as to where they
were living. The way this one came
together was a lot different than the
last one. With the last one we had old
tunes that we were throwing back
together and revamping, and this one
was kind of snakes basically. We'd
kind of throw things together over
time. This isn't really coming out as
articulate (laugh). Yeah, it's just a lot

ngle to you,
of time since we did the last thing and That two
the way the ideas came together was a (Laugh.) I
whole lot different. I'm not sure how weight it i
to answer that." I trying toJ
The band members have used the it has ever}
time between recordings to their ad- it's taken t
vantage, entering various side-groups. supposed t
Most of the members have played at their albur
the very least with their non-Bungle how much
friends. For instance, guitarist Trey trated by p
Spruance played in Faith No More for Warner Br
a brief time, and has just returned little more
from Japan playing with his band all specul
Faxed Head. Bungle members have part."
also been involved with groups like But thei
Dieselhead and the Graham Connah since this
Group. "I think (side projects) have barked oi
enriched it more than anything, be- guessed at1
cause they give us a sense of freedom. "It'll be li
Andjust, like, more ideas to use, rather pening all
than 'there it is right here. Boom.' thing. But
That is a good question, though, be- We'll be li
cause some ways you'd think it would gear. Ther
almost take energy from it, but with ity... Hop
people as oddly creative as these guys, together b
it's been nothing but good for it." to see th
McKinnon might feel that way (laugh). C
about most of the side projects, but he that'll be t
admitted to a bit of an uncomfortable Well, B
weight from the band's association tation asf
with Faith No More. "Sometimes it Their fans
seems like there's a weird kind of to be inc
opposing energy about it and stuff, wear to clc
and we're pretty aware of it and hav- a repeat?
ing to deal with it. It's always been an That is st
interesting little dance that we'll do. will be. I t

pal
timing son of a bitch!
don't know how much of a
s, though. Aw hell, who am
kid? No, seriously though,
ything to do with how long
o get our shit out. We were
o get this album out before
m... You can just wonder
of this is being orches-
people behind the scenes at
rothers, saying 'We'll put a
emphasis on this.' But it's
ation on my part, on our
r album is finally out, and
interview they have em-
n their tour. McKinnon
the preparation for the tour:
ke three finals weeks hap-
at once... It'll be a crazy
that's how we've worked.
ined up and we'll all set in
e'll be this frenzy of activ-
efully we'll have our shit
y (the tour). You don't want
e first Nevada City show
)r maybe you do. Maybe
the best one."
ungle certainly has a repu-
far as their live shows go.
have come to expect them
crazy gear, from bondage
own masks. Can you expect
"That has yet to be seen.
ill evolving into what that
hink whereas last time there

The oh-so-beauteous cover art to Mr. Bungle's latest slab o' weirdness, "Disco
Volante. That's the biggest eyebrow ring I've ever seen.

was a little more solidarity as far as
what was going to be happening, this
time I think everyone will be more on
their own than they were last time...
Last time (the costumes) were just
really stinky, and you have to get
usedto that. Stuffwouldn't be washed
for awhile, after awhile just throw it
in the suitcase. Pull it back out, 'Oh.
I wore this last night. I think I'll wear
it again!' I think Danny was talking
about a birdhouse or something to
wear on top of his head. But we
haven't really been collaborating on

that. It'll be a little costume contest on
stage. I'm as much in the dark on that
as anybody."
But Bungle will be Bungle, no mat-
ter what. Having been known to play
various interesting covers, from the
theme to "Thunderball" to Nirvana's
"Territorial Pissings" (but in a lounge
act sorta way), the band has no plans to
be any more conformist: "I think
there's a possibility of doing a
Loverboy cover... maybe a BTO
cover." Everybody's working for the
Bungle.

like Patton. Bungle's stalwart leader.

Barry Sanders
"A is for Ox: The Collapse of
Literacy and the Rise of Vio-
lence in an Electronic Age "
Random House
"This book is a plea to reestablish the
connection between literacy and orality
- and a warning that a failure to do so
will have catastrophic consequences."
This is the great purpose author Barry
Sanders puts forth in this book. Noting
his title, his point is the connection
between literacy (or a lack of it) and
violence, specifically gang violence.
His mission is to prove that violence is
formed directly from both the lack of
orality andliteracy inthis country; how-
ever, he makes no attempt to solve the

problem, and whether this is a blemish
on the book is an arguable point.
Apart from being a social commen-
tary on a specific aspect of American
culture, this book is a conglomeration
of history, etymology, linguistics and
communication. Moving quickly from
fairy tales to AA meetings, from music
to architecture, Sanders proves himself
a well-read author ofa vastly-researched
book. For all his technicality and com-
plexity, Sanders never expects us to
know more than we do - he just ex-
pects us to keep up with his fast-paced
flow of information, absorbing it cu-
mulatively to understand the next end-
less chapter.
Sanders' argument stems from the
rise of the age of the computer. He

argues that television, computers and
video games have deflated literacy and
have offered people only a temporary
relief from boredom, which, interest-
ingly enough, could be a child's essen-
tial learning tool. Television serves as a
handy baby-sitter; unfortunately, ac-
cording to Sanders, "true conversation
feeds on the intimacy of face-to-face
contact." This "baby-sitter" could be a
child's prime influence toward violence
and gang life.
Many groups make the common ar-
gument that television is promoting vio-
lence and is the cause for so many
homicides in our country today. How-
ever, Sanders presents an intricate ex-
planation, involving thousands of years
of education, church and government

involvement, and word metamorpho-
sis, making it a believable and fascinat-
ing discussion. There are the same fa-
miliar statistics on high school drop
outs, gang-related homicides, and tele-
vision viewing, but Sanders manages to
tie all of them together along with the
web of history, putting together a book
chock-full of information that is at the
same time disturbing and provoking.
Book lovers and word lovers will
enjoy aspects of this book, which is full
ofbibliophile notions and etymologies.
Long ago, reading quietly to oneself
was considered as odd as someone talk-
ing to himself out loud today. This
focus of reading, of books, into the self
is slowly deteriorating with the decline
of book-love. According to Sanders,

the "self' was only formed with lit-
eracy; illiteracy, therefore, leads di-
rectly to gang life, where the "self' is
found in random killing and violence.
Race, surprisingly, is not Sanders'
main concern. He avoids grouping
people or pointing at their ethnicity;
according to Sanders, the main prob-
lem with gang violence is rooted in
illiteracy. Yet, when he reaches the
issue of education, the only divisions
he makes are those of gender. And in
this area, Sanders could find himself
getting into trouble. Although he never
advocates it outright, there is a certain
amount of encouragement toward
mothers staying at home with their
children: "Literacy begins, at the
nipple." Sanders turns from sociology

to child care, and although his argu-
ments here are well-supported and docu-
mented, one must still wonder if breast
feeding, or the lack of such, is the root of
problems of illiteracy.
And when one reaches the end of the
book there is no answer. As realistic as
his conclusion may be, it offers little
hope of bettering our future. Sanders
writes that illiterate gang members are
suspicious of literacy and books; unfor- j
tunately, it seems that the time has come
when literate people arejust as fearful of
gang members, and there's really noth-
ing we can do about it.
But, if you ignore its dire predictions,
"A is for Ox" is an absorbing book.
- Kristina Curkovic r

"I

i I
Y

K WAW A VA 3 _ _ y '.

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