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September 12, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

--I

8- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday,

September 12, 1995

Crai Wedren
Shuders to
Think about it
By Ella de Leon
Daily Arts Writer
Stream of consciousness. Random
thoughts that translate into song lyr-
ics. From its conception, that's how
Washington D.C. band Shudder to
Think has operated.
"We got our name from our first
drummer, Mike Russell," explained
lead singer and guitarist Craig
Wedren. "He said, 'I shudder to
think that such-and-such a song
we're writing is going to be just
another boom-pa, boom-ba hardcore
song.' So we were like, okay, that's
alright, and then we woke up and it
was too late to change it."
A long and varied history fol-
lows. Formed in 1986 with Wedren
on guitar and lead vocals, bassist
Stuart Hill, guitarist Chris
Matthews, and Russell, Shudder to
Think started out small; but armed
with a biting, dark, dynamic sound.
Wedren related, "Our first record
actually was put out by a sister la-
bel of Dischord, which is called
Sammich Records, and that was run
by Amanda Mackaye, Ian's sister
- Ian who runs Dischord Records
and who is in Fugazi. They put out
our record, Iguess Ian dug itstarted
coming to our shows, and eventu-
ally we fell into each other's arms."
4i
T

Emmys give surprising TV awards

Don't shudder at the sight of bald Craig. He is still your happy little friend.

Wedren and company then put
out three successful albums in their
two years on Dischord. After 1992's
"Get Your Goat," big changes oc-
curred. Exit Matthews and Russell.
Enter six-string player Nathan
Larson and beat keeper Adam Wade,
formerly of Jawbox. Together with
Wedren and Hill, the new lineup
produced the "Hit Liquor"/ "No
Room 9, Kentucky" 7-inch. Next
came the cut "Animal Wild" on the
1993 "Sweet Relief" compilation.
Soon, STT (an acronym used spar-
ingly) began to receive more atten-
tion, not to mention offers from the
big labels. They finally decided on
Epic Records in 1994. The band had
an ideal relationship and were en-
joying success with Dischord. Why
the move?
Wedren revealed that it was "just
time to raise the ceiling in terms of
the number of people we could reach
potentially, and we wanted to do
this full time for a living. That (mu-
sic as a full-time occupation) was
really hard on Dischord. We all had
to have other jobs, and it was very
hand-to-mouth. And also we were
starting to move out of D.C. I went
to college in New York, and we
were becoming an Eastern seaboard
band rather than a D.C. band."
With Epic, Shudder to Think has
made the EP "Hit Liquor" and their
major label debut, "Pony Express
Record." Matters have only im-

proved. Wedren reflected, "I think
our albums have gotten more com-
fortable, more and more varied and
more and more interesting. 'Pony
Express Record' has this polar ef-
fect to it. When it's pop and hooky
and catchy and rocking, it's the most
that we've ever been. But then it
almost immediately gives way to
the most extreme, left, experimen-
tal or unusual music that we've ever
written. I think there's a lot more
dynamics than there used to be."
In terms of major vs. independent
label, Wedren found, "There's a lot
more business, a lot more bureau-
cracy. Bureaucracy is, obviously,
not the greatest thing in the world,
but the business is really fun. I think
we kind of embrace that. Other than
that, it's pretty much what you ex-
pect."
Getting to the heart of the matter,
Wedren continued, "The politics are
different. Dischord is a staunchly
independent label, and Epic is a
staunchly corporate label. But the
people we work with are all really
passionate about music and our mu-
sic, so it's ultimately not that dif-
ferent except at a fundamental,
philosophical level."
And what about Shudder To
Think's philosophy? "To keep mak-
ing music as long as what we're
doing feels vital and fresh to us,"
stated Wedren.
Sounds like a foolproof plan.

'Comedy'
sketches leave
much to be
desired
The 47th
Emmy Awards
Fox TV
September 11, 1995
Tuning in to the 47th Annual
Primetime Emmy Awards, you
might have been privy to a cheesy
series of monologues and comedy
sketches by co-host Jason Alexander
("Seinfeld"), or pearly white grins
and feeble attempts at humor by co-
host Cybill Shepherd. As always,
"silly and stupid" may have been
the unwritten theme of this show; it
repeatedly interrupted the grand
slew of award contests (in some 40
categories) with annoying side
shows.
Luckily, the program lasted an
amazingly short two hours and 55
minutes, and it featured enough new
faces and surprise winners to keep
enthusiastic television fans await-
ing each presentation.
Surprises started early with
"Frasier"'s David-Hyde Pierce de-
feat of popular stars like
"Seinfeld"'s Alexander and Michael
Richards and "Friends"'s David
Schwimmer for Best Supporting
Actor in a Comedy series. That was
just the beginning of the remark-
able evening for the NBC sit-coim
that took home five Emmys includ-
ing star Kelsey Grammer's as Best
Lead Actor (for the second straight
year) as well as its nod for Best
comedy series.
In the latter category, the sit-corn
was grouped with NBC hits
"Seinfeld," "Friends" and "Mad
About You," as well as HBO's "The

i'll fight anyone who says "Chicago Hope" is not as good as "ERi"

Larry Sanders Show." This virtual
sweep of the comedy series nomi-
nations was a sound indication of
the many trophies NBC would even-
tually acquire - 28 in all. This
marked the network's re-arrival atop
the television mountain after years
of mediocrity following the demise
of such hits as "The Cosby Show"
and "L.A. Law."
Hopes were high that hot new-
comer "Friends" would take the
comedy prize, but "Frasier"'s vic-
tory would have to suffice for the
network. Likewise, most bets were
on NBC's mega-drama "ER" to take
home the prize in its category. That
prospect was looking promising
when one star of the hospital drama,
Juliana Margulies, received the Best
Supporting Actress in a Drama se-
ries award.
But that would be the end of
"ER"'s major victories (despite win-
ning a series of writing and produc-
tion awards given in a small cer-
emony on Saturday night). Leading
hunks George Clooney and Anthony
Edwards along with "NYPD Blue"
stars Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz
lost to surprise victor Mandy
Patinkin of the CBS medical series
"Chicago Hope" in the Best Drama
Actor category. Too bad Patinkin
won't be on staff when his show
continues in its second year this
fall.
Actress Sherry Stringfield also
failed to pick up an award for her
leading role in "ER." Along with
notables like "My So-Called Life"'s
Claire Danes and annual nominee
Angela Lansbury ("Murder, She
Wrote"), Stringfield saw Kathy
Baker of CBS's "Picket Fences" go
home with the Best Dramatic Ac-
tress prize.
Finally, "ER" lost to the hit (and,
arguably better) ABC cop show,
"NYPD Blue," in the most hotly-con-
tested battle of the evening for Best
Dramatic Series. Other nominees in-
cluded "Chicago Hope," sleeper hit
"Law & Order" and bandwagon clas-

sic "The X-Files."
The evening's surprises also in-
cluded Candice Bergen's fifth vic-
tory as Best Actress in a Comedy
series - mildly astonishing consid-
ering the downward turn of her
"Murphy Brown" persona as well as
her continually mediocre acting abili-
ties. Jay Leno's victory over other
Comedy, Music or Variety shows like
"The Late Show with David
Letterman," HBO's wildly funny
"Dennis Miller Live" and "MTV Un-
plugged" was also a bit of a shock.
On a night when the favorite pro-
grams mysteriously lost in their re-
spective categories, the eerie feeling
surrounding the proceedings was ap-
propriately marked when the late Raul
Julia received a posthumous prize for
his lead acting in the television movie
"The Burning Season." As his widow
took the stage, one could easily notice
something nearly supernatural in the
air. Something definitely strange was
happening.

Nathan (back) and Craig (front) rock.

---I

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