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September 06, 1995 - Image 29

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-06

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

dIigUU 'Night, John-Boy ..
It's a band called the Waltons, a Canadian modern pop-rock
group.Playing w ith them is Hugh and local singer-songwriter Stephen
Budd performs a solo acoustic show. All of this musical entertainment
awaits you tonight at the Blind Pig. Doers open at 9:30, and tickts are Page 11
$6. Call 996-8585 for more information.Be sure to check this show out, Wednesday,
and tell 'emn JohnBoy sent you. September 6, 1995

Bu etloads of talent
Ann Arbor's favorite funk band is homegrown fun

Mark Carison
Daily Arts Writer
So you've settled into your not-so-
cozy room inthe dorm. Ormaybe you've
just moved into a fancy new house or
apartmentjust offofcampus(andifyou
have, pray that you don't have the same
landlord that I do). You've bought your
books, straightened your schedule, per-
fected the curve on the brim of your
stylish baseball cap, and broken out the
deck of cards. You're going stir crazy
and you need to get out and let yourself
So you say, "Hey Mr. College
Music Critic, where can I go to get my
groove on? I've heard about all the
pretty and delicate acoustic music I
can catch at the Ark. I've caught all of
the Spin Doctors wannabees at the
frat parties. I've seen all of the soul-
less pseudo-funk at Rick's. I know
'bout all that, but I want some sweat
on soul. I want my feet to move like
they never have before. I want my
funk uncut. I want The Bomb."
Lucky for you, there is a group of
musicians in town that knows your
dilemma and has formed a band that
can make you move. They are The
Bucket and they are here to funk you.
The Bucket has been making waves
in the area for a while now, and has
been winning over crowds like no
other local group in years. Chances
are that you have heard of them al-
ready. Last fall they were the reigning
champs of the party scene and they
were voted best local band by univer-
sity students in the Daily's "Best Of
Ann Arbor" poll.
Guitarist and vocalist Jeff
Plankenhorn explained how the band
got together back in April of '94,

Where:Blind Pig
When: Thursday
Doors open at 9:30 p.m.
For more information call 996-
"Some of the horns and I were in a
different band that shall remain name-
less, and we took off 'cause we just
didn't dig it. It was basically a band
that was based in Lansing, and those
of us that were living in Ann Arbor
just came back and started calling
people we knew. We wanted to put
together a funk band and we wanted it
to be big with lots of horns and lots of
rhythm section."
The group started playing out in
the spring with a somewhat loose
gathering ofmusicians. "Our first gig
we had a ridiculous amount of people
with like six horns or something, but
it was a lot of fun," he said. "It was fun
because all of our first gigs were just
house parties. It was a big pain in the
ass in some ways, but really fun in
While the band was starting to
build a large club following, their
party gigs were getting huge. "We got
a lot of exposure and experience per-
forming through it, but a lot of times
it was a bomb," said sax player Colin
Stetsonofthe early partyscene. Added
Plankenhorn,"A lot of people would
mess with our crap. Because we're
such a large band and the audience is
so close, we had some problems. A
four-piece doesn't really get messed
with that hard, but with horns and
vocalists that are out front, we really
got messed with. Stuff fell over and

things got broken just constantly. So
now we're just more selective about
when and where we play."
The Bucket plays a wide range of
musical styles and flavors, but it al-
ways is expressed with style and atti-
tude. Most importantly (and this is
the part that the pseudo-funksters and
neo-hippies always seem to miss),
whatever style of music is being
played, the band pours their heart and
soul into it, building the character and
emotion of the tune, not just showing
off their hot chops.
One of the most soulful members
of the band, singer and trumpet player
Bobby Bell, explained the variety of
musical styles and backgrounds in the
band; "Everybody in the band is try-
ing to express themselves as best they
can, and we all have different back-
grounds. That's basically where we.
get such an eclectic blend of sounds.
I come from a strong jazz background
and I also grew up listening to the
classic R&B stuff, but everybody has
their own thing. When we get to-
gether, we have this big 'bucket' of
music. We got jazz, we got R&B, we
got pop, we got funk, we got hip-hop
and our focus is to not limit ourselves
to what type of music we play, as long
as we believe in it and we think it's
An eclectic mix of styles is just
one of the great things behind The
Bucket's first ever recording, "Jams
And Preserves," recorded at the be-
ginning of the summer at Western
Studios in Kalamazoo. The cassette,
featuring supercool artwork by Bree
Dusbiber, hit local record stores last
month, and a compact disc of the
same name is due out sometime in

Check out the Bucket's new tape, "Jams And Preserves."

September. Though live sets tend to
include a lot of classic covers (Don't
miss Maceo Parker's "Pass The Peas"
or Funkadelic's "Red Hot Mama"),
the album careens through an excit-
ing blend of all-original tunes written
by several different members of the
Two of Bell's tunes, the dance
funk of"Got 2 Make U Mine" and the
more mellowed out "Dance With Me"
open and close the album, perfect
bookends for all the groovin' going
on in between. Though rapper
Kwansah The Lyrical Madman has
recently left the band, a couple excel-
lent hip hop tunes still appear on the
album, including the jazzy "Crev-
ice," written by former drummer/al-
bum producer Keith Walter. Another
sad departure from the band is vocal-
ist Rachel Webster, who also left dur-
ing the summer months. Her soulful
"Ballad in C Flat" is one of the high-
lights of the album.

Though the losses of Webtser and
Kwansah are great, one of the
strengths of the band is their vast
array of talented vocalists.
Plankenhorn is incredible on all of his
lead vocals, most notably on one of
his own tunes, "Get You," a down and
dirty song of sweat and seduction.
Bell is amazing in his vocal prowess
as well as his trumpet and flugelhorn
soloing. Dina Harrison sings sweetly
on all of the album tracks, although
never stepping up to the lead (she
sings lead quite frequently live). When
the vocalists really shine is when they
are singing together, all voices spiral-
ing around each other perfectly
complimenting one another as on
tunes like "Fur On My Rug (Think
About You)," written by original bass
player John Holkeboer and
Plankenhorn. Holkeboer's album
work is wonderfully funky and the
band has found the perfect replace-
ment in new low-end man Adam Rob-

Somewhat new drummer Andrew
Kitchen will keep your feet moving
throughout the album as well as keep
you on your toes musically and intel-
lectually. His incredible playing never
ceases to amaze and his solo work on
the quirky "Bring The Couch" (a su-
per-phat tune written by Stetson and
trombone player Ralph Mandarano)
will have you wondering what planet
you are on.
Rounding out the rhythm section
is guitar player Dan Marcus, who,
although he was not around for the
recording of the album, wrote one of
the best songs on it, the raucous "Ba-
Daum Bowm Bowm." Keyboard
player Lance Loiselle holds the whole
mess together with incredible jazz
organ playing and trumpeter Brad
Fowler and trombone player Thom
Snider round out the horn section.
"Jams And Preserves" is avail-
able now at most local record stores.

Various Artists
Compilations of various artists on a
given label are a dime a dozen. Actually,
they're more like $13 each. But "Buy-
Product," priced at under five dollars, is
the collection for all you tightwads who
want to hear a diverse and inoffensive
crowd of modem music makers.
The disc kicks off with "Waking
Up," a fairly straight-ahead track by
Elastica. The collection proceeds in
showcasing the talents ofvarious mem-
bers of DGC. If this had been made
eight years ago, you'd expect a slew of
big-haired metal groups. But instead,
you get various flavors of alternative,
from white boy geek rock to some-
The St. Johnny song "Scuba Div-
ing" is reminiscent of a Beck song with
the pop dial turned up a bit andthe good
dial remaining well within the good
zone. Other artists of interest include
White Zombie, who appear with a rather
disappointing remix of "More Human
than Human," Southern Culture on the
Skids (of "It doesn't matter if your
pants are shiny/If your dick is big or if
your dick is tiny" fame) with "White
Trash" and Sonic Youth with "Teen
Age Riot."
Essentially, the compilation is a
bunch of previously released tracks.
But, if you already like one of the bands
on the compilation, it might be worth
your while to get the disc to see if you
might like one of their more similar
label mates.
- Ted Watts
Various Artists
Priority Records
Take 14 ofthe most well-known hard-
core and socially-conscious rap artists'
and groups' songs, and put them together.
Now you have "Rap-G-Style." Although,
the raps Priority Records chose to put
together don't make it a must-get CD,
"Rap-G-Style" does a few great rap "old-
The Geto Boys' "Six Feet Deep,"
which includes samples from Marvin
Gayes' heartwrenching "What's Go-
ing On" is on this CD. Also, two of the
, rnnc frmrvr mefl4,fr_ Mr. Scairfa ce

Dogg), the Ice Cube's "No Vaseline"
and the late Eazy-E's "Neighborhood
Sniper." Firstly, E's "Neighborhood
Sniper" is one of the worst cuts to ever
come from a lukewarm-at-best rapper.
Worse yet, from the great cache of
mind-opening, socially-conscious
works of Ice Cube, Priority chose "No
Vaseline," which attacks both Dre and
E (surely everyone knows about the
harsh dissolvement of N.W.A.), after
they made up and after Eazy-E's recent
death of AIDS.
This stunt can do nothing less than
intensify any unresolved animosities
among rappers who could do more
working with each other than against
each other. This is one of the most cold,
heartless and disrespectful music busi-
ness stunts I've seen, and it is reason
enough not to purchase "Rap-G-Style."
- Eugene Bowen

Sugar Plant
hiding Place
Pop Narcotic
This Japanese indie-pop group lives
up to their name: Their brand of de-
mure, gentle, minimalistmusic certainly
is sweet. Their sound is similar to
Galaxie 500 and Luna and many other
sparse, Velvet Underground-inspired
bands. Chinatsu Shoyama's plaintive,
girlish voice takes center stage on most
of "Hiding Place," particulary cuts like
"Slowdown," "All Alone" and "Won-
derWheel." The softly chimingguitars,
simple basslines and spare percussion
are used by many an indie band, but
Sugar Plant never appear to take them-
selvestoo seriously. Apleasant, ifslight
album, Sugar Plant's "Hiding Place" is
a nice place to lose yourself in.
- Heather Phares
See RECORDS, page12B





Let Sugar Plant give you a sugar fix with their album 'Hiding Place.'

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