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September 22, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-22

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Folk heoO David WilCOX
will play with local folk hero Michael Hsu at the Michigan League this
Friday. He's ~knQw for his heartfelt lyrics and lovely melodies in
national, contemporary folk circles. Tickets are$8. The performance
wilt begin at 8:30 p.m. Page 8
September 22, 1995
Shore's composition perfectly comple.
ments the startling cinematography.
Surprisingly, all ofthe main characters
have a fair amount of depth. Somerset, a
Sevengierslaints a 1034-year veteran, is at times corrupt, at
By PrasWnt Tamaskar .slainwiththeword"greed"spray-nainted times idealistic and often apathetic. Inter-
Daily Arts Writer throughout his office. It doesn't take long estingly, he manages to be a cerebral
From its graphic opening scene to its for the investigators to realize that thee
startling conclusion, David Fincher's killer is basing his crimes on the seven investigator, rather than ag.stub
"Seven" is a rare cinematic experience. deadly sins. He begins, of course, with boMth xguy.
This filmpatientlyterrifiesandengrosses gluttony and greed. The rest of the film dMils, the inexperiencd, macho young
its viewer without ever relying on the focuses on the search for the murderer, e make a name for himself. At the same
mindless tactics that most filmmakers known as John Doe, and the detectives' me a ne for hisme
employ in their films. In many ways attempt to prevent more bloodshed d time, he heeds the advice of his mentor
similar to "The Silence of the Lambs," tanteddisplays arefreshing sensitivity when
this psychological thriller concentrates , noton thejob. And John Doe, himsel is
more on tampering with the mind of the '.he not the average serial killer. He is intelli
audience than on exciting people with nftgent manipulative and seemingly ratio
explosions and violence. Asvyns, nal.
The plot begins with the unusual mur- Directed by David A ralways, Freeman is excellent as
der f a ovrweghtman ho s trtued 1 *Somerset, the experienced investigator
for his uncivil eating habits. Grisly vet- Fncher; with BradPitt A master of portraying restrained emo-
eran detective William Somerset (Mor- and Mogan Freeman tion, he brings a quiet charisma to his
gan Freeman) and his youthful future At Briarwood and Showcaset(M - character, a necessity in this role. Pitt,
replacement David Mills (Brad Pitt) areAans although not up to Freeman's high stan-
reagedent adse of)dard, is satisfactory as Mills. Although he
Son teas n The most remarkable aspect of seems to try too hard at times, especially
"Seven" is not its story, but rather the during some ofthe more dramatic scenes,
execution ofits interesting screenplay. this may arguably be Pitt's finest perfor-
Directing only hissecond feature film, mane yet.
Fincher has created atechnically supe- "Hey. Keep It down in there. I'm the sexiest butt alive and If you don't do what I say, I'll hit you with my cast." Still, the movie is stolen by the actor
rior work that pays great attention to (whose name will not be revealed, in
detail. This helps create a tense atmo- is kept hidden. It would have been very vided by Fincher and director of photog- makes effective use of shadows and sil- order to maintain the surprise) who plays
sphere which never fades. easyforthe filmmakersto waste asignifi- raphy Darius Khondji. They manage to houettes, important factors in this omi- John Doe. Although not on the screen for
Although many of the film's scenes cant portion of the movie documenting create a dark, somber world that reflects nous setting. most of the film, he is both frightening
are quite graphic, there is only a moder- the heinous crimes. Instead, they opt to the deterioration of the society that con- The eerie score, written by "Silence of and intriguing.In "Seven,"on ofthe most
ate amount of violence. This is most focus on the mind-games that the devious tains Somerset and Mills. In a manner the Lambs"' composer Howard Shore unusual and exciting films to come out of
evident by the decision not to show any John Doe plays with his adversaries, reminiscent of the noir films of the 40s, significantly contributes to the suspense Hollywood in a long time, this mysteri-
Gwyneth Paltrow Is Brad's true luv ofthe horrific murders being committed. Also enhancing the high quality ofthis rain is nearly ubiquitous and the sun al- in the film. Always haunting, varying ous and remarkable performance is al-
both on-screen and off. Theidentity oftheperpetrator,therefore, film is its fantastic cinematography pro- most never shines. Moreover, Khondji between inconspicuous and powerful, most worth the price of admission itself.
Love is Bi ed:'Melon'tids tie ri d stuff = b &

By Us. Kearwin
Daily Arts Writer
NineInchNailsinfluencingBlues Trav-
eler? Ministry influencing the Dave
Matthews Band? Bjork influencing Blind
Melon? While the first two cases may
take a stretch of the imagination, the third
is reality, or at least reality according to
Blind Melon bassist Brad Smith. "You
can totally tell that she has no influences.
She doesn't sound anything like anybody
else. That's why I respect her music so
much," said Smith, describing his affinity
for Bjork.
While Blind Melon doesn't quite have
as distinct a style as Bjork, their simplic-
ity of concepts and lyrics are certain to
attract a wide range of listeners. "Really
we wouldn't say that we're influenced by
anyone. We may like certain bands, but
our music is definitely our own. I don't
think I even ownany Top40albums tobe
influenced by," admitted Smith sheep-
Unliketheirmusic, Blind Melon began
in away that is fairly standard and nonde-

Where:St. Andrews Hall
When: Saturday..
Wickets: Sold Out,
Domr open ,at 7:30pm.
script. About five years ago, members
from places as distant as Mississippi met
up in Los Angeles to form a band. "We
got together the way every other band
gets together. That's what California is all
about. Wewerejust abunch of musicians
who came to L.A., hooked up, and started
a band," relayed Smith.
Fortunately, Blind Melon was not a
band that had to rely solely on the lead
singer to be successful. "People see
rock'n'roll bands as the guitar player and
the singer, but that's not Blind Melon,"
remarkedvocalist Shannon Hoon. "We're
fortunate that every person in this band
can write a great song." But, though band
members deny having a leader, Hoon
quickly emerged as the conversation
starter of the band.

With wild stage antics such as peeing
on audiences in Vancouver, B.C., Shan-
non made the band a staple of the MTV
News clips. But no, "Shannon doesn't
pee on people any more..." reassured
had already created a demo tape. But,
their first album was not recorded until
after the band had finished a strenuous
touring schedule. Their fourth single, "No
Rain" easily hit number one and the Bee
Girl became a staple of the Buzz Bin.
Unfortunately, when following up such a
smash success, there comes the tradi-
tional "sophomore slump." With the new
album "Soup," Blind Melon was aware
that they had to live up to high expecta-
tions. "When you have a song that's as
popular as 'No Rain' was, Bee Girl and
all,you've gotta expect that everyone will
be on you waiting to see how the next
album turns out," says the bassist. "But,
we didn't really care what the media
thought. We made the songs because we
wanted to make them, without a thought
we'd live up to what they expected. All
that mattered was that the songs meant
something to us."
With this attitude in mind, Blind Melon
reunited in New Orleans to record"Soup."
"We recorded in a big mansion in the
French Quarter. It was this guy's house
and he just hooked up all the rooms and
turned it into a big recording studio. No
glass walls or anything. It was amazing,"
said Smith. Smith adds that while New
Orleans is "an evil place ... it's also the
kind of place that can touch your spirit in

a positive way; there's nothing quite like
it if you're a musician."
Overall, the band has been happy with
the way that "Soup" has turned out. Their
first single, "Galaxie" is already garner-
ing praise and the video has proven itself
to be an eye-catching combination of
colors and lights. But, you may ask, what
does the video mean? "The concept is that
there is no concept. We put lights under
the car,turnedon awindmachine,andput
on some makeup. The point was to make
everyone go 'WHAT?' I'm actually not
all thatintovideos,butit'ssomethingthat
has to be done. It's the songs themselves
that matter, not the way we present our-
selves on screen," said Smith.
On "Soup," it is indeed the songs that
raise both eyebrows and questions. "Car
Seat (God's Presents)" stems from Shan-
non Hoon'shorror about the Susan Smith
drowning case. Though Smith himself
believes that the incident was unforgiv-
able, he's torn as to whether or not the
verdict handed down to Smith was cor-
rect. "I thoughtsheshouldfiy,"hebegins.
"Wait, I'm not sure I'm into death penal-
ties, but I think what she did was really
wrong. She just did it for the attention,
whether it was attention from her hus-
bandorherlover... But to do that to two
little kids? Yeah, she should have gotten
the death penalty."
Another song of particular interest to
Blind Melon's Michigan fans is "St.
Andrew's Fall,"asongwrittenafter Hoon
watched a womanjump to her death offof
a Detroit building. For those of you not
smart enough to figure it out, Smith adds
that ".. it's just a really clever play on
words. We just thought that since it oc-
curred in Detroit, it was a fall, and St.
Andrew's is a club there, it would be an
appropriate title. Also, the 'St.' adds sort
of a religious experience to the whole
situation. It fits really well."
When Blind Melon arrives at St.

141 1


Here stand Blind Melon, ready to be hit by a chandelier.



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Andrew's Hall this Sunday night, they
will still be just beginning the U.S. leg of
their tour. "Having just finished playing
at the Redding Festival with groups such
as White Zombie and Soundgarden, com-
ing home is going to take a little getting
used to," Smith said."'Soup' has really
caught on overseas. In Europe, the CD
has already sold as much as our first
album did. It's really popular," Smith
comments. But, the band has high expec-
tations for the U.S. "Hopefully it'll catch
on over here like that also. We're hoping
that's what will happen with the tour."
But, while Blind Melon may not be play-
ing the arenas this time around, they're no

strangers to large audiences. "Woodstock
was amazing. All those people, the mu-
sic, everything ... I even got to see Nine
Inch Nails. Trent came out all covered in
mud. But, you'd have to have been there
to understand it. Woodstock can only be
described to someone who Was there,"
Smith said.
Overall, Blind Melon isa band not
willing to be fit neatly into any musical
genre. They are a band whose emotion-
ally stirring, heartfelt music may strike a
chord in any and all of us ... their rough
edges making their songs evehmore real-
istic andtrue. "Our music is music. Ifyou
like it, listen to it. If not, don't bother,"
says the bassist, reminding listeners that
music need not be categorized to be sim-
ply good.
Which brings us to Smith's final com-
ment, one which truly sums up Blind Melon
asaband. "My favorite muppet? I'dhaveto
say Kermit. He's cool. Imean, first ofall,he
plays the banjo and sings. And he doesn't
have to be in the muppet band like Animal
and the rest of them. He just plays and sings
because he wants to, no matter what anyone
else thinks. I like that in a muppet." And
these qualities are just what Blind Melon's
listeners like in their band.

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