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September 26, 1995 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-26

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 26, 1995

'New' Yeats poems are instant classics

By Elizabeth Lucas
Daily Arts Writer
"Having offered these poems to the
world," University of Michigan profes-
sor George Bornstein commented
wryly, "I should note that Yeats never
took steps to have them published."
Nonetheless, Bornstein has collected
38 newly discovered poems in "Under
the Moon: The Unpublished Early Po-
etry," by William Butler Yeats
(Scribner, $22). On September 23rd, a
standing-room-only crowd gathered in
Shaman Drum bookstore for the po-
ems' firstpublicreading. Bornstein and
local poets Lawrence Goldstein, Rich-
ard Tillinghast, Linda Gregerson and
Keith Taylor read excerpts from the
book.
The poems were written between
1880-1895, from Yeats' late teens to
the beginning of his career as a pub-
lished poet. They are notable for their
use of traditional verse forms, such as
sonnets and dialogue, and their regular
rhyme and meter. Bornstein explained
that they use themes which appear
throughout Yeats' work: Irish national-

Yeats Poetry
Reading
Shaman Drum
September 23, 1995.
ism, nature, and of course, love. Sev-
eral of the poems were dedicated to
Maud Gonne, the nationalist and orator
who was the object of Yeats' unre-
quited love and the subject of many of
his poems.
Hearing several drafts of the same
poem provided tremendous insight into
the development of Yeats' thoughts on
a subject. One such work, "Pan," had 18
drafts. As for the overall quality of the
poems, Bornstein said frankly, "The
first ones are bad, but the ones that were
written in the 1890s are comparable to
his published work."
Bornstein, an English professor and
Yeats scholar, explained how he dis-
covered the poems. "It was an acciden-
tal project. I wasn't looking for these

poems, but I kept finding them,"
Bornstein said. "Then I realized, I have
enough to publish a book. It was really
thrilling."
Many of the poems came from ar-
chives in the National Library of Ire-
land. Others were found in Yeats' li
brary which included unpublished
manuscripts that are now the property,
ofhis children, Anne and Michael. Some
were written on the fly leaves of Yeats'
books and one was actually found in a
shoebox in son Michael's basement.
Bornstein's discovery will be greatly
appreciated, judging from the reaction
at the Shaman Drum reading. "I set out
chairs for 50 people, and there must
have been over a hundred. People were
standing and sitting on the floor," said
Keith Taylor, the owner of Shaman
Drum.
As Goldstein said, "Usually we don't
find more poems by our favorite poets
once deceased." Readers of Yeats will
be grateful that, for once, this was not
the case.

RECORDS
Continued from page 5

Red Aunts
#1 Chicken
Epitaph
Yowsa! This all-female punk
band's energy will singe the hair
right out of your auditory canals.
They're faster than L7, more fright-
ening than Babes In Toyland and
more ferocious than a legion of Riot
Grrrls. In fact, they'd probably kill
you if you called them Riot Grrls.
The pounding drums, whipsaw gui-
tars and bad attitade on "#1
Chicken" also pummel most of the
Aunts' Epitaph brethren into the
ground too. Just when many punk
bands are slowing down and mak-
ing their sound more accessible, the
frenetic pace -14 songs in 23 min-
utes - and malicious glee of Red
Aunts are a rejuvenating shot in the
arm ... with a rusty nail.
The clanging, caterwauling din
of song-darts like "Freakathon,"
"Detroit Valentine," "Satan" and
"When Sugar Turns To Shit" is defi-
nitely not for the faint of heart.
Neither are the bloody pictures of

the band members (who have noms
de punk like Angel, Cougar, Sap-
phire and E.Z. Wider). And while
the record suffers somewhat from a
sameness from song to song, it's
the spiky style and substance on
this album that separates the chick-
ens from the punks. The Red Aunts
know which side they're on.
- Heather Phares
Drugstore
Drugstore
Honey/Go! Discs/London
Here's a British pop band that
doesn't conform to the new wave/
mod revivalism of groups such as
Blur, Elastica and Menswear. No
intentionally-cheesy keyboards,
crunchy guitars or dry commentar-
ies on modern life appear in their
repertoire. Indeed, Drugstore aren't
about reviving anything, and they
sure aren't about social commen-
tary.
Instead, Drugstore creates a bi-
zarre, even threatening musical
world with an almost womblike in-
timacy (and isolation) on their self-
titled debut. Songs have titles like

"Favourite Sinner," "Devil" and
"Alive" and singer/lyricist Isabel
Monteiro croons lines like "That
baby's goin' to heaven" ad infinitum
in her childlike voice. The effect's
sweet and scary by turns, much like
the rest of the album.
The relatively upbeat single "Soli-
tary Party Groover" was a minor
alternative hit this summer, but it's
the slow, sweetly creepy tracks on
"Drugstore" that have a memorable,
spine-chilling beauty. "Fader,"
"Gravity," "Starcrossed" and "Nec-
tarine" all have a languid, limpid
prettiness that evokes Mazzy Star
- but Drugstore's simutaneous
warmth and weirdness fill an en-
tirely different prescription.
- Heather Phares
Son Yolt
Trace
Warner Bros.
"When in doubt, move on," sings
Jay Farrar on "Trace," the debut al-
bum from his new band Son Volt. The
singer did exactly that last winter when
he left Uncle Tupelo, the mighty
Belleville, l.-based band that rede-
fined country-rock over the course of

their four spectacular records.
Tupelo fans knew Farrar must have
had a good reason for breaking up the
group just as they seemed poised for
major-label success. He did.
While his Tupelo singing and
songwriting partner Jeff Tweedy cre-
ated breezy, twangy, potent pop-rock
with the rest of the old group in Wilco
(their great debut "A.M." was released
on Reprise this spring), Farrar chose
to let Tupelo's strong undercurrent of
despair draw him under for a while.
He brought "Trace" back to the sur-
face with him, emerging with a darker,
deeper, and ultimately more satisfy-
ing record.
Tracing the same well-worn musi-
cal map as Tupelo did, Farrar creates
an album varied in its influences but
wonderfully unified in theme and
emotion. He and his band (bassist and
backing vocalist Jim Boquist, ex-Tu-
pelo drummer Mike Heidorn and
stringman Dave Boquist) carry the
sweetly delicate folk of "Windfall,"
the forceful, soulful rock of "Drown"
and "Route" and the high-lonesome
country moan of "Tear Stained Eye"
with unwavering passion and convic-
tion.
Farrar's voice, which somehow
manages to sound both as resonant as
a preacher's and as parched as a
hungover drunk's, perfectly conveys
the tired despair of his lyrics, on
"Trace"'s 11 songs. The record plays
like a weary journey through Middle
America, capturing its stark, flat
beauty, its loneliness and its dead
calm. And a river runs though it, liter-
ally, as the great muddy Missippi
floods the town of St. Geneveive in
"Tear Stained Eye" and crashes
through levee gates in "Ten Second

Son Volt's electrifying brand of country-rock is deep, honest and pretty nifty too.

7CAN7(
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News."
Son Volt closes "Trace" with ableak
but beautiful cover of Ron Wood's
"Mystfies Me," joined by Marc
Perlman, bassist of longtime Tupelo
pals the Jayhawks.
Though Farrar lost Tweedy's free
spirit and his good-natured, rocked-
out rave-ups, Son Volt more than com-
pensates with the dark, world-weary
beauty of "Trace."
It might not settle the yearlong de-

bate over which songwriter would best
survive the Tupelo breakup. Both
Tweedy and Farrar have presented
fine new bands with fine new albums.
While the two chose to follow differ-
ent paths, neither one strayed too far
from Uncle Tupelo's roots.
With "Trace," Farrar and Son Volt
have made that argument irrelevant.
It's a stunning debut - richly tex-
tured, deceptively simple, dark, deep
and true.
- Jennifer Buckley

phone: 663.5800
1140 south university (above goodtime charleys),AA

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