I The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 27, 1995 - 9
Continued from page 8
See You On the Other Side
The rest of the world has known for a
fewmonthsnow that Mercury Rev'snew-
is a terrific, trancey trip to the outer orbits
of music. Now the US gets to bask in its
is too good to miss.
The band,now aquintet,seems tohave
wacko extraordinaire David Baker quite
well. Singer/songwriter Jonathan
Donahue has always sung many of the
songson Mercury Rev'sprevious albums
(the exceptional "Yerself Is Steam" and
"Boces") and his more radio-friendly
vocals do give the band a different feel.
appear downright grounded in compari-
son to the eight excursions on "See You
On the Other Side." Tracks like "Empire
elements of pop, jazz and even new age
and easy listening - and make it sound
like a completely natural blend. Funk is
stirred into the mix in "Young Man's
Stride." Influences as broad as Sonic
from the original "Star Trek" commingle
in a glorious musical soup that'sgood to
the last slurp.
"Everlasting Arm," the single from
"See You On the Other Side," shows off
the band at their "Pet Sounds"-on-acid
best, while "A Kiss From an Old Flame"
ful Night" even features clarinets, which
are definitely not rock staples. But then,
nothing's regular about Mercury Rev
except their continual pursuit ofthe outer
limits of music. Hopefully "See You On
the Other Side" is far from their final
- Heather Phares
Exit the Dragon
A band's albums often reflect where the
members are mentally and physically. This
is especially trueofChicago's bestout-and-
out rock outfit, Urge Overkill. They were
"The Candidates"with 1992's"Supersonic
Storybook" and did some "Positive Bleed-
ing" on 1993's classic "Saturation."
And whiletheirlatest,"Exit the Dragon"
is also an excellent record,full ofgreatrock
too far. "Need Some Air' is a Nash Kato-
penned AM-radio pop gem about feeling
suffocated; "View of the Rain," also by
Kato, is a bitter ballad that debuted on the
"No Altemative" compilation as "Take A
But the most damning evidence that liv-
inguptotherockideals thatUrge Overkill
simultaneously lovesandlovestomake fun
ofis taking atollis "The Mistake."Anaptly
aKe a bite out of Blind Melon
nd Melon lead singer Shannon Hoon chomps on his mic at the band's show at
Arew's Hall last Sunday. "What's the difference between Courtney Love and
hockey team," Hoon asked the crowd. "A hockey team showers after the third
iod," he cooed. At least he didn't pee on the crowdl
.eaCe, love anderry, man
Life on the road is tough on you; just ask the men from Urge.
titled tune that wams listeners to "Beware track,"Jaywalkin"'and"Monopoly"inpar-
theoverdose,"it'sasluggishyeerie,sadlook ticular arejust plain fun rock songs-what
at touring: "Be certain not to fall with the Urge Overkill does best. A solid, occasion-
wrongkindofcrowd ... you'rejustthekind allybrilliantalbum,"ExittheDragon"may. -
who'sliabletogetlost and never be found." not win them many new fans, but it mo
than anything that Urge has previously re- Urge.
leased, isn't a total downer. The opening - Heather Phares ;
"Tie-Died: Rock 'n Roll's Most
:a Rated Fans"... there is so much
tential for Hollywood shlock in this
e. One immediately conjures up im-
es of costumed hippies twirling and
ipping across America, waving little
gs that say "the Dead rule!" After the
:ent death of lead singer Jerry Garcia,
y movie about the Grateful Dead must
carefully inspected for the same kind
glorification America heaped on Nir-
na after Kurt Cobain bit the big one.
Surprisingly, however, director An-
:>smiess in his latest film and has come
kith an honest, sometimes funny, of-
Spoignant documentary about life on
erad with the Grateful Dead.
The movie is actually preceded by the
ot ilm "A Conversation With Ken
ese"(directed by Peter Shapiro). Hip-
-ateful Dead, back in the days when
ey'played"Acid Tests"withKesey and
s band of Merry Pranksters. "They
-re'tjustplaying what wason musical
The movie was filmed in the summer
1994 (before Garcia's unfortunate de-
ise), which made Kesey's further com-
ents even more poignant.
"In 20 years, whoever is still alive (in
e band) will probably still be doing
bat they're doing. There's no placeelse
go," the aging hippie sighed.
the throbbing beat of a drum circle
pear on the screen, and "Tie Died"
ncing place, Behar moves quickly to a
ccession of interviews with individual
-m Boston, who has taken the summer
T to follow the Dead with his wife
ianna (an ex-Olympic figure skater)
id theirbaby son Dylan.Ryan Masseyis
with The Grateful Dead
a young woman who left home at 14,
wentontour, and foundher"real"family.
J.D. is an 11-year-old who has pretty
muchgrownup on tour. When asked how
growing up on the road affects a child,
J.D.'s father Jasper praised the street-
smarts his son has acquired.
"He ain't dumb," he said. "You're not
gonna snow blind him, he'd probably get
the money right out of your pocket."
Thesearejust afew ofthe personalities
that make their way across the screen and
across America in "Tie Died." The best
a very honest portrayal of all aspects of
the tour, instead of simply glorifying the
free spirits in the parking lot.
The vendors complain about the in-
crease in crime in the parking lot after
shows. One even insists that he "sleeps
on the drug scene, interviewing Heads
who are on drugs, and Heads who are
adamantly against the use of any sub-
stance (Wharf Rats). He also covers the
issue of mandatory minimums and the
danger of possessing drugs on tour.
The film finally ends with the original
images of the Heads dancing and beating
drums. In this way, Behar leaves the audi-
The filmhas touched on the beautiful, the
it is a continuous cycle.
What makes "Tie Died" so important,
however, is that with Garcia's death, the
feature length film may bethe only remain-
ing documentation of this thirty year cycle.
But as Kesey's son Zane said in the
middle of the film, "It ain't over till the fat
lady gets high"
WA Dis 'ii D. AS NI-
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