Big Red Letter Day
Buffalo Tom and Jennifer Trynin, two great, so-called alterna-rock acts
from Boston, Mass. will be doing their thing tomorrow night at
St.Andrew's Hall in Detroit. With tickets at a mere $8.50, you have no
excuse not to go. Call 741-MELT for more information.
October 20, 1995
ancid's punk-o-rama rocks the State
gration ivy's ska-punk roots grow into a rotten good time
Brian A. Gnatt
kncid is a punk band. Even with their
:05style pink mohawks and the outra-
i'il"oh-so- punk" aura about them, the
lap ms almost too goodtobe true. Their
story create the image of either the best
ericanpunk band inyearsorelseone big
BA Rancidis the real thing. They're what
e Clash never quite made it to. They're
hat the Sex Pistols would have been if
hnny Rotten wasn't such an asshole.
heLre a great band that writes great songs
nd puts on great shows and doesn't make
a spay a pretty penny for it.
Led by vocalist / guitarist Tim
irmstrong, bassist Matt Freeman, guitar
yocalist Lars Frederiksen and drummer
rett Reed, the East Bay, California band
s asI rich in history as power chords.
irmstrong and Freeman formed the band
roi, the ashes of legendary punk-ska
ensation, Operation Ivy, when it fell
part in 1989. After teaming up with
1ed the trio recorded a 7" for Lookout
Aeco'rds and then their self-titled debut
or Epitaph Records in 1993. After pick-
ngilpFrederiksen for 1994's"Let's Go,"
hey established themselves not only as a
great band, but a punk band with mass
ippeat, like their Gilman Street buddies
With the release of the band's third LP in
ate August, Rancid proved once again that
powerful songs and honest attitudes lead to
success. "... And Out Come the Wolves"
throws 19 power-punk melodies in your
face and even brought the band back to the
Operation Ivy days with the inclusion of
three new ska songs.
"I love it," said Freeman, 29, in a phone
interview with the Daily last week. "I think
it's the best thing that we've ever done. I
Where: State Theater
When: Sunday night
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Call
Tic ketrmaster 810-645-6666
don't think it would beoutifwedidn't think
that. That's whatyoudo. Youtry to do better
every time. You don'twanttohaveyourfans
or people buy the same old shit.
"I think we've really come together as
aband," he said. "I think it's just anatural
progression. We work hard and we really
want to get better. Maybe we've matured.
Things are different, we've been through
alotmore. Some ofthe ska stuffmay have
thrown some people for a loop, but any-
one who knows our history knows it's not
that crazy. Most people wonder why we
waited so long to do the ska stuff."
The re-introduction of ska into
Armstrong and Freeman's music is the
most noticeable change from the first two
Rancid records, completing a circle where
the band feels comfortable going back for
a visit to the Operation Ivy days.
While Operation Ivy was only together
for two years, their punky anthems like
"Knowledge" and "Unity" made their
influence in the California and American
punk scene immeasurable. Shortly after
releasing their sole album "Energy," the
band broke up. "We put out that record.
We broke up four weeks after it came out,
and that's that," Freeman said.
"We started (Rancid) after Operation
Ivy, and no one really knew who me and
Tim were anymore," Freeman said. "We
just didn't feel it, man. We wanted to play
punk rock. We were like 'Fuck all this
kind of shit.' I'm sure if we put our nose
to the grindstone we could have written a
record that sounded just like Operation
Ivy, but what's the fucking point? Maybe
it would have sold a lot more, but that's
"You gotta be honest with that kind of
stuff, andyouknow, it'sdamnedifyoudo
and damned if you don't. If we put out a
half-ska record and half-punk rock record
that first record, people would have said
'Oh, fuck you. You're just trying to cash
in on Op Ivy,' but then 'Where's the ska?'
The bottom line is we just didn't feel like
it. Those arethe songs we wrote and that's
the stuff that just came out. As a band
we've been messing around with it for the
past couple years, we put out that 'Riot'
song on 'Punk-O-Rama,' and itjust came
out. It was as simple as that. It wasn't any
grand strategy. I sometimes wish I was
"Operation Ivy came out of a different
time, a different place, we were different
people," Freeman said. "You're not the
same person youwere eightyears ago, are
you? As far as it (the new record) being
more like Operation Ivy on a purely su-
perficial level, yes, OK, we have three ska
songs on the record. As far as a spiritual
level and musical level, I'dsay no. I mean
Christ, Tim wrote all those songs for
Operation Ivy. I play bass the way I play
bass, you're gonna hear it, the experience
is going to come through.
In Ivy, Freeman played bass,
Armstrong played guitar, Dave Mello
played drums and Jesse sang.
"I think it was a time and place, and I
think it servedits purpose. Wedidthebest
we could for two years. It was a good life
for that band. You know, when it first
broke up, I was depressed and upset, and
I wish it would have stayed together, but
I'm actually really glad. I've got Rancid
now, I mean, how could I be upset? That
recordhasgoneonto sell 175,000records,
God knows why. I think for me it's good.
If you get that Lookout CD compilation,
that shit's really good. It represents a time
from '87 to '89 and it's really special."
Rancid: The band named for Keith Richards' blood.
The break up of Operation Ivy was
caused mainly because the band got too
big for itself, Freeman said. "Nothing is
black or white. The basic reason was, we
started off a little punk band playing
garages, and within two years we began
selling out Gilman Street, which at the
time was a big fucking deal. You gotta
understand, this is before Green Day
played Woodstock andthe Offspring sold
10 million records. This was a really tight
knit community the first two years of
Gilman, and people get jealous, a lot of
influence from your friends and things.
The pressure was ridiculous and we'd
have to start thinking about stuff like
getting paid, getting ripped off, protect-
ing ourselves, and all this stuffwe weren't
prepared to deal with and so we just
"The only regret I have about that is I
really shouldn't have listened to outside
forces," Freeman said. "I should havejust
gone and done what I fucking wanted to
do, and with Rancid, that's definitely
what wedo. Look where Rancidis. We're
on MTV and do some things that some
people don't like and think 'Oh, fuck
MTV.' We do what we gotta do. But we
put out good records. If you don't like it,
then don't buy it. We're honest, we never
did this to make money, and that's pretty
much why the band broke up."
But with Rancid, Freeman and
Armstrong are better prepared for any-
thing people might throw at them. After
last year's huge success of"Let's Go" and
their MTV Buzz Bin classic "Salvation,"
the band became a very hot item in a
major label bidding war that ended with
Rancid choosing to stay with Epitaph,
and it also gave them the title for their
follow-up album that described the
"wolves" of the record industry.
Madonna even wanted the foursome
to sign with her label Maverick, and
rumor was that she sent the band naked
pictures to persuade them to sign with
her. "She sent us a picture," Freeman
said. "You know that 'Sex' book she
has, with the leather, whips and all that
stuff? She took a Polaroid of a picture
out of there and said 'Sign to my label.'
It wasn't naked. I don't know where
that rumor started. I'm hoping the Ma-
donna mafia doesn't come and break
my fuckin' legs. She denies it, it's true.
I don't know where that started."
Freeman said there was lots of left
over material from the "Wolves" ses-
sions that will probably be released in
the future, but until then, the plan is just
to tour, tour, tour.
"We ended up recording like four weeks
at Fantasy in Berkeley. We did about forty
basics, and basically like two albums, three
if you're some rock band," he said. "This
one's only been out about six weeks, so I
think we gotta wait at least another month."
By Jessica Chaffin
For the Daily
Michael Napier Brown's stage adapta-
tion of Emily Bronte's classic novel
"Wuthering Heights" opened at the Power
Center last night. Napier Brown's script
remains remarkably true to the text in its
tale of obsessive love. Director John
When: Tonight and Saturday at 8
p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $16, $12 ($6 students).
Neville-Andrews' production focuses on
the elements offate and destruction within
the lives of its characters.
The dynamic structure of Russell
Metheny's set design brilliantly expresses
the subtext ofthe story. The center of the
stage is dominated by a tremendous
crag which underscores the notion that
the forces of nature drive this story.
Metheny cleverly employs warped
wood floorboards, which progress up-
ward into trees on the moor, to suggest
a sense of foreboding and the futile
attempt of man to control that which
controls him - fate. The interiors and
exteriors share a common open space,
and Neville-Andrews makes brilliant
use of them, as the actors maneuver
swiftly and smoothly between settings.
Stuart Duke's innovative use of color
and lighting is a design which also
serves to enrich and underscore the
subtext of the play: Our first image of
Cathy atop the crag in chiaroscuro light-
ing is chillingly ethereal image of a
woman who is remarkably self-ab-
sorbed yet constantly described, often
by herself, as an angel. Clouds move
ominously across the backdrop, con-
veying the passing of time and the pas-
sions which stir within the characters
one tallt ale
By Michael Zilberman
Daily Arts Writer
In "Get Shorty," a ruthless loan shark
goes to Hollywood to shake an old gam-
bling debt out of a small-time movie
producer. He shows up atproducer's door
at midnight, appropriately sinister in black
leather; five minutes into the conversa-
tion, he pitches an idea for a movie. The
story, of course, is about a loan shark.
Five minutes later, the gangster and the
producer drink tea in the kitchen and
discuss marketing strategies fortheirnew
"Get Shorty" is the latest offering from
Barry Sonnenfeld, a director who spe-
Directed by Barry
Sonnenfeld; with John
Travolta and Rene Russo
cializes in odd imperative-mode titles
("Throw Momma From The Train," for
example) and clean, slightly anarchic
humor. And "Get Shorty" is exactly that
- safe-as-milk entertainment with an
oddball edge, extremely nice if instantly
The film follows the misadventures of
Chili Palmer(JohnTravolta), agangsterand
a movie fan, who suddenly realizes that the
same qualities he's perfected for his job can
make him asuccessfulplayer in Hollywood.
So, with the reluctant help ofproducerHany
Zimm (Gene Hackman) and a starlet (Rene
Russo), he darts around Hollywood, com-
11Cyy, naiiag Yvll a wu 1%0v9 smv -.- - cp.----, _ -r
Heather Guglielmetti and Paul Molnar have a moment in "Wuthering Heights."
mob is on his back.1
"Get Shorty" is essentially a '90s ver-I
sion of a drawing-room comedy with
occasional slips into black humor. In fact,
its slyest joke is its very premise: That by
now, every living creature thinks that he
or she has a recipe for a perfect movie -
if only someone would listen. "Get
Shorty" is also a part of a never-ending
process of Hollywood mythologizing.
Movies here act as a global equalizer: A
ruthless hit-man lip-synchs to "Touch Of
Evil" and fawns before a B-movie quee.
Ofcourse, our endless fascination with
pop culture is what Quentin Tarantino is
making a career of. And this brings us to
... John Travolta. "Get Shorty" is
Travolta's first post-"Pulp" appearance,
See SHORTY, page
- particularly Heathcliff. The final
image of Act One, in which Heathcliff
is poised atop the crag, is enriched by
Duke's use of a fiery red backlight,
conveying the fateful sense that
Heathcliff is a man condemned to his
own personal hell forthe duration of his
life, and possibly after.
Unfortunately, the portrayals are a
bit lacking in this complex tale of eter-
nal love and passion of epic propor-
tions. First off, don't be misled by the
affected American accents chosen for
this production; these New England
prep-school accents are in no way to be
mistaken for the traditional English dia-
lects that the script and its colloquial
vocabulary require. The first act lacked
energy, and was marred by somewhat
weak performances on the part of Cathy
(Heather Guglielmetti) and Heathcliff
(Paul C. Molnar), who are central to the
story. This can be attributed not so
much to bad acting as to a lack of
chemistry. True love is not an easy
connection to convey, and these actors
often take the easy route, eschewing
subtlety in favor of more conventional
and mannered forms of expression.
Indeed, subtlety is something that is
somewhat lacking throughout the pro-
duction. Nellie, the maid who ties the
action together, is played by two actors,
one to narrate (Stephanie Pascaris), and
one to participate (Jennifer Pennington).
Unfortunately, neither endears herself
to the audience early on, leading one to
wonder by the second act just why
anyone has chosen to keep this med-
dling woman around. Heather Fine is
particularly good as a more courageous
and refined Catherine Linton in Act
Two. Geoffrey Ehnis-Clark was also
good as the forlorn Edgar Linton, whose
love goes eternally unreciprocated.
Although the acting falls slightly short
of the tremendous skill the script de-
mands, this is a courageous and ambi-
tious production which achieves its lofty
goals in the realm of artistic design.
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L L 761-97001I
ATINEES ° Dm ALLSCREENSSTEREO
Bring in this ad, and receive one I
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with any popcorn purchase
expires: November 3, 1995=U
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