AIRPLAY CHANGES EVERYTHING

Local Music

Tom Turner

For years, radio stations across the nation have brought a huge variety of music to millions of listeners. Unfortunately, much of the airplay that many groups receive tends to alter the band's focus on the music they produce.

Basically, the popularity that many groups obtain through airplay seems to be a double-edged sword. On one hand, radio is an outlet for marketing of new and old bands alike to the general public.

In the ol' music scene of today, this hand is far outweighed by the negative aspect. The radio play that many groups receive seems to distort the true sense of the band. Instead of radio being an outlet for promotion for bands, it can easily bring about the downfall of a group.

Now, of course, this is mostly based on personal opinion, but it can be seen through simple observation as well.

Anyone can come up with a list a mile long of bands that have done a 180-degree turn due at least partly to radio exposure. With many bands the effect is plainly visible. U2, Jane's Addiction and R.E.M. are prime examples.

First, we'll take a look at what occurred to U2. Here was a band that clearly did a flip as soon as their music became "radio friendly." The lyrics shifted from political commentaries to near crowd-pleasing pop pabulum. I'm not necessarily knocking the group at all, because each of the members are fairly solid musicians. However, one can look at how the band presented themselves during the years of <I>Boy<P>, <I>War<P> and <I>The Joshua Tree<P>, compared with the way they currently present themselves. It's truly hard to imagine that they are even close to the same group anymore.

Bono has gone from saying that he doesn't "mean to be buggin' ya" to trying to come off as some sort of rebel by stating "#@$% the mainstream." He went on to say that he repeats this quote everyday. Sorry guy, you're in the mainstream. If you didn't want to be there, maybe you should have left the new images of bug glasses and fancy outfits in the stores.

Anyway, it's obvious how much airplay and popularity has altered the musical course for the Irishmen.

Jane's Addiction met its demise due to the overplay of songs like "Been Caught Stealing." This was a group of four very powerful musicians who had found their slot in musical originality, and it was, unfortunately, brought to an end. Previous albums, such as the self-titled release on Triple X Records, received very little attention. The same went for their next release, <I>Nothing's Shocking<P>. As soon as the infamous song was considered "popular" it was played constantly on mainstream stations everywhere. This then became part of the reason why members left the group, which brought an end to a truly original group.

The all-too-politically-correct R.E.M. has also turned down a different sort of musical path after the popularity struck with <I>Green<P>. After this release, the band became smothered by popularity. Following this album, the group produced <I>Out Of Time<P> and then <I>Automatic For The People<P>. Both albums seemed to stray from the group's albums of old.

In other words, the music that the band was producing seemed to be only directed at being "radio friendly" music. They had forgotten the ideal of producing music for the pure joy of it. Most of the group's older work, such as <I>Dead Letter Office<P> and <I>Life's Rich Pageant<P> have been ignored. Whether you like the old stuff compared to the new is not important. What is important is to look at how differently the group tends to portray itself, and whether the members are just on an act or not.

Of course, time changes everything, including people. It seems though that through an intense burst of mainstream popularity (sorry Bono), groups almost seem to lose focus of why they are playing. Instead of playing for themselves, the focus shifts to coming up with something that the public will like. This, is the genesis of the "radio friendly" songs.

Agreeing with whether bands are truly affected by radio may be a pointless discussion for many. This is mostly due to fans standing by "their" bands and obviously some toes get stepped on.

Airplay can obviously be productive for many groups, but in the end the destructive side far outweighs the good with respect to the music as well as the musicians.

Turner is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

 

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PASADENA RESIDENTS DODGE UH PROFESSOR'S GUNFIRE

Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

 

A UH Reserve Officer Training Corps Captain has not been charged in a March 31 shooting range mishap in Pasadena.

Police say bullets flew by construction workers at a Builders Square in the Beltway 8 and Fairmont Parkway area, and that one bullet was found lodged in the door of a passing car on the beltway. It was this recovered bullet, police say, that lead them to the Pasadena Police Department's shooting range located just over a mile away.

Captain Leonard Forseth said he visited the shooting range alone about 2:30 p.m. that Thursday. He said while he was firing his AR-15, the civilian version of an M-16 automatic assault rifle, one of the officers from the academy came in and said some of the rounds were ricocheting down behind the range.

Forseth said the officer didn't give him specific orders to stop, but told him to use his own judgement. He said he stopped firing and went to take a look outside. When he got outside another officer told him what happened but that officer did not take a statement.

C. L. Ellis, Acting Chief of Police, said Forseth, "would not be charged because there was no law violated."

Since the incident, the use of the Pasadena Police shooting range has been limited to active and retired PPD officers and their guest, Pasadena arson investigators and Pasadena city marshals.

Ellis said the new policy limiting the number of persons authorized to use the range is not because of the incident, but a result of an increase in the number of homes and businesses in that area and the general need to make the area surrounding the range safer.

He said the department could no longer ignore the, "encroachment of civilization in (that) area."

 

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THIEVES PREFER TRUCKS, VANS

by Sharon Simien

News Reporter

On April 4, 1994, the Houston Police Department released a list of the top ten makes of vehicles stolen during the month of March 1994, consisting of more than 1,447 vehicles.

According to Lt. Dugger of HPD's Auto Theft Division, vehicle thefts occur all over Houston, but particularly at shopping malls, colleges and in the downtown area. Auto theft is high in these areas due to the fact that vehicles in these areas are left unattended for long periods of time.

The top ten makes of vehicles that were stolen are Chevrolet trucks and vans, Oldsmobile, Toyota, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet cars, Ford cars, Ford trucks, Toyota trucks and GMC trucks and vans.

Lt. Dugger said, "The complexion changes for certain types of cars. The change in body style and price has a lot to do with what kinds of vehicles are stolen. Usually, vehicles that are several years old are stolen more often than new ones because they are needed to repair older models."

The types of vehicles that are stolen depends on what the market is. For instance, General Motors vans, the Chevy Lumina, Suburbans and Blazers are popular because these vehicles feature modular seating and less complicated radio wiring.

Car thieves are creating their own market in stolen goods, and some paint and body shops are buying this stolen property.

Lt. Wizinsky of HPD's Auto Theft Division said, "When car thieves steal a car, they have a purpose in mind – it may be for a joy ride or it might be because they are experienced in stealing that vehicle."

It takes less than 60 seconds to steal a vehicle. The thief generally uses a rock, a wedge, a clothes hanger, a bent screwdriver to open the window or a slim-jim to manipulate the lock.

Once they have gotten into the vehicle, thieves often break open the steering column and start the vehicle.

According to Officer Mark Hampton of HPD, "thieves find it fairly difficult to disarm car alarms, but there is a device that is called a magic box which stops the alarms from going off. They are used by some thieves, who can afford it. Another problem with car alarms is that because they go off fairly often, people do not pay attention to them.

"The Club," which is a device that is placed on the steering wheel to stop thieves, is not very good. The thieves cut the steering wheel with pliers and use The Club to steer the vehicle.

More and more thieves are using tow trucks to steal cars that have alarms and kill switches on them.

The following are tips for protecting your vehicle from being stolen: lock your car, remove keys, roll up the windows, park in well-lit areas, do not leave your car running and unattended, do not leave valuables in sight and consider an alarm or extra locking device.

Lt. Dugger said, "There is a seventy percent chance of getting a car back in the first month or two (after the car is stolen) and we have experienced a ninety percent recovery over two years. The chance is better than fifty-fifty that the vehicle will be returned in good condition. Another fact to consider is only six percent of vehicles have kill switches, ninety-four percent don't.

"Do not spend a lot of money on alarms, if a thief wants a car, he will get it, even by hooking it up to a wrecker. Also, please remember don't try to be a hero, call the police, they are trained to handle the bad guys."

 

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TUITION INCREASE 'NOT OUR IDEA'

by Christian Messa

News Reporter

Expect another $2 increase statewide in tuition this fall for resident undergraduate students.

Students at public institutions will get their tuition increased for the 1994—95 academic year to $28 per semester credit hour, up from $26.

Mary Rubright, executive director of planning and budgets at the University of Houston, said the Texas Legislature increased tuition because Texas has one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation. Texas ranks 48th in resident tuition rates, averaging $1,500.

At $4,000 annually, California has one of the highest tuition rates.

The tuition hike, which excludes public junior colleges, will increase to $30 per semester credit hour for the 1995—96 academic year. Tuition has climbed $2 each academic year since 1992.

Jane Caldwell, director of special programs at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, said the board had nothing to do with the tuition increase.

"These (tuition rates) weren't direct recommendations from the board," she said.

The coordinating board did not suggest the current tuition increase schedule, Caldwell said, and although the board was "involved in discussions" with the legislature, the tuition increase "was purely their decision."

Caldwell said students would pay more for education with the tuition hike, assuming inflation did not increase. Even with the tuition increase, she said students pay only about 16 percent for higher education. The rest comes from the state.

Rubright said non-resident graduate and undergraduate students will pay $171 per credit hour for Fall 1994, an increase from $162.

Each public institution sets the tuition rate for its own graduate program, but within limits given by the legislature.

Approximately $148,027,056 from state funding, including tuition, goes into the $300 million UH budget, Rubright said. The rest comes from restricted funds such as gifts and scholarships, research funding, designated funds for specific purposes and auxiliary funds from self-supporting groups like athletics and the bookstore.

Caldwell said the tuition increase has generated $7.5 million for education. However, that is divided among a sizable population.

"It sounds like a lot of money, but it's not much money," she said.

 

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CLEMENTS LEARNS TO ADAPT TO NEW OFFENSE, STARTING ROLE

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

If there is one thing that Chuck Clements has learned in his football career, it is that things change very quickly.

As early as December of last year, the 6-3 sophomore might have expected to be competing with both Jimmy Klingler, the Cougars' starter in 1992 and 1993, and seldom-used reserve Chandler Evans to catch head coach Kim Helton's eye at quarterback this spring.

Instead, Klingler, injured and ineffective for much of '93, decided to take his chances in the NFL draft. Evans, concerned over a lack of playing time, transferred to Division II East Texas State, where he will be immediately eligible to play.

As a result of those departures, Clements is the Cougars' only viable starting option this spring. However, those who view him as untested may be surprised at Clements' experience.

The Huntsville product made three starts as a freshman in 1993, completing 124 of 239 passes for 1,216 yards, with four touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

"My biggest strength is vision, peripheral vision, being able to see the whole field," Clements said. "That, and accuracy. I don't have the strongest arm in the world, but it's enough."

One of the reasons Clements originally gave for coming to Houston was being able to use his arm in the Run-and-Shoot offense employed by the head coach at the time, John Jenkins. Clements was so heavily recruited by Jenkins and his staff in high school, he said in interviews after he announced his decision in 1991, that it was an easy decision to come to Houston.

Now things are different.

"I came for the Run-and-Shoot, because of course you want to throw the ball, and I loved that offense when David (Klingler) and Andre (Ware) were running it," Clements said.

"But it's got its advantages and disadvantages as far as blocking assignments. You only have five linemen and one back to block (in the Run-and-Shoot), whereas now we have a tight end and two backs.

"I like it better (now), because you have more protection. Back then, it was kind of iffy."

Having a different offense to run this spring has also been difficult in many ways. The addition of a tight end has meant more plays, and the quarterbacks have been saddled with a 50-page manual to help teach the new wrinkles.

"It's been tough, a lot of information," Clements said of the changes. "They're throwing all this at you, and you're just absorbing it, and sometimes it runs together where you don't do the right thing on the field."

"I think Chuck has done an excellent job to this point of picking up a tremendous amount of information on the offense," quarterbacks coach Dan Loundsbury said.

At the Cougars' second full scrimmage of the spring Saturday, Clements said the game atmosphere helped the offense to run more smoothly.

"We're not there yet," Clements said. "This (Saturday) is probably one of the first days where it came together. But we should be there by the end of the spring."

Should there be those who remain skeptical of Clements' ability to handle pressure, a look at his high school career offers evidence to the contrary.

Though he got his chance early at Houston, Clements had to sit and watch his brother Steve set Texas high school passing records his first two years at Huntsville High. Steve opted to attend Texas out of high school, transferring to BYU after one season.

When the legend's little brother got the call, he did pretty well, throwing for 5,433 yards and 48 touchdowns in two years.

Asked if the pressure he felt filling his big brother's shoes would help him in the fall, Clements said, "It's helped me. I couldn't really match what he did. All I could do was go out there and do my best, and hopefully it was a good enough performance."

However, when it comes to pressure, there is no substitute for the real thing, as Clements can attest to.

"The thing that's probably helped me the most is playing last year, starting those three games. If I hadn't started those games, I'd be wondering, 'What is it like being in there?', (going into) that first game against Kansas.

"Now that I've been through that last year, especially in the Michigan game, it's going to help me going into this year. I know what to expect."

Helton confirmed that Clements was "number one right now" on the depth chart. That chart has looked a bit short this spring.

Senior Clay Helton, injured last year in the Texas game, has been rehabilitating his shoulder, limiting the amount of throwing he can do in practice. Sophomore John Gillaspy, a junior-college transfer, is the only other quarterback the Cougars have in practice.

"We're going to have depth (at quarterback), it's just not going to get here until two-a-days (in August)," Helton said. He mentioned freshman Larry Oliver, junior-college transfer Brad Woodard, and Chad O'Shea, a transfer from last year's Division II champion Marshall College, as other competitors.

 

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TRACK AND FIELD PREPARES FOR SWC MEET

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston track and field team is keeping very busy these days.

Part of the team competed in the Mount San Antonio College Relays Saturday and Sunday in Walnut, Calif. Saturday and Sunday the whole team will compete in the Southwest Conference Outdoor Championships at Rice.

This week should be the calm before the storm as the team will take practice a little easier.

"We're not going to learn anything new in two days," high jumper Jon Vines said.

Both the men's and women's teams are looking to do as well or better than their fourth place finishes in the SWC Indoor Championships.

"Everybody's got to come together," Vines said. "We ought to do well."

The women's distance team has consistently done well and is looking forward to displaying their talent in the SWC meet even with the day-to-day status of star runner Christy Bench. She missed most of the season with mononucleosis.

"She may run in the Southwest Conference meet," assistant track coach Diane Howell said. "She has been running for about a month."

Howell attributed Bench's quick recovery to her being in great shape, hard work and former success.

"She knows what it's like to have been (successful) so it's easier for her to come back," she said.

The only thing Howell would like to see change with the women's distance program is the number of runners on the team.

"We need to get more bodies out there," she said. "I will be concentrating very much on getting one or two outstanding distance runners."

Another one of the more prominent parts of the women's team has been the 1,600-meter relay.

They are now without Cynthia Jackson who left the team for personal reasons. The hole she left on the relay team being filled by triple jumper Starlie Graves.

In addition to Jackson and Bench the Cougars are without Matt Rasch who will miss the rest of the season due to injury.

In return the Cougars get back world class sprinter Sam Jefferson. He missed most of the season due to hepatitis and competed in his first 100-meters at the Mount Sac. Relays. There he ran a 10.45 for a eighth place finish.

Ubeja Anderson took second in the 110 high hurdles in 13.49. Paul Lupi also finished second in the 800 in a time of 1.50.9. Chris Lopez was seventh in the triple jump with a leap of 49-10 1/2 and Shedric Fields finished fifth in the long jump with a distance of 24-9.

For the women, Drexel Long won the 400 in a time of 54.84 and Edwina Ammonds was sixth in the high jump at 5-6. No score was given for Dawn Burrell in the long jump and Vincenzo Cox did not finish either of his events.

 

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CHRIST ON THE BEACH

by James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

There were only seven of them instead of 12. They may not have been walking on water or healing the crippled. Perhaps they did not feed the hungry, but these students walked the beaches of South Padre Island with a purpose. These men drudged under the hot Texas sun to share the Bible's message of salvation.

As everyone on campus anxiously awaited the final minutes of their last classes before spring break, these Christian men were also eagerly waiting to hit the beach, but for different reasons.

Miguel Machado, a senior computer information systems major, said the reason why he took the trip was "for the love of the people. I love the Lord and I want to share my blessed hope with them. I'm going to heaven and going to take as many people as possible – at least give them a chance to accept Christ."

This year was the second year these men evangelized on the beach. Last spring break they went to Galveston.

The reason why these men give up laying in the sun and taking a vacation themselves, is because they want to share with people the belief that Christ died and rose from the dead. He died to pay the penalty for mankind's sins. Faith in Christ dying on the cross to obtain salvation is the message they share with people.

This non-denominational group said that people are not certain on how to get to heaven. While nearly every person they spoke with believed in heaven, the majority didn't know what it takes to get there.

"We gave people, who were interested in the view we shared, an article called 'The Game You Cannot Win' which talks about how people struggle in vain to live a good life. The article basically states that no matter how good a life you may think you live, you still fall short and need the grace of God," one member said.

For four days and five nights this group stayed on the beach sharing their faith. They spoke to about 300 people.

The group said that they were a little nervous about approaching strangers, but after a while they became more confident.

"I think what I enjoyed most was the fact that total and complete strangers actually opened up to me and shared personal information with me when they didn't have to," Machado said, "just the fact that one person shared (with me) just made me want to go to the next one."

One man said he had been searching for meaning to his life. After talking with group members, the man decided that becoming a Christian would fulfill his life.

Miguel said that he spoke with a teenage boy who was with a group of friends on the beach. He and his friends were just hanging out with music blaring, but after Miguel spoke with him, he was close to accepting Christ right on the beach. "You could tell he was touched," Miguel said.

The main thing the group said they learned was that no matter what type of facade a person may have, people are basically the same on the inside. The big, tough guys on the beach have the same joys and fears as elderly couples. Even if those people are gang members, they still need Jesus Christ in their lives, the group said.

 

 

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DROOL BUT DON'T TOUCH

by Mike Rush

News Reporter

The recent surge of clubs showcasing nude female dancers may be the newest fad to satisfy Houston's hunger for erotica.

Within the last four months, four nude clubs have opened in and around the Houston area.

The Mustang Cabaret, on Telephone Road, was the first nude club to appear in Houston. The club opened last November with a staff of about 100 women between the ages of 21 and 25 dancing nude.

The Pink Pussycat Cabaret on Richmond , the Century Restaurant and Cabaret in the Greenspoint area, and the Golden Goddess north of town followed suit.

Leo Nathan, operations manager of the Pink Pussycat Cabaret, said the recent surge of nude clubs in town is a response to the public's desire for more erotica.

The Pink Pussycat was a topless bar for 25 years. In recent years, Nathan said the club's business was steadily decreasing. Since the club converted to all-nude in January, he said business has been phenomenal.

"You can't get in on Saturday night," he said. "We are trying to get them out of here."

Nathan said nude clubs are not a new concept in Houston. About 10 years ago, he said there were a few bars in the downtown area with nude dancing but the growing topless-bar industry drove them away.

The manager of the Century Restaurant and Cabaret asked to remain anonymous, but said nude clubs reemerged because Houston is saturated with topless bars. The new clubs are a welcome change, he said.

"Topless bars have been around for the last decade," the manager said. "People have become burned out with them."

Nude bars are legal in Texas as long as no alcohol is served by the club. Customers are charged an average of $20 to enter a club and are allowed to bring their own beer, liquor or wine. The clubs sell sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Both bar managers described their club's operation in a similar fashion. From 10—25 dancers perform in a rotation cycle. The dancer first strips on one of the three stages in the club and then moves to the floor to perform private dances for customers who pay $30. The dancers put tips in a garter belt around their legs.

A Houston ordinance prevents customers from touching the dancers, Nathan said. He said dancers are attracted to the nude clubs because topless bars do not have rules to prevent customers from making contact with dancers.

"We are offering women an opportunity to work without being touched, grabbed and bounced on," Nathan said.

Rick DellaPenna, general manager of Rick's Cabaret, said in a telephone interview that touching is allowed in topless bars to an extent. Customers can touch the dancers on the legs, hands and arms with the dancer's consent.

DellaPenna, who has been in the topless industry for 11 years, said he has not noticed a decrease in his bar's business since nude bars opened. He said nude bars may survive if they find a niche in the market, but most people do not want to associate with the bars.

"Customers don't feel as dirty going into topless bars," DellaPenna said.

UH Marketing Professor Julia Bristor said she is not surprised the bars have emerged. She said when a new concept arises, many people will take advantage of it to make money while the fad lasts.

"You're always going for a new concept that will attract people," she said. "This could easily be a new gimmick for sex and the exploitation of women."

Nathan said he knew of a club in Florida that displayed nude male dancing, but he was not aware of any such bars in Houston.

 

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COUGARS STARTING THE FINAL STRECH

Journey begins with Lamar

by Chris Peña

Daily Cougar Staff

The baseball team will prepare for its final six Southwest Conference games starting today when the Cougars travel to Beaumont to visit the 23-16 Lamar Cardinals.

The Cougars (28-20, 4-8 in the SWC) are coming off a successful 2-1 series "homestand" against Texas-Pan American that was played at Rice's Cameron Field and Humble High School.

In Saturday's game, Houston pitcher Matt Beech was touched for seven runs, two earned, in picking up his fourth loss of the season.

The Cougars came back on Sunday to sweep the doubleheader originally set for Saturday but was rescheduled because a water hose was left on – flooding the field. Jason Dixon picked up the win in the first game, raising his record to 4-0.

In the second game, Shane Buteaux came in to relieve David Hamilton and picked up his team- leading sixth win.

The Cardinals and Cougars battled once already this season in what was the last game ever at Cougar Field.

In that March 30 affair, the Cougars beat then 21st-ranked Lamar 9-5. Overall, Houston leads the all-time series 37-18.

The Cardinals have some offensive threats that could make the trip to east Texas an unpleasant experience.

Center fielder Anthony Iapoce leads the team in hitting with a batting average of .342.

Designated hitter Bruce Aven leads the Cardinals with three home runs and 30 runs batted in.

The Cougars scored only nine runs this weekend against a pitching-starved UTPA team that boasted a team earned run average of 6.56.

Right fielder/pitcher Shane Buteaux is still leading the team in most categories.

Buteaux leads the team with 11 home runs, 51 RBIs, a .382 batting average, 25 stolen bases, six wins and five saves.

Senior first baseman Ricky Freeman has also supplied a large portion of the Cougar offense.

Freeman leads the team in hits with 61, and he has struck out only six times this season in 173 at bats.

The team has suffered from inconsistent play this season, but head coach Bragg Stockton still believes Houston can win.

"This team can play with anybody," he said.

The Cougars will need some momentum as they head into the last two weeks of conference play.

On Friday, the team will travel to Texas A&M to play another "home" game.

The Cougars will be the hosts to SWC leader Texas Christian at Olsen Field in a series that will determine what the team will do after the regular schedule is played out.

In past years, 10 wins have been enough to make the postseason SWC tournament. Texas left the door open for Houston dropping a game in their series against Baylor, so now the Cougars need to win all six conference games to ensure they can make another trip to College Station, where the tournament will be held this season.

 

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LEWIS, BURRELL SET RECORD

Cougar Sports Service

Former Houston track and field members Carl Lewis and Leroy Burrell set a new world record in the 800-meter relay Sunday at the Mount San Antonio College Relays.

The former Olympians teamed up with other Santa Monica Track Club members Mike Marsh and Floyd Heard to beat their own world's record of 1:19.11 in a time of 1:18.68.

Former golf coach wins again

Former Houston golf coach Keith Fergus added another title to his collection Sunday when he won the $175,000 Nike Panama City Beach Classic.

He shot a three-round 202 to win by two strokes over Tommy Armour.

Fergus shot rounds of 66, 64 and 72 at the Hombre Golf Club in Panama City Beach, Fla.

 

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NEW DOG IS FRISKY AND FUN

by D. McAdams

Daily Cougar Staff

One incredulously picks up the CD. On its face is a blue and white picture of a little girl, arms outstretched, mouth opened wide, who is apparently screaming/begging for something she wants and can't have. Underneath the photograph it reads <I>that dog.<P>

"Oh brother," one thinks turning the CD over to check out the back. Featured are the four members of the band, three of whom are female and one male (who is obviously the lead guitarist one thinks, slipping into an unpolitically correct mood). The girls are cute as buttons (two of whom look as though they are siblings). The guy looks like some grizzled wannabe rock star in his late 20s who found these girls, who look no older than 16, and saw his opportunity to exploit them and "make it happen" (referring to his career). "Sad commentary on the culture of exploitation in American," this reviewer thinks as he examines the accompanying biography.

In big grey letters at the top of the bio is the David Geffen Company's logo. What would a big, fat, Mongoloid record company like DGC (Sonic Youth, and recently-acquired Hole) want with what looks like some Southern California high school garage band? On it reads: Anna Waronker (guitar and vox), Petra Haden (vox, violin), Rachel Haden (vox, bass, acoustic guitar) and Tony Maxwell (drums, wah-wah pedal).

"Lend an ear to the shakey-braky punk rock of that dog." the bio tempts us. "This hypnotic sequence of sound will disarm you with its intimacy and taunt you with its humor. Rising through the ashen soil of the LS indie rock scene like a ripe tomato (arguably one of the worst similes ever created), that dog has been shocking local audiences with its impossible melding of angelic three-part vocal harmonies, lilting violins (violins?!) and angular bass/drum/guitar thrashings since its inception a mere 18 months ago."

"Damn. Why is DGC jocking this band so hard?" the reviewer asks himself. "A Punk rock Wilson Phillips," "Les Voix des Paradis (the Voices of Heaven," the compliments go on and on. The reviewer immediately sticks the CD in his player as Flavor Flav's sage advise not to believe the hype floats in his head. Music began to waft from the speakers and three songs into the CD the reviewer began to understand why DGC would expend so much effort promoting a little known band.

One could smell it from a mile away, that unmistakable smell of pure, unadulterated talent and future success. DGC is gonna make a lot of money from that dog because the band is excellent.

Petra and Rachel Haden's voices aren't quite heavenly but they come pretty close. The melodies and harmonies that infuse the CD are inspiring and gorgeous.

At first sight, one is reluctant to listen to listen to any band where the words "violin" and "punk" appear in any close proximity to each other. When one hears the music, all fears of some hyper-contrived mixing of classical and punk music are dispelled.

The best example of Petra's violin playing (she is a surprisingly competent violinist) is "Jump." Her violin lingers about Rachel's shimmering voice as it croons, "When I say jump, he says how high," which brings us to Anna's lyricism. Without a doubt, Anna writes some of the wittiest lyrics known to man. "In the hilarious "Zodiac" she pokes fun at those of us who take astrology a bit too serious.

"Zodiac/Zodiac/Zodiac/Zodiac! I call my 1—900 numbers and they ask me, it's my /Zodiac!/Zodiac! I call my psychic friends and they ask me for my birthday and they ask me for my birthday and my /Zodiac!/Zodiac!" It's at this point that Petra begins singing in soft, heavenly tones as Anna and Rachel drone, "Astrologic information/Fire sign/Earth sign/Air sign/water sign."

This type of sarcasm is dotted throughout the CD. As for their punk rock element, check out "Just like me," "Westside Angst," "Old Timer." They're not quite Black Flag, but they're passable.

It seems California is rising as Washington State's star is declining with bands like Acetone, Creedle and that dog paving the way, we'll all be talking about how cool LA bands are and how we all know somebody who lives there.

Be one of the cool kids and buy that dog. If one of the members happens to kill him/herself, you can tell everybody you heard that dog before they got big, sold out and commercialized.

 

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PUMPKINS, P-FUNK, TRIBE HEADLINE LOLLAPALOOZA

A Houston date isn't confirmed, but you can bet a buzz is going on about this year's recently announced Lollapalooza line-up.

Smashing Pumpkins will headline this year's show with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars and the Beastie Boys. Also featured this year are hip-hop's A Tribe Called Quest, popsters the Breeders, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the avant garde Japanese band the Boredoms.

Lollapalooza, an all-day concert featuring some of the bigger names in rock and hip-hop, has been happening since 1991, when Jane's Addiction, Souixsie and the Banshees and Ice-T kicked the event off. Previous players include Ice Cube, Primus, Ministry, Soundgarden, Front 242, Pearl Jam and Arrested Development.

No announcements have been made for the small stage, although it will be acoustic this year. Poetry slams, spoken word and interactive television will be among this year's features. An added treat will be free water, which promoters charged for in the past.

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