TOOL WRENCHES HOUSTON TONIGHT

by Robin Jones

Contributing Writer

Tool did not form with profit margins in mind. In fact, the four band members met by chance and began making music to blow off a little steam.

In 1986, guitarist Adam Jones moved to Los Angeles from Libertyville, Ill., and supported himself as a sculptor and special effects designer where he learned the stop-motion camera techniques that would later make the band's "Sober" and "Prison Sex" videos such visual marvels. Jones met singer Keenan who had migrated to LA after a nomadic upbringing that included a three-year stint in the US Army. In fact, Keenan was considering enrollment at West Point when he split the military to study art, which led to a job in LA applying spatial design concepts to remodeling pet stores.

Jones convinced Keenan to channel his energy into music, and the two hooked up with Keenan's downstairs neighbor Danny Carey, a drummer who had worked with LA stalwarts Green Jelly and Pygmy Love Circus. Bassist Paul D'Amour, who migrated from Spokane, Wash., was introduced through a mutual friend of Jones', and Tool was born.

Tool first bashed the face of rock and roll complacency in 1992 with the EP <I>Opiate<P>. With dynamic songs like "Jerk-off" and the Freudian-inspired title track, Tool established itself as more than a band of youths angry for anger's sake.

Taking earlier themes of spiritual distrust and physical retribution to new, broader heights, <I>Undertow<P>, Tool's first full length recording, was released last April and achieved gold status (sales of 500,000 units) in its first six months.

As word of Tool's blistering live performances spread, MTV began airing the video for "Sober," <I>Undertow<P>'s first single. Directed by Fred Stuhr and Jones, the surrealistic stop-motion images of an old man searching endlessly for something he never finds garnered Billboard Music Video Awards' Best New Artist and hard rock/metal's Best Clip.

By 1993's end, Tool toured with Fishbone and Rage Against the Machine, and headlined U.S. venues. Critics hailed <I>Undertow<P> as one of the year's most refreshing surprises, highlighted by <I>Entertainment Weekly<P>'s placement of the album in its Top Ten for 1993.

"This album is indicative of our generation," Keenan explains. "This is a generation that woke up after a decade of complacency and apathy, realizing it had a voice but was unaware how to use that voice to fix the situation that it is in. Now we wonder if the planet will be here tomorrow and if there will be a social structure we can trust through the media's filtered truths."

Tool plays here in Houston tonight at the International Ballroom, 14035 Main St. (off Hilcroft).

 

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FORMER POLITICO OFFERS ADVICE TO STUDENTS

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

The message recently delivered by former Democratic Legislator Paul Colbert was succinct but clear: Politics are a complicated, often surprisingly unstructured game.

Colbert, a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1981 to 1992, spoke informally at a banquet in the UH Hilton. The dinner, sponsored by the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, was attended by a small group of students who got a rare perspective on the "legislative process" from a veteran politician.

In between discussions of two pieces of legislation that Colbert helped enact was the theme to his speech.

"How a bill becomes a law is the same way everything else happens in almost every endeavor–that is, that things are decided more on the basis of interpersonal relationships than they are on the substance of issues," Colbert said.

Colbert did add that his model is "not the way you and I were taught it ought to be."

"But we fool ourselves if we think that somehow or another things are going to magically change, and things are going to be decided purely on the basis of clear understanding and absolute lack of selfish self-interest."

Colbert continued by establishing guidelines for prospective politicians in the room, saying "(Your) responsibility (as leaders) is to see that the legislative processes really works, that the results of those processes really work and that the results of these processes are to fulfill what was intended in the first place."

Colbert's illustration of his paradigm of legislation was furthered by two stories of bills he was involved in.

The first, the Texas Solid Waste Disposal and Resource Recovery Act, was actually supported in its inception by a variety of conflicting interests, according to Colbert. Environmental groups, major waste-producing industries and waste-management companies alike "signed on" the bill to indicate their support.

However, one waste-management company later turned on the bill and gained the ear of the bill's committee chairman, Colbert said.

"Lo and behold, all of a sudden the bill got assigned to what we refer to in the political process as a 'slow subcommittee for careful study,' " Colbert said. "That was where the bill was going to die."

Colbert then related how his interest in music (he had sung in nightclubs prior to entering office) led him to become "good friends" with a member of the three-man subcommittee through a "legislative music get-together" which he had "organized" after being elected.

Though the subcommittee member and Colbert had not often voted together in the past, their relationship, along with other factors, helped the bill to get out of the subcommittee, Colbert said.

Colbert also had a hand in drafting the bill which funded the current center for Superconductivity at UH.

He spoke on how his close relationship with the house speaker and the lieutenant governor (head of the Texas Senate) got the bill passed, "not because of the substance of the issue, but because (they) had trust, interpersonal relationship trust in my understanding of the bill.

"They said, 'okay, great, we'll pass this bill,' and in three days' time, not only did the bill get passed, but I had identified a source of funding," Colbert said.

Colbert represented District 132 in Houston until making a controversial last-minute decision not to run in the 1992 election. He was replaced by his former aide, Democrat Scott Hochberg.

Republicans accused Colbert of hurriedly declining to run so as not to give other parties a chance to find a quality opponent.

 

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PEPSI VS. COKE WARS BREAK OUT IN SA

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

The Students' Associations weekly meeting broke out into Pepsi wars over the proposed contract that would eliminate competing soft drink companies from campus vending machines.

SA members were reacting to a petition circulating among students that calls for the UH Board of Regents not to sign a contract that would take away student's "freedom of choice of soft drinks."

The Board of Regents will meet today to decide whether to sign the Pepsi contract.

Members argued over which resolution condemning the Board of Regents' plans they would pass. The argument reached the point to where Speaker Jeff Fuller called a five minute recess to see if they could mesh the two resolutions together.

The authors of the two competing resolutions could not come to an agreement.

"There is something profoundly wrong when we spend 30 minutes caucusing and conferencing over two soft drinks," said Hunter Jackson, a senator from the College of Business, who was irritated at the amount of time spent debating the issue.

Eric Feld, a senator from the College of Social Sciences, who authored the resolution that senators finally agreed upon, said that a large amount of the student population is upset with the proposed contract.

"There will be no choice whatsoever. Our job is to tell the Board of Regents how we feel and what we like and don't like," Feld said.

Soft drink brands other than those not manufactured by Pepsi, can only be purchased in the UC, Residence Halls and the UC Satellite.

The resolution, along with a petition signed by students protesting the contract, will be presented at today's Board of Regents meeting.

The other soft drink resolution, authored by Justin McMurtry, a former senator, and sponsored by Casey McMurtry, a senator from the college of HFAC, failed to pass because senators complained the resolution was not clearly against the contract.

"It (McMurtry's resolution) is too wordy. Feld's resolution is simple and blunt," said Keith Peel, the director of external affairs.

McMurtry's resolution would have given the Board of Regents the option to sign the contract but to change the wording to allow Coke and Dr.Pepper products.

"We tried to be as specific as possible and let them know under what conditions we were willing to consummate the contract with Pepsi," McMurtry said.

The first financial report of the 31st administration was also given at the meeting. Steve Shortt, the director of finance, gave the report on SA finances.

This year's inaugural dinner, celebrating the new SA administration, will cost about $1,261. A line item in the SA budget allows them to spend up to $1,650. The rest of the money will be spent to pay for awards and gifts.

Last year's SA president, Jason Fuller, organized the event. Traditionally the outgoing president organizes the inaugural dinner.

Fuller chose to have the dinner at the Briar Club rather than the UH Hilton. The Hilton was more expensive and did not have a room available.

"I shopped around. I'm a firm believer in competitive pricing. I got 12 different bids," Fuller said.

The Briar Club also is not charging SA for using the banquet room. After spending almost $3,000 on last year's inaugural, Milner said they wanted to make sure they stayed within budget.

After SA spends $18,209 for student compensation, they will have about $3,000 left, Shortt said. Right now, SA has $4,100 left that they can spend.

SA will also receive an additional $3,000 from the Student Fees Advisory Committee to reimburse SA for the athletic referendum, Angie Milner, SA president, said.

The Senate also approved Milner's nomination of Thao Vuong, the former senate secretary, for director of public relations; Keith Peel, a former senator, for director of external affairs; and Dirk Moore, a former senator, for director of personnel.

Fuller also chose Brian Varnadoe to replace Vuong as senate secretary.

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FREEMAN LEADS COUGS PAST LAMAR 3-1

Cougars Sports Service

BEAUMONT – Houston first baseman Ricky Freeman hit a two-run triple in the ninth inning Tuesday night at Vincent-Beck Stadium to lead the Cougars to a 3-1 victory over the Lamar Cardinals.

Freeman drove in Ray Trevino, who had advanced to second after a walk and Kyle Rigsby’s sacrifice groundout, and Carlos Perez with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to give UH a 3-0 lead.

Cardinal pitcher Owen Myhre forced catcher Mike Hatch into a ground out to start the inning but then walked Trevino. Rigsby advanced Trevino to second base and Myhre walked Perez. Freeman (3-for-4) then added the two insurance runs before Shane Buteaux ended the inning on a ground out.

Buteaux left right field to pitch against the Cardinals final gasp and promptly gave up a single to Bruce Aven and walked Robin Lindsey.

Morgan Walker singled home Aven for a 3-1 game with no outs. Brian Hamilton relieved Buteaux and the fingernail biting continued.

Jorge Roque, pinch running for Lindsey, was out at third on a fielder’s choice, but Walker adv-anced to third on a wild pitch before Hamilton caught Triny Rivera on a swinging strikeout. Ryan Walter picked up the final out for the save.

Cougar Brad Towns (3-5) allowed only two hits over seven innings but also gave up six walks in the winning effort.

The win gives Houston (29-20) four victories in its last five games, all non-conference. Lamar, which at one time was ranked No. 21 nationally, fell to 23-17.

The Cougars next face Texas Christian in a crucial Southwest Conference series. Houston must win its final six SWC games and get some help from Texas if any hopes of reaching the postseason are to be realized.

 

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CARPOOLING SOON TO BE A FACT OF UH LIFE

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

UH’s Faculty Senate and the Students’ Association will work together to address both the problem of crime on campus and that of complying with the Clean Air Act.

Angie Milner, SA president, met with the Faculty Senate Campus Life Committee last week to look into finding solutions.

"We have never worked with them before. They (the committee) were kind of surprised because it is not customary," Milner said.

Usually the Faculty Senate and SA operate as two separate organizations but the two governing bodies have found common ground on these issues.

"We are looking at shifts to determine if we are underprotected at certain periods of the day or night," said Milner.

Milner said that if we can figure out those times we would know how easy is it for the criminals.

SA plans to put out a survey to determine how the students feel about crime on campus, Milner said.

Milner wants to get at least 3,000 students to fill out the survey.

"We are going to see what students perceive to be the problem," she said.

Along with the Campus Life Committee, they will be looking at how UH compares with the Houston metropolitan area and other state schools with respect to criminal activity.

" Angie came to us and said the primary concern of students is campus crime," said Anthony Collins, the chairman.

In response, the Faculty Senate has asked Chief Hess to speak at their next meeting.

"We look real good. We don’t have a real big problem with crime on campus," said Hess.

Hess said society needs to be more concerned with keeping the criminals that the police catch incarcerated.

"We keep catching the same criminals," he said.

Collins said they are in the exploratory phase of finding out what the Faculty Senate can do to deter crime.

Milner wants to work with UHPD to develop a prevention program to help deter crime on campus.

At the Campus Life meeting, the committee also began discussion about the effects of the Clean Air Act on UH employees.

UH is trying to determine what steps are necessary to comply with state and federal mandates, said Milner.

The act forces employers with more than 100 employees to take measures to reduce the use of single occupancy vehicles.

Although the act only applies to UH employees, SA wants to try to start a program for students.

The state has sent out a survey to find out about people’s driving habits.

The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Committee has set down certain guidelines and time schedules to bring employers into compliance, said Gerald Hagan, the director of parking and transportation.

Hagan was designated as the Employer Trip Coordinator for UH to make sure the university is in compliance with all federal guidelines.

The survey found that from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Friday, Houston has an average passenger occupancy rate of 1.17, said Hagan.

The state’s goal is 1.47. Depending on the results for UH, the university will have to come into compliance with the act.

State law requires that UH get at least 90 percent of their employees to respond to the survey.

Depending on the survey’s results, the university will have to develop a plan by Sept. 15, 1994.

The university then has two years to implement the plan.

Hagan said if the results show that UH is 1.47 or more, the university will not have to make any major changes beyond monitoring the situation to make sure they remain in compliance.

If UH falls short of the 1.47 goal then the university will look into such options as car and van pooling and express buses, he said.

One option might be to compress the work week into four days, said Milner.

Some employees might work four ten hour days or work at home on Fridays using computers and modems hooked into the UH system, said Hagan.

Other options might include giving employees and students incentives to car pool by reducing parking fees, he said.

Hagan said UH may start a data base to help commuters find people with similar schedules that they could car pool with to the university.

SA, Hagan and the Faculty Senate are looking at working out something with Metro to have buses running directly from points around town to UH instead of going downtown, said Milner.

"Metro is surveying our community. The parking program will change dramatically. There will be incentives for multi-occupancy vehicles. We want to make it attractive," Hagan said.

UT already has a bus system that goes directly to campus.

Milner hopes to implement something similar at UH.

"People in Houston love their cars. They don’t want to use the bus system because it takes almost three times the amount of time to reach your destination," said Milner.

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