by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff

It's truly a rare event when a five-track release can pique any sort of major interest with me. However, Heatmiser has done exactly this with the release of <I>Yellow No. 5<P> on Frontier Records.

The band creates several catchy, upbeat grooves without crossing the line into the realm of boring, crowd-pleasing rock. The members of the group complement one another quite well with quick, sound beats along with some interesting lyrical work.

Unfortunately, <I>Yellow No. 5<P> contains only five tracks, which adds up to only about 15 minutes of music. Not exactly the bargain of the century, unless you can find it pretty cheap.

"Wake" is the first track on the release and displays the band's simple, ear-catching style. "The Corner Seat" and "Junior Mint," probably the strongest tracks on the release, are both fairly similar to the first track. Each track moves along, led mostly by guitar riffs and a solid rhythm section.

"Fortune 500" has a slightly lighter type of groove with still enough power to keep you from falling asleep. "Idler" is the one track of the five that portrays a slightly darker and slower sound for the group.

Basically, it seems that Heatmiser has two extremes: the fairly quick, upbeat grooves and the slow, quiet, flowing-type songs. Whichever extreme is played, Heatmiser deserves much more attention than what it has received.

Heatmiser has already passed through Houston at Goat's Head Soup, which was a poor excuse for a music venue. The group toured this spring alongside Sub Pop pals, Pond.

This band is definitely worth recognizing for its style and originality. Look for a full-length album from the group sometime hopefully in the near future. For more information on Heatmiser, contact Frontier; P.O. Box 22; Sun Valley, California 91353.






by Marlene Yarborough

Contributing Writer

The UH Health Center will be modifying its rotating psychiatric service in order to bring in one permanent psychiatrists to work 16 hours per week beginning in September.

Previously, the University of Texas sent resident psychiatrists to the center for as many as 20 hours a week and as few as eight hours. They worked on a rotational basis for a three-month period, said Dr. Kenneth Waldman, director of Psychological Services and Training at UH.

Last June, when psychiatric services were reduced to 10 hours, there was a two-month waiting list. Sixteen hours are an improvement, but might not be sufficient in the peak months of October, November, March and April. Adequate coverage would be 32 hours per week, Waldman said.

There is a request for the Student Fee Advisory Committee to pay for an additional 16 hours, adding a second psychiatrist. According to Waldman, there is approximately $50,000 left in the Health Center fund from last year's fee that would cover the cost.

Both Floyd W. Robinson, director of the center, and Waldman said there would not be a student fee increase to help fund the service. The proposal for a second psychiatrist will be presented to SFAC at its next meeting.

Julie Baumgarten, chair of SFAC, said,"Using the $50,000 fund balance would only be a temporary solution. It is my hope we do not raise student fees at all and still be able to provide the service."

Originally, Baumgarten said the Health Center was to pay for the psychiatrist for two days and Counseling and Testing Services was to pay for an additional two days, but CTS was unable to produce the funding.

SFAC will vote on the issue after hearing a recommendation from Elwyn Lee, vice president for student affairs. Lee will monitor the psychiatric service to evaluate whether the funding is necessary, Baumgarten said.

The change was implemented because UT no longer had the candidates to rotate through the system. Also, Robinson said he wanted to discontinue the rotating resident program to bring on a permanent psychiatrist.

"My reasons for wanting the change was that I wanted consistency and continuity. It seemed that if patients were seeing a psychiatrist, they would have to establish themselves and three months later re-establish themselves," Robinson said. "That kind of process in some ways can be very, very limiting. If there is a permanent psychiatrist, one who is going to be here initially and one who is going to do the follow-ups, in my mind, that is a much better deal for the student," Robinson said.

"It is important that the Health Center have good psychiatry because student insurance does not cover it on an outpatient basis, and in-patient coverage only lasts five days," Waldman said, adding that he hopes having a year-round psychiatrist will improve communication.

The new coverage will be more comprehensive because, with the permission of the student, there will be collaboration between the Health Center psychiatrist and the CTS psychologist, Robinson said.

A decision on whether the 16 hours will be broken into two eight-hour days or four four-hour days has not been made. Robinson said the only prerequisite is that the psychiatrist be available either Monday or Friday to span the weekend gap.

Robinson has spoken with some of the students currently receiving care and says they are in favor of the change.






by Rachel Elizabeth Woods

News Reporter

If the UH Athletics Department has its way, students will "See Red" at the 4th Annual Cougar Kick-Off.

The Athletics Department, in cooperation with the Council of Campus Leaders and the Alumni Organization, is sponsoring this event to boost student interest in athletics and raise ticket sales. This is in keeping with the department's "See Red" campaign, which began in mid-April.

Athletics director Bill Carr and head football coach Kim Helton will introduce the senior players to the university.

Carr said the department wants to use the Kick-Off to get students pumped up about the 1994-1995 football season.

"We want to get people excited about football and ignite interest in students," Carr said.

Jeff Fuller, Students' Association speaker of the senate, said SA has strived to make Cougar Kick-Off bigger every year.

"What we wanted to do was to get more campus departments involved. It started very small and it's really grown," Fuller said, adding that the Council of Campus Leaders hopes to get more students involved in athletic events and other university-sponsored events as well.

The Kick-Off is also a back-to-school welcome for new and returning students as well as a chance for students to show support for their university.

"There are some students who go to this school who have spirit and want to show it," Fuller said.

The UH Alumni Organization also wanted to show its support and get students more interested in athletic events by bringing alumni and students together.

Ann Renit, a representative of AO, said, "We hoped to get the alumni more involved by bringing them on campus to interact with students."

Along with various types of musical entertainment, the Kick-Off will also showcase the senior Cougar players and different kinds of food for all taste buds.





by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

Some of UH's most renowned scholars and researchers have banded together to form the Coalition for Excellence, a watchdog group that will challenge UH President James Pickering to take bolder measures to reduce bureaucratic waste and save state funds.

Kent Tedin, political science department chairman and founding member of the coalition, said the group of almost 50 members does not want to go head-to-head with Pickering's administration, but wants to prod the president into strengthening attempts at pressuring the Legislature for funds, spending less money on UH System bureaucracy and making real efforts at reshaping the university.

Most people in the group said attempts at reshaping by the administration have been false and without much effect. The reshaping process was started in fall 1992 to downsize programs in order to save money and better utilize resources.

Coalition members want the UH System pared down from its 300-member staff and $30 million budget.

"Sending money to support the System means that money is not spent on teaching, research or student life," said math Professor William Fitzgibbon.

Jim Martin, a history professor, added that the system needlessly duplicates activities on this campus.

"It is a nonsensical organization and it is a waste of money," Martin said.

Fitzgibbon said the UH System is different from those at the University of Texas and Texas A&M. The main campus of the latter controls the system.

"At UH, it's like the tail wagging the dog. At UT and A&M, the dog wags the tail," Fitzgibbon added.

The coalition is also dedicated to making UH a premier urban research institution.

The group believes Pickering has devalued UH's research mission.

Back in the early 1960s, university leaders started moving toward the goal of creating a world-class university, but the current administration seemingly has not continued that mission, Tedin said.

"Our principal motivation was a belief that the research mission was being de-emphasized," Tedin said. "We were concerned that UH would turn into a large community college."

Martin said if the situation does not change, UH will go from being the "university of your future to the university that does not really matter."

Pickering's last presidential report on reshaping repeated the statement that UH "aspires to be the nation's premier public urban teaching and research university for the twenty-first century."

Four group representatives appeared before the Board of Regents in June to present the group's views.

"Up until then, there was only one channel of information to the regents, and that was Chancellor Schilt," Tedin said.

Fitzgibbon said Schilt tried to choke off the flow of information to the regents.

Richard Murray, a political science professor, prepared a report on UH's lobbying efforts and what changes are necessary to make UH more effective in the battle for state funds.

Murray said the formulas set up by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board are unfavorable to UH in comparison to UT and other state schools.

"We educate a high proportion of juniors and seniors. We are kind of a finishing school," he said.

UT and other state schools have large numbers of freshman and sophomore students, who are cheaper to educate than upperclassmen, Murray added.

"We have got to play politics," he said.

Grover Campbell, vice chancellor for governmental relations who heads UH's efforts in Austin, is outmanned and outgunned, Murray said.

Coalition members want the administration to make a broader effort to involve all levels, including leaders from the city, county and business communities.

History Professor Joseph Glatthaar said UH supporters should lobby for different formulas.

Leaders also attacked UH's reshaping efforts, saying the whole process was a farce.

"Nothing of consequence came from reshaping," Martin said. "Nothing emerged and nothing changed."

Professors complain that programs that should have been cut were not, and that bureaucracy was not lessened.

"We are adrift in an institution that has a leadership problem," he added.

Martin said the group would oppose Pickering if necessary.

"I want Pickering and (Chancellor Alexander) Schilt to know that the opposition is not going to go away," Martin said. "We are going to hold them accountable for their activity."

Tedin said the coalition was formed, in part, because the Faculty Senate is a diverse, heterogeneous group that has a difficult time acting on the tough issues.

"The group was formed by people who can't be harassed because we are all tenured professors," Tedin said.

Although the coalition has not met formally yet, members communicate by mail and word-of-mouth. Tedin said a tentative meeting has been set for Oct. 8.





Daily Cougar Staff Reports

The days of playing Pac Man in a crowded video-game room are long gone.

Remember the old games you and a few friends would play at 7-Eleven, video games like Frogger, Dig Dug, Centipede, Donkey Kong and Q-Bert?

These games were "in" over a decade ago, yet, at the University Center Games Room, these basic games have been replaced with cutting-edge, 3-D games like Primal Rage. In the afternoon, this game attracts as many as 20 spectators. In this game, a primal beast named "Blizzard," who beats his chest like King Kong, fights an array of ferocious opponents ranging from "Armadon" to "Diablo." Many of his opponents are dinosaurs, including a Triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Primal Rage is the latest game to be installed in the game room, which also features air hockey and over half a dozen pinball machines (including games based on films and programs like <I>Tales From the Crypt<P>, <I>Demolition Man<P>, <I>Star Trek: The Next Generation<P>, <I>Jurassic Park<P> and <I>The Flintstones<P>). Other recreational activities include bowling, ping-pong and pool.

Most of the video games require hand-eye coordination, split-second decision-making and concentration. The once-popular Pole Position is simplistic in comparison to other automobile racing games like the 3-D Ridge Racer, which takes the driver on a ride through mountains, near a coastline, under tunnels and into darkness. A similar game is Road Riot 4WD, which features four-wheelers.

Hoops lovers can play Run and Gun. NBA Jam, another basketball game, is a 2-on-2 game in which the Chicago Bulls' Scotty Pippen (playing with a teammate) squares off against the Golden State Warriors' (and former University of Michigan fab five star) Chris Webber.

Primal Rage is clearly the hottest game in the spacious, dimly lit room. Revolution-X, a game that premiered at one of Aerosmith's concerts during the summer – and features Aerosmith members Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton, and Joey Kramer – is the second most popular video game in the house. These days, most of the hyper young men ignore Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II.

Other popular games involve fighting sequences.

One ongoing event that will be sponsored by the UC Games Room staff is the two billiards leagues' tournaments. Eight-Ball League play will be held Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. The Billiards League will start Monday, Sept. 12, and Tuesday, Sept. 13. The league fee is $30 per semester (10 weeks). The format and exact rules will be discussed the first night of league play. On Sept. 28, Ewa Mataya, the woman heralded as "Pool's Leading Lady," will perform at 7 p.m. in the Cougar Den.

The cost of playing video games can range from 25 cents to whatever you're willing to pay to live vicariously through make-believe monsters, demons and men.

The hours of operation for the game room are: 8 a.m.—11:45 p.m., Monday—Wednesday; 8 a.m.—12:45 a.m., Thursday—Saturday; and 1 p.m.—midnight on Sunday.






Daily Cougar Staff Reports

Are you looking for an alternative to Monday Night football? The Monday Movers, a fall semester bowling league, begins play Monday, Sept. 12. The league fees will be $5 each week of bowling and include three games of bowling, use of rental shoes, a bowling T-shirt, end-of-semester get-together party and awards. Each team consists of four players. The league bowls for 12 weeks.

The Residence Halls League features a competition between dorm dwellers. League members compete Thursdays at 8:15 p.m. League play begins Sept. 8.

Another league, named Tuesday No-Tap, is a nine-pin, "no-tap" format for all (students, faculty/staff and friends). Knock down nine pins on the first roll of the ball and score it like a strike. This game has a fast pace and high scores. The fee is $5 per evening (includes bowling fees, free use of rental shoes, bowling T-shirt and awards). The league begins Sept. 6.

For more information, call 743-5322.






by Hiren Patel

Daily Cougar Staff

If ever a coach is to be complimented, his achievements must rest on the success of players both on and off the field.

Houston assistant football coach Ben Hurt has been responsible for recruiting players who make both the team and coaches successful.

Hurt, who has had two stints with the Cougars, is retiring after 17 years as a top recruiter and coach for the Cougars. He is leaving for personal reasons.

"I've been proud to have come to Texas," said Hurt, a native of Pulaski, Tenn. "I didn't know anyone when I first came here, but I worked my way up."

Over the years, Hurt has observed the Cougar offense change a number of times. UH coach Bill Yeoman developed the Veer while Jack Pardee and John Jenkins installed the Run-and-Shoot.

In between his Cougar stints, Hurt was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M for Emory Billard and saw the inauguration of the Wishbone.

As part of the coaching tandem that included Yeoman and assistant coach O.A. "Bum" Phillips, Hurt participated in the first indoor football game at the Astrodome, or anywhere else.

"I'm humble to be around all my coaches," Hurt said. "I'm very fortunate to have been around all the successful coaches."

Hurt's major contribution to the UH coaching staff has been recruiting. His most successful recruits include such players as Lamar Lathon, Glenn Montgomery, Craig Veasey and T.J. Turner.

However, Hurt is the first to point out that his most prized recruit was quarterback Andre Ware, UH's only Heisman Trophy winner, from Dickinson High.

The recruiting tactics Hurt used were very simple. "I sent something to the high school and home every day," Hurt said. "I decorated the mail with their name, jersey number and write All-American or blue chipper."

The type of players Hurt tried to recruit were difference-makers. His goal was to bring in 10 top players each year.

"I've been the best on-the-field coach and recruiter as I possibly can be," Hurt said.

Hurt said he believes the football team is on the right track to reaching the greatness it once possessed.

"This team is young and they'll be well-coached, well-disciplined and will really play hard," Hurt said. "But we (the coaches) have to be patient and let them get older."

Hurt said the objective of this year's team should be to do as well as possible, then next year add some top freshmen to really help the team.

Recruitment, Hurt said, should be greatly improved by the construction of the new athletics complex, scheduled to open in March.

"The University of Houston is on the cutting edge of achieving outstanding success at the national level," Hurt said. "I think the school's a sleeping giant in football with the No. 1 football facility in the country soon to be opening."

The major difference Hurt sees in the way football has changed over the years is in the way coaches deal with players.

"When I first started coaching, little checking (on academics) was done," Hurt said. "Now we have to discipline the players more. We didn't oversee the players as much."

Hurt's only regret is never being a major head coach.

"I never did reach my goal as being a major college head coach," Hurt, who was the head football coach for four years at Middle Tennessee State, said. "But I had a role to play as assistant coach in being the best I possibly could be."

Hurt, however, did reach a more important personal goal of being similar to his high school coach and mentor.

"I would best like to be remembered as a player's coach who loved and cared for my players like my high school coach John Deer," Hurt said. "I had a humble background which made me realize caring for the players was a key to success.






by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

On the Home Front

The latest Sports Illustrated polls are in, and you may not want to hear this.

The editors at SI have chosen to rank our confident, yet humble, Houston Cougar football team No. 102 in the nation, out of 107 Division I schools.

You know, it's too bad Tulane (No. 103 in SI's poll), Arkansas State (104), Northeast Louisiana (105), Texas-El Paso (106) and Kent State (107) don't pack Houston's nonconference schedule. Otherwise, the Cougars could find themselves playing for a serious bowl bid come mid-November.

But polls aside, I don't see the Cougars actually being that bad. In fact, they could actually win four or five games this year.

<I>POP!<P> Yeowww! Ahem, sorry about that. Somebody just hit me in the head with a shoe.

But seriously, can we really see the Cougars being as bad as they were in 1993? Moreover, can we really see them being as bad as to not make the nation's Top 100 list?

So before we commit ourselves to tabbing the Cougars as No. 102, let's take a look, one by one, at the opponents SI seems to think will put Houston just barely ahead of the bottom of the college football barrel this season.

Game 1: Kansas (No. 33 in SI's poll) – An early test for the Cougars, despite the contest being in the friendly-yet-empty confines of the Astrodome. Houston should be able to run the ball against Kansas with an inexperienced Jayhawk line. However, Kansas should prevail, despite giving the Cougars reason for encouragement, 28-17.

Game 2: at Louisiana Tech (No. 86) – The Cougars' first win of ’94 and first victory away from the city of Houston since 1990. <I>KAPOP!<P> OUCH! Sorry. Another flying shoe. Both teams will be involved in an offensive battle on the ground, but UH should come out on top 35-34.

Game 3: Missouri (No. 69) –Two in a row for Houston! Missouri has no defense, no running game and no hope. Cougars in the Dome 27-10.

Game 4: at Ohio State (No. 29) – No contest. UH comes back to earth with a bang and stands at 2-2 headed into Southwest Conference play. 48-10 Buckeyes.

Game 5: Texas A&M (No. 22) – Though in the Astrodome, this is really a home game for the Aggies. Houston's defense will be no match for A&M's running game. Aggies 31-6.

Game 6: at SMU (No. 84) – Really a toss-up. But with the Mustangs used to playing their tough 1994 schedule, they might get so pumped against Houston, they could finish off the Cougars early. SMU 38-17.

Game 7: TCU (No. 45) – A historically offensive series continues. This will be UH quarterback Chuck Clements' best game of ’94 and the Frogs' Andre Davis will have a field day, too. But I think 45-42 UH. What? No shoe?

Game 8: at Baylor (No. 17) – Houston won't run against a tough defensive line, nor will they stop the run either. Bears easily, 41-10.

Game 9: at Texas (No. 24) – If UT receivers Mike Adams and/or Lovell Pinkney miss this game, the Cougars could challenge and win 17-13. Otherwise, forget it; Horns prevail, 30-13.

Game 10: Texas Tech (No. 52) – The Raiders have no offense, but their defense and eventual All-SWC kicker Jon Davis will give Tech a 12-9 victory in San Antonio's Alamodome.

Game 11: Rice (No. 85) – Houston wins back the Bayou Bucket and the UH defense gets to Owl quarterback Josh LaRocca eight times against a weak line. UH 26-10.

There you have it, a 4-7 record, maybe 5-6. It won't be good enough for any postseason participation, but at least SI can re-evaluate its intentions when it decides to dog UH again in 1995.

<I>Sshhhhmmmm!<P> HAH! You missed.






by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

Kim Helton has raised the limbo pole.

Going into last season, the Houston head football coach was not pleased with the height on his defensive line, which he inherited when taking over as coach in the spring of 1993.

"I think (former coach John Jenkins and his staff) had a limbo line," Helton said at last year's preseason media tour. "And anyone who was under 6-feet tall was automatically a defensive lineman."

However, that was then and this is now.

Helton and his staff find themselves fortunate enough to have four players on the line and eight players overall with a height of at least 6-3 going into Thursday night's season opener against the Kansas Jayhawks in the Astrodome.

"I have been more satisfied with our height this year," Helton said at this season's media tour, which visited UH Aug. 17.

But instead of using the limbo pole, there may be a different requirement implemented for the defense this year – that is, if you're a freshman, you're automatically on defense.

As of Tuesday's media luncheon, held at the UH Hilton, Houston has listed as many as 10 defensive freshmen on its two-deep roster. Nine are backups.

"All the backup defensive linemen are freshman," Helton said at the luncheon. "But they should have the advantage because you can be young and dumb and still play great defense anyway."

On the positive side, having several freshmen backing up the more-experienced players can be a good way for the first-year footballers to vie for more playing time if they are unsure of their playing status on the team.

On the negative side, physical and mental drains on a freshman can hamper his performance due to a lack of experience playing college football.

"The only way (the freshmen) are going to get better is if they get experience," Helton said.

But the entire defense, not just the freshmen, needs to improve if UH hopes to have any chance of competing in 1994.

Houston was last in the Southwest Conference in both rushing and total defense last season, giving up 2,403 and 4,921 yards respectively in those areas.

Whether the Cougars can improve on those statistics remains to be seen, but it appears as though they have been making strides this preseason.

The defensive line looks stronger, with two returning starters, and the linebacking corps, though thin, is "physically better" than last season's unit, Helton said. Two of those three starting linebackers from last season are playing in the NFL this season.

"It's all about execution anyway," senior starting middle linebacker Demond James said. "You can say what you want about a talented defense, but if you don't execute, you're in trouble."

James is the only returning linebacker who saw any significant action last year, recording only eight tackles.

The other two starting linebackers will be junior Chris Jones and freshman Chad Shaw.

Though junior left defensive end Marlon Foots and senior right defensive tackle Eric Harrison started all 11 games on the line last season, both were demoted to backup roles this season.

Freshmen Leonta Rheams (6-3, 250) and Rusty Foster (6-3, 235) should see adequate playing time this year, while freshman linebacker Mike Parker (6-3, 215) is expected to play a significant backup role.

The Cougars are also expecting good things out of junior strong safety Gerome Williams in the secondary. The lone returning starter in the defensive backfield, Williams has had a good preseason, making several acrobatic interceptions in practice.

With all the youth, it is unrealistic to expect any serious jump in the SWC defensive standings. But with Houston leaning toward the future, it is time to get the young guns ready.






by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

Soundtracks are a mixed bag. The one for the film <I>Mi Vida Loca<P> is no different.

The film, set in East Los Angeles, depicts the lives and loves of Chicanas in the barrio. The backdrop for the movie is a variety of hip-hop from the East and West coasts, although primarily from California. That music populates this disc as well.

Most of the music is previously released or upcoming, but that shouldn't invalidate the good tracks or even the bad ones. Many of hip-hop's current and rising stars are here: A Tribe Called Quest, Funkdoobiest, and Boss and Lighter Shade of Brown are but a few.

L.A.'s Proper Dos has made a name for itself as a skilled part of the hip-hop underground, and its submission here, "Tales From the Westside," only furthers that reputation.

PD's consciously Chicano lyrics with a dose of street life makes for good music. It's essentially a tale of growing up and dealing with violence, pride and turf in one's community. The prisoner-imposed California Chicano gang truce — the one most of the major media haven't covered — is touched on, as are a number of issues. "Westside" is most certainly a great opener for any record.

Lighter Shade of Brown is the feature artist here, with its single, "Hey DJ," and another track, "Two Lovers." At first, "Hey DJ" is terribly annoying, but it can grow on you. Likewise for "Two Lovers." LSOB is one of those groups that's hard to peg, but once you listen enough, you'll figure out what the point is about. Then again, one could also adjust to being tortured with a rattan cane as well.

Older tracks from A Tribe Called Quest ("When The Papes Come") and Boss ("Run, Catch and Kill") ballast this soundtrack and provide a selling point. Tony! Toni! Tone! even makes an appearance. That's a good thing, considering the disc is loaded with clunkers from groups like the R&B wannabe 4 Corners.

Shootyz Groove is one of a number of bands charting a new course for hip-hop, and the inclusion of its song, "Crooked is the Path," deserves an appreciative nod. Shootyz Groove is composed of a band and rappers whose sound is fringe hip-hop – the rap is rap and the music supports it, rather than the crop of hip-hop copycats who use the vocal style to mask a bad singer.

Toss in a decent track from Funkdoobiest ("The Good Hit") and it makes for an alright recording. <I>Mi Vida Loca<P>'s background music makes the movie in many ways, and it stands well by itself.







by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff


I thought I'd take this time to step up on my soapbox for one last time and maybe create at least a distraction for your day.

The music industry has become one of the largest melting pots around today. Lately, this melting pot has grown to create a rather foul odor.

The annoying sounds of techno are still sort of popular. Don't ask me how, but apparently some unfortunate souls are listening to this "music." Boy, how could someone not like repetitious sounds with programmed music? These groups are not musicians. They are people who are pawning off what they call music to a public who will for some reason eat it up. That's a shame.

Speaking of shameful, who could not mention the constant whining and whimpering of country music. The "tear-in-my-beer" concept is still alive and sickening today. Not only are these individuals sticking with the same old style, but they are also trying to merge into the area of rock. Not a very good idea from the few painful minutes I've heard.

Besides these two genres, there are all the bands that are trying to hang onto the coattails of what has become the "Seattle sound." Some of the bands that originally came out of this area were and still are very solid groups.

However, since the explosion of this sound, it seems that every band is copying another band's sound in hopes of getting the same fat paycheck. Once again, bad idea. Originality seems to be very hard to come by in the major-label musical stream. The first time one hears a band of this kind, the response often seems to be, "Well they sound like...."

It seems that many of these major-label bands have lost sight of what got them to that point: creativity and originality. Many of the bands around today have become clones of past and present bands.

The next topic I'd like to touch on is the fact that I'm sick and tired of hearing all of this crying over the suicide of Kurt Cobain. I don't even like talking about it anymore, simply because the media made a three-ring circus out of his suicide.

This man was not a legend. He was a man who was a musician in an over-popularized band, couldn't handle living anymore, and decided to end his life by displaying the inside of his head with the help of a shotgun.

Another thing: Cobain's "corrosive songs" did not define a generation as Jeff Giles of Newsweek stated. I personally don't want to be defined by a bunch of lyrics that require a class in decoding to understand. Maybe there was meaning in the songs, but to raise this man to legendary status is basically mocking those already there.

By no means is the topic of suicide something to make light of; however, this issue has gotten far out of hand. The media made a circus out of Cobain's death by making the man appear as some sort of huge rock icon for an entire generation. He may have been a good musician, but the idea of placing Cobain among the ranks of Hendrix, Morrison or Joplin is ridiculous.

Cobain's suicide caused hundreds of young people to rush to the phones and call their local suicide hot lines. Well, I guess because Cobain wore plaid, did drugs and killed himself, some people feel they should follow the same path. "If so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?"

Kurt Cobain is not an icon. He is a man who obviously had a hard life, became tremendously popular and in the end couldn't handle it all.

O.K., so on to the next topic: sell-outs. Who could criticize music without briefly touching on the topic of sell-outs? In this case, sell-outs will be defined by those who have either entirely changed their image and music, or have just gotten too popular for their own good and let it go to their heads. Hmm...the first band that comes to mind that spells sell-out in capital letters is the band that has been "buggin' " me: U2.

This band went from expressing their political and emotional feelings to making sure the sunglasses are on straight and everyone looks just perfect. Music is not about appearance; it should be based on the actual music that is performed.

Coming in a close second are the repetitious pop sounds of R.E.M. I don't think I really need to explain why this is, but just in case you need a hint, Michael Stipe's political correctness has grown to be terribly annoying – one man who stands for everything that is right in pop culture.

Wow, let me be oh-so-impressed. The list of sell-out groups continues on as far as the eye can see, covering everything from rock to rap.

The state of today's music industry is, if nothing else, interesting to say the least. A good portion of the music produced has become almost amusing due to what some actually call music. For the most part, today's music industry has unfortunately become a breeding ground for the fashion-conscious and the musically stunted.


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