The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 18, 1989, Page 17, Image 16

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    Albums get good grades, but Young M.C. is 6rap hell’
By Scott Harrah
Staff Reviewer
Malcom McLaren and the
Bootzilla Orchestra, “WALTZ
DARLING.’5 (Epic): Malcom
McLaren, former manager of the
Sex Pistols, has based a musical
career on schtick and gimmickry.
Hype, outrageousness and art as
commerce are his fortfes. He dis
covered walking novelty item Boy
George, and produced albums and
images for two of Britain’s most
ridiculous bands ever, Bow Wow
Wow and Adam and the Ants.
In Ihe early 1980s, he became
fascinated with American urban
black culture - an obsession that
still saturates his hucksterism to
day. Ten years ago, American
bands all wanted to look and sound
British. Today, as McLaren here
with demonstrates on "Waltz
Darling,” the British desperately
arc seeking new identities as black
Americans from Harlem and the
On earlier efforts like "Duck
Rock” and “Fans,” McLaren
fused black ran and hin hon with
two dubiously hip genres, opera
and square dance music. On
“Waltz Darling,” he takes classi
cal and waltz music and blends the
two with house, funk, rap, hip hop
and soul.
As usual, McLaren is less a
music maker than a creative pres
ence. With help from Bootsy
Collins, Jeff Beck and an endless
chorus of backup singers,
McLaren creates soulful, quirky
harmonies with cartoonish, flip
pant hooks that border on the ob
“Deep in Vogue,” the LP’s
first single, is a tribute to vogueing,
a faddish variation of
breakdancing that involves strik
ing campy fashion poses to the
beat. Vogueing evolved in black
drag balls in Harlem years ago and
slowly gained popularity in New
York clubs. McLaren, who seems
to have a pipeline to the American
avant-pulse, has designed an in
triguing tribute to the trend, com
plete with the cheap Eurodisco and
quasi-glamourous violin arias run
way models pose to on “Style
With Elsa Klensch.”
Side one’s “Algernon’s Simply
Awfully Good at Algebra” typi
fies McLaren’s penchant for play
ful nonsense. As the song opens,
McLaren sings about a nerdy alge
bra whiz named Algie while an
orchestra plays in the background,
then suddenly the tune segues into
heavy funk complete with a choir
of shimmying black women sing
ing about a mathematical man as if
algebraic formulas were some
thing sexy.
The LP’s passion for the un
likely and totally incoherent, com
plete with funk riffs that make
McLarcn’s babble seem brilliant,
add up to one of the year’s most
original, daring oddities. (Grade:
A -).
The Red Hot Chili Peppers,
L.A.’s Red Hot Chili Peppers
seem just as famous for their on
stage exhibitionism as they are for
hardcore, guitar-oriented funk.
l/'__r__•__ _ .
rvuvswil 1UI twUlllIJI^, UllMd^V/ WCOI
ing nothing but socks over their
unmentionables, the band mem
bers list ex -pom star Traci Lords as
their biggest rock influence.
“Her orgasms are so incredibly
musical,” they told a SPIN maga
zine reporter.
Jokes aside, “Mother’s Milk,”
the Peppers’ fourth effort, is a bit
disappointing. While early Pep
pers albums featured trenchant
funk, “Mother’s Milk” is cloy
ingly hardcore. Some of the tracks
just seem to float off into some
atonal orbit, while the Peppers
screech over reverberating guitar
But its trademark humor is still
intact. There’s “Magic Johnson,”
a hilarious tribute to the L.A. Lak
ers star, as well as the slapstick of
“Subway to Venus.” The best
track is a spastic cover of Jimi
Courtesy of EMI
Red Hot Chili Peppers_
Hendrix’s “Fire”.
By the lime .you reach side
two’s “Sexy Mexican Maid” and
* ‘Johnny, Kick a Hole In the Sky,”
it’s easy to forget about the dis
torted guitars and radioactive vo
cals - and become wrapped up in
the Pepper s’humorous maelstrom.
(Grade: B).
Young M.C., “STONE
COLD RHYMIN’.” (Island):
Rhymin’ indeed. Young M.C.
rhymes, rhymes and rhymes. Yo!
He’s bad. Yo! He’s a sex god. Yo!
He gets all the women. Yo! He
never shuts up.
Despite the irresistible bassline
of the single “Bust A Move” —
one of the year’s best soul songs -
tracks like “Pick Up the Pace”
and “My Name is Young” epito
mize sexist, egotistical rap hell.
(Grade: C).
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Games |
The Return’s first release
sets band apart from others
By Mark Lage
Senior Reporter «nd Reviewer
The Return
Independently Produced Cassette
The Return entered the local tape
foray earlier this year with its first
release, “Glossingtown,” a cassette
which actually manages in places to
set itself apart from many of the oth
The band, whose members are
Randy Watson, guitar and vocals;
Dave Farrens, bass; and Greg Hill,
drums, is usually grouped with Lin
coln alternative bands like 13 Night
mares and Elysium Crossing, but the
heavily produced sound of
“Glossingtown” will remind listen
ers of more mainstream sources.
Watson’s guitar style is Filled with
the clickings, scrapings and heavily
affected style that has been predomi
nant in 80s alternative rock. But the
spacy, atmospheric production of
‘’Glossingtown,” makes the band
sound more like the Police, A Flock
of Seagulls and even
The tape’s First song, “The For
eign Correspondant,” opens with
simple guitar clicking reminiscent of
Andy Summers In later verses the
clickings are augmented by Sum
mers-like overdubs.
When the song kicks into its faster
)arts, the instrumental wash actually
ecalls Rush from the “Signals” era.
3f course, even at its most strained,
Randy Watson’s voice doesn’t sound
nearly as bad as Geddy Lee’s.
After “Correspondant,” the
ape’s best track is “Disheveled.” It
npens with sharp, catchy bursts of
deliciously layered electric and
acoustic guitars, and an effective bass
and drum accompaniment. The song
switches into one of the band’s typi
cally flighty, atmospheric choruses.
It is all broken up by a funky, occa
sionally discordant middle section.
“Get Lost” and “Chances Taken
Have’’ are further evidences of The
Return’s ability to create clear, pop
atmosphere momentum.
“Glossingtown’’ is the latest in a
series of local band releases to be
recorded at Black Sea Studio. The list
includes 13 Nightmares, Trout Mys
tery, and For Against. The difference
here is that Black Sea was started by
Watson, and is run by him with help
from his band mates.
“Glossingtown” is just the latest
indication that the quality of record
ing one can expect from the studio is
improving all the time.
On instrumentals like “Waking
up From a Bad Dream,” and “Inci
dent 318,” the band captures a vari
ety of bizarre sounds and textures
which would not have been conceiv
able in the days of the 13 Nightmares
and Trout Mystery releases.
The acoustic guitar makes another
appearance as “318” changes into
“Her Majesty.” Short, staggered
acoustic bursts take over the music
for a few moments, while an electric
guitar emerges from the background
lo take control. Moments like these
on the tape separate ‘ ‘Glossingtown
not only from other Lincoln releases,
but from The Return’s own live
However, while certain moments
on the tape add new aspects to The
Return that don’t appear in the live
performances, the overall conclusion
is still the same — The Return is a
talented band capable of clear, enter
taining pop.
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