The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 03, 1994, Page 9, Image 9

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Daily -
Thursday, February 3,1994
Opium Taylor’s success
built on good chemistry
By Paula Lavigne
Senior Reporter
Mix four young guys, drums, gui
tars and a musty room, and you have
a generic band.
It’s open season for cloning these
generic bands, as they start popping
up in every garage and basement in
the Western Hemisphere, but it takes
a solid band to break the mold.
The Lincoln band Opium Taylor
may have the strength to do that. It has
one ingredient other bands may not
have — determination. The members
want it, and they want it bad.
Through luck and a mutual interest
in music, singer Chris Heine and bass
ist Pat Noecker paired up with drum
mer Matt Focht, lead guitarist Mike
Mogis and somewhat debatable mas
cot Zoocy, the black Labrador.
For the members of Opium Taylor,
the band is their lives.
“I want to rock,” Noecker said.
“That’s all there is to it. It’s what I’m
best at creatively.”
Bandmatc Heine said playing could
become an obsession or a natural pro
cess like eating breakfast.
Mogis has an alternative reason.
“I just wanted to get, like, chicks,”
he joked.
Focht said he planned on making
the band his life. The members of
Opium Taylor want to preserve their
image, he said.
“We all agreed on not becoming
regular middle-class adults,” he said.
“We don’t want to wake up every
Saturday morning and have our dog
bring us the paper.
You can come in and
be the hottest guitar
wizard in the world,
but if you can’t get
along personally,
you’ll never get
-ft -
“We want to be Indie rockers till we
die!” he said.
Heine mocked the situation.
“A week after this is printed you’ll
hear, ‘Opium Taylor signs with At
lantic Records today. Matt Focht is
hung in effigy at that local Common
place concert,’” Heine said.
If the band members could get to
gether and compose the “Opium Tay
lor How To Start a Band” guide, they
said camaraderie would be a priority.
“No. 1 priority: Play with people
you can get along with outside the
band,” Noecker said. “Otherwise,
there’s no chemistry.
“You can come in and be the hot
test guitar wizard in the world, but if
you can’t get along personally, you’ll
never get there,” he said.
Mogis added his own chapter.
“The next step is the music that you
make,” he said.
Although playing in a band may be
considered the ultimate fun, Noecker
said, it’s also a job.
“It is a huge part of your life. It is a
Travis Heying/DN
Chris Heine, left, and Pat Noecker of the Lincoln band Opium Taylor qet behind the music
during a practice Tuesday night. The band is scheduled to play at Duffy’s Tavern this
hobby, but it’s also a way of life,” he
said. ‘‘There’s a lot of nitty-gritty crap,
like when your van breaks down on
the road. That’s not fun at all.”
With three-fourths of the band in
college, balancing classes and music
is difficult.
“As far as the four priorities in my
life, it goes: music, people, school
work and job,” Heine said. “If we had
a cool gig in Lawrence and my boss
said I had to work, I’d quit.”
Opium Taylor will be performing
at Duffy’s Tavern on Feb. 6 at 10 p.m.
Tickets are $3.
“Mind Bomb”
Mind Bomb
Mind Bomb’s self-titled release
brings back some older sounds and
also produces some completely new
alternative rock.
The album leans toward the
heavier side bul has a couple of
good ballads.
It starts out with a rather origi
nal tune, “Prepare Yourself.” This
piece has a novel guitar riff that
sounds mysteriously like the In
spector Gadget theme.
It stays heavy through the next
two songs, “Segue” and “Do You
Need Some?” It then softens with
the first (and better) of two ballads,
“Almost There.” The vocals and
instrumentation in this song make
up for its sappy lyrics.
The rest of the songs are mostly
heavy, and a couple of them are
really good. The first of these, “Vi
olet Dream," has a distinctive Faith
No More sound to it and some
pretty good lyrics. “Had a ‘Violet
DreamvA ‘surreal’ it seems/It told
me to demean everything/ but I
know this can’t happen to me.”
The other is “Daisy Chain,” a
lighter song that has good sound
and some socially conscious lyrics.
“I heard a voice/11 spoke in tongues/
It told me that the future ends to
morrow/ And if we don’t prepare
ourselves/ There might be nothing
left to borrow.”
The album concludes with a
bonus track — an eight-minute
version of “Do You Need Some?”
that sounds even better than the
“Mind Bomb” is an admirable
debut album that would make a
good addition to any alternative
— Joel Strauch
“Live From Hell”
Sam Kinison
Priority Records
Though it’s been more than a
year since he died, it is still possible
to enjoy the comedy of Sam Kin ison.
Recorded in Houston before his
death, “Live from Hell” is Kinison’s
fourth and hopefully not his last
It is vintage Kinison, rightfully
earning the Parental Advisory label
for explicit lyrics. Kinison begins
with a bit about his missing the
Joan Rivers show and segues to
imagining Arnold Schwaraenegger
as a gay Terminator and exploring
the dark side of children’s show
hosts, such as Pee Wee Herman and
Captain Kangaroo.
But lest anyone think the humor
is completely scatological, Kinison
also takes on world affairs. He
touches on topics such as the Per
sian Gulf War and the Russian
There are other classic Kinison
bits about cable TV, the homeless
and rap music. (The titles for these
prospective rap songs are hilarious
but unprintable here.) It is straight
ahead, high-decibel, politically in
correct comedy. The terrible thing
is that after hearing “Live from
Hell,” we real ize what we lost when
I’ve never been a big fan of ZZ
Top, so when the band came out
with its latest release, “Antenna,” I
was less than thrilled.
ZZ Top — why are they still
around? Then 1 listened to the al
bum, and I was surprised. They’re
still around because they’re, well,
“Antenna,” the group’s 11 th re
lease, is a musically strong, well
made album. It comes off sounding
dirty, raunchy and sleazy — the
way a rock ’n’ roll album should
sound — yet maintains a high
quality, polished tone.
Seriously, “Antenna” offers such
a wide range of sound and style,
anyone from a Judas Priest fan to a
Lynyrd Skynyrd lover can find
something on this record to enjoy.
From the bouncy, rollicking
“Girl In a T-shirt” to the hard
hitting first single “Pincushion” to
the foot-tappin’, ass-shakin’
“Deal’s Goin’ Down,” ZZ Top is in
its * e.
beards to their knees and
hot licks in their pockets, guitarist
Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill
and drummer Frank Beard com
bine the sounds of their classic ear
ly albums with a modem twist and
contemporary issues.
Kinison died.
— Sam Kepfield
—Ann Stack
Book evokes emotion
Dan Simmons
Warner Books
Dan Simmons is a member of a
select group of horror writers, such as
Charles L. Grant, F. Paul Wilson and
Peter Straub, who produce work of
exceptional quality but do not enjoy
the fanfare of bigger-name authors
like Stephen King and Clive Barker. It
is hoped that Simmons’ new release,
“LoveDeath,” will help introduce new
readers to this excellent writer.
“LoveDeath" is a collection of five
novellas that contain within them vari
ations on themes of love and death.
The opening novella, “Entropy’s
Bed At Midnight,” is a moving tale of
a man who is spending the afiernoon
with his daughter at a slide in Colo
rado. The man, who sells insurance,
recalls tale after tale of horrifying
accidents from his years visiting acci
dent sites. He suddenly realizes, as his
daughter is whipping ahead of him
down the slide, that she now is a
member of the world that produces
such horrors, such accidents. As he
watches his daughter whip ahead of
him, all the years of witnessing horri
ble accidents suddenly take on a very
human touch.
This story is moving, and the end
ing, which is subtle in its message, is
The second novella, “Dying in
Bangkok,” is probably the weakest
story. It is the story of a Vietnam
veteran who returns to Bangkok 20
years after the war to get revenge on a
female vampire by giving her AIDS.
“Sleeping With Teeth Women” is
more of a retelling of a legend than an
actual story. Lame Badger is a young
S ioux who receives a vision that he, by
his actions, will either save or destroy
the Sioux nation. The story details his
journey through the wilderness,
searching for the answers behind his
vision, and concludes with his reach
ing a tent where three sisters, the
Teeth Women, await him.
“Flashback” is a weaker story. It is
about a drug called flashback, which
allows people taking the drug to relive
experiences in their lives over and
over again. Most of the American
public is addicted to the drug, and the
Japanese, who do not use flashback,
pretty much run the world.
“The Great Lover” is the last no
vella in the collection and by far the
best. It takes place during the Battle of
Somme during World War I and is
told through the diary of James Rooke,
a British officer and poet. This story is
absolutely brilliant.
The horrors of the war are so well
detailed that readers actually feel like
they are there with Rooke in the trench
es of Somme, blindly charging toward
the Germans. The novella also shows
how the “powers that be” regarded the
enlisted men. Although Rooke is in
jured again and again, so bad that he
has to use a cane to walk, he is contin
ually sent back to the front.
“The Great Lover” is laced with
poetry from real World War I poets.
Simmons incorporates the poetry into
his story to give it a realistic feel and
help set the story in time with other
“LoveDeath” is an excellent piece
of work and well worth picking up.
— William J. Harms