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Patti Smith’s ‘Gung Ho’ works despite glaring errors
■ Competent album
brings some songs that
fans will like.
By Josh Krauter
Patti Smith’s new album, “Gung
Ho,” is a reminder th^jt icons dpn’t
always make iconic music.
It’s a competent rock album that
sounds like it was made, recorded
and produced by real people, not
untouchable deities. But that feeling
of urgency, importance and absolute
necessity that makes for rock god
head is missing from “Gung Ho.”
Instead, it’s just a competent album
lull of decent rock songs.
Smith’s 1975 debut album,
“Horses,” was an epic - a humorous,
melancholy, alive, electric, varied
and fiercely-played set of raw rock
‘n’ roll. It inspired, and still inspires,
loads and loads of great bands, and
kick-started New York punk.
Smith has never matched the
intensity of “Horses” since - though
1978’s “Easter” came close - but
that’s all it took to get the “legend”
nameplate on her office door.
Still, “Gung Ho” has its
moments, most often on the record’s
first half. And it’s the most comfort
able album Smith has made since the
There are several reasons for this.
First of all, Smith and the band (most
of which were members of her old
band) are finally getting back into
the groove of making records and
touring. “Gung Ho” is only the third
album Smith has made since coming
back from her long retirement, and
her and the band sound rejuvenated.
Smith is probably also done
grieving, which helps the music
breathe again. Her comeback was
spurred by the deaths of her husband,
her brother and a former band mem
ber, all from heart attacks, and a
good friend, photographer Robert
Mapplethorpe, from AIDS.
So it was no surprise that her last
two albums, “Gone Again” and
“Peace and Noise,” were somber sor
rowful affairs with an undercurrent
of hope. Both albums had a handful
of great songs, but there was some
thing a bit stilted and a bit cold about
Smith and the band sounded a lit
tle uncomfortable rocking again, and
though the material was good, the
execution and heavy-handed produc
tion squeezed the excitement out of
some of the music. It was as if the
band were recording in a sauna dur
ing a heat wave.
Well, Smith and her band have
turned back into a spontaneous rock
‘n’ roll machine, and this time they
have a producer who knows how to
record guitar rock.
Gil Norton is at the helm on
“Gung Ho,” and his credits include
the Pixies, Foo Fighters and Pere
Ubu. Guest musicians also help out.
Ex-Husker Du drummer Grant Hart,
ex-Television guitarist Tom Verlaine
and the ever-present Michael Stipe
all lift a few tracks a notch or two
But it’s mostly Smith and her
band who are responsible for this
pleasing collection of rock, at least
for the first half of the album. Smith
manages the feat of making a better
album than her last one with lesser
The first half of “Gung Ho”
regains the intensity Smith has been
missing for awhile. The record opens
with “One Voice,” and Lenny Kaye’s
winding guitar sounds more fluid
and electric than it has in years. “Lo
and Beholden” is an excellent com
panion piece to 1978’s “Because the
Night,” and “Persuasion” is full of
pop hooks, passion and fierce play
ing. “China Bird” is a great ballad.
Then the album sags a little.
“Strange Messengers” is an eight
minute pretentious mess, in which
Smith speak-sings over meandering
backing from the point of view of an
African slave transported on a slave
ship. What, can Smith, a white
woman bom in the 20th century, pos
sibly have to add to this discussion,
especially when she fails to tie it in to
anything in the present that she may
have a connection with?
Later, she tackles the 12-minute
title track, in which she presents her
take on Ho Chi Minh’s experience in
Vietnam. This song gets by on its
hypnotic melody and trance-induc
ing musicianship, but the lyrics are
more pretentious nonsense. Smith
seems to be suffering from well
meaning white liberalism, and she’s
doing more harm than good.
She finally tackles a political
subject that is in her range of experi
ence on “New Party,” an expression
of dissatisfaction with the current
climate of politics as usual. The song
is loud and raucous, but the lyrics
bash the listener over the head, with
out any trace of subtlety. I suspect
Smith packs a U-Haul for a weekend
The pretensions in her lyrics have
increased throughout her career. On
“Horses,” Smith covered Van
Morrison and Them’s “Gloria,”
keeping the gender pronouns the
same and turning the song into a cel
ebration of punk rock excess. On
“Land,” she threw snatches of “Land
of a Thousand Dances” into the song,
4-1 TITLE: Gung Ho
** ; FIVE WORDS: Smith is
back, sort of.
chanting “go Rimbaud” in between
shouts to “do the Watusi,” skewering
her own pretensions and celebrating
the simultaneous importance and
ridiculousness of rock ‘n’ ro)l.
These three songs are severe mis
steps, but the strength of the rest of
the material will keep “Gung Ho”
out of the used bins. Anyone who
likes Patti Smith will find much to
enjoy here. Just make sure the fast
forward button works so you can
trim the fat from the album, even if
Tuesday,April 11,2000 ,5/15
Page 11 U TT A d~\ X'l IT 1 1 “XX $3.50/15 words (students)
8 ■ I \ A A I B I I I I I A A $0.15 each additional word
(402)472-2588 B / A ^^A ^^A B B ’ B B ' B W ^^A $0.75 billing charge
FAX-(402) 472-1761 X-iJLJL^J L/ll X $0.75/line headline
email@example.com Deadline: 3 p.m. weekday prior
3 piece sectional with recliner and queen fold out
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Computer table with bookshelves and chair. $150. Full
size bed with mattress box and frame. $80.438-8831
Kenmore washer/dryer for sale. Good condition. $250
for the pair. 466-4995.
Vacuum cleaner, $40.438-8831.
SONY 3-CD changer, $50.438-8831.
‘90 Prizm, 4-door, auto, air, 91K, $2650. ‘88 Nissan
pickup, 4-speed air, 96K, $2450. ‘87 Isuzu pickup.
4-speed, 93K, $1500. Baer’s Auto, 1647 S. 3rd.
‘98 VOLVO S70 T5. Loaded, 52K, beautiful, wholesale
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1986 VW Jetta, Wolfsburg Edition, clean, good condi
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• 1992 4WD Geo Tracker, hard-top. 90.000K, $3,200
• 1983 Yamaha Virago 750, red, $1,250 OBO.
‘83 Yamaha Virago 750, red, great condition, $1250
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Auto Accidents & DWI
Other criminal matters, call Sanford Pollack, 476-7474.
For all your insurance needs: auto, home, health, life
and business, call Jim Wallace at American Family
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Female nonsmoker to share 3BR apartment,
$175/month+ 1/3 utilities. Call 476-1159 or 472-6364.
Looking for 1 non-smoking roommate for summer.
$260 + 1/2 utilities. 477-7113
Looking for a place to live? www.housing101.net...
Your move off campus! Free roommate sublet listings.
One female roommate needed by May. Rent:
$230/month. Call 325-9569
One person to share 3 bedroom apartment with two
male roommates for the summer, Near campus
Two roommates needed, May-August 1. $250+ 1/3
utilites, close to UNL 435-7448.
3 Bedroom, Belmont area, close to campus,
$725/month + utilities + deposit. No pets. Call
402/464-3348 after 2 p.m.
400 Terrace Road, 3 bedroom, A/C, garage, fence yard,
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$900. 5BR, 2BA, central air, new carpet, new paint,
dishwasher, W/D, no pets. 3735 Cleveland. Available
now. 4 months or 1 year lease. 58Q-1121.
1426 N. 23rd. (23rd and Holdrege.) Very nice five bed
room. Two baths. Spacious. Parking. Near UNL. $950.
1430 South 9th 4 or 5 bedroom , 2 bath, dishwasher,
offstreet parking $860 438-4209.
4200 Balwin, 6 bedroom, 2 bath, A/C, nice. Available
8/1 $900 440-8046, 440-2248. _
Great houses close to UNL, available in May or earlier.
• 1237 Court, 3BR, $650
• 1438 N. 21,4BR, $800
• 1541 N. 26, 5BR, $900
• 1426 N. 23, 5BR, $950
Newer 4 bedroom, 2 garage, 2 bath, family room.
$1,050 a month, no pets. Available in May. 432-0415.
Nice 5BR, 3266 Dudley. 2 and 1/4 bath, ceiling fans,
A/C, appliances include W/D no pets, parking. $1100.
Off-Campus Student Housing
♦ East Campus, parking, AC
♦3 BR duplex, $600
♦4 BR house, $850
Two to five bedroom houses near UNL Available May
or August. Air conditioning. Washer/dryer. 432-6644.
We Love Students!
Avoid noisy apartment complexes!
Great 2, 3, and 4 bedroom homes near UNL. A/C,
washers, dyers, dishwashers. Reserve for summer or
fall now, and relax! 423-1535.
4BR duplex for rent, 2 car garage, close to'campus,
$950/month+utilities. Excluding water. Available May
1. Call 484-7737, ask for Clint or Troy. _
2131 6 or 3010 Center. 4BR, 2 bath. Fireplace, all ap
pliances, double garage. $1150. August move-in.
3 and 4BR, 2 Bath, washer/dryer, garages. Available
May and August. $750-$995. (402) 438-3393.
Newer 3 bedroom, 2 bath, ‘i garage, family room, fire
place, no pets or smoking/ Available for May and Au
gust. Reserve yours now! $875, 432-0415. _
Close to campus, nice, 3 bedroom, 3 bath, garage,
W/D, all appliances, $795. HIP, 465-8911.
* Brand New Duplex *
3434 “P" St
-Available in August
4BR, 3 fun bath, 2 famHy room, double garage and
off-street parking. Call 308-487-3819 or 303-487-5314.
Ask for Ron or Pat.
USunny and Cheerful!!
1 Bedroom 20003 St. Clean $310
4 Bedroom, 2 baths, garage 5350 Cooper $795
No Smokers or Pets 440-3000
Efficiency in 8-plex between campuses, appliances,
patio, parking, super clean, 2627 Vine, $285.00,
2 BR, fireplace. Near east campus, bus routes.
Available May 10.325-0491.
4 BEDROOM/2 BATHS
Built for students. Recently built. Washer/dryer fur
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for August or May. Call Phoenix Properties 474-5327.
♦ 700 S. 17th FURNISHED ♦
Available now. 2BR $410 and 1BR $360, includes
utilities heat/cable. Laundry. 488-6707, 450-8895.
2350 North 44th (44th & Leighton). One bedroom, f/p,
big, clean and safe. 466-1733.
4910 Madison, 1 bedroom, A/C, references, no pets,
$390. Call 483-4887 or 483-7720.
“OPENING DOORS TO
(Select Breeds Restricted)
One, two, & three bedroom apartments. 3, 6, 9, & 12
month leases. 3 Swimming Pools, 2 Tennis Courts,
Sand Volleyball, Fftrfess Center, Sauna & Spa. Only 5
miles from the UNL Campus. Call or come visit today.
40th St. & Hwy 2, (402) 423-0978.
Apartments on UNL Campus
One studio and 1BR available now and other units
available May 1. No smoking, no pets, controlled ac
cess, laundry, assigned parking, UNL shuttle stop,
$325-$450. Brick Yard Apartments, 17th & Holdrege,
Available now. 2BR, second floor of remodeled house.
Student tenants, central air, gas heat, parking, deck,
wood floors, clean, well maintained $460/month+ de
posit and utilities. 1136 A Street.
Top floor of duplex. A/C, washer/dryer, off street park
ing, garage available. $410/month. 1121 Sumner.
402-540-1842 or 402-895-5890.
Clean 1BR apartment, newly remodeled kitchen and
bath, rent $295 plus electric. For more information call
Melody or Pat, 402-434-2610 or hearing impaired/TDD
SELECT A HOME
Move-In May 1st
Fountain Glen 436-3452
Highland View 436-3483
Efficiencies start $390
1 Bedrooms start $440
2 Bedrooms start $550
3 Bedrooms start $635
Lakeview Park 436-3464
Folsom Ridge 436-3422
Efficiencies start $440
1 Bedrooms start $465
2 Bedrooms start $585
3 Bedrooms start $720
Select Options Available:
• Loft, Den, or 2 story floorpians
# Controlled Access Entries
• Laundry facilities, W/D hook-up or W/D unite in
• Clubhouse* eettti Outdoor Pool
Equal Housing Opportunity
Flexible Leases. 640 S. 12th, $320. 2312 R, $325
★ ★ ★ ★
We’re extending the Housing Fair Special Quality and
lease an apartment for 1 year and recieve last month
rent FREE! 1 year too long...we’ll deduct $50.00 from
the first month’s rent on summer and fall term leases.
Swim, tan, bike to class, from our tree-nestled 1-2
bedroom community. -
Jones Properties-640 South 20th-475-7262
Large 1BR apartment available May 1. 4151 Normal.
Large three bedroom, 2 1/2 stall attached garage. $750
plus deposit. Available May 1.2501 E. 432-6476.
One bedroom, basement apt. QA, free W/D, parking,
one block to Harper Hall. $295.489-9294.
One, two, three bedroom apartments available.
Renting for August
2 bedroom, all electric air, laundry, parking, FREE CA
BLE, NO PETS/SMOKING. 1900 Knox. 477-7684.
Spacious 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, central air,
dishwasher, off-street parking, on site laundry. Close
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* Super Clean 1 BR*
Near campus, 3 or 6 month leases, Gas/water/trash
paid, appliances, dishwasher, 3 closets, laundry,
off-street parking. $365, 2504 Vine St. 489-4857.
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appliances, dishwasher, patio, laundry, parking, $365,
1109-1121 N. 28th St. 489-4857.
\lHTy SALES AM> MANAGEMENT CO
♦ Locations throughout Lincoln
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1 non-smoking roommate needed. May to August.
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Great Summer Housing!
Alpha Gamma Nu Fraternity House
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Earn an extra $450-4500+
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Residential foundation company is looking for full-time
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Own a computer? Earn extra $500-4000/month
part-time/fulf-time. Free booklet.
Bell person, waitery, and cleaning help needed. Full or
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Inn Best Western, West Cornhusker at 1-80 exit,
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City-County Employment Office
555 S. 10th Street rm #107
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