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By JASON COTT
Tired of the music you see on MTV
and hear on the radio? If so, you
might want to listen to the kind of
music they don't play.
Major record companies, such as
CBS, Warner Brothers, RCA and
MCA, are more interested in music
as a product than as art or even
entertainment. They do business in
the millions of dollars, so they can't
afford to take chances with anything
that hasn't been proven popular. The
end result of this policy is that most
of their records sound the same.
However, on smaller, so-called
independent labels, artists are often
encouraged to express their individ
uality because an independent record
doesn't have to sell a million copies
to be considered successful. This
music often can be very bad, but it
also produces a lot of great records.
The Mekons' new album. The
Edge of the World, is one such album
that is quite exceptional. This Leeds,
England, group began life as an
atonal punk band along the lines of
Gang of Four. However, a few years
ago, they shifted the direction of their
musical interest. An album, Fear and
Whiskey, appeared in 1985 merging
a punk futility with traditional
By ROB SHERMAN
The upcoming UNC Symphony
season should be good, and much
emphasis will be placed on profes
sional performances of standard
repertoire, said the symphony's new
conductor, Alan Neilson.
The music department's UNC
Symphony is intended to be com
prised of students. Some musicians
from the Triangle area are used to
fill gaps, Neilson said, and profes
sionals from other symphonies occa
sionally play solos with the orchestra.
"This year we've had a very big
turnout and no problems with (the
number of) players," Neilson said,
although he added that there is a
slight French horn shortage.
"If there are gaps, well hunt to
fill the spots, whether they be
townspeople or whoever," he said,
"but the students come first."
Neilson is an interim conductor for
the UNC Symphony, and he said he
has tentative plans to stay for two
He began his musical career at the
University of Tulsa in Oklahoma,
where he earned his master's degree
in music. Although he did some
conducting in college, Neilson said
he was more interested in playing and
had been a full-time flutist for 17
Since college Neilson has played
with several groups, including the
Tulsa Philharmonic, the Chicago
Ballet, the Miami Symphony, the
North Carolina Symphony and the
New York-based Goldovaky Opera
In 1979 he began conducting for
the N.C. State University Symphony,
and since then he has become con
ductor of the Raleigh and Durham
Much of his conducting style
comes from a long career as a player.
"If you become a teacher someday,
you will remember what it's like to
labels cut gems
English and American country
sounds. It brought together violins
and accordions with electric guitars
and drums and became a critical
sensation, especially in the U.S. Like
London's Pogues, who brought
traditional Irish music to the top of
the British charts. The Mekons found
folk sounds to be the best means for
On The Edge of the World, they
refine their sound further. The male
and female vocalists project an image
of weariness, drunkenness and decay
in songs like "Hello Cruel World"
and "Oblivion." The Mekons directly
reveal the contradiction between
their music source and their politics
by running the old country song
"Sweet Dreams" into "Dream Dream
Dream," an anti-American rocker.
Hank Williams Sr.'s "Alone and
Forsaken" is transformed into cold,
minimalist plaint. The Mekons have
a sense of humor and irony that
combines with excellent music to
produce a very good record.
Atlanta's 86 doesn't sound a bit
like most Southern Pop bands. Their
new record, Minutes In a Day,
contains six songs steeped in psyche
delic guitar sounds. Their music
sounds almost like a serious, outer
spaced heavy metal with tense, angry
singing. The record is well-produced,
tune up symphony
be a student," he said. "1 know how
hard to push someone, how to
motivate them, and I know what's
Neilson said he believes that all
orchestras should be approached
professionally and plans to conduct
the student orchestra as he conducts
other symphonies. But it will be
geared to the level of a student
symphony, he said.
"I like programs with plenty of
contrast, different styles, different
dynamic levels and interest," Neilson
-f a r? rot.
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having a dark, heavy sound that isn't
expected from a Georgia band.
A host of young British bands is
featured on a compilation entitled
Love the Smell of Napalm. Released
in the U.S. on Rough Trade Records,
it brings together eight bands from
Scotland's Creation Records who
represent a new independent English
The sound ranges from the heavy
feedback noise of Slaughter Joe and
Meat Whiplash to the pretty pop of
Primal Scream and Biff Bang Pow!
to the moody psychedelia of the
Weather Prophets and the Revolving
Paint Dream. Most of these groups
haven't released albums yet, so the
best way to hear them is to listen
to this record. It's entertaining all the
way through without one truly bad
track, and all of them manage to be
fun and entertaining without insult
ing their listeners intelligence.
This is just a sample of the music
coming out on smaller labels. There
is an amazing amount of good music
if you're willing to look for it. In the
end, it's more rewarding than letting
commercial radio and MTV, in the
service of big record companies, tell
you what's good.
Jason Bott, a junior studio art
major, is a disc jockey at WXYC.
said. "And I like one piece in a
concert that is outstanding or
extraordinary, like Beethoven's
Third Symphony (planned for the
first concert on Oct. 21)."
He said he hopes this year's season
will attract more people outside the
music department to concerts. For
the first time, lectures about the
pieces to be played will be held before
each Tuesday night concert. This is
to encourage people who have an
interest in music but no formal
knowledge to attend performances.
u M w wr f
The Daily Tar HeelThursday, September 11, 19863
or friends with
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5 minute guarantee
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Expires Oct 31, 1986
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110W. Franklin St.
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Divan, Quiche Carmel, Croissant Balboa.
Windjammer Crepes and of course Eggs Benedict
and Eggs Spinnaker. All freshly made with that
special Spinnaker's flair. Served with fresh fruit.
Only S5.99-S6.99. Only at Spinnakers.
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Order any large pizza or
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the price of a medium size
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& Sun. j
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