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The Daily Tar HeelTuesday, October 10, 19895
Scrapyard pieces together new sound for classic tunes
Joe Viscomi, clad in a conservative
'gnt blue button-down and sitting in
h's Greenlaw office, appears to be an
average UNC romantic poetry profes
sor. But the black T-shirt he hides
underneath hints of a wilder, more
happy-go.iucky side that can be seen
when Viscomi plays in Scrapyard, the
band he originated in 1985.
Viscomi, the band's drummer,
teamed up with Ted Johnson four years
ago to create what he calls "an unpre
tentious dance band." Now, the band
consists of five members of various
. Johnson, playing guitar and key
boards, works as an environmental
engineer. Charlie Glidden, bassist and
vocalist, is a radiological technician at
Duke Hospital. Larry Scotchi, adding
sax and harmonica to the group, works
as a chemist, and Dan Coleman, the
group's newest member on lead vocals
and guitar, sells fax machines and
The name Scrapyard was meant to
imply a coming together of different
backgrounds, Johnson said.
'The idea takes bits and pieces of
past musical styles and puts them to
gether in our own way," he said. "We
like to arrange things and do things in a
different way. We do a lot of improvi
sation, like scraps of music."
Viscomi said the name Scrapyard
reflects the band's sound. 4The name
connotes rhythm and blues. It suggests
a rough and ready sound without too
much polish," he said.
When Viscomi originated the band,
he had the idea of great dance music in
That idea is still alive in Scrapyard
today. "We try to get people on their
feet and keep them on their feet," he
said. "People who like to dance come
out. The object is to keep them on their
Scrapyard's influences include the
Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Creedence
Clearwater Revival, Bo Diddley and
other blues music. While the band is
heavily influenced by the 1960s, music
from the '80s like the Talking Heads
and the Fabulous Thunderbirds can be
Rather than focusing on original
music, Scrapyard enjoys creating a
distinct sound with familiar tunes.
"We don't cover anything," Viscomi
said. "We take songs that give us lee
way. We reformat, reshape, yet keep as
close to the original as possible."
Johnson described Scrapyard's
sound as "blues-based rock n' roll
with R&B influences. We're not at
tempting to get a certain message across
or to have a certain drive."
Improvising with well-known songs
is what the band enjoys, Johnson said.
"The instrumental part should be inter
preted. We do a lot of that," he said.
"During interaction, one instrument
answers another. It's something you
develop from listening to music."
Scrapyard's versions come about
through trial and error, Viscomi said;
some songs work and others don't. "It
slowly evolves into a creation of your
own," he said. "You have to listen to
the way it sounds in your band."
The band members said they would
rather improvise with familiar favor
ites rather than concentrate on perform
ing original material.
"The fact that we don't have goals of
cutting records keeps the music purely
as a fun thing," Johnson said. "Making
up your own improvisation is fun. It's
no fun to play note by note."
Goals of touring the world are dreams
for young men, Viscomi said. But Scra
pyard does travel throughout Chapel
Hill, Raleigh and Durham.
Because the band originated in
Chapel Hill, the band has developed a
strong following in the area. "We've
been playing here four years," Viscomi
said. "We have a lot of good friends
who like to dance and that always draws
a good crowd. That makes it a lot of
Scrapyard has played at the Cave, La
Terraza, the Cat's Cradle, Skylight
Exchange, the Hardback Cafe and the
Union Cabaret in Chapel Hill. Under
the Street and the Zone are favorites in
Durham, along with the Fallout Shelter
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The band now has a repertoire of
about 40 songs. With each new mem
ber, the sound changes, Viscomi said.
"The repertoire reveals the members at
any given time," he said. "You keep
The members of Scrapyard
adding material as long as it's within
the framework of a good dance song."
Scrapyard's goals for the future in
clude adding three-part harmonies in a
few songs and continuing their present
Nobel Peace Prize leaves Tibetan Tar Heel proud
"My motto is nothing is worth taking
seriously if it's not fun," Viscomi said.
"We have a certain approach. It has to
be danceable and allow for jamming.
Rhythm and blues affords us the oppor
tunity to jam and really cook."
from page 1
The Norwegian Nobel Committee
chose the 54-year-old Tibetan Bud
dhist leader because he has consistently
opposed the use of violence to end
China's domination of his homeland.
He was selected from 101 nominees
that included 76 individuals and 25
"He has advocated peaceful solu
tions based upon tolerance and mutual
respect in order to preserve the histori
cal and cultural heritage of his people,"
the Nobel committee said.
"The Dalai Lama deserves the prize,"
Samkhar said. "In spite of all the tur
moil and untold miseries Tibetans face
under China, he has pursued the method
of nonviolence to mitigate the suffer
ing of his people."
Samkhar said that as a deputy secre
tary of the religion and cultural council
he integrated three Tibetan delegations
to the Soviet Union, Mongolia and
Bhutan, a country north of India.
Samkhar consulted the Dalai Lama
"seeking advice and instructions."
Samkhar last talked to the Dalai Lama
in July. The brief conversation was in
New York City, where the Buddhist
leader was scheduled to give a series of
"He (the Dalai Lama) saw me and
just asked me about my studies,"
Samkhar arrived at UNC in January
1989 on a Fulbright Scholarship. He
plans to finish his studies in 1991 and
return to Dharmsala to help his people
free Tibet from China's domination, he
The Nobel Peace Prize will help
Tibetan's fight to free the country from
China's domination, Samkhar said.
"It's a clear indication of recogni
tion that he (the Dalai Lama) has be
come not only a national leader but a
great international statesman."
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CH invite healthy, normal men (ages 18'35) to partici
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participate in this research project that requires two (2)
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performed and possibly an oxytocin infusion. Benefits for
participation include a free physical exam, ekg. lab
evaluation, and $100 payment.
CALL BETSY at 966-5961 for information.
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