The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 2, 1997 · Page 25
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 25

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, May 2, 1997
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Page 25
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FRIDAY MAYS, 1997 THE SALINA JOURNAL encore! WHAT'S HOT / D2 BRIEFLY / D3 WHAT'S GOING ON / D4 D POP GOES U2 Irish band hopes PopMart tour turns U.S. on to electronica By MICHAEL MEHLE Rocky Mountain News T he world's largest video screen, 13 miles of power cable and a stuffed martini olive wider than a minivan — it's all crammed inside 75 trucks for the traveling rock extravaganza U2 .-.-. calls PopMart. - Bono, the band's frontman, personally packed the Faber Book of Pop, an ,. 800-page collection of essays and arti- •_. cles about pop culture. .",. "I've got to read you something from .-.-. here," the singer said on the phone ..., from Las Vegas after bassist Adam *. : Clayton retrieved the tome from an- v > other room. "What made me laugh, I just opened the book, and the first line .",. reads, 'Today, pop is perceived as a powerful industry, which, like McDon- ... aid's purveys a homogenous product . throughout the world. In this view, the -,,• process — production, marketing, pure exploitation — is all."' Bono is tickled by McDonald's early ,-• appearance in the book. Anyone who ,,. sees the ,." PopMart tOUI« tour - and the band is ,.,"• May 19 banking on ;_,*•• Arrowhead Stadium 5 million -,.;•. Kansas City, Mo. people do?"., ing just L, that —will „, v get the joke. The stage's centerpiece is a seven-story arch the U2 crew says is ^ ... yellow, not golden, in case the burger .- . barons get litigious. v.., A giant arch. An olive speared on a ,/ . 100-foot orange cocktail stick. A ,.. - lemon-shaped mirror ball that travels ^.... at 2 miles an"hour. It all sounds 3 .„, kitschy, almost trashy, but don't be *-..„• fooled. As Bono's reading material for -, : \. the tour testifies, U2 takes its "pop" .;,-. very seriously. As well the group should. More than -., just U2 savings accounts could be at - .. stake. .„ [_ A slumping music industry waited ..." not-so-patiently for "Pop," the group's - new album, in hopes it would bring buyers into stores. Delivered three . months late while the group ground it '-''.'•• ... out in the studio, "Pop" missed being a +. v big Christmas gift. It still exploded ",„' - with 350,000 sales in its first week on - .^ shelves in March, but it has since .-',„' slipped out of Billboard's Top 10. .. -. '. With the costs of keeping PopMart ., on the road a weighty $1.5 million a •',.„•- week, the tour is an expensive and • \ - elaborate gamble to regain momen- •\. turn. There are easier ways to promote . -'...•' a new album, but this is U2's way. . -. • "I do ask myself sometimes, why am .,; I having this meeting with an engineer • ,','<•_ or a steel guy, or why am I with an act> ,. countant talking about numbers, and they're looking at me like we're out of ; our minds," Bono said. • "But when you're in a band and you • ;^. 'have the chance to see how far you can .*--,. take it, I think you should take it." ; .••.-•.,„ And what better way to describe the ,•*•,»,• Irish band's modus operand! the past ; •„,--. decade? "The Joshua Tree" cemented U2's image as the biggest band of the '80s, ; ".- but the quartet didn't stop there. The ^ '„. group stubbornly pushed itself into -,',_", the 1990s with "Achtung Baby," an ad- V MUSIC File photo U2 members (from left) guitarist Edge, drummer Larry Mullen Jr., lead singer Bono and bass player Adam Clayton began their U.S. tour last Friday In Las Vegas and will be in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium on May 19. venturous, sonically exciting album that kept moving music ahead without losing the fans who had fallen in love with the foursome the decade before. The corresponding Zoo TV tour had the same effect for concerts. With its hyperkinetic pacing and high-tech hardware, the groundbreaking tour de force set new standards for even stadium stalwarts such as the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. When it came time to follow up the success of "Achtung Baby" and "Zoo TV," U2 turned to the electronic elements that throb through European discos. Unlike "Achtung Baby," which was a laborious effort from the start, the ideas for "Pop" came fast and furious. "We were almost drunk with 'Pop,' " Bono said. "The studio was the playpen. We generated 40 or 50 ideas. "The problem came when we realized that we had forgotten how to finish songs. Instead of finishing a song, the next day we would go move on to something new. That was partly out of the joy of it. Then the joy got squeezed out as we tried to make our deadline. "The one thing our record is not, it's not nostalgic. Even though we pick up a few ideas from the past, our records have a bit of everything. 'If God Will Send His Angels' is either sci-fi gospel or country hip-hop. We're still discussing which one we're picking to call it. "But that's the joy of being in U2. We've always been playing around. 'Unforgettable Fire,' when we were (messing) around with (producer) Brian Eno, we were playing around with synthesized sequences even then. 'Where The Streets Have No Name' was really a techno tune played on guitar. Think about it." Even drummer Larry Mullen Jr., the band's conservative, got into the electronic act. "Larry and Adam are often the conscience of the group. They want to make sure it's a 'band thing.' Edge and myself tend to go off into the ether a bit. That's what makes the creative tension in the group," Bono said. "But Larry was actually heavy into the technology and into making the drum loops. That's probably because he did- n't want to pay anybody." Mullen may have fallen for electroni- ca, but the United States has been slow to catch on. The irony isn't lost on Bono, who notes how the techno, hip- hop influences were born in America before reaching new heights in Europe. "There's a notion in the United States that electronic music is associated with, one, avant-garde, or, two, dance music, meaning pop or disco, and is, therefore, not 'real' music, which is essentially a racist point of view," Bono said. "To think that the only music that counts is white rock music is very sad. "In fact, history will tell that the real cutting edge music at the end of this decade and century will turn out to be black music and hip-hop. These guys were making music of the next century, and they're not middle-class white kids. They're from the Bronx or Watts, taking this technology, using and abusing it. And all of the white middle-class kids are caught up with what's 'authentic.' See U2, Page D2 Teen star back from normal life Kippi Brannon had chance to be LeAnn Rimes, but she didn't want it then By JIM PATTERSON lite Associated Press The Associated P(ess Kippi Brannon, i15 years after turning her back on a music career, is back with a country hit, "Daddy's Little Girl." "I do think Americans deserve a dance movement." • U2 lead singer Bono NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Between Tanya Tucker and LeAnn Rimes there was another teen phenomenon in country music named Kippi Brannon. Brannon hit the charts with three records in 1981-82, but quit without making near the impact of Tucker and Rimes. She walked away because she wanted to be a teen-ager again, and then go to college. Fifteen years later, she's back with a hit single that is the most talked-about country record of the moment. "Daddy's Little Girl" marks quite a comeback for a performer discovered singing in a shopping mall when she was 12. Brannon opened shows in those days for The Oak Ridge Boys, Conway Twitty and George Strait. Much like Rimes today and Tucker in the 1970s, youth was her selling point. She passed on a debut album, saying she wanted "a normal situation" rather thjan a career in 1982. \ She was 15 then. Now she's 31. \ "Come on, I'm still a kid," Brannon said with a laugh after bounding into a Nashville restaurant to talk about what she's been doing for the past 15 years. After slipping out of the public eye, Brannon earned a college degree and started taking prelaw courses. She'also got married and divorced twice, and mothered a child — Kasey, 9. She struggled to get by on temporary jobs, andjfor a time was the top car-buffer salesperson at Sears. ; "My life didn't turn out exactly hojy I was hoping that it would," Brannon said. "If you would have told me at 16 that I was going to end up married twice, and have a little girl and be a single mom, I would have laughed in your face. "There have been some challenges, but for the most part that was the best thing I ever did for myself, was getting a big dose of normal for myself. It kept me very grounded." ' Brannon doesn't look much different than she did as a mature 14-year-old: tall, thin, brunette and as Southern as Scarlet O'Hara. ; All the signs are there for "Daddy's Little Girl" to be a major comeback hit. It's been selling briskly, steadily moving up the charts. "Daddy's Little Girl" has thrust Brannon back into the limelight as quickly as she disappeared. She says she's wiser this time, but that has a downside. "When you are 15 you don't appreciate what a feat that is tor chart a record," Brannon said. "At 31,1 probably come into this experience a little more prepared. On the flip side, however, I'm a lot more scared than I was in the beginning." NOWPLAHNG IN SAUNA **** Exc^ent *** Good ** Fair * floor Fmn ^ »«*•— Pan Jil^ MAMJUA* rfOm VrHw WFVIMP liiponi ANACONDA MID STATE RATED PG-13 A superior action thriller, with a world-class villain by Jon Voight and a worthy co-star the anaconda, which can grow to 40 feet in length and likes to regurgitate its prey so it can dine again. Jennifer Lopez stars as the leader of a documentary film expedition in the Amazon, Ice Cube is her cinematographer and Eric Stoltz is a scientist. BREAKDOWN *** SUNSET RATED R Kurt Russell stars in the taut, skillful and surgically effective story of a man who finds himself trapped in a surrealistic nightmare. When his wife disappears in the middle of the desert, he goes on a crusade to discover what happened to her, Good performances by Kathleen Quintan as the wife, and J.T. Walsh as a local truck driver. Effectively directed and acted, but a final coup de grace scene is unnecessary, and unworthy. * FIRST STRIKE SUNSET RATED PG-13 No review available UAR.UAR *** CENTRAL RATED PG-13 Jim Carrey WeraMy hurts himself into the role of a lawyer who finds that, for one day, he simply cannot tell a lie. Carrey's manic energy inundates us with ceaseless physical invention. A scene where he mugs himself is one of his career high points. « McHALE'S NAVY _* CENTRAL RATED PG Tom Arnold sinks in a bona fide big-screen disaster. This dud of a comedy lacks the colorful characters of the TV show and re- ' sorts to tots of action, including many explosions. An updated spy plot, revolving around Tim Curry, should'have been torpedoed. • MURDER AT 1600 ** 1 /* CENTRAL RATED R Interesting premise, disappointing payoff. A woman is found murdered in the White House, and cop Wesley Snipes teams up with Secret Service sharpshooter Diane Lane to find the real killer. Starts promisingly, but then abandons its insider glimpses and police details for a cjiched action sequence. » THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT if if if if CENTRAL RATED R l Rayed by Woody Harrelaon in this film, Larry Flynt is a moonshiner's son who takes the low road and never looks back, Courtney Love gives a virtuoso performance as Althea Leasure, the stripper who becomes his wife, Vulgar and outrageous, they were two of a kind, and the court victory was a civil liberties milestone. • THE SAINT ** CENTRAL RATED PG-13 Val Kilmer stars as Simon Templar, the gentleman crook who steals for hire. In an adventure inspired by the Bond series, he's hired by a Russian billionaire to steal the secret of free energy from an Oxford scientist (Elisabeth Shue), but finds himself falling in love with her. • UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG *** 1 /* ART CENTER CINEMA, 150 S. SANTA FE No RATING Catherine Deneuve was introduced to the film world in this 1964 French film, which was restored and rereteased in 1996. The film was a curious experiment in which all the words were sung. This style would seem to suggest a featherweight romanticism, but "Umbrellas" is unexpectedly sad and wise, a bittersweet reflection on the way true love sometimes does not (and perhaps should not) conquer all. "Umbrellas" is remembered as a bold, original film, and now that it is restored and back in circulation, it can also be remembered as a surprisingly effective film, touching and knowing, and like Deneuve, ageless. • VOLCANO *K MID STATE RATED PG-13 Tommy Lee'Jones does a professional job of helping a routine, assembly-line disaster movie with surprisingly cheesy special effects. I expected to see a volcano towering over LA, but the lava takes a shortcut through the city sewer system. SUGGESTIONS? CALL JIM HAAG, ENCORE! EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT 8Jnew8@8aljournal.com T *'•' y

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