could never happen /You failed to mentionrnsuch dissension / Would be groundrndown with an iron fist.” Buehananitcs,rntake note.rnAt its best, this lively, bouncy, countr-rnrootcd rock touches mythic Americanrnroots. (“To sa that I am lost is torntell the farmer he is tired / Or the windrnthat it is wise / Yeah, I know my ownrndisguise,” ‘I’exas histruments sing onrn”Cranuncd Into Infinity.”) But thernband’s masterpiece is probabh “LittlernBlack Sunrise,” a tall-tale in which “arnha])less oung devil . . . impaled by hisrnconscience” is brought to judgment beforerna m sterious tribunal for forgettingrn”his promise / ‘lo protect the F.arth andrnhold up the skv.” “Do vou want to bernhuman / Or some wild jungle beast onrnthe prowl?” he is asked. “Do ou wantrnto take credit for the world that ou seernall around vou? If not, then forget it,rnand no flood will be sent down to drownrn()U.”rnWhen I saw the group play in Jaeksonrnille, Florida, I was so enthused thatrnI approached the musicians after thernsliow to tell them that thev liad the bestrnband I’d seen in years. They then putrnme on the guest list for the rest of theirrnk’lorida shows, none of which I was ablernto make, unfortunately. These peoplernare not making music for mone; fewrnbands on this level don’t alue enthusiasticrnlisteners above cash.rnBut w here rock works best as ]5ure folkrnart is on a le’el even smaller than thernaforementioned: in hometowns acrossrnthe countrw with bands ou will neverrnhear about unless ou are luck enoughrnto lie there or are an obsessixe readerrnof fanzines, which are themselves gcneralhrnonh obtainable b reading otherrnfanzines, which generalK’ take the timernto re icw and print addresses for theirrnbrethren.rnM hometown, until reccntlv, was thernSouthern college town of Gainesille,rnFlorida, home of the Universit of l”loridarnand surrounded h some of the state’srnmost beautiful lakes and rivers. I spentrnfie ears immersed in its local rock musicrneommunit^ as fan, performer, andrncritic and had manv of the best musicalrnexperiences of my life watching youngrnAmericans fill the gaps in their sparerntime and in their lives in a “boring”rntown where fun had to be what vournmade it.rnThese people arc not the spoon-fed,rnsoulless consumers who, according tornsome, arc enmeshed in corporate culture;rnthe most prolific, talented, and creativernmusicians don’t often buy records.rnPace Ms. Paglia, Americans can stillrnmake their own entertainment and art,rnforged from their own interests and passions,rnwithout the aid or judgment of arncommittee of “patrons” with no interestrnor connection with the people byrnwhom and for whom the music is made.rnIn Gainesville, even the smallest le clrnof invl distribution is beond mostrnbands’ means, espeeialK as most of theirrnperformances are done entirely outsidernthe cash nexus, at parties and in theirrnown living rooms or practice warehouses.rnIf the music is recorded for sale at all,rnit’s on cassette tapes, made sometimesrnat home, sometimes for cheap in a localrnrecording studio. The music often refleetsrnlocal concerns (our town was sufferingrnthe presence of a serial murdererrnback in the fall of 1990, and at least twornlocal bands, the Moles and SuperiorrnGingerbread Factory, vTote wise and angrvrnsongs chronicling what it was likernthen and there for us—folk tradition atrnits finest) and is alwas cognizant of itsrnaudience, the people dancing, smiling,rnstaring, or walking away. There can bernno ignoring your communitv and its desiresrnat this level—unless, of course, vournwant to, which is noble as well. Bandsrnsuch as Hazel Syllabus and the Bill PerryrnOrchestra in Gainesville made a pointrnof following their own peculiar muse,rnregardless of whether or not they couldrnretain large crowds. And they didn’t askrnfor amone else’s monev to support theirrnwhims; they just did what the wantedrnto do.rnGainesville’s music scene has hadrnsome inklings of national success andrnexposure. Tom Pett and the Heartbreakers,rnone of the more skilled and intelligentrnof the “big name” rock bands,rnare from Gainesville, and in the late 80’srnand eadv 90’s some locals achieved nationalrnattention through releases on localrnvinyl (the bristling, exciting hard rock ofrnRadon), on a national independent labelrn(the elegant country/folk-rock of thernVulgar Boatmen), and even on a majorlabelrnsampler GD (the mannered artpoprnof Aleka’s Attic). But, as in otherrnLIBERAL ARTSrnKX’l’RACURRICULAR ACTIVITYrnAccording to a storv in the Las Vegas Sun last fall, a former athletic director at therntJniversit of Nevada, Las Vegas, feared for his life while investigating the university’srnbasketball program. On one occasion he was threatened bv a eonxictcdrnsports fixer, whose tics to UNL’ ba.sketball plavers led to the resignation of thernteam’s coach. He rcportcdlv also received a threat from someone who suggestedrnhe either “make peace” with a local restaurateur and tJNLV booster or be killed.rnJANUARY 199:V47rnrnrn