Volume 91, Issue 91

Friday, March 20, 1998

Lynn and Tonic


Consolidated continues to support social activism

©Gazette File Photos
THEY TALK THE TALK AND WALK THE WALK. Political and social activists Consolidated might deal with serious issues but they'll also interest the crowd with their music tonight at Call the Office.

By Tim Merrill

Gazette Staff

Through 10 years and eight full-length releases, Adam Sherburne and his social activist unit known as Consolidated, continue to promote social awareness regarding a wide range of issues.

Consolidated is gaining a notorious reputation by critics and fans alike for taking an outspoken, staunch political stance in supporting such causes as women's rights and the gay and lesbian community. With the release of their latest recording, Dropped, Sherburne and Consolidated continue to express their concerns, while approaching these issues from a different perspective.

In constructing the new record, Sherburne wanted to take a less cerebral approach to the project. "I wanted the record to be more of a feeling kinda thing, as opposed to purely thinking about it. Sometimes too much thought can get in the way," says Sherburne.

With subject matter dealing with homophobia, domestic violence, prostitution and pornography, the new Consolidated record delves into "really dark shit," Sherburne says. "People often find our records are too much to swallow at one time. Even I find the new record way too much to handle all at once. It was originally going to be a double record, the dark side being this record and the aftermath being the lighter recording, which we may still put out," says Sherburne.

Consolidated based the new recording on the screenplay Cocklash, written by New York social activist John Stoltenberg. For Sherburne, the new recording provides a means through which a new audience can be exposed to the work of Stoltenberg. "I was really into what Stoltenberg had to say and it seemed that nobody was writing about what he was doing, so we wanted to incorporate his work into what we were doing, as we felt that what he had to say was important."

Through touring and recording, Consolidated continues to promote its own political agenda and has also lent support to various activist organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Earth First! and Food Not Bombs. Sherburne and Consolidated co-founder Mark Pistel also volunteer their services to the Portland Women's Crisis Support line and men's training program.

During a recent tour of the West coast, Consolidated found support in various activist groups, in various cities throughout the tour. "They are so great, because they don't care what you look like, or what colour your hair is, they still recognize that you have similar concerns and that you both support the same thing."

Several critics have labelled Consolidated as political agitators and dogmatic, but Sherburne brushes it off; he doesn't let this criticism stand in his way. "There's no doubt that we have something to say and people will always go on about how you might say things they don't want to hear, so it's to be expected I guess."

What makes Consolidated's messages so interesting is the fact they not only present issues within their records, but within a verbal forum during their live shows. With regard to the content of the new record, Adam Sherburne is interested in translating these issues to a live format. "It's going to be really interesting to see how the audience will react with what we've got to say. A lot of the frat boy mentality will hopefully be confronted and I hope some insight takes place."

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998