* THE INDIE-LIST DIGEST #29 * May 1, 1993 *
"Forward In All Directions - Playable At All Volumes"
Serving the International Pop Underground since 1992


From: Mark <cornick@access.digex.net>

First, a round of applause to Jon Hilgreen for revamping GRUNGE-L.
Although I occasionally enjoy reading about beer, lately I was
deleting most of my daily GRUNGE-L feed without even reading it.
Hopefully the changes Jon's made will result in a more music-oriented
and controllable-volume list. (The option to get digests instead of
the mess-of-messages was an especially nice addition.) Time will tell
if this is the case, but for now GRUNGE-L is much improved. If you
haven't read GRUNGE-L in a while, you might want to give it another

That said, here's my week's listening:

* TRUMANS WATER, _Our Scars Like Badges_ 45: Took K!z!K's advice and
picked up one of these. Low-fi songs with plenty of riffage &
yelping, with occasional noisy blurts & blats. They've got the pop
sensibility of Pavement and the sonic dementia of the Swirlies, plus
a slight jazz bent, in one not-easily-categorizable package. I can
see how this might be hard to keep up over a whole LP, but this 45 is
certainly all right by me. Slacker folk music. **. (Homestead/Dutch
East, PO Box 800, Rockville Centre NY 11571-0800)

* SEAM, "Kernel/Sweet Pea" 45: In which Seam loses Mac and
(coincidentally, one hopes) gets upbeat & happy. Well, happier than
before, anyway... Semi-grunge sound a la Tar with still-mellow Soo
Young vocals. Much more invigorating than Seam's previous LP, which
at times dragged so much it made Codeine seem exciting. They're on to
something here, although what it is I'm not quite sure. Hrm. *1/2.
(Trash Flow, PO Box 250356, NY NY 10025; available as a CD single
with two extra tracks from Touch & Go, PO Box 25520, Chicago IL

* PITCHBLENDE, _Kill Atom Smasher_ CD: Much-awaited debut longplayer
from one of DC's best-kept secrets, Pitchblende. Unlike many other
noisy-guitar bands, Pitchblende write great songs (but they also
dabble in tuneless cacophony once in a while too.) These great songs
are then performed with total reckless sonic abandon. The result is
perhaps not as unique and awe-inspiring as absolutely possible, but
it's amazing enough to endear it to pop/noise/Sonic Youth fans
everywhere. (Having the DCene's fave graphic artist, Treiops Treyfid,
in the band is an asset unto itself: this is one of the best CD booklets
I've seen so far this year.) **. (Fistpuppet/Cargo; mail order via
Parasol, 201 North Coler, Urbana IL 61801)

* MERCURY REV, "The Hum Is Coming From Her" 10": Looks like the drugs
have finally caught up with Mercury Rev. The a-side is them screwing
around with classical piano and scratchy vox; the b-side features a
spoken travel story by some guy whose name I've forgotten, with sort
of jazz-like backup. Not one of their best; recommended only for
M-Rev KolectorSkum. It is, however, nicely packaged to look like an
old 78 (it has even older Columbia labels than the LP, probably a
1920's or 30's design.) **1/2. (Columbia/Sony)

* HOLY ROLLERS, "Watching The Grass Grow" 45: They're now a quartet
with Ed Trask taking over the drums and ex-Alter Native C. Maynard
Bopst on bass (Joe Aronstamm and Mark Lambiotte now both play
guitar.) This 45 finds them more removed from hardcore than ever, but
finding a stronger foothold in the "rock" sound of Fabuley. Two
fine songs, with an LP rumored to be on the way this summer. Only
complaint is that the vocals are terribly whiny. That aside, it's
great to have them back. **. (Dischord, 3819 Beecher St NW, Wash DC

* INTERNATIONAL HIP SWING compilation CD: 20 tracks from the
International Pop Underground series of 45s. Most of your favorite
IPU folks should be here (with the notable exception of Courtney
Love, although you do get Lois.) Intentionally or not, many songs
have a 6T's feel (notably "Shouldn't Happen To A Dog" by Thee
Headcoats, which sounds a lot like Thee Yardbirds.) I still crack up
listening to Brief Weeds, too. (Fugazi doing their Herman's Hermits
tribute. Seriously.) As the booklet says, this is your punk rock
primer. Required listening for any devoted indie-pop lover. **1/2
("Skinhead Girl" again? By the time I get the new Unrest EP, I'll
have this song on no less than four separate recordings!) (K, POB
7154, Olympia WA 98507)

* SEBADOH, _Bubble And Scrape_ CD: Do I even have to write about this?
The most normalized Sebadoh effort to date, but packed with great
songs (one featuring Swirlie Seana on backing vox.) No compromise, no
sell-out. Puts _Smash Yr Head_ 10 feet under. Aw c'mon, you need
this. End of story. ***. (Sub Pop/Caroline)

And thanks to our resident T-Shirt KolectorSkum, Chris "Comet Barfly"
Sievanen, for the lovely Tsunami shirt. Interesting that a shirt
sold by a band from Arlington, VA, 2 hours from my house, made it
to Seattle before making it to me. Weird. :)


[ This came to me with no author indicated. Which means that Joshua
must've lost the address. If you wrote this, let me know and I'll
give you credit next time. - Mark ]

Interview with the Headless Chickens - New Zealand's most popular
indie band. They sorta fuse discordant noisy electronic/regular music
into pop songs. Recently Fiona joined the band. She has a very 'pop'
voice (as she calls it), which does kinda contrast Chris'
drawl...most of the time.

I interviewed and saw this band twice over the last 5 days, here in
Melbourne. The very distilled version of the interview follows:



We hate the recorded version of Donka. If you thought that was bad
you should have heard the earlier cassette version!


You seem to be big fans of remixes - especially on Body Blow - why?

We just love buggering around with a song, & believe that it's not a
fixed [pronounced properly in kiwi = fuxed] thing. Finances and
tempers only dictate when we stop playing around with a song.


Body Blow was released in NZ 1 1/2 years ago but not in Australia -


That's our record companies fault (Mushroom) ;-) They reckoned too
many good albums have been lost in Australia and wanted a single hit
before they released the album

[cruise control bruised the commercial charts, done esta la pollo
didn't....this was 1 year after the NZ relase & still no Aussie

We're working on the blueprint for the next album which is going to
be a sort of Metallica meets..............urmmmm......ah.... Mary
Whitehouse! [bullshit meter peaks at 58]

[much laughing etc..]

Me: You seemed to have mellowed out the last year or so...



Chris/Fiona: What about songs on Stunt Clown, such as Soul
Catcher.....etc etc

Me: What about "Agit Pop", Donka......?

[small argument ensues]


How did Cruise Control go in the UK? [was remixed by on-u-sound's
David Harrow]


It wasn't released there - That's our record companies fault ;-) We
haven't been released outside of Australasia yet - that's our record
companies fault too (poor Elanor from Mushroom cringes in the corner
of the studio). We blame Elanor entirely for that one

What are you playing next?


Railway Surfing


Great! The new mix? [by David Koppleman]


No, the original mix


Aw go on - play the new mix. I like that one better




Mind you, we do a dancy version and a full on guitar version live, I
much prefer the guitar version live, I get to make lots of noise..

[After this, they played the full on guitar version at both gigs,
with Chris trashing his guitar strings at the end of last Wednesdays
Punters Club gig]

[they carry on talking - won't shut up, so I have to fade them out.
All in all they're a lt of fun to interview, but like a couple of
uncontrollable kids! Review of live shows later]


From: Mark Bunster <mbunster@hibbs.vcu.edu>

Hey ya'll. Something finally happened here in town, so herewith my
first post.

At the Flood Zone, April 13th:

Jettison Charlie are local Richmond, have been around for upwards of
six years, and appear on the verge of taking a decisive step forward.
They've had a change in bass personnel and haven't lost a step, while
putting a different kind of punch behind their songs. This was their
first gig at the Zone, which has the best sound in Richmond (although
that's not saying much), and I was excited to see them LOUD. They
were, and they were also spot on. They ripped through a fiercely
tight 45 minute set or so, mixing the heavy with the lilting. To make
a lame attempt at comparison (and to compare them with a band few
humans have heard), they do a lot of the same fussing with dynamics
of tempo and volume that Hassan Chop! do, but a lot more seamlessly
and with fewer jaunts into the odd. They also are fond of starts and
stops. One guitar, somewhat metal-ish bass, and crisp, busy drums.
They're doing a bunch of shows up and down the coast of East end of
this month/beginning of next month in places like Balt, NY, Brooklyn,
Portchester, Hartford, Boston, etc. Go see them. They're good.

Crackerbash were a surprise--I had expected Helios Creed, who had
done support on either side of this gig, but in the end I'm sure HC
wouldn't have been as enjoyable. Crackerbash are from Portland and
have an album coming out on Empty Records. The lead singer looks like
Joe Strummer with dyed blond eyebrows and a snootful of crank in his
brain. The drummer weighs about 300 pounds and is active enough to
make me ashamed that i don't thrash myself around as much as he does.
Anyhow, the music seems deceptively simple but rocks really hard,
mostly due to the guitar, which squeals and skronks its way through
the whole set. The bass is left to carry the melodies, strummed in
chords. The whole band has an abundance of energy and really infects
a crowd. By the end, folks were well enamored of Crackerbash. The
final song was done with Watt joining in on bass--I'd feel like the
coolest guy on the planet if I was playing guitar and looked over to
see Watt thunking away with me on bass.

I was hoping that the new material from the Hose would be better live
than it sounded on record. I must now entirely blame J Mascis for
fucking up Mr Machinery Operator, because it's the same old Hose. The
new stuff is harder and a shade less funkdriven, but I like that
stuff better. They showed a lot of chutzpa to play some of their
quieter material, though, for a crowd that wanted to push and sweat.

During the set, Mike or somebody in front put a beer bottle down on a
monitor. I guess it fell over or something, because the stage volume
sound guy rushed over in the middle of a song to retrieve it and mop
up. Watt lambasted him for doing too much coke, and nearly pushed him
off stage into the crowd. He continued to yell at the guy the whole
set. They did all the fave standards--Chemical Wire, Brave Captain,
Honey Please, Slack Motherfucker, Revolution, etc. During Revolution,
a fracas ensued between a man and a woman. The man was being overly
slamhappy (I guess--the crowd seemed kind of tame to me), and she was
talking to him about it. He pushed her away, I guess, because when he
turned around again she popped him one right on the jaw. fIREHOSE
only saw the guy pushing back, and gave him grief for hitting a girl.
Oi. Oh, also, Watt kept getting shocked by the mike throughout the
set, so they chose this opportunity to just quit.

If you're disappointed by the new album, go see them live. You'll
feel better about yourself, and the world too. In fact, you'll
probably go right out and donate to charity.


From: dh131@city.ac.uk

Greetings from the land of little brains and big egos (that's England
for the uninitiated !). I'm Chris and I'm 'studying' (loose term) at
City University, in London. I run my own indie section on the
monochrome network, which is pretty dead at the moment, but I'm using
Indie L to spice it up. I'd tell you all about all the Great British
bands we have at the moment, but errr we don't seem to have any (and
Suede + Huggy Bear don't count !).The only  worthwhile things seem to
come virtually exclusive from New Zealand and the U.s. and rarely
grace our import sections for more than a week.

Right a few reviews.....

THE TERMINALS - WitchDoctor (Feel Good All Over Records)

Revered for that cheesy organ sound, the Terminals have gone decidely
Dead C on us. The 60s garage punk feel is all but gone. In it's place
a guitar spews out endless scrapings and whinings. Fortunately 
Stephen Cogles voice is as wobbly and throaty as ever. It's more
structured than their last 'Do the void' and a damn sight more moody.
The B-side 'Psycho Lives' is far more familiar territory, an insanely
catchy riff that you'd probably find on a Count Five b-side. And if
hear anyone mumbling the Doors again at the back, I'll send the boot
boys in..... ***

A HANDFUL OF DUST - A little aesthetic discourse ep (Feel Good All

What the world did exactly to deserve Bruce Russell, I don't know.
This gem came bearing the inscription 'kind of like a lost cousin of
Lou reed's metal machine music' from the helpful shop assistant. I'm
not about to  disagree. If you thought Dead C were hard to take in
more than say 5 minute doses then this will have you screaming. Ok,
I'll admit it, it's pure 2 track white noise, but it's good white
noise. (I've yet to hear bad white  noise). It's like discovering
what sound tinnitus actually makes. *

PRAM - Iron Lung ep (Too Pure)

I lied, I lied ! There are some Great British bands, but us loser
Brits  are ashamed of them so we heap praise on others less deserving
(naming no names). Pram subscribe to the school of the worse you
play, the less it hampers your creative ability. 'Blue Singer' is a
killer one chord monster that shuffles and lurches uncomfortably then
pauses before looping around. 'Cumulus' has a toy piano motif that
resembles a squeaky door hinge and a  token grungey bit so you don't
lose all track of normality. The other tracks are more wildly ambient
doodlings, especially the 'dripping water' harmonics of 'Water Toy'.

VOODOO QUEENS - Supermodel , superficial (Too Pure)

No sooner have Mambo Taxi got their first single out than, Anjali,
the driving  force behind the band is off to newer pastures. It's a
massive loss to the Mambo's who have lost their best songwriter (she
wrote the single) and an  awesome drummer. The Voodoo Queens are a
nearly all-Asian, definitely all-female band of which three members
couldn't play any instruments 6 months ago. The result is a splendid,
sultry snarl of a single, far more realised than anything Mambo Taxi
have yet written, a female Fall ? Haven't heard the b-sides on record
yet, but as I've heard most of the songs they've ever written, I can
guarentee they'll be A1 also ! **

PALACE BROTHERS - Ohio River Boat song (Drag City)

Formerly Slint, who I'm reliably informed were the best rock band
ever, but I haven't heard properly so can't vouch for the validity of
that. The Palace Brothers on this single are supremely melancholic
country/folk ensemble with a LOUD (ouch) drum sound. The flip side
'Drunken Woman' is full of gaping pauses and tearful vocals and bad
rhymes "a woman who drinks, and she dances and winks". Very maudlin
and completely wonderful. ***

DADAMAH - Nicotine (Majora)

Old, I know, but I've not seen it reviewed anywhere so worth a
mention. Dadamah are yet another one of the one minute crew on
Xpressway's utterly, utterly essential 'I hear the devil calling me'
compilation. It has a wonderful sound that oscillates throughout,
that can only be described as stars scraping or some other abstract
nonsense. Kim Pieters voice is either hurt and bedraggled or
irritatingly off key, depending on your point of view (I opt for the
former) The b-side 'High Time' is written by the Terminals organ
genius Mick Elborado and is a pointer of the new direction
'Witchdoctors' takes us in. Other worldly. **

Thats all for now!


From: "Josh Ronsen" <rons@midway.uchicago.edu>

PO! "Fay"/"Sunday Never Comes Around" (Sunday Records 009). This is
not new, but I just got it. This is typical of PO!'s stuff: nice,
pretty, clean-tone gangly guitars and Ruth Miller's somewhat
child-like intimate vocals. The a-side is somewhat slow and takes the
sightest bit of effort to get into. I find it difficult to find
myself caring about the character Fay, who is either sad or
misfortunate or both, as I could with the borther in "Your Brother"
on their Little Stones EP (Question: why are 7"'s being called EP's
these days: and EP should be 5 songs, not three, right?). The b-side
is great. This is the bouncy-est that I have ever heard Po! "I've
been here since Monday: Sunday never comes around" cries the singer,
in a sorrowfully joyful manner. They have a song "Tina" on a somewhat
recent 7" flexi-disk compilation from Sunday Records which is also
worth listening to. My singer-friend and I just realized the the
cover to this, a closeup of three black keys on a piano, was stolen
from an ad for Johnny Walker Whiskey (why bother with Johnny Walker
when there is Jack?: this is what I would like to know), which can be
found in the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. It is the exact
same print from the ad, only greatly enlarged and printed in b&w.
Sneaky. How many Po! fans read Rolling Stone? How many Rolling Stone
readers listen to Po!? The odds were miniscule that anyone would

Severin/Caroliner/Come at the Lounge Ax in Chicago, 4/17. I arrived
too late to see much of Severin. Just about a minute of their last
song. It didn't seem like I missed much: Typical loud two-guitar
indie fare. Oh well. Caroliner, covered the stage with all sorts of
cryptic orange and green posters and ovals and covers for their amps.
The stage looked like some art project gone terribly wrong. In the
front of the stage, blocking the view of the drum kit, was a...,
a..., a thing for lack of a better word. It looked like a cross
between a down comforter and a spider. It had at least six arms, what
appeared to be a head, and another head shape growing out of it's
neck. It had some flowery pattern all over it (I couldn't see it very
clearly). Sorry to go on and on about this, but it really caught my
attention. Then Caroliner came on stage. This is where things get
weird: First they we were all wearing very odd costumes with masks
and other assorted head-gear. The violinist (and banjo-ist) had a
huge rotating lamp-shade on her head. The drummer had this profussion
of orange twigs (???) atatched to his back: it looked like he was
being attacked by some mutant bush. The female singer had this
bizarre samuri-like dress on, with some odd face covering.  Second of
all, they turned off all the lights and turned on blacklights which
were set up everywhere, so that all of their posters and clothing
glowed. The guitarist had two fake arms which glowed in the
blacklight, his real arms were bare, and hence, you couldn't see
them. When he played, what looked like his arms were no where near
the guitar. I was confused for a while. Then there was the music:
complete beuatiful noise! Loud drums, loud guitar, loud bass, loud
violin, and very loud vocals: both of the singers (who traded playing
bass when the other was singing) had a very similar "singing" style
which consisted mostly of screetching, groaning, yelling,
ocassionally shouting into various effects units. I can definately
say that I did not understand stand a single word of the entire show.
Oh: I forgot, as soon as the music started, the "thing", described
above, started to move and twitch along with the music. The male
singer would run and jump into the audience attempting to walk on
people's shoulders. I don't think people enjoyed this. Seeing
Caroliner was definately a must see for anyone into the intersting
and bizarre. This show was not for the sonicly squeemish. Some boys
in front of me were smoking the smallest joints that I have ever
seen. Shame shame shame...  Oh, also they cover their LP's with
various stuff, like dirt and spit and candy wrappers and other
assorted "junk". We toyed with the idea of going up to the guy
selling the records and asking for an LP, hold the dirt please. We
left before Come came on stage, as what would be the point? It did
not seem like we were missing anything.


From: David Bennison <davidb@dbadmin2.amgen.com>

Trumans water - Of Thick Tum (Justice my Eye/Elevated Loin)

- Bit of a discovery this band. I havn't heard much press about them
but it's bound to come. They have a sound very similar to a sort of
oblique Pavement with quite  Slint-esque! sections and Polvo guitar
excesses?!. Songs include Yakboy = Nurturer, Nick Long Ding Barn and
Deep Grub Yonder and the LP comes in a hand painted cover.  Inside my
record, I found a bunch of forms concerning the course work of one of
the guys in the band and his end of term grades, complete with his
own calculations as to what he needs to get to scrape through - won't
find that in a CD. "Harness home ride with pride, your rubber
mattress steam, drool a bone for sob suppression, bleed." "Got no
legion stew. Heather got no legion stew, Brett got no legion stew.
Calvin got no legion stew. PuncRock no legion stew..ewe". (Spot the
reference). "Don't need fidelity, I'm such a trusting sole. Found
alloy ogre, she's in complete  control." Great lyrics I trust you'll
agree, but as Morrissey so correctly said,  "This says nothing to me
about my life".

Hasn't anyone else caught on to this band yet - do so now.

[ Miss last week's issue? :) - Mark ]



From: berg@brick.purchase.edu (Arielle Greenberg)

Hullo everyone.

I'm about to embark on a huge shopping spree, and have just recently
gotten into the whole "twee" thing.  Between the Parasol catalogue
and a bunch of pretty darn twee frenz, I came up with a list of bands
I'd love to know more about, esp their sound.  I love Velocity Girl,
Heavenly, Tsunami, the Sundays, etc, + harder stuff like Sonic Youth
+ the old wave stuff like Blondie and old Fall and THE X-RAY SPEX
(esp) and, you know, Shangri-Las and TMBG and all that.  So now you
know what I like. Please send me info about the following:

Blow Pops
Heavens to Betsey
One last kiss....(a comp)
Waaah! (a zine/comp)
EEC Punk Rock Mountain ( a comp)
Thee Headcoatees (or is it the Headcoats?  or are they different?)
Rock Against Racism (comp)
Fat Tulips
Avacado baby
Saint Etienne
Jonny Cohen & the Shoetrees

I am indie-centric already..I mean I know Beat Happening and all--
these are just new bands to me and as I am obsessive, I want to know

Ta muchly,


ps  ANyone know of a comp put out around 1990 of sXe-type, socially
concious bands, I think from DC?  It came with a big book of cool

[ Might be the _State Of The Union_ LP, which is still in print from
Dischord (address above) and worth checking out. - Mark ]

Revolution Girl Style Now                                      sXe


From: stuart <johnson@mail.ph.ed.ac.uk>

On a visit home last week met a man who was selling vinyl on his
market stall  at the price of 3 LP's to the pound(english).
Unbelievable. He had a job lot of a further 10,000 back home in his
bedroom he told, with a wife screaming that he shift them. All must
be shit your saying but couldn't resist a lucky dip to help the guy
out. Carried off a pile of considerable crap plus a few definite

_Hand To Mouth_ compilation LP (Play Hard Records)

This is a storming good compilation of Play Hard bands from 1989 and
featuring two tracks apiece from The Train Set, King of the Slums,
The Exuberants, Kit, and The Bodines. All the bands were
Manchester/Liverpool based and I remember them all gigging around
when I lived in Manchester back then. Doing/Surviving? I know not of
any of them these days. But out of the five you can not neglect the
name King of the Slums. Hard abrasive with the harshest of electric
fiddles constantly interacting with vocals singing of dirty northern
schoolgirls and biting mancunion comment and their classic "Fanciable
Headcase" is here. Great. The track is also on a compilation CD of
theirs Dandelions which I'd recommend  highly. And they've released
at least two albums more recently which I've not  heard. **

ZVUKI MU _Modern Songs From Russia_ LP (Land Records)

Recorded in Moscow and produced in London by none less than Brian
Eno. Again dated 1989. This sounds at first exactly as you expect
eastern european rock. But lets lose those preconceptions. Loss and
jazzy guitar and drums with some primitive sounding synths and a real
deep phlegmy vocal that just must be Tom Waits after years of vodka
abuse. They drive through some good tight songs. Then you read the
russian lyrics, translated on the sleeve, and find they are growling
on about love in department stores and all sorts of crazy stuff.
Definitely recommended if you ever stumble upon it. **

Now one that did not come three to the pound:

ARCWELDER Pull LP (Touch & GO)

You guys will know more about this one. I was looking forward to it
greatly; my previous Arcwelder listens "Favour" and their cover of "I
Am A Walrus"  struck big impressions. Pull turns out to be a fairly
solid if unadventurous  album though, which I like, but which never
comes close ImHo. *

Also thanks to mister K!z!K for last weeks definitive run down on
Trumans Water  - information that I needed badly. Now by the time
you, dear reader, reach here I'll already have seen them. Live review
to follow in next weeks exciting  instalment of the indie list.

made in england, bored in the north



From: dayt@ucs.orst.edu (Skronkboy)

Well its time for me to get some more reviews off my chest. Last
weekend saw me going to two both of which highly entertained me.  So
here goes...


The Miscreants started off the evening playing the part of local
garage rock heroes, and indeed this white boy considers his garage
rocked.  The Miscreants have expressed a desire/dream to tour with
Dead Moon and this showed as they played to impress. The Miscreants
were tighter and more precise this go-round as they curbed their
thirsts in favor of eating the crowd alive. Gawd, how do I write such
tripe.  Anyway, great covers of 60's garage surf hotrod fare as

Dead Moon are local (Portland) punk legends.  Fred(gtr) and
Toody(bass) Cole not only play together they stay together; you see
they're kind of like husband and wife too. Which I think is really
cool when you consider how long they've been around.  Fred was in
bands way back in the sixties including The Weeds and The Lollypop
Shoppe.  Prior to Dead Moon, Fred and Toody had a band called the
Rats, a somewhat seminal Portland punk band.  Dead Moon and Poison
Idea, another Portland band, are hardly  well known outside of the
PacificNW and Europe.  They tour Europe frequently but have yet
toured the states!  On top of that Fred  and Toody are grandparents
and they record exclusively in MONO; I mean how much better can it

I'd never heard Dead Moon play before so I was anxiously awaiting for
this show.  They were so primal and rawk that I thought I could never
stop grinning and bopping.  Pure unadulterated  r&r that has no peer
filled every bit of Squirrel's that night. Fred screamed like a
deranged Robert Plant, the drummer pounded tribally on a set that
included an upside-down whiskey bottle that served as a candle
holder.  Toody was great too... imagine Kim Gordon to the n'th power.
 I mean their two sets were like some kind of occult scene what with
the candle and the splattered  wax and the beats and the screams. 
Quite enough to make this  Viking Pirate feel sated yet rant for
more.  They probably played for 120-150 ferocious minutes and showed
it in sweat. Yeehaw!


Again, I witnessed a band, if you can call them that, that I had
heard lots about but had never really listened to either  recorded or
live.  The evening started out with some non-descript unit trying
their hand at ambient noise for an opening act.  In between the
opening act and those wacky Negland guys the audience was treated to
a public service education film about germs and the importance of
washing one's hands.  You know the type of film that they used to
show in  grade school (these films must have been created in the 60's
at the latest) to make you a better person and citizen. Anyway the
story was about Billy a dirty little boy and his friend Soapy the
walking talking cake of soap.  I  have not laughed so hard since I
don't know when.  Anyways, girls remember to wash your hair once
every two weeks and do remember the utmost importance of having your
own drinking glass.  And boys remember that even cowboys wash up 
before meals and put on clean clothes every once in a while. You
learn something new every day, gee!

Negativland's theme for the night was this: Rip on U2, Casey Kasem,
Dick Vaughn (some cheezy radio jock ala Kasem), and SST and Greg Ginn
among others.  The U2 parodies were cute as were the Casey  Kasem
outbursts but they were a little heavy-handed in their  application
of said subjects.  They wouldn't let the U2 issue rest and became, to
my eyes and ears anyway, overly self-referential. The piss take on
Greg Ginn and SST (cover of Gimme Gimme Gimme) was inspired however.
I will not say that I was un-entertained however; I mean heck I had
burnt toast, strobing crosses, dismembered appendages, and great
electronic processing to amuse me more than any one person should be
amused on a school night.  Check em out if media manipulation is your
thing but I see their genius as being more studio-bound.

That's the news fer now,



From: Sean <skmurphy@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>

Trying to sneak one in under the waiver wire...it's the quasi-coherent
archivist, finally recovering from 2 weeks of intense paper writing
and other general crapola.  In the midst of my insanity, I did find a
little time to go record shopping and listen to a few other things...


Crawling Chaos - "The Gas Chair"  (Factory/Benelux - long out of
print :( )

A 1981 release which served to continue my somewhat irrational fetish
for  early 80's British indie stuff.  It's kinda weird and varied:
acoustic folksy tunes slamming into art-rock-jazz (a la Henry Cow)
into pure jangle pop,  touching lots of bases in between, too.  I
just wish I knew more about this band...cross-reference this one with
Unrest's "Malcolm X Park" (which even  has a song titled "The Gas
Chair") and both will make a lot more sense. ** 1/2

Making Losers Happy - compilation (Drag City, P.O.Box 476867,
Chicago, IL 60647)

Wow!  A compilation of 5 Xpressway singles (Dead C, Terminals, David
Mitchell, Alastair Galbraith & Graeme Jefferies, and Peter Jefferies
& Robbie Muir) and 2 tracks from the seven song Plagal Grind EP. 
Unless you've been on your toes as a psycho Ajax/Xpressway collector
since 1988, you probably haven't heard this stuff before, which is a
real shame.  Edgy, wired, contemplative, another look at the darker
side of music from our pals in Dunedin.  Essential listening for all.
** 1/2

Marine Girls - "Lazy Ways / Beach Party" (Cherry Red, 3rd Fl. Bishops
Park House, 25-29 Fulham High St.  London, UK  SW6 3JH)

Whatever I say about this CD will be hopelessly inadequate at
capturing the beauty of these songs, but I'll try anyway.  Jane and
Alice Fox and Tracey Thorn recorded a bunch of amazingly simple,
pretty songs between 1981 and 1983. This CD compiles both their
albums - 30 songs, 61 minutes.  The first 14 songs are the "Lazy
Ways" LP from 1983, produced by Stuart Moxham - take away the  Young
Marble Giants' organ and jazz up the songs a little, and you'll have
an idea of the sound.  The remainder of the CD is 1981's "Beach
Party", which  reminds me of a Calvin-less Beat Happening (or
Bratmobile without the attitude) and which I prefer to the first half
(but not by much :) ).  Beach Party is more fun, Lazy Ways is more
poignant.  Both are amazing.  Everyone deserves  to hear the Marine
Girls (even if we Yanks have to pay $18 for an import CD). ***

The Electric Prunes - "The Electric Prunes"  (Reprise)

Yeah, I raved about this band about 4 issues ago when I found a 7" of
their very best song, "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" and I was
pretty amazed to find the whole LP last week.  Unfortunately, only 3
or 4 songs begin to    approach the brilliance of "Too Much To
Dream," and some of this stuff is totally derivative pop drivel. 
Which version was the "real" Prunes and which was forced by the
record label?  I can't tell...  ** 1/2 (but still an infinite number
of stars for "Too Much To Dream")

Mai Pen Rai - compilation (4 AD)

A promo sampler from 4 AD featuring 11 tunes from recent or upcoming
releases and a mystery bonus track.  The first 7 tunes get me
scratching my head and mumbling about "how the mighty have fallen" -
Ultra Vivid Scene, Frank Black, Dead Can Dance, and worse.  The last
5 songs, though, restore my faith in  the label - Unrest has
re-recorded "Teenage Suicide," and there are songs from This Mortal
Coil, Underground Lovers, and Matt Johnson (before he started calling
himself The The, he put out a solo LP in 1981 - this song is haunting
as hell...).  The super mystery track, yet another Brit thing from
1981, is totally fucking cool and the best song on the CD.  And, the
packaging is beautiful - cool cardboard fold-out stuff done by Bruce
Licher and his  Independent Projects Press.  * in its entirety,
** if you skip the crap.

One lonely zine review/plug:

Caught In Flux #1 (P.O. Box 7088, New York, NY 10116-4627)

This is the new project from Mike Appelstein, as he has put Writer's
Block on infinite hiatus.  A smaller zine than Writer's Block, but
still the same style - Mike's never been afraid to slag records and
bands, and this issue is no exception.  Great interviews with Stuart
Moxham and the Spinanes, and a slew of reviews of zines and records. 
Since Mike hopes to do this one on a more timely basis than Writer's
Block, it might be worth keeping an eye out for it.  $1.50 will bring
one your way, or check with Ajax, Land Speed, or Tower (yes, Tower
Records does carry zines...).

Anyway, I hope to have a more regular reviewing/writing schedule in
the  foreseeable future, so it won't be one of these
4-weeks-between-writing  things... :)




"Feast on the sacred punk pop implosion. Pump the tunes. Crank the
 volume and ride the rocket through the euphoria of a noisy pop
 rockin' overdose." - K
"Just Gimme Indie Rock!" - Lou Barlow
"La la la la la la, la la la la la la, la, la..." - Pavement

EDITOR (send your questions/comments/etc here)
Mark Cornick <cornick@access.digex.net>
SUBMISSIONS (send your articles here)
Joshua Houk <houk@athena.cs.uga.edu>
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Liz Clayton <lclayton@uhuru.uchicago.edu>
ARCHIVES (send back issue requests here)
Sean Murphy <skmurphy@phoenix.princeton.edu>

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