THE INDIE-LIST DIGEST!                      Volume 2 Number 23
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      "Digitally Rechanneled For Superior Stereo Sound!"

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." - Pablo Picasso

In this issue:

lois/frumpies/bikini kill 7"
Echos (sic)
Seam, King Kong, the Mono Men and Crackerbash
Douglas/God-Co, Shrek
Rock n Roll Wedding Reception
scene gripes and Helium
guided by yo la trio
Re: from one girly-girl to another

and more


By Robert Lim

Hi there... Rob reporting from the dark underbelly of Chicago.  Not much
to report in the area of music reviews (actually too much to report), and
I'm kinda busy filling in Liz's shoes, but I did promise to do a giveaway
this issue (or was it last?)

Anyway, the prize is a fabulous Unrest single previously available at
Unrest shows for a week of August/ September.  These are limited to about
2000, so I'm sure someone out there wants it.  It's "So Sick" b/w "Vibe
Out," which I would say is at least as good as the material on Perfect
Teeth.  It comes in a hand-stamped sleeve, too.  Come on, it's free! 

The question you gotta answer is (address replies to moi, is, what does the WGNS in WGNS Studio stand for. 
Put on your thinking caps, and good luck.... 

-Greetings from Robert Lim


lois/frumpies/bikini kill 7"
by Tiffany La Clede Smith

the new lois lp, strumpet is out, but i'm still trying to find it on cd,
'stead of vinyl, but until then there's... 

lois "the trouble with me" b/w "page two"

i realize it's not the end of the world but there is BASS on this 7". 
actually it sounds pretty good, it's just shocking, initially.  the a-side
is very pretty. (is it possible to not use that word when describing
lois?), i've decided that this is the perfect autumn 7" -but don't ask me
what that mean b/c i don't know. "the trouble with me is that i'm
trouble." the b-side is more plush (?) sounding.  i think it's all that
bass.  it's about writing a letter to someone (and she seems pissed).  her
vocals are a bit deeper than usuual. 

frumpies _babies and bunnies_ 7" ep

i picked this up a few weeks ago when they played here.  much improved
from the time they played last spring.  kathi from bikini kill sings on
"weird machine" and "she's a real cutie pie." (she also sang on "fuck
kitty" on the _stars kill rock_ comp.).  her songs are sorta low fi and
screamy.  i like 'em but i perfer it when tobi sings.  like on "intertube
tomorrow" and "what's his name loves the frumpies," when she sings about
her east bay boyfriend.  her songs are more sweet sounding. -it the
frumpies can be described as sweet. 

then there's the new bikini kill 7" which chris mentioned last week. 
there is a new version of "rebel girl" which is just as swell as, if not
better than, the first one.  my personal fave is "demirep." does anyone
know if bikini kill is going to have anything new out.  i'd started to
wonder if they were even together still, since the frumpies are basically
bk w/o kathleen... 

oh, and does anyone know anything about the band CUB who do the "hello
kitty" song on the julep compilation?  i saw a review of a record by
them in _Snipe Hunt_ but i haven't seen it anywhere... 



Echos (sic)
by Sean Murphy

Oh yeah, I needed to respond to a few of Mark's remarks in I-L #21 - the
July Working Holiday single is one of the worst in the series (damn, Lois'
song is just dumb, even if I do love her) and the Pain Teens new LP
TOTALLY FUCKING SUCKS.  Another band I do enjoy (Stimulation Festival had
some solid songs, like "Shallow Hole", and Born In Blood is one of the
finest evisceration experiences I've ever had), but a song like "RU 486",
one which has some relevance in the title, is dull, boring, and nowhere
near satisfying the standards this band has established.  BLAH.  Still
better than Vacant Lot, but that's not saying much... 

[ on repeated listens, I didn't like _Destroy Me, Lover_ that much either;
it just seems a little too cleaned-up (?) - Mark ]

And one more review of a new purchase:

Echos From The Nation's Capital - various artists 

Arizona label, Metro-DC bands (with a few Baltimore imports).  To have 9
legitimately good songs out of 10 on an unknown comp is pretty solid. The
"big name bands" - Lungfish, Tsunami, Wingtip Sloat, Edsel, High Back
Chairs, Candy Machine - all turn in good, solid songs (even HBC - really!)
and the other bands (Trusty, Liquor Bike, Revision, Derf) are very good as
well (although Derf wasn't too special in their "we want to be Wingtip
Sloat but not as weird" mode).  Overall, I'm very pleased with this,
especially since I'm now only one song away from a complete Tsunami
collection (until the new LP comes out...).  * 3/4 (Third World
Underground - 1843 N. Kramer - Tuscon, AZ 85719)

(No, it's not a typo on my part - the CD and case all say "Echos"
throughout instead of "echoes" - annoying but not particlarly

Speaking of the Machining ones, they've now landed in Chicago for the next
week or so to record tracks for the new LP - no word on potential release
date, but based on recent live shows, it should be a great LP, developing
a darker and more distorted sound.  (Why do people always expect Tsunami
to be pretty and quiet and pop in their songs?  It's not like "Ski Trip"
was particularly nice, or "Geniuses" for that matter.)

Unfounded rumor of the week - Palace Brothers never broke up, they just
kicked out Britt Walford, and Slint may be reforming as we speak. 

(When I say "unfounded" I mean it!  But, a rumor of such proportions is
worth passing even if it is just a rumor for now...)

Sean (a.k.a. Grumpy Smurf in other parts of the Internet)


Seam, King Kong, the Mono Men and Crackerbash
by Joshua Buergel

I'd just like to follow up on Grumpy Smurph's recommendation of
Hurl...these guys really do rock, especially since adding a second
guitarist.  They've got two 7"s out so far, "Turnip" b/w "Clutch" and "12
Foot Drop" (that might be "10 Foot Drop" memory blow out) and
"Radishes" b/w "Positronic Ray".  Both are excellent and highly (**)
recommended, if you can find them.  I'll try to post addresses where you
can order them later on. 

I haven't seen a show in months, so I can't review any shows.  But, I can
review a few records for everybody.  I don't have these in front of me
(sorry), so I can't provide addresses or catalog numbers as I usually do. 
Ah, the joys of public computer clusters. 

Seam, _The Problem With Me_ (Touch & Go TG118)  (Okay, I lied, I can
remember that catalog number)

Seam has undergone a few lineup changes since Headsparks, the most
significant of which is probably the addition of a second guitarist (the
second most significant being that Mac doesn't play drums and somebody who
used to be in the Poster Children has taken over).  This has resulted in a
fuller sound that could be heard on the EP Kernel.  The new full
lengther is probably closer to Kernel and Bitch Magnet's stuff than the
sparser Headsparks.  I still think it's wonderful.  Sooyoung's quiet,
melancholy voice wonderfully complements the wonderful tunes that he
writes.  For some inexplicable reason, the word "organic" keeps popping
into my mind to describe Seam, although that's a worthless description. 
Very nice.  **

King Kong, _Funny Farm_ (Drag City)

Man o man is this damaged music.  It's hard to believe that Ethan Buckler
(ex-Slint...was he in Squirrel Bait as well?  I can't remember...) is
responsible for this album.  _Funny Farm_ features simplistic, cheezy
white-boy funk melded to truly moronic and insipid lyrics.  In other
words, it's great.  Just sit back with a dumbfounded expression and laugh
your ass off.  I hate to call it a novelty album, but it's close.  It's
hard to believe anything can be this...damaged. *

Mono Men, _Shut Up!_ (Estrus)

Eight instrumentals, many of them covers, on this new EP by the Mono Men
that continues their obsession with sixties-influenced garage rock.  No
big surprises here, since garage rock instrumentals are pretty much garage
rock instrumentals and there isn't too much you can do with them. 
Nevertheless, this is a fun listen and would go well with the Shadowy Men
or the new Huevos Rancheros record.  I wish I would have bought this
earlier this summer, as this is ideal good weather music.  *1/2

Crackerbash, _Tin Toy_ (eMpTy Records)

This is the best EP of the year, so far.  Can anybody tell me if their
first LP is even half this good?  It doesn't matter 'cause I'll probably
buy it anyway.  This seven song EP is almost bursting with energy, not
counting the last song (which is just goofy).  Incredibly urgent vocals,
nice bass work that really serves to drive the band and some great tunes. 
Reminds me a bit of Superchunk, but more rockin' than some of the recent
Superchunk stuff.  Oh wow.  ***

That's it for this week...back to my work (sigh).

Joshua Buergel - -
"Anybody who thinks we overstepped the playground perimeter of lyrical
decency (or that the public has any right to demand 'social
responsibility' from a goddamn punk rock band) is a pure natural dolt,
and should step forward and put his tongue up my ass." - Steve Albini


Douglas/God-Co, Shrek
by Ben Burck,

So Douglas thinks I can't resist being snide about God is my Co-Pilot, eh? 
Well, if you can't say anything nice...  actually Fred Lonborg-Holm added
a much needed bit of melody to their set at the Knitting Factory (opening
for Half-Japanese -- who were great fun as usual).  I dunno.  Everybody
seems to love those folks and I just can't understand it.  At their best,
it seems to little old me, they fail to be something I'd do more than sit
through.  The two drummers help a bit, but not much. 

The next night (Sunday) I went to see Marc Ribot's Shrek (Schrek?) at CB's
Gallery.  They were great, great, great.  Two drummers who pound away at a
cool marchingband/tribal beat, two guitars (led by Ribot's piercing sound)
and a competent (too technically proficient for my d.i.y. ears) bass.  It
kinda sounded like it was "Marc Ribot's Carbon" but I like his composition
style more than Elliot Sharp's -- it's a lot less mathematical and Ribot's
chord progressions are twisted in a uniquely cool way. 

Snide? Me?



Rock n Roll Wedding Reception
by Christine, aka Courtney's Best Friend

Tis true, everybody's favorite indie label gal just got married! That
would be c/z's Barbara Dollarhide, married to longtime sweetie Andrew
Pritchard.  The couple had a small intimate wedding and a BLOWOUT wedding
reception complete with performances by Isadora, Maxi Badd, Treepeople and

The couple were still dressed up when I got there, looking very lovely.
Someone with a huge camera kept flashing everyone. This was no ordinary
flash, this was a flash that left you blinded for 30 seconds, no lie.
There was food and "atmosphere" upstairs (this was at the Weathered Wall
here in Seattle) and lots of family looking types - - Andrew's grandmother
was there taking pictures. Imagine, she was about 80! And we were a
tattooed and beer swilling cigarette smoking cussing bunch!  But we're
nice.  Anyway. 

Isadora were great, though their name makes me think of gothic crap.  They
must be new cause I've never seen em before, and all of a sudden I said
"wait, I know this song, what the heck is it?" It was a Mudhoney cover.
HAhah.  Then Maxi Badd played. They're pretty cool - like Seattles tougher
version of 10,000 maniacs.  My friends and I kinda sat it out for awhile
during th Treepeople as we got bummed thinking about Mia Z. of the Gits, I
hadn't seen the rest of her band much since it happened, and seeing them
kind of made me feel unsettled.  They are still raising money to help find
her killer. 

Finally, Hammerbox came on. We'd had much free beer by now. It was cool to
see them in a small place with calm mellow people, and they were very
happy to be playing a small friendly show. You know, bands don't like to
play those huge arenas either.....they were great, smiley and loud.  I had
a helluva good time, even though I burned my finger and got a blister. 

Congrats to Barbara and Andrew! 

christine from seattle


scene gripes and Helium
by Douglas Wolk

Grumpy Sean writes something like "if he never had to go to another show
in New York, he wouldn't." Well, who said anyone had to go to any? Yeah,
there are a bunch of people who go to a lot of shows; I'm sick of seeing a
half-dozen or so people in particular, and I'm sure there are thirty or
forty people who are utterly sick of seeing me. Too bad. I don't think
there are very many people who are self-consciously scenesters--people
who go to shows because it's the thing they're expected to do. Anyone who
does that has a really bad, sicko kinda attitude, I think. There are a lot
of people who like music a whole lot and have a lot of bands that they
enjoy seeing play--sometimes multiple times. I can think of half a dozen
bands I could watch every week. (In a couple of cases, I basically do.)

The problem comes when "scenesters" whose company you don't especially
like end up being forced into friendships, or at least
let's-talk-to-each-other-between-bands-ships, with you. You end up having
to pal around smoky, loud places with people you don't like much, and you
start to get sick of the music scene... Feigned deafness, I've found, is a
fine way to avoid this particular problem sometimes. 

The latest show I feigned deafness at was tonight, Helium and Versus at
Brownies. Helium is getting much more confident as a band as time goes by,
although Mary Timony (the ex-Autoclave one) is still a statue behind her
microphone. The bass and drum guys, whose names I forget, lock into
simple, slow patterns, and Mary sings almost offhandedly while forcing
great gobbets of sound out of her guitar. I can't think of anybody else
who plays guitar the way she does: simple note patterns and sequences of
chords are punctuated by bursts of feedback and any other strange sounds
she can get out of the thing (her favorites seem to be scraping a pick
against the low string and strumming below the bridge). 

The problem is that, while Helium plays about the same number of songs as
your average band, they're all about seven minutes long, and the
mid-to-low tempos get a little draggy after a while. I can recommend both
their singles; they both take a little listening to get into, but Dawn
Sutter has been playing them both five or six times a day for the last
month at work, and I'm finally starting to understand why. 

Versus played after them, and I didn't get to stay for all of their set; I
did notice that after a couple of new songs at the beginning, they started
to play the _Let's Electrify!_ EP straight through. Much as I love some of
those songs, if they play "Silver Vein" live one more time I'm going to
scream. They've got a ton of great old songs that they never play any more
("Blade Of Grass," for heaven's sake!), and supposedly a ton of great new
songs that they never get around to playing. 

A couple of "scene" notes: Jeff Cashvan, everyone's favorite Barney Rubble
lookalike and Remora mastermind, was wearing another in his series of
very, very funny Remora T-shirts (I definitely need one); and Claudia from
the Magnetic Fields was there, and said (though maybe I misheard, as it
was rather loud in there) that there's going to be a bunch more singles
by the 6ths, including guest vocals by somebody from the Raincoats and (be
still my beating heart) Lou Barlow. Wow. 

Anyone got a copy of the Cannanes single with "Rabbits Wedding" on it?
Send me email... 

Douglas D. Wolk
"Won't you be my smooth and clean, so smooth and clean."



How much I like these reunion events that have been popping up lately have
depended on what I expected from them; I expected a lot from Television
because I figured hey - two great guitarists who've been putting out good
work in the ten yrs since the band broke up - what could go wrong?? But
last year's CD -really- disappointed me;  the songs were too short and
constricted to give anyone much room to build atmosphere and jam and -be-
Television.  In concert, though, they were free to play their asses off,
which they did, more or less up to what could be expected. And Verlaine
dropped the Lloyd Cole impression. 
So my reactions to this new set of reunions was also a function of what I
expected; it's probably safer to expect nothing and come out pleasantly
surprised, like I did with... 
BIG STAR: Columbia - live in Missouri 4/93.  I never cared for the Posies
(who contribute a guitar and bass to Alex and Jody Stephens on drums), but
the revamped band is loud and -raw- enough (and the recording
appropriately raw) to do more justice to their legacy than, IMHO, the
thinly-recorded and relatively dull-sounding '74 live set that Ryko
released last year.  Which is doubly surprising because when Chilton -has-
resorted to a Big Star cover in concert, it always comes off uncomfortably
strained.  Stephens (what had he been doing all these years? He sounds as
though he's never missed a day's practice) contribution is thrown into
relief since he's the only other original member, and I'm surprised to
discover that he's a damn good drummer.  The Posie contingent handles a
few vocals, which are passable, but the band is great; solid T.  Rex and
Todd Rundgren ("SLUT") covers;too bad it was a one-shot deal. 
VELVET UNDERGROUND.  Take a trip (bootleg, which from the patter and
audience accents, may have been recorded at Wembley Stadium, or whatever
it is).  The official product (due out in a few weeks) is a Paris concert,
I believe, but this boot is probably a good indication of what to expect. 
I don't reckon anyone who isn't already familiar with them will be
converted by this:  while the band is certainly tight (in the slightly off
way they've always been tight), the volume and vocals have mellowed, esp. 
in the white heat department.  Early in the set, Lou's vocals seem a
little disinterested (I miss the sleazy-mannered phrasing on "Some kinda
love"), but pick up by the end of the evening (and whatever keeps him from
making another muddle like "Magic and loss" is fine with me). 
The two new numbers are interesting - not embarassing by any means, but
not earth shattering either:  "VU nursery rhyme", a tongue-in-boot ditty
about the whole reunion thang;  and "Coyote", along the musical lines of
"Ocean" except in a desert-y kinda way.  I doubt if they really -wanted-
the audience to howl along with it, but as is an audience's wont they did
howl, and it got annoying. 
"The gift" is given a new reading - that is, Cale recites the story in a
knowing sinister tone.  Like the rest of the show, it helps if you know
the original; Cale's vampiric phrasing is hysterical.  But a first-time
listener would have been better off with the original dead-pan reading,
which made for a more effective and unanticipated ending. 
There's no way they could have lived up to the hype, though one might have
expected less from folk who's solo careers haven't been particularly
consistent. But hey, if you're a fan you'll have to buy it, and hopefully,
-see- them on tour.  If Lou doesn't need the money, the rest of the band
must, so why not fill some deserving coffers and cough up the dough. 
Pat it                                                                


guided by yo la trio
by Michael Medlin, aka prunesquallor

It's been almost a month since I last contributed to this ever-expanding
forum, so my conscience compels me to jot a few quick product reviews. 

First and foremost: Yo La Tengo painful (Matador) I'm glad I've never
had the misfortune to meet Mr.  Cosloy, so's I can say without a twinge of
guilt that he has himself a fine little (ha!) label going.  First the NZ
acquisitions, and now my favorite nonkiwi band of all time.  painful
wanders far less than its immediate long playing predecessor, _May I Sing
With Me_ (which I thought was the finest lp of 1992); instead, it focuses
on the areas that made that album work; i.e.  more Velvets-meet-MBV washes
of thick wet gauze laden guitar, less pointless guitar soloing; more
Georgia, less moments without Georgia.  Wonderful lo-fi analog organ
(praise be to Hammond) is again thrown into the mix, another piece missing
from MISWM that kept it from becoming a top-notch masterpiece, like
_President Yo La Tengo_ and, especially, painful.  My pick for album of
the year so far.  ***

Karl Hendricks Trio _...sings about Misery and Women_ (Fiasco--write and
bug me for the address) This has been reviewed here before, so I'll be
brief.  I should feel guilty for deriving so much pleasure from Karl's
pain, but this is an incredible album; very cohesive, it all hangs
together very nicely, much better than I would have thought possible for
such a wide variety of moods and sounds.  Alternately angry, sad, and
funny; but mostly sad.  **1/2

Guided By Voices _Vampire On Titus_ (Scat) 33 songs in about an hour
(Music While U Wait?).  I love to listen to this in shuffle mode (that's
MR. Digital Junkie to you, pal...).  All over the map, and most places
on this map are pretty zany locales.  After a complete listen or two,
though, it really hits home how incredible the songwriting is.  Even the
songs that initially seem like complete throw-aways are very well crafted,
and they all insidiously wend their way into your consciousness.  Very
addictive.  (The CD also contains their debut album) **1/2

There's quite a bit of fine stuff appearing now, but these are the

 m i c h a e l  l.  m e d l i n   a l @ i r i s . c l a r e m o n t . e d u
                        just waiting for sundown
                         so as to be not found
                    the higher clouds are closing in
                    to hide the deeds of Fertile Jim
                           --guided by voices


Re: from one girly-girl to another
by Arielle, aka Germ-Free Adolescent

	My zine ad for the indie-list:
	WILLIAM WANTS A DOLL #3--behind the scene Sassy expose, cartoon
crushes, 8 pgs of zine reviews, hilarity and gossip girl-style from one
Indie kid to another...trades always welcome, otherwise send a buck and
a 52 cent stamp to me at WWAD, 105 Patton Blvd., New Hyde Park, NY 11040



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Try to move a jukebox by yourself. (Hope yr feeling better, Scott!)

[Submitted by: Sean Keric Murphy  (
               Fri, 15 Oct 1993 09:03:07 -0400]