"The name caught my attention, along with the cover photo of L7, who 
often confuse me with the Bangles."


      Indie List Digest!

        April 8, 1994

     Volume 3   Number 23


Beck I, Helium, Laito Lychee
Loud Music Festival pt 2
I'm a poser baby (Beck II)
I Mother Carlos, Beck III
Guided By Voices
Bang Bang Machine, et al.
Th Faith Healers, Combustible Edison
Grass Records
AD: Envelope
AD: Purderous magina records


Well, here we are, back again with a slightly smaller and (thanks to 
the Beck "controversy") tighter issue of the Indie-List.  The focus 
this time is Mr.  Beck, (but not Mr.  Jeff [or Burger Chef, for that 
matter, but it's been a long week]).  But keep the fine submissions in 
the spool, folks.  Anne and I are getting things sorted out so issues 
should be arriving in more timely and manageable packages.

A quick note on advertisements.  The rule really is to limit them to 
ten lines and the PBS mode of hyperbole.  That said, I count the lines 
before I reformat to 70 column format, and at least in shorter issues, 
I think we can afford to be a little lenient.



From: Douglas Wolk <dbcloud@panix.com>
Beck, Helium, Laito Lychee, etc.

I'm really gonna have to disagree with Grumpy Sean on the Beck issue.  
If I'm remembering correctly, he grumped about them in the same 
paragraph as he mentioned the Mountain Goats; if I'm also remembering 
correctly, Beck's cassette on Sonic Enemy predates the Mountain 
Goats tape on the same label.  The "MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack" 
single came out a year or so ago, on (I think) Bongload.  "Loser," 
more importantly, was a huge West Coast hit before DGC picked Beck 
up--as a vinyl-only 12" single on Bongload.  (Once he did the deal 
with DGC, DGC distributed a re-pressing of the 12" to promo-type 
places.) As far as I can tell, "Loser" made it as a genuine indie 
item--whether you like the song or not, it's pretty respectable.  
Beck's also recorded albums for K and some-or-other largish indie; 
whichever one that is just came out (it has "stereo pathetic" in the 
title; I don't remember the specifics).  And there's a 10" on another 
indie that came out a few weeks ago.  Not only that, but according to 
the paper, when he played in New York, he didn't play "Loser."

As far as I can tell, the guy's for real--certainly realer than 
S--ndg-rd-n, for example, or any of a handful of bands that have made 
records for indies for the sake of "credibility" while being financed 
by majors they've already signed to.

I second everybody's enthusiasm for the Helium record, which works on 
any number of levels--musical, lyrical, conceptual, ideological, 
3-AM-listening, crank-it-loud-listening...  Totally great, and 
spellbinding live too.  And I can't get "XXX" out of my head either.

Saw Laito Lychee playing last week, and was once again completely 
blown away.  I think that only the drummer has ever been in a band 
before; how something this organic and beautiful can come out of 
nowhere is beyond me.  They're still listening to their Naked City 
records a little bit much, but even since their last gig a few months 
ago there's definite progress happening.  L.L.  is the closest thing 
America has to Huggy Bear, except WITH SONGS and much more playful and 
instrumentally tight.  But the conceptual stuff, wit and fervor of 
H.B.  are there--can't wait until the album comes out in a few months. 
 A couple of new songs this time, some in English, some in Japanese, 
and a razor-tight and very funny cover of Shrek's "Yo, I Killed Your 
God." See them if you get a chance.

Douglas D. Wolk   dbcloud@panix.com


From: bean-bag amerika <hermes@student.umass.edu>
loud music festival (northampton) night two

well, lucky me, i ended up out of town for most of yesterday, and only 
got back in time to catch come.  but they were well worth it.  thalia 
had some troubles tuning her guitar, and chris's mic was a little low, 
but other than that the sound was great and lived up to the festival's 
title- they were loud.  in fact they were the loudest band i heard 
all weekend.  it's hard to believe that chris was once in codeine, 
although that's what prompted me to buy eleven*eleven in the first 
place (an album i have liked more and more every time i've listened to 
it); they played a number of songs off that, a few other old songs i 
hadn't heard, and two new songs off a new single, which were very 
good.  chris and sean's matching guitar and bass were a cute touch, 



From: Seth L Sanders <feste@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu>
I'm a Poser, Baby

[anyone else here remember Poseur, a leather and latex store from 
the Bay Area, ca 1981? -es]

Well, that does it.  Beck Hansen has pissed so many people off, 
outraged their righteousness and violated their perimeters, that I'd 
have to fall in love with him sight unseen and sound unheard.  It's so 
immoral to like Beck, it makes me feel like a sellout, a 
pushover.  Plus it's totally meaningless, a mere lifestyle option 
with no more moral force than whether or not you pick your nose in 
private.  What easier cheap thrill could you get?

It's a lot easier because on a strictly formal level, "Loser" (the 
only Beck song I've even heard) is more innovative than anything the 
people he's ripping off (he knows he's ripping them off) have done in 
a long while.  Slide guitar sounds aimless and lazy to begin with, and 
totally inappropriate for either indie rock or hip-hop, not for any 
reason, just cuz no one's done it so you're not supposed to do it.  So 
he does it, sounds perfectly normal.  The hip-hop backbeat is much 
less coffeehouse and precious than acoustic guitar or "minimal" 
"drone" stuff (as much as I enjoy Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive 
Stereos, the music sounds like an Xpressway parody before Xpressway 
even existed).  It's familiar, unpretentious, throwaway.  But I want 
to keep it; it's not as powerful as Helium, but the words are 
attractively crumpled, distorted but legible.  And I have to hear 
the song with the line I saw quoted in the NY Times (as a zine it 
can't lick Wind-Up Toy's boots but it has better photos of Gerard 
Cosloy): "I want to ride through the city on a wrecking ball."

I won't bother to connect the Beck concept to generational anomie; the 
resentment he generates does that as well as anything ("one thing 
about us is that we HATE being labeled!!").  But I can't imagine that 
an alcoholic 14-year-old at the University of Paris in the 16th 
century wouldn't have felt the same way, waking up in a cold room with 
sores on his butt and all the contrived logic he'd been listening to 
last night oozing out of his head.  Plus he has a song called 
"Motherfuker" (sic) which I find poetic.

And wait, if he doesn't go through _traditional underground channels_ 
does that mean he's not underground? Though everyone including 
Thurston Moore (apparently hilarious 120 minutes episode where he 
"interviews" Beck into throwing his shoes around the set) was pissed 
off that they were't already hip to him, I could drop the names 
Schwermut Forest, Brainticket, and the Fells and I'd probably sound 
like a horrible collector scum if I said they were 3 of the greatest 
things ever.  But they are.  Well, Beck's probably not so new to 
Azalea Snail, and if he never paid any dues then good for him, bruised 
knees are ugly.  I think the tree of evil has a right to bear bitter 
fruit even if it does it in the forest and no scenesters hear it.



From: Andrew Michael Radin <fourfa@leland.Stanford.EDU>

The new Unwound LP, "New Plastic Ideas," is amazing.  Unwound has 
moved away from the Jehu-y punk of their earlier stuff to an 
incredible Slinty dynamism.  The first two songs are straight-ahead 
neurotic punk like you'd expect, but the rest of the album shoots 
around all over the place, slow and fast, quiet and loud, like a punk 
roller coaster.  Of particular note are a great instrumental (#5, 
forgot the title), "Hexenzsene" (which reminds me a lot of Sonic 
Youth's "The Scrawl"), "Arboretum," and "Usual Dosage." UD is 
intense, alternating between quiet guitar noise and low tribal 
drumming and full-on, slow-burning hardcore a'la recent Fugazi, but 
even better.  One hell of a cool song.  The whole album is great, with 
high points and low points, soft numbers and raging numbers.  Nine 
songs, forty minutes.  On KillRockStars, of course.

Andy Radin


From: SONIKD@delphi.com
I Mother Carlos

Before I start just a quick reminder that B* will be playing at 
Bernie's here in Columbus, Ohio on April 7.  Room capacity: 120 
people.  Is B* cool or just an idiot? MTV & Geffen market the shit 
out of him and then have him play the smallest clubs across the U.S.  
Whaz sup? Well Eric, that's the extent of my B* discussion.

So anyway.  The other night I saw I Mother Earth.  First off, I 
originally had no plans to see this band; secondly, I wasn't sure if I 
should submit this to Indie-List but then I figured Pavement is way 
bigger and I read about them all the time here.

So anyway.  Our drummer said I had to check these guys out (he also 
leans towards death metal, which I don't). Me loving Jane's 
Addiction, he said I'd dig this.  Groovy? The only problem was it was 
at the Alrosa Villa - total pseudo/glam metal/wind tunnel tested 
hair/tiger-patterned spandex/Whitesnake/Poison wannabes.

(i remember this place and its many radio commercials.  it took me 
years to figure out Al Rosa wasn't a person.--az, a columbus native)

So I slummed.  (Every weekend they'll book one of those "total" cover 
bands - ya know? They look like KISS and they sound like KISS but 
they're not KISS but the place is packed and everybody is going wild.) 
I was wearing a blue wool knit hat ("grunge") and this woman came over 
to me and asked if I was trying to make a fashion statement.  I looked 
at her.  She had on a super-tight black spandex midriff top with long 
sleeves, but there were holes were the shoulders were.  Go figure.

So anyway.  The whole reason I wrote this was to tell you about the 
music.  If you're into percussion, check these guys out.  The mixture 
of the floor-kit drummer and the percussionist was pretty incredible.  
To be honest, at times it sounded exactly like Santana percussion but 
it had incredible feel and timing.  The other instruments were okay - 
it was the drumming that turned me on most.

So if they come around your area, give them a shot.  It was only $6 
here and, at most, there was probably 100 people to see them, so 
they're not some huge metal band.  Somewhere between JA and Helmet.  I 
didn't know any of their songs beforehand, so I really can't say which 
I liked best or recite their set list.

Joe Pospisil
columbus, ohio


"Never was a cornflake girl thought that was a good solution hangin' 
with the raisin girls" - Does anybody know what this means?


From: Bill Peregoy <peregoy@maelstrom.timeplex.com>
Guided By Voices

I just had to respond to the review of the Guided By Voices 7" on 
Domino (clown prince of the menthol trailer).  That's not a very 
representative release to judge the band on.  In fact, of the recent 
glut of new GbV material, that is, by far, my least favorite.  I'd 
recommend picking up the 7" on City Slang or the even newer CD5 on 
Engine.  Both show off what the band is really about much better than 
that Domino thing.  The Engine Release (Fast Japanese Spin Cycle) is 
especially interesting since it contains re-recorded versions of a 
couple of songs from the _Vampire on Titus_ album.  There is also a 
split 7" on Anyway Records that is supposed to be totally amazing.  I 
haven't heard this one yet.



From: DDBAN203G@university-central-england.ac.uk
Bang Bang Machine

Bang Bang Machine - Geek Love

This is very old but I've only just got it! Its well 'ard! Dancey, but 
not horrible indie dance and not faceless techno bollox! Smeg me if 
this ain't addictive.  Rad!

Blind Mr. Jones - Spooky Vibes

This is the biz though, showgazer gods, from Olympus no doubt, or 
Practika, even Zeon.  Ride with flutes, cry the media; no it's not, 
Ride are crap, and BMJ are ace! Flutes would not make that much diff.  
This is the record equivalent of a penalty kick from the half-way 

(Cherry Red records)

Pulp - Do You Remember The First Time?

Pop works, like this! I bounced around my room so much when I first 
played this my dog attacked me.  Obviously spaniels don't like POP 
MUSIC! It's heaven in 5 inches, a peach of a CD single.  It's FAB! The 
record equivalent of a great try in the last minute that snatched 
victory from the jaws of Leeds.

Blur - Girls And Boys

It starts off with a few old electronics, Blur join the Noo Wave! I 
like Blur, my first fave indie band.  This is them to a T, so suave 
and cool! The record equivalent of the Castleford captain getting sent 
off for punching, heh heh heh.

this mail is from:


at the: University Of Cheap Equipment In Birmingham

"it pays to listen, thats why we do"
 - very sad jingle ALERT!


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

I've just been re-accepted to JMU, so I'm verrrrrry busy right now.  
This accounts for a few things:

1) my recent travels all over the place, most notably to (duh) 
Harrisonburg (hi, Chris!)

2) the push-back of the debut of Telegraph - sorry, but yr going to 
have to wait until at least May.

3) the slap-hazardness of these reviews:

th Faith Healers, "Imaginary Friend" (Too Pure/Elektra) - Actually, th 
FHs are now known as "th Faith Healers UK" in North America.  
Personally, I find it very hard to believe there was already a band 
called Th Faith Healers, but people are creative, I guess.  The 
record: This is very similar to the "less heavy" songs on "Lido" 
(think "Spin 1/2", not "Hippy Hole.") I personally liked the "heavier" 
stuff better, but this LP's no disappointment.  Th Healers are one of 
those bands that have "a sound" and don't deviate much from it, so 
it's going to be one of those like-it-or-lump-it deals (especially 
since some of these songs are realllllllllllllly lonnnnnnnnnnnnng - 
cf.  "Hydro" by Unrest.) So, as with Lido, you get a sort of 
Can/Faust/ Neu tribute - repetitive yet beautiful.  If you were 
expecting something new and different from th Faith Healers, this 
isn't it, but if you wanted more of the (excellent) same, it's all 
here.  Perhaps not the ideal intro (I'd seek out the American "Don't 
Jones Me" single for that) but a fine continuation.

Combustible Edison, "I, Swinger" (Sub Pop): A hipper-than-thou friend 
of mine gave me this for my birthday.  Despite the label, this isn't 
grunge, rock, or anything similar.  Rather, this is the sort of thing 
that will instantly appeal to buyers of the REsearch "Incredibly 
Strange Music" book.  Combustible Edison occupy the same 
cocktail-music world as Martin Denny, Henry Mancini and Harry Breuer - 
check the organ, vibes, standup bass, and silky-sweet, Julie 
London-like vocals.  Your opinion of this corresponds with your 
tolerance for lounge swank.  Me, I say "Viva Las Vegas" and pump it 
up.  There are covers of "Cry Me A River" and Kurt Weill's "Surabaya 
Johnny" in addition to several originals, most of them instrumental or 
with few vocals.  How this got released on Sub Pop we'll never know - 
they must REALLY be trying to shake that grunge tag - but this is 
great in that it grabs your attention when you want it to and steps 
into the background when you don't.  Even my mom likes it.  (I've been 
told there's an ex-Christmas member in CE, but I can't tell who, 
thanks to the pseudonymous credits.)

Pack yr romantic mind,

   "It's not the meat on your plate, it's the plate in your meat"


From: "Theodore A. Khoury" <khoury@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu>
Grass Records Sampler review

sampler, consisting of Grass bands from around the country, sucks as a 
whole.  Out of the eight or so bands (MOUSETRAP, SUNBRAIN, EDSEL, 
BRAINIAC, BARNYARD SLUT, TWITCH, and maybe another pointless band), 
Brainiac is the only band that has something to show for itself.  The 
rest are simply alternative shit; being a sampler there's a grunge 
band in its truest sense (twitch), the Jawbox/Swirlies band, Edsel and 
the rest are boring and cliched.  All the songs have already been 
released, so I had heard Brainiac before.  They are very much worth 
checking out, from Ohio, have a Moog, sound like they're attempting to 
take on Sonic Youth, but have more of a early Cars/Gary Numan 
synth-slickness about them, and sassy, nah-nah-nah lyrics throughout.  
But don't be fooled; they are the only thing worth checking out on 
this label.  I also heard they were signed to the majors recently.1/2 
out of 5


From: GERARDC@delphi.com
Envelope tour dates

Hey, it's time to use up that blatant advertising quota...

[or overuse, of course - but there's real news in here, so I count 
this as only two lines over.  And it IS the editor's right to be 
absolutely arbitrary, so here 'tis -es]

The NYC quartet ENVELOPE are playing the following dates on the west 

4/14 - Al's Bar, LA, CA (w/ Liquor Giants, Wild Stares)
4/15 - Cafe This, Santa Rosa, CA (w/ Kid Dynamo)
4/16 - Nightbreak, SF, CA (w/ Barbara Manning)
4/17 - Bottom Of The Hill, SF, CA (w/ Flophouse, SF Seals)

This is your big chance to see the band Mark Cornick compared to Run 
Westy Run.  The act that "always fails to ignite," according to 
Douglas Wolk.

Our 3rd single "Trophy" b/w "Try Again" is now available on the Remora 
label ($3.50 to PO Box 523, Stuyvesant Station, NYC 10009).  Remora 
also have new releases from Alkaline, Bob Bannister, Pacer and Roger 
Miller on the way.

For the sake of being fair and legal, I should mention that we are not 
associated or affiliated with the San Francisco band "envelope", who 
are currently wasting their money and ours by trying to get their name 
and logo (!) copywritten.  They have also threatened the SF venues 
with some sort of legal action if these shows go ahead as planned.  
Man, we're so scared, we're shaking all over the place.

I should mention that being compared to Run Westy Run isn't nearly as 
bad as being compared to Veruca Salt (or even being Veruca Salt), 
but maybe next time.

thanks, GC


From: "BGCV/Lars Rosenblum" <BGCV@MUSICB.MCGILL.CA>
Purderous magina records
enticing audible matter available from purderous magina records:
zoz 001  L'AFFECTION AFFECTION (p.m.r. cassette comp. #1). crazy. 45 m.
           = cornucopic - SPOOL, GRIT, LAMPshADe, FULL, HAYWOOD, LARS...

           BEDARD. zany. 90 m. = unprecedented. makes you wonder. (cass)
             (prices: cass=$5, 7"=$3.50, zine=$1. all us$ ppd.)

also available are x-puck 'zine #1, 2 peters' HAYWOOD 7", PARADE OF
regency manor.ardmore.PA.USA.19003-1132:610.649.5776/514.286.0256. yeah.


The Indie-List Digest is published a few times each week (usually 
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