Joy to the world;
Fortune cookies for everyone.


      Indie List Digest!

        June 10, 1994

     Volume 3   Number 36


Pavement & Blaise Pascal, pt3
New Stuff (Trampoline, Kicking Giant, et al.), Live Shows (Small Factory)
Chris Stamey
Shellac, Don Cabellero, Combustible Edison
Zeni Geva, Man or Astroman, et al.
Memorial Day with Versus


From: (Marcel Feldmar)
Pavement & Blaise Pascal, pt 3


6 pm.  lounge around at the commodore checking out the pavement sound 
check....  the size of the stage could be a bad thing...  & the sound here 
is so Rock & Roll, man.....  we'll see.

9 pm, & i meet Tessa by the Urban Espresso, & as we wander Granville we run 
into Mark & Scott (of Pavement) & their respective girlfriends, & they ask 
me where to go fer coffee, & i tell 'em, saying....  "Coffee is my 

Well, we start at about 10, & there's way more people than at our last 
Commodore fiasco, but they're all sitting down, waiting to stand at the 
front when it's cool.  Two songs later, i look up to see a small group of 
people actually standing there....  i'm amazed...  & the crowd keeps 
growing.  Wow...  in Vancouver?

We pull off a good set, competing w/ the sound & the size of the stage.  
Solid melodic chaotic spaz rock...  & to quote someone in the audience, we 
were "awesome," & Nick was just amazing w/ his vocals....  Nick, yer 

Roller Skate Skinny played an amazing set.  i was astounded, & the crowd 
was shaking.  Very big sound, pulling wide & tight at the same time.  There 
was somethign very ominous about the sound, this pervading atmosphere of 
doom, but scathingly cut by rolling beats & pure energy.

Pavement raged w/ electric honesty.  You just can't help but bounce, 
y'know? The power was unbelievable, cutting static waves of white noise w/ 
sonic waterfalls & shrill screams, harmonic impulses.  The amount of 
emotion these guys have put out the last 3 nights is fantastic.  The 
Commodore was packed, screaming, sweating, jumping, bouncing, bliss.

Compliments all around after the show...  they liked our set, we liked 
their set, & it's see ya in Calgary, & home to bed......  Thursday 
afternoon, waitin' at the bus stop fer the Blaise bus....  they pick me up 
w/ the Bone Machine blaring & a new addition to the entourage, Scott, eyes 
shaded & grinning like a Kerouac from hell.  Stop in Hope fer Dairy Queen, 
Propane, & donuts...  & then we smooth the Canadian hiway at 110 kmph...  
flashing thru the foothills, rocky ridden road driven frostbit thin air 
windchill.  Half listening to Copyright, half watching the sun set behind 
mountain view.  Yeah, Canada's got the scenery, but America makes up fer it 
w/ convenience.

8:30 pm & we hit Kamloops w/ sore butts, cold limbs & a thirst that only 
beer can quench....  the search the find the drink the sigh the smoke the 
nod the drive.....  spend the nite at Mike's parents'...  Mike showing us 
all his Kamlooped memories...  "That's where i went to school, that's where 
i waited fer the bus, that's where i got drunk..." We had a good dinner, 
watched hockey, drank beer, played Nintendo....  how canadian.

Friday mornign breakfast at 6 am & pictures of chickens & goats & a quick 
van-side jam w/ guitar, snare, harmonica.  Revelstoke to Banff to Calgary.  
Scott pulls out the acoustic, Nick sings strange words, Andrew drives, Mike 
& Dave read comics....  Lunch in Banff...  but man, the place is a downer.  
Rich ski bums & uptight sidewalks.  we get out quick.


From: Steve Silverstein <>
New stuff, live shows

First, things I've gotten of late:
Trampoline-Dormer CD (Spin Art)--Not really amazing, but OK.  Pretty 
coherent given the assortment of studios and musicians.  Sort of a 
lighter Game Theory.  One song is really cool (and very GTish).

Kicking Giant--She's Real 7" (K)--Good, not as good as they are live.  
Simple, catchy, not as lo-fi as I'd expected.  Just drums and guitar, 
if you didn't know.

Why Do You Think They Call it Pop?--Pop Narcotic double 10"--If you 
hadn't heard, this is quite good.  13 songs, 8 solid, 5 amazing 
(Kudgel, Polvo, Wingtip Sloat, Helium, Versus).  Check it out.

Palace-Come In--Drag City 7"--Good, like the album, though some added 
instrumentation.  The B-side is the stronger track.

Crayon/Grover split 7"-Gritty Kitty (P.  O.  Box 5145/Bellingham, WA 
98227) The Crayon song is a bit straightforward for them and really 
catchy.  The Grover is simple and sort of love-rock-y, but has neat 
rhythm shifts and is catchy.

God is My Co-Pilot--This is no time to be FRAIL!--Rough Trade singles 
club 7"-- Only available in a UK singles club, so a lucky (and quite 
good find).  Guests are Anthony Coleman and Fred Lonberg-Holm.  Sounds 
like all of their stuff (noisy, complex, short catchy songs), which is 
a good thing.

Glorium-Phantom Wire Transmissions--Undone (P.  O.  Box 4012/Austin, 
TX 78765) 7"--Good Dischord-y stuff.  Not quite as intense as their 
live show, but a good selection of varied songs, and the A-side is 
really strong.  Quite nifty "storybook" packaging.

Smirk, Titter & Wink Volume One--Crank (P.  O.  Box 13164/Baltimore, 
MD 21203) CD--A comp of Baltimore  bands sans Candy Machine, Lungfish, 
Tinklers, or much of anyone else you'd know at all.  Left behind are a 
couple decent Jesus Lizard imitators, and a catchy song or 2.  I'm 
partial to the Cinnamon Toast song but hardly unbiased.  Overall, not 
that great, and really not essential, but a couple above-average 

Live (besides Glorium): Small Factory sounded the same as always, 
including the new songs.  Pitchblende just keep improving; new album 
due next week.  Superchunk's encores in DC were worth a mention, 
"Josephine" (Mag Fields from Portastatic 7"), a Verlaines cover 
(w/guitarist from 3Ds) from Juvenalia, and an original (with Kelly 
Velocity Girl playing Mac's guitar, Mac and Jim VG sharing drums, and 
John and some guy from the audience sharing vocals!). 3Ds were dull 
opening, Labradford were even better than LP with new bassist (Bobby 
from Breadwinner), but confused the 16 year olds and most everyone 
else; Black Cat is a bit big for what they do (Eno-ish Moog stuff).  
Rake were cool, esp.  when I realized halfway through their one song 
that it had distinct "verses" and wasn't pure improv.  Tone were 
amazing! 6 guitars, 2 basses, and new drummer Phil Krauth (ex-Unrest).  
Really complex stuff, but you could always find the melody; plus, they 
wear ties.  What more can you ask for.  And the Small Factory comment 
was not a complaint; I enjoyed them.


Sorry if it's a bit long; I'd gotten A LOT of stuff, and tried to keep 
the reviews short, at least.


From: Wilson Smith <>
Chris Stamey, Knitting Factory, NYC, 5/28

Chris Stamey + She Never Blinks 
Knitting Factory, NYC, May 28, 1994, 9pm

It's hard to think of Chris Stamey as being an aging hipster, 'cause he 
still looks (and probably still is, really, er, relatively) so young, 
but he's now been right where it's at musically for close to 20 
years...  From his early North Carolina stuff with Sneakers, his 
mid-to-late-'70s work as touring bass player for and co-conspirator 
with Alex Chilton, his thoroughly delightful punk/pop band the dBs, 
and on to his '80s solo stuff and sideman work with folks like Anton 
Fier's Golden Palominos and with former-dB and 
former-unofficial-fifth-member-of-REM* Peter Holsapple, he's 
consistently made music that's beautiful, quirky, tuneful, and full of 
a remarkable artistic integrity that's made him a hero for me.

[*someone PULEEZ write and tell me all the gory details bout any bad 
blood between Peter H. and REM; thanx so much in advance]

Stamey's two shows at the Knitting Factory last night, apparently 
recorded for a live rekkid, somehow managed to serve as a fine and 
fairly comprehensive survey of that 20-year career without boring 
either those in the audience already thoroughly familiar with his 
stuff, or, amazingly, seemingly, the guy himself.  In a fair number of 
cases he performed pretty radically and dramatically re-worked 
versions of old faves (a slow, plaintive "If and When," for instance, 
in place of that tune's original 1978 grindin' stop-and-start chug), 
and he also performed a couple of groovinly jaw-droppin oddball 
covers, including Television's "Venus" and Bob Dylan's "Desolation 
Row" (really!).

We had spotted Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan hangin out in front of the KF 
when we picked up tix at 6 o'clock for that evening's 9 o'clock show, 
and we kinda sorta shook our heads and said, "Nah...  that'd just be 
too good!" We'd been afraid that, come showtime, we were going to 
be confronted with a totally solo Stamey, sitting on a stool or 
something, strumming an acoustic guitar.  And, like, that woulda been 
FINE, but what we were really hoping for was a taste of some 
electric energy, some real rock and roll, if not some out-and-out 
punk/pop rock.  So I asked the guy as I bought the tickets whether it 
was gonna be Stamey solo or what, and he said well, he wasn't 
COMPLETELY clear on what was planned, but he thought that maybe Chris 
would be playing with some of the members of the opening band, She 
Never Blinks (whom I'd never heard of).  Which sounded cool enough...

So, at any rate, it wasn't a complete surprise when Ira was one of 
the folks who took the stage and unpacked his guitar before the show 
started, but it sure did promise a heckuva set! And although, as it 
turned out, Ira only played on two numbers, it was a real treat, as 
always, watching him work out; last night he spent the entire time 
squatting way off to the side in front of an amp, eliciting the most 
wonderfully outrageous noises from his guitar.

The opening band, She Never Blinks, was, honest and true, not 
completely up my alley, but is a type of music I sometimes sorta get 
into; guitar, bass, another really thoroughly mutated and synthesized 
guitar (sometimes replaced by a cello), and drums, fronted by yer 
haunting female vocalist.  Halfway through the set, the groovinly gum- 
chewin bassist and the super-skinny guitarist unaccountably switched 
instruments and places, allowing the sorta-Brad- Dourifish 
(B-b-b-billy Bibbick from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest") 
guitarist-turned-bassist to twirl slowly and dreamily in circles, 
center-stage, on some tunes as he played (although they may have had 
more in mind than that when they switched).  The band was good, though; 
would love to see 'em again, was ALMOST tempted to try to buy one of 
the CDs they were hawkin' afterwards, but, uh, didn't.  They reminded 
me a little of some of the "Until the End of the World" soundtrack 
toonz, that Julee-Cruse-meets-the-aliens kinda groove, though I s'pose the 
subject matter was probly L-U-V...

Their set was short, and after a likewise short break, during which it 
became clear from the rearrangements on stage that Stamey had with 
him at least a drummer (Alan Bezozi, who gave the most minimal drum 
set imaginable -- one legit drum and a big cardboard box with a mike 
in it -- a totally stompin' workout) and another guitarist (no idea who 
he was, sorry, but he sure was good!), Stamey took the stage with 

From the start, Stamey was just totally in command, though clearly a 
little distraught by the mysterious disappearance of his tuner (I'm 
not sure, but I bet it was the skinny guy...).  He opened with some 
Cole Porter tune which he thankfully later identified as such (I would 
never have had a clue...).  And then, yup, he brought out Ira K. 
soi-meme and the cellist/guitarist and the vocalist from SNB to run 
through a gorgeous version of "Oh Yeah" from his 1983 solo album "It's 
a Wonderful Life." From there the set wove back and forth between 
different periods of Stamey's career, with carefully chosen 
selections backed by a constantly varying set of the folks previous 

Among other tunes, they did "Never Enters My Mind," also from '83's 
"It's a Wonderful Life," "Geometry" from '91's CS/PH "Mavericks" and 
"27 Years in a Single Day" from '87's solo Stamey "It's Alright." There 
was also a rockin' little instrumental called "not, as you might 
expect, 'Legs', or 'Legless,' but rather 'Something-Or-Other's 
(Cripple's?) Corner.'" (sorry!) And there was that re-tooled "If & 
When," from pre-Holsapple "Chris Stamey & the dBs" days, and maybe a 
couple of tunes from 1991's solo "Fireworks," hmmm, "Two Places at 
Once" and "The Company of Light" maybe.

The highlights for me were the two totally outa-nowhere "huh?!?" 
covers: "Venus" and "Desolation Row." He introduced "Venus" by saying 
that the theme that night was toonz about New York, and jeez, if that 
ain't the case with that one...  it was SO cool, just really 
chill-inducing, brought back that whole punk era in one solid rush.  
"Desolation Row," which he introduced by saying, inexplicably, that this 
was the one we'd all been waiting for, or well, at least featured the 
musicians we'd all been waiting for, and by saying that it was 
actually about Bleecker Street, but that it had had to be renamed (he 
may have been stalling for a tape change, huh huh huh, or waiting for 
the additional musicians to get ready), took me totally by surprise, 
and it really was a good 30 seconds into the first verse before I 
could even PLACE the thing.

"Desolation Row" woulda been a terrific showcase for the guy who'd 
been playing dazzling and really very delicate lead guitar for most of 
the evening, since the original features the most beautifully animated 
acoustic lead THROUGHOUT.  Ira, however, smothered him fabulously and 
completely with magnificent feedback-drenched electric lead/howl...  
was wonderful, wonderful stuff, and I think that's what they closed 
the set with.

They came back to do one encore--a new tune, nothing earthshaking.

As we left we noticed a few members of the lower reaches of the rock 
firmament, Sue Garner of the Shams, Fish & Roses, and currently, Run 
On, and her husband, drummer Rick "Neutron Bomb" Brown, who'd turned 
YLT's show at Thread Waxing Space a few weeks ago into one of the most 
memorable YLT gigs ever by augmenting Georgia Hubley on a second set 
of drums.

Keep yer eyes peeled for the live rekkid, if it ever makes it out; it 
was a great, great show...


Wilson Smith ( wishes he had a haircut as 
happenin as Chris Stamey's.


This was written for, and will maybe actually appear in, <#1 Issue> of 
"Back of a Car," Judith Beeman's groovin' new Big Star zine, which is 
taking shape nicely, it seems, and is due out midsummer! Send 
submissions and inquiries about orders ($2.50 - cheap cheap cheap) to

Wilson Smith                     


From: (Greg Howard)
Shellac/Don Caballero, Combustible Edison reviews

A coupla reviews from a long-time lurker.  Man, these turned out long.  
Sorry about that.

Shellac and Don Caballero, Black Cat, Washington DC, Friday 13 May 

I've had a gnarly semester of all-work-and-no-play, and I don't have 
to tell you what it's doing to me.  So I saw my sister's graduation 
weekend in DC as a chance to finally see a decent band.  Got a note 
from I-Ler benrad that Shellac was playing -- now, I don't even own 
the Shellac singles, but I know Big Black/Rapeman pretty well, and 
figured this was something to see.  And when I realized that the Don, 
whose album's high points are pretty excellent, was opening, I hadda 
go.  Even dragged my little brother along (all-ages shows are cool).  
My first time seeing either of these bands; be warned I don't know 
Shellac's stuff at all.

We arrived during Don Caballero's first tune.  I like their album 
(_For Respect_, Touch&Go) pretty well -- all-instrumental, heavy 
guitar- bass-drums.  The standouts for me are the wild rhythms and the 
great guitar noises -- the album is heavily influenced by Albini's 
production but has a much thicker texture than what I expect from 

Live, they were killer.  They retained the thickness of the album, 
blending guitar noises into each other, and emphasizing the killer 
drumming.  They have an excellent command of rhythm and change it 
continuously -- you can't sway along with a tune for more than a 
couple measures before you're totally out of step.  They teased the 
audience with it, too, inserting apparently arbitrarily long pauses 
into songs, keeping us always on our toes.  About 5 or 6 new tunes 
(they say they're hoping to record again next spring), a few of which 
were astounding.  The only vocals were a few lines shouted through a 
walkie-talkie -- a great effect, and one I hope they use more in the 
future.  Guitars sounded great, and everything was much more intense 
and immediate than on the album.

Since I like to find fault with everything, I'll criticize a little.  
They can be a bit uneven, which I credit to being strictly 
instrumental -- with no verse/chorus/verse structure, they tend to 
keep things moving along pretty well, but not always.  Sometimes in 
exploring a simple chord progression they spend too long just 
switching between two or three chords, and this can get a bit tedious.  
It's like they're constantly exploring a range of progressions and 
rhythms, and every once in a while it all comes together, and they 
nail a wonderful noise, and it's a beautiful thing.  Sometimes it 
doesn't pan out as perfectly, though, and it gets slow for a while 
until they move on.  But it's well worth it -- they really are 
exploring an amazing bunch of sounds, and when they get them right, 
it's fantastic.

After assembling their weird, homemade effects boxes, Shellac came on.  
They really do seem like they're just starting out; partly, I think, 
'cause Albini does enough damage to his guitar during every song that 
he has to retune it.  They play, then chat and retune, then play, and 
it's not a very quick pace.  Bob Weston provides most of the between-
song chatter (New England trivia tonight -- no idea why), and he's 
pretty cool, so it's ok.  Albini looks like the scary 12-year-old I 
was expecting.  Weston said he had worn all navy blue to try to look 
ominous, and the audience was forced to point out that he was wearing 
all turquoise...

The first tune I didn't recognize, of course, but to me it sounded 
like Rapeman rehashed (which always sounded like Atomizer rehashed 
to me, anyway).  I was not particularly impressed, although it was 
pretty nifty to hear Steve make those noises live.  But the second, 
which he introduced as "this is a song about the most beautiful car in 
the world," changed my mind.  Typical Albini: phenomenal guitars, 
screaming vocals buried in the mix, supercharged energy.  Gosh, 
thought I, the old fella may have some tricks left in him after all.

The rest of the show was pretty much like that.  Mediocre Rapeman 
rehash alternated with something different enough to be really 
interesting.  Some great guitar sounds, including a neato machine-gun 
type -- I'll grant that Albini can really come up with good sounds 
better than anyone else in the biz.  But I still sort of think that 
around _Atomizer, Steve discovered that he could make really 
horrible guitar noises and build really scary songs on them, and since 
then he's been pursuing what is basically one idea.  A fine idea, mind 
you, but it's not always sufficiently different from what he did last 
time to keep me interested.

I left (parking lot was closing) after about 10 minutes of "I'm a 
plane" (or whatever it's called -- is this "Wingwalker"?).  This was 
really impressive, a neat tread on the boundary between music and 
performance art.  Steve started by telling a story (he claimed it was 
true) about his friend who built a plane in the basement (and couldn't 
get it out); enter noise and lyrics reworking the story; and 
eventually the lyrics boiled down to "I'm a plane" shouted over and 
over.  By this time all three of them were standing tiptoe, leaning 
over, arms outstreched, ready to fall into the crowd, shouting.  Every 
few minutes Albini would say a new line -- "from up here I can see 
your house" -- play a few notes, and go back to shouting.  It was 
truly weird, and I was bummed to miss the finale -- they were standing 
and shouting for at least five minutes before I hadda leave.

An interesting show.  Could've progressed a little faster, and I only 
found about 1/2 the songs to be really interesting.  But well worth 
seeing, and there's a lot of potential here.

Combustible Edison, Club de Wash, Madison, WI, 28 May 94

Well, I've been playing with a 70's-pop-and-disco cover band this 
semester.  It's actually been a lot of fun, and despite my strong 
anti-disco mindset, I've enjoy the music a lot.  I'll admit that I 
knew virtually nothing about Combustible Edison till our drummer 
called on Friday and said we were gonna open for them.  Yeah, right.  
I was dubious.  Well, it was a bad deal, and we got screwed out of it 
-- not the band's fault, mostly a fucktard (tm) promoter.  We did, 
however, at least get in free to see CE.

I'd heard a bit of their CD (on Sub Pop, forgot the name) and it's 
certainly lounge music.  I guess they started as a punk band; if so, 
they made a wonderful transition, and I'd like to hear the early stuff 
for comparison.  They played the lounge act to the hilt -- wore black 
tuxes with gold trim, smiled too much and talked like a stereotype -- 
"Thank you, thank you, you're a beautiful audience." At no time during 
the set did they let on that the whole thing was a joke -- if it was 
-- it's tough to tell.  They do it so well that they're pretty well 
immersed in it and never broke their deadpan attitude.  The guitarist, 
The Millionaire, would give a little intro, smile a lot, shake his 
hips, and they'd play this wonderful lounge music -- dreamy keyboard, 
xylophone, quiet jazzy drums, shiny little guitar parts.  It was 
amazing.  Halfway through the set a friend turned to me and said "if I 
didn't know better, I'd think we were at the Ramada." Truly a 
wonderful show and wildly different from anything I'd seen in a 
while.  If you get a chance to see CE, don't miss 'em; be prepared to 
do some cheesy dancing and have a lot of fun.  Tour dates were listed 
in I-L 3 number 32 (if you can't find your copy, email me).  They'll 
be hitting the west coast in the next couple weeks; be there!

ps.  Is that James singing "Ashes" on the Yo La Tengo _Motel 6_ single? 
Sure don't sound like Ira to me.  And I have a lot of trouble 
believing that the cover folks are who they're credited to be...  tho' 
the one in the middle could conceivably be Ira, I guess...



From: "Theodore A. Khoury" <>
Zeni Geva, Man or Astroman?, RESOLVE COMP.

I've been buying a lot of older stuff lately: Gary Numan, Sonny Stitt, 
Byrds, Amon Duul II, but I'll spare y'all of these reviews, they're 
all valid contributions to a collection.  Here's some more recent 

ZENI GEVA: "Desire for Agony" lp (Alternative Tentacles, P.O.  Box 
419092, San Francisco, Ca 94141)

Albini engineered, Japanese kreators, I'm sure you've all heard the 
hype: 10-piece drum set, and large amps, two guitars, one being K.K.  
Null, who has been praised everywhere, enough to put out solo guitar 
releases.  It has changes galore but shares it well with monotonic 
patterns and Null's groans.  Every word is 'sung' as a dying man's 
last sentence.  It's really intense; I like it, but I can see them 
being one of those bands that you read other 'hip' bands name-dropping 
during interviews.  Look for a split live release with Shellac.  *

RESOLVE COMPILATION: Urban Farmers, The Deconstuction, day 28; 7" 
(Uprising Records, P.O.  Box 4412, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-4412)

This three-band comp gets you your money's worth on time if nothing 
else, pushing the limits of maximum 7" space.  The overall scene in 
the state of Michigan is fairly shitty.  Ann Arbor is still trying to 
cling to its Stooges/MC5 history, but it's beginning to take the back 
burner to the Kalamazoo or East Lansing prospects.

The first band, Day 28, is an all-girl punk explosion, hailing from 
East Lansing.  From their song 'butterbrain', it seems like they take 
their cue from '78-era Blondie with equal parts Huggy Bear.

The Deconstruction are a Kalamazoo testosterone outfit, with 
stop-start Melvins intensity.  The lead singer is theatrical, more 
towards the Cave side than Yow.  They bear similarity to Cleveland's 
Craw, live at least.  But to toss out more names, they could be most 
accurately described as an art-rock Birthday Party.

The tune that stands out the most is 'duke' by Urban Farmers.  These 
guys are an all-intrumental trio from Mt.  Pleasant who listened to a 
lot of King Crimson albums throughout high school.  The song seems to 
be centered around their drummer, who is phenomenal, but they're 
different from Don Caballero.  They lend more to Ali Akbar Khan than 
Bastro; I've heard the two tapes they've put out on Uprising, and not 
one song is the same.  This one is a Thinking Fellers interpretation 
of a raga.  Tons of chops, yet not cheesy.  I saw a record release 
show for this and these guys had everyone's jaws dropped, the drums in 
the forefront of the stage, and beer-ponched strings at both sides.  A 
must for any percussionists or former Dregs fans.  Watch for this 
fusion of Indian and punk.**1/2

MAN OR ASTROMAN?: "Is it.  .  ." LP (Estrus, P.O.  Box 2125, 
Bellingham, WA 98227)

These guys have tons of singles out, so I just decided to pick up the 
LP.  Auburn, Alabama's garage/surf whizkids.  Also all instro except 
with samples throughout each song from B movies, cancelled space shows 
from the '60s, and cartoons.  They dish up a Ventures-style surf rock, 
much like how Shadowy Men.  ..  have done.  Very much the same, in 
fact so much the same that I would encourage anyone to to just pick up any 
of the 50 "Ventures golden hits" albums in used bins anywhere.  It's 
still great to listen and dance to, and these days it's hard to find 
anything that's not pigeonholed or derivative.  The Ventures have a 
LOT of shitty albums out, and Dick Dale has produced some duds, and 
these guys know it and make sure not to make those mistakes.  It is, 
more or less, flawless surf, with a few more flashy chops.  .  .oh, 
forgot to mention that they are all great musicians, and sometimes 
forget that they're playing simple surf and sometimes you can catch a 
Yngwie Malmsteen fill.  Actually, the last song has vocals, and it's 
probably the best song on the album; it's really raw and owes more to 
early Dinosaur than any Link Wray album.  I do give them credit for 
recording the whole album live in the studio (I wish more bands would 
do this), but like I said, you can get all this from an old Sandy 
Nelson or Ventures album for about $6 less.  *



From: Jamie Bogner <>
My Memorial Day w/Versus (and a little bit w/Superchunk as well)

OK, I don't know where to begin here, my lurker status is going to be 
shot to hell by this submission, but here it goes anyway...

Superchunk and Versus played Memphis' New Daisy Theater on Beale 
Street Sunday night, to an enthusiastic yet rather young crowd.  My 
roommate and I got there about five minutes before Versus started 
playing, which was good because I made a point to get there in time to 
see Versus after hearing about them here on the Indie List Digest and 
all.  I had never heard anything they had recorded, but I was very 
impressed with what I heard, as was my roommate who listens to more 
blues than anything else.  They reminded me a lot of Unrest, but their 
songs weren't as drawn out.  Anyway, they played a really great set, 
although they weren't as appreciated as they should have been due to 
the alternateen crowd.  Superchunk then came on and rocked for 
probably an hour and a half.  They were totally great-lots of energy 
and fun, and I was happy to hear them play their cover of 100,000 
fireflies for the encore.

So after the show my roommate and I went around back just to talk to 
anyone we could find- see what everyone was going to do, where their 
next gig was, etc.  We ended up talking to Versus for a while, and they 
didn't have a place to stay so my roommate offered to put them up in 
the house that he's staying in (housesitting, no less).  They, being 
the starving musicians they are, were up for the idea and followed us 
back first to Taco Bell (where Superchunk drove up behind them in the 
drive-through line, coincidentally), and then back to the house.  We 
just hung out and talked until about 3 am or so.

The next day (Memorial Day) they didn't have any plans so I took it 
upon myself to entertain them.  We went over to Shangri-La records 
(the store that also operates the label The Grifters are on) and the 
guitar shop next door, where Richard (the guitarist for Versus) was 
trying to get the guy to trade an old Fender Telecaster for his 
guitar.  We then ate lunch across the street and while eating lunch, 
we watched through the window as Superchunk drove up to Shangri-La.  
So of course we went over there to see what they were doing- Jon, the 
drummer for Superchunk, was sitting out on the front porch of 
Shangri-La reading, while Mac had gone over to the guitar shop (where 
he bought a new guitar).  Jim, Laura, and another woman had gone off 
somewhere, but returned to hang out with us in the parking lot.  The 
main topic of conversation was the two creepy radio guys who had hit 
them all up for shirts/cds/station i.d.s the previous night (I won't get 
into that since they compete with the obviously superior radio station 
that I volunteer for).  Anyway, Superchunk left and the Versus members 
decided that they wanted to go to that Rock & Roll Mecca that is 
Graceland.  So after making a few wrong turns, we made it down there to 
tourist heaven (hell?) and commenced touring Graceland.  I took lots 
of pictures of this, much to the chagrin of the security guard who 
told me not to take flash pictures inside the house, but needless to 
say, I've got some great shots of Versus at Graceland that'll probably 
end up in a 'zine sometime soon...

After the tour, we all hit the free Elvis movie and the gift shop, 
where we ran into Mac (of Superchunk) again! He and another guy had 
come down and done the Graceland tour.  I ended up giving Mac 
directions to restaurants in Memphis, and then Versus and I set off 
for the $2 second-run movie theater.  Richard (the guitarist), Ed (the 
drummer), and Nicholas (the roadie) saw Jurassic Park, while Fontaine 
(the bassist) and I went to see Reality Bites (terrible movie, by the 
way).  The guys are all big video game fanatics and must have pumped 
several dollars worth of quarters into the machines before the movies, 
but I guess when you're rock stars you can afford to do that kind of 

After the movie we headed back to Midtown looking for food and ended 
up in this bar and grille that was still serving food (around 10 pm).  
We talked about other NY bands, other TeenBeat bands including Air 
Miami (although they were decidedly vague on this topic, as it seems 
to still be under wraps at the moment).  They were surprised to find 
that down here in the South we get free drink refills everywhere.  
Amazing how the little things mean so much.  Anyway, they decided to 
drive a ways into Mississippi before getting a motel, as they are set 
to play Jackson, MS, with Superchunk on Tuesday night.  So I gave them 
directions, and they were off.

That was that, and now, less than a half an hour later, I'm here 
relating all this to y'all.


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