Used to be, girl singers rode on busses, undressed with the door ajar,
drank liquid gin, swore good.  Were equal parts pretty paint, agressive,
swinger, porter, promoter, and hooker.  Most had bad arches.  Plus six
teal blue ball gowns with ripped hems.  No more.
						- Stan Cornyn

FROM: "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener" by miss Petula Clark.


[Sorry, I was just getting the last of Jason Noble's antics out of my
system... :) - Sean]

          The Indie List Digest

 	   Volume 3, Number 3 

	    January 11, 1994

Princeton - Seattle - Ann Arbor - Raleigh


Featuring many fine things, including:

Indie trade list - The Indie List Exchange 
French pop stars are so cool
Band of Susans record title query
Scrawl live in Chicago
Regarding Go Team songs with different words
Go Team, Laito Lychee, Unrest, Threepeat and friends
Audio Postcards
jakfl;dasjf [gee, any ideas on who wrote this one? - Sean :) ]
Editor's review of the Working Holiday Party Experience


We Have A Winner!  Ride the COMET!  Ride the Ferris Wheel!

Seriously, we do have a winner in the quiz...but I think the guesses (and
sometimes elaborate descriptions behind them) were almost better than the
real thing.  Some of the (wrong) guesses included: Janis Joplin, Esquerita
(I hope this was a joke :), Lula, and Nancy Sinatra.  But, the closest
correct answer was supplied by Aaron Walker <>,
who not only identified Ms. Clark but also gave an LP title (not the right
LP, but only 2 off in the sequence of releases...).  So, Aaron, you get to
claim your choice of the Cannanes, MX-80 Sound, or Eyeless In Gaza (or
something else suitable).  Thanks to everyone for the entertaining
answers... maybe I'll do something like this again someday.  I do have
more to say, but I'm saving it 'til the end of the list.



announcing indie trade list

The Indie-List Exchange is a mailing list, under the aegis of Indie-List
digest but separate from the semiweekly digests, conceived as a forum to
promote the exchange of indie music. This encompasses sales and trades of
indie CDs, vinyl, and cassettes. Both 'for sale' and 'wanted' posts are
encouraged. The mailings will go out bi-weekly, contingent on the amount
of traffic. To subscribe, send a message to <>
asking to subscribe. A note with more detailed information will be sent to
you as confirmation.




French Pop Stars Are So Cool!

I had a poor Xmas, something was not quite right with the festive spirit,
but then Xmas is always better when you're a kid, and when you're 22 it
loses some of it's magic and costs you more and more money anyway: i did
get some cool records over the holiday, either wrapped under the tree or
purchases in the sales afterwards, most of them are pretty old but all
pretty good so here goes: 

Joy Division - Substance

Ahhh, at last. "Love will tear us apart" is one of my favourite songs and
finally i have a copy of it and nolonger have to hope MTV show the video.
The song is godlike, as you probably already know. There is plenty of good
stuff here, like "Transmission", some of it is not immediate and requires
further investigation. Heres to a happy investigation.... 

New Order - Technique

Not as consistent as "Republic" but the good bits are really good! "Fine
time", "Round and round" and "Mr Disco" are my faves, the poppier moments
on the CD, as i love POP MUSIC! 

Stereolab - Super-Electric EP

An old Stereolab single, i like this band a lot. Though apart from a
compilation track this is the first record of their's i have got. By the
end of '94 i will have more! Something about Stereolab is priceless,
something you cannot truly describe or define. Hoorah! 

The Sweetest Ache - Jaguar

Their singles on Sarah are very very patchy thus it took me a long long
time to get around to getting their CD, i wish i had had more faith! Truly
excellent C86 cutie pop. People sneer at this as do the media but they can
all sod off and stick to their vile grunge crap!!! Imagine the Sea Urchins
a little less wimpy. They're welsh too! hey i'm a quarter welsh! 

Saint Etienne - You Need A Mess Of Help

A compilation of various tracks, patchy but the good bits are essential!
Such as "Join our club" - ardkore with sixties vocals, "Who do you think
you are" - joyous pop with a bit of motown thrown in, "Filth" - hip-hop
with sweet raps and so on. 

That'll do, have a nice time.

Nastyned - the U.K.'s top indie pundit


From: Robert Poss <>

Band of Susans record title query

The tentative title for our forthcoming (Restless/Blast First/Rough Trade
Germany) compilation record is "Hum Balance Control," (after the
mysterious trimpot on the back of the Ampeg V-4B bass amp I had as a kid,
among other things.) Has anyone else already used that title for a record
title or a band name, to anyone's knowledge? --Thanks. R. Poss


From: Moo-Town Snacker <>

Scrawl live in Chicago

CHICAGO (8 January 1994)--Scrawl (Simple Machines) played at the Lounge Ax
tonight, and I watched the show with the interesting and thought-provoking
triple post of Joep Vermaat and Lawrence Pit (Indie-List 3.2) still on my
	I thought the Melody Maker comparison of American indie music and
European new music in the first post was enlightening. And, while I will
readily admit there are a million more fit judges than me, the article
made what seemed to me to be quite reasonable observations.
	As I was kicking around the ideas in the posts I wondered if
American indie wasn't a bit too inbred, or if being effectively closed off
from new elements (sampling, sequencers, drum machines) it wasn't doomed
to stagnate (visions of Beat Happening tribute bands). (Let me make it
absolutely clear: these are my thoughts; I am not attributing what may be
perceived as derisive comments to Joep and Lawrence.)
	Watching the performers on stage I remembered the Note attached to
the end of the first post: The two posters did not appear to want to hold
music of one nation up as better than that of another but rather to point
out the differences. Tonight, I think I saw a difference. Scrawl, a band
which seems to typify the guitar-based, indie-rock band discussed in the
Melody Maker excerpt, displayed what may be the forte of American
indie-rock as compared to the new music on the other side of the
ocean--they put on a great live show, that is, they rocked.
	My experience with the bands contrasted with American bands is
minimal. I haven't seen Slowdive, Seefeel, Main, or Bjork perform live so
I don't know what their shows are like. But from the discussion and the
recordings I have heard it seems that their strength may be studio work.
And I did much prefer Stereolab recordings to Scrawl recordings when I
first heard them both for the first time. And I did have a much better
time at the Scrawl show than I did at a rave. Just as you wouldn't go to
China if you were looking specifically for a great reggae band, maybe you
would go to America for a great live show.
	I did not take the post of Joep and Lawrence as attacking American
indie, so I don't want my post to be taken as defensive. Rather I feel I
am clarifying a distinction, discussing the differences and strengths of
the kinds of music.
	Scrawl's live show gave me an appreciation for their music that I
just was not able to get from recordings. They opened the set
appropriately enough with "11:59 It's January" from their Simple Machines
Working Holiday single. They also played "Charles". I remember that when
that song first came out, one reviewer called it a song about a male
groupie. But it seems to me that it is clearly a take on the Kiss radio
hit "Beth", especially with the line "me and the girls are playing and we
just can't get it right."
	The band played for an hour and fifteen minutes and then were
called back for more. Marcy Mays was a bit incredulous and said "the only
band I could listen to for an hour and half is Rush," but she consented to
play on. After tuning up with a ragged version of "Do You Hear What I
Hear?", Marcy promptly blew out her speaker during the next song leaving
Sue Harshe to carry it all on bass. That ended the show for good.
	Maybe this is a false comparision, but I couldn't help but feel
that with Scrawl I was seeing the right way to do some of the things that
Tsunami tries to do. I would not say that Tsunami completely emulates
Scrawl--Tsunami has its own identity. But where a Tsunami song falls short
Scrawl can succeed. I am thinking of vague things like the punch or bite
of a song as well as more definite things like two fine voices that can
harmonize well.
	The opening band was The Larry Cash Jr. from Chicago. A local
paper likened them to Devo covering Booker T. and the MGs. Their show
proved, to me at least, how meaningless such cute and clever descriptions
are. They played long songs about geometric shapes, four-wheel drive
vehicles, and power boats. They had their cheering section in the corner
as well as the stereotypical "girlfriend of somebody in the band" jumping
around ecstatically on the floor.
	I did not leave the show tonight feeling I had seen some stagnant,
inbred act (even with the Kiss allusion). I felt inspired. I felt pretty
good. I do not doubt for a second that new elements can take music is new
directions that the guitar-based formula can never reach, but there are
still things for American indie rock to do. There is still some vitality
there even without a techno pacemaker. 


From: Timothy Alborn <>

Regarding Go Team songs with different words

Compare "Seasons" on the first Some Velvet Sidewalk LP with "Outside" on
one of the early Go Team singles-of-the-month.  Tobi sings "I don't know
why" and Alan sings "I might understand." O5O rule! 

Briefly yours, Tim Alborn


From: Douglas Wolk <>

Go Team, Laito Lychee, Unrest, Threepeat and friends

An analogy:

Young Marble Giants:Confetti::Carl Perkins:Stray Cats...

[Um, I find that a bit mean - the Stray Cats had no spark at all... :)
besides, you should probably substitute Marine Girls for YMG... - Sean]

As far as the Go Team goes, I suggested to I think Candice Peterson a
while ago that reissuing all their stuff on CD would elevate K to
"benefactor of humanity" status. She said that they'd like to, but that
somebody involved in the band wasn't into it (I assume that means Tobi
Vail). What a pity. "My Head Hurts," in particular, is an unspeakably
great song, and most of the rest of their stuff is pretty great too. Btw,
does anybody know what the situation is with rarity of the singles club
stuff? I know that the September Go Team single is rare enough that Tim
Adams had considerable trouble finding one, and I've been told that John
Henderson has one of which there are only five copies... anybody know the

So: LAITO LYCHEE. LAITO LYCHEE. LAITO LYCHEE. The best new band I've seen
in ages and ages. They played at the Knitting Factory this week, their
fourth-ever gig; they apparently got offered an album on Avant after their
third gig. They're a five-piece band: four women, two of them
Japanese-American. (The name means "frozen lychee nuts.") One of the
singers is a 16-year-old Polly Harvey, the other is a dead ringer for a
young Naoko Yamano; the bass player (the only boy) wants to be Les
Claypool, the guitarist wants to be Craig Flanagin, and the drummer is an
old-school hardcore type. About halfway through their set, I thought "this
spoken word/music stuff that a lot of the songs are is fun, but I'd really
like to see them play 'No Fun' or something." Three minutes later, they
did... The Polly Harvey one lives in Ohio, so they won't be playing here
again until the end of March, but... oh man, they're wonderful. 

Got a copy of what I guess is now the rarest Unrest record besides the
original _Catch of the Day_ (btw, Sean, still haven't seen that
reissue--where did you find yours?): the "Make Out Club" 7", limited to
300 copies and only available at Go! and Vinyl Ink, Mark's favorite new
record stores... it's got the remix of "Make Out Club" from the video,
cross-faded into an acoustic version of "West Coast Love Affair," and the
b-side has acoustic versions of "Cath Carroll" and the inevitable "So So
So Sick." It's totally great, and to paraphrase Patrick Amory, if you see
it and don't feel a physical need to own it, obviously you've got
something wrong with you that I don't... jeez, that sounded really
horrible, didn't it? Sorry about that. 

[I found my Catch of the Day at the Princeton Record Exchange, of all
places... but I think I included the address in my review of the single a
few issues back... mail me if you want more info. - Sean]

I actually had a talk with Tinuviel (of Kill Rock Stars) about the whole
limited-edition issue a few days ago. I'm of two minds about it; she's
categorically against limiting editions of records. I guess I figure that
as long as you don't charge usurious prices for limited editions, there's
a certain pleasure in doing something only for people who are on the ball
enough to snap one up for themselves, and it allows you to do things that
would be silly if they were in unlimited editions (i.e. if the Unrest
thing were widely available, it'd be easy to accuse Mark of milking
_Perfect Teeth_ (inasmuch as teeth can be milked)). I'd like to hear what
y'all think... 

Went to the Thread Waxing Space shows on Friday and Saturday nights.
Friday night was pretty dismal. Missed Guvnor pretty much altogether;
Envelope--well, Gerard is actually a darn good guitar player (& I thought
he was great on bass in Dustdevils), but his band has yet to do anything
that quite ignites for me, despite the large amounts of musical sawdust
around them (so to attempt to speak); Sleepyhead, who are capable of being
the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band on a good night, were just being an
okay Nirvanabe; and Guided By Voices put me STRAIGHT to sleep live (nice
records, guys; something other than the big 1-2-3-4 would be welcome
live). Saving grace: Stephen Keene's paintings all over the space (he did
the sleeve for the Silver Jews' _Arizona Record_, priced very, very, VERY
cheaply. I bought three. 

Last night was considerably better. More SK paintings, plus some really
good bands. Palace Brothers played as a five-piece, kind of
unrehearsed--they had to stop a bunch of songs while everybody figured out
what key they were in. By the end of the set, though, they were doing just
fine--a very long, powerful version of "I Was Drunk At The Pulpit" was a
highlight. Red Crayola did their first show in five years, which was kinda
strange. It was Mayo Thompson with Dave Grubbs and somebody else from
Bastro/Gastr Del Sol. [John McIntyre. - Sean] The impression I got was
that they hadn't rehearsed more than once or twice, but the Gastr types
knew all the Red Crayola songs anyway. Lots of old material--they opened
with the Jackson Pollock song with the long title, played "Black Snakes,"
and did a couple of the pieces from the original Red Crayola albums from
'68 or so. And Mayo's voice is like a much lower-pitched David
Thomas--"hey, I thought that the Pere Ubu people were in the band last
time!" As for Royal Trux, well, the following conversation was overheard
in the back room of Thread Waxing Space: "So I heard Neil Trux says he's
the Brian Jones for the '90s." "No, he'd be the Brian Jones for the '90s
if two weeks after he left Pussy Galore he was at the bottom of somebody's
swimming pool."

Anyhow, I've gone on long enough. Anybody with Frank Sumatra records to
sell should write me at the address below...

Douglas D. Wolk
"I'm just a boy with a new haircut."


From: James Perrett <>
Subject: Indie List - Audio Postcards

Audio Postcards from the Concrete Nipple. (The Insomnia CD)
Mass Production, PO Box 224, Portsmouth PO5 2RX U.K.

Audio Postcards from the Concrete Nipple is a 19 track CD of bands from
the Portsmouth area of the U.K. Like many of these compilations that are
trying to sum up the musical output of a particular area the range of
music is probably too diverse for anyone to enjoy all the tracks on it but
there are a few interesting things on here and its cheaper than most CD's. 

Highlights for me are probably This Town from the Janason, a guitar pop
song with Lesley's almost girlish vocals floating above it. 

Emperor of Songs from the Psylons boasts a production from Jim Shaw of the
Cranes. It is polished yet rough in all the right places, white noise
guitars mixed with pulsing synths and danceable drums. 

Flouda bring us atmospheric dub which really needs to be heard in a
dancehall through a 10K sound system. Here they sound muted - some of that
loud guitar that they use live ripping through the song would have been

Waterfall come over all ethereal with a song called 1000 x Closer, multi
layered guitars entwined, twisting and turning lulling you into a relaxed
mood, only to shatter it with a pounding finale which is over too soon.
These guys certainly know how to play with your emotions. 

I've heard good things about Hooch live but I've yet to see them. Like
Waterfall they make good use of dynamics but in a more straight ahead rock
fashion. Listening to this track (Gem) makes me think that they should be
worth seeing. 

Northern Bloo from the Blind is another atmospheric track which features a
beautiful rippling guitar. This track has a few rough edges but for me the
song rises above this. I know some people who think it sounds bland but
you've just got to let it wash over you. 

My favourite pop song on here is Just Hang on from Third Sun but then I
can't really be objective about this because I had a hand in recording it.
It could have been a Byrds song but it somehow has more energy. 

Great Imperial Yo Yo have included their theme song which features very
interesting (and surreal?) lyrics while the strangest track is a spoken
word piece by someone called Dinga entitled Drunken Mummy. 

Painthorse are a band I can never make up my mind about. Sometimes they
are just pure noise yet they have some brilliant melodies trying to get
through.  I think the track here, Super CC gives a reasonably good idea of
what they are about. 

There are others on here like Annie Hates Cordial and Savage Henry that
are disappointing. I know that both are really good live but somehow they
lose much of their energy and excitement on CD. 

As I said at the start there is a very wide range of music on here
including funky acid jazz from Speakeasy (also good live), techno from RM
20-20, a mixture of African, Latin and Reggae from Los Hombres Inglese and
rock from Amazing Windmills, Outshined and Nunz on Napalm. 

There are other bands like the Firework Party, The Priscillas, Spinner
Dolphins, Bananafish, Action Painting, The Mild Mannered Janitors, The
Lovelies, Jarvis and even the Cranes who should be represented if the
compilation were to truly sum up the current Portsmouth indie music scene. 
But then I guess everyone has their own idea of what should be on a
compilation like this. As it is I reckon Mass Production have done a
pretty good job. 



From: Steve Silverstein <>


[There actually is a reasoning behind these titles, but I'll leave it to
Steve to divulge that information if he so chooses... - Sean] 

Since I talked to 6 other I-L'ers (including half of the ILIJ) this
weekend, going into detail about each band seems rather futile (this being
Simple Machines).  Instead I'll list a few random comments.  First, it was
cool meeting Sean (who says he's "just a dumb indie kid" or something like
that), Chris the archivist, and those 2 guys from Stanford.  At least 5
I-L'ers were among the 25 or 30 entered to win the endurance/stamina
contest for seeing every band--wow!  Simple Machines new catalog says
they're close to accessing Internet via AOL.  Enough computer-ish gossippy

Bands--Bricks reunion I'll leave to Sean, who seemed more excited than the
band themselves (maybe not quite), but it was cool.  Pitchblende were
probably a personal favorite, and their new stuff was just amazing.  Eggs
were in a more straight, rock mode with a great new drummer, Ian still on
congas, and Bittner dancing.  Rob says this drummer is taking a break
after leaving a job and may be around with them for awhile; let's hope it
lasts longer than the last few at least.  Coctails played for 2 hours,
exhausting more styles than you can name plus a lot of the audience.  The
Tinklers should play live more; records can't capture their charm. small
factory did everything from the ancient (Chelsy Pie) to brand new stuff
basically unheard before and closed in fine fashion.  [Wait, that's
Cottleston Pie - it really is a Winnie The Pooh song...Alex wasn't just
fucking around... - Sean] Versus stuck to old stuff ("Old drummer means
old stuff" said Richard); despite only rehearsing once, Rob was sharp as
ever.  Jawbox EP due 1/11 on Atlantic.  LP to follow soon after. 
Superchunk were far better than in Providence in Sept. Johnny Cohen should
stick with Shoetrees live; it's too hard to hear lyrics with the Love
Machine thing happening. 

Other things unmusical.  Jason Noble was a fun MC even if he talked a bit
too much.  He explained that the non-alcoholic Working Holiday cocktail
existed for the members of Fugazi, and shouted the names of bands
brilliantly.  Coctails may have topped him though introducing Rodan (who
were great).  "Confess your SINS to a rocker" declared the sign above the
indie rock confession booth, which quickly became free, and all for the

In all, yes, it was cheesy; it was not perfect, but the mix of people ended
up pretty OK, and no one was really a nuisance or got in the way; most
people were pretty clueful it seemed.  Of course it wasn't perfect, I
could think of ways to improve it, and I doubt I'd have flown in if I were
from Australia, but in all I had a fun time.  Sorry Douglas, Liz, and all
other detractors. 



Editor's Comments on the Working Holiday fiasco/nightmare/party

Hi.  I think Steve got a lot of it right already - these are some random
notes I scribbled down on my bus ride back to Princeton today.  (I
apologize to those who spoke with me at the WH deal - you've probably
heard this already from me...)

- Rodan are the shit for three reasons: 1. Tara-Jane can sing.  The other
times I saw them, she only was playing bass.  2.  Tara-Jane can play bass
like few other people I've seen - she's the one that holds some of these
songs together...  3.  Jason Noble is HOT! :)  And he tells a good story,
and he can scream like there's no tomorrow.

- If it were 1965, the Coctails would be top-40 stars (or at least
regional favorites like the Wailers were in Tacoma and Seattle).  And
their warped version of "Gold Digger" was pretty ace, as was "Walking Down
The Street", with Franklin Bruno adding the all-important organ.

- BRICKS.  I could tell a long, sorta dopey, sorta complicated story about
how Bricks is primarily responsible for my introduction to seven-inch
vinyl and indie-labels (and Simple Machines), but I'd rather just say that
there was almost no way I could be disappointed with this set.  Josh and
Laura have NO rhythm, you couldn't hear Andrew's acoustic guitar, and Mac
forgot a verse in "Girl With The Carrot Skin" - the set was PERFECT.  Much
public thanks on my part to Miss Toomey for convincing them to play
together for the first time in 4 years.  

- The revival of Honor Role: it seemed like most of the louder bands of
the weekend (Rodan, Crain, Pitchblende, even Jawbox) drew some influence
from Bob Schick and Pen Rollings (particularly in Treiops' vocals) - I
think this is great, but it surprised me a little. 

- Ian MacKaye and Jay Robbins look like brothers or cousins if you only
catch a quick glance - they both have the same receding hairline...

- Seeing Dante Ferrando and Ian together at one point, it made me wonder
if it was 1984 instead of 1994 - they look almost the same as they did in
the pictures in "Banned In DC", Cynthia Connolly's wonderful
"coffee-table" book about the beginnings of the harDCore music scene.

- Franklin Bruno is the single-most literate person in indie-rock - find
me another person who can use the word "pilfer" in a song without sounding
pretentious. :)  Or, another person with the intelligence to cover Human
Switchboard songs (the mystery cover at the end of the set).

- Improv dancers on stage are unnecessary except if they know how to find
the gueiro.  (Sorry, I just found him to be really distracting - Eggs are
usually wacky enough on their own without such additions.) 

- Crushes are good to have, as long as you recognize them as such and
don't screw yourself up on them.  :)

In other news - a new issue of RUNT hits the street (or the mail) this
week, the Rodan LP will be released on April 4th and immediately followed
by a big tour, and the new Tsunami LP will probably be ready by mid-April
(I'm allowing more time than they did in the catalog - nobody likes to
think about delays in record production).

Also, it's cool to tell people that you heard about their record/zine/
band/whatever via the Indie-List, but somtimes it doesn't hurt to throw in
a couple words explaining what the list is - not everyone out there is
wired like we are.  (Helpful hint from Lara Cohen - she got sorta freaked
out by the first couple letters she got mentioning the I-L but finally
realized what was going on - I guess someone put my name in as a reference
and then it made more sense to her...)

Anyway, I'm still basically smiling a good bit (even if my bank account
isn't), I will proudly wear my Simple Machines full-length cotton pajamas
in the near future (an all-season fabric, unlike the competing flannel
jammies), and it was very nice to meet some of the writers (and lurkers)
of the Indie-List.  

Just another dumb indie-kid (who happens to know EXACTLY how the
bloofga-matic mailer works)... 



The Indie-List Digest is published every Tuesday and Friday by the
Indie-List Infotainment Junta, Unltd.

What       Who              Where

Editor     Sean Murphy
Moderator  K. Lena Bennett
Mailings   Liz Clayton
Archives   Chris Karlof  
           FTP/Gopher       /pub/music/lists/indie @

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Indie-List is not copyrighted. It may be freely reproduced for any purpose.
Please cite Indie-List as your source.

 please send your articles for the next issue to LENA!

[Submitted by: karlof chris knox  (
               Wed, 12 Jan 1994 09:57:35 -0500 (EST)]