Come along if you care,
Come along if you dare,
Take a ride to the land inside and you'll see...


     Indie List Digest! 

     February 1st, 1994

     Volume 3, Number 8   


In this issue:

Message from the Moderator
Working Holiday/Scrawl/Antimony
New Zealand Reviews
Responses to Mr. Mike's questions
Indie-L Radio?
Bedazzled Label Reviews
6 7" singles....and neato too
Comments on ambient-replies + CELL review
Transient Thought Procesees with Random Pronouncements
Alex Chilton and Ben Vaughn in DC
Losing one's religion
Mary Lou Lord Live Review
Royal Trux: on record, live @ Jabberjaw
Unrest/Versus/Swarays Live Gabe's Iowa City 1/29/94
What I Did With My Money In 93 (The New Stuff)
What I Did With My Money In 93 (The Old Stuff)
Steve Albini Strikes Again (reprint from Chicago Reader)

and some ads:

new indie Dewdrops releases 4AD covers CD
Over the Wall Fanzine


From:  K. Lena Bennett

Message from the Moderator

Don't be a loser....  Give your mailings to me DESCRIPTIVE subject 
headers and make sure to indicate in the subject line that they are for 
the indie list.  I don't have the time to read your articles and make up 
subject headers, and neither does Sean.  Get on it, kids.....


Message from the editor:

DAMN!  over 1600 lines before I write a word... meaning that I'll hold 
off 'til next time (for the most part)... this is psycho, and that's 
good.  Quick music notes:

1. New Eggs LP (with too long a title for me to remember - ask Mr. 
Cornick for details :) is fucking unreal - Mark Robinson gave all his 
weirdness vibes to Andrew Beaujon for the moment... this double LP is 
years stranger than Malcolm X Park was... it makes Kustom Karnal look 
normal, and Bruiser like it's not even related to this band (which kinda 
makes sense - Andrew's the only original Egg still playing).

2. New Tsunami LP won't convert any of you, I'm afraid - I think it's
pretty solid, but if you already think they're boring, you'll probably
feel the same here.  I find more consistency in the songs - no obvious
weak points like Writing Letters this time around, and hearing Jenny and
Kristin try to harness the power of feedback is sorta fun (they need to
take some lessons from Mary Timony - see #4).  No jokey shit, though, just
music.  A new single will be out in 6 weeks or so (Be Like That b/w
Newspaper) and then the LP should be 6 weeks after that... be prepared for
production delays as always... 

3. Future Simple Machines projects - singles with Franklin Bruno and 
Danielle Howle (she's really cool, sorta wacked - I guess that comes from 
living most of your life in Columbia, SC), and who knows what else, 
besides a Tsunami European tour in late May/all of June/maybe part of July.  
More details as they come...

4. One show review - Helium, Alkaline, and Juicy at Terrace Club, 
Princeton, NJ, 1/30/93

Openers were Juicy - 3 women from NYC, I think, though I also heard that 
one of them is in Scarce.  Regardless of hometown, this was the 
embodiment of all the arguments I've seen in the past two years AGAINST 
the D.I.Y. "scene" and style.  This was somewhere along the line of 
Bratmobile-Lite - zero talent, zero compassion, zero interest in 
actually playing as long as "they're having fun and being cool."  (I'm 
probably being a little harsh, but hell, I'm entitled, it's just an 
opinion... which was common to much of the crowd...).  I love Bratmobile 
because they care about what they do, they just don't have the technical 
expertise of other bands.  Juicy didn't have the concern.  At least they 
played only 5 or 6 songs...

Alkaline is also from NYC, and I believe that this is Jason Asnes' new 
band (he was in Nice Strong Arm, Saturnine, and Sugartime).  The 
comparisons which follow are flavored by 1.) the appearance of Rob Hale 
on drums - he used to play regularly with Versus and still does on 
occasion; and 2.) the female bass player was wearing a Versus/Shazam! 
t-shirt.  I started out thinking this was "Versus without the noisy 
guitar parts" but the band evolved beyond that a bit - the comparisons 
are valid since Jason and Rob have played with Richard and Fontaine, but 
I don't want to cripple Alkaline by saying that they're just "versus 
wanna-bes" 'cause they're not.  A really good set after the first two 
songs - I hope Rob gives up his free-agent drumming and settles in with a 
band real soon.

Helium.  Wow.  I don't think I can listen to my singles now... they'll
pale in comparison to the show they did last night.  Mary Timony is the
queen of creative, quiet feedback as an instrument in the songs, while
Brian and Shawn (both ex-Dumptruck) keep a beat and a path going behind
Mary.  Very intense and enjoyable - rumor has it that a new EP is due in
February on Matador, with LP to follow sometime... I just hope that this
band is allowed to do what they want musically as they move up - 
unfortunately, their current sound won't "move product" in a commercial 
sense... it's too complex and interesting for teeny-boppers, even if 
Helium could be marketed on their appearance.  [No, I'm not implying that 
they're following a pipeline to major-labelness by being on Matador, and 
I'm not saying that physical appearance had anything to do with my 
enjoyment of the band.]  Good luck to them - they deserve it after the 
nightmares of Dumptruck and the implosion of Autoclave (see Wind-Up Toy 
#1 for more on the Dumptruck shit...).  



Subject: Working Holiday/Scrawl/Antimony

	 I haven't written a submission to the I-L since before Christmas
break so I thought I would rattle off a few reviews of shows that I've
been to in the last two months. 

Working Holiday '94:
	 This was probably the highlight of my break, as well everyone else
who showed up for these three days of concentrated indie rock. I think the
band that really stood out over everyone else (besides Rodan of course)
were Louisville's Crain.  This trio surprised me even more than the
quality of the various singles they have released on Allied, Compulsiv,
and Three Little Girls.  Every song was an exhilerating exploration into
the post Bastro-Bitch Magnet vein, and reminded me a lot of heavy groove
oriented Don Caballero (with vocals) managing to keep the listener glued
to the stage. You could feel your ears yelling for more.  Other highlights
included the first song of Pitchblende's set when guitarist Justin Chearno
became overly excited tripping on his feet, falling on his guitar, and
eventually landing on h is face. He later told me that he got "rug burn"
on his eye during that fall and did not understand what came over him.
During Tsunami's set, drummer John Pamer's bass drum kick was a bit
harsher than he had expected, knocking over a cinder block onto two
pitchers, one filled with water, the other filled with beer. Not wanting
to interrupt their set, Rodan guitarist and Weekend MC Jason Noble sat
down in the spill and held the drum through the first song. His services
were eventually replaced by a new piece of cement. Overall, the shows were
a true success selling out on Saturday, and I think Sunday as well. The
Coctails were also a stand out playing about two hours with no breaks, and
admitting jokingly "We can't sing and play at the same time". I think Mr.
Greenberg had something up his sleeve. He still is the best. 

Scrawl W/ Bite at the Jailhouse Rock Jan. 25th 
	This show was one that I had been waiting for for a very long
time. I've never seen Scrawl before, but have the Bloodsucker EP, and a
few singles on various compilations. Now that I saw the show, I wish that
I had bought Velvet Hammer because most of the set came from that album.
Bite, a local Montreal band opened the show, playing poppy, noisy, and at
some times heavy songs while their singer's voice was very high pitched,
and really interesting to hear. I've never seen them live before, but
people i spoke to have said they were better at other times. They have
just released a single on Montreal's own Derivative Records, who have put t
out records by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, Trenchmouth, Bliss, Jale
(Sub PoP's newest ), and an upcoming one by Eric's Trip. I guess this show
was their "record release party" and i thought they played very well, only
their songs had a similar style that kind of made them all run together.
However, they are definitely a band to listen and look for.  Scrawl on the
other hand met my expectations.  Their set list included a whopping 23
songs (i guess they didn't want to play an encore ) with titles such as
"Your Mother Wants to Know", "Clock Song", " Vi Ploriontos", "Take a
Swing", and a slowed down version of "Love's Insecticide" without
percussion. Their new drummer was so steady and really made their sound
indicative of warranting the production authority of Steve Albini for
Velvet Hammer. They said they were happy to be in Montreal, but gathering
the weather (minus 30 Celcius) I think they were probably bluffing. Before
their last song they told the audience not to freeze, i don't think it
worked on my walk home. Scrawl are really great, and their live
performance really shows the clarity of their newer sound. Their tour
dates are posted on the internet news group through Andy
Spencer, the husband of Scrawl's Bassist? Guitarist? I'm not sure. 

Holy Rollers w/ Antimony at 9:30 Club WDC jan 1st 
	The reason I went to this show was to see Antimony, not the
Rollers although I have some of their records, but I have distanced myself
from them since they acquired their new rhythm section. Antimony are all
whats left of Circus Lupus since they broke up in early September, and
Chris Thompson formed Las Mordidas with Dug E. Bird of RL/ST and
ex-beefeater. Antimony combine what Circus Lupus did best with bass-drum
action and high treble built guitars provided by Chris Hamley. Most of the
stuff they played was instrumental although Chris and Seth Lorinczi took
turns on vox for a few tracks. It was a really impressive first show for
them and I hope that they turn it into vinyl soon. I think Erica Casebolt
was a bit nervous at the outset, but everything kind of worked itself out
later and her drumming never sounded better. 


From: Stephen Clover <>
Subject: New Zealand Reviews

hi, thought it might be fun to gush over one or two more new zealand
releases again, as well as mention some other stuff, so here goes with
some more crap reviews. 

-----the 3d's "the venus trail" (flying nun)-----

wow. i was quite impressed with the 3d's 1992 release "helzapoppin", but i
think this is even better. their sound has both developed, and
diversified. the album was recorded in an old masonic lodge in dunedin,
and while the production has added a lot to the songs -- vocal effects,
strange sound/sample noise and a great "band" sound -- it is not overdone
at all. the vocals are delivered in an intense, somewhat haunting manner,
and are mostly quite brilliant. i feel a lot of the songs are very well
written, and the album as a whole is stronger for it. standout tracks for
me are 'hey seuss' (somebody's been listening to the jesus lizard, i'm
sure of it), 'philadelphia rising', 'man on the verge of a nervous
breakdown', 'jane air', 'ice', and my favourite, 'spooky' -- possibly one
of the most accurate song titles ever -- this beautiful acoustic song is
pretty damn spooky, and quite wonderful, then just when you thought it was
over david mitchell throws some slabs of guitar noise at you. very quickly
became one of my favourite new zealand albums, and the purchase of it made
me all the more keen to pick up.. 

-----the 3d's "fish tales/swarthy songs for swabs" (flying nun)-----

after "helzapoppin" and "the venus trail", i thought i had better get the
bands early two EP's. fortunately for me, and quite conveniently too,
flying nun reissued them both on one cd. the sound is rawer, there's less
fancy bits but the entire thing rocks in the more traditional 3d's manner,
apart from the one track 'a ball of purple cotton' which is not a rock
song, more a short spoken monologue by denise roughan about an unnamed
female, backed by a pretty, 3d's guitar line, some feedback/distortion,
and a very 'dead c' modulation underlying the entire track. there's more
melody, but the noise remains, and there's the added bonus of two
previously unreleased demo versions of 'hairs' and 'one eye opened' (from

standout tracks for me across both of the EP's would be 'first church',
evil kid', 'evocation of w.c. fields', 'sing-song', 'ritual tragick', and
'meluzina man', plus the aforementioned 'purple cotton', which is also
very good. 

need i also mention that the 3d's are highly recommended live?

-----the hallelujah picasso's "drinking with judas" (wildside)-----

the picasso's are one of those much-maligned beasts, a crossover band, but
they do it pretty well, their particular brand being a sort of
hardcore/reggae/punk/dub thing. pretty much what happens is lots of noisy
guitar lines riffing accompanied by great basslines, shouting, a
dub/reggae rhythm section, reggae/rap style vocals and a bad attitude (in
the best possible sense). that is unless they're doing one of their
beautiful dub-ballads on the side. 

this release is their second album, after their pretty popular (in an
obscure new zealand way) "hateman in love". and it's pretty much more of
the same, except a lot more diverse and a lot more fun. it kicks straight
into the great title track, with the lines 'so tap the bottle and twist
the cap, tap the bottle and twist the cap, here's the fuckin money now
shut the fuck up'. the album is very long, and 21 tracks, but a number of
these are amusing filler material -- snippets of phone calls, silly studio
outtakes, and more than one 'guest appearance' by mc oj and his rhythm
slave, a local rap/hip-hop duo, who seem to have been hanging round the
studio a lot. one of the album's songs is in fact a huge pisstake of the
pair's song 'doc. martens' -- very funny if you know the original. 

this wonderful, at times hilarious, album is too diverse to go into in any
great detail, suffice to say there's a song for every mood and occasion on
here, and a lot to spare. in fact, exactly what i would've expected the
(fairly schizophrenic) picasso's to produce on being put in a studio and
told to record an album. one slight annoyance is the way they've tacked
two or three songs together into one track on a few occasions, but it's
not that much of a deal. as far as standout tracks go, i'm not going to
try -- they all are worthy of mention. 

in addition, there's some great caricatures of the band members by martin
edmond in the liner notes, and the horn section from supergroove guest on
two tracks as well. so, as the picasso's say, "free your ass and your mind
will follow (bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay)..." 

-----some miscellaneous notes-----

* froithead, the palmerston north noise band, have recorded three tracks
on the texas label awful records' compilation album "manifestation". i
haven't heard the album yet -- still waiting for a copy. 

* bailter space have released a new EP in the states called "b.e.i.p."
which includes two new tracks, 'x' and 'people & projects', and two songs
from "robot world", 'robot world' and 'e.i.p.'. it hasn't been released in
new zealand yet. 

* the new head like a hole album, "flik yourself of yourself", is due to
be released very soon, after delays in remixing it. the new material
sounds brilliant live, however. 

* shihad are still procrastinating about the release of the next single
from "churn", called 'stations'. it's supposed to be this month. 

* and a quote (sic) from steve albini and bob spurr weston iv (shellac): 
"..the complete list of good bands that currently exist in america
includes the jon spencer blues explosion, six finger satellite, the jesus
lizard, don caballero, tortoise, gastr' del sol, a canadian instrumental
band called the shadowy men on a shadowy planet...bailter space, the dead

take it how you want...

bye for now, steve/

"rake suck. i like jangly pop"


From: Mark Cornick <>

Responses to Mr. Mike...

WH CD - has been rumored but I doubt they'll do it -- they'd have to cut a
few songs, if my calcs are right (may I suggest Veronica Lake? :-)

Eggs Bruiser LP (released on CD only) came out in 1991, I believe.

Richmond Music Coop CDs - NO! BAD! The first one is at least tolerable -
there's one good song each from Schwa and the Technical Jed - but the
second one (Several Dead Presidents Are Buried In Our Backyard) is awful -
about 11 or 12 bands none of which stand out. It's so bad that Jack
Uglyhead (not a roommate of mine, BTW, just a neighbor) and I are planning
a spoof comp called "Some Band From Canada Wrote A Song About Our
Backyard." The good songs from Vol. 1 are both on the Something Pretty
Beautiful comp, which isn't so much better but at least has a higher
diamonds-to-dirt ratio. 

Richmond Shmichmond,


From: (0)

Indie-L Radio?


I just discovered the wonderful world of the MBONE and Multicast IP
software here and was wondering if anybody out there on the Indie list is
already doing a indie/punk/DIY show on Radio Free Internet? If not I'm
going to try to set one up from my system over here in the next couple
weeks. I've got the RFI programming schedule and it looks pretty open. If
somebody out there would want to maybe help program or co-host this, that
would be cool. And since it would be done over the net, we wouldn't have
to be local to each other... 

Also, if anybody out there is in a band, could you comment on how you feel
about having your music played on this kind of a medium? The use and
distribution would be pretty much like Indie-List is right now(although
they are not associated). 

For the unclued:MBONE is short for Internet Multicast Backbone, a way to
send pakcet data, like audio or video to groups of hosts on the net but
only send the data once without having to repeat the transmission for
every system you want to receive it. There's a lot of technical shit
behind this, but I'm going to skip it 'cause its not really relevant to
Indie-L. If you're REALLY interested, pop over to for
the full horror. The end result is something like a public access radio or
TV on the net... There are already a couple audio and video "chat
channels" as well as real-time weather satellite images and other useful
and toyful stuff... 

I just think that this would be a really cool way to share some of the
stuff we keep writing we've bought or saw on here. 

Anyways, its an idea...
let me know what you think,

Yours in flannel and an Amoco worker's jacket that says "Randy" (NOT!),
Stephen Okay
             "You won't be happy with me,but give me one more chance,
              You won't be happy anyways..."----Magnetic Fields 



Bedazzled Label Reviews

One of several recent 7" singles on the Bedazzled label is by Ultracherry
Violet. Here is a review: 

Ultracherry Violet makes one hell of a wonderful noise with "Remember."
Abundant fuzzed out guitar blows sheets of hot wind from severely loaded
amps, and a heavy hitting drummer sets you straight about the facts of
effective percussion. It's an exhilarating cacophony made all the more
sweet with intro and outro chords of wobbly guitar at its best, and an all
noises off interlude that reminds me of The Catherine Wheel's "Black
Metallic." After that, "Anything Is Feasible" sounds less creative. It's
still plenty noisy but not as memorable and it relies too heavily on a
single chord progression making it much less tuneful but still an ok
listen. Rating **

And here is a review of a Siddal single also on Bedazzled:

"Ghost" is a calm one held together with a network of glistening guitar
pearls. Elaine Winters has the voice of a young, slightly hoarse Kate Bush
with lots of reverb. Further comparisons to the you-know-who Twins can be
made if you're lazy on the more blissed-out and prettier "Leaving." It
sways and waltzes through your living room with more than one nod to
Shelleyan Orphan. One of these days Siddal is going to make one heck of an
album. Rating *

| Brant Nelson      |  1817 Corinth Ave. #10      |
| Dewdrops Fanzine  |  Los Angeles, CA 90025-5567 |
|           |
|more info, use the finger command on this address|



6 7" singles....and neato too

This week's record reviews then:

The Sugargliders - Top 40 Sculpture EP (Sarah records)

The Sugargliders are the best australians in the world, they use so much
to produce such great pop. Recently they have employed a trumpet. More
indie should use brass or woodwind instruments! The title track is quite
different for them. Very very good! Other tracks are Sugargliders by
numbers, that means well worth 2 pounds! 


The Charlatans - Can't get out of bed (Beggars Banquet records)

They used to be one of my early indie faves, but this new stuff does
little for me. Not bad but not where i want. Quite rural and rocky. In a
review it said very country rock, maybe. 


The Earthmen - Cool chick # 59 (Slumberland records - i think!)

Hey hey hey we're the Monkees! These are australian i guess, seen quite a
few of their records around, and seeing this in a bargain bin i could not
resist. Its great! Cool! Suave! Sexy! Its in an orange sleeve!!!!! 


Secret Shine - Unbearable (A Turntable Friend records)
Secret Shine - After years EP (Sarah records)

In the bargain bin were also the last 2 Secret Shine records i have not
got. Secret Shine started off like Brighter fronted by Ian Brown, and now
sound like early Slowdive fronted by Ian Brown. Thats why the Stone Roses
LP is so late! Ian Brown is in Secret Shine!!! 

(* for both)

there was a sixth, by Auto Haze, but i can't remember what the title was.
It was on Summershine records, and the number of it is Shine 025. (Can
remember the record's number but not the title - slack MAAAAAN!) Its quite
good anyway, quite acoustic. **3/4



From: "L. Pit" <>

Comments on ambient-replies + CELL review

Hi Indie-List(en)ers !

Since Sean felt like he stopped making sense in last weeks I-L #6, I'll
continue the confusion. 

I think the point made that there is a different musical culture between
the US and Europe was well taken. It's good to be aware of this. However,
don't get the idea that ambient is now the main thing in Europe. It's not.
It's hot, but it's not everything-and-nothing-else-exists. It's just one
small thing. One thing of many other things. Europe still rocks too, don't
forget it ! 

Saying that US bands put on better live shows is not fair I think. I think
that's highly subjective, not an observation of a difference. 

For example, the success of the Jesus & Mary Chain was almost solely based
on their live-performances. Their records came second. And take the Boo
Radleys for example. On their album "Giant Steps" (being heralded as one
of the best album of 1993) they've taken great measures to make a sound
record, everything had to be perfect. The studio is being used as an
instrument. Everything is thought off. US bands seem to hate that,
preferring to record the sound raw and original (take the Sebadoh's and
Eric's Trip's for example). Meanwhile, on stage, the Boo Radleys blow you
of the planet with a great live show that differs from they're album. They
rock, they use great big noise-walls, and it's very intense. I could
repeat this for PJ Harvey, or for Moonshake, or for Stereolab, etc, etc.
Brits sound different on their albums in comparison with them playing
live. They like to put things on records that can't be put on stage. It
adds something extra for you at home. That doesn't mean however that they
neglect their live-shows !! 

Mostly US album don't differ that much from them playing live I think.
Live they're maybe more powerful, more dynamic. But not all that different
in sound.  Which also has something to say for, since live-performances
are almost always the best experiences (I totally agree with Sean on this
point, although I also agree with Ben that a major factor in this is the
social aspect). 

The comment that US (rock)bands do better live shows was also put in the
context of ambient-house (see Moo-Town Snacker's comment in I-L #3). But
that is like comparing apples to pears. It's just not the same thing. If a
good live show means "they rock", well, I'm sorry, but then of course
everything outside of rock will fail to be good. 

For example, I've seen the Palace Brothers live, dabbling with
country-blues. That was very intense! One of the best things I witnessed
in 1993. No rock however. 

So how can you compare the Palace Brothers with, for example, Yo La Tengo
? You can't. It's not the same thing. 

[sure you can - intensity, performance, etc. - it's not just "ROCK" that 
pounds your skull into oblivion... - Sean]

The same holds for comparing a liveshow of a rockband with an
ambient-house performance. I really don't understand why dance music
couldn't be well translated to the live stage? Why not? (Unfortunately I
can not answer this question myself, since I haven't seen an ambient-house
performance yet (but have read fantastic stories about it:). The bastards
from the UK seem to prefer to dwell on their own little island, shying
away from the mainland of Europe. Most of my fav's have been in the US

On the quality of our water: it must be healthy, since the population of
the sealife-forms in it is pretty divers. The fascination for ambient
right now does not need any explanation, other than a different attitude
on our part: being more progressive. Always looking for new things. Just
like sampling the feedback of guitars (MBV) was a fascination for a few
years (and still is), now it's ambient. 

Basically, US is conservative, Europe progressive. (Is this an
observation? I don't see things clearly anymore this late...). US probably
likes to be conservative with their music. However, thinking a bit
progressive I ask:  isn't it a shame that US indie-bands haven't taken
full advantage of their independent status? 

Meaning: looking outside of rock... (and I don't necessarily mean
ambient-house, because again, that's just one thing)...  And meaning:
experimenting more.  Or to quote a fav-line: "To boldly go where no-one
has gone before..." 

>From Joep I've understood that J Mascis, on commenting the Utah Saints,
stated that he didn't like to think about dabbling with electronics,
because the number of possibilities would be too great. With guitars he
felt he was limited (to some degree) which gives a more secure feeling....
well, if that isn't conservatism for you there, I'm Betty Boo. 


Right.  (I thought I'd never come to it)

 -->  Cell - "Living Room" (City Slang)

Cell is one of the best 'standard' rockbands at the moment in my opinion,
coming from NYC, USA. I saw them last year playing before Sugar. When Cell
played I seemed to be the only one who paid attention. Cell was
magnificent! After that Sugar played, and that was going to be my dipper
of the year (while the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy Bob Mould;
Strangely enough, since he really played shitty that night). Okay, okay,
so this is a case in which a US band outperformed a UK band live. Don't
get funny ideas though. 

"Living Room" is Cell's second album, successor to "Slo-Blo". It's
produced by John Agnello (who worked with Jay Mascis). Most of the songs
are well written, while a few are just plain simple. Best piece is 'Sad &
Beautiful' I think, followed by 'Milky' and 'China Latina' amongst others.
The songs are all powerful, intense, and it's got great melodies (although
nothing of real importance to write in history-books). DiRienzo and Ian
James both have great raw-but-not-that-raw voices. What else can I say?
I'm pretty bad at reviewing records, I know it. All I can say is that I
like it very much! 

(Oh, in case you're wondering what the hell they're saying at the end of
the last song 'Blue Star', Keith is saying to Dave "you f---ed up this
part", then John comes out of the producer-room saying "That sounded
really good. But can you give me one more take?". Then: "Let's leave that
one the way it is". Apparently Keith had been vomitting his stomach out
before recording that piece, and after the six minutes recording he went
back to the bathroom to continue dying some more... he claimed it had
nothing to do with the booze... yeah right. I believe you Keith...)


PS. I - I've heard that a record under the name "California Dreaming" has
been released. I haven't heard it myself, and haven't read any comments on
it yet. I understood it's a record with ambient/mellow/techno/trance
material from musicians in the States... I'm curious what they're up to.
I'll let you know if it's any good. 

PS. II - Check out Underworld's "DubNoBassWithMyHeadMan" on Junior Boy's
Own.  The record blends house with rock. It is played with guitars and has
some lyrics. Could be an eye-opener for those rockers who think house
 * These are modern times... now if we could just get modern musicians too.


From: (Chris Campbell)


DQE stands for Dairy Queen Empire (not DQExperience).  [yeah, i realized 
that about 5 minutes after I sent out the damn list last time... - Sean]
SOMEHOW Dairy Queen Inc found out ('92? '93?) and threatened a lawsuit, so
they had to change it.  Comprised of Grace Braun on GTR/VOC and Chris
Verene on drums, they broke up amiably a couple months ago.  Grace got
married to a local indie-type here (Dugan Trodglen) a few months ago and
formed Red Cloud with him (both have red hair, get it?).  BTW, this is
just public knowledge here in Atlanta, I personally have no contacts with
them, besides the indirect one below.  Red Cloud has a single coming out
on Collision Recs soon, Arthur Davis' label.  This is the same label that
is issuing the Smoke single any day now (<- PLUG) with which I which I
must admit corroborating. 

Ditto on the Indie-List t-shirt:  what's up?  [The project is on hold, as 
are all of my other projects, indefinitely. :) - Lena]

Has anyone seen Slant 6?  They're coming here next week, I can't find
 their singles locally, and the mail is slow.  Lots of grrl-buzz, I know.

Scrawl's 2-6 show at the Masquerade here apparently got bought out and
 has been moved to a 2-5 show at another venue (Midtown Music Hall).

I guess my lurker status is revoked.  [Okay, but next time can you type 
in normal-format paragraphs? - Lena]

From: James Nash <>

Transient Thought Procesees with Random Pronouncements

[Well, is this the sort of thing you want?! It does go on a bit.]

[Well, put the word "Indie" or "I-L:" in the title, and it'll help Lena, 
the rest of the title is fine with me... - Sean]

I intended to respond to Sean's comments on live/recorded stuff but ended
up writing a load on the state of the UK charts and then eulogising
techno, finally getting back to the original point. (Sean's text is
commented out with > symbols)

>I think that there's something in the water over there that might help
>explain the fascination with ambient and other space music... where else
>in the world would a classical symphony (admittedly, a really interesting
>one, Gorecki's Symphony #5) make the charts, or a band that had been
>obviously broken up for almost 10 years have a number one hit based on a
>clothing commercial (The Clash) ? 

In fact, "Should I Stay" is The Clash's only ever Top Ten hit in the UK!!

I agree with you on the state of our charts but you have to realise that
they have changed a lot in the last ten years. It now takes a fraction of
the sales to reach No.1 that it used to. Also, the size of Britain and the
relatively small number of commercial TV channels makes it a lot easier
(cheaper) to "hype" any individual record where the profits will be
short-term but reasonable. It's done mainly by TV advertising, as in The
Clash's case with a weird cross-breed of record/jeans ad where both
parties (Levis and The Man) win. Compilations are sold almost purely by TV
ads with ultra-cool TV graphics and some jock or other proclaiming this
the "ultimate party album", reference the "Now That's What I Call Music"
series currently numbering 26 double LPs. 

I think it is safe to say that the charts no longer "matter". I remember
the time when all this was fields... ah! I mean... when there was a real
buzz of excitement if an "indie" band got in the charts. Would they be on
Top of The Pops? Would they go up a few positions or fall straight out
again the next week? We now have the phenomenon of "No.26 with a bullet",
e.g. Carter USM shoot into the charts at No.26 and drop straight out the
next week because all their fans rushed out and bought it in the first
week and then no-one else likes it or buys it. 

(Side-bar: My favourite example of indie crossover is the Jesus & Mary
Chain who got to No.4 or something ridiculous with a song about heroin
(Some Candy Talking) after one of the top Radio 1 jocks smashed the record
across a turntable - whilst on air - to complain about this "sick and
depraved" record.)

We have all sorts of ridiculous regulations restricting how many songs you
can have on a "single" and how long it can be; if it goes over the limit
it has to be classed an album, etc. These are supposedly to restrict
unscrupulous record companies shoving out cheap product with extra
tracks/remixes/etc. as an unfair advantage over "real" product. The chart
compilers have a point but they also end up endangering artistic integrity
and, frankly, making a mockery of the charts. 

I believe the American charts have an element of radio airplay in them;
luckily in this country it is based entirely on record sales from a
supposedly random selection of shops equipped with the adequate technology
to transmit bar-code readings back to Gallup where the totals are totted
up. One trick of The Man has been to get its underlings to whizz round
these shops buying up loads of copies. Another was to concentrate
"freebies" (e.g. double 7" pack or free T-shirt) to these few shops. I use
the past tense here because these practices have been pretty much stamped
on. Payola, as in America, is unlikely here unless the Radio 1 producers
can be bought. They are the ones who pretty much decide what gets
playlisted on Fab 1 FM and that mostly determines which records from newer
acts get into the charts. Should a scandal like payola break, there would
be severe repercussions for the music industry and Radio 1; the latter
currently under threat of privatisation by the Government which would
certainly mean no more John Peel and the death of civilisation as we know
it. :-]

(There is a more subtle form of payola where the commercial media will
feature certain bands more prominently if their company buys ad space in
that media.)

Right, finally finished droning on about the charts. I meant to comment on
"something in the water". I think you (Sean) meant a certain attitude, a
willingness to try out new things. There is a huge disillusionment with
the current state of rock/pop music (incorporating indie) amongst
teenagers who, possibly quite wisely, see no life or future in the dull
re-hashes of styles and re-releases of songs that plague our rock scene.
An attitude I've seen a lot of lately is that rock will become like jazz
as we approach the next century; it will only appeal to those old enough
to know what the reference points are and which rules are being broken. I
love Trumans Water as much as the next I-Ler but to "the kids" it means
nothing at all. 

(Whenever I say 'techno' below, I'm using a glib term to describe
everything from Terminator Benelux for the club to Brian Eno for the
post-club chill out to Aphex Twin for the bedsit reflections.)

In the UK, the indie scene is very much gossip/fashion and who's it cool
to go and see this week whereas the 'mersh scene has turned into an over-
30's Pringle-jumper Phil Collins sleepathon. Then you have the students
who slavishly follow The Levellers (or whoever has sold the most T-shirts
recently). All hideous generalisations but that's the way I see it.
Techno has established itself and I have criminally ignored it along with
most other people, hoping it would go away if we did nothing about it.
Time for a change. As the old saying goes, free your mind and your ass
will follow. 

"Rave" culture, or ambient, or techno have all been drugs-led. Good music
that sounds excellent on drugs. It's hardly love, peace and understanding
but I get the sense that something is happening and techno is its
soundtrack much as Jimi Hendrix (or whoever) was for the hippy movement.
People have had enough of the crap force-fed them by "the authorities"
from all walks of life - INCLUDING the record industry. Witness the
explosion in the number of travellers and the hysterical Government
reaction to them. Witness the number of "ordinary kids" doing drugs and
living to dance. This sounds like politics but only in the way that
choosing what you wear or how you cut your hair is politics. 

Of course, it could all be a massive dupe to keep "the kids" stoned and
not cause any trouble but it's an effing dangerous one if that's the case.
Whatever comes of the techno revolution, I just hope we don't see history
repeating itself as tragedy, or worse farce. My view of where the hippies
went wrong was to completely ignore established wisdom. When the movement
started it was full of Eastern mysticism which seemed to get dropped in
favour of easy-to-swallow and badly-thought-out platitudes. If the people
who make the techno records - and that's a very large group - can draw
from more unusual sources, e.g. indie rock!, they can keep this thing
going. I for one have run out of steam for the moment, probably just as

(back to the fray after a refreshing glass of pop :-)

>There is a different musical culture between the US and Europe - and
>(...)  Hip-hop and dance music do not usually
>translate well to the live stage, and this is unfortunate. Ambient music
>is even further removed from live performance (most of the time) and thus
>faces the same problems. 

Rock stars are the performers, the idols, the ones in the spotlight, the
ones on the cover of Rolling Stone. Techno stars are the audience, the
dancers, the ones who drop the drugs, the ones who people take the photos
of. I'm not talking about PAs where D:Ream or whoever lip-sync badly to 3
songs then bugger off, but the clubs where you've never heard the records
before or they're all remixed to hell and back. 

I wouldn't say that for rock music, there is much difference in live vs.
recorded attitude between the UK and USA although I do get the impression
that a US audience likes to see a band "earn its stripes" by touring for a
few years before they have the "right" to become successful. Here, we're
more into thrill seeking - seeing the latest and the greatest just for the
sake of it, perhaps ignoring some very excellent and/or established
performers along the way. It's one of my worse traits being defensive but
I find it necessary on a text medium like the Internet so I'll stress
this is my own opinion and I'm not out to brand everyone with the same

To summarise, the record industry has committed suicide and pop has eaten
itself. The kids want nothing of it. 

(I hope I've avoided the pitfalls of comparing alike with non-alike above
and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did typing it. Phew!)

--James Nash <
The only good rock star is a dead one


From: "Harris, Terry J." <>
Subject: Alex Chilton and Ben Vaughn in DC

   One great thing about Baltimore is that DC is a kinda cool suburb. Saw
godfather-of-indie, Alex Chilton with Ben Vaughn at the Birchmere in
Alexandria Wednesday night, and still made it back to Charm City to see
the Archers of Loaf at our own Karaoke Bar. 

   I hadn't seen Ben Vaughn in a couple of years so it was a pleasant
surprise to see him open for Alex Chilton. Kind of an appropriate pairing
too, I thought. 

   Vaughn played solo, accompanied by his guitar and, on about half of the
songs, pre-recorded drums and stuff. Normally, I don't care for
play-along-with-the-tape-machine live performance, but Vaughn made sure
that he didn't take it seriously enough to be seriously annoying. He
played about half cover songs and half originals, including several of his
classics. (I don't know that these are the exact song titles, but fans
will recognize "I'm Sorry (but So's Brenda Lee)", "Growing A Beard," and
my favorite, "She's Your Problem Now")

   He said he is releasing (um, has released?) an album of covers on Bar 
None that he said he recorded in his basement for $140. Said Vaughn, "I've
got 30 of my own songs I haven't recorded and I do an album of covers...I
never was too good about career moves." 

    Alex Chilton has always had sort of a booze-and-cigarette pallor, but
Wednesday night he looked rather healthy -- bordering perhaps on glowing. 
It's been more than a year since I've seen him last, and maybe I was too
far away, but he looked as healthy as I've ever seen him. Plus, he had a
snappy red glittery jacket and a stylin' new hair-do. 

   Chilton, as usual, was backed by drums and bass -- same bass player as
the last several tours, but a new drummer. 

   Chilton played a fairly short set not unlike anything he's done around
here for say five years or so. No songs that I hadn't heard him do before. 
One or two Big Star songs, but mostly the lounge-y blues-y stuff he's been
doing for some time. He opened with Ti Ni Nee Ni Noo, for example, and did
his Italian Elvis cover. No "Rock Hard," no Box Tops and oddly, no encore. 
Great set nonetheless. 

   Now, I've been a fan for a long time, and consider Chilton one of the
most important figures in modern popular music. But, I'm also a fan of his
recent bad-attitude lounge singer material too. (I think it's fun.)
Unfortunately however, I think his audience is there anymore because they
want to see a cult figure/novelty act. From his moderately disinterested
stage presence the other night, I think Chilton recognizes it but I'm not
sure he's quite comfortable with the idea. I'll keep going to see him
until he starts playing along. 

   It's just that I saw him at DC's Roxy (six or seven?) years ago,
playing to a handful of us. Somebody called out a fairly obscure request
("Big Bird") and he said, "Hey, that would be a kick....Yeah, that would
be a kick right now."  He flicked his cigarette into the audience and
played it, continuing an exuberant and dangerous set. I kept thinking the
other night that he ought to flick a cigarette into this sit-down
Birchmere audience. 

   (P.S. Not the point of the posting to this list, but as an added bonus,
Chilton's fairly early departure meant that I caught the Archers of Loaf
set in Baltimore's semi-bizarre Karaoke Bar. Anyway, I thought they were
great live. The newer stuff (that I hadn't heard before) was pretty loose
and pretty good, and the songs off the album were simply incendiary.)


Losing one's religion

Humbly, I submit my first Indie-List spiel...

  Today I saw a blurb in Guitar Player magazine about the Jesus Lizard. I
can only hope that they don't eventually go mainstream - we've all felt
that betrayal too many times...  Nirvana, Soundgarden, Tad, Helmet,
Mudhoney, Dino Jr, all turned to meaningless crap by the entertainment
industry and the Lollapalosers, eager for something new to suck the life
out of...  Now Matador is distributed by Atlantic and it's just a matter
of time before we see Unsane selling troll dolls to pubescent alternateens
on MTV. 

   The innocence is nearly gone.  That which was once underground has been
unearthed and left to putrify in the sun by the bulldozers of greedy
capitalists who know not what they do...  I swear if I ever see Rein
Sanction on MTV I'll destroy every last album I own and quit listening to
music forever. 

Sam Hughes M281@NEMOUS


From: Jonathan Haynes <>

Mary Lou Lord at the Capitol Theater Backstage, Olympia, WA.
One of the last Saturday nights in January, 1994

	Torrey and I got there later than we had planned.  We arrived to
see many of the stylishly bored patrons filing out of the place, and
entered as the last echoes died.  Torrey says, "Isn't that the Spinanes'
drummer?  Hey, and those are his drums.  Did the Spinanes play--and we
stayed too late at the party?"  I didn't know--Torrey saw them in Seattle
(the Spinanes) and raved ever since.  When he and I go out to see music,
we usually hang by the edge and try to see everything.  Not being in the
scene:  not having the right glasses, 70's-wear, bowl-cut or Campbell's
Soup girl hair, not sitting the right way, sometimes it feels strange to
hang out in the middle of everybody.  You start to get the idea you're a
sociologist who's sort of conducting a study of the show, instead of being
a person hanging out to hear music.  I had these stupid cowboy boots
on--and I knew they'd be spurned.  I guess I worry too much about it. 

	So there's these two guys standing there.  Iowans from a farm,
coming to another punk show.  We always do this. 

	Mary Lou was distracted.  When she played it was great.  The
guitar had a boing-boing sound to the strings, and the loose capo made it
sound like a sitar sometimes.  Mary Lou kept saying how much she was
uncomfortable and how much Oly freaked her out and how she'd be so much
better off if her friend would come up and play too and how nervous she
was.  She does this little bend in one song that shows she really knows
how to play.  That's one thing--the guitar was really good.  I think she
must have really strong hands--what, she played in the street and subway
in Boston, right?  This set was some of her songs and a lot of covers. 
Dylan, Shawn Colvin, and Richard Thompson--she played "1952 Vincent Black
Lightning" really well, with about half the verses left out.  Maybe it's
the tunings.  Mary Lou uses some alternate tunings that make things sound
interesting.  Her voice sounds like Suzanne Vega and Pebbles from The
Flintstones.  I wondered how that scratchy goo-be-goo-be-doo-be voice
could project out in the Boston subway...  She talked about Joni Mitchell,
just saying "Joni" with such familiarity, like they were really
close--maybe they are!  I knew something was wrong, something missing

	The real ruckus was over down the block at Vertigo--that grrroovy
singer from Bratmobile was there, so I knew this was the real scene
epicenter for the night.  Kinda like when I lived in Minneapolis--if Bob
Mould was at the show, it was the cool place to be.  Mark Arm was sorta
the reference point for that in Seattle.  The band that was playing was
set up in the classic Riot Grrrl/Boy way:  everybody looking thirteen and
doing it for the first time.  We had missed the boat, because it was the
last song.  Too bad. 


From: (Leonard Nevarez)

Royal Trux: on record, live @ Jabberjaw

	With this submission, I end my six month lurk on the Indie-List
Digest, and let me tell you, it's good to walk in the sun with everyone
else.  I guess I've put off writing for the I-L because sometimes I feel
like such an old guy when I read the Indie-List Digest; like Lena, I go way
back with "independent music", having also seen Husker Du in 1985 (with
Faith No More and Camper Van Beethoven opening).  However, I now have a
mission: to address the absence of discussion about Royal Trux.  I can't
recall reading anyone cite this band's most recent album, __Cats And
Dogs__, as one of 93's best independent releases, which IMHO it surely
was.  In fact, let me begin with a review of this fine album. 

Royal Trux, __Cats And Dogs__ (Drag City Records)

	Having never before heard this band, I must say I was immediately
impressed with this album the first time I heard it.  It's most revealing
when you consider it as a legacy of Pussy Galore; I think of how that
band's obnoxious guitar/drum/no-bass racket splintered off into the Jon
Spencer Blues Explosion's frenetic groove-mojo deconstruction and
guitarist Neil Hagerty's narcotic rock rapture on this most recent album
(Somehow, Julia Cafritz's work with Kitten fits into this scheme --
anyone care to venture a guess?).  The instrumentation here is still the
same as Pussy Galore's (i.e., no bass), but Royal Trux takes that premise
into new directions, starting off with the ballad-like (!) opener "Teeth". 
The other thing you notice early on is how developed the songwriting on
__Cats and Dogs__ is in comparison to anything Pussy Galore or the Blues
Explosion has ever done.  Both "Teeth" and "Turn of the Century" are truly
moving pieces, especially with the latter's use of piano and slide guitar;
they also feature the most sublime guitar noodling I've heard since Meat
Puppets _II_ (think of "We're Here" and "Aurora Borealis").  "The
Spectre" is so hummable, it could easily be a campfire sing-along at a
drug rehab retreat.  Of course, __Cats and Dogs__ rocks out mightily,
particularly on "The Flag", "Skywood Greenback Mantra" and "Hot and Cold

	And then there's the vocals!  If you have never heard the "unique"
harmonies of Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema, rest assured: this ain't no
Sonny and Cher.  I like to think they sound like a washed-up singing duo
one might hear at a piano lounge in Las Vegas, especially considering how
tortured Herrema's tonsils sound.  Although they share lead vocals
throughout most of the album, Herrema and Hagerty never quite get it in
synch with each other -- did they record their vocals in separate rooms
without listening to each other? -- which gives the album its particularly
disembodied feel.  As I said, for me __Cats And Dogs__ easily ranks as one
of 93's top independent releases. 

Royal Trux, Kicking Giant, Tattletale, and Canopy at Jabberjaw, Los
Angeles, 1/28/94:

	Obviously I was more than willing to make the 2-and-a-half hour
trek from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles (an hour more than it usually
takes, thanks to the earthquake's devastation of many part's of LA's
freeway system) to check out Royal Trux, especially since I would finally
be able to catch soon-to-be-local-legends (and, yes, personal friends of
mine) Canopy at their stomping grounds, Jabberjaw.  I've already let on my
bias about Canopy; let me just add that tonight they made a glorious din
with guitarist Ajay's blazing-yet-poppy sound, bassist/vocalist Gabby's
plodding rhythm and monotone vocals (a complement!), and
soon-to-be-the-next-Georgia-Hubley drummer Tonya's characteristic
back-to-basic work on the drumkit.  Extra ego-boost: They even got
requests for "Bunny Love" off their first (and only) single (on Sourpower
Records, which they split with Seesaw). 

	Seattle's Tattletale were next with a big mood change for the
evening which they made boldly nevertheless: two women singing and playing
acoustic guitar, minimal stand-up drumkit, and/or cello.  Apparently
Tattletale is used to playing completely unamplified (their drums were
even muffled by draping shirts over the heads), and they were a little
nonplussed by Jabberjaw's quite electric atmosphere.  Things were not
helped at all by the rude drunk heckling them, which was too bad
considering how unrepresentative he was of the audience (Jabberjaw doesn't
even sell alcohol).  Nevertheless, Tattletale were often able to recreate
their intimate, acoustic atmosphere; when they couldn't, they
unfortunately came off as a little too precious, especially with their
high-pitched, sometime-strained harmonies. 

	From Olympia came Kicking Giant, who recently received a glowing
review here from Sean Murphy.  Despite this, they raised a nagging
question that was started with Tattletale: What hath Beat Happening
wrought?  If you're unfamiliar with Kicking Giant, they're one of those
guitar-and-minimal-drums duos that Olympia seems to specialize in.  Of
course, I may be unfair in this generalization, since surely not everyone
with a guitar, a snare drum, a floor tom and a cymbal sounds like Beat
Happening -- to which I merely point out how Kicking Giant sounds a lot
more like Beat Happening than, say, House of Freaks (does anyone remember
them?).  When the sound clicks, then the combo works as well as -- and,
more importantly, differently than -- a "regular" rock ensemble does. 
However, when the sound doesn't click (and here I'd have to say Kicking
Giant were about 50-50), then I'm just unsatisfied.  The proceedings were
livened up with a brief foray into "wordcore" with Kill Rock Stars spoken
word performer Sue Fox, and then Kicking Giant were out of there. 

	Before they were finally plugged in and ready to play, I could
tell that my expectations of Royal Trux were misplaced, as the stage had
been set up for two guitars, bass (!), drums, and various percussion (!!). 
Altogether six Royal Truxers hit the stage and launched into a radically
re-worked "Hot and Cold Skulls": some riffs were deleted, Herrema sang
alone, and the bass and percussion turned the number into quite a
different song.  Of course, Herrema cut quite an imposing figure: at least
six feet tall (and 90 pounds, by a friend's guess), wearing a cowboy hat
that virtually covered her eyes, this ridiculous belt that's covered with
studs and a _huge_ buckle (the impression is of a wrestling championship
belt), and a wide array of leather bracelets with studs which made me
think of the guitarist from Slayer with his armband o' needles.  She
barked -- nay, croaked -- her parts out with such gusto and lit a
seemingly endless number of cigarettes that I calculated she must be up to
three packs a day.  The band did an hour-long set of seven songs,
including the final number that lasted over 20 minutes, in which the
drummer and percussionist switched instruments (we called the number
"Santana Jam" for the lack of not knowing otherwise) and which ended in an
endless, rather indulgent guitar jam. 
	Ajay from Canopy told me after talking to the second guitarist
from Royal Trux that the occasion for the band's four date tour of
southern California was because DGC Records was footing the bill, paying
for the band's flight out to the west coast and back.  Apparently the
band's indie status is just about up, probably due to Spin's recent
favorable coverage than to record sales, but I wonder what the A&R lackeys
thought that night as they had expected a difficult, dislocated rock noise
and instead received something that often sounded like a two-bit
funk/groove bar band. I too was a little disappointed, especially with the
inclusion of the bass guitar used to such simplistic, "groovy" effect;
after all, wasn't the lesson of Pussy Galore (and __Cats And Dogs__) that
bass was irrelevant?  In fairness to Royal Trux, you also have to consider
how the band insists on change -- in musicians, instrumentation, song
arrangement -- and in that respect, the band that records their next
record (on either Drag City or DGC) will have probably have gelled from
the rather unsure ensemble it was tonight (characterized by the end of the
set, where "Santana Jam" ended with a whimpering halt, the musicians
turned to each other to discuss what went wrong with the number, and the
audience was left to figure out eventually, "Oh, I guess they're done."). 
Their willingness to take chances and radically alter everything about
them is what makes them Royal Trux, and finally my disappointment was
tempered with admiration. 

Leonard Nevarez


From: (Kent Williams)

Unrest/Versus/Swarays Live Gabe's Iowa City 1/29/94

	Well, since I'm an old fart (as old as Robert Poss, for example) I
don't get out much any more, but I was moved to Stay Up Past My Bedtime to
go see Unrest.  For those of you who've not yet ventured to the frozen
wastes of Iowa, Gabe's Oasis is a grotty shoebox-shaped room that has been
the site of many a great show over the past 25 years or so, given it's
strategic location as a sort-of midpoint between Cabaret Metro in Chicago
and First Avenue in Minneapolis. 

	The opener, Swarays, are a local combo fronted by Doug Roberson,
who not only writes great pop songs & plays great guitar, but he books the
shows at Gabe's.  He turned in a decent set of his usually great songs,
but his low key delivery failed to spark much interest in the crowd. 
Doug's been working for years in undeserved obscurity -- If you can find
any Dangtrippers records in the used bin, snatch them up and make yourself

	Versus is a band that had a great buzz preceding them, and for me
they were a real revelation.  They have been compared to Pavement, but I
think the only real thing they share is electric instruments and a lead
singer with a deadpan baritone.  But for me, they had precisely the right
mix of great songwriting, and energetic delivery.  I bought their E.P.
"Let's Electrify" at the show, and every song on it is a winner.  (Versus
is on Remora - 272 E. 3rd #1 NYC 10009).  Their live performance was
focused and intense, a real festival of interesting guitar voicings. 

	Unrest were just too cute for words.  Mark Robinson's songs are,
as we all well know, dreams of a perfect pop world.  But Bridget IS the
girl next door, and Phil has that young Gerard Depardeiu thing going.  But
what Robinson really has going for him is that he apparently never
listened to Jimi Hendrix or Sonic Youth or the Velvet Underground. The
territory he explores musically is contained in the Mel Bay Guitar method
book -- all those pure, ringing jazz chords everyone else thinks sound too
twee.  He captures that endless teen moment of strumming your first guitar
over and over again when you've found the Perfect Chord. 

	The strangest moment of the show came for me came between songs in
the first encore. You've always heard about people thinking they've caught
the eye of the performer and that they're talking just to you? Well, I was
standing about 3 people back from the monitors and of a sudden Mark says
"You!" and points to me. I look around, and I'm the only person he could
be pointing to.  So I yell "what?!" The he intones "You go in the cage. 
The cage goes in the water.  The Sharks are in the water."  Then they rip
into "Skinhead Girl," which evoked much spirited moshing. 

Bruce, the local Warner/A&M/4AD dude was at the show and had some
interesting observations and tidbits:

1. At the Champaign, IL show the crowd got so excited after a 50 minute
set, that Unrest played for another solid hour, and only stopped when the
club brought up the lights. 

2. The JayHawks are in the studio recording a new album.  They flew to
L.A. on a sunday night to begin, and the next morning was an earthquake. 

3. He's all hot about a guy from LA who calls himself 'Beck' who he
described as 'Bob Dylan singing through a pitch shifter.' Apparently the
guy has about 3 albums worth of cool stuff in the can, and he thought he
was going to be 'huge.' Any indie-listers hear of this guy? 


From: unisql! (Ray Shea)

What I Did With My Money In 93 (The New Stuff)

I figure if people can start posting their "Best of 93" lists before
Thanksgiving, then its OK if I'm late as long as I manage to get mine out
sometime before Mardi Gras.  [Hey!  You even beat Chinese New Year! - Lena.]

Here we've got seven albums: 1) that came out in 1993, 2) that I think are
cool enough that I actually get them out and listen to them long after
buying them, and 3) that I feel like I can actually come up with a
paragraph or so of moderately interesting (to me) prose that vaguely
relates in some way to the music. 

A couple of these reviews you might have already seen a few months ago,
but I didn't want to have to come up with something completely different
to say about them now that they're on my list. 

Big Boys -- The Skinny Elvis (Touch & Go)

Combines the "Frat Cars" 7" EP, _Industry Standard_, and their half of the
_Live At Raul's_ split disk with the Dicks, all of which have been
impossible to find for years now, although I did see the Raul's one at
Record Exchange in Houston five years ago for what I'd now consider a
reasonable price.  The early stuff is for the most part pre-funk, more
punk, sounds at times like the Embarassment, if you can believe that, or
even old New Order, thanks to known ex-Peter-Hook-wannabe Chris Gates'
passion for Joy Division (a passion I happened to share during the Big
Boys heyday).  If you've never heard these guys, I'd suggest picking up
the second disk, _The Fat Elvis_, first, since it is here, on their
version of "Hollywood Swingin'", and on _Lullabies Help The Brain Grow_
that punk-funk was born (which, yes, was a good thing, current wankiness
of people like the Chili Peppers not-withstanding).  To really appreciate
the Big Boys, you have to have piled onto the stage with them and a
hundred other people to sing "Hollywood Swingin'" and actually seen with
your own eyes the entire flannel-clad audience of skate-punks trying to
shake their butts instead of stage dive for a while.  Ian MacKaye
describes having the Big Boys open for Minor Threat in 1982 in the liner
notes: "I felt humiliated, how could we play after this?  The Big Boys
pulled out all the stops.  More enormous men, decorated jump suits, food
props, great songs, a horn section, 200 friends on stage singing and
dancing...we were fucked." I saw the Big Boys open for X in 1983...same
thing.  I saw them open for the UK Subs in 1984...same thing.  Hell, half
the people went back out to the parking lot to drink beer during the Subs
set, because for them, the Big Boys were always the headliner, no matter
how many bands played after them. So for those of you who weren't there,
you get these two disks, which in comparison is probably not very much,
but at least it's something. 


George Clinton -- Hey Man...Smell My Finger (Paisley Park)

Figures that Clinton would do what everybody else has been trying to do
for the last 7 years or so, and do it better: that is, lift some samples
from his own shit and kick major butt with it.  This one finds Dr.
Funkenstein rejuvenated by a few years of touring with the P-Funk
All-Stars, strong enough to avoid the suffocating Prince influence that
clouded _The Cinderella Theory_, and back with the hugest collection of
P-Funk alums and young P-Funk wannabes to ever grace a studio:  Maceo &
Fred, Gary Shider, Bootsy, Mudbone, Catfish, Grady Thomas, Bernie Worrell,
along with Ice Cube, Yo-Yo, Humpty, Anthony Kiedis, Bill Laswell, Robert
Musso, Flea, N'Dea Davenport, Dr. Dre, Herbie Hancock, the list goes on
and on and then on some more.  The message is political, Chocolate City &
Maggot Brain squeezed through nineties-style hip-hop outrage.  Single best
rap song of the year is "Rhythm & Rhyme", in which GC proves that he can
out-fucking-rap any little poseur gangsta-wuss that wants to take him on,
spewing complex Last Poets-style lyricism with the force of Chuck D.  I
mean, really. 


Steve Lacy 6 -- We See (hat Art)

I have this big problem reviewing jazz recordings.  In the grand scheme of
things, I haven't been listening to jazz all that long; less than 4 years,
really, since I first had a jazz album really click, where I said "oh, I
GET IT now" (album in question was _Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus_, for
those of you that were wondering).  And so whenever I try to describe what
I'm hearing in a jazz recording, I run up against that "dancing about
architecture" thingy again...I want to avoid the trite silliness and
overly analytical pomposity that infests most jazz liner notes, yet I
don't have a long history of emotional experiences or anecdotes related to
jazz on which to base my what to write?  My bucket of
ten-dollar words is so much smaller than Mr. Taylor's, so I find myself
repeating hackneyed old reviewer expressions and then deleting them.  I
could recite the cold hard facts, that this is not Mr. Lacy's first
recording of all Monk tunes, that this is not the same line-up of
instruments that you would find normally with either Lacy's sextet or most
of Monk's recordings (the absence of a piano is a dead giveaway, I think
you'd agree).  I could tell you that this is my first Lacy album, that the
show put on in Austin last March by this soprano player's sextet was one
of only two jazz shows I saw this year, and that it was the best show of
any kind I have seen for the past several years.  And I could make up
lots of colorful expressions which sound good at the time I write them and
painfully awkward tomorrow, none of which will really convey any
information to anyone who hasn't already heard the music.  In five years,
I may have more of a grasp on Monk, I may have more of a grasp on Lacy,
and I can talk about this album at length. Or maybe it will take ten
years.  Or maybe I will never really understand this music on anything
more than a gut-instinct level...which is really all that is necessary,
when you get right down to it.  It boils down to this: if you have heard
Monk, you will like this album, and if you have heard Lacy, you will like
this album, and if you have not heard either, or both, you are suffering a
particularly cruel form of deprivation. 


Mad Professor -- Dub Maniacs On The Rampage (Ariwa)
Mad Professor -- The Lost Scrolls Of Moses (Ariwa)

The man is a fucking nutball.  1993 being the year I bought more dub
albums than any other kind, including the likes of Lee Perry, Scientist,
and African Head Charge, you'd think it might all start to sound the same. 
I mean, how much can you do when you lop out everything in the song except
the bass and drums and drop samples & FX on top of them?  To answer that
question, you need to listen to Mad Professor.  When people speak of Dub,
really spacey freaky out-there dub, this is what they mean; put this
through your headphones and you will understand.  This music is from Mars. 
Literally.  I think that of the two I prefer _Dub Maniacs..._ (which
actually came out in late 92), but that's probably because I have such
weird memories associated with _Lost Scrolls Of Moses_, mainly because the
first time I listened to it was the day I found out I was gonna be a
daddy, and I spent an afternoon sitting by myself in a ratty apartment in
the Mission district in SF listening to this and pondering my predicament. 
Assuming you aren't carting around the same emotional baggage as I am, you
could choose either one of these for starters, but eventually you'll want


Sebadoh -- Bubble & Scrape (Sub Pop)

Sebadoh is basically 3 guys: Lou, Eric, and Jason.  Their earlier
recordings were mainly home-recorded songs of pain and alienation and
what-not, cut up in an anarchic mush of cassette bits and found sounds and
noises... and somewhere in the mess were some brilliant, touching songs. 
Lately they've been acting more like a band, recording with more standard
guitar/drum/bass combinations, so it's easier to pick through and figure
out what you like and don't like about them...but it wasn't til recently
that someone pointed out to me why some Sebadoh songs seem so fucking
brilliant and perfect, and some just either leave me flat or are outright
annoying; you just need to check the songwriting credits.  Lou Barlow
writes painfully personal songs about lost love and despair and
masturbation; these are songs that can't help but affect you.  Eric
Gaffney's material, on the other hand, always strikes me as some kind of
Mudhoney parody...they just go in one ear and out the other. So I tried
experimenting with the programming feature on the CD player, leaving in
only Lou's songs and a few of Jason's (did I mention Jason?  he's got some
good stuff too, most of the time, but he doesn't fit into my thesis, so
bear with me), and leaving out all of Eric's stuff.  And guess what?  It's
not as good.  The album is missing something.  Even though I can't say
that I enjoy Eric's songs, they are strangely necessary.  They're like
this weird counterpoint, a brash foil to Lou's more profound work, and
without them the album is incomplete, like figure without ground.  Don't
ask me to explain it, I can't.  It's just one of those things that makes
this disk so good. 


Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (Matador)

Spencer is guitarist & founding member of Pussy Galore and Boss Hog, two
bands which most people consider to be essential late 80's noisy
sludgecore, but which I've always thought were way way overrated, despite
the obvious physical attractiveness of Spencer and band-mate whatsername. 
Pussy Galore's best two efforts, in my own opinion, were both covers: 
Neubauten's "Yu Gung", which was better than the original, and Black
Flag's "Damaged", which was at least loads more fun than anything the
Rollins Band ever did.  But Pussy Galore was around when I was going
through my anti-rock-shit phase, which started in 1988 or so when I
started listening to lots of rap and jazz, and really didn't end until
sometime last year. 

So I was completely overwhelmed by the Blues Explosion.  This was what the
Cramps or the Gun Club must have been like once, tortured
psycho-rockabilly with a honestly swampy bottom end throb.  Like Billy
Childish before him, JSBE has managed to make something that almost
feels retro without actually sounding at all retro...they've tapped
into some primal force, enlisted the beast that surfaced in the Stax
studios and spoke to the maggot-infested minds that brought us the first
few Funkadelic albums, while creating something that could not have been
made without Scratch Acid and the Butthole Surfers and Foetus giving them
a decade of noise in which they could ground it.  The woman at the record
store called it "punk blaxploitation" when I bought it, and I can't really
think of anything better to call it.  The Blues Explosion has got
It...whatever the fuck It is.  [As Chris/Tine said, "Jon Spencer gots 
Elvis in his pants."]


Uncle Tupelo -- Anodyne (Sire/Reprise)

What makes Uncle Tupelo great is the way they manage to honor their
influences without aping them.  Their folk heroes include Leadbelly and
D. Boon, Woody Guthrie and the Soft Boys.  This, their major label
debut, made me kind nervous before I heard it.  I'd been a huge fan of
theirs ever since seeing them at Liberty Lunch during SxSW in Austin
(before I knew I would end up actually living here) right around the time
their first LP _No Depression_ came out.  That album and the followup,
_Still Feel Gone_, were classic vaguely country-sounding rockers in the
tradition of Green on Red, the True Believers, Doctors Mob, and all that
roots rock New Sincerity stuff from Austin that was supposed to take over
the world back in 1985 and for some reason never did.  The next Tupelo
album, _March 16-20, 1992_, was all acoustic, traditional workingman's
folk songs...the kind of stuff you normally associate with miners strikes,
Grapes of Wrath, union busting, all that.  It was nice, I could appreciate
it for what it was, but it didn't kick me in that part of my brain like
the old Tupelo.  So I was a little worried... were they gonna be too
folky?...were they gonna do what the Replacements did they they signed
to Sire (i.e., suck)?  Fortunately for me, they did none of that. 
Instead, they pulled a Neil Young.  They improved.  They matured.  And
they still rock.  They got back their raucous roots, kept the country,
kept the pedal steel, the protest songs, the truly fine songwriting, and
they still rock. 

And...the old stuff.

Since the majority of music I bought this year wasn't actually released in
93 (its stands to reason, there's just too much old music out there I
haven't had the time to listen to yet), it seems only fair that I also
give you a list of old music that I bought in 93 that seems really fucking

A couple of these reviews you might have already seen a few months ago,
but I didn't want to have to come up with something completely different
to say about them now that they're on my list. 


Boiled In Lead -- Old Lead (Omnium, 1991)

A reissue of the first two albums, _Boiled In Lead_ (1985) and Hotheads
(1987).  This group does for Celtic folk music what Brave Combo has done
for polkas, running all manner of Scottish ditties and Irish reels through
their slightly twisted post-punk aesthetic.  The liner notes contain
sources for each tune, with descriptions like "A gnarly version of a reel
from the repertoire of the Castle Ceili Band also heard in sessions" or
"Gypsy Rover:  In this high-fidelity recording, we administer the Atomic
Drop to this pub standard, with the help of the Magnatone Chorus and EFX
by Mitch".  Treatments range from the very traditional to the very grungy,
a Gaelic mosh pit where you never know who will be knocking you down next,
the Chieftains, the Pogues, or Tupelo Chain Sex...I really really like
these guys. 


Knox, Chris -- Croaker (Flying Nun, 1991)
Knox, Chris -- Seizure (Flying Nun, 1990)

Solo stuff from the man behind Flying Nun mainstay Tall Dwarfs (finally
found it on CD, after years of looking).  Personally I prefer this stuff
to the Tall Dwarfs material gives you Knox's lunacy in a purer
form. For those of you who haven't heard him or the Dwarfs before, a good
frame of reference would probably be early solo Robyn Hitchcock.  A very
sparse, stripped down sound, all electric guitar and drum machine, with
lyrics that throw around ideas about insanity and sexuality in a manner
that seems really convoluted, inside-out compared to the way most people
think about these things.  Difference between Knox & Hitchcock is
Hitchcock always sounds too cute, like he's in on some joke that you're
not hip to...whereas with Knox, you get this creepy feeling that there is
no joke involved, that despite how weird and comical it is, that he's
serious, that he really thinks this way.  [NOTE:  These 2 CDs were 
reissued in the US on the Communion label as "Meat" (which has most of 
Seizure and Croaker) and a 10" EP "Not Given Lightly" (which has the 6 
songs that were left off of "Meat" plus a slight remix of "Not Given 
Lightly"). - Lena]


The Complete Stax/Volt Singles (Atlantic, 1991)

Since you've probably already heard all about this collection, I can be
brief.  Nine discs, probably almost fourteen hours of pure stinky Memphis
soul. Rufus Thomas, Booker T., Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding...this music has
been the launching point for everything from the Blues Brothers to
Parliament to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.  Really fucking


Martin Denny -- Exotica (The Best of Martin Denny) (Rhino, 1990)

Tiki room music from hell.  Summons up visions of palm trees, beaches,
vacuously smiling babes in grass skirts, and Mr. Howell at the table by
the piano in his white shoes, stirring his big pink girl drink with a
plastic flamingo while Mrs. Howell tries to find the pu-pu platter on the "SPECTRA-SONIC-SOUND...the ultimate in hi-fidelity". It's
amazing that this music can be so exotic, and yet still retain it's
inherent Whiteness. 


The Pogues -- Rum, Sodomy, & The Lash (WEA/Stiff, 1985)

A few pints of Guinness and this disc and I get this insane urge to go
berserk and break furniture.  (That would be my father's father's side
speaking, I think.) Irish folk music has always had the potential to be
as drunken and raucous as punk rock, but in practice, it always seems to
fall short.  I think part of that problem, at least in this country, is
that Irish music always attracts a large contingent of hippie computer
nerds and folk-geeks who still think quoting _The Hobbit_ at each other is
a great way to spend a Saturday night and who are perfectly happy with
whimsical Clancy Brothers ditties and other quaint acoustic music of the
Old Country... whereas everyone I know who is actually from Ireland
prefers their native music to lean toward the Stiff Little Fingers
variety.  The magic of the Pogues is that they can merge the
two...traditional Irish punk rock, dammit! Rabid romper stompers about
beer and whiskey and revolution and some girl you met long ago, and no
wussy charming ditties about the "Auld Sod".  No matter if you think they
suck now, when this album came out, they were definitely the shit.  [I 
thought this motherfucker was out of print!  A true classic! - Lena]


Rova Saxophone Quartet -- Saxophone Diplomacy (hat ART, 1990)

"Subversive" music, recorded on Rova's tour of the Soviet bloc in 1983, at
the height of the Reagan-era Cold War.  Four saxophones of various sizes
and shapes, producing something that is almost like jazz, almost like
classical woodwind quintet, almost like geese being electrocuted.  I'm
reminded at times of Albert Ayler, who improvised tenor madness around
regimented Sousa-like marches, at times of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, the
so-called "rocking chamber orchestra"...the whole mess reminds for some
reason of weird architecture...something about the way it seems like you
can see between the notes, the way it's so structured but so confusing at
the same time; don't ask me to explain that further, it's an analogy
that'd probably crumble if you stared at it too long. 


Thirteenth Floor Elevators -- Easter Everywhere (International Artists)
Roky Erickson & The Aliens -- The Evil One (Restless, 1981)

Not long after I bought _Easter Everywhere_ last spring, I had about one
of the most perfect moments a person can have.  My friend Ron was in town
from San Francisco, and of course we're trying to show him as much
Texas-ness as we can fit into a 5 day visit.  We drove down to Driftwood,
about 30 minutes southwest of Austin, to feast at the Salt Lick, a giant
old barn of a BBQ place, where for 7 or 8 bucks you sit yourself down at a
wooden picnic table and they bring you platters of ribs & sausage & beef
until you it's a dry county, so you get to bring in your
own beer of choice.  We feasted on dead flesh and Celis Pale Bock while
outside a monstrous April thunderstorm raged. 

We made our way back home after dark, ended up sprawled on the front porch
trying to digest, I put on the Elevators CD, and we sat there and finished
the Celis and watched the lightning as the storm moved off to the south. 
The music and the rain and the trees and the beer just synched up, there
was this eeriness to the whole scene that I've only ever felt in Texas,
like for a little while you could understand the special kind of madness
that grows around here.  Roky's voice echoed in from some East Texas
forest, and the electric jug became one with the sound of the rain that
occasionally blew in under the porch roof.  It was something that
approached a psychedelic experience, without the drugs, of being in some
other time or place. 

Ever since then I have been fascinated by Roky Erickson.  This guy led the
premier band of the Texas psychedelic scene, a scene in which the 60's
explorations that one normally associates with San Francisco took place in
the midst of one of the most conservative cultures in the country.  The
man's life has been a long odyssey of mental health facilities and
brilliant albums, worshipped as a cult hero while at the same time unable
to play a set of more than three songs before becoming confused and
intimidated by the audience and wandering offstage.  His songs on _The
Evil One_ are populated by ghosts and demons, horror scenarios that seem
to be a little more real to him than they should be.  He possesses that
certain charisma possessed only by the mentally unbalanced. 

Last spring Roky started coming out after a long period out of the public
eye.  I saw him at a party in the park, standing off to the side drinking
a beer with a couple of musician friends; he looked like a kind old man,
his mane streaked with grey...but there was a look in his eye, a
nervousness, that was...I don't know, not chilling, just, well, eerie,
like Charles Manson without the evil.  A couple of weeks later Roky played
a short set at a benefit at Antone's.  Three songs: "Don't Slander Me" &
"Starry Eyes" he pulled off brilliantly, then during "You're Gonna Miss
Me" he started forgetting the words.  Will Sexton kept singing them to
him, trying to jog his memory, but Roky couldn't quite catch it.  He spent
most of the song looking back at Sexton, nodding like he almost had it,
then turning to the mike and forgetting, and all the while he was trying
to smile, but there was a profound look of sadness and a bit of confusion
in his eye. 

The crowd, of course, went wild.

Ray Shea                               "I forget I look like this."
UniSQL, Inc.                                            -george clinton
DoD#372 : '88 Honda Hawk (borrowed)


From: (Tom Meyer)
Subject: Steve Albini Strikes Again (reprint from Chicago Reader)

[Um, we reprint this in an effort to stir some discussion, not just to 
repeat Sir Albini's words.  This is not intended to compete with the 
Chicago Reader.  I wish I had more info about the author of the original 
article to which Albini's letter replies, but I'm not in Chicago.  And 
the syndrome noted here seems to be fairly common in bigger press outlets 
- I cringe when I see "indie-rock" reviews in the New York Times 'cause 
the writers usually don't know jack shit about the music but they sure 
know how to wank on a keyboard... - Sean]

I don't know what you all think of him, but he sure is 'one of the
originals'. The letter is in response to a supposed 'Year-In-Review'
article in a local paper that basically turned out to be a promo for Liz
Phair, Urge Overkill and Smashing Pumpkins.

Paper : Chicago Reader, Jan 28, 1994
Title : "Three Pandering Sluts and Their Music Press Stooge"

Bill Wyman:

	The opening of you Year-In-Rock recap [Hitsville, January 7] is
one of the most brilliant bits of ass-forward thought I've seen in years.
If I read your heavily parenthetical English correctly, you are making the
case that Liz Phair, Urge Overkill and Smashing Pumpkins are somehow
unique in rock music because they are brazenly trying to sell records.

	You also intimate that anyone having a gripe about these artists'
calculated and overbearing hype barrage is being merely parochial or
petty. You dismiss this sort of discussion as "bullshit". Since I like
using words like "bullshit," and I am one of the people who sees nothing
of value in an of these three artists, I will gladly adopt the term as
shorthand for the position you argue against. 

	In your rush to pat these three pandering sluts on the heinie, you
miss what has been obvious to the "bullshit" crowd all along: These are
not "alternative" artists any more than their historical precursors. They
are by, of and for the mainstream. Liz Phair is Rickie Lee Jones (more
talked about than heard, a persona completely unrooted in substance and a
fucking chore to listen to, Smashing Pumpkins are REO Speedwagon
(stylistically appropriate for the current college party scene, but
ultimately insignificant) and Urge Overkill are Oingo Boingo (Weiners in
suits playing frat party rock, trying to tap a goofy trend that doesn't
even exist). You only think they are noteworthy now because some paid
publicist has told you they are, and you, fulfilling your obligation as
part of the publicity engine that drives the music industry, spurt about
them on cue. 

	You attempt tp validate you lionizing these frauds by referring to
other music critics, after owning up to the reality that these artists
don't get much respect from anybody else. In their day, their precursors
were considered (by tools like you and those you quote) to be the nuts.
That nobody gives a shit about them now is evidence that their appeal was
temporal, transitory and superficial, and further evidence the tools like
you (and them) don't know shit from fat meat. 

	Watching these three artists you moo about prostrate themselves
before the altar of publicity these last 12 months has been a source of
unrivaled hilarity here in the "bullshit" camp, and seeing them sink into
the obscurity they have earned by blowing their promo wads will be equally

	The "bullshit" characterization concluded your argument that the
music scene is tiny, and the perspective of other artists, independent
record companies, fans and the like are too insignificant to warrant
serious consideration. Look at the shoes you're standing in, big nuts.
Music press stooges like you tend to believe and repeat what other music
press stooges write, reinforcing each other's misconceptions as though the
tiny world you guys live in (imagine a world so small!) actually means
something to us on the outside. 

	Out here in the world, we have to pay for our records