You're cracking jokes, you're breaking my heart.


      Indie List Digest!

        April 9, 1995

     Volume 4   Number 24



pop music and drama
lois show, and more.
explanations, loud music fest, semiotics
Shellac, Kustomized,
A Week in Rock, or, My life at the Middle East
ANNOUNCE: gabba gabba hey

from the bag o'editrix: 
with a bout with the alien flu bug behind me, i spent the weekend 
listening to various and sundry new music, including:

- CD, The Continental Drifters, which came out last year, but which i 
was introduced to in New Orleans.  The CDrifters include Peter 
Holsapple and Susan Cowsill, and most of the material consists of 
twangy versions of their own (Peter does "invisible boyfriend" in a 
singularly dBs kind of way) and other people's songs.  it strikes a 
pleasing mixture of country (guitarist Vicki Peterson's "mixed 
messages" and the gram parsons cover "a song for you") and soul (a 
cover of "soul deep," a song made famous by the box tops, and drummer 
Carla Nuccio's "new york").  it's not indie rawk (it's way PRODUCED, 
kids), but it's still good music.  (Monkey Hill Records, New Orleans)

-7", Robyn Hitchcock, "I Something You," a not unexpectedly 
rougher-sounding mix courtesy of Calvin Johnson. It's still not one 
of my favorite songs, but I bought it for the sheer novelty of the 
juxtaposition of Fegmania and Olympia. The B-side, "Man with a 
Woman's Shadow" is a better song with a similarly austere 
arrangement. Kinda fun. (K Records, you-know-where)

-double 7", "All Kindsa Girls Vol.  2," a sampler of girl (not really 
grrl) bands from the U.S.  and Europe.  Features Cub, whose songs have 
always struck me as pleasant but a little flat; Lemon Babies, 
beehive-inspired '60s-ish pop from Germany, complete with doo-wahs; 
Hollywood's Miniskirt Mob, who completely reflect the influences they 
"say hi" to in the liner notes, Blondie and Cherry Vanilla; and Pink 
Kross, from Scotland, whose grinding, repetitive, fuzzed-out riffs and 
unintelligible vocals did absolutely nothing for me.  (Munster 
Records, Madrid, Spain)

play nice, now.


pop music and drama

Greetings from the house of Risk! As I send this I'm listening to that 
cool Gutterball record from a couple of years ago.  Don't know the 
name as someone taped it for me!

Here's some reviews:

chris mars-tenterhooks (bar none); apparently chris' record company 
gave him a recording studio and he's spent a shitload of time goofing 
around in it.  the press kit would have you believe this is a very 
eclectic pop album.  i would have you believe this is a good record 
with splashes of pop thrown in along with damn near anything else you 
might think of.  obviously chris is having a great time with his new 
studio, and it shows through on this record.  (and fun is a good thing 
to show through on a record unless you're recording tchaikovsky 
concerto no.1 or something.) plus there is the distinct advantage this 
record has over paul westerberg records in that mars doesn't care if 
he sounds like a replacements record or not.

spdfgh-grassroots (dirt); first off, let it be known that this band 
should get the prize for worst band name.  this 5-song ep, on the 
other hand, comes off quite nicely.  ranging from sorta folky to sorta 
punky to laid back noodling, this record is just indie enough to be 
accepted in some circles and hated in others.  if you can get past 
that whole thing, you'll find this ep refreshing, and the between-song 
patter gives it just the right "recorded live in the studio" feel.

blumfeld-l'etat et moi (big cat); this record has some fine melodies 
ranging from smiths-like pop to heavier punk flavor.  it's a pretty 
cool record, and i'd be tempted to sing along, if i knew German.  then 
i probably wouldn't want to because it's supposed to be very 
politically fueled.  except for the spoken word piece, which seems 
kinda pointless, i like everything on this record.

smog-wild love (drag city); getting a new smog record always makes me 
happy.  getting the new smog record as a promo early for review makes 
me deliriously happy.  this new smog record sends me to heights of 
euphoria only hinted at bef ore.  it's not that much more accessible, 
but it's extremely easy to listen to.  cyndi dall seems to be a more 
or less permanent member now, and even though she doesnt play on every 
song her 'invaluable guidance' may have something do with the way this 
one feels.  or it may not.  i don't know.

these animal men - (Come On, Join) The High Society (vernon yard); oh, 
great, another record by these animal men.  (insert snort of 
digust/laughter here) even though they're from england, they remind me 
of green day, who remind me of a band from england.  so if you like 
green day, you'll probably like these animal men.  with my luck, 
they'll probably become as big as green day.  the only way this will 
remain tolerable is if it never makes it to a jukebox.

bob wiseman- in~by~of (bar none);this sort of reminds me of that chris 
mars record i reviewed earlier in that these guys are both ex-members 
of bands that their solo records sound absolutely nothing like.  (bob 
is from blue rodeo.) that and the fact that they arrived in the same 
package keeps them indelibly stamped together in my mind.  this record 
is more in the "rock" vein and doesn't quite have as much gadgetry 
thrown in, but it is very eclectic with no two songs sounding at all 
alike.  so i gues both lps are kinda the same.  bob is certainly not 
afraid to tackle very difficult themes, including naming an 
anti-semitic lawyer and his clients by name and telling a rapist that 
"prison is too good for him." this record is not to be missed.

ivy-realistic(seed): this record had every reason to wimp out: pretty 
french singer; history of, well, not exactly heavy records; and a 
valentine's day release date.  well, it doesn't wimp out.  oh, it's 
light and pretty and for lovers, even when she sings "I can be a 
monster if I want to." all told it holds up a lot better than i 
thought it might.

AND NOW A FEW THOUGHTS ON POP MUSIC: This may sound a bit stupid to 
you, but I can compare pop songs to clouds.  Some of them are light 
and fluffy.  They really have no purpose but to hang around out there 
and be pretty.  Some of them are quite large and they hang around up 
there, and they're really big and they always somehow remind you of 
something.  And they're pretty, also.  And then some of them roll 
around and get a bit dark around the edges, and sometimes let out a 
crack of thunder and they're there right on the foreground all day.  
They sit there and brood and you can't forget them even if you don't 
think about them.  And then there's the ones that boil and stomp and 
crash and bowl you right over.  And they howl and rip through your day 
(and life), and you can't think of anything else.  Then they throw out 
a big bolt of lightning, and you ask yourself "Jeez, why's he got to 
hit so close to home?" And then the clouds part and the sun comes 
shining through and that song makes you grin from ear to ear.  and the 
world is right.  And that's just one thing that pop music means to me.

WHATEVER: For info on pop music and drama, e-mail me!

bar-none records po 1704 hoboken nj 07030 dirt records knickerbocker 
station po 1053 NY 10002-9998 drag city po 476867 chicago, il 60647 
seed records 14 east 60th st.  ny 10022 big cat records po 2020 ny 
10013 vernon yard-they don't even print the address on the promo tapes 
they send out, so i guess you're supposed to swallow the crap fed to 
you in the press kits, where you will undoubtably find the address.  
don't worry, you don't want this anyway!

*There is something boozy about the 3/4 time signature.  The missing 
1/4 gives you 6 hours to get drunk, and typically that's just enough 
time.  Later you can laugh or cry.* -miracle legion


From: cutie pie <>
lois show, and more.

okay, so i am sure most of the free world knows lois is on tour.  yay! 
woo! of course, as usual, when i plunked my $ down to get in to see 
the show last friday, march 31st, i got more than i bargained for.  
first kaia of team dresch played.  she was really great; she did an 
acoustic set, all up on stage by herself, and though she really tried 
audience participation, i am afraid the dc jaded audience fell short.  
i think maybe we disappointed her more than the other way 
around....she was on tour with the fabulous VITAPUP, whom i was at 
first scared to see, thinking that maybe they would be a band of hyper 
puppies....but they were incredibly intense and LOUD.  it was the one 
time i regretted not wearing earphones.  they had energy, they alluded 
back to my hardcore days, it was pure high school memories actually.  
with them was JANE, a wonderful songstress/spoken word girl whom i 
think will have an album out sometime soon, on regolith, so write them 
at regolith records c/o spa studio, suite 10, 54 west 21st, NY, NY 
10010.  her voice was soulful and sexy and she just blew me away.  i 
could have gone home right there, but no i had to stay for the 
magnetic fields....whom i was pleased as punch to see, and they did 
all my favorite songs, except maybe "beach a boop boop" from the long 
vermont roads 7".....and then lois came on, goddess that she is.  
unfotunatly, i got thrown on the floor by an overeager girl who 
obviously was much bigger than me, so i had to go home after a few 
songs (wimp that i am) but from what i saw lois was as beutiful and as 
great as i have ever seen her.


From: dann medin <DLM94001@UConnVM.UConn.Edu>
explanations, loud music fest, semiotics

greetings.  between th most recent submission of finley & a couple of 
notes that i've received in th past month, i thought that a brief 
explanation would be a good thing.  ok, 1st finley #3...  it took me 
over a month to realize that what i wrote was not particularly well 
written, and more of a reaction to th atmosphere here in december.  
semi-political rantings aimed @ most of th people on campus here was 
not th best way to interpret th theme of "instinct vs theory." chalk 
it up to ugly mood swings.  i apologize; it made me realize how 
difficult it is to try and utilize satire over th net...  too little 
sarcasm & nobody picks it up, too much and it risks either being 
obnoxious or misinterpreted.  maybe both.  wheee.

as far as my style goes, it has come to my attention that in some 
cases it may be difficult fr people reading quickly to understand what 
i'm saying when i shorten or misspell words.  (ex.  "said" as "sed", 
"new" as "nu", blah blah blah) i type quickly and make no compromises 
fr semantic political correctness.  i will however attempt to go 
halfway and limit miswritings to th words "fr" (for) & "th" (the), 
which are th most difficult to quit out of habit.  ok? yay.  enough.  
this is stoopid.  er, stupid.

before northampton, i had th lucky pleasure to catch two of my 
(really) favorite live bands on tour together twice in th same week.  
trenchmouth and candy machine recently trekked th east coast, two of 
th shows among them being trinity college (in hartford, ct) & th 
middle east (cambridge, ma).  i really don't have much to say.  fr 
those that have never seen either band, they both live up to th 
expectations of excellent musicianship, driving percussives, and a 
great deal of vocal intensity.  that's about it.  recommended music: 
cm's most recent release, "a modest proposal"; t-mouth: i enjoy their 
last one "inside th future" th most, although this in no way hinders 
"vs.  th light of th sun." both bands are on skene!, underrated punk 
label of th year.

loud music fest; northampton, mass. 3.30-4.01.
borrowed bus fare and last-second housing allowed this trip to happen.  
in chronological order, th bands that i saw:

(since there were different bands playing @ different venues @ 
different times, it's really not worth listing th venues that we 
switched between every night.  th clubs we went to were th ironhorse, 
pearl st, & north star.)

dirt merchants: from boston, pretty good.  rodan-esque w/good female 
vox.  only thing that bummed me out was that whenever they would get 
into these cool noisy segments, instead of going w/it, th song would 
end.  i wanna see them in 6 months again...  have th feeling that they 
may become much better.

polara: all th way from minnesota, started off slow & picked up by th 
3rd song ("letter bomb").  energy pop, lotsa fun.  th 
guitarist/vocalist was excellent, th whole band played well.  liked em 
when th girl guitarist/ weird keyboardist would harmonize or sing 
"lalalala"s especially.  cool dood.

helium: played one of my favorite's offa new record, "medusa." even 
did oldies like "xxx" & "lucy." as usual, made me wanna cry & drop 
dead.  really got into them as a BAND this time, not just mary.  th 
biggest difference between this & th last time that i saw them.

shudder to think: every time i see them, it's a hit or miss show.  
this was a hit.  silly craig jokes & older material helped out.  fun.  
they even played a new song.

quivvver: every time i see them, they get better & better.  rock 
stuff, sloppy drunk girls from beantown.  "mermaid" is a cool tune.  
set shortened by (ooooo!) bomb scare.

zeke fiddler: liked them ok.  they appeal more to a raunchy old dino 
jr.  crowd.  th drummer was lots of fun to watch.  after their time 
was up, he was still going crazy, & zeke (guitarist/vocalist) held out 
his hands fr th sticks.  th drummer made a crabapple face & put them 
down himself.  yay.

fuzzy: liked th new cd ok & wanted to see them fr a while.  
unfortunately, th vocal monitors were kinda drowned out & th harmonies 
couldn't be heard.  th girls are both great guitar players & have 
wonderful cutesy voices; it was a shame th sound person didn't notice.  
they played "bill" which made me happy, but my favorite ("sports") was 
left out.

dambuilders: not only th best time that i've ever seen them, but one 
of th best performances of th weekend.  i've always dug them live, but 
never expected to see them jumping off of equipment, falling into each 
other, & throwing an instrument on th floor after th last song.  very 
intense.  great renditions of older material; "copsucker" opened up th 
set w/eric (guitar) flying off of th vocal monitor.  since they came 
all th way from th west coast (recording fr next album) fr this show, 
they were better rehearsed on th new songs, and got a good audience 
response.  (a little too good from over-enthusiastic fratboys) look 
out fr "velocidud." amazing.

ok, enough fr now.  am psyched to hear th new godhead silo (kill rock 
stars) cd.  mostly been listening to old sonic youth reissues lately.  
oh, and new bunnygrunt cd is #1 (deservingly) @ th station.  count on 
th upcoming cd making a lot of noise, they are getting bigger every 
second.  cool.  next time, finale of l.m.f.  '95, an entire day of 
live music featuring acoustic andrew eggs, syrup, versus, small, 
spent, small factory, & much more.  yay.  plus today is th day, boys 
vs.  girls, fugazi, unwound, & lois.  much good music coming up.  me 
happy boy.

finally, if you get th chance, check out vitapup & kaia (from team 
dresch) on tour now.  vitapup left nyc fr their 1st u.s.  sojourn ever 
this week & most definitely deserve to be seen.  one of th 
best"new"live bands to see.

xoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxox-dann medin/
cliches on th new quicksand: "cut to th quick","rain on my parade","thorn in
my side", etc. etc. etc. duh.


Shellac, Kustomized,

An evening of entertainment in Boston

Shellac - Middle East  Downstairs  Wed March 29
"Let's go see Shellac and see what Steve Albini looks like!" I missed 
the opening band - next was Kustomized.  Kurt is very cute behind the 
drums in a V-neck T shirt.  I loved him as a front man for Bullet 
LaVolta; nobody could spit 20 feet in the air and catch it in his 
mouth like he could, I mean nobody.  He's the flint for this current 
bank-I have a special affection for a fellow Hoosier.

Mr.  Albini is an interesting fellow with interesting things to say to 
the audience.  let's start with his-and bandmates'-witty quips: Robert 
the bass player saw someone in the aud.  with a notebook open-"What's 
that? an appointment book? Put that away! Oh, I see you're a critic."

Todd the drummer leaps up to give us the dictionary version complete 
with etymology--"one who knows nothing about which he speaks" OK, 
what's the hothead gonna say? With a comic's timing and a guitar wank 
"Rock critics? there's nothing wrong with rock can put a 
bag over their head, bend 'em over a piano and fuck 'em just like 
anybody else."

Later that same evening: ":I hear they make alot of porn films in 
Boston...Oh, wait it's that Don Law book a lot of rock shows, that's 
it....I knew it had something to do with getting fucked."

Close to the edge-literally-with guitar, drums, bass in a line at the 
front of the stage-and in your face-Steve's one of those skinny guys 
with a rapid-fire metabolism and a lot to say (so much for what he 
looks like).  During the question and answer period-while Mr.  A 
changed a string-we got alot of vital information--Robert conducted 
the proceedings...."'ll have to ask Steve....  
no....yes...yes...  you already asked a question, put your hand 
down...twelve hundred, to only put out vinyl is elitist, 
we're not elitist..."

so what about the music? Let's not kid ourselves that this is the 
only thing drawing us to rock bands; however I really liked the 
band.  high energy, attitude, a great sound and great sound(you know 
the difference) and a great drummer.  Well, ya know, like, drummers 
are sorta like, ya know, like air.........  If they' re good, you 
don't notice, if they're bad they stink and ruin everything, if 
they're great the're more than one-third of a three piece.  Such was 
the case with Shellac.

All four songs on two singles were played: #1 Uranus: Doris Wingwalker 
#2 The Rude Gesture, a pictorial history, The Guy who invented Fire, 
Rambler Song, Billiard Player Song, Whatever he's got on his guitar 
works -crisp, clear, lots of well-placed feedback as if exactly on 
purpose (I was told you can do whatever you want as long as you do it 
on purpose.  This is true in music and applies to other endeavors as 
well) I couldn't see to verify, but somebody said his guitar was 
strapped to his skinny waist and not over his shoulder--so he could 
easily make his body into the shape of a plane for Wingwalker.

I saw the show, They got twelve hundred bucks.  I got a good show, I 
bought two singles.  Ain't that what touring is all about? I listen to 
Shellac on my way to work each morning, a pahhy obsession for this 
week anyway.  Doris has a great drum part that opens the song and is 
infectious.  Wingwalker is a mock fest of performance art....or is it? 
When he screams "It's my art!" I think of NEA-denied whiners.  But the 
image of a wingwalker, woman on a bi-plane, leaping around--is not one 
of lightweight-spoken-word yam-fest.  Hence--------tension.  This is a 
good thing in art.  I think I'd see Shellac again.  I think I'd buy 
more product.



From: "LePageL/MF" <LePageL/>
A Week in Rock, or, My life at the Middle East

The week that rocked yours truly: I went to a show every night last 
week (hey, I was biorhythmically disposed).  I could go on and on, but 
in order to avoid overwhelming everyone, I'll try limit my remarks to 
bands that were either new to me, or who were especially good.

TUESDAY: Charlie Chesterman, Rattleheater, Honey Dogs, Austin Texas at 
Middle East

Charlie C: rockin' but perfunctory.  I think it was after his bedtime.

Rattle Heater: As I've said before, these guys keep getting better and 
better (and I'm not just saying that cuz Al is on this list).  Along 
with their hits "Day of Atonement" and "Stay Away From My Daughter," 
the band pulled off a few new ones including a funk number "nitwits" 
and a doo-wop experiment introduced as "our Boys2Men song" (actual 
title "chain link fence)." (Thankfully, it bore very little 
resemblance to aforementioned.) Needless to say, the new stuff is a 
departure from their usual material, which can only be classified as 
punk--OK, nice punk, stomping around grinning punk.  Front man Al 
Janik always looks like he's on the edge of endurance (or the end of 
his leash), lurching forward, staggering back, collapsing to the 
floor, (mock shod foot to the head from bass player-a tense 
moment-Al's shocked at such violence!), and then back on his feet like 
a jack-in-the-box, ready for more.  Musically, it's a kick.  And 
always, they give you a show to go with it.

Coming from the Twin Cities is never a bad thing in the music biz and 
St.  Paul's Honey Dogs definitely have that heartland sound.  They're 
pure country rock like Steve Earle used to be, and while they don't 
really have the tunes to back it up, they do have a killer twin lead 
guitar attack to make you forget all about their deficiencies.  They 
also got a cd, but I didn't buy it.  Maybe another indie-lister will 

Austin Texas opened.  They were very young.  They had a violinist and 
a cellist in addition to the usual stringed mainstays.  And while none 
too proficient on their instruments, their Lyle 
Lovett-meets-yer-kid-brother guitar player had a happy knack for manic 
guitar lunacy disguised as guitar solos that saved them.  "Indie Rock 
Girl" was my favorite wherein the boys got all mad at said girl and 
then Lyle took it out on his guitar.

WEDNESDAY: Chavez, Kustomized, Shellac at Middle East

Seen NY'S Chavez before and they left me undecided.  Picking up where 
we left off, they sounded fine for at least four songs, and then I 
started to get bored, and then I decided that their songs didn't 
really go anywhere, and finally I concluded that they didn't know when 
to quit -- and this last despite the certain knowledge that Kustomized 
would be up next!

I had vowed to say nothing more about Kustomized, but I'm gonna break 
that vow to say that while I used to think they were awful, I now 
think they're merely mediocre anachronisms with one good song: "The 
Day I Had Some Fun." Which, ironically enough, is something they never 
seem to be having live.

Shellac were great.  Steve Albini rules ok.  And someone else is 
writing up this show so I won't bother myself.

THURSDAY: Tizzy, Sugar Plant, Fuzzy, Dambuilders at Middle East

My pick for show of the week.  This was Bill Peregoy's Pop Narcotic 
night, always a good time, and as usual, a stellar lineup.  I missed 
half of Tizzy because I confused them with Twig, whom I don't care 
about.  This was too bad because Tizzy are great, a noisy little trio 
with a girl singer/bassist whose heartfelt delivery is refreshing.  I 
bought their single: "New Jersey"/ "Betty and Veronica" -- excellent 
songs that really capture Tizzy's live enthusiasm.

Sugar Plant: All the way from Japan, Sugar Plant had an endearing 
presence despite a few performance glitches (the singer seemed a 
little new to guitar and the guitarist new to harmony singing).  They 
ironed these problems out after a few songs and rewarded patience with 
beautiful, delicate pop songs awash in lush waves of guitar.  Galaxie 
500 comparisons are apt, but Sugar Plant have a prettier sound, like 
cherry blossoms in the breeze.  Their cd _Hiding Place_ is on Pop Narc 
and well worth picking up.

Fuzzy: Can these humans rock! I had seen them previously and was 
annoyed at how overwhelmingly loud they were (I still blame the sound 
man, at least partly).  But obviously, Fuzzy like it that way.  This 
time the sound was mixed so you could hear the vocals, and they 
sounded great.  I especially enjoyed the Beach Boys cover (didn't know 
it, unfortunately).

Dambuilders: Everyone knows these guys, right? Joan Wasser wore baby 
blue satin stretch pants with a bright blue midriff top.  She swigged 
Bud and chewed gum with her mouth open.  When she threw her hips, all 
the guys in the front row fell over.  (Not really.) And they ripped 
the guts out of everything they played-- a mix of older tunes (are 
they ever going to retire "Candy Guts"?) along with some really good 
new stuff.  I never got a strong sense of Encendedor, probably 
because so much of it was familiar, but the songs I heard in this set 
made me think the next album is going to take us to another level.  
"Parking Lot" rules.  One of the great live bands.

FRIDAY: Spent, Small Factory, Versus at TTs

After a very strange opening tune (sung by the other guitarist in that 
ultra-slow Bedhead style), Spent cranked back up to 45 RPM and gave us 
something to nod our heads to.  I liked 'em fine, but I would like to 
see their lead guitarist get past carefully picking out her prepared 
lead lines and into improvising more.  They could easily cross the 
threshold into noisier territory and be better for it, but so far, 
they're taking the safe route.  (Their "Keeping Secrets" 7" is yummy.)

Small Factory played to a packed house, uncomfortably so.  I can't 
believe that they've somehow gotten too big for the room, so I guess a 
few Versus fans were contributing to the general cohesion.  Alex had 
to be cajoled at first, but he revived after some coaxing from Phoebe 
and sf played a good, if not incendiary set.  We were tired.  They 
looked tired too (something about 4 shows in 48 hours, which is too 
many I think).  (I guess everybody played Loud Music out in 
Northampton.) (At some point, everything becomes parenthetical.)

I heard Versus from the bar, and so cannot comment.  For every song 
they do that I love, there is one that I could care less about.  And 
their shows seem to carry me along on the same rollercoaster.
Wow, it's been fun reliving it all.  I hope next time to actually 
write up a few records.



ANNOUNCE: gabba gabba hey

THE RAMONES will be playing at my school, Longwood College, in 
Farmville VA on Sunday, April 30, at 7 PM outside on Lankford Mall.

The show is actually going to be FREE! and free pizza will be 
available! Rain location is Iler Gym.  If anyone wants more 
information, please e-mail me

at also, if you want a copy of QUILT, my
                               'zine, let me know!  oh, don't get the l's and
                               the 1's mixed up in the address.

                                jennie fennell

Next Week:

    Sean reviews a bunch of classics
    Eric reviews a live experience

The Indie-List Digest is published weekly (Mondays) or more often by 
the Indie-List Infotainment Junta, Unltd.

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