50 million bulldogs
20 mountain goats
They all gathered round at sundown
Just to see my yellow coat


      Indie List Digest!

       April 17, 1995

     Volume 4   Number 25


more old shit that we shouldn't waste our time on...
Ex-Action Figures and other Wisconsin bands.
bob dole
ANNOUNCE: Rex tour!
ANNOUNCE: Burlingtonitus 2
ANOUNCE: TOUR-Zip Code Rapists/ US Saucer
ANNOUNCE: Benefit concert in Norman OK


Well it was a brief week of shows for me last week, but a immensely 
satisfying one at that.  I managed, through hook, sweat and dirty 
clothes, to attend three nights of a truly inspired four-day stretch at 
the Lounge Ax in Chicago.

Some of the acts are all too discussed in these (and closely allied) 
parts.  Guided by Voices captured my attention for two of the 
nights, with Bob Pollard providing his usual witty banter and stage 
antics to the gathered crowd.  They played most of the newest album, 
previewed a set of songs from their upcoming release (entitled "The 
Flying Party," or some such), and threw in a smattering of older 
stuff for the box set collectors in the audience.

For reasons too complex to go into here (suffice to say that 
management is NOT where it's at...) I missed the set of Mary 
Lou Lord, who opened the first night.  The second night Polara 
opened with their post-MBV dreampop soundscapes.  They're 
entertaining enough, but the songs tended to blur slightly, as 
though they were written in a brief space of time.  Quality, but not 
rapturous enough to last beyond a short set.  Some of this may have 
been the pacing from their set-list, which sort of lurched at the 
6th song.

That Saturday, Lounge Ax was again turned toward the Avant mixed with 
No Wave, as the disarming bill of Altered States, Ground Zero, James 
Chance & the Contortions and Gastr del Sol managed to wedge themselves 
into common breathing area.  Again, my time sense detracted from my 
catching more then 10 minutes of the prog-psych of Altered States, but 
I was in full awe of the Ground Zero set.  The ensemble's leader, 
Otomo Yoshide, is a player in the japanoise scene, and he and the 
ensemble did this title justice in their sojurn to our shores.  
Turntables, feedback, screaming, samples and the disruptive rhythms 
made the night more than worth my drive.

I wish I could have felt as good about James Chance & the 
Contortions.  While their gutter R&B is reasonably well executed, 
the lack of presence I felt from the band, combined with the 
cookie-cutter structure of the set, detracted strongly.  The vinyl 
releases are crucial to understanding some musical history - but the 
minstrel show was not.

Gastr del Sol have yet to fail me, and their performance that night 
was on par.  Opening as a six-piece ensemble (the largest grouping I've 
seen them in), for two new works, Gastr stripped down to the usual duo 
of Grubbs and O'Rourke to saunter through new and older stuff for the 
remainder of their set, breaking stride only slightly to change 
instrumentation.  Quiet, contemplative and wry music as can be 
expected from them.



From: Sean Murphy <grumpy@access.digex.net>
more old shit that we shouldn't waste our time on...

So, I found my way into the new-ish branch of Phantasmagoria Records 
in Dupont Circle tonight and promptly was freaked out by the 
hyper-organization of their records (plastic dividers for nearly every 
band in the stacks).  I was also pleased that they file EVERYTHING 
together - no "jazz" section, no "rap" section - Coltrane sits right 
next to Sam Cooke, and that's next to Alice Cooper, just like my 
record collection.  And, I found a few items that I had essentially 
given up on finding...

Laurie Anderson, "O Superman" 12" (Warner Bros., 1981)

Fits in with my Meredith Monk records and that bizarrely wonderful 
"Regional Zeal" spoken word compilation.  This was one of her first 
"major" releases (in terms of being noticed by the rest of the world).  
"O Superman" is minimal, sparse, with eerie vocoder effects, and some 
simple-sounding lyrics that leave you scratching your head for a good 
10 minutes after the piece ends.  The B-side, "Walking The Dog," isn't 
quite as good but still pretty interesting.  Certainly worth picking 
up if you can find it for the a-side...  *1/2

Coil, Scatology (Force & Form, 1983?)

First LP for Coil, and light years away from their recent material or 
their intensely depressing version of "Tainted Love." This one shows 
their Throbbing Gristle origins rather strongly and also makes me want 
to go check out some early Foetus material, as Mr.  Thirwell's mitts 
are all over the record.  Dark.  Minimal.  Pounding.  Oppressive.  
Nine Inch Nails aspires to create the mood that this album induces in 
a listener, but fails miserably when confronted with the real thing.  

Some records that weren't incredibly hard to find, but also worth 
purchasing when you see them:

Antietam, _Comes Alive_ (XXX, 1992) and Rope-A-Dope (Homestead, 1994)

What the hell am I supposed to say? Simply wonderful.  Tim's bass is 
strong and melodic just the way I like it, Tara's guitar is just doing 
everything right (solos that emerge without sounding forced, rhythms 
that slide around and propel you effortlessly across songs), and the 
drumming is clear and convincing without calling attention to itself.  
_Comes Alive_ was recorded in '91 at CBGB's, Rope-A-Dope is the 
latest studio effort.  Both are great, though Rope-A-Dope might be 
better for the unfamiliar listener - the mix and the vocals are more 
consistent, and if you don't grab a hold of "Silver Solace" and just 
drop everything you're doing while it's playing and simultaneously 
forget that it's 10 minutes long, then I can't help you too much.  
Definitely independent, hardly "indie." ** each.

Spacemen 3, _Sound Of Confusion_ (Fire, 1986) and _Taking Drugs to 
Make Music to Take Drugs to_ (Father Yod/Forced Exposure, 1992)

I lump these partly because I just found vinyl copies of both of these 
up in New Jersey, and partly because they are the closest-sounding of 
all the Spacemen LPs.  _Taking Drugs..._ is a recording of an early 
demo session, where the Spacemen run through most of what becomes the 
Sound of Confusion LP, plus a wired version of "Walking with Jesus." 
The title of the record really might capture the true essence of the 
band, but even for those of us who don't challenge federal and state 
narcotics laws, the songs are strong and convincing in their drone and 
buzz.  _Sound of Confusion_ is a little more polished, their first 
true LP, and it features a cover of the 13th Floor Elevators' 
"Rollercoaster" which captures all the intensity of the original, 
while stamping it with the Spacemen sound, too.

They were never the most original band in the universe (slews of cover 
songs, often unattributed, and much of what they were doing musically 
had been done already), but they did their thing better than anyone 
who's come since (Loop, Spectrum, Spiritualized, Stereolab, Ride, to 
name a few mining some of this territory).  ** each.

And just so I don't feel like a totally retro piece of shit...

Lois, _Bet The Sky_ (K, 1995)

It's another Lois LP, and that means it's a) wonderfully funny and 
uplifting and sad at the same time; and b) too damn short.  Buy it on 
vinyl, folks - this can't possibly clock more than 30 minutes, and the 
cover photo of Lois' mom on a backyard swing is really cool (and 
therefore looks better on the larger packaging).  Heather Dunn 
(ex-Tiger Trap) handles the drumming duties admirably - a different 
style than Molly Neuman or Pat Maley, but hitting just the right spots 
in the songs.  A little happier on the whole than Strumpet - maybe 
moving back in Olympia has been a good thing (though DC still misses 
her very much).  **, and see her live at your earliest opportunity - 
the stage banter is the key, as is Lois' new "rap" section in 
"Strumpet," in the tradition of James Brown and Isaac Hayes.

Dis- / Panel Donor split 7" (Lombardi, p.o. box 2564, Madison, WI 53701)

Yay...  more recorded material from Dis-...  Milwaukee's kings of 
bizarro song titles throw another one at the crowd - "Suddenly 
Everyone's A Smoker" - wrapped around a song which fits nicely into 
the context of their most recent LP (the one with the Library of 
Congress call number - M386.057).  Ends VERY COLD! Could have been 2 
minutes longer, and I probably wouldn't have noticed.  (That's a good 
sign.) Oh yeah, the sound? A little more acoustic/clean guitar than 
usual, some of that soft-loud-soft-loud thing, has some definite 
bob-and-weave (as opposed to head-nodding) sections.  I realize that 
makes it sound pretty dull - it's NOT.  (A little muddy-sounding, 
though...  not characteristic of the fuckin' derd niffer's basement 

On the b-side is Panel Donor, a band from Lawrence, KS.  Edgy but 
groovin, interesting mid-song shifts, but NOT "math rock" per se.  I'm 
worn out by the end of the song, but need to listen to it again 
immediately, if you understand that feeling.  (wow.  inarticulate 
much?) Anyway, I don't have their record on Lotuspool, so I can't 
really compare it to that, but if you like creative rock music (no 
mistaking this for pop or lounge or anything remotely wimpy), this 
should fit the bill.

Combined effort: *3/4.  Slightly better SQ on the Dis- side would 
have helped, though it doesn't hide the song or anything...  just 
reminds me that they're a great live band.

I was gonna talk about Boogie Down Productions, too (been listening to 
"By All Means Necessary" and "Ghetto Music" a lot recently), but that 
fits better into my thought patterns for Finley Breeze #4...  the 
suggested theme is soul, and submissions are due in my mailbox by 
the end of April.

Grumpy Sean



From: rob@skool.ssec.wisc.edu (Robert Jacob)
Ex-Action Figures and other Wisconsin bands.

There's a couple of Madison bands with new releases I've been meaning 
to rave about.  Here they are:

The Ex-Action Figures: "Autobeauty/Famous for a Second" (Pinkslider, 
125 Craig Av, Madison, WI, 53705) and "The Great Divide/Lightbulb" ( 
Mafia Money Records, PO Box 8562, Madison, WI, 53708-8562) 
Two almost simultaneous releases by a local trio that really surprised 
me with their increadible hookiness.  I'd seen them live several times 
but those shows only hinted at the quirk-pop sensibilities of these 
two singles.  The standout is easily "The Great Divide" which won me 
over in the first 30 seconds.  These guys have been listening to their 
Guided By Voices records.  Cheap Trick too!

Danger Prone Daphne: "Drunk/Wintergreen" (Dental Records, 742 Baltzell 
St., Madison, WI, 53711)
DPD is almost a Madison institution.  They make no bones about their 
Superchunk influence but theres a lot of of mid-'80s Minneapolis sound 
in them as well.  "Drunk" is fire-em-up run through about the 
aftermath of a drunken spree: "I've been sleeping on the floor/ I've 
been spinnin' on the carousel.  .  .".  "Wintergreen" is almost a 
power ballad and the band seems a bit sheepish over the very Smashing 
Pumpkins-like sound.  (Especially the vocals.) But don't let that 
discourage you.  There's a very cool picture of some '50s-era 
wrestlers on the cover -- a motif that Mike Watt will probably get all 
the credit for starting.

And from Green Bay...

Boris the Sprinkler "Male Model/Superball Eyes" and "(do you wanna) 
Grilled Cheese/Bad Guy Reaction" (Bulge Records, POB 1173, Green Bay) 
These two singles aren't so new but I haven't seen them mentioned 
here.  BtS plays punk rock with a straightforwardness and 
unselfconciousness (and sense of humor) that I haven't seen anywhere 
else.  Live, the band is tight, fast, and melodic.  The impossibly 
thin Rev.  Norb handles the vocals and usually performs wearing a 
football helmet with antlers glued to the top.  The Undertones cover 
is true to the source (although about two times faster).  The very 
poppy "Grilled Cheese" would be a huge number one hit if this was a 
better world.  (They also have a CD out called "Eight Testacled Pogo 

I maintain an email list for madison club shows.  To subscribe, send 
the message: subscribe madmusic Your Name in the body of a letter to 
listproc@scrap.ssec.wisc.edu The subject line can be anything.

Or you can see it on the WWW:  

Rob Jacob


From: dann medin <DLM94001@UConnVM.UConn.Edu>
bob dole. eep eep eep eep eep eep.

loud music fest, northampton mass. part deux.

th final blowout day, w/continuous live music from 10 am to 1 am.  
josh & i took th groggy route, sleeping in a bit and drinking much 
coffee.  we stayed w/a very nice grandmother named mary peters, a last 
second random shelter that ended up working out perfectly.  after a 
couple of hours of travel stories and old photographs, we lighted up a 
couple of cloves (that is, josh & i.  duh.) and walked th 1/4 mile 
into town.  it all started out w/an informal acoustic performance by 
andrew eggs @ main street records (highly recommended indie/vinyl 
shopping place)...

andrew eggs
he sat down on a chair w/a composition book & a cup of juice in th 
back of th store.  people would walk by him to check out th 
jazz/classical section while he was playing, a very casual atmosphere.  
most of th material that he played will be featured on an upcoming 
solo album, although he added in a beautiful cover song by a band 
called moodus (?) & did a version of "pit of spikes," from th last 
eggs cd, disco part and all.  i really got into this; andrew was tres 
emotional and shy (in an appealing, humble, mary lou lord type of 
way), and th acoustic guitar allowed his lyrics to stand out and be 
appreciated fr what it actually is...  good songwriting.  excellent.

jen & cynthia (ruby falls)
jen sang some solo songs, and cynthia read some poetry.  seana syrup's 
other band, called something like "frankeneater," had not shown up.  
really pretty stuff; ruby falls is an awesome band.  unfortunately, we 
didn't get to see them again (although they played) cuz i had to hand 
out alias stuff @ th small show.  ruby falls is on tour in th central 
u.s./east coast for th next few weeks, i would really recommend seeing 
them live.  they are not only great musicians, but very sweet people 
as well.  and sweet people are always a plus.

ran up to th north star to finally see them live.  i've always had a 
weird sort of affection fr this band...  if my favorite songs off of 
each album were released @ once, i would probably love them.  but 
they're not.  so i use them fr mix tapes.  but anyways, a nice little 
jam in a tiny stageless club called th north star.  bad acoustics, but 
an awesome friendly crowd of beautiful people, and great renditions of 
"eb" and "true zero hook" made th set worthwhile.

yikes.  i'm running out of order here.  tizzy was after jen & cynthia.  
anyways, one of th most improved up & coming bands outta th east coast 
right now.  (my favorite non-lp/kinda new bands in this area also 
include vitapup, syrup, and karate if you were wondering.) great poppy 
punky punk pop.  jen's voice sounds a little bit like jenny toomey's, 
but a bit better.  she also plays neat bass lines, and lotsa energy 
from both th drummer & guitarist as well make them a band most 
definitely worth seeing.  they have a 7" out now that was reviewed 
last digest, which i'm sure is fantastic.  they will be playing a risd 
coffeehouse (i think that it's free) in providence on may 5th.  email 
me for details.

got to run to class. to be continued...


From: Cecemtrix@AOL.COM
ANNOUNCE: Rex tour!

Rex will be doing a week of shows with the Laughing Hyenas, then a 
handful with the Grifters, so y'know, GO CHECK 'EM OUT! Guitar, bass, 
CELLO, and drums (courtesy of Codeine's Doug Scharin) intermingle 
beautifully in the territory occupied by Tortoise, the Palace Bros, 
Idaho, and, well, Codeine.  I'm sure some of you will be going to see 
the Hyenas or the Grifters anyway, so please do your best to get their 

And the dates are....

Tu  4/18  Club Midnite, Baltimore, w/Hyenas
Th  4/20  9:30 Club, DC, w/Hyenas
Sa  4/22  Twisters, Richmond, w/Fireworks
Su  4/23  Lizard & Snake, Chapel Hill, w/Fireworks & Coral

Tu  5/02  Cicero's, St Louis, w/Love 666
We  5/03  Gabe's, Iowa City, w/Grifters
Th  5/04  First Ave, Minneapolis, w/Grifters & Bottle Rockets
Fr  5/05  Empty Bottle, Chicago, w/Grifters
Sa  5/06  tba, Madison or Milwaukee
Su  5/07  Blind Pig, Champaign, w/Grifters
M0  5/08  Euclid Tavern, Cleveland, w/Tortoise & Sea & Cake
Tu  5/09  tba Pittsburgh
We  5/10  Blind Pig, Ann Arbor
Th  5/11  tba Toronto
Sa  5/13  tba Portland, Maine

the end


From: BradFub@aol.com
ANNOUNCE: Burlingtonitus 2

You're Invited To...
The Second Indie-Invitational in Vermont

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,
April 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, 1995
at Toast, Club 242, and Metronome
in Burlington, Vermont, USA

Last year, we invited over a dozen of our favorite bands from around 
the country (and Canada) to take part in a three show indie-festival 
here in beautiful Burlington, Vermont.  The fest was called 
Burlingtonitus and it was tons of fun.  We're doin' it again, and this 
year promises to be even better than last.  We've made some changes, 
asked some bands back, and invited a whole bunch of new bands to make 
the trip.

Friday, April 21st             Saturday, April 22nd        Sunday,April 23rd
Toast, 165 Church              Club 242, 242 Main St.      Metronome,188 Main
Doors Open at 8 p.m.            Doors Open at 8 p.m.       Doors Open at 7 p.m.

the Stand GT                    Tulips						Chisel          
Tuscadero                       Yum Yum Tree				the Van Pelt 
Pest 5000                       Blast Off Country Style     Radio to Saturn
Eef                             huffy						Madelines              
Tizzy                           Tugboat Annie               Buddy Sevaris
the Smiles
All three shows are all ages events, and admission is $5 each night.  
Three-day passes are available in advance for $10 at Tones Music, 150A 
Church St., Burlington.  Burlingtonitus is a non-profit event, with 
all money being divided equally among the bands.  Like last year, the 
fest is being recorded for posterity, and this year a video 
documentary is being filmed, too.

Burlingtonitus 2 is brought to you by Vermont's Sudden Shame Records 
and Club Fub Records, with the generous help of the folks at:
WRUV-FM 90.1 Burlington  CKUT-FM 90.3 Montreal  Eclipse Recording
Low Tech Studios         Stamen Studios         Tones Music     
Duckworth T-Shirts

For more info and other questions, call (802) 865-9282 or email:


From: Amarillo2@aol.com
ANOUNCE: TOUR-Zip Code Rapists/ US Saucer

These fine Amarillo bands are heading east for a handful of shows.  
Please stop by if you are close.

April 20--Blacksburg, VA-The Cellar
April 21--Duke University, NC-Duke Coffeehouse
April 22--Swarthmore, PA-Swarthmore College
April 23--NYC-Under Acme
April 24--Boston, MA-Green St. Cafe/Grill? (US Saucer 1st)

NC's Pine State are opening all shows.

Also, the ZCR's reunion CD ep "94124" will be out next week.  Look for 
it at the usual sources.



From: Robert S. Boss <limbocaf@ionet.net>
ANNOUNCE: Benefit concert in Norman OK

Vital Information:

On April 22nd at the Sooner Theatre in Norman, Oklahoma,


will perform a benefit concert in memory of their friend Dale 

Proceeds go to the Triangle Association, for the care and comfort of 
AIDS victims in the Oklahoma City area.



The Indie-List Digest is published weekly (Mondays) or more often by 
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