See how the cows start to shine like light bulbs...


      Indie List Digest!

         May 1, 1995

     Volume 4   Number 26


pop music and drama
LMF continued...
ANNOUNCE: Ruby Falls dates
AD: Spring releases on Sonic Bubblegum.
AD: Charlotte, NC venue

For those who might have worried (ha!), we didn't fall off the face of the 
earth.  But with comittments and all the rest that snuck up on us, we 
took a week off unanticipatedly.

In the meantime, some of those comittments were musical, which Anne 
summarizes below. -es

Silkworm, April 24, Second Story, Bloomington, Ind.

Showed up way too early for this show, as normally happens in 
Bloomington, as usually the members of the opening bands make a 
point of wandering around the club drinking beer till they're good 
and ready to play. Half an hour and a Subway sandwich later we came 
back halfway through a set by local scenesters Daisy Glaze. They 
were sort of The Pixies-meet-X-Ray-Spex for the '90s, complete with 
a violin player. I did not like them very much; however, it was 
amusing to learn from other audience members that they sell their 
own practice tapes through their own personal zine. Email me for 
details [I dare you -es].

Silkworm seemed a little subdued, although whether that is their 
normal stage demeanor I can't say. They might have been put off by 
the inertia of the audience, I suppose. Mostly they played stuff 
from 'Libertine', with occasional references to their first album, 
which, they gleefully reminded us, was out of print [but due to be 
reissued next year (?) on Matador.  Finally! -es], and one song 
from 'In the West', a bone-chilling version of "Garden City Blues" 
that was mostly propelled by the drums. I really enjoyed this show, 
which was marred only by a bizarre altercation between two members 
of the audience who got into a bit of a shouting match with the 
bartender. Just as one of the irked couple got up and started 
marching indignantly to the bar, his date barked after him: "Norman, 
don't be so hard-headed!" Words to live by...

Five days later we were on the road yet again, bound for a Saturday 
night in Chicago of girls and guitars.  First stop was the Fireside 
Bowl, where The Smears were opening up for the unfortuately named Butt 
Trumpet.  The local band, MU330, (or "RU486" as someone called them) 
was a ska outfit that included a trombone.  Lots of kids with 
porcupine hairdos seemed to like them.

The Smears, on the first night of yet another East Coast tour, 
played a somewhat expurgated set because one of their mothers was in 
the audience. I guess enthusiasts of "Cum into My Mouth" were sadly 
disappointed. Their garage rock stompin' is still sort of sloppy, 
but they're learning how to bellow effectively. 

Butt Trumpet summed up their own sound nicely: "Just give us four 
chords and a nursery rhyme, and I think we've got it," they told the 
audience fairly early in the set. Anthemic pop-punk, catchy in a 
petulant sort of way. Notable songs: "I Hate You," a song about 
divorce, and "Diarrhea." Fill in the blanks yourself. [Pick hit of 
the evening - "I wanna be on Epitaph".  And they could be - 
they're clever, hooky, fun.  Much better than I had anticipated from 
their name.  Some of the music betrayed a "young songwriting" 
structure, taking the form of rants against those who had slighted 
the protaganist (ala John Trubee, actually), but the bulk of it was 
a great time -es]

We moseyed along to the Sabalon Glitz/Helium Show at Lounge Ax, where 
people were wedged in from wall to wall.  We missed Ruby Falls [see 
below] and arrived early on during Sabalon Glitz, who specialize in 
drony, hypnotic guitar sound with dark, dramatic-sounding vocals.  I 
found myself staring endlessly at the synchronized twinkling of the 
Christmas lights hung above the stage, which I suppose was the effect 
they wanted.  Last song involved endless crunching of the same riff 
and the lead vocalist giving most of her attention to a theremin, and 
it went on far too long. [I disagree...  While the songs were long, 
and based strikingly in a droney tradition, they rarely seemed too 
long to my ears. The over-drama the band seemed to hope to inspire 
was the only drawback I felt in their performance... -es]

After an endless wait, Helium appeared, playing to what seemed to be 
an adoring audience. Many people swear by this band, particularly by 
the talents of leader Mary Timony, but I am not one of them. 
After about four songs I lost interest in the mid-tempo tunes, not 
particularly imaginative melodies, and Timony's sleepy, soft voice. 
Disappointing. [I found them only slightly in the disappointing 
realm.  I felt Mary Timony's guitar work was indeed interesting - 
detuned and herky-jerky (although the late 20th C whiteguy in me 
wonders if I would have been as "interested" if Mary Timony were 
Martin Timony...) - and the band sufficiently tight.  If I had a 
problem with the performance, it was in the mix of the vocals where 
we were pressed up against the wall, such that Timony's voice was 
buried so only the breathlessness of it was heard. -es]


pop music and drama

First off, I hope I'm not breaking some sort of unwritten rule by 
reviewing some records on major labels.  Some of these bands did their 
fair share of time on indies and just because they've moved to a major 
doesn't mean these aren't good records and they don't deserve to be 
purposely overlooked.  In all fairness though, I'm not giving you the 
addresses of the majors.  They're big boys and can fend for 
themselves.  Besides, it's good that they spend their advertising $$ 
on music that deserves it for a change.  Also, the line between indie 
and major is a little blurred and I'm just here to steer you towards 
some great pop records.  So first some record reviews, then a live 
review and perhaps a funny story before bedtime.

[The general ruling of the Indie List editorial staff is that we try 
to limit ourselves in our zeal to expunge major content to "within 
reason".  That said, we do draw some lines, and some stuff gets 
dropped in that mix of subjective and objective content control (only 
the author knows for sure...).  The major review listed herein does 
pertain to the larger topics of indie v.  major...  c.f.  the FAQ for 
more details...  -es]

palace-west palm beach /gulf shores (drag city): there is a certain 
formula for reviewing palace records.  first you stuff your favorite 
pipe, then you sink back into your favorite overstuffed chair (this is 
assuming you remembered to turn on the record.) now just sorta let it 
wash over you.  nobody ever promised you that will oldham's voice was 
pretty, but the music is heartfelt and relaxing.  of course you'll 
find yourself sitting in your chair long after the record is over, 
wondering just what you can put on next that will make you feel as 
good as that last record did.

the magnetic fields- all the umbrellas in london/rats in the garbage 
of the western world (merge): While Magnetic Fields records may be 
casio-driven, they're not necessarily simple.  While they may be 
driven by despair, they still seem bouncy at times.  And this can lead 
to a very interesting combination,as shown by these songs.  I predict 
that even though Stephin sounds depressed, he's not about to string 
himself up a la Ian Curtis, in which case we can look forward to more 
of this stuff from the sad-pop niche that Magnetic Fields have carved 
out for themselves.

Radiolaria-s/t (juanita records): a 4 song ep by a band right here in 
my hometown of Cincinnati.  I was a little worried at first.  You 
usually have to hang around a place for a while before you find out 
which are the good bands (as opposed to the cool ones.) This is a 
really good first effort.  It does have the boy/girl strum pop thing 
going, which may be getting a bit over done these days.  Still it is 
refreshing to hear this kinda music while it still shows enthusiasm.  
This record shows enthusiasm, and none of it gets lost through over 
production.  Order this off-kilter little gem right from 'em and make 
their day, and yours, too.

bunnygrunt-inanimate objects/fish of life (march): the exuberance of 
bunnygrunt's particular form of happy pop is hard to beat.  the a-side 
is one of those perfect little 3 minute ditties complete with 
wonderful harmonies and cool guitar solo.  the b-side seems to forgo 
those harmonies in favor of the guitar solo, which is still cool, but 
i like the a-side little better.  all told, i wouldn't miss this 
single if i were you.

wilco-am (reprise):by now everybody knows that this is Jeff Tweedy 
from Uncle Tupelo's new band.  UT records can be spotty in parts, even 
their best one, Anodyne.  Regardless Anodyne was a band who had found 
their niche.  What's missing on this record is the slower, melancholia 
of Jay Farrar's songs.  Not that Jeff Tweedy is a bad songwriter.  On 
the contrary, this is a great record.  A lot of fun.  It still retains 
the midwest charm and there's nothing bad about it.  Box Full of 
Letters or Pick Up the Change should be singles.  I just miss Jay 
Farrar's voice now and then.

the mad scene-sealight (merge): there is a certain bit of tension in 
these quiet pop songs.  this is the second lp by hamish kilgour and 
friends.  one of the things i like about new zealand pop is that 
they're not afraid to use other instruments besides the guitar bass 
drums axis.  just the right amount of horns and keyboards, accentuate 
these songs making for another great record from the fertile little 
island in the south pacific.

Suddenly,Tammy!-we get there when we do (warner/reprise):this is the 
perfect example of how the move to a major can benefit a band.  this 
is a wonderful lp that will probably see better distribution and 
better advertising than they could have gotten on a smaller label.  
and yet this record loses none of it's slightly left of mainstream 
charm.  while the lack of guitars may be a gimmick with other bands it 
just seems natural here.  the piano is a nice lead instrument and the 
band works well together.  this is an lp full of swell pop songs.  in 
a perfect world songs like "not that dumb" would knock that sheryl 
crow crap right off the airwaves.

lilys - eccsame the photon band (spinart): quiet and spacy, this 
record is as comfortable as your favorite t-shirt.  this record is 
certainly more akin to the first lilys record (the near impossible to 
find, "in the presence of nothing") than to the more recent ep ("a 
brief history...") let's hope that since we haven't heard anything out 
of MBV, people will have forgotten about all that shoegazer stuff and 
we won't have to suffer through those comparisons..anymore.

epic soundtracks-sleeping star (bar none): i believe this is epic 
soundtrack's 2nd solo record and it's a good record.  it really is, 
but well,it's safe.  there is some really good stuff on here but 
absolutely nothing groundbreaking.  if anything it's alot like say 
t-bone burnette or lloyd cole records.  they're good for a little 
while, then after that you just find yourself not listening to them 


I missed the fiirst half of Clifford Nevernew's set because I was 
outside getting a breath of fresh air.  I came in and immediately went 
back outside for alot of fresh air.  Next time I'll just come out 
later.  I was glad to finally get to see bunnygrunt.  on their records 
they sound like they're all about 16, and I'll be damned if they 
didn't look much older.  That's good because if a guy as old as me 
jumped around on stage and had as much fun as they did, it would look 
pretty silly.  Bunnygrunt were simply charming.  And it was quite 
amusing to see the bass player throw fuck yea!s and hell yea's back at 
the frat boys in front between songs.  Obviously most people were here 
to see Lazy.  I saw them once right after I got here, and thought they 
were OK.  Kinda wished I'd have gotten up to GB when I had the 
chance.  But tonight, they were ON.  They were really having a good 
time.  The drummer was drumming super-hard, the guitar was churning, 
the frat boys were gone (or at least subdued) and the crowd was really 
into it.  And when the bass player girl sang "I gotta, gotta crush on 
you", I went weak in the knees.

Bar None po box 1704 hoboken,nj 07030
Drag City pobox 476876 chicago, il 60647
juanita records 2569 w. mcmicken #2 cincinnati oh 45214
Merge Records po box 1235 chapel hill, nc 27514
March records po box578396 chicago,il 60657
SpinArt Records po box 1798 NYC 10156-1798

Remember to e-mail me for info on a cool zine about pop music and drama.

And now this:Just a story that I thought I would share with you: My 
pet tarantula,and this story's tenuous link to indie-pop, Calvin, has 
departed from this sphere.  This traumatizing event took place three 
days ago.  I had a hard time coming to grips with my emotions over the 
whole affair.  I must have been in a complete state of denial because 
i told my girlfriend that he got away.  All in all, it=92s been pretty 
hard to keep a straight face as she shakes out her underwear and shoes 
each morning before putting them on.

                                                              dave@mal. risk

I was listening to Smog "Sewn to the sky" while I typed this.  I 
finally found it!


From: DLM94001@UConnVM.UConn.Edu
LMF continued...

hello.  before continuing & concluding the loud music fest saga, 
thought i'd drop a line on some of the good stuff out there right now.  
i've always enjoyed the geographical aspect of independent music: 
being able to get into great bands from d.c., north carolina, olympia, 
san diego, etc.  assuming that there are other like-minded readers out 
there right now, thought that i'd send out some props for northeast 
bands that deserve 'em, that might not be getting the attention that 
they fully deserve wherever one may be reading this.  in this respect, 
i once again call attention to nyc's vitapup, on tour now w/kaia (team 
dresch).  if an opportunity to see them exists, i advise following 
through.  likewise w/ruby falls.  ahem.  also, a call to attention for 
two very delicious 45s that are further advertised below.  syrup usa 
is one of my favorite boston bands right now, and their 1st 7" is 
finally available.  i actually prefer this to seana's work w/the 
swirlies, if this is any indication as to how yummy this platter be.  
the other boston band i've been digging has also recently been alotted 
funds to put out vinyl, karate.  and belatedly & deservingly.  
hopefully, the 3 or 4 shows that they did w/fugazi will get them the 
recognition that they've well been worthy of (on a less regional 
basis) for over a year now.  write to those addresses, and check 'em 
out.  ok.  northampton...

delta 72: ran all the way from the north star after small in order to 
make it to this on time.  a big fan of kim thompson's recorded 
material w/cupid car club (altho i'm still trying to find someone 
w/getaway car stuff), josh & i were quite excited to see her new kill 
rock stars/dischord band.  maybe our expectations were to high.  or 
maybe the whole fashion/image aspect of some music today has been 
getting overly irritating.  either way, we were disap- pointed.  kim 
had her basic open bass lines & yelps, the guitarist reminded me of a 
not-so-good john spencer imitation; reiterating the same slide guitar 
lines over & over, there was a keyboardist that was ok but pretty 
repeditive, and the drummer actually kept the whole thing together.  
it wasn't horrible, just not that good.  who knows.  the single should 
be out next month.  hopefully they will grow, or become more creative 
w/their song structures.  we'll see.

the lune: had been recommended to see this band, and took advantage of 
their timely time slot.  i was completely unprepared by what had to be 
my favorite never-seen-before and overall one of the best and most 
creative bands playing the l.m.f.  they opened up w/something unique 
enough, a trio consisting of acoustic guitar, snare w/brushes & doo 
raggish bass drum (something like a cardboard box), and alternating 
trumpet.  w/in 15 minutes, an accordion and a slab of wood had made 
appearances as well.  and to top it off, the highlight was their 
electric set.  i don't know how to describe their sound, the musicians 
were all fantastic (easily the best drummer of the evening).  nothing 
very heavy, nothing particularly familiar.  just plain damn good & 
grooving.  left me smiling and happy, especially when josh came in 
w/cookies to eat (supper time).  then it was time to hike again.

luca brasi: back at the north star, a little bit of unprepared for 
disorganization.  apparently, the swirlies (the only band we would 
have missed karate for) had already cancelled.  unfortunately, we 
didn't know this until syrup was done playing.  so the entire time 
that we were watching luca brasi, all i could think was "shit, they're 
playing 25 minutes over, what's going on?" although they were tight 
and relatively good, i was impatient & bored & thought that all of 
their songs sounded the same.  good energy, it just didn't appeal to 

syrup: this band gets tighter and tighter and better and better every 
time that i see them.  there seemed to be a relatively descent sized 
crowd of swirlies fans there to see them, which was cool.  best of 
all, tho, i think that it's finally time to drop the FEATURING SEANA 
FROM THE SWIRLIES label.  syrup has come into their own as a fantastic 
and fun band, equally entertaining & one quarter of the sound.  played 
their usual songs and sold lots of 7"s, which was nice.  a fun show.  
pick up the vinyl.  or hop on to their mailing list.  good music to 
have crushes to, or just be plain wistful about.

spent: had only heard the song on the now sounds comp previously.  
nice mature pop from n.y.c.  now on merge.  as josh pointed out, it 
wasn't any formula we hadn't heard before (or this weekend), but it 
was done nicely.  if anything, a little over-polished.  the vocals 
were my favorite part, they all have their own styles (one of them 
bears a shocking resemblence to a suicidal calvin k's), and sing 
pretty harmonies.  pleasant would be the word.

roger miller: hol-eeee shit.  i'm 20 years old.  this leaves me a 
generation behind the whole mission of burma thing (not to make anyone 
feel old [hey! -es], if anything, it makes me feel really ignorant).  
this was beyond anything we could have expected.  playing through a 
loop machine, he'd work in 3-4 riffs @ once, complete w/eerie vocals, 
much intensity, and even a sun-ra cover.  yikes.  left me glued to the 
back of my chair & looking @ josh w/my jaw dropped @ the end of every 
song.  amazing.

versus: most of the people in the crowded iron horse were pretty 
psyched for the next two bands.  versus is among my favorites live as 
well, and as usual, could not disappoint.  i love their new material.  
i don't know what else to say.  i assume & recommend all fans of punk 
& pop to (have) see them.

small factory: weird...  i never really liked them a lot.  i loved 
certain songs here and there, mostly their ballads, but usually got 
bored by the similar song structures.  i guess that this is probably 
illegal.  we were both ready to leave early if bored.  i assume that i 
now know why everyone likes them so much.  the set must have been over 
40 minutes, but went by like half-a-minute.  found myself 
unconsciously dancing & bobbing my head up and down, in love w/the 
entire atmosphere.  a very energetic, entertaining set.  big fat eye 
opener for dann.  a good finale to a fun weekend.

although a little unorganized @ times, the entire l.m.f.  went off 
nicely.  if any complaints @ all, it would probably be a wish for more 
diversity in the bands performing.  a little more of the heavier 
stuff.  part of the reason i ached for yo-yo this summer was the 
opportunity of seeing karp, built to spill, and mary lou lord in one 
afternoon.  but nothing short of a good time @ a fair price.

been listening to the new muffs a bit.  since they're on reprise, i 
suppose that they'll be on tour w/you-know-who soon...  but that's all 
right.  the kids need to hear kim's screamin & whinin.  the karate and 
syrup usa 7"s are also fabulous.  the lune split w/karate is great 
too.  neat.  next time, action heros: live reviews fr fugazi, unwound, 
karate, today is the day, lois, weston, & more.  rock on.

damn.  i lost the addresses for the karate 7" & split w/the lune.  
options: will add in next week's issue, be sure to look for: great 
music well worth it.  especially recommended.  somewhere between...  
ehhh.  can't compare them to anyone.  good for both pop, indie, punk, 
whoever you be.  for info on their upcoming shows or impatient mailing 
addresses, email cool...  syrup 7" postpaid $4 (a 
little heavy, but worthwhile.).  send checks, m.o., cash to orrin 
anderson; c/o tru luv recordings 43 hano st.  allston, ma 02134.  er, 
syrup usa also has a mailing list.  be sure tofind out what's up, ask 
to subscribe by sending a note.

dann medin; oxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxox

"i had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, 
three for society." -henry david therou


From: dann medin <DLM94001@UConnVM.UConn.Edu>
ANNOUNCE: for the propogation of the deserved

ruby falls is now on tour.  they have songs on villa villuka (ex-kill 
rock *s), pop narcotic, n more.  eagerly anticipating 6song ep/cd 
entitled "what she does." if you can get to any of these shows, let me 
know what you thought, or just review it fr good 'ole i-l.  //// 
later.  xoxo, dann.

RUBY FALLS may tour dates:
01 fonddulac, wi w/ezra pound (not the dead nazi supporter, i assume)
02 iowa city, io state women's center
03 minneanapolis, mn @ uptown w/period & bean girl
04 minneanapolis, mn
05 columbia, mo w/vitapup
06 louisville, ky derby party (?) @ some warehouse w/crain, vitapup, delta 72..
07 muncie, in w/tortoise, vitapup
08 bloomington, in @ some party
10 athens, oh @ a film festival
11 nashville, tn @ lucy's record shop
13 chattanooga, tn @ barking legs theater
15 memphis, tn @ barristers
17 new orleans @ some house party
18 gainesville, fl @ covered dish w/jennyanykind
19 pensacola, fl @ sluggo's
20 biloxi, ms
21 tallahasse,fl @ waterworks
22 athens, ga @ atomic music hall

if you need directions/addt'l info for any of the above shows, email 
me @  i'm keeping in touch w/them & will 
make sure that you find out where to go.  as far as their recordings 
go, fr info write ruby falls @ p.o.  box 162 peter stuyvesant station 
nyc 10009.  thanks.


From: (Mike Hibarger)
AD: Spring releases on Sonic Bubblegum.

Sonic Bubblegum is proud to announce another batch of irresistable 
Spring releases.  First up is from a band that includes Indie List 
Archivist, Chris Karlof.  His fine band is Analogue and they have a 
great new 7" which highlights their deeply personal 'quiet' rock.  
Melodic basslines, plaintive vocals and tricky figures (Chris is a 
Math major afterall), but not to be confused w/ math rock.  As an 
added bonus, the sleeve is a spectacular 'die cut' thing "for the 
collector scum in you".

Our second release is from Tugboat Annie.  The Buffalo pop combo's 
Superfriends CD is the perfect bouncy soundtrack for this Spring.

And on the opposite end of the Sonic Bubblegum spectrum is the second 
full-length from the Tulips entitled _Night of the Hunter_.  Dark, 
brooding music for late nights, a much more melodic and musical outing 
for this noisy Boston bunch of boys and girls.

Send e-mail to for a complete catalog
and ordering information.


From: Erik Christensen <>
AD: Charlotte, NC venue

New live music venue: The Tremont Music Hall is now in operation.  We 
are located at 400 West Tremont Ave.  in Charlotte, NC, USA.  Capacity 
800, in-house sound & lights, etc.  We do all types of music, though 
primarily rock of some sort (modern / indie / country / hard / pop / 
heavy / grunge / alternative / swamp / metal / & roll, etc.) 
Self-booking, with occasional shows by outside promoters.  Send kits 
to : The Tremont Music Hall; POB 9485; Charlotte, NC USA 28299.  Phone 
is 704-343-9494 general, 704-343-9432 booking.  If calling please do 
so Monday or Thursday afternoons, eastern USA time.  Ask for Erik or 
Penny.  Email Hope to see you there !


   Next Issue:
     Another view of the Loud Music Fest
     AMiniature, Versus, Seam and more
     your scene...?

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