...in a castle of meanings, not things...


      Indie List Digest!

        June 14, 1995

     Volume 4   Number 31


Prospective Records 7''ers 
The Long Secret
7"s and Live Music
ANNOUNCE: subscriptions to imr
ANNOUNCE: i'm a playground person
ANNOUNCE: for paper airplane pilots
AD: "Kitsch 'n' Sync" Compilation CD

Here's the latest I-L straight to your e-mail box, a few days late 
(or is it a day early?), but better than ever.

in the news: eric & i spent the weekend in Chicago apartment 
hunting, as our move up north becomes more and more imminent (well, 
in a couple of months, if that's imminent). met I-L contributor Ben 
Ewens at the Belgian Waffles!/Dragking/Flying Luttenbachers gig on 
Saturday, but couldn't stay for the whole thing. and we got our 
monthly fix at Ajax Records, so maybe i'll be able to write some 
bona fide reviews soon. not before this weekend, though--the stress 
of moving has me going to bed at 9:30 every night. can anybody relate?

onward and oldward,

general stuff roundup: 

 - Ben Ohmart <FindLine@ix.netcom.com> is looking 
   for a collaborator for some sort of a Rock Opera.

 - Molly-Ann Leikin <songmd@earthlink.net> bills herself as a 
   "songwriting consultant", ready to help the aspiring among, er, us 
   win a grammy or emmy or trophy of some sort.  She's got a page at 
   http://www.earthlink.net/~songmd/ for those who might be, er, 

 - jj <recordsfan@aol.com> wanted to clarify for the 
   economic-sense-impaired that the singles advertised by him last 
   week are $3.50 each.  Seems pretty obvious, you'd think.  But 
 - And Liv Ungermark <LIV@p3.sr.se> writes to ask "...a band that wrote a 
   short great song - Car on fire: what do they do now, the three 
   x-Monsterland guys ???"



From: bqm1808@is.NYU.EDU (Brendon Macaraeg)
Prospective Records 7''ers 

What's that you say? 1000+ members on this list! Oh fer shame, fer 
shame! There is so much good music out there...well, maybe I shouldn't 
talk as I've only posted once before.  But summer's here and I should 
have more time now for music listening and posting to various mailing 

Before I go into my review in any depth, I wanted to express the JOY 
and HAPPINESS I have experienced since buying a brand-spanking-new 
turntable.  It's a TEAC.  I got it new for $98 (including tax) at J&R 
Music World here in NYC.

Over the spring break in March I visited my mom in Utah, where I grew 
up, and brought my vinyl collection back to NYC.

I miss BIG ART and BIG lyric sheets.  Plus, it always seems that I can 
get rare stuff and import-only on vinyl.  Another plus.

Vinyl is making or will make a comeback, I predict.  Of course, I could 
be wrong.  CDs just stink in terms of artwork.

[not necessarily, I'll point out.  In particular, some artists who 
have followed in the Bruce Licher/IPR school of packaging (heavy 
stock, letterpress, clean design) have made some beautiful designs.  I 
point the contemporary reader to the Rachel's CD for substantiation.  

A couple of months ago I received some 7"ers from a lable in 
Minneapolis called Prospective.  I can finally listen to them with the 
TEAC.  Yippppeee!

Here's a quick rundown (sorry if these bands have been discussed on 
here, but I don't think they have):

February-- "Bliss";"Into Red" ---EXCELLENT stuff.  What would happen 
if Blind Mr.  Jones/Slowdive were to work in a bit of the wistfulness 
of 10,000 Maniacs? There's a nice mix of flanged/swirling atmospheric 
guitars and a female voice (just "Amy" on the sleeve) riding them.  
Nice.  Amy sounds nothing like Natalie Merchant, so please don't let 
that comparison throw you off.

Deep Shag --"Always a Turn On"; "Hey You".  Okay, we're two for two.  
This is melodic pop-noise in a Pixies vein with a female voice.  Nice.  
Really polished too (some of the demo stuff I get is very amateurish) 
and these people can write a damn good pop song.  I can't quite make 
out the lyrics with the buzzing quitars and the crashing rythm 
section, but I like what I hear.  In "Hey You" Lisa Parker switches 
off singing with one of the other male band members.

Siscera -- "No Name"; "Fragments" ---more nice atmosphereic rock; the 
guitarist is picking out a dreamy melody line that crunches into some 
power chords, then back to the dreamy guitar line, but more distorted 
and edgy the second time around.  The vocals again are on top and 
distinct.  Jennifer Jurgens also has a great voice. On "Fragments" it 
sounds like Siscera is going for a Phil Spector wall of sound.  Works 
for me.

Backbeat-wise this reminds me of the Beach Boys or the theme from 
"Wild Safari".  In the middle of the tune Jurgens goes into a little 
spoken-word thing--someone talking to themselves about a dream they 
had.  Then the tune ends, with the distorto guitars fading.  Cool.

Wow. 3 for 3. :-)

Colfax Abbey: "Chameleon"; "Silver".
More futzed with guitars swooshing and swirling around the vocal by 
Christian Rangle, with an acoustic strumming fighting to be heard among 
the din.  Strong drumming, propulsive bass.  This is my thing.

Over Barcelona (formerly She):"On a Star"; "November First" I guess I 
have to thank Sanz Lashley, Over Barcelona's manager, for getting me 
these singles.  Sanz saw my post for my WWW ezine Dreampop on the 4AD 
mailing list (Dreampop is out of commission for the summer as I rework 
the layout and content to a format that I can more easily update on a 
regular basis.  I'll post something here to let y'all know when you 
can poke your Webbed heads in again).

The production isn't as refined as the forementioned singles, but 
perhaps the brittleness adds something, especially on "November 
First", which at first reminds me musically of early Velvet 
Underground and Jesus and Mary Chain ala "Darklands".  "On a Star" is 
straight-ahead pop, but there's a lot of nice distotion used as a 
coloring between the simultaneous male female vocals.

You can send email to bighat@ripco.com to request more info about Over 
Barcelona. (I think this is Sanz's email address..not sure.)

Okay, last one:

Shapeshifter: "plectrum"; "more than were"
YOW! I get tired of reading umpteen reviews of bands that are remotely 
MBV-ish, but these folks hit the proverbial nail on the head with 
"plectrum".  This is a BIG sounding tune with the guitar grinding away 
full throttle, with little sonic flourishes at the edge of the mix (I 
listen to my music on headphones a lot).  I can't tell what's going on 
with the lyrics underneath; at first I thought I had to switch to 
45 rpm, but no that didn't sound right either.

"more than were" reminds me of "pornography"-era Cure (and that's a 
good thing; "pornography" is one of my favorite Cure albums).  It's 
plods a bit at first with some guitar noddling somewhere out there 
over the horizon.  Hurm...it plods all the way, but it's a nice 
plodding :-).  I wouldn't want to listen to a whole LP of this, 

Not the most upbeat way to end this batch of reviews, but there ya go.

I am into bands like Ride, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins, Blind Mr.  Jones, 
Love Spirals Downwards, JAMC, Curve and other stuff like Patti Smith, 
VU.  So if you like any of these, my definite recommends would be 
Colfax Abbey and Februrary and Shapeshifter.  I liked all 7 of these 
7"ers but these three stood out.

If you are interested in any of this stuff (you should be--it's GOOD),

Prospective Records
2217 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
ph: 612-874-2418

P.S.  There's a nice attention to detail in the packaging with 
inserted stickers and invites to be on the band's mailing lists in a 
couple of these.  Hopefully Prospective will put out a compilation as 
these bands all go well together in a one-shot listening.  Maybe they 
have one and I just don't know about it.


                                Brendon Macaraeg
bqm1808@is.nyu.edu                    brendon355@aol.com


From: lroberts@bellahs.com (Laurence Roberts RD)
The Long Secret -- Harriet Records Compiliation

I picked up a copy of this CD with 17 tracks by bands from Harriet 
Records.  Being a Harriet neophyte, rather than collector scum, I 
can't tell you whether this is a compilation of tracks from singles 
or new stuff.  There's a comment that "none except #17 [the Magnetic 
Fields track] have appeared before on plastic." Does plastic=CD? Is 
vinyl a kind of plastic?

There's an essay inside summarizing the plot of _Harriet the Spy_, and 
making an analogy between bands in this scene who have learned to "put 
love into the world" vs.  the likes of NIN and GG Allin.  But is the 
namedropping Tully Craft song "Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend's Too 
Stupid to Know About" about love for humanity, or just a bratty 
indie-rock taunt against bands that were indie five years ago?

Stephin Merritt appears a couple times, once in the guise of the 
Gothic Archies singing "The Abandoned Castle of My Soul," and another 
time with Susan Anway singing under the name of The Magnetic Fields 
with "Plant White Roses."



From: "LePageL/MF" <LePageL/MF@hermes.bc.edu>
June Miscellany (7"s and Live Music)

My Seven Inch Roundup

None of these is exactly new, but they're so good, I felt obliged to 
pass them along.  Call it a semi-annual report.

Cibo Matto: "Birthday Cake" / "Black (H)ole Sun"
(El Diablo, P.O. Box 146, Village Station, NYC, NY 10014-9998)

Cibo Matto's hip hop number "Birthday Cake" would be worth it just to 
hear Miho yell "I don't give a flying fuckazo!" but it's better than 
that -- a hilarious vocal, rockin' organ riff, and plenty of out-there 
samples.  The b-side covers Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," effecting 
quite a major transformation from heavy to ethereal.  Cibo Matto are 
two young Japanese women living in NYC, and their whimisical 
enthusiasm for life is enviable (they wish Italy was in New Jersey so 
they could enjoy great food without moving.) The interview in 
Chickfactor #8 is high-level entertainment.

The Summer Hits: 1000 Moments of Natural Flotation  Silver Girl
(Silver Girl, P.O. Box 161024, San Diego CA  92176)

A '60s mod trio is placed into cryogenic sleep pods, fed continuous 
drip pop music throughout hibernation, and then reawakened in 1995.  
The result is this record.  Breezy pop songs from another era layered 
with lots and lots of postmodern guitar.  "Mod Cinema" is my 
favorite-the echoey production makes it sound like it was recorded in 
an empty ballroom and the twisted organ is right out of Carnival of 

Palace Brothers: "West Palm Beach" / "Gulf Shores" 
(Palace Records c/o Drag City, P.O. Box 476867, Chicago IL  60647)

Palace come down out of the woods and stumble into town -- a Florida 
resort town during the off-season.  Both songs find our hero 
lingering, with his end-of-season blues and leftover girl, the future 
just another setting sun.  Beset with lethargy and regret, the loser 
struggles vaguely, unsuccessfully, with what's left.  He admonishes 
his girl: "You have laid here by the water side.  You have let the 
family down." But we know who he's really talking to.

Plush: "Three Quarters Blind Eyes" / "Found a Little Baby" (Drag City)

Two gorgeous post-Beatle pop classics, so good that you wonder what it 
would be like if you didn't have to crank `em to 9 to hear `em (I'm 
only exaggerating a little).  "Three Quarters Blind Eyes" reminds me 
of "I Got a Feeling" on valium -- languorous and beguiling.  "Found a 
Little Baby" turns morbid musings ("what's so bad about dying") into a 
lush evocation of pop heaven a la Phil Spector with strings, angel 
choir chorus, and even a french horn solo.

Elevator Drops: "Lennon's Dead" / "Elevator to Heaven" 
(Curve of the Earth, 1312 Boylston Street, Boston MA  02215)

In their continuing series of songs about dead pop icons, the Elevator 
Drops pay twisted tribute to late sixties rock in "Lennon's Dead".  
"Elevator to Heaven" is better, striking a nice balance between hooks 
and noise.  They're a strange group of guys, who seem determined to 
put people off with their ironic antics live, on record, and in 
interviews, but there's no denying their talent.

Papas Fritas: "Passion Play" / "Lame to Be" (Minty Fresh)
Minty Fresh, P.O. Box 577400, Chicago IL  60657

Pop meets highbrow in "Passion Play," which features a very 
professional sounding string quartet.  Sharp, complex, and 
tightly-constructed, this song is deliberately unpassionate 
passion-read coolly clever- but it's impressive all the same.  "Lame 
to Be," a song about not wanting to be dead, takes a way simple idea 
and does great things with it.

A Very Special Pillow: "Tomorrow Night" / "Paranormal" 
(Really Fast Racecar, P.O. Box 73335, Washington DC  20056)

Special Pillow is the Hoboken supergroup consisting of James MacNew 
(Yo La Tengo), Dan Cuddy (Hypnolovewheel), and Cindy Sherman 
(Splendora) and "Tomorrow Night" is one of those sweet pop ballads 
that Yo La Tengo love to dredge up and cover.  The single has a 
pleasant homemade quality to it--oh, those off-key vocals! --but it's 
still a great song and I especially like the violin and cello 
interplay at the end.  "Paranormal" falls into a more experimental 
vein, noisier but nice.  And it comes with a bonus "Our Lady of the 
Potato Beetles" insert that's not to be missed.

Portastatic: Sandals 
(18 Wheeler, P.O. Box 4256, Dunellen NJ 08812)

I still maintain that Mac can't sing, but this Portastatic business 
has convinced me that he writes consistent circles around the rest of 
the edge-of-the-bed set.  "Sandals" and "Guessing" are both plaintive 
but tuneful pop ventures with Mac performing everything.  "Scrapbook" 
gets a side to itself, for his collage of ambient noise, whistles, 
wheezes, and whispers on top of a deeply buried vocal.  It's either 
the coolest thing you've ever heard or self-indulgent fluff.  I 
haven't decided yet.
Live: Prickly, Wild Carnations, Joey Sweeney

I've reviewed Prickly before, and I remain convinced that two less 
compelling singers are not likely to be found.  For whatever reason, 
though, their plain voices made less of a difference this time, and at 
some point during the set, I realized that their guitar player was 
actually pretty good.  It's a nice mix of pop, folk, and fuzz, and 
while not uniformly wonderful, there were several standout songs 
including the single "Fashion Sense of Famous Monsters of Filmland" 
(with guest steel player).  I bought their single the next day, and 
it's good -- the studio minimizes vocal shortcomings allowing the 
songs come through.  "Famous Monsters" is excellent, and both cuts on 
the b-side are enjoyable too.

Wild Carnations features ? of the Feelies on guitar, and he was just a 
little too big for the room.  His playing style is strong and 
hyperactive, and somehow he looked like he would have been more 
comfortable in a larger, more powerful band on a much bigger stage.  
In the end, the songs had to carry it, and Wild Carnations just 
aren't up to the challenge.  Not bad but a bit slight.  More 
plain-voiced female vocals did not help.

Headlining was Joey Sweeney, formerly of the Barnabys, with his 
friends Alex and Phoebe of Small Factory.  Joey is a weird little guy, 
and his songs, while pop to the core, have the kind of quirky lyrics 
that leave you laughing or shaking your head.  His borrowed bandmates 
fit in just fine, though, and played with the enthusiasm I've come to 
expect from them.  Alex in particular seemed to be having a great 
time, filling tuning breaks with strange stories about his (male) 
roommates getting pregnant and, when not smoking cigarettes, singing 
along passionately with all the songs.  It was such a good time that 
it seemed odd to me that the room gradually emptied out over the 
course of the set, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the band ("We 
always clear the room!" Joey boasted at one point.) Well, that's too 
bad because they were at least as good -- ok, better -- than any band 
that preceded them.

I missed the opener Weeping in Fits and Starts (Greg Jacobs vehicle), 
and now I'm sorry because his (their) single ("Big Fish") on BHS 
Records is very very nice in a folk-pop sort of way.  Next time.

Live: Trona, The Lune, Syrup, Ruby Falls

Me and opening bands.  The next night, at super-relaxed sunday night 
TTs, I missed all but the last song by Trona (former Orangatang, 
admittedly not much of a recommendation).  From what I heard though, 
this outfit sounded great, a worthy combination of punchy rhythm, 
ringing guitar, good harmonized vocals and a really nice song.  I felt 
bad.  I'll have to go hear them again.

The Lune surprised everybody (ok, me) by coming out as a New Orleans 
street band.  The drummer cranked an accordian, the bassist whipped 
out a trumpet, and the guitarist made like a one-man band with guitar, 
harmonica and kick band.  They played about three songs in this guise, 
all with a jazz/traditional feel.  I doubt they wrote any of them, but 
they pulled off the venture in high style.  After this excursion, they 
reverted to the math rock outfit they apparently are and sounded 
equally good.  The drummer pulled off all kinds of complicated 
patterns in far from basic time signatures, and the guitarist rocked 
right over the whole thing.  Original and interesting.  They have a 
couple 7"s out that I will be looking for.

Helium showed up to hear Syrup, Seana (formerly of the Swirlies)'s 
newest band, quite an endorsement I thought.  Seana sounded great, the 
drummer was kind of a mess, and the keyboard/guitar player needs to 
relax a little.  On the plus side, they don't sound like My Bloody 
Valentine and they have two killer tunes: "Joie De Vol" and 
"Bulldozer" which are both on their 7" on Tru Luv records (140 
Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116).  A song about Trudy was also a 
blast -- Seana suggested danceable but only for mexican jumping beans 
(let's just say it has zip).  Syrup have my favorite combination of 
good pop tunes and extended groovability so you can hum and sway at 
the same time.

After such an impressive evening, Ruby Falls was a disapointment to 
say the least.  They were righteously attitudinal, they drank whisky, 
the drummer had a great shirt, and when they finally got it together 
to play they were boring and tame.  If you're not going to wow me with 
great pop chops, then please scare me a little.  Or something.  Very 
mediocre, I thought, but I freely admit that I only gave them three 

-- Lise LePage


From: smithem@yvax.byu.edu
ANNOUNCE: imr subscriptions

imr, formerly known as independent music reviews, is offering free
subscriptions beginning with issue #29 (new style and format).  For a
subscription to this e-zine send the message "i like my indie cold"  to
the address below... 

				--Elliott Smith


From: Soulcore@aol.com
ANNOUNCE: i'm a playground person

Issue #1 of I'm a Playground Person is now finished!!! It has 
inteviews with:

Jon from Totfinder
Lou Barlow
Peter DiskothiQ/Nothing Painted Blue

it is 2 stamps or a trade.  email me if you are interested.  



From: trey@ufcc.ufl.edu
ANNOUNCE: for paper airplane pilots

hello.  as long as things are slow, I figure I can hype the latest 
issue of _for paper airplane pilots_ especially since I can 
technically claim inland association via the mountain goats interview 

some of you should be receiving a copy in the mail in the next few 
days, but for the rest of you...  oh, look what you could get for two 
little dollars:

56 pages.  interviews with butterglory, john darnielle, tattle tale, 
lou barlow, spatula, kicking giant, ivy, and charles schulz of Peanuts 
fame.  there's also an uberslick (insert your own umlaut) chickfactor 
spoof, a collection of of various interesting people's favorite 
Peanuts charact