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      Indie List Digest!

        Nov 1, 1995

     Volume 4   Number 43


Frances Gumm, Grifters, Space Needle, Mt Goats, Glorium
My first submission (Opposable Thumbs, Superdrag)
Hell and Tarnation, record reviews!
unicycle genius
AD: Gannin CD

daylight savings time has ended in chicago, meaning it will now get 
dark at 4 p.m.  this says to me that winter's here and it's time to 
put the snow tires on the indie-list.  or at least a heavier 

eric & i are both employed at this point, so life is good.  at some 
point, i hope to buy some new records to review in the ever-popular 
editor's corner, but right now you'll have to settle for more of my 
sketchy show impressions.

Went out on one of my hermetic days to see Chris Knox at the Empty 
Bottle on the 20th.  i was already a fan of Knox's Beatles-esque, 
frequently wasp-tongued songwriting, and i enjoyed the performance a 
lot.  like the 'songs of you & me' CD, the music is just the man & his 
guitar and a drum machine, but you get the added advantage of a 
running stream of self-deprecatory commentary and the occasional 
audience participation (i don't know, but he seemed to be grabbing 
someone by the head at one point, so you might not want to stand very 
close).  Ashtray Boy followed, a pleasant surprise for me.  
Clattering, jangling pop that seemed to buzz along by itself.  i liked 
it.  the SF Seals also played, but i went home.

But we returned to "the Bottle" (or, if you must, "the Empty") on the 
28th to see an array of bands.  Nothing Painted Blue, tragically [for 
me], played first, and we missed them.  Following were Wckr Spgt, 
fronted by Car-in-Car guy Joel Huschle.  They played with some OPB 
backing and the requisite self-parodic "lead singer as rock star" 
antics.  Huschle sort of shrieks all his lyrics, reminding one of Half 
Japanese, i suppose, but the whole thing was a bit too smirky.  Next 
up were the Mad Scene, another pleasant surprise for me.  [I 
disagree...  I felt that WckrSpgt were delightful.  Spirited post-art.  
Buy and see and watch!  -es] I know very little about the Clean, but 
this would seem to be a fine Hamish Kilgour-connected outfit.  Or 
maybe i'm just a sucker for a pop band with a trumpet player and a 
male-female vocal interchange that made me think of the Cat's Miaow.  
you decide.  Space Needle also played, but i was, again, homeward 

that's all,


From: silverst@ils.nwu.edu (Steve Silverstein)
Frances Gumm, Grifters, Space Needle, Mt Goats, Glorium

My reviews may be slow in getting mailed out, but it doesn't stop me!

Frances Gumm--Subtraction 7" (It Won't Go Flat/P.O.  Box 
379463/Chicago, IL 60637)--Triumphant return from a band I thought had 
broken up long ago.  Ex-Northampton, MA, residents now in St.  Paul, 
MN, have hardly changed a bit from their debut CD Cruella on VHF/Land 
Speed.  New 7" is on beautiful marbly green vinyl, mastered by John 
Golden.  Sounds great, looks great, nice packaging, the works.  If you 
haven't heard them, Frances Gumm sound like a mix of Fugazi, Pavement, 
Wingtip Sloat, and the brattiest vocals you can imagine.  Welcome 

Grifters--Eureka 10"/CD-EP (Shangri-La/1916 Madison Ave/Memphis, TN 
38104) and Stream 7" (Derivative/P.O.  Box 42031/Montreal, Quebec H2W 
2T3/Canada)--More of what you might expect from the Grifters.  They 
grow more subtle and catchier at the same time, and yet the songs take 
longer and longer to digest.  Really, really impressive.  "Stream" is 
probably their purest "pop" song for all its subtlety.  The 2 records 
are clearly of the same era and are quite possibly the band's best 
work yet.  You never think they can improve and somehow they do.  
Basically, I can't say enough good things about the Grifters.

Shove/Torpedo--Tandem CD (Omnibus/P.O.  Box 4522/Davis, CA 
95617)--Essentially an EP each from two different bands.  Both are 
strong, noisy pop bands.  The clear winner is Shove, due in part to 
the swell female vocals (clear Kim Deal influence).  Really 
interesting melodic stuff in the vein of Tiger Trap, the Pixies, etc., 
with only one guitar though.  Torpedo have really nice songs and 
instrument sounds, but I'm not totally sold on the vocals.  Still, a 
pretty strong outing for two bands you've probably never heard of.

the Mountain Goats--Songs for Peter Hughes 7" (Sonic Squid/no address 
listed, somewhere in Germany; I got mine from Ajax)--The first studio 
release from the 2-person Mountain Goats.  Rachel plays guitar on one 
song, bass on 3, sings on all 4.  One revamped Mountain Goats 
"classic" (Transmissions to Horace's "No, I Can't"), one cover (Ace of 
Base's "The Sign," a live favorite), and 2 new songs.  A little more 
polished and John gets a bit less carried away at times, but it still 
works and sounds pretty great.  Despite the mastering error at the end 
of "No, I Can't" (a fade-out, which upsets John to no end), it's a 
strong release.

Space Needle--Voyager CD (Zero Hour/1000 Broadway Station 701/New 
York, NY 10019)--This band has apparently quickly developed a huge 
draw in NYC, but, not being there, I'll try to judge them somewhat 
more objectively.  The CD is the 4-track ramblings of 2 guys, and, 
while unpolished and generally unfinished, there are some really neat 
ideas scattered throughout.  Definitely not the most consistent thing 
I own, but it has plenty of catchy melodies, interesting sounds, and 
pretty vocals among its 8 songs.  Not for all tastes, but an 
interesting debut.

Glorium--Cinema Peligrosa LP/CD (Undone/P.O.  Box 4012/Austin, TX 
78765)--Not the newest release I'm reviewing, but since it got no 
distribution for most of its existence, I think it's still current 
enough.  Old punk rock, with a definite Gang of Four/Membranes feel.  
Lots of subtlety in the playing, really strong and powerful songs.  
The vocals are a bit over the top for my taste, but as a whole, it 
works well.  Again not for all tastes, but one of the better punk 
records I've heard of late.  There's apparently a recent cassette 
release that's being pressed to 10" soon, and a new LP is in the works 

Wingtip Sloat--Santa on the Crappa cassette (Sweet Portable You/1937 
Kennedy Drive #T-2/McLean, VA 22102)--The second of Wingtip's terribly 
titled cassette releases is as uneven and varied as the first User 
Friendly Bowl Wrapper cassette.  If you like tapes that jump wildly 
from one song to the next, ranging from covers to discussions of 
toilets at some rest area this is probably for you.  If you like 
Wingtip and want to hear things that (with a couple of exceptions) are 
far weirder than what makes their album or 7"s, here they are.  If 
you've never heard Wingtip and are looking to see what they're about, 
unless you seek their weirdest moments, probably not the place to 
start (that would be the Chewyfoot LP/CD on VHF/Tupelo).

Robyn Hitchcock--I Something You 7" (K/Box 7154/Olympia, WA 
98507)--Calvin Johnson's recording captures this veteran in a 
stripped-down setting.  Along the same lines as Eye and I Often Dream 
of Trains.  3 songs of just vocals, guitar, and harmonica.  Strong 
songs, recorded well; no surprises here.

That's enough for this time.  More to come, inevitably...



From: todzilla@utkux.utcc.utk.edu
My first submission

Well, actually my first submission was with this German woman from
Brazil and she made me....uh oh, never mind.

Here are some great things I have found down south.

The Opposable Thumbs  "God's Autograph"

Well, I am sick of bands with the word GOD or JESUS or some religious 
thing in the title of their alubms.  Well, all is forgiven here 
because the music makes up for it.  The Thumbs write great tunes and 
play the hell out of them.  The lead singer sometimes gets on my 
nerves, but then again that's what most of them do.  His singing is 
groovy but off key.  The songs seems to be about not finding any meat 
in the buffet of life.  Yet the Thumbs seem to suggest we are in the 
wrong line for the wrong buffet.

Tales of lust, boat rides, local scenes and inefficient pick-up lines 
fill out this 40-minute tape.  It features two members of the defunct 
band the JudyBats (whom I always disliked, but I like the playing here 
of those guys-they seem happy to finally get to rock) and a member of 
local southern freaks Smokin Dave and the Premo Dopes.  The cover is 
nasty and gets you ready for the treat to come.

Their address:  PO Box l6044, Knoxville, TN. 37996
email is :  Pnorman@aol.com

SUPERDRAG--the darla singles.  
Also coming from Knoxville, this band has more hooks than a pirate 
prison.  Beatles meets something I can't put my finger on.  A little 
more punchy than the Thumbs, and perhaps more serious, too.

Apparently they have just signed a big showbiz deal.  Their first two 
singles on Darla are enough to restore your faith in power pop.  This is 
the band Cheap Trick wanted to be but just couldn't pull it off.
I would suggest both of these releases as well as the Opposable Thumbs 
for those who like hooks, good lyrics and loud guitars that aren't noise.

Todzilla of the Short Forest


From: pjoe@grafix.xs4all.nl (Joep Vermaat)
Hell and Tarnation, record reviews!


My companion in writing has graduated.  He completed his studies with 
an awfully high grade, a NINE!  He has gone back to working full-time 
now.  So now he has another excuse for not writing..  He's too busy.  
Oh well.  I'm not.  Well, in fact I am.  But that doesn't stop me.  
This posting: Tarnation and record reviews.  Next posting, Catherine 
Wheel and record reviews.  I would write more if the indie-list would 
come out more.  Where are the good old times that we received it two 
times a week!

[Well, um.  I accept full blame for this issue.  I'm honestly having a 
hard time adjusting to (shudder) working again.  Life seems so hard, 
doesn't it.  Next issue Monday, or, um, so.  The volume is also 
lowered by the traffic, of course.  -es]

Enough complaining, on with the show:


Paula Frazer.  Raised with music.  First the gospel in her father's 
choir.  Later the jazz bands in high school.  During the eighties, the 
post-punk bands Frightwig, Trial and Pleasant Day in San Fransisco.  
And now her own band, Tarnation.  A band belonging to the new 
generation of 4AD bands.  Thanks to 4AD she does her first promotional 
tour around Europe.  In a murderous tempo all the beautiful cities of 
Europe get visited.  An experience most Americans might find very 
appealing were it not that Paula has to enjoy those cities from dark 
stuffy hotel rooms, doing mostly boring interviews.  It's rainy 
outside and sometimes the sun comes stabbing through the dark clouds, 
other than that just the right weather to do an interview walking down 
the streets seeing the sites.

Tarnation is just the right name for a band playing melancholic 
country in the tradition of Palace, Freakwater and Scud Mountain Boys.  
Still, cheerful Paula seems everything but melancholic.  "I'm not, but 
I just like to write sad songs about certain people and stories.  
History inspires me, like for instance the gold rush in the 18th 
century." Lyricwise Paula reflects on the past, and musically 
Tarnation looks back on American music from the last fifty years.  "I 
listen to a lot of old music, like Roy Orbison, Patsy Kline and old 
country music.  I detest a lot of the so-called 'new country;' that's 
why I'd rather like to call my music western.  I don't want to be 
compared to the Las Vegas showy stuff like Garth Brooks, and that's 
what a lot of people think that country is."

Being a preacher's daughter, Paula was raised very religiously.  But 
compared to most country music, religion's a subject she doesn't use a 
lot in her lyrics.  "No, I do not believe anymore.  The older I 
became, the more holes I discovered in faith.  The way people think 
that you should follow your faith blindly seems so wrong to me.  I 
agree, there are a lot of things very useful in believing.  But why 
live your life by a book that has some many translations and 

You might think it's weird that 4AD would pick up a band like this.  
"First only Warner was interested in us, but they gave a tape to 4AD's 
label owner, Ivo Watts.  When he finally listened he contracted us.  
He likes female voices a lot." After that Ivo tried to give Tarnation 
a direction.  "He wanted me to make a solo record.  But I wanted to do 
an album with the band." There's still a lot of solo work on Gentle 
Creatures, a record produced by His Name Is Alive wizard Warren 
Defever, among others.  "That was Ivo's idea.  A good idea, but it 
didn't work out as I liked.  Warren wanted to keep everything bare and 
clear, while I like a bit of reverb.  And he didn't have the right 
kind of mics.  My favorite moments aren't the sessions with Warren.  
We were in his house for a week and it gave a lot of tension in the 
band." The band split right after the sessions.  "But I've found three 
new band members.  We're still using the name Tarnation, but it sounds 
a lot more dynamic.  A bit louder, but still reserved.  A lot of 
contrast, I think it sounds better than the last Tarnation."

One of the things Paula is very content about is the artwork 4AD did 
for the album.  "I think Paul of 4AD has done a wonderful job.  The 
pictures were made by a guy from Portland and seem very old and weird, 
the pale colours give just the right effect.  I'm glad 4AD has taken 
care of that; we couldn't have done it any better," she says, while 
she points her camera at the monumental Rijksmuseum that's glittering 
in the sun which comes stabbing through the dark clouds.


MOJAVE 3 'Ask Me Tomorrow' 4AD Slowdive had made a carreer out of 
ripping off My Bloody Valentine's "To here knows when." But a lot of 
times they gave their version just enough of themselves to make it 
original.  Just before they fell apart they were somewhere between 
quietly tinkering ambient and bluesy country ballads.  Three of the 
remaining members have perfected the art of the latter.  They're doing 
this so subtly and minimally I've forgotten all about Slowdive.

MEDICINE 'Her Highness' American Don't you get those pounding 
headaches?  A migraine created by all those hyping media, screaming at 
you to buy Garbage, like that's the answer to our prayers.  Garbage 
ain't doing nothing special.  Medicine has been making sharp noisy pop 
with a bit of a dance beat for years.  Their sound used to be awfully 
close to My Bloody Valentine, but this third record is more varied and 
complete.  So don't buy Garbage, try this Medicine.

SWERVEDRIVER 'Ejector Seat Reservation' Creation/Sony It's official: 
from this moment on Creation ain't nothing more than any other greedy 
major label.  They've dropped bands who didn't want to play their 
commercial game like a brick, bands like Slowdive and Swervedriver.  
Immediately after they were dropped, the promotional tap was shut on 
them.  And therefore this record will be pretty hard to find in the 
future.  A pity, because it's their best yet.

SHOES 'Fret Buzz' Black Vinyl The American pioneers of 
power-noise-pop, they still exist.  If there's one band The Foo 
Fighters heavily borrowed their sound from, then it's this band.  They 
deserve as much recognition as Big Star.  This live record, recorded 
last year during Christmas in New York, is right up to par with their 
three all-time best: 'black vinyl shoes', 'present tense' and 'tongue 
twister'.  Ask about those and this one at your local vinyl merchant.

SUFI 'Life's Rising' Virgin This lovely collection of songs will, for 
many, be too soft and kind.  Too Sade.  But Sufi is more than 
coffee-table music.  The bass sounds are just too deep for that, the 
sounds are too weird for that.  Friendly experimenting music by the 
hand of one of the A.R.  Kane members, made under the approving ear of 
Kevin Martin.

SPOOKY 'Stereo EP' Generic The swing to classical music in techno is 
continuing to pull through.  Not only do the sounds on this EP contain 
many classical elements, but the compositions consist of a lot of 
structures you'll recognize from the old composers.  Spooky look at 
the way J.S.  Bach did it and show with their first track that they 
too can make a contrapuntic spacious masterpiece, comparable to the 
great master's fugues.

PLUG  '1'  Rising High
Luke Vibert's jungle outlet.  The sound wizard at his most 
schizophrenic.  The numbered tracks go from Milli Vanilli-shuffle 
grooves to full-on hyper breakbeat, all interconnected by metal 
samples and deep hoovering bass melodies.  His best work.

                              /          v902160@si.hhs.nl
        The One Pure        (/oe/)      
                               /         pjoe@grafix.xs4all.nl

-- Via Xenolink 1.98b2, XenolinkUUCP 1.1


From: DLM94001@UConnVM.UConn.Edu
unicycle genius

good day.  it's been nice to take it a little easy fr a while w/weekly 
entries & just read the digest on a whole.  good stuff.

lessee...  cmj really isn't worth my time or yrs in this digest.  
college music journal my ass.  more like corporate.  free beer & a 
couple of nice folks were nice, but neither make fr particularly good 
stories or reviews ("right, so i drank all this beer, and then i got 
drunk!  cool dood!").

followed unwound around fr 4 nights, going from providence to boston 
to hoboken to manhattan.  i've come to the conclusion that they just 
aren't the live band that they used to be (duh).  the first tour i saw 
them they were totally insane, & as their audiences have gotten larger 
& larger (it's hard to be smaller than that first show, which was less 
than 15 people) the effort seems more & more lagged on stage.

personally, it doesn't bother me a great deal because they still write 
my favorite songs, and seeing 3 or 4 shows every time they come around 
i get to hear most of 'em as well as some new toons too.  this time, 
they were pretty much drunk every night but the last.  in boston, they 
didn't even get to the post-noise thing.  justin was stumbling around, 
fucking up "swan song," and ended up tossing his guitar/breaking it 
before dragging himself offstage.  i don't know how, but it still came 
off as impressive.  drunken intensity?  maybe.  hoboken rocked, i'd 
never been to maxwells before & they played a bunch of 7" songs i 
didn't think that they did.  irving was weird, they opened up fr girls 
vs.  boys & bosshog, & dgc people were in the audience handing out 
that dog & jawbreaker stickers.  yikes.  plus they made me pay a 
dollar to hold on to my bag.  bastards.  ok.  enough.

other good sets in the big crunchy: clikatat ikatowi (i'm sorry, as 
much as i love their music, exclusive-style punk rock egos fucking 
suck.  w/ the exception of the drummer & some dood w/chops that threw 
me a twizzler, i was disappointed.  i didn't know that some of them 
thought that they were so important/impressive).  although sonora pine 
(sean from june of 44 & tara jane retsin/rodan) fucked up a bit & the 
sound wasn't too sharp, i was really impressed w/their songwriting.  
pitchblende, retsin, & rex also put on excellent sets.  it was nice to 
get home though.

put on a gig @ uconn fr the womens center which was a lot of fun.  
champale, the straw & the rabbit, tizzy, ida, syrup usa, & liquorice 
provided the entertainment.  it was one of the best syrup sets i've 
yet seen, & ida carried over a fantastic presence.  thanks to those 
that came.  oh, the reverend horton heat was insane.  the supersuckers 
are extremely overrated.

um, went up to providence last weekend to see the archers of loaf open 
up fr the throwing muses.  capsize 7 opened, the 2nd time that i've 
seen them this month.  they're ok, nothing i haven't heard before but 
good live.  the bassist plays like a monkey.  archers played a bunch 
of new new songs, including a kickin-ass one bout some whale in 
alaska.  then the next band came on & we went home.

new listening that has really impressed me is that 4-song thing on 
touch & go by uzeda.  touch & go has been so consistent lately.  the 
dirty 3 record is one of my favorites this year.  i haven't had a cd 
player since my roommate moved, so i've mostly been listening to some 
jazz tapes i made a month or two ago (yusef lateef in nigeria, oliver 
nelson's "blues and the abstract truth," pharoah sanders' "karma" & 
"thembi," and a bunch of sun ra tapes).

i can't decide what to say about the new jawbreaker.  i'm really 
upset.  some of the songs on it ("accident prone," "oyster") are damn 
good, others ("save yr generation," "fireman," "chemistry") are 
extremely lame.  but the problem is in the vocal mix.  blake does not, 
nor should not, sound like the bald guy in r.e.m.  or @ least be 
produced like veruca salt.  i keep wanting to tape their show when 
they play here w/jawbox so i can listen to the songs i like w/the 
vocals that belong there.  hrumph.  enough of that.

right now, the thing i'm looking forward to more than anything else is 
the karate l.p., but that won't be out till this winter.  i noticed a 
review of the secret stars 7" last issue.  if you liked that, then 
check out their shrimper & demo tapes.  i got my new kitten last night 
and she is beautiful.  we hung out w/some friends & listened to "weird 
meditations" (a crazy mingus tribute) last night.  i'll take that over 
cmj any time.  xoxo.

oh.  i think that the new finley breeze should be out soon.  if yr a 
recent subscriber & haven't heard of it, i'd recommend checking it 
out.  there are some great articles/essays in it.  kudos to sean.


From: Mario.Miljavac@sprint.fido.hr (Mario Miljavac)

Rurban is a Croatian monthly magazine dedicated to progressive and 
inovative artists.  It will be published in Croatia, but will also be 
read in Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia etc.  Half of Rurban 
will be dedicated to music and the rest to film and other arts.  The 
first issue of Rurban should be published in January 1996, half color, 
half black and white.  From then it should have its own home page on 
the Internet.  For now we're using the address of Oleg Mastruko 
(oleg@mag.bug.com.hr), who's responsible for the Internet in Rurban.

Rurban is developing a net of associates around the world in order to 
cover all the important happenings.  If you're interested in music, 
film or any other art form, we invite you to join us and participate 
in the making of our magazine.  Rurban is in a constant quest for new 
authors that can offer anything interesting, and that's what's really 
important for us.  You don't have to be an established 
journalist/writer to send us your works.  Rurban needs people who are 
prepared to work, people using Croatian, English, German or Italian 
language.  Send us one of your already published texts or a manuscript 
you consider necessary for Rurban.  Think visually: if possible, 
accompany your text with photos or illustrations.  Send us your 
interviews, text portraits, scene reports, reviews or present 
interesting authors from all fields of art, especially music.

We wish to help anyone who decides to write for us.  Send us your 
name, full address, passport number, telephone/fax number and email 
address.  Also, don't forget your photo, so we can make you a press 
card that will help you in your work as a journalist.  By the way, you 
can expect a financial compensation for your work, although not a very 
big one, because Rurban is our labour of love, and we hope it will be 
yours too.  Please contact the editor for detailed informations.

P.S.  It is likely that Rurban will soon change its location.  You'll 
be informed on time about our new address, but you'll still be able to 
contact us on our old address for some time.

c/o Ivica Baricevic
(Chief editor)
Milke Trnine 11/IV
10000 Zagreb, CROATIA
tel/fax +385 1532 553

email: oleg@mag.bug.com.hr

|Fidonet:  Mario Miljavac 2:381/112
|Internet: Mario.Miljavac@sprint.pub.hr
|                        >>> Sprint BBS Zagreb <<<
| 2 lines 24h: +385-1-4555266;+385-1-4555268 (19.2 ZyXEL) (2:381/112.0) FTN


From: Larry Arnold <larnold@primenet.com>
AD: Gannin CD

Hello, my name is Gannin, and I would like to invite you over to my 
webpage. This page is promoting my new self-released CD, "GANNIN ONE". 
You can download music clips, and recieve bio information. Here's the 
URL: http://www.primenet.com/~larnold/

Thanks, and hope to hear from you soon.



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