Thursday, December 24, 2009


"Watered Eyes" appeared on the one and only release from Baltimore band Seade (pronounced "shade"), the Perf EP, released 1996 on Grass Records. Seade was part of the mid-90s Baltimore indie scene alongside bands like Candy Machine and Liquor Bike, but took a more melodic straightforward rock approach, channeling Sugar-era Bob Mould a bit on this track in particular. Sadly, frontman Jack Osiecki passed away in 2001 from a severe asthma attack.

from Perf (1996, Grass)

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Black Watch

"See You Around" comes from The Black Watch's second record Amphetamines, which was issued by Zero Hour records in 1994. Though the band was largely a vehicle for the songwriting of main-guy John Andrew Fredrick, this dream-pop leaning track was sung by violinist J'Anna Jacoby. The song also features some of the trademark swirling guitar work of Medicine guitarist Brad Laner.

The Black Watch - "See You Around"

from Amphetamines (1994, Zero Hour)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Junket - S.F. Claremont Hi (1996, RoadCone)

The San Francisco based Junket emerged from the early 90s scene associated with the Shrimper label along with bands like Refrigerator, Nothing Painted Blue, Franklin Bruno, and The Mountain Goats. The band existed from 1991-1993, and this collection of their entire recorded output was released posthumously on the Portland, Oregon label Roadcone records. Junket's sound had a lot in common with 90s indie heavyweights Pavement and Sebadoh, but often borders on the slower style of Seam or Bedhead. On a side note: apologies for the long absence from posting, hopefully there will be less of a gap between posts in the future.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Skinner Pilot - This Parking Lot Is Being Videotaped (1997, GoodSin)

Skinner Pilot began as a side project for Elizabeth Sharp, who was then the drummer for Massachusetts noise-pop favorites New Radiant Storm King. Around 1995 she left New Radiant Storm King to focus on Skinner Pilot, a band in which she played bass and split the vocal duties with guitarist Andrew Zarou. The previous year, the band had contributed the track "Traces of Alignment" to the Hotel Massachusetts compilation released on Chunk Records (you can read up on the fascinating story of the Chunk label here). Skinner Pilot's one and only full length release, This Parking Lot is Being Videotaped was released on GoodSin Records in 1997. Its a dark record characterized by slinky, angular guitar work reminiscent of Unwound and early Sonic Youth. Sharp would soon shift her focus yet again, this time to her current project, the rhythm-focused one woman band Ill Ease.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spoiler - Crashpad (1994, PCP)

Following the dissolution of legendary no-wavers Live Skull, guitarist Mark C. founded Spoiler, a band that retained some of his previous band's noisiness, yet included a newfound pop sensibility.  So while Live Skull had been an integral part of the 80's NYC no-wave scene alongside contemporaries like Sonic Youth, Swans, and Band of Susans, don't expect quite as harsh or experimental tendencies from Spoiler's 1994 debut, which was released on PCP Entertainment, and distributed by Matador Records. Spoiler featured a male/female vocal approach, with lead vocal duties being split between Mark C. and Lin Culbertson. The band at one point included bassist Scott McEwen, a former member of the band Cancer (a precursor to Flower, Versus, etc.), however bass on the record is credited to current album art designer Ben Wheelock.  Spoiler's drummer was Mike Belitsky, who has also played with more alt-country acts like Neko Case, The Sadies, and The Pernice Brothers.  Mark C. has gone on to play with the International Shades with original Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert, while Lin Culbertson went on to co-found the free improv group White Out, who have recorded for Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label. 


Friday, March 13, 2009

Mars Accelerator - I Am The South Pole (1996, Rx Remedy)

I like to think of Mars Accelerator as the missing link between a band like The Swirlies and a band like Polvo, straddling the line between space rock and math rock.  Hailing from Seattle, I Am The South Pole was the band's debut, released in 1996 on the Sub Pop imprint label Rx. Remedy Records.  Though the band is still active, Sub Pop appears to have since dismantled the Rx. Remedy label, leaving Mars Accelerator's excellent early output unavailable (including their equally rewarding 1998 followup Frankfurt: Telephonics).  Of course, I would remove their download link if it were to be digitally re-released at some point in the future. For now, enjoy Mars Accelerator's debut in all its sonic complexities. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Trampoline - I Want One of Everybody (1996, SpinART)

Trampoline's claim to fame was being the band led by WHFS (Washington, D.C. radio station) DJ Pat Ferrise with a revolving cast of backing musicians from notable D.C. area indie bands like Edsel, Chisel, Poole, Velocity Girl, and Girls Against Boys.  This was Ferrise's second album under the Trampoline moniker, and was a slight departure from his 1994 debut, Dormer - shifting from jangly pop to more straightforward indie rock.  Though it occasionally flirts with polished alterna/radio rock tendencies, the album's cast of indie rock luminaries ultimately saves it from non-credibility.  The album was produced by Rich Costey, who at this point had worked with bands such as Swirlies and Lilys, and has since gone on to work with some of the bigger names in rock music. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Martians - Low Budget Stunt King (1995, Allied)

The Martians were an Athens, GA-based band that included noted drummer Jerry Fuchs, who would later go on to drum for Vineland (ex-Bitch Magnet), Pitchblende, Turing Machine, !!!, Maserati, and others.  According to this post at the Beyond Failure blog, The Martians were closely associated with the fellow Anthens band Fiddlehead, who were also signed to the Allied label. Like Fiddlehead, The Martians spent some time in the studio with the legendary Steve Albini as engineer.  The resulting record, 1995's Low Budget Stunt King, is a collection of noisy math rock not unlike Albini's own bands.  The songs tend to be on the shorter side, and feature some great angular, dissonant guitar work (including the occasional Slint-esque harmonics). Martians member Kyle Spence (also of Fiddlehead) would later join Harvey Milk. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Nectarine - Sterling Beat (1995, Grass)

Nectarine were a short-lived band from Chicago who released just one album, Sterling Beat, for Grass Records in 1995 before disbanding. The album, which was mixed by Shellac member Bob Weston, is a lo-fi indie rock affair loaded with subtle hooks and the occasional burst of guitar noise. The band did a fair amount of touring during their brief experience, playing with the likes of Built to Spill, Silkworm, Red Red Meat, and The Wrens. The band did record a second album - reportedly a response/tribute to The Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat, which never saw the light of day. After playing one final show in Chicago with Built to Spill, Nectarine broke up in May 1997.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mariner Nine - The Shallow End Of The Gene Pool (1996, Meltdown)

Mariner Nine was a fine indie rock band who, despite their Pennsylvania origins, sound to my ears like equal parts Chapel Hill scene (the hooks of Superchunk, the quirkiness of Archers of Loaf or Polvo) and the poppier side of midwest emo (early Promise Ring, Vitreous humor). The band's history can be traced back to the very early 90's when they existed under the name Mother's Garden, before switching to the Mariner Nine moniker in 1994. This here record, The Shallow End of the Gene Pool, was the band's debut full-length as Mariner Nine and was released in 1996. The album was recorded with Gray Matter frontman Geoff Turner, who at that point had built an impressive resume behind the studio boards working with Jawbox, Edsel, The Raymond Brake, New Wet Kojak, among others. Also in 1996, the band appeared on Polyvinyl Records' Direction compilation, along with Braid, Rainer Maria, Boilermaker and other names big in the mid-90's emo world. After this record, the band took a turn into more experimental territory for their second and final release, A Little Something from the Weathervane's Perspective, which was recorded at their own Miner Street studios and released on their own label of the same name. The band split in 1998 when bassist Dave Boyd relocated to California for professional reasons.