The Justines - Worry

Mike Schulman of the mighty Slumberland Records released the Why Popstars Can't Dance double LP in 1994. It features 17 bands, typically 2 songs per band. It's an indie-star-studded cast too: Honeybunch, The Artisans, Rocketship, The Steamkings, Stereolab, Lorelei, Hood, Boyracer, Henry's Dress, The Ropers, Linda Smith, Magpies, glo-worm, Jupiter Sun, The Justines, Jane Pow, and St. Christopher. Many of the songs appear on other releases by the bands, but if memory serves (it often serves up errors, mind) the vinyl version contains more bands/songs than the CD version. Any verifiers? There are 2 J-bands on the roster here, but although I like some Jane Pow songs, "Reorganise" is not among them, so I'm just going to share The Justines' indie-pop-with-strings contribution with you this week. Man, this band sounds a lot like The Ropers. Like identical. They must share a band member, at least.

Side A mp3: The Justines - Worry

Joby's Opinion - from I Have A Book 7" EP

Around the time I started collecting these records was around the time that email first became available to university/college students. I became a fan of the Chapel Hill music scene, and I found myself emailing with a number of folks from Chapel Hill via discussion lists and record trading lists like indie-list eXchange which died in 1998 after years of serving its noble purpose. This 7", by Joby's Opinion, is decent college-damaged indie rock, but it is distinguished by being one of the few records I have that includes an email contact on the sleeve insert. Indie rockers were not thinking long term though: The email address is a long-expired college email account. The band members are probably all chemists or lawyers by now, which may be for the best. I'm including my preferred half of this EP, released on Chapel Hill's Friction Media label late in 1994.

Side A mp3: Joby's Opinion - Slag Off
Side B mp3: Joby's Opinion - Chinese Jet Pilot

Jessamine - Reflections

This is easily one of my favourite Jessamine songs, from Emily's Hop Pocket #777 7" released by Audrey's Diary in 1994. Zines that included 7"s were the 90s equivalent of the mp3 blog, and they were both fun and edumacational. This one includes interviews with Bark Psychosis and Labradford, and the 7" also included songs by Sabine and Buddha on the Moon. I don't know if more than one issue was ever produced...I don't think so. Pity. This short, punchy song starts with a thick, languid, circular guitar line and ends with "set phasers to stun" keyboard blasts.

Side A mp3: Jessamine - Reflections

The Hidden Cameras - The Arms of His Ill 10" EP

Joel Gibb, the mastermind behind Toronto's Hidden Cameras gives us seven 4-track demos of songs that were enlushened on their watermark Mississauga Goddam album. This 10" was released on Absolutely Kosher this century (2004)! For someone with outstanding pop sensibilities, he sure designs ugly record sleeves/labels though.

Side A mp3: The Hidden Cameras - Music Is My Boyfriend
Side A mp3: The Hidden Cameras - Bboy
Side A mp3: The Hidden Cameras - In The Union of Wine
Side B mp3: The Hidden Cameras - Doot Doot Plot
Side B mp3: The Hidden Cameras - Fear Is On
Side B mp3: The Hidden Cameras - Builds The Bone
Side B mp3: The Hidden Cameras - Mississauga Goddam

Henry's Dress/Tiger Trap 7"

More alphabet cheating, for the greater good. Solid split single from Tiger Trap and Henry's Dress, released on Slumberland Records circa 1994. Henry's Dress's scorcher "Feathers" was included on their self-titled 1994 release as well. Tiger Trap's "Alien Space Song" is less poppy than their norm, but no less effective/infectious.

Side A mp3: Tiger Trap - Alien Space Song
Side B mp3: Henry's Dress - Feathers

(Good) Horsey - Go Light 7"

As promised, here is one of my favourite singles, from Good Horsey--who were just Horsey in 1993 when this was released on Vancouver's Trakshun Records. Horses went for "Band of", Horsey went for "Good". Word to the wise: If you're starting a horse-named band, do your homework first. I love the just-below-the-surface shrouded-by-pop rage on the A-side "Go Light", which features some catchy combinatorics of drum, guitar, bass, and voice. The B-side "I'm Not the Best" continues the controlled tirade. A nervous slap at guitar strings, a faded-in beat, a flail of skronk, backed with hushed, self-deprecating vocals. Eric would surely enjoy this Trip. But it's not all business here, as "Nice Lungs" ably demonstrates. Idyllic jangle pop backed with ukulele-like guitar and anatomically amorous lyrics. Good indeed.

Side A mp3: Horsey - Go Light
Side B mp3: Horsey - I'm Not The Best
Side B mp3: Horsey - Nice Lungs

Grifters - Holmes/Junkie Blood 7"

Memphis's Grifters; they were so big. Now I can't go to a used record shop without seeing piles of their stuff in the bargain bin. No matter, for those who wish to relive their rise to Brief Glory, or who want to learn what all the fuss was about, here's the first release on Darla Records, back in 1993. Proto(a)typical indie rock badassedness.

Side A mp3: Grifters - Holmes
Side B mp3: Grifters - Junkie Blood

Good Horsey - The Last Customer 7" EP

Good Horsey were an inventive indie rock outfit from Vancouver, BC, Canada. However, this EP justifies their demise, sadly. Half the band's songs were so-so instrumentals, very possibly recorded under the influence of potent BC bud. The other half were usually top drawer indie pop/rock, sometimes on par with Television Personalities. No kidding. In fact, next week I will be sharing an earlier single from the band, before they were good, when they were far, far better. Trust me, it all makes perfect sense. That single is probably one of my top 3 favourites in my discography. So this week I am simply setting up the contrast. I'm only uploading the good ones from this EP though, because FileDen is being bad today. This was a three-way-joint-release (Shrimper, 18 Wheeler, and Baby Huey), and it came out in 1995; talk about diffusion of responsibility!

Side A mp3: Good Horsey - The Last Customer
Side B mp3: Good Horsey - Eleventy

Glo-Worm - Holiday 7" EP

Glo-worm included members of Black Tambourine, The Shapiros, and Tree Fort Angst, in case you didn't know (don't worry, I didn't know that either). This swell twee pop EP includes two choice town-themed covers: Petula Clark's "Downtown" and Velocity Girl's "Crazy Town". Released on California's Somersault Records in 1994.

Side A mp3: Glo-Worm - Holiday
Side A mp3: Glo-Worm - Downtown (Petula Clark cover)
Side A mp3: Glo-Worm - Tilt-a-whirl
Side B mp3: Glo-Worm - Stars Above
Side B mp3: Glo-Worm - Crazy Town (Velocity Girl cover)
Side B mp3: Glo-Worm - I Will Remember You

Fuxa - Free Your Soul 7" EP

Stonerdroned spacerockers Fuxa (with an umlaut I couldn't figure out how to add, and pronounced "fuschia") released this EP in 1995 on Burnt Hair Records, whose icon is someone burning his/her hair while toking. The good news is that the A-side is lovely, and the B-side, if you like bongos and are not bothered if nothing much happens, is not so worse neither. Each side technically contains 3 songs/movements, but I've recorded each side as a single mp3 because, well, because. These songs were likely later compiled on the 3 Field Rotation CD (see their wiki), but here they are recorded on "herb green vinyl in support of the legalization." Free your, ahem, soul, dude.

Side A mp3: Fuxa - Main Sequence Diffusion, Photon, Lajolla
Side B mp3: Fuxa - Subway Short, Free Your Soul, First Obductions

Further - Sometimes Chimes 2xLP

Speaking of wilfully obscure, California's Further proffers the paradigm case. If you're a fan of skronky, sloppy indie rock a la early Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, and Pavement, well then this may be your Golden Grimes ticket to Glory. The shortish story is that members of Further started off in Shadowland who released two dismal "alternative" albums on Geffen. Disenfranchised with their experience on a major, Brent and Darren Rademaker formed Further, who released four albums and handfuls of singles (as evidenced by their discography) of liberatingly unrestricted indie rock. Rarely critics darlings, Further were often chided for sounding like the bands listed above, thus spawning the excellently tongue-in-cheek song "Furtherdoh Jr-Q" provided below. After the band broke up in the late 90s, Brent joined Beachwood Sparks and Darren joined The Tyde. Sometimes Chimes is a double LP released on Christmas Records in 1993. It is out of print and fetches a pretty penny on eBay. There are 27 songs here, clocking in at 1.3 hours, and by my count, it's 20 songs too long (though it's an admirable excess as it is). So I've handpicked a fine EP's worth of True Indie Rock songs. For more background on the band, check out this and that.

Side A mp3: Further - Surfing Pointers
Side B mp3: Further - Isabel (Unrest cover)
Side C mp3: Further - Going to Glendora
Side C mp3: Further - Ride
Side D mp3: Further - Organ Donor
Side D mp3: Further - Furtherdoh Jr-Q
Side D mp3: Further - Alternative Ulcer

P.S. If you enjoyed these songs, run don't walk to Wilfully Obscure, a great blog I just found when searching for info on Further. The kind soul over there has just posted a link to the complete Golden Grimes EP, which is better, pound for pound, than Sometimes Chimes.

Famous Boyfriend - No-One Will Give You Anything 7"

Famous Boyfriend were a Hood side project. I'm a big fan of the sad A-side, which flaunts the great line "Do you know how I got home last night?". Ah, lamentation via the creation of art. So much easier than trying to change one's foibles. I'm less a fan of the noodly B-side, which the band appears not to have bothered to entitle. I'd have called it "noodly" and I'd also have left it off, creating an even more collectible one-sided 7". The B-side will appeal to fans of Main and fans of washing machine sounds (whose Venn diagrams largely overlap). Released on the wilfully obscure 555 Recordings label based out of the UK, in or around 1997.

Side A mp3: Famous Boyfriend - No-One Will Give You Anything
Side B mp3: Famous Boyfriend - Untitled