Saturday, January 07, 2006

Mid-90s flashback

Lounge Ax Defense and Relocation

A couple days ago I was going through some old mix tapes I'd made for the car in the mid-90s. These (rarer) tracks appeared on one I assembled, I'm estimating, somewhere in mid-to-late 1996. A good snapshot, therefore, of what I was listening to 9-10 years ago. Some names that will be familiar and a couple that have been lost to the dustbin of indie rock history.

Go - The John Huss Moderate Combo
A track that launched dozens of mix tapes/CD for friends over the years. This comes from a compilation of live performances on WHPK's long-running Pure Hype show. Sorry to say I don't know anything about these guys, but I'll hazard a guess (trust me, it's an educated guess) they were University of Chicago grad students. Check the nerdy key line: All travel's time travel anyway.

Batmobile - Liz Phair
I won't rewrite history. Liz used to speak to me. And for me. Exile in Guyville is an album that changed by life and I still consider it essential (I do so loathe "Flower," though). "Batmobile" is off the odds and sods 1995 Juvenilia EP and if you listen to the lyrics you'll know it's a song about Chicago. And not a complimentary one.

HeliumAmerican Jean - Helium
Mary Timony was the coolest woman in rock in the mid-90s. Like Liz Phair, she didn't have the best stage presence and wasn't always on pitch, but the way she tuned her guitar and her cool, ironic delivery . . . no one could doubt that, as she sings in "American Jean," I can put my own pants on. From Unnecessary Niceness, a Rough Trade compilation of American import (to the U.K.) singles.

Mark Price P.I. - Archers of Loaf
An instrumental totally unlike anything else from Archers of Loaf--who were so much better and more inventive than people seem to give them credit for these days. The band contributed this track to the Lounge Ax Defense and Relocation Fund comp. If you're a Chicago music geek, you know how the whole "defense and relocation" thing worked out.

Glowworm - The Apples in Stereo
I've posted the single version of this before (this album track appears on Fun Noise Trickmaker), but it's one of my all-time favorite tunes--top 10 for sure--and really, you can never have too much "Glowworm." I'm mildly surprised to see so many people in the mp3 blogosphere slathering over AIS these days. For a time in the early 2000s, I thought I was the only one who still carried a torch for these unrepentant popsters.

Favourite Song - Gigantaur
SpinART compatriots of Apples in Stereo, I know very little else about Gigantaur except they almost certainly weren't American. (I'm an appalling speller--spellcheck saves me on a daily basis--but even I know we Americans don't put a "u" in favorite.) Off the label's Lemon Lime Vol. 1 comp.

For The Mekons Et Al - Palace Brothers
Will Oldham's meandering tribute to The Mekons. If we drink we still think, and we wake up in the morning. Appears on the Hey Drag City compilation.

Apples in Stereo poster

6 Comments:

Blogger D said...

ahh... another quality post Amy, you never cease to impress me! brings back some memories too... excellent job!

D

2:23 PM  
Blogger No Frontin' said...

Great post. Ten years ago I was twelve.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Moka said...

Great taste! Congrats on the post, instantly attracted

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Neil said...

For a couple of years I volunteered at the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic studio in the basement of the Geology building (I think) on the U of C campus. While I was training, I sat at the tape machine and recorded the pages that John Huss was reading. He was indeed a U of C graduate student--in the philosophy of science, I believe. I remember that I stopped working with him when he went to Russia for a year. Great guy--extremely funny.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks, Neil! Somehow I knew it...takes one to know one, right?

11:55 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Good Liz Phair track!

9:40 PM  

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