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Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Son of the Return of Children of Nuggets?

As I've mentioned before, the new Children of Nuggets box set from Rhino has me all kinds of excited. But looking over the track listing, filled with bands and tunes I've either never heard of or always wanted to hear, I got to thinking about my Nuggets. Um, I mean, that is, about the unheralded singles and obscure album tracks from the height of the indie rock era of the early 1990s. While Sonic Youth, Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine, Pavement and a few others took the spotlight (deservedly so), there were scores of lesser bands who released great tunes in those post- post-punk years in a myriad of genres: shoegazer, power pop, pop punk, cuddlecore, sludgy riff rock, rockabilly, bizarre novelties, on and on. Children of Nuggets, with its focus on "the second psychedelic era 1976 to 1995" crosses over with this movement to an extent, but garage psych is only one facet of a wider story--one that cries out to be archived.

One of the engines behind this period's underground rock renaissance was the embrace of the 45 RPM single. While the mainstream's shift from tapes and records into CDs was in full swing, little bands were still able to get their music out in a format they could afford to press, and one that college DJs like me were eager to fetishize. The Sub Pop Singles Club led the charge, with a new 45 every month for subcribers (with deep pockets--it cost a fortune), featuring bands from Nirvana and Soundgarden to Urge Overkill and Gorilla.

But there were other, more musically diverse sources for new records. One of the highlights of my day was walking down to the campus mailroom to check the station's mailbox (I still remember the combination--28-29-12) which was always filled with stacks of new promos--and once a month the RockBox. Oh, what a happy day it was when the RockBox arrived. A collection of CDs, records and singles complied by the editors of Rockpool magazine for subscribing college stations across the country, the RockBox always contained the best of the day's unheard, unsigned regional acts--and its share of unlistenable crap. Rockpool was eventually swamped by CMJ, and went under sometime before I graduated in 1993--but for a while, it was magic.

Anyhow, I'm working on a list of my favorite tunes from this period, toward a fantasy box set. If you have an affinity for this music, feel free to add more in comments. (Yes, Matt, I'm talking to you.)

You Don't Love Me Anymore—Llamasaurus
All Girls Are Mine—Smashing Orange
Everything Should Be The Way It Should Be—Immaculate Hearts
When I'm Here With You; Last Caress—The Parasites
We Got The Beat—Poison Idea
Hello, Hello—Groovie Ghoulies
Stop Dragggin' Me Down—Mono Men
Where Did She Come From—Hard-Ons
All Time/All The Way—The Groove Diggers
Cicciolina—Majesty Crush
Axl or Iggy—East River Pipe
Sex Offender—The Mr. T. Experience
Rainbow Man—Jack Wenberg
Do De Squat/Squat With Me Baby—The Great Gaylord
Please Don't Kill Dr. Strange—The Pineapples
Swivel Chair—Nothing Painted Blue
L. Frank Baum—The Bags
I'll Kill You—Hot Glue Gun
Anesthesia/I Can't Wait—Dean Wareham (pre-Luna solo demos)
Hello the Mellowman—Fantastic Palace
Park The Car By The Side Of The Road—The Swirlies
Jr. Loaded—Sprinkler
Savage Eggplant—Kenny Young
Strong Reaction—Pegboy
Go Fish—Cub
20,000 Volt Monster—Sometime Sweet Susan
Warm/Crawl—Velocity Girl
Sober/Detox Man—Gorilla
November Comes—Hollow Men
In My Groove—The Whirlies
The Insect God—Monks Of Doom
I'm Hell—Mule
In The Mouth—The Cows
Soundmind—Viva Saturn
I Am The Greatest—A House
The Jayne Mansfield Story/Why Does Everybody Leave Me Jayne?—Opposable Thumb
Young And Dumb—Low Meato
Spirit Of Radio—Solomon Grundy
I Want More—Vision Thing
High—One Thin Dime
Bold Rat—The Coctails

One that has to be heard to be beleived is the Opposable Thumb single, one side of which is insanely melodramatic excerpts from the Jayne Mansfield TV movie starring Loni Anderson and Arnold Schwartzenegger set to music, while the flip side is a folk song using the exact same words as lyrics.

You might want to rephrase the line "I got to thinking about my Nuggets."

I am pleased to report that I have 16 of those tunes and more you remember. After I move next month, I'll try and put together a comp for Christmas. I'll respond in length soon about other tunes, although I'm sure I'll miss a few, as my vinyl is packed away.
So, I got to thinking about my testicles...

Is that better?

When we were in school, I had the foresight to make cassette tapes of many of the singles I mentioned--tapes which are now disintegrating. And I've managed to find a few of the tracks on CD (I still don't have a turntable.) A few years ago I bought the Parasites CDs which contained the singles we all went gag ga over--but of course, for the album, Nikki Parasite made more polished, but inferior re-recordings of When I'm Here With You, Die Trying, etc.
by the way, Matt, I love it when you respond at my command.
if you have anything on those tapes that are completely impossible to find, we can attempt to digitize them later. we may not get the best recordings, but they won't be lost to the mists of history.
That would be great. I have three or four tapes filled with the stuff. They're actually not in terrible condition, at least the last time I listened to them a couple of years ago.

I bet the bulk of that material is still squirreled away in the WRMC library.
I heard there was a vinyl purge a few years after we left. I bet the bulk of that material is rotting away in a landfill because no one after-the-fact would have any idea what to do with a Sunset Strip 10" record.

Really, we each should've strolled away from WRMC with a box full of records.
Punk kids. I walked six miles uphill, barefooted, both ways in a hail of bullets and flaming meteors for the right to cue up "Don't Touch My Ass' by Transmisia on a turntable.
What was on the other side of "To Love Somebody" by Mule? I loved that BeeGees Cover.

Matt, will your christmas tape have tiny writing?

Also, shouldn't this list have GROTUS on it? I'm not sure how to make the require umlauts.

Ulautily yours,

What was on the other side of "To Love Somebody" by Mule? I loved that BeeGees Cover.

Matt, will your christmas tape have tiny writing?

Also, shouldn't this list have GROTUS on it? I'm not sure how to make the require umlauts.

Ulautily yours,

What was on the other side of "To Love Somebody" by Mule? I loved that BeeGees Cover.

Matt, will your christmas tape have tiny writing?

Also, shouldn't this list have GROTUS on it? I'm not sure how to make the require umlauts.

Ulautily yours,

I'm going to post the same thing over and over and spell my own name incorrectly. Don't tell anyone my plan.
It was the b-side of "I'm Hell".
Their Tennessee Hustler/Black Bottom single came out the same year, and was almost as good.
Why are each of your comments only posted once? It's confusing.
"teenage riot" 7" by The Grifters
Wasn't it "Daydream Riot"? I remember thinking it was a reference to SY.
And who did "I Hate the Grateful Dead"?
Other acts people were into at the time include Paleface, the Cynics, the Original Sins, Chemical People, Love Battery, Poster Children, Rats of Unusual Size, Buttsteak, Flat Duo Jets, Killdozer and Treepeople. It was a minor tune, but I liked the Velvet Monkeys' cover of "Rock the Nation."

And there's an indie CD you were really into junior year, Dave, I think it had a cockroach on the cover, polyrhythmic beats--but I can't remember what it was called. I know that I had it taped on the flip side of No Pocky for Kitty, so it must have come out around the same time. Do you remember that one?
Monkeyspank's "Blue Mud" was pretty great. Unfortunately I don't think anyone will ever find this one. Merkin (the label) is gone, gone, gone. I think Berserk and Buttsteak were on this label as well.

Can't remember what had a cockroach on it.

"Daydream riot", you're right. I also thought they were referencing youth, sonic.

I think if you really did a box set it should have some stuff off of the first two ween records. Those would be the sellout commercial tracks.

Was "landlord" by sprinkler? What about the band Love Battery?
Monkeyspank. That's it. I think Merkin's logo might have been a cockroach.

What Ween would you put on it? (I'd go with Captain Fantasy.) You're right about the need for a handful of sellout tracks--I'd also go with some UO, off of americruiser or Supersonic Storybook; some Flaming Lips from Ambulance or Future Head--what else?

Landlord is a much better choice for Sprinkler than Jr. Loaded.

I really liked Les thugs cover of Moon Over Marin, which they did for the Alt. Tentacles anniversary album.
I looked it up, and the third song on Blue Mud is called "Roach". A mind is a terrible, terrible thing.
I see you like llamasaurus.
I live in Nashville now and have a group called Iron Hee-Haw. send an email if you would like some llama or ihh material
I just found my ole Llamasaurus disc in the basement (it was thrown at me in a 'Ratskellar' LIU show) and gave it a play through. I was happy to hear the tasty riffs and hooks; amazed to see that I still had ~89% of the discernable lyrics memorized. I remember Barry and the boys rockin' it back at the now defunct LIU campus in Southampton, NY and surrounding parties, playin' for a few bucks, beers, and fun. I will be forwarding this CD immediately to a crime partner from the same era and locale... he has just reconnected with me via the www as well. Best luck/skill w/ their new project - Iron Hee Haw.


Found the 7" up in New Paltz as well.
that opposable thumb song haunts me still. I wish I knew where to find it.
Our compilation of tunes from the era is now at 24 80-minute discs and counting. We pulled the Opposable Thumb single off of a cassette tape I had the foresight to make back in college. The audio quality is poor but that was true to begin with. From the same tape we also grabbed "Nothing To Believe" by The Glories: a great song, but we can't find any trace of the tune or group anywhere, online or in print.
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