This entry is all about discovering what some of my favorite bands have done since splitting with the cash, and finding how well the resources on the web have stretched to allow for their slow sinking into obscurity. Right now, I've hit A Minor Forest, Grammatrain, Jawbox, Poor Old Lu, and Roadside Monument. I'm open to suggestions, and enjoy...
A Minor Forest
Reviled, feared, and worshipped. Or so I hear. I never got to see the impact of the live show, but their albums hold enough force for me. They just recently had a double CD set released on My Pal God; there are some gems in that collection.
The semi-official site has stayed much the same since breaking the sad news. Sob as you can almost feel the rock pouring off of these pics.
Also included is a nice link to an interview with Andee. He provides explanations for "Perform the Critical Straw Transfer" and "So Jesus Was at the Last Supper", sort of. Even goes so far as to attempt to explain why they were intentionally annoying:
"There's definitely points where you want to annoy, just because it's fun. If you're in a position to put out a record that's going to go all over the place, why not? Poke a little fun at people."
Then I clicked on -- HOLY MOTHER OF MP3!! That's a lot of music! Unfortunately, it's not quite as neat as it looks since they are one minute clips; still, Brainwashed deserves a pat on the back for the introductory material to so many artists. I, for one, didn't know what half of the musical projects on that page sounded like. Brainwashed also supplies very current release date info for electronic/experimental/etc. records. Looking forward to that TBA Godspeed/Shalabi Effect split.
Moving on to other fan sites, the outersound page is so defunct it doesn't have any content!
Replace that with another interview: this time, it's vegan against antivegetable in a duel to the death!
The Wrath of Hahn's AMF pages used to be up to date on 2/26/99, I'm afraid they are now falling into disuse.
While researching, I could find little hard evidence but I tracked the AMF members down into the following possible bands: Threnody Ensemble, Ticwar, 33.3, J Church, and of course, PEE.
Perhaps my first introduction to truly emotional rock music, I don't find it ironic at all that Grammatrain was a Christian ensemble attempting to emulate the Seattle grunge sound, and failing in a uniquely grand way on their debut, Lonely House. That CD is still one of my favorites.
On top of a masterful first album, they were a band with tremendous live impact. Supposedly, there's a live CD in the pipe, recorded at one of the very last shows during the splitting process in Germany. However, when I try the link I see a tantalizing shot of Dalton rocking out, but no audio. About.com has a review of it, so it must actually exist... and they close with Jerky Love Song. Beyond awesome. It was a dip into short super-fast punk, and the lyrics go a bit like this:
I can never pay my bills and I can never just sit still
Never know what I should say; I hope you love me anyway
I know I can be obscene and I'm addicted to caffeine
I smell all the time; I hope that love is really blind
It's almost my theme song. Well, it'd be my theme song if pEtE's album closer, Apathy wasn't. Yes, that's the explanation for the log name.
On that tip, pEtE is off doing a mellower, less edgy [read: boring] solo project. MP3.com hosts a few of his mp3s, and compares him to "Lenny Kravitz meets Jacob Dylan" in the sidebar. shudder... he's got some live acoustic songs on his own sounds page. Break the worship party down for us, Lenny! And stop with the bad cricket jokes.
Meanwhile, Dalton's writing a scifi novel and Paul is playing even stranger music in Gideon's Press. It seems to be letting him follow his Pink Floyd and Rush roots, so I guess it's not all that strange. This fan page qualifies as a bit odd, though. "Seattle's hottest new Band" indeed. There's a Real Audio song on each of those sites: This Place.ram, Time.ram
Lifting the powers of pop on their shoulders and crossing the sea of aggression, the compromise dropped out the late, lamented Jawbox. Since Kim and company run Desoto, their page stays fairly fresh. You've got enlightenment on the sometimes complex lyrics (concrete linking to reify anyone?), and the always inspiring Billrant. What's this Jawbox, you ask? Epitonic mp3 link: Jawbox - 68.mp3
Other stuff: A Pitchfork interview from one of the first iterations of the 'fork poses questions to the band right before the fated last album was released. Oddly, the other review site link that turned up in my search was MTV reviewing the selftitled album... craziness!
In Your Eye zine looks at the business end of the rock n' roll scene, and they have a great retrospective on the business factors of the band breakup.
Of course, J has not stopped the rock. You can still see him bust it up with Burning Airlines... only check www.burningairlines.com if you need a Backstreet Boys T-shirt though. The official site is over at DeSoto, of course! (last updated 10/11/99) If that's not enough crashing air transit for you, check the unofficial pages, last updated 9/26/99.
Poor Old Lu
Another band from the odd Christian scene in Seattle around the time of "alternative rock", Poor Old Lu delighted kids far and wide with their ever-changing brand of funky white blues rock.
Their site was last updated on 9/30/99, with the sad news that Scott has closed down the web shoppe. It may prove tricky to find Straight Six on CD elsewhere. The previous update linked to a new mp3 on their sounds page, called Army Guy.mp3 -- very nice of them to release an LP-only joke track. Not at all representative of their sound, but funny as they poke large sticks at grunge clichés.
There are few fan sites left; this one last updated 4/14/99, with non-news. It's got a nifty retrospective on the last few years of Lu, and an informational overview of what each band member has been up to.
Most indie folks know Poor Old Lu as the "band that
Jeremy Enigk sang with a while back",
but didja know Nick played bass for Jeremy on the
Frog Queen tour? Me neither.
Although there's a new Rose Blossom Punch CD rumoured to be out next month, their domain is quite useless and takes us to Aaron's solo project. For some reason, I don't dig the drum machine backing; his song sample sounds lifeless compared to the vibrant funk of Poor Old Lu. I highly recommend you try Lu first.
Jesse, the other Sprinkle brother in Lu has an interesting acoustic project called The World Inside, last updated 10/27/99. His rather boggling music recommendations are wide spread, and look down at the bottom: hey hey, Burning Airlines!
I feel this last is a bad entry, because the Monument has become defunct so swiftly I can't provide a link; not even a badly decaying one. You will have to take my word for the fact that I Am The Day of Current Taste is the greatest rock record you've never heard. (With organ and production help by J Robbins, I tell you he's everywhere...)
There used to be a very comprehensive page housed at http://roadside.simplenet.com/, but it has dropped without a splash or a sound. If you manage to find any better information or links dealing with Roadside, please let me in on the secret.
Severely underinformed factoids:
Johnathon Ford helps out at Made in Mexico, played on the last Pedro the Lion full length, released a bass-centric EP under the moniker Unwed Sailor, and supposedly is in a band called Scientific.
Matt Johnson drums for Blenderhead, generally creates chaos with hardcore weirdos 90 Lb. Wuss, and plays with main man Doug Lorig in a Seattle grûp called Raft of Dead Monkeys.