20 June 2021

WHISTLER Whistler 1999




Artist Biography by Mike DaRonco

Putting his days as a member of EMF behind him, Ian Dench -- armed with only his acoustic guitar -- began his collaboration with vocalist Kerry Shaw back in 1996 under the name Whistler. After recruiting violinist James Topham, who also played with Brian Eno, Whistler gigged around England as a three piece before releasing their 1998 single "Rare American Shoes." With their talent of combining Kerry's crisp, but soothing voice that leads on the sensible combination of drowning violins and rhythmic guitars, their second single "If I Give You a Smile" was released that same year and caught on to the acclaim of NME and Melody Maker. Their self-titled full length was released on Wiiija the following year. Whistler returned in early 2001 with Faith In The Morning. 


1 If I Give You A Smile 3:58
2 Don't Jump In Front Of My Train 3:16
3 Closing Time 3:04
4 Emily 3:40
5 The End 4:38
6 Rare American Shoes 3:07
7 Heaven Help Me 3:04
8 Pulling The Strings 4:36
9 Natalie's Song 3:53
10 Please Don't Love Me Any More 3:06



DANIELLE HOWLE About To Burst 1996




Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny

Live at McKissick Museum Indie folkie Danielle Howle first emerged as the frontwoman for the group Lay Quiet Awhile, which debuted in 1993 with the album Delicate Wire; a year later, she issued her first solo single, "Frog" on Simple Machines. Live at McKissick Museum appeared in mid-1995, and the following summer Howle returned with her second studio full-length About to Burst, recorded in part with her new backing band The Tantrums. She and John Furr (guitars), Troy Tague (drums) and Bryan Williams (bass) captured Howle's classic crossovers of country and punk for her finest work yet. She next released 1997's "High School Dance," a seven-inch on Sub Pop; Do a Two Sable surfaced that fall, and in mid-1999 Howle returned with Catalog, her debut for Kill Rock Stars. Her spontaneity and sultry nature while incorporating spoken word and country-like twang has had critics going crazy since the mid-nineties. Showdates with the likes of Elliott Smith, Ani DiFranco, Throwing Muses and the Indigo Girls also positioned Howle for some great things come the new millennium. Her third installment for Amy Ray's Daemon Records, Howle and The Tantrums issued the versatile and eclectic Skorborealis in spring 2002. 


1 Threatened
2 Feel So Bad For You
3 Trust In Love
4 World War Defense
5 Evidence
6 Red Candles
7 Soft White China Patterns On His Teeth
8 I Held The Satchel
9 Parakeet Protest Song
10 The Parlor
11 Spider Writer
12 :)
13 Down
14 Lonely Is A Word
15 Sounds Of The Elements Of Beauty
16 All



KIM FOX Moon Hut 1997




Artist Biography by Stewart Mason

Singer/songwriter/keyboardist Kim Fox updates the female singer/songwriter archetype of the early '70s (think Carole King and, especially, Laura Nyro) in much the same way as the indie-piano trio Suddenly, Tammy! -- whom she credits with inspiring her move from opera and classical music into pop -- and her former Bloomington, IN, neighbor, Lisa Germano. Her 1997 album Moon Hut also adds a hint of XTC and Aimee Mann, making Fox a natural for those who crave a certain level of intelligence with their pop hooks.

Kim Fox was born in Manhattan in 1968, the daughter of Norman Fox, a '50s doo wop singer whose band, Norman Fox and the Rob Roys, was one of the few integrated bands of the '50s. Fox took piano lessons as a teenager, inspired by a Laura Nyro record lent to her by one of her junior-high teachers, and wrote and self-recorded several songs while in high school. This primitive demo helped Fox get into the prestigious music composition and theory program at Vassar College, where she turned her attention to voice training with dreams of becoming an opera singer. Upon graduation, Fox took a low-level music industry job and began performing a one-woman cabaret act around New York, but after seeing Suddenly, Tammy!, a Pennsylvania trio led by the Laura Nyro-like singer-pianist Beth Sorrentino, play live, Fox returned to her teenage love of pop music.

A publishing and development deal with BMG led to Fox meeting producer Paul Mahern, who recorded her early demos. Fox was so taken both with Mahern's production style and his hometown of Bloomington, IN, that she moved there in 1995, waitressing to earn a living while she and Mahern refined her demos and worked on new material on the regional coffeehouse circuit. The then-new label Dreamworks Records signed Fox in 1996 and released her debut album, Moon Hut, in July 1997. Though the album received extremely positive reviews (and Fox appeared on several dates on the inaugural Lilith Fair tour), it was a commercial stiff, and Fox spent a fair amount of time extricating herself from her Dreamworks contract. Moving to Los Angeles in the late '90s, Fox signed with the local indie Franklin Castle Records and released her second album in the spring of 2002. 



1 I Wanna Be A Witch
2 Found A Penny
3 Could Have Been A Saint
4 Bleed A Little, Allison
5 Say Anything
6 Sweetest Revenge
7 Flowers Have O's
8 Cowgirl's Lament
9 Jen
10 I'm Discovered
11 Daredevil
12 Atlantic City



THEAUDIENCE Theaudience 1998



British indie/pop group active founded by guitarist Billy Reeves in 1996 and fronted by a fresh-faced Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

Guitarist Dean Mollett, bassist Kerin Smith, drummer Patrick Hannan (Patch) and keyboard player Nigel Butler (Nyge) made up the remainder of the cast.

The group was signed to Mercury on Sophie's 18th birthday, had a fair run of chart success and released one album before Billy Reeves gave up on it and left the group in 1999 (which was then quietly dropped by their label). Despite the remaining members writing new material, theaudience split soon afterwards.


1 A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed 3:44
2 Now That You Are 18 2:52
3 Mr. Doasyouwouldbedoneby 3:45
4 I Know Enough (I Don't Get Enough) 3:14
5 Keep In Touch 3:41
6 I Got The Wherewithal 3:48
7 Harry Don't Fetch The Water 4:37
8 If You Can't Do It When You're Young; When Can You Do It? 3:52
9 Running Out Of Space 2:53
10 You Get What You Deserve 4:08
11 The More There Is To Do 4:09
12 Bells For David Keenan 1:11
13 Shoebox Song 3:34
14 How's That? 6:51


SLEEPY PEOPLE Typhoid & Swans 1997




Artist Biography by Dean Carlson

The hard-working and militantly indie Sleepy People formed around the Christmas of 1991 when the provincial Paul Hope and Rachel Theresa united with their old college friends Andrew "Tiny" Wood, Richard Green, and Andy Peace to kick off one of the most confusing and convoluted band Venn diagrams of the British 1990s. The Newcastle band's obscure sound, along the lines of Shellac recording the Field Mice's For Keeps, was rooted in the band's establishment of their own frenzied rehearsal house known as Sleepy Hall. Here, amidst soundproofing, frequent parties, and occasional practices, the band roped in keyboardist Liz Wardby and grew enough confidence to make their live debut in February of 1992 and later embark on a devouring two-year tour consisting of over 120 stops. But the schedule paid its toll and Sleepy People's revolving door policy began to turn ever so slowly. Liz Wardby left the band, and it wasn't long before Wood, Green, Peace, and Pete Haslem, who had just replaced Wardby, split from the band to pursue more immediate success in London under the indie-prog madmen banner of Ultrasound.



1 Halfway World 2:41
2 Soporific Life 5:50
3 100 Years Ago 4:59
4 She Laughs Until She Stops 4:19
5 Home Is Where Your Telly Is 3:04
6 Nicky's Little Army 5:47
7 Everything You Know Is Wrong 6:22
8 Everything You Need To Know 3:45
9 Typhoid & Swans 3:11
10 Strange Planet (including secret track Go at 5:38) 10:09

MERLIN Merlin's Arcade 1996


by request



AllMusic Review by Roch Parisien

Quebec-based artist Merlin pricked ears in 1993 with debut A Noise Supreme's heavy rock'n'rap recipe, then created confusion with last year's more conventional, grungy Cool Chicks and Other Babes, issued under the name "ma." In a consistent track record of deliberate inconsistency, latest venture Merlin's Arcade also goes its own way, albeit building on the poppier elements of the ma project. Mr. Merlin ravages confessional television ("Oprah") and organized faith ("Junk Religion"), but not before taking rather defensive aim at the lowly music critic on lead track "The Playboy Interview": "You're wondering where the buzz is/And you're wondering where the raps are/'Cause you never really knew me/How can you rate me only one star?" Despite this grievous assault, I find the disc a most enjoyable slice of ear candy, completely self-recorded at his home studio known as (if you haven't guessed) Merlin's Arcade. Marred only by overly-mechanical drum tracks, Merlin puts the microscope to an amplified history book of pop/rock archetypes, from Beach Boys-meet-Seal vocal arrangements to the fuzzed-up candystripe bubblegum of (aptly-titled) "Watermelon Gum" and "Deep End." "Redneck Town" throws a chance of pace with its mock-spaghetti Western condemnation of small-town small-mindedness. 


1 The Playboy Interview 3:08
2 Davey 2:51
3 Watermelon Gum 2:31
4 Junk Religion 3:36
5 Cajun Babe 3:12
6 Deep End 3:14
7 Redneck Town (A Spaghetti Western Town) 2:14
8 Oprah 3:31
9 You Are The One 2:00
10 Get Me Out Of Memphis 3:10
11 Untitled 3:18



The Pigeon Is The Most Popular Bird


Severe Exposure


Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny

Indie electro-rock futurists Six Finger Satellite formed in Rhode Island in 1992. Originally comprised of singer/keyboardist J. Ryan, guitarists John MacLean and Peter Phillips, bassist Chris Dixon, and drummer Rick Pelletier, the group soon issued their Sub Pop label debut EP Weapon, followed in 1993 by the full-length The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird. Both Phillips and Dixon were gone from the band by the time of 1994's Machine Cuisine 10", recorded exclusively with electronic instruments; bassist James Apt signed on for the follow-up, 1995's Severe Exposure. Six Finger Satellite resurfaced a year later with Paranormalized. Law of Ruins followed in 1998. After an extended hiatus, the band reformed in 2007. In 2009, they finally remixed and released the album Half Control, which was originally recorded in 2001 before being shelved by the dissolution of the group. Later that year, the band released A Good Year for the Heavy Stuff on Anchor Brain. 

The Pigeon Is The Most Popular Bird


1 Untitled 0:38
2 Home For The Holy Day 2:51
3 Untitled 0:49
4 Laughing Larry 5:12
5 Untitled 1:31
6 Funny Like A Clown 3:33
7 Untitled 1:42
8 Deadpan 4:55
9 Untitled 0:59
10 Hi-Lo Jerk 4:04
11 Untitled 2:18

12 Love (Via Satellite) 3:17
13 Untitled 1:04
14 Save The Last Dance For Larry 4:24
15 Untitled 0:39
16 Solitary Hiro 2:19
17 Untitled 1:39
18 Neuro-Harmonic Conspiracy 5:12
19 Untitled 1:34
20 Takes One To Know One 3:35
21 Untitled 13:59


Severe Exposure


1 Bad Comrade 4:28
2 Parlour Games 3:05
3 White Queen To Black Knight 1:57
4 Pulling A Train 3:03
5 Simian Fever 3:55
6 Cock Fight 4:33
7 Dark Companion 1:40
8 Where Humans Go 3:05
9 Rabies (Baby's Got The) 3:26
10 Board The Bus 5:19

15 June 2021

OOIOO Feather Float 1999




Artist Biography by Heather Phares

OOIOO Led by percussionist/guitarist/vocalist YoshimiO -- also a founding member of Japanese experimental greats Boredoms -- OOIOO's music is united by the enthusiasm powering their wide-ranging explorations. They borrow from and reimagine fusion, kosmische, prog rock, and sounds from around the globe in ever-changing ways that are all the more exciting for their unpredictability. While 1997's OOIOO grew from the same noisy, psychedelic roots as Boredoms' music from that time, the band soon took that album's call-and-response vocals, rangy song structures, and transcendent rhythms in very different directions. On 1999's Feather Float, OOIOO found bliss in motorik repetition; on the following year's Gold and Green, they immersed themselves in elongated, pastoral excursions. Later, they dug into African inspirations on 2006's Taiga and Javanese gamelan music on 2014's Gamel, then stripped their instrumentation down to guitar, bass, and drums for 2020's Nijimusi. Despite, or perhaps because of, their constant state of flux, OOIOO burst forth with excitement and vivacity in a way few other groups do.

OOIOO began in 1995, when YoshimiO assembled a fake band for a magazine photo shoot. However, the group -- which also included guitarist/vocalist Kyoko, bassist/vocalist Maki, and drummer/vocalist Yoshiko -- soon began playing together for real. In 1997, they opened for Sonic Youth on that band's tour of Japan and released their self-titled debut album. Featuring cameos by Pussy Galore's Julia Cafritz, Cornelius' Keigo Oyamada, and Boredoms' Yamantaka Eye, OOIOO bore a resemblance to the music YoshimiO's other group was making at the time, but balanced their forays into noise with equally prominent melodies. Kill Rock Stars released the album in the U.S. in 1998, and the band followed it with the more streamlined yet dynamic Feather Float a year later.

Shock City Shockers, Vol. 2 The group's music continued to evolve quickly with 2000's Gold and Green, a more delicate, reflective set that introduced longtime guitarist Kayan and featured contributions by Sean Lennon and Yuka Honda. The following year, the remix collection Shock City Shockers 2 included a cover of Flora Purim's "Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly." Another veteran member of the band, bassist Aya, debuted on 2003's Kila Kila Kila, an album whose sparse yet expansive tracks included drummer Yuka Yoshimura, also of DMBQ and Metalchicks. Both Feather Float and Kila Kila Kila were issued in the States by Birdman Records; Gold and Green was released in the U.S. by Thrill Jockey in 2005. Thrill Jockey also issued 2006's sprawling, nature-inspired Taiga, which marked the debut of drummer Ai. OOEYEOO, an album of remixes by Eye, arrived in early 2007.

Armonico Hewa OOIOO returned with 2009's Armonico Hewa, a slightly heavier album whose title was a mix of Spanish and Swahili words meaning "air in a harmonious state." Their next studio outing was 2014's Gamel, an album loosely inspired by Javanese gamelan music. The following year, founding member Kyoko died. In 2016, the band introduced drummer Mishina to the fold. Her first album with OOIOO was 2020's Nijimusi, the group's first set of songs to focus on standard rock instrumentation in some time.


1 Be Sure To Loop 7:45
2 Oizumio 3:38
3 Ina 咲くの唄 4:23
4 Ah Yeah! 2:25
5 Switch On 2:16
6 Jackson's Club "Sunspot" 2:17
7 Asozan 5:11
8 Baby Bamboo From Nose 6:53
9 1000 Frogs And 3 Sun In A House 10:27
10 Ring Ring Lee 3:07
11 ハッピピピ OOIOO 0:11