David Byrne

As a Talking Head, guitarist/songwriter/singer David Byrne showed an inquisitive, intelligent interest in unusual applications of, and exploratory cultural variations on, pop music. His solo musical work revolves around transfiguring pop through the infusion of alien elements or by injecting it into foreign situations. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, a continuation of his…

Girl Trouble

Had the Cramps grown up in Tacoma, Washington, at the time when the Sonics and the Wailers (not those Wailers) regularly played high-school dances, they might have become Girl Trouble. As it happened, Girl Trouble was a lounge act way before cocktail rehabilitation struck; the members met not at a high-school dance but in a…

Gravel

Anacortes, Washington, where Gravel comes from, isn’t a lot different from Aberdeen (where Nirvana, Melvins and Metal Church all began); both are cloistered, working-class towns that face the Pacific Ocean from remote corners of the rugged Olympic Peninsula. Singer/guitarist Bryan Elliott and bassist Dale Robinson were originally in the near-acoustic Pounding Serfs. Augmented by guitarist…

Pond

Shortly after Seattle first happened, the Oregon city three hours to the south — where the Wipers, Poison Idea and Dead Moon had been knocking about in honorable obscurity for years — began to produce a fresh crop of its own bands. Portland’s class of ’92 included Sprinkler, Heatmiser (with Elliott Smith), Hazel and Pond.…

Thee Hypnotics

Assembling a host of 1967 psychedelic fuzz-guitar stars — Blue Cheer, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, etc. — as primary influences, adding a bit of Pretty Things/Rolling Stones ambience and jamming on a frenzied Stooges/MC5 drive, this quartet from High Wycombe, a town northwest of London, handily re-created the pre-Zeppelin era with more flair than most. Singer…

Dead Moon

Fred Cole ended up in Portland, Oregon in the late ’60s with a band of Las Vegas teenagers who called themselves the Weeds and were running from the draft, the law or both. In any event, they ran out of money, stumbled onto a manager, transformed into the Lollipop Shoppe and released an album on…

Hazel

Hazel emerged in the first batch of Portland, Oregon bands (Crackerbash, Heatmiser, Pond, Sprinkler) that seemed to flower spontaneously just as nearby Seattle was in the throes of grunge overkill. From the first, Hazel was a bit of an oddity, a trio of young musicians accompanied by a much older dancer, Fred Nemo, whose role…

Toadies

Toadies’ post-punk hard rock seemed a natural for radio, but the Dallas/Ft. Worth quartet had to tour with Bush for the better part of a year before Rubberneck‘s virtues were exposed to such a broad audience. Certainly the songs — especially “Possum Kingdom” — are a bouncing good time, and guitarist Todd Lewis has the…

Monks of Doom

At its peak in the mid-’80s, Northern California’s Camper Van Beethoven was a strikingly precocious ensemble unable (despite regular releases) to contain the disparate enthusiasms of its members. The Monks of Doom was one of several side projects to emerge, giving a forum to bassist Victor Krummenacher, guitarist Greg Lisher, drummer Chris Pedersen and Ophelias…

Blood Circus

Before grunge became a marketing concept it was a pretty good way of describing the fusion of suburban metal and urban punk. And in Seattle’s summer of ’88, Blood Circus (Doug Day, Michael Anderson, T-Man and Geoff Robinson) vied with Mudhoney, Soundgarden and Mother Love Bone to see who might fill arenas first. (Sub Pop…

7 Year Bitch

The release of 7 Year Bitch’s debut coincided both with the Seattle grunge frenzy and with one of the media’s periodic women-in-rock fixations. Even so, the band’s spartan punk gave voice — with remarkable force and poise — to a complicated agenda all its own. Taking sonic inspiration from the Runaways (and, by extension, Joan…

Sky Cries Mary

Seattle’s Sky Cries Mary didn’t set out to revitalize the legend of Hawkwind and rekindle the notion of space rock (or even become a Jefferson Airplane for the ’90s). Actually, the group began by making particularly nasty noises in the guise of an industrial band. SCM began as theater student Roderick Romero’s senior thesis, and…

Five-Eight

Five Eight initially emerged from the Athens/Atlanta scene largely on the strength of singer/guitarist Mike Mantione’s “Looking Up,” originally a 7-inch single, then the first (and best) track on I Learned Shut Up, the trio’s first full-length disc. The song was said to be based on Mantione’s recollection of studying the ceiling during electroshock therapy,…

Contributors

These folks either wrote reviews that appear on the site or wrote for Trouser Press magazine. If anyone listed below cares to E-mail us with a link you’d like added, just let us know. And ditto if anyone is AWOL from this list. Grant AldenDavid AntrobusJem AswadTroy J. AugustoMichael AzerradCary BakerMichael BakerEmily BeckerJohn BergstromArt BlackJohn…