I love going on business trips or a vacation where you actually go some place because it always affords me the opportunity to check out the local “indie” record store. Some stores, like Amoeba Records , in Berkley, California, are so large that you might consider packing a lunch. Most stores are much smaller. When we go to Ocean City, New Jersey I always visit the punk record shop on the boardwalk, and at The Cape you’ll find me at Spinnakers in Hyannis or Falmouth.
In the spring of 1995 I attended a designers conference in the Twin Cities. Held biennially by my former employer these conferences provided me plenty of opportunity to visit local record shops throughout the Midwest and west. Luckily for me, at the Twin Cities conference Cheapo Discs was right next door to our hotel.
When buying records on these trips I make it a point to only buy that which I haven’t seen locally. I do have one major restriction thought and that’s not to break the bank buying records; because as my wife always asks, don’t you have enough records…. yet????
Fourteen years after buying these three cds I couldn’t possibly tell you why I bought these particular cds. With all the discs at Cheapo Discs I’m certain I could have chosen wiser; but this is what makes it fun, taking a flyer on someone you’ve never heard of, because just possibly you’ll find that elusive perfect record.
I’M STILL LOOKING!!!
The Campfire Girls
Formed in Los Angeles in 1993 the Campfire girls consisted of Christian Stone (vocals/guitar), Mike Semple (guitar), Andrew Clark (bass), Jon Pikus (drums) and Kelli Scott (drums on Tell Them Hi).
The seven song Mood Enhancer EP with its rocked-out grunge and fuzz rock influences is considered a near cult classic; and until the release of Delongpre in 2002 would be the nearest thing to a full- length that the group ever released.
On the strength of a few singles and local performances in the L.A. area the band signed with Interscope Records in 1994. The band would record 15 songs in their basement studio, but before the album was released the band imploded, a victim of both drugs and personal squabbling. In 2000, with the encouragement of Stone Temple Pilots’ Scott Weiland, the band re-formed and in 2002 those shelved tracks were released as the full length Delongpre.
While Mood Enhancer never sounds overly dated, the same can not be said of Delongpre,
“which trades for the most part in post-grunge clichés… sludgy mid-tempo textures and an almost complete lack of interesting melodies or hooks.”
2003’s Tell Them Hi with it’s smoother production values, dual guitar work from Christian Stone and Mike Semple and
“pure aggressive pop loaded with heavy life experiences and dark melodies” make for a polished sophomore effort.”
Little Wolverine/Post-Coital (Boy’s Life) 1994
Lifter & Campfire Girls (7″) (Fingerpaint Records, Boy’s Life Records) 1995
Sad Dog (Atlantic) 1995
Mood Enhancer E.P. (10″) (Beggars Banquet) 1995
Mood Enhancer E.P. (CD) (Beggars Banquet) 1995
Delongpre (CD) (Tornado) 2002
Delongpre (Digital Download)
Tell Them Hi (CD) (Interscope) 2003
Tell Them Hi (Digital Download)
Tracks Appear On:
“Motorola Casanova” Turn It Up & Pass It On, Volume 4 1995
Water Music (CD) (Just Add Water) 1995
Classic Dinner Music (Airwalk) (CD) (Interscope) 1995
“Motorola Casanova” This Ain’t No Sippin’ Tea (CD) (Beggars Banquet) 1996
“Perry Farrell Ate My Girlfriend” Modern Day Paintings By Original Artists (CD) (Fingerpaint Records) 1997
“Someday” The Inside Track (CD) (Interscope) 2003
“Someday” CMJ New Music Monthly, Volume 120: January/February 2004 (CD) (CMJ) 2004
“Ode To El Niño” The Suburbans (CD, Digital Download) (Ignite) 2000
Campfire Girls – Mood Enhancer EP
Playing Time: 36 minutes 48 seconds
1. Upon (1:21)
2. Motorola Cassanova (3:28)
3. Homework (3:23)
4. Little Wolverine (5:46)
5. Quick Phone Call (4:48)
6. P.F.A.M.G. (3:39)
7. Junkman (14:23)
Capsize 7, Joe Taylor (Guitar/Vocals), Geoff Abell (Guitar/Backing Vocals), Mike Jackson (Bass), and Chris Toms (Drums) was part of the same 1990s Chapel Hill indie rock boom that birthed Archers of Loaf, Superchunk, and Polvo. Their sound was a blend of the
“Archers’s fractured power-pop and Polvo’s baroque guitar shapes with Slint’s churning rawness”
they never lasted long enough “to garner their share of the hype.”
Tracks Appear On:
“The Safe” CMJ New Music Monthly Volume 28 (CD) (College Music Journal) 1995
“Column Shifter” Immortal: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD) (Permanent) 1996
“Queen Bitch” Crash Course for the Ravers: A Tribute to David Bowie (CD) (Undercover Records) 2003
Capsize 7 – Mephisto
Playing Time: 38 minutes 44 seconds
1. Column Shifter (2:48)
2. Armstrong (2:24)
3. Pong (1:54)
4. Western Friese (3:04)
5. Blasting. Radios Off (3:00)
6. Blower (2:48)
7. 1-8 (4:18)
8. The Safe (2:57)
9. Remote Control Human (2:22)
10. Ash Man (4:42)
11. Tomato Paste (2:17)
12. Connecticut (2:30)
13. Malt Lemur (3:40)
The Edsel Auctioneer
Taking their name from Ford’s ill-fated automobile, The Edsel Auctioneer; Ashley Horner (guitar/ vocals), Phil Pettler (bass/ vocals), Aidan Winterburn (vocals, guitar) and Chris Cooper (drums) formed in Leeds in 1988.
In early 1988 they recorded several songs for a small Glasgow indie label, unreleased the tape found its way to legendary English DJ John Peel who invited the band to Maida Vale studios to record a session. The group’s first Peel Session produced four songs; “Brickwall Dawn”, “Blind Hurricane”, “Between Two Crimes” and “Place In the Sun.” This Peel Session was broadcast in late 1988 and once again in 1989 as the group would record another Peel Session in 1993.
On the basis of the 1989 Peel Sessions the band signed with Manchester’s Decoy Records, also home to Mega City Four. Their first single, produced by Iain Burgess, “Our New Skin/ Strung”, was released in 1989. They released the Stickleback EP in 1990 and later that year those first two releases were combined and released as the mini-album Voice of the Harolds.
With a sound that clearly showed the influence of indie noise merchants Dinosaur Jr., Hüsker Dü and My Bloody Valentine, along with touches of the Byrds, the Monkees, the Go-Betweens and the Pixies the band proved moderately successful in the UK;
“supporting bands like Teenage Fanclub, Neds Atomic Dustbin, Senseless Things, the Telescopes, Buffalo Tom, Silverfish, the Lemonheads and the Wedding Present.”
In 1992 Chris Cooper left to join the Pale Saints and was replaced on drums by Tris Williams. Simmer, their first full length was recorded in Edinburgh and at Strawberry Studios in Stockport in late 1990. Produced by Chris Nagle the album, due to Decoy Records financial problems, wasn’t released until 1992.
While Simmer produced a series of singles, “Starfish”, “Slouch” and “Undertow” continuing financial problems resulted in Decoy Records folding and the band was forced to look for a new label. Following a US tour and an appearance at 1993’s CMJ festival in New York they signed with Alias Records.
Their second full length, The Good Time Music of… was recorded in the summer of 1994 with The Cure’s engineer Steve Whitfield producing. Released by Alias in 1995 the album spans
“a number of genre, including noise, bubblegum pop, grunge and country.”
The album did produce one single, the breezy bubblegum pop song, “Summer Hit”, with Meriel Barham from Pale Saints singing back-up, but with little label support the album withered on the vine and in late 1995 the band broke up.
Our New Skin / Strung (7″) (Decoy) 1989
Gutted EP (7″, 12″) (Decoy) 1990
Stickleback (7″, 12″) (Decoy) 1990
Voice Of The Harolds (EP) (Decoy) 1990
Voice Of The Harolds (LP) (Decoy) 1990
Voice Of The Harolds (CD, EP) (Decoy) 1990
Starfish (12″) (Decoy)1991
Jimmy Starfish / Beatslag Day (7″) (Clawfist) 1992
Pop Song # 2 (7″) (Summershine) 1992
Simmer (CD, LP) (Decoy) 1992
Slouch (7″) (Decoy) 1992
Undertow (7″) (Decoy) 1992
Symmetry / Stuntman (5″) (Alias Records) 1995
The Good Time Music Of … (CD) (Alias Records) 1995
The Good Time Music Of … (Digital Download)
Tracks Appear On:
“Did She Ever Pay?” Knowing Where It All Leeds (CD) (Stolen Sounds) 1991
“Lost Interest” Ruta 66 (CD, LP) 1991
“Summer Hit” Summer Hit! (CD) (Running Circle) 1995
“Summer Hit” Spin This 6 (CD)
“I Cut A Hole” Untitled (Flexi, 7″) (Ablaze! Magazine)
The Edsel Auctioneer – The Goodtime Music Of…
Playing Time: 47 minutes 37 seconds
1. Summer Hit (3:04)
2. Simple (3:44)
3. Philled (3:31)
4. Stuntman (2:52)
5. What’s The Use? (4:58)
6. 11Th September ’94 (4:23)
7. Hangover (2:47)
8. Faces One (4:10)
9. Haircut (4:13)
10. Country Song (4:20)
11. Shortchanged (4:41)
12. Just Can’t Believe It (4:54)
Tags: Alternative Pop/ Rock