Nov 11, 2013

How minimal can you get? #67

Bubonic Plague / Geneva Jacuzzi

Bubonic Plague – Dracula


‪Geneva Jacuzzi – Do I Sad?
Watch the unofficial version here.

Punk aversion Pt. III

Dead Kennedys Bedtime For Democracy LP (Alternative Tentacles, 1986)

Dead Kennedys ‎– Chickenshit Conformist

Time To Think Where The Hell Is Andrew? 7" (Thinking Time Records, 1992)

Time To Think – A Bunch Of Cults

Teenage PhDs Teenage PhDs 7" (Erectile, 1980)

Teenage PhDs – Punk Rock Is Dead
More info here.

By the way, is it just me or these guys ripped off The Fall's “Various Times intro?

Nov 5, 2013

How minimal can you get? #66

Big Black
“Big Black is a one-man band; Albini wrote the songs, sang/shouted the vocals, and played all the instruments (guitar, bass and a little organ), save a few yells and atonal sax blasts contributed by friends. He also recorded and mixed the disc, designed the cover, and came up with a bizarre variety of inserts – fishhooks, scary photographs, locks of Will Tizard's hair, etc, for the first 1,500 copies. Total cost: $1,870 and a case of beer for a friend who provided a four-track recorder. Albini picked up the tab using his college financial aid money. Jim Cress (Matter #1, January 1983)

“If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody's fucking up. Steve Albini

Big Black Lungs EP (Ruthless Records, 1982)

Big Black – Steelworker

How minimal can you get? #65

Tune-Yards

Tune-Yards – Real Live Flesh (4AD Sessions)

How minimal can you get? #64

Voice Farm  
Voice Farm is a San Francisco based techno-folk duo consisting of vocalist / composer Charly Brown and sound designer Myke Reilly. Voice Farm began its musical journey around 1980. Founding members Charly Brown and Gary Miles performed in San Francisco at The Mabuhay Gardens and The Deaf Club. Patrick Miller of Minimal Man was a brief member of Voice Farm at this time. After performing twice with Patrick at The Fab Mab Gary & Charly realized it was not to be. Patrick did not believe in rehearsing or learning a 'song' per se. At any rate it was way more fun to see him live than to perform with him.Official site

Human Hands, Nervous Gender, Voice Farm @ the Hong Kong Cafe, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA 1980
The first Voice Farm performances were way outside of the then current trend of nihilistic punk bands with guitars. Charly and I always agreed on one thing. Stark minimalism and modernism with a subversive undertone throughout. Bauhaus inspired dancers dressed as downtown executives provided a syncronized backdrop for our live shows. The audiences were split on us as we defied the punky nihilsm of the era with our new brand of modernist art house pop. By the early 80's we had attracted a large cult following and we were being approched by nightclubs, managers, labels etc.Myke Reilly 

Voice Farm (Gary Miles, Myke Reilly, Charly Brown)
This is where it all started. In a basement room lined with egg cartons, two synthesizers, a broken Farfisa organ and a beat box. Voice Farm’s first single came in a variety of handmade silkscreened covers. Red, yellow and blue. Former band-mate graphic artist Gary Miles worked his magic on these.Official site

Voice Farm Sleep/Mödern Things 7" (Optional Records, 1981)

Voice Farm – Sleep
Listen to the 7" here.

More info here.

How minimal can you get? #63

Quite Ridiculous Nonsense
This excellent EP comes shrouded in the sort of mystery that can cause mild bouts of arrhythmia in serious collectors. The Montreal band (?) was the brainchild of one Daniel Foley, who after all these years seems to have eluded the great algorithmists at Google. And like many of those bands that probably fed Foley's obtuse post-punk visions, the four songs here are definitely 'ideal to get rid of your unwanted visitors', as the liner notes so ominously warn us. The most obvious reference point has to be West Yorkshire's equally obscure heroes the Distributors, whose quirky, robotic base riffs and detached vocal wouldn't seem so out of place next to Foley's riveting 'General Attitude' on side one. Over on the flip, the industrial 'Identity Crisis' sounds like an outtake from Cabaret Voltaire's Rough Trade years, while the curious noodling on 'Boredom' shows that Foley might have had a chance meeting on a turntable with Nurse with Wound's early catalogue. A mint copy of this went for 160 bucks in 2012, while the band's follow-up 1986 cassette Poor Work has fetched a healthy 78 dollars, so good luck getting your hands on one of these. Michael Panontin

Most ace industrial wank of that rare late 70's variety. Wildly entertaining experiments in four track flatulence and transistor radio static. Johan Kugelberg

Quite Ridiculous Nonsense A Failure… EP (1984)

Quite Ridiculous Nonsense – General Attitude
Listen to the whole EP here.

Oct 2, 2013

Synth to the core

Asbestos Rockpyle 
Asbestos Rockpyle did an EP and three cassettes but the 'Police State' 45 remains their magnum opus. Singer/lead guitarist/lyricist/producer Paul R.W. Clark released cassettes on his own and contributed songs to several Mystic compilations. Anatol Sucher, who wrote the music, here, moved to Santa Cruz, where he ran a spin-off cassette label Warped West, and later recorded solo and with Fizztabs, Twelve Tablets, and Noisemoustache in S.F. Chuck Warner

Asbestos Rockpyle (Paul R.W. Clarke) with Dana DeNike. David Waldman
A side is sleepy punk with funny guitars (no rhythm - just solo) and a singer who has been practising a long time to sound like Joe Strummer of The Clash. B side has cheap synth drums and fuzzed voice; meant to be haunting, but it’s rather funny. Actually this is real bad but also entertaining. Burkhard Järisch

Asbestos Rockpyle and No Trend @ The Ritz, Washington DC, 1983
Now, this is weird. The punked-out guitarist on the cover doesn't exactly prepare one for the music – a unique amalgam with drum machine, synth, psychedelic guitar, and alternately sung and treated vocals. 'Bombs' is almost folky, but the uptempo flip has mucho abrasive power and plenty of appeal. Jeff Bale

Asbestos Rockpyle Bombs From Belfast/Police State 7" (Warped, 1983)

Asbestos Rockpyle – Police State
Get it here or here.

Damage 
Damage was an Orlando based synthetic hardcore band started in the early 80's and playing up until the early 90's. After inventing synthesizers, punk rock and beer, Damage went on to create the entertainment mega complex called Club Space Fish and summer vacation get-a-ways called Camp Space Fish. After being caught possessing both weapons of mass destruction and the Satan cat battle wagon, Damage was considered to be too powerful to exist and was disbanded by Captain Jack Wallace, officer Pickle Nose and the ATF. They were scattered across the country to places like Atlanta, Colorado, Brooklyn, San Francisco and Okahumpka and placed on a list forbidding the members to purchase any Peavey equipment, ICBMs or humbydoos. Official site 

Damage @ Below Zero, mid-80s
Before they were disbanded, Damage toured the country 4 or 5 times opening for some of their favorite bands including the Dead Kennedys, the Adolescents, Government Issue, Battalion of Saints, SNFU, The Angry Samoans, Flaming Lips, Alien Sex Fiend, and many others… Damage released three LPs and two 7" eps. They were punched, got arrested for disturbing the peace, drove a school bus and before the bus, a station wagon with stainless steel teeth.

Damage @ The Cuban Club, 1986
When we played the warehouse, Regina made us the best chili. When we played the Electric Banana in Pittsburgh, Johnny Banana got sentimental and told us 'we had heart' as he spit in our ears and scared the hell out of us. When we played the Graystone in Detroit, Scary let us crash at his bar and at his apartment and took us swimming at the lake. When we played in Chicago at the Starluck and Exit clubs, we crashed in the old Touch and Go office and found leftover printouts of Meatmen 7" cover art, cartoons and a copy of 'The Joy of Sex' with crazy hippie illustrations and lots of good info. In Houston at the Axiom, we showered in the open, back stage while standing on a crate under a pipe that spilled out cold water. We followed the Adolescents to a party after the gig but stopped to get free subs with our counterfeit club cards and by the time we got to the party, it was busted because one of the Adolescents punched a local. And we met a lot of cool people.

Damage Synthology LP (Space Fish, 1986)

Damage – Radio Shack You Suck
Get it here. More info here.

Earth Dies Burning
Earth Dies Burning was formed in 1981 in the San Fernando Valley by a group of friends ranging in age from 10 to 14: the Karlsen brothers (Jeff and Matt), Brad Laner, and the Nachmann brothers (Guy and Ron). Their success in landing gigs at the time can be traced to Brad’s precociousness (he had sat in with Vox Pop, Nervous Gender and others), Matt’s natural talent for promotion, and the extraordinary openness of the Los Angeles punk/post-punk “underground” scene at that time. It seems that only now has the time ripened, dear listener; let the sweet smell of singed terrestrial morbidity flow from the valley of the bored teenager to your ears. Remastered and on vinyl for the first time. - See more at: http://capturedtracks.com/catalog/_earth-dies-burning/ct-180-earth-dies-burning-songs-from-the-valley-of-the-bored-teenager-1981-1984-lpcd/#sthash.CKuBa9FC.dpuf 
Earth Dies Burning was formed in 1981 in the San Fernando Valley by a group of friends ranging in age from 10 to 14: the Karlsen brothers (Jeff and Matt), Brad Laner, and the Nachmann brothers (Guy and Ron). Over the years the line-up went through a few changes. Other members included Jim Goodall (aka Donki Donki Dobson), Josh Laner, Spencer Savage, Roger Silverware (aka Wilson Keppy), and Wendy Stone. 
Earth Dies Burning was formed in 1981 in the San Fernando Valley by a group of friends ranging in age from 10 to 14: the Karlsen brothers (Jeff and Matt), Brad Laner, and the Nachmann brothers (Guy and Ron). Their success in landing gigs at the time can be traced to Brad’s precociousness (he had sat in with Vox Pop, Nervous Gender and others), Matt’s natural talent for promotion, and the extraordinary openness of the Los Angeles punk/post-punk 'underground' scene at that time.Captured Tracks

Earth Dies Burning was formed in 1981 in the San Fernando Valley by a group of friends ranging in age from 10 to 14: the Karlsen brothers (Jeff and Matt), Brad Laner, and the Nachmann brothers (Guy and Ron). Their success in landing gigs at the time can be traced to Brad’s precociousness (he had sat in with Vox Pop, Nervous Gender and others), Matt’s natural talent for promotion, and the extraordinary openness of the Los Angeles punk/post-punk “underground” scene at that time. It seems that only now has the time ripened, dear listener; let the sweet smell of singed terrestrial morbidity flow from the valley of the bored teenager to your ears. Remastered and on vinyl for the first time. - See more at: http://capturedtracks.com/catalog/_earth-dies-burning/ct-180-earth-dies-burning-songs-from-the-valley-of-the-bored-teenager-1981-1984-lpcd/#sthash.CKuBa9FC.dpuf
EDB @ Bebop Records & Fine Art, October 14, 1984
Rather than guitars, we used Casio VL-1s, cheap consumer monophonic synthesizers that, when hooked up to Brad’s amplifier and backed by a rough assortment of drums and broken cymbals, sounded surprisingly aggressive. Thus we became practitioners of 'synth-punk', though we did not use that term at the time. We may well have been the first teen punk band in the Los Angeles area to feature a bassoonist.

EDB @ C.A.S.H., March 29, 1982 (first show)
EDB’s songs tended to be simple, sardonic or absurdist affairs. We had a lot of songs about food. Blasphemy also clearly had an appeal for us; this was pretty safe territory for secular Jews, but it’s clear that we were disgusted by the increasing power of the Christian right ('Moral Majority' at the time) in American culture. In general we were liberal with our outrage, though our targets shifted unpredictably and sometimes incoherently. Take 'Another 6 Year Old' – just who are we sympathizing with in this song? 

EDB having fun @ C.A.S.H.
At our rehearsals, usually at Brad’s house, we might take breaks to listen to music: the Meat Puppets’ 'In a Car' EP, Trout Mask Replica, the first SPK album, Public Image Ltd, Crass. Or to eat Twinkies and Ding Dongs while watching videos: Pee Wee Herman appearing on David Letterman’s show; SCTV; or New Wave Theatre. When we wrangled an invitation to a New Wave Theatre taping, we were thrilled. Our performance never aired, its various camera angles presumably all going into storage after host Peter Ivers was tragically murdered in 1983. (What a surprise when a clip from one of the cameras surfaced a few years ago!).

Earth Dies Burning Songs From The Valley Of The Bored Teenager LP (1981–1984) (Captured Tracks, 2013)

Earth Dies Burning – Pork Yogurt
Get it here. More info here.

Without a doubt, the reissue of the year. But hey, what about Thrash Dumbos and North Valley Psychic Opera now?

Sep 28, 2013

How minimal can you get? #60–62

Fuck guitars: Bassass songs special
Jungle Nausea s/t 12" (Inner Mystique Records, 1982)

Jungle Nausea – Turn Off
Get it here.

VA All Your Ears Can Hear: Underground Music In Victoria, BC 1978–1984 2CD (AYECH International, 2007)

Nomeansno – Nomeansno
More info here.

Slant 6 Inzombia LP (Dischord Records, 1995)

Slant 6 – Ladybug Superfly
Get it here.

How much art can you take? Pt. I

Art is only one letter away from fart.” Gibby Haynes
Battery Farley Dress For Obscurity LP (Battery Farley, 1985)

Battery Farley – Artists
Get it here.

5:15 Fuck Art, Let's Dance 7" (Au Go Go, 1982)

5:15 – Fuck Art, Let's Dance
Get it here.

The Dead Milkmen Bucky Fellini LP (Enigma Records, 1987)

The Dead Milkmen – Instant Club Hit (You'll Dance To Anything)

Sep 17, 2013

Start your own revolution


How minimal can you get? #57–59

Covers special
Baby Buddha Music For Teenage Sex LP (Posh Boy, 1981)

Baby Buddha – My Generation

Stephan Eicher Spielt Noise Boys 7" (Off Course Records, 1980)

Stephan Eicher – Sweet Jane

Soft Pink Truth Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth? LP (Soundslike, 2004)

Soft Pink Truth – Out Of Step
Well, not really an orthodox minimal song – just a nice cover.

Jul 28, 2013

Bound & Gagged


Bound & Gagged – Black Sand (live at Hurrah, 1981)

In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you

Three obscure Jangle Pop gems
Flies Flies EP (Czech Records, 1982)

Flies – Fall Into Your World
Get it here or here.

Three Hits Pressure Dome 7" (Hib-Tone Records, 1985)

Three Hits – Pressure Dome
Get it here.

VA Bands On The Block LP (Matako Mazuri Records, 1985)

Go Dog Go – The Rain
Get it here.

Jul 23, 2013

If you are a deviant, dance!


Freudian Slips – Deviance (1985)

Salem 66

Originally posted February 2, 2009
Calm song by a band that deserved to be influential and to have more recognition than they had. Who knows, maybe it's better this way, so let's keep Salem 66 as a little secret to be discovered. To post any song from their first records would be great (Across The Sea or Pony Song are true gems), but let's go for Sleep On Flowers from the now legendary Boston Bands That Could Be God compilation.

VA Bands That Could Be God LP (Conflict Records / Radiobeat Records, 1984)
Salem 66 – Sleep On Flowers

Salem 66 is like your grandmother’s favorite china: glazed smooth across the surface yet chipped and jagged around the border. Formed in Boston by Beth Kaplan and Judy Grunwald in 1982, they have evolved from artistic abstraction to accessible avant-garde.Julia Masi

The guitarist Judy Grunwald and the bassist Beth Kaplan write songs that use folk-rock guitar riffs and drumbeats that resolutely refuse to rock, topped with eccentric vocal harmonies that overlap and move in unexpected directions, all at steady mid-tempos. The pieces fit together to create songs that drone smoothly, determinedly and enigmatically, as if interior monologues had somehow been set to music.Jon Pareles (NY Times) 

Salem 66 (Robert Wilson, Susan Merriam, Judy Grunwald, and Beth Kaplan), 1984.
Elizabeth McCullough
Beth and Judy come from different musical backgrounds. As a child, Beth fell in love with baroque and studied a variety of instruments, including the harpsichord. A flirtation with rock’n’roll began when she was in the eighth grade and she heard Patti Smith’s Horses for the first time. However, she remained loyal to her harpsichord until she was 16 and taught herself to play bass guitar.Julia Masi

Beth Kaplan @ Chet's Last Stand, Boston, 1985. Robert Barry Francos
Judy grew up playing the 'Pumpkin Waltz' on the accordion. At seven, she decided she wanted to be in a rock’n’roll band. She came by her peculiar choice of instrument when she saw kids at a Sweet-16 party crank out covers of Rolling Stones songs on a snare, guitar, and accordion. She is also a self-taught musician who plays bass and guitar.Julia Masi

Never having played drums before, Susan's beats are made of simple, effective, and interesting patterns; each drum is treated as a separate instrument. Beth lopes her melodious bass lines around the rhythm, sensually flexing her knees to the beat. In contrast, Judy adds a degree of dissonance with her ringing chords and droning strings. Almost an Eastern touch. In relief to the positive aggression of their music, Judy's husky voice and Beth's softer tones float vocal harmonies together, keeping the sound warm and soothing. Marc English (Boston Rock)

Salem 66 (Judy, Susan, and Beth), 1984? Rocco Cippilone
People would hear Judy play guitar and say, 'That girl has a lot of balls, but she really sucks,' until we got better. But if you really believe in yourself, if you really believe you have something to say, somehow it gives you the confidence. Nerve is a good word. Balls is another word. It gives you that push to get up there and do it. That is a good half of what makes a good band. A lot of people – probably most people in the world – could write a good song. Or could play an instrument pretty well if they learned how. But what it takes, a good half of it, is the nerve to just push and do it. And to keep doing it, no matter what anybody says; to believe in it.Beth Kaplan

We had a long, weird career. I think there was a point early on where the big break should have happened for us. It's not like we thought that if we could get onto a major label it would solve all our problems, but we got to the point where we had to make some sort of level change and, in the end, it just didn't happen. Beth Kaplan

Salem 66 ‎Across The Sea 7" (Homestead Records, 1984)

Salem 66 – Across The Sea
More info here. 
Really nice stuff here from Salem 66. 'Across the Sea' features some cool guitar and vocal interplay which is highlighted by a super chorus. The B-side falters in its vocals and length, but it's still strong. Play it for your Mom. Lyle Hysen (Maximum Rocknroll #21)

Salem 66 Salem 66 12" (Homestead Records, 1984)

Salem 66 – Pony Song

More pics here.

Jul 11, 2013

I luv I Dub

Three Dub corkers for da somma
Black Jade Contempo LP (Jade, 1975)

Black Jade – Dub Station

Jah Wobble V.I.E.P. Featuring Blueberry Hill EP (Virgin, 1980)

Jah Wobble – Blood Repression
 
Jah Scouse Merge 7" (Better Things Records, 1984)

Jah Scouse – Merge
Get it here and more info here.

* * *

More inspiration here and here.

Jul 3, 2013

How minimal can you get? #56

The Terraplanes (Animals & Men)

The Terraplanes – Evil Going On

More info here.

Jun 26, 2013

In search of the catchiest garage-pop song ever recorded Pt. V (with ‪keyboard instrument‬s)

The Particles Advanced Colouring 7" (1981)

The Particles – Truth About You
Get it here.

VA East Of Croydon LP (Nothing Shaking Records, 1981)

Greenfield Leisure – Leisure


Dead Famous People Lost Persons Area 12" (Flying Nun Records, 1986)

Dead Famous People – Barlow's House
Get it here.

How minimal can you get? #55

The Judy's
“Basing their name around the graphic elements and images of the 1950s that pervaded the musical movement at the time and recalled a period of naiveté and hope in the future, The Judy’s (“Possessive,” singer David Bean points out. “We didn’t want it to be plural as if we were each ‘a Judy’”) quickly envisioned a new direction for their musical exploration: a stripped down, minimalist sound that reveled in their limitations as both musicians and humans. Using everything from standard instrumentation to vacuum cleaners and pots and pans in their songs, the band created catchy pop hooks around social and political commentary/satire in a way that turned heads and demanded attention. They could simultaneously challenge, impugn and celebrate the pop culture, always aware that they not only had their own feet planted firmly in it, but helped create it.” Wasted Talent Records

The Judy's
“The Judy’s minimalist sound comes to its fullest realization with their six-song 12” EP The Wonderful World of Appliances. From Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz to Jacques Costeau to the Iranian hostage crisis, Wonderful World captures the popular culture and news of the times and subverts them as only The Judy’s can. Recorded and mixed in a single day, the record received extensive local club and radio play. It stayed at the top of the local independent record store sales charts for months and helped propel the band into a regional phenomenon. Available on limited vinyl and as bonus tracks on the Washarama CD.” Wasted Talent Records

The Judy's The Wonderful World Of Appliances EP (Wasted Talent Records, 1980)

The Judy's – Vacation In Tehran
Get it here.

Jun 25, 2013

Schools are prisons

Down with them!
“By preempting fifty percent of the total time of the young, by locking young people up with other young people exactly their own age, by ringing bells to start and stop work, by asking people to think about the same thing at the same time in the same way, by grading people the way we grade vegetables – and in a dozen other vile and stupid ways – network schools steal the vitality of communities and replace it with an ugly mechanism. No one survives these places with their humanity intact, not kids, not teachers, not administrators, and not parents.” John Taylor Gatto

Vains You May Not Believe In Vains… 7" (No Threes Records, 1980)

Vains – School Jerks
Get it here.

“In the North American system men and women are subjected from childhood to an inexorable process. Certain principles contained in brief formulas are endlessly repeated by the press, radio, television, churches, and especially schools. A person imprisoned by these schemes is like a plant in a flowerpot too small for it. He cannot grow or mature. This sort of conspiracy cannot help but provoke violent individual rebellions.” Octavio Paz

The Dead Milkmen Big Lizard In My Backyard LP (Enigma Records, 1985)

The Dead Milkmen – Violent School

“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important: how to live and how to die.” John Taylor Gatto

Victimz Of Society Wicked Rock Music Is Killing Our Children LP (1986)

Victimz Of Society – Somebody Lied
Get it here.

“How can happiness be bestowed? My own answer is: Abolish authority. Let the child be himself. Don’t push him around. Don’t teach him. Don’t lecture him. Don’t elevate him. Don’t force him to do anything.” A.S. Neill

The Donnas Da Doo Ron Ron 7" (Super*Teem!, 1996)

The Donnas – I Don't Wanna Go To School

“They will be schools no longer; they will be popular academies in which neither pupils nor masters will be known, where the people will come freely to get, if they need it, free instruction, and in which, rich in their own experience, they will teach in turn many things to the professors who shall bring them knowledge which they lack. This then will be a mutual instruction, an act of intellectual fraternity.” Mikhail Bakunin

* * *

For further reading, please check out John Taylor Gatto's Dumbing Us Down‬ and Tom Hodgkinson's The Idle Parent: Why Less Means More When Raising Kids.

Jun 24, 2013

cub

Originally posted April 13, 2008

cub – Go Fish

“I wanted to be in a band because I’d never been in a band. Nardwuar said, ‘OK, The Evaporators have got a show Friday. You’ve got five days to learn ten songs, here they are. And get an outfit.’ The outfit was as important as the playing, undoubtedly, for him. So that was it. I didn’t have time to worry about it that much. Our roommate, who was Bill’s [Baker] partner on the radio show, Scott [Chernoff] – he had a bass, showed me how to play a little bit. I got some Ramones records, listened to them, learned how to play, and then did the show.” Lisa Marr

cub: Lisa, Robynn and Valeria
“Bill [Baker] gave me my first guitar, a beautiful, red hollow body with a big whammy bar that I sadly never used. Scott Chernoff gave me my one and only guitar lesson. He taught me a handful of major chords: A, D, C, E, and G, the staples of many cub tunes.” Robynn Iwata

Robynn Iwata, Montreal, 1993
“The big thing was Robynn could olny play the guitar sitting down. And by the time it got to them playing shows, she still wasn’t comfortable standing up, so that was an inadvertent piece of schtick that we milked to death. It was pretty charming to see this girl sitting onstage, cross-legged. [Laughs]. It was pretty good, actually. More gutsy than anything.” Bill Baker

cub @ Hastings Community Center, Vancouver, 1993
“Lisa Marr had come to see a band I was in called Speed Queens. And we were awful, I’m proud to say. I could barely drum. But it was fun. Anyway, she came to see us and thought we were hilarious. And at that point she must’ve started thinking of asking me to be in a project with her. She and Robynn put together a project and asked me to be the drummer. It’s sort of amazing that anyone ever asked me to be a drummer in their band because I’m self-taught, I’m a really bizarre player, and I never got very complex. I could never do big fills or solos or anything. ‘Idiosyncratic’ would be the word [laughs].” Valeria Fellini


cub – My Chinchilla

“The first time playing with cub was a little bit intimidating. Valeria has a very different style. I would call her a little more jazzy. I found it very difficult to try and play like her. So both Robynn and Lisa were like, ‘Why don’t you just play how you want to play?’ And that was obviously better. I was a little bit more straight-ahead, and a little bit more obvious. At the beginning I played the same beat with all my limbs [laughs]. But I was learning as I went. My day job was welding furniture at the time. So my friend at work would show me a few drum manoeuvers after work. And then I would practise so I would be ready when I went to the studio. I remember that. Being in a band is a lot of sitting around waiting. And being the drummer, it seems like you wait even more.” Lisa G

cub (Robynn, Lisa G and Lisa) with a friend (from DC)
“When they first started, none of them, especially Robynn and Valeria, knew how to play. That used to cause a lot of consternation with people, too. By then, we were starting to get demos from people, and for all the people who really loved them, for whatever various reasons, there were a lot of people who really hated them. These were people who had been practising for years and wanting to do this, and suddenly it’s like, ‘Why is cub being interviewed on CBC?’ It was insulting beyond belief to people.” Bill Baker

“‘Cuddlecore’ is indie pop at terrifying levels of adorable.” SPIN, 2010
“(…) cub was a very do-it-yourself band – that was one of the great things about it – which was the essence of punk. Years after punk, they were still carrying on a great tradition in a fresh way. I loved it.” David Wisdom (CBC broadcaster)

cub pep 7" (Mint, 1992)

cub – Chico

* * *

Excerpts taken from Kaitlin Fontana's book Fresh at Twenty: The Oral History of Mint Records.

More info here and here.