Someone recently sent me a link suggestion to a very old site of mine on Fullerton College servers. I thought I’d copy it over here since I had a lot of info and photos on there! I may have to touch up some of those old photos later. Some of these are pretty old (as old as 2002 when I got my first digital camera!)
UPDATE: On a sort of related note here’s an updated, comprehensive guide on how to play indie guitar on Beginner Guitar HQ.
Aberdeen: The band formed in 1993 and by 1994 was signed to the seminal British label Sarah Records; they were, along with the better-known East River Pipe and the lesser-known Springfields, one of the only American acts on Sarah. Aberdeen also released recordings through Sunday Records and the Tremolo Arm Users Club. After Sarah folded in 1995, so did the band. They reformed in 2001, signed to Tremolo, and released a full-length album, Homesick and Happy to be Here, two singles, and a maxi-CD.
Acid House Kings is a Swedishindie pop band. It was founded in 1991 by Joakim Ödlund (also in the bands Poprace, Double Dan, and Starlet) and brothers Niklas (Red Sleeping Beauty) and Johan Angergård (Club 8, The Legends, Poprace).With the release of their first album, Pop, Look & Listen, they supposedly decided on a 10 year plan to release an album every five years to have a trilogy of albums released by the year 2002, a plan that eventually worked out exactly as scheduled.
The Aislers Set is an indie pop band that formed in San Francisco in 1997 after the break up of chief songwriter Amy Linton’s former band Henrys Dress. The Aislers Set’s music is heavily influenced by C86-style British indie pop.
All Girl Summer Fun Band (AGSFB), is a Portland based twee-popquartet made up of Kathy Foster, Jen Sbragia, Kim Baxter, and Ari Douangpanya. Baxter met Sbragia after a Softies show, when Baxter gave Sbragia a tape of her music. That summer, Baxter asked each of the girls if they wanted to start an “all girl summer fun band.” Although the other three hadn’t met before, they all agreed, and the band was formed.After releasing an EP and several singles, they joined K Records. K released two albums for the band, an eponymus debut and follow-up 2, as a four-piece before Ari left in 2005 to raise her son. The remaining members plan to continue as a three-piece. The band also works at Portland’s Rock and Roll Camp for Girls. The members of AGSFB play in various other bands. Kim plays in Viva Voce, Kathy in The Thermals and Jen in The Softies, amongst others.
Bearsuit are an indie band from Norwich, UK. They currently release records on the Fantastic Plastic andFortuna Pop! labels in the UK and Micro Indie in the US. They have also released records under their own Bearslutlabel, and many of their 7 inch singles were released through the Sickroom Gramaphonic Collective (Sickroom GC). Like nearly every other band in this genre, they have frequently been compared to Scottish indie giants Belle And Sebastian but have a style very much their own, mixing sweet indie-pop melodies, stop-start rhythms, quirky electronics, and lots of noise. A still better comparison would be to the Australian octet Architecture in Helsinki.
BMX Bandits is a Scottish 1960s-influenced guitar pop band who have been making music from 1986 to the present day. They shared members with other Belshill bandsTeenage Fanclub and The Soup Dragons. BMX Bandits were formed by songwriter and lead vocalist Duglas T. Stewart out of the ashes of The Pretty Flowers, a group that featured Stewart alongside Frances McKee (later of The Vaselines), Sean Dickson and Norman Blake. The group have had many line up changes throughout the years but have always reflected Stewart’s individual, quirky and romantic world view. Their songs mix highly melodic qualities with strong arrangements and humour with, at times, raw and heartbreaking pathos. Stewart has written many of the group’s strongest works solo including Your Class, The Sailor’s Song and Doorways but also has collaborated with many of the other members. Stewart’s most regular songwriting partners have been Francis MacDonald, Norman Blake and, more recently, David Scott.
The Boy Least Likely Toare an Englishindie pop/country duo, comprised of composer/multi-instrumentalist Pete Hobbs and lyricist/singer Jof Owen.Owen and Hobbs both grew up in the village of Wendover inBuckinghamshire. They met when they were still in school and started writing songs together. They began writing and recording songs for The Boy Least Likely To in the summer of 2002. The group created the independent label Too Young to Die as a means to release their music. Their first release was the 7″ single “Paper Cuts” in 2003. They released three singles and completed the recording of their debut album before they played any live shows. Their debut album The Best Party Ever was released in the UK in February of 2005. The album was released in the United States in late Spring 2006.
Camera Obscurawas formed in 1996 by Tracyanne Campbell, John Henderson, and Gavin Dunbar. The band’s first releases were the singles “Park and Ride” and “Your Sound” in 1998. The Rare UK Bird EP followed in 1999.Camera Obscura’s first album, Biggest Bluest Hi Fi, was recorded in 2000 and released in 2001. The album was supported by John Peel and charted in several independent music charts. The band’s second album Underachievers Please Try Harder was released in 2003 and was followed by Camera Obscura’s first full tour of Britain and Irelandand the band’s first tour of the United States. Founding member John Henderson left Camera Obscura following this tour.Camera Obscura recorded their third album, Let’s Get Out of This Country, in 2005. It was released June 6, 2006. The first single, “Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken”, is aresponse to Lloyd Cole and the Commotions‘ song “Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?”
The Cardigans is a Swedish band formed in the town ofJönköping in 1992. The band’s musical style has varied greatly from album to album and encompasses their earlyindie leanings passing through ’60s-inspired pop and more band-based rock.
The Chillsare a guitar and keyboard-based rock band from Dunedin,New Zealand.In terms of public acclaim, The Chills were possibly the most successful proponent of the Dunedin Sound in the 1980s and 1990s, although they never achieved breakout sales or financial success.
The Clean were an influential first-wave punk band that formed in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1978. Led through a number of early rotating line-ups by brothers Hamish andDavid Kilgour, the band settled down to the well-known line-up with bassist Robert Scott. Early incarnations of the Clean included Peter Gutteridge on bass (who wrote “Point That Thing”), Doug Hood on vocals (who later worked withToy Love and founded the “Looney Tours” touring company). The Clean soon forged a distinctive and quirky sound that relied heavily on organ melodies and simple,Ramones-style chord progressions.
Club 8 is a Swedish musical group consisting of Karolina Komstedt (from the band Poprace) and Johan Angergård (Acid House Kings, Poprace). Formed in 1995, they were immediately signed to the Spanish record label Siesta. They released a single called “Me Too” and an album calledNouvelle on Siesta before deciding to move on to other labels. The sound at this point could almost be categorised as anorak pop with influences from Sarah bands, Jim Ruizand The Smiths.
The Concretes are a popular Swedishindie pop band, currently composed of seven members. Much of their music focuses on simple melodies embellished with heavy orchestration.The Concretes began with Victoria Bergsman, Maria Eriksson, and Lisa Milberg. Since their formation in 1995, they have gradually acquired new members, growing into an eight piece band. They also have a number of “Honorary Concretes” who play on their records.
The Field Micewere the most popular band on the seminal, cult indie label Sarah Records. Initially a duo from South London suburb ofMitcham comprising Bob Wratten and Michael Hiscock, their first EP, “Emma’s House,” was released in late 1988. But it was with their second single Sensitive that they first received significant critical attention with a subsequent placing in John Peel‘s 1989 Festive 50.Over a three year career the band were often dogged with the reputation of having a post-C86 indiepop or generic Sarah Records sound despite producing tracks with numerous styles and influences. Early singles and even their sleeves harked back to early Factory Records bands such as New Order and The Wake, with many tracks often featuring sequencers and samples. Many of the group’s recordings, notably Triangle and their epic seven-minute swan song, Missing the Moon, displayed a strong influence from the popular dance music of the time. Most of the group’s records were produced by Ian Catt, who later went on to perfect the pop dance sound of Missing The Moon withSaint Etienne and many other British bands of the early to mid 1990s.The band split up in 1991 after an unctuous tour to promote the For Keeps album, during which lead singer/guitarist Robert Wratten announced he was leaving.Later, Field Mice members Wratten, Annemari Davies (Wratten’s ex-girlfriend), and Mark Dobson briefly formed the more synth-oriented outfit Northern Picture Library, and then Wratten went on to form Trembling Blue Stars in 1995.
I’m From Barcelona is a pop group from Jönköping,Sweden, best known for its 29 band members and eclectic mix of instruments such as clarinets, saxophones, flutes, trumpets, banjos, accordions, kazoos, guitars, drums, and keyboards among others. While most band members provide backing vocals on releases and during live performances, Emanuel Lundgren is founder, principal songwriter and lead singer for the group.
Ivy was formed in 1994 when multi-instrumentalists Andy Chase and Adam Schlesinger convinced Parisian born Dominique Durand, who had never before sung in a group, to venture into a New York studio and record a four-song tape with them. Dominique, who moved to New York Cityfrom Paris in 1990, first met Andy at a party, where he was playing with his previous band. She told him that his band was “not [her] cup of tea”. The two became involved in a romantic relationship, which lasts to the present day. Three years later, Andy and Dominique wrote a song, and asked Adam to play bass on demo. Adam persuaded Andy and Dominique to write more together, which eventually resulted in a five-song demo.
The Little Ones is an indie pop band based in Los Angeles, California. They were previosuly signed to Astralwerks Records and released one EP on that label, titled Sing Song. In 2006, Matt Costa invited them to open for him at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, which has brought them in a rise to fame. Unfortunately they lost their recording contract early in 2008 and were forced to postpone an upcoming album. Instead they released a new EP on Branches Recording Collective, entitled Terry Tales & Fallen Gates
The Lucksmithsare an independent pop band from Melbourne, Australiawho formed in 1993 and have been associated with the genres of indie pop, anti-folk and retro-pop.The members are Martin “Marty” Donald (guitar), Taliesyn “Tali” White (vocals, drums), and Mark “Marky” Monnone(bass) and in 2004 they acquired Mid State Orange’sguitarist Louis Richter on second guitar. In the early 90’s, they met Chris Crouch, who informally ‘signed them’ to his record label, Candle Records. Crouch consequently began releasing their records, and they began to play the Melbourne indie circuit, most notably the Punters Club and later expanded to other Australian venues such as Sydney’s The Annandale Hotel or Brisbane’s the Troubadour.
Magnetic Fields is a band led by New York City singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt. Albums released by Merritt under the name “Magnetic Fields” usually consist of synth-pop music in a 1980s style underlying clever lyrics, often about love, that are by turns ironic, bitter, and humorous. While The Wayward Bus and Distant Plastic Trees (now available together as a compilation) are sung by Susan Anway, later albums were principally sung by Merritt himself (though Shirly Simms handles about half of the vocal duties on Distortion.)
Rose Melberg is a musician and songwriter from Sacramento, California who has sung and played guitar as a member of Tiger Trap, The Softies and Go Sailor as well as on her own material. She also played drums and made some songwriting contributions with the band Gaze. Melberg was raised by working musicians and following her appearance right out of high school at the International Pop Underground Convention in Olympia, Washington in 1991, she had almost instant success with the all-female Tiger Trap. The short-lived band garnered a cult following in indie-pop circles. Following the dissolution of the Softies, she gave birth to a son and lived with her husband and family near Vancouver, Canada, she returned to the pop world with her second solo album, Cast Away The Clouds. Melberg toured briefly for the album, including a spot opening for Belle and Sebastian.
The Ocean Blueformed in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1986, is an American indie pop band that combines melodic guitars and synthesizers. Its core-original members included David Schelzel on lead vocals/guitar, Steve Lau on keyboards/saxophone, Bobby Mittan on bass guitar and Rob Minnig on drums and vocals.Its current line-up includes David Schelzel on lead vocals/guitar, Oed Ronne on keyboards/guitar/vocals,Bobby Mittan on bass guitar and Peter Anderson on drums.The band’s sound may be best described as that of jangly guitar-based modern rock. Influences include such bands as The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, The Chameleons, Echo & The Bunnymen and New Order. The Ocean Blue’s earliest shows always consisted of a healthy dose of covers by these aforementioned bands. To this day, The Smiths and New Order covers still punctuate concert encores.
The Orchids were one of the most prolific, enduring and popular bands of the twee pop scene at Sarah Records. Formed near Glasgow in 1986, the Orchids released a series of underground singles on the hugely influential Sarah Records (see 1986 in music). The group’s line-up comprised James Hackett (vocals), John Scally (guitar), Chris Quinn (drums), Matthew Drummond (guitar) and James Moody (bass). Their producer, Ian Carmichael, often played keyboards on their records. The group split up in 1995, playing their final gig at the Sarah Records farewell party.
The Pastels are a group from Glasgow, Scotland, UK.They have been described as an ‘almost pop’ group. As the description implies, the group have some pop elements but miss out on others, and have never charted. Their early records (1982-85) for labels like Whaam!, Creation, Rough Trade, and Glass Records, had a raw and immediate sound, melodic and amateur, which seemed all at odds with the time. But an emerging fanzine culture identified with the group’s sound and image, and slowly The Pastels started to influence a new wave of groups, which interested the NMEand other UK media.
Pooh Sticks were an indie pop band, from Swansea, Walesrecording between 1988 and 1995. They were notable for their jangly melodiousness and lyrics gently mocking the indie scene of the time such as on “On tape”, “Indie-pop ain’t Noise Pollution” and “I Know Someone who Knows Someone who knows Alan McGee Quite Well”. The band changed direction on their 1991 U.S breakthrough The Great White Wonder, eschewing the ‘twee‘ British indie pop sound for a more American-styled Power Pop sound, akin to bands like Jellyfish and Redd Kross. Subsequent albumsMillion Seller, considered by some Power Pop fans to be the band’s best work, and Optimistic Fool followed in this style.
Razorcuts were an indie pop band formed in 1985 in London. The group centred around Gregory Webster and Tim Vass, with various musicians including Peter Momtchiloff of Heavenly. Early releases on the Subway Organisation label, including the debut Big Pink Cake led to a deal with Creation Records for whom they released two albums. Razorcuts split in 1989, with Vass going on to formRed Chair Fadeaway, and Webster joining The Carousel. The duo were reunited under the name Forever People in 1992 for a one-off single on Sarah Records.
Shop Assistantswere an indie pop band from Edinburgh, Scotland, formed in 1984, initially as Buba & The Shop Assistants. The original line-up was Aggi (Annabel Wright, later of The Pastels), on vocals, David Keegan (guitar), Sarah Kneale(bass), Laura MacPhail (drums) and Ann Donald (drums). This line-up released one single, the now highly-collectible ‘Something to Do’ which was produced by Stephen Pastel. Stephen Pastel also contributed backing vocals.Aggi left to be replaced by Alex Taylor. Soon after, the name shortened to simply ‘Shop Assistants’ and the first release under their new name was the Shopping Parade EP in 1985, whose track All Day LongMorrissey described as his favourite single of that year. This was followed in early 1986 with Safety Net, the first release on Keegan’s 53rd & 3rd Records, which topped the UK Indie Chart, and the band recorded national radio sessions with John Peel and Janice Long of BBC’sRadio One. The exposure they gained from the sessions enabled the group to have two songs to be voted into John Peel’s Festive Fifty in both 1985 and 1986.In 1986, they were featured on the NME’s compilation C86 with one of their slower songs, [It’s Up To You], taken from Shopping Parade. Also in that year, they signed to Chrysalis Records’s sublabel Blue Guitar for another single, I Don’t Wanna Be Friends With You as well as their first and onlyLPalbum, The Shop Assistants. This spent one week at number 100 in the UK album charts, which gives the band the distinction of being the (joint) least successful act ever to hit the national charts. The LP album was re-released on CD in 2001, although it is now very hard to find.The band split early in 1987, when Taylor left the group to join The Motorcycle Boy. After a two-year hiatus, the band reformed without Taylor in 1989 with Kneale on vocals and MacPhail on bass and the addition of Margarita Vasquez-Ponte of Jesse Garon And The Desperadoes on drums. With the new lineup they released Here It Comes and Big ‘E’ Power in 1990 before splitting again, Keegan joining The Pastels.
The Smithswere an Englishrock band active from 1982 to 1987, based on the songwriting partnership of singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr. Critics have called them one of the most important alternative rock bands to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s, and the group has had major influence on subsequent artists. Morrissey’s lovelorn tales of alienation found an audience amongst youth culture bored by the ubiquitous synthesizer-pop bands of the early 1980s, while Marr’s complex melodies helped return guitar-based music to popularity.The group were signed to the independent record labelRough Trade Records, for whom they released four studio albums and several compilations, as well as numerous non-LP singles. Although they had limited commercial success outside the UK while they were still together, and never released a single that charted higher than number 10 in their home country, The Smiths won a growing following, and they remain cult and commercial favourites.
Smoosh started as an Americanindie pop duo, consisting of two sisters, singer/keyboardist Asya (born February 2,1992) and drummer Chloe (born March 5, 1994). Recently their younger sister Maia (born September 5, 1996) joined the band for their Summer 2007 tour.1 At the time of their first album, She Like Electric, released on September 21,2004, Asya (currently aged 16) was 12 years old and Chloe (currently aged 14) was 10. All of their songs are originals with both music and lyrics written by the girls themselves. Maia, then not in the band, provided the cover artwork for both that album and their next, Free to Stay.
St. Christopher is a Britishindie pop band formed in York in the early 1980s. The only constant member of the band during its more than twenty years of existence has been Glenn Melia, and, during this time, Melia and St. Christopher have recorded with many well-known indie labels including Sarah, Bus Stop, Vinyl Japan, Elefant,Slumberland, Caff, and Parasol. The band probably achieved greatest recognition for the single “All of a Tremble,” released in 1989.
Tender Trapis an indie rock/twee pop band, based in London (UK), formed in 2001 by three of the five members of Marine Research – Amelia Fletcher, Rob Pursey, and DJ Downfall(real name: John Stanley).Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey were previously in the twee pop band Heavenly, and some have seen Tender Trap as representing a return to the pop aesthetic of that earlier band, albeit with a more electronic slant. On their first album Film Molecules, the songs demonstrate an eclectic mix of musical styles, with a clear nod to the similarly eclectic approach taken by The Magnetic Fields on their “69 Love Songs” album.The band’s initial intention was to be a recording outfit only, due to their hatred of transporting drums from place to place. They compromised by playing live but using a CD player for backing beats. Recently, though, they have teamed up with Claudia Gonson (of The Magnetic Fields) on drums, and will be playing live with this line-up. After her successful work as a guest vocalist on the Language Lessons EP, Lupe Nunes-Fernandez of Pipas has joined the band, providing backing vocals on their second album 6 Billion People.
Trembling Blue Stars is a London-based band that currently includes members Robert Wratten and Beth Arzy (who was also in Aberdeen until they split up in 2005). Begun as a side project of Wratten’s previous band Northern Picture Library, Trembling Blue Stars became Wratten’s main band when Northern Picture Library broke up in 1995. Wratten took the name of his band from The Story of O by Pauline Réage. The Stars are characterized by slow songs with jangly guitars and introspective, painful lyrics.
Voxtrotis an indie pop rock band from Austin, Texas, USA. The quintet is fronted by Ramesh Srivastava and also includes Jason Chronis, Mitchell Wayne Calvert, Matt Simon, and Jared Van Fleet. Their first EP, a self-made CD-R, was produced in 2003 and sold at a few independent record stores in Austin.Despite not having released a full-length album until recently, Voxtrot has received praise and mention from online and print publications, such as SPIN.com andPitchfork Media. For instance, SPIN.com noted that Raised by Wolves, the band’s first official EP, is “…a stunning mini-collection of John Hughes-heyday paeans, twitchy pop, and surging, Strokes-y dancefloor fillers.”
Velocity Girl was an Americanindie rock band formed in 1989 in College Park, Maryland, although it was generally known as a Washington, DC-area band. The band took its name from a Primal Scream B-side. While much 1990s rock music featured an abrasive vocal and instrumental style, Velocity Girl’s sound, especially post-1993, was more melodic and typically featured “clean” (non-distorted) electric guitar sounds and two-part harmonies. However, on their first seven-inch records on Slumberland and Merge, as well as their first Sub Pop album, Copacetic, Velocity Girl were noted for their shoegaze influences. The band was noted for its love of releasing a steady stream of 7″ vinyl singles. Slumberland Records was formed in 1989 by members of several D.C.-area bands, including Velocity Girl.
The Wombats are a three-piece indie band fromLiverpool, England. They comprise two native Liverpudlians; front man Matthew Murphy, provider of vocals, guitar and keyboards, drummer and b-vocalist Dan Haggis and bass and additional vocalist Tord Øverland-Knudsen, a Norwegian who has made his home in the city. The three met at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. The school gave them the chance to play gigs to over 20,000 people in China. This was one of the band’s first trips to play outside the UK. The band are known for their lively stage presence and their stuffed wombat mascot Cherub.
Yo La Tengo (Spanish for “I have it”) is an Americanindie rock band based in Hoboken, New Jersey. With more than 15 albums released since 1984, they have demonstrated unusual longevity for the indie-rock scene. They are frequently regarded as one of the definitive indie rockgroups of the 1990s. Though Yo La Tengo has achieved limited mainstream success, the band has become a critical favorite with a devoted fan base.
SoCal based webmaster interested in music, social media, and digital video. I also like art, crafts, travel, shopping, and games. Currently writing about Fashion & Style for Examiner.com and my own blog and other sites.