Posts Tagged ‘indie rock’


Friday, January 16th, 2009

Information CD
Mute America, 1995

Patrick McGoohan, the writer, director, and star of one of the best television shows ever, The Prisoner, died earlier this week, so I felt the need to hear, and share with you, this amazing indie band from mid-1990s Atlanta. The Prisoner was a fantastic British cult TV series from 1960s that was part James Bond and part Twilight Zone, with the premise being a retired secret agent being imprisoned on a bucolic island with a bizarre social order and an oddly surreal, tightly controlled village. Toenut, who’s unfortunate name may have been party responsible for their ultimate obscurity, entitled their debut album Information in reference to a quote from The Prisoner, and even includes samples from the show. After years of loving this album, I saw The Prisoner for the first time and had an “a-ha!” moment realizing what all the weird Brit quotes were about. Musically, they take some Pixies-style indie rock and tweak it with some oddball Beefheartian twists and ethereal female vocals ala The Cocteau Twins that makes for a fun listen.


Toenut – “Seizure”
Toenut – “Information/32nd Theme Song”
Toenut – “3 Days Dirt”
Toenut – “Opus

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Admonishing the Bishops 10″
Matador, 1993

Easily one of the most interesting groups of the 1990s indie underground, the Thinking Fellers had a slew of releases on the Matador and Communion labels, with  this 4-song EP capturing their finest and most-focused songs. You can guarantee that every TFUL 282 record has its moments of weirdo brilliance, bubbling up from sprawling tracks that could effortlessly shift from warbling tape loops to the unlikely sounds of mandolin, banjo, and french horn. I caught them live a couple times in the mid-1990s and was impressed not only with how entertaining their live show was, but with how easily they could trade instruments and singing duty, all while delivering some truly interesting music. It’s a risky endeavor for most bands to take this freewheeling approach to making music, but TFUL 282, as their name implies, were indeed thoughtful folks who seemed to be driven by the endless possibilities of making cool, quirky music. The first track, “Hurricane” is a beautifully constructed, sweetly haunting song that uses off-key tuning to great effect, sounding something like a bizarro version of the Pixies doing a Slint cover, while “Undertaker” further employs off-key clashing that builds into a rollicking, locomotive song featuring vocals that slip into a falsetto yodel. Sounds crazy on paper — and it is crazy — but somehow it all works to great effect. Side two kicks off with the catchy “Million Dollars,” featuring a nicely treated guitar effects, before closing with another well-constructed song, “Father,” which somehow strings along nervy Dead C-style vocals and some buzzing beehive guitar work before mutating into a bluegrass stomp, complete with banjo and a hillbilly twang. Again, it sounds crazy, but somehow it works. Admonishing the Bishops remains one of the most interesting records of the 1990s and it’s a damn shame that it’s out of print and relatively unknown to the indie legions.


TFUL 282 – “Hurricane”
TFUL 282 – “Undertaker”
TFUL 282 – “Million Dollars”
TFUL 282 – “Father”


Official TFUL 282 Website