Smoke Signals

Dedicated to celebrating the culture of indie as witnessed during the '80s and '90s.

Oxbow is like that: too hot and too weird to handle for most people. After 30 years of forward creative momentum, they’ve remained a mystery, a musician’s band, a band for those with discerning tastes and patient ears. While that may look good on paper, this cult-like status is often limiting for artists as it comes along with a stigma, one which says: “They’re respected but no one will ever understand them.”

Everything about Evergreen is so characteristic of place and time, riding on the live tradition that was a certain guiding principle during the ‘90s.

The Blue Nile are in the tradition of cool jazz singers and songwriters like Billie Holiday, Scott Walker, and Cole Porter: vivid, melancholy, haunted by recent relationships and old wounds. Their non-music ancestors include Edward Hopper and Nicholas Ray, artists who were concerned with loneliness in modern life and didn't find answers as much as new questions. But The Blue Nile were principally themselves: They are the u...

Their arty noise rock aggression was partly made up of wide-open spaces, distorted riffs, and sheets of cutting cymbals. They also had a sound that employed some of the grandest aspects of power pop, enhanced with two-part harmonies and crammed into a succession of rapid-fire, three-minute songs. Starfish, guitarist Jason Morales, bassist Ronna Era, and drummer Scott Marcus, were masters of pleasant hammerings.

The last truly great record The Cocteau Twins put out came at the tail end of an impressive stretch of releases that hold up in today's indie label climate.

Released in 1996, "Dog Years" is an invigorating, freewheeling gut flip at the command of gloriously bratty singer and guitarist Michelle Bodine.

Please reload

© 2017 - 2019 No Recess! Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved.