Thursday, May 09, 2013


My roommate of many a year, Jim Fath, put out this compilation of local Chicago bands in 1993. It featured a lot of great underground Chicago bands. Some of these bands we knew and hung out with and some we knew but didn't hang out with and some we didn't know and didn't want to hang out with (and vice versa). It's a good document of that year in music. Some of the people in these bands you may have heard of, like AZITA, Fred Armisen, Wayne and Damon from The Eternals, Weasel Walter, Bobby Conn, etc. Anyway, this is my biased review of that record—not so much a review as a friggin' commercial for the thing, sorta like this introduction. Anyway:

Pressure Cooker (Furball Records)
A new record label can be likened to a spring seedling, struggling to push up through the unyielding soil. It is a hardship, and at times it may seem like a mission impossible, but the potential is great as is the reward. The potential to break through the surface and grow into something that is strong and beautiful is the inspiration and soon the seedling is seed no more as it bursts through the earth and into the warm sunlight, it is a sapling now, a sapling that can later give life of its own, reproduce, multiply like so many bunny rabbits in a small three by four foot chicken wire cage. But the competition may be great and the elements not to readily compromising. There may be a large oak tree looming overhead ready to suck up your sunlight, its thick roots fully prepared to slurp up your water supply and gobble up all nutrients from the soil. Only the strong survive and the weak perish under them unless they can somehow cut a deal with the strong and if you aren't a good bullshitter you can get buried by some big ugly oak tree that produces nothing but acorns and who the hell eats acorns except squirrels, and squirrels are really mean. Really nasty reviews don't help either.

Furball Records is one such sapling that has recently put out a 12 song compilation of underground Chicago talent. The CDs got a bunch of band's like Trenchmouth, Mama Tick, Wickerman, God Box, Hog Lady, Loud Lucy, Uptighty, Scissor Girls, Conduscent, Stumbleblock, Flying Luttenbockers, bands like that, in fact that's all the bands. Cake from Flipside called the compilation "incredible," "great stuff." Option noted that it "didn't contain any embarrassments." Alternative Press dissed it though, but they did so in a clever and witty way by completely missing the point of the liner notes. New City said the cover art is "tremendous", the best we've ever seen on any local compilation."

But what do they all know? Listen to your pal. Muggsy, he knows. This is a good solid comp. of your local scene, dude, buy it and support these bands and this label. Buy all local releases. Go to shows. I know there's a lot of bands that suck on the scene right now, but shit, look at the pop charts any day of the week. The charts are ruled by the talentless of our society. We need help. We need fresh blood.

Buy this CD, the guy at Furball owes me money–Muggsy McMurphy

2013 UPDATE: There's still a few copies of this comp. buried in the basement of the RoosterCow offices, so now you can buy a copy of your very own!


Anonymous said...

when you say, "support these bands", is there evidence that any royalties have actually been paid to the bands?

Ragle Gumm said...

He means support them with your love.

Chris Auman said...

When I said "support these bands" in that record review 20 years ago, Anonymous, the public responded immediately. All the bands became rich and famous and are still together making great music today. That's the power of the written word. Believe it.

Jim Fath said...

Wow! Its been 20 Years! I think a lot of the music still stands up. As far as royalties let's see ..I spent 3,000 dollars in total (artwork, mastering, pressing etc) and pressed 1,200 copies. I gave each band a box (30 copies), mailed about 30 review copies out, and sold about 550. Cargo Distribution was responsible for 232 of those and never paid me a dime, and I found out later that was the status quo for them. All in all, I lost about 1,200 dollars on it, meanwhile I was making 6.50 per hour watering plants at Fertile Delta at the time. I did it for fun, and was pretty sure I told all bands there would not be any profits, as that was not the point. I thought it would be cool to document what was going on at the time as it was pretty exciting.
jim fath