3 decades worth of local favorites! Compiled by Petridisch (aka Larj Chedd)
Bands in the mix
The Moors were Sharynne MacLeod NicMhacha (vocals and assorted wind and percussive instruments) and Scott Dakota (guitar). Sharynne has Irish and Scottish heritage, and is a devoted researcher and teacher of ancient lore, myths and traditions, and the Gaelic language (in which she sang many of their original and traditional songs). Scott (who has Native American ancestry) studies (among other things) Shamanism and sound healing principles. These are influences they brought to their ethereal, deeply emotional music.
The Boston Survival Guide
Requiem in White
In the summer of 1985 the band Requiem In White was formed by core members Eric Hammer, Lisa Houle and Christopher Walsh.
The scene was Boston, Massachusetts, birthplace of “college” rock, and the clubs were stinky little holes where all types merged- rockers, punks, skinheads, bikers, art-school kids, music conservatory professors, drag queens, etc…
At that time, there was no organized “gothic” scene. Any band with a dark image had to fend for itself. Strangely enough, Requiem In White’s ecclectic dark/romantic/rock sound and look were (although publicly hated- who would admit that they don’t hate opera?) secretly admired by even the most stubborn members of these various social groups.
The band was gaining more fans and attention than it even knew: they were being bootlegged, widely talked and written about, imitated, and even their humble demo tapes were being hunted down by fanatical fans. By the time they relocated to New York City in 1989, there was a healthy gothic scene, and Requiem In White had achieved a level of status which placed them at the forefront of the gothic movement. Their refusal to ever grant an interview or any kind of publicity created such an air of mystery around them that they attracted a loyal cult following, one that still grows to this day, even after the break-up.
Opium Den was a 90’s gothic rock/ethereal wave band out of Boston. They have also described their music as psychedelic rock and art rock. Christian Gilbert’s Spanish-classical influenced guitar playing is combined with the poetry of Annette Farrington’s lyrics.
It was formed in the early 90’s when Christian Gilbert and Mike Demma were looking for a singer for a psychedelic band they wanted to form. Annette was coming off touring with a Boston theater company and soon joined them. They then auditioned John De Gregorio as a bass player and they liked his unique style and musical creativeness.
Curious Ritual was part of the Boston Music scene during the 1990s creating its own brand of crunchy guitar rock alt/ darkwave. Though this band was birthed at the very tail end of the 80s, they hit their stride between the early 90s into the mid/later 90s and played the BCN Boston Rumble in 1995. Curious Ritual is Carolyn Corella: Bass, Linda Jung: Vocals and occasional Theremin, Sean Obrien: Guitars, and Joel Simches: Drums and various percussion as well as occasional keys in the studio. The band has put out 2 CDs, a handful of singles and one EP on vinyl. Though the band has been out of commision since 1998, they have occasionally shaken off the moss and reformed for special events. Currently they will be back in full band mode playing the Boston’s WMBR 25 yr Pipeline celebration on Sept 19 2014.
Jeff & Jane Hudson
Jeff & Jane Hudson are a husband/wife duo from Boston who got their start in the art punk band The Rentals in 1977. The Rentals broke up in 1980 and Jeff & Jane relocated to Manhattan where they opened for Suicide and quickly signed with No Wave label Lust/Unlust. Their first single No Clubs was released in late 1980 and showcased a lo-fi avant garde all synthesizer band. The World Trade EP came next in 1981, expanding their brand of post-nuclear electronic pop. Their vocals qualities were distinct; Jeff quivery and drug-addled while Jane more detached and icy.
Dark Entries Records
Women of Sodom
Women of Sodom was an industrial rock band from Boston, MA, United States, formed in 1994 and active until 1998.
The core of the group consists of Ilsa von Bulow, lead vocalist, and Xavier Dietrich II, purveyor of eclectic industrial dance music. A typical stage show is a wild festival of pulsing music, slave abuse and humiliation, and exotic performances. Member Anneka provides backing vocals ranging from middle eastern chants to bluesy wails.
Jane Bondage is the band’s guitar playing nun, and also Ilsa’s real-life teenage ‘sister’. Bunny Peculiar interacts with Ilsa and the slaves throughout the show, keeping adrenaline levels climbing steadily. Lex is the slave cum cage drummer. He is also laden with drum pads during the performance and the Women rhythmically abuse their “human drum.” Sahar, a belly-dancing goddess, adds another layer.
Ilsa and Anneka’s vocals switch effortlessly between German, Hebrew, Italian, and Latin, and rising and falling within Xavier’s decadent sonic architectures.
Founded as a platform for Ilsa’s radical philosophies and alternative feminism, the Women of Sodom are much more than a band. Their stage approach dramatizes the music’s vignettes of domination over males. The music and the stage activities transport the audience to a world in which sex with the crucified Jesus is not only permitted but encouraged.
Women of Sodom have played to large crowds across the US. They played in New Orleans during Mardi Gras last year and frequently play in New York City and Boston. Xavier and Ilsa are currently at work on their next album at their Boston studio, Fort Dietrich.
Turkish Delight were an experimental rock band from Boston, MA that formed in 1994. They blended the chanteuse vocals of Leah Callahan with guitars, drums and the “electric can,” a home-made, electric bass-like instrument made from a bucket, a pole, and strings. Their first single, “Try Harder” was released on 7″ by Prude records in 1995. Their debut album Tommy Bell (Castle Von Buhler 1996) was a success for the label. The album featured the 7″ single “Spin” and compiled earlier material as bonus tracks. “Spin” was included in CMJ Monthly in their free issue CD. The band toured the US and gained a dedicated local following.
Talk about an unmistakable sound. Helium has evolved significantly during nearly a decade of existence, but every step of the way, their distinctive brand of fractured fairytale pop has been impossible to confuse with any other band. Led by the incomparable Mary Timony (though Mary Lou Lord fronted an early incarnation of Helium), the Boston-based trio went from fierce post-riot grrl feminism to a prog rock fascination with castles and dragons, from warped, noisy, punk-derived pop to a kind of new wave-inspired weird science, but through it all,Timony’s dry, laconic vocals and dark, idiosyncratic guitar work, not to mention the band’s complex and unconventional arrangements, made the band’s music undeniably Helium.
One of the greatest college bands of the ’80s, Throwing Muses was formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Kristin Hershand her half-sister guitarist/vocalist Tanya Donelly with a few friends from high school. In 1986, the group’s debut album was put out by the prestigious British label 4AD; Throwing Muses was the first American band to be released on that label. Throwing Muses’ angular, anguished, mercurial sound had much to do with Hersh’s mental illness (she suffered from a form of bipolarity that caused her to hallucinate), especially on early albums like House Tornado.
Dirt Merchants were formed in March of 1992 in Boston, Massachusetts. The band released several critically acclaimed singles in 1993 and 1994 on their own V-Hold Records, and became fixtures at legendary Cambridge clubs The Middle East and TT The Bears. In 1994, the band won the locally prestigious 1994 WBCN Rock and Roll Rumble. By ’95, the group signed to upstart indie label, Zero Hour, issuing their debut full-length Scarified in April of ’95 and hit the road. The album attracted the attention of the major labels including Epic Records, who signed the band and reissued the album in early 1996. In between subsequent recording sessions for their Epic debut, The Speed at Which You Speak, the DMs released, once again on V-Hold, the limited edition Swiss Bank EP, to great critical acclaim. Caught up in corporate reshuffling at Sony/Epic, the band was dropped in 1997, and the fully completed Speed, produced by Rob Schnapf and Tom Rothrock (Beck, Elliot Smith, Foo Fighters), was shelved. The band then dispersed to pursue other projects. Vocalist/guitarist Maria Christopher went on to form the band 27, along with ex-Spore member, Ayal Naor, and guitarist Mike Malone, after a 2 year stint playing guitar for the Chicago based Ultraswiss with members of Veruca Salt, pursued the roots-blues project Orb Mellon. Rarified, a collection of unreleased recordings, b-sides and live tracks saw its digital release in April 2008. Epic eventually released The Speed at Which You Speak in digital format in 2013, 16 years after it was completed. The band reunited in 2014, prompted by an offer to play one of a series of shows celebrating the 25th anniversary of WMBR’s Pipeline, a radio show that greatly supported the band during its early days.
Milkmoney was a 3 piece band formed in Boston in the early 1990’s. They released 3 singles and one full length cd. Members Denise Monahan bass and vocals, Sean McCarthy guitar and Dean Styers drums were pioneers of the slowcore scene and were often known as sadcore. Singer/ bassist and lyricist Denise Monahan, was proud to be in, perhaps, the saddest band in the world. In an interview from 1994 she stated “So many bands are all about expressing anger, especially the current wave of female bands which I really respect, but I’m more comfortable with sadness and even if I try to write an angry song it always tuns out sad!”
The band was known for their dramatic, mesmerizing live shows. They toured the east coast but broke up just prior to their first west coast tour. The band cited creative differences as the reason. Sean went on to form Helms, and continues to play and release music. Dean moved to Los Angeles and works as a professional graphic artist. Denise played music sporadically and did a spoken word recording on the Stargirl e.p. released on Tinuviel Sampson’s Villa Viakulla label. She contributed lyrics and vocals to Lint’s 1996 album Cold Scene. Following a few more projects, she left the music scene in the late 1990’s.
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