Friday, October 19, 2007

Treats and Treasures From Minneapolis

How many people remember the Grimsey label? Or are even aware that they are still active? That's what I thought. So, here's where this little Grimsey tribute post comes in. Grimsey was started in 1994 by Andrea Troolin, just as the band she was in was splitting up. She had played bass in Bomb Pops, a Minnneapolis outfit that released singles on Bus Stop, SpinART, Audrey's Diary and A Turntable Friend. Quite a list of labels, and not surprisingly Bomb Pops turned out to be one of my favourite bands ever. If you think Felt was the best band of the 80s then Bomb Pops will be your 90s darlings. Rick Durgin, singer and guitarist, has a guitar technique almost as impressive as Deebank's. The best thing is that there is a COMPILATION, with all their stuff, released in 1999, which is STILL AVAILABLE. Can you believe that? A song from there is below.

Apart from Andrea another central figure for the Minneapolis scene is Bryan Hanna, drummer in Bomb Pops. He is also a producer, and helpled give Durgin's guitar the proper crystal tone. Hanna has acted as producer for many other Minneapolis bands, eg The Hang Ups that debuted one year after Bomb Pops, with the album He's After Me in 1993. The Hang Ups were fronted by one Brian Tighe and offered here is "Clouds" from their classic second album So We Go (I got my copy for $2 from Amazon marketplace). The Hang Ups released two 7"s on Grimsey.

If The Hang Ups were inspired by 60's sunshine pop, The Autumn Leaves took their cues more directly from The Byrds and jangly garage. Their first album Treats and Treasures came out on Grimsey in 1997 and is already a classic. Again produced by Hanna, it's a near-perfect collection of songs from David Beckey, who had previously been in The Sedgwicks (not the English band of course) amongst others. The Autumn Leaves just released their third album - you can listen there. The song here is from the first album, and an unstoppable pop wonder.

You can read more of the Grimsey story and their artists here. But be warned: the interconnection between bands are hopelessly entangled. Luckily, you can listen to most of them via this page. Just thinking of all the bands you have left to discover - like Ninotchka, The Shebrews, Le Mans and Toulouse - makes me jealous!

A Bomb Pops - Hayley

B1 The Hang Ups - Clouds
B2 The Autumn Leaves - The Summer's Gone


Anonymous said...

The Bomp Pops and The Hang Ups were two of my favourite bands although I am not sure how I missed The Autumn Leaves - great post and a truly wonderful label.

Wally @ The Beautiful Music

Jamison said...

great post. as a former member of toulouse, i'm a bit biased -- but grimsey hasn't received anywhere near the amount of attention they deserve. p!o!p through and through.

and by the bye, forgive the self-promotion, but if anybody enjoyed the toulouse material on the site, you should check out our new project, in interview.

Anonymous said...

The first time I heard "Girl Daredevil" by the Bomb Pops, I knew I had to have the album, "Recommended for Diversion Seekers". Too bad they didn't put out anything more than that album.

L said...

Agreed, Grimsey did not receive nearly the attention they deserved. Andrea is the best - she undertook a real labor of love and made some wonderful music available. I purchased a batch of records from her years ago and they remain among my favorites. Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Point of clarification: Bryan played all the lead guitar in the band and deserves credit--indeed, effusive adoration!--for it. I'll take credit for writing the lyrics, singing them, and struggling through the rhythm guitar for a few years.