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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

We're Slightly Salted, but we don't care!

There is almost no information anywhere on the Pounding Serfs. I'll tell you literally everything I know. In 1989, K Records put out its fourth release, the self-titled album by Pounding Serfs, produced by Calvin Johnson. Pounding Serfs were formed in the beautiful ocean town of Anacortes, WA, by Jonn Lunsford, Bryan Elliott, Dale Robinson, and Frank Barcott. Jonn Lunsford is the brother of Bret Lunsford, guitarist for Beat Happening and D+. You can definitely hear the kinship between the two's guitar style, very simple, catchy, and with no ear-bleeding guitar solos. At some point, the Pounding Serfs broke up, with members going on to form Gravel, The Crabs, and several other bands that I have never heard of.
Around 1990, a very young Phil Elverum (of The Microphones, Mount Eerie, and D+), saw the Pounding Serfs play in his backyard and fell in love. For years, he had planned to rerelease their out of print lone album on his own label. It looks like he has completely given up on that dream.
In July 2002, Pounding Serfs played a reunion show, at the first annual What-the-Heck-Fest, in Anacortes, WA. I think they also played one of the members' weddings since then. That's it.
As for the music, it's what happens when you grow up in one of the most beautiful places in the world, surrounded by the happiest people in the world, but during the heyday of punk and hardcore. No, it's neither of those things, rather, the Pounding Serfs have the pep of punk, but with the anger replaced by the childlike love of life that you find on Beat Happening or John Denver records. It took me years after seeing them that one time to track down a copy of their record. So here are 3 tracks is the whole album, because I love you so much:

Calling Colleen
Let Go
Slightly Salted
All Day Long
Spend Some Time
No Big Story
She Drove By
Big Foot
Gravel Road Girl
To Go Nowhere

Frowny Face Empire is better than you

Between 2002 and 2003, three Westchester, NY high school students, Kate Ferencz (vocals and guitar), Alana Fitzgerald (vocals and bass), and Greg (drum loops and other synthesized beats) performed and recorded one demo as Frowny Face Empire. They grew up on The Cure and other brit-pop, which meant that they learned to sing by singing along to records of bands with British accents. This rubbed off on them so much that Kate and Alana ended up only knowing how to sing like their heroes... with British accents. They claim to have been trying to sound like The Cure but they ended up sounding like a younger, much less serious Le Tigre. Here is the demo, their complete recorded discography, in its entirety. It has never been released except at their shows. Try not to dance while listening to this; I dare you.

Kill Smarterchild
Axemen (Heavens to Betsy cover)

Smarterchild is an AIM-bot, that answers questions automatically.