The brainchild of producer/guitarist Jim O'Rourke, Brise-Glace took O'Rourke's avant-garde leanings and melded them with the post-hardcore of bassist Darin Gray's Dazzling Killmen. The extremities of this combination were displayed well on Brise-Glace's first tour in 1994, where it drove the group Mount Shasta to the point of unplugging Brise-Glace's amplifiers after hearing 30 minutes of a repeated guitar riff. O'Rourke spent the early part of his career recording original compositions in his hometown of Chicago and sending the pieces off to composers whose work he admired. While he was doing this, he also became involved in the band Illusion of Safety in the early '90s. It was in the group that O'Rourke met drummer Thymme Jones, who was also known for his work in his group CHEER-ACCIDENT. O'Rourke and Jones befriended each other, and the seeds of Brise-Glace were slowly being planted. While Illusion of Safety was making the rounds of Chicago venues, O'Rourke saw the grinding group Dazzling Killmen, which contained Gray on bass. With Gray added to O'Rourke's and Jones' new band, the seed was fertilized that blossomed into the post-rock stylings of Brise-Glace. Deciding to bring in a second guitarist, the trio added the Flying Luttenbachers' Dylan Posa. This lineup recorded the In Sisters All and Felony/Angels on Installment Plan single, which was released in May of 1994 on Skin Graft Records. As Brise-Glace had been starting up, O'Rourke had simultaneously been working on another band project, called Gastr Del Sol, with former Squirrel Bait member David Grubbs. O'Rourke had also spent the early '90s recording avant-garde albums, such as Tomorrow Knows Where You Live with Henry Kaiser. Since Brise-Glace were in the midst of recording their full-length debut album for Skin Graft in 1994, O'Rourke took the opportunity to invite Grubbs and Kaiser along as the band's special guests. After the tracks were cut, O'Rourke wielded a razor blade to splice the freshly recorded music into fractured pieces. The outcome was the August 1994 release of Brise-Glace's When in Vanitas LP, which explored five lengthy instrumental passages engineered by Steve Albini. The band supported the release by taking to the streets on the Skin Graft Irritational tour that year. By 1995, the rhythm section for Brise-Glace, which consisted of Jones and Gray, returned to the studio with Albini. It was a slight departure for the duo, who were backing up Japanese noise-metal band Zeni Geva's frontman/guitarist Kazuyuki K. Null (aka K.K. Null) under the guise of Yona-Kit. Melt-Banana's lead singer, Yasuko O., even stopped by the studio to lend a hand. Yona-Kit's noisy self-titled album was released that July on Skin Graft. 1996 found Brise-Glace contributing to the May release of Skin Graft's tribute to AC/DC, the 7" Sides 1-4, alongside Chicago noisemakers Big'n, Shellac, and U.S. Maple. Brise-Glace also returned to the live circuit in November playing shows at clubs like Chicago's Lounge Ax with U.S. Maple, the Flying Luttenbachers, and Colossamite. Gray and O'Rourke now appeared as Brise-Glace's only two constants. On any given night, the rest of the band included a rotating lineup of guests, including the Scissor Girls' Azita Youssefi and avant-garde synth/guitar player Kevin Drumm. As 1996 turned into 1997, Brise-Glace continued playing out and even appeared on the Camp Skin Graft: Now Wave Compilation that September. The group slowly quit performing though, due to O'Rourke's increasing demand as a producer for various composers, electronic musicians, and indie bands, while Gray's involvement with Jones in the group You Fantastic! kept them both busy. As of 2001, there was still no word on whether or not Brise-Glace had ever officially broken up. Members did continue working together in various capacities though, as Posa joined Jones in CHEER-ACCIDENT

When In Vanitas… (1994)
In Sisters All And Felony 7'' (1994)

June of 44

Following the sudden demise of Rodan, guitarist Jeff Mueller kept Louisville's math rock flame burning with his new band, June of 44. Following in the footsteps of Mueller's earlier band, as well as scene progenitors Slint, June of 44 crafted loud, dissonant, complex guitar rock as intellectual as it was forceful. However, they weren't merely replicating what had come before them; June of 44's compositions usually followed more conventional structures, and their arrangements evolved into a more diverse proposition, augmenting the heavy guitars with electronics, sampled loops, and chamber jazz flourishes courtesy of strings, trumpet, and vibes. As such, their progression mirrored developments in some of the other branches of the post-rock movement. After several albums for Touch & Go affiliate Quarterstick during the latter half of the '90s, the band split up to concentrate on other projects.

June of 44 came together in late 1994, not long after the unexpected breakup of the seminal math rock outfit Rodan. Jeff Mueller, one half of Rodan's dual-guitar attack, teamed up with Lungfish's Sean Meadows (who switched from bass to guitar), bassist/trumpeter Fred Erskine (a veteran of Dischord bands Hoover and the Crownhate Ruin), and drummer Doug Scharin, who'd played in the groundbreaking slowcore bands Codeine and Rex. The band's name was inspired by a variety of factors, chiefly the date of correspondence between erotic fiction writers Henry Miller and Anais Nin; the month also coincided with the birth of Mueller's mother and the military service of Meadows' grandfather. With the members living in different cities, they first convened for a recording session in New York; the results were released in the summer of 1995 by Rodan's former label, Quarterstick, as the group's debut album, Engine Takes to the Water. Given the short gestation period, the music strongly recalled the angular riffs, extreme dynamic range, and shifting meters of Rodan.

With their second album, 1996's Tropics and Meridians, June of 44 established themselves as a top-notch experimental indie band, offering a more fully realized take on the sound of their debut. In the meantime, Scharin kicked off the solo side project HiM, pursuing dubby, experimental post-rock and recording at a prolific pace, often with assistance from Erskine. Meadows also started a side project called the Sonora Pine with Tara Jane O'Neil, one of Mueller's ex-bandmates in Rodan; they released two albums over 1996-1997. Erskine, meanwhile, moonlighted with the bluesy, D.C.-based the Boom. The members' outside exploits -- which were generally of a subtler nature -- soon began to make themselves felt in June of 44's music, starting with 1997's transitional Anatomy of Sharks EP.

1998's full-length Four Great Points signaled the band's even more experimental new direction, making greater use of Scharin's interest in electronic music and Erskine's trumpet-playing skills. That year, Scharin also debuted another avant-garde side project, the eclectic Out in Worship (aka Out of Worship). The fourth June of 44 album, 1999's Anahata, expanded on the model of its immediate predecessor, deepening the jazz influence and sampling techniques; there were also substantial contributions from violin/viola player Julie Liu. Anahata was followed later that year by an EP, In the Fishtank; it was part of a series from the Dutch label Konkurrent, which offered limited free studio time to intriguing bands on tour in Europe. It proved to be the final June of 44 release, as the band broke up in 2000. Meadows quickly embarked on two projects, the Letter E and the solo Everlasting the Way, while Erskine played trumpet in Abilene, in addition to several other sideman gigs. Scharin continued with HiM, also playing with Loftus and Mice Parade, among others. Mueller, for his part, subsequently reunited with Rodan guitar mate Jason Noble in the Shipping News.

Engine Takes to the Water (1994)
Tropics And Meridians (1996)
Four Great Points (1998)
In The Fishtank 6 (1999)
Anahata (1999)
The Lion (2000)

Branch Manager

Reston, Virginia is one of the earliest planned communities in the United States. It's located about twenty miles south of Washington and the kids that lived there would regularly come into DC for gigs. However, the bands that formed out there did not get much notice in town, and this situation created a bit of a satellite scene. By the early 1990s Branch Manager had already made a name for themselves within this scene and were beginning to create an impact in DC as well. Those who saw them swore by them, and a cult-following developed. After releasing two singles on local labels (one on VHF Records, and the other on Level Records) Branch Manager eventually caught the attention of the folks at Dischord and released two albums on the label in 1995 and 1997. During these years Branch Manager toured extensively, including a number of dates with Fugazi, and it was after a particularly grueling trip in 1997 that the band cracked up and disappeared from sight.

Branch Manager (1995)
Anything Tribal (1997)

The Reactionaries

At the time, San Pedro was more receptive to classic rock cover bands than to original acts, and nearby Los Angeles' punk scene was not yet prepared to take a band from San Pedro seriously. One band that did take the group seriously was another struggling L.A. punk band, Black Flag.

Tamburovich's influence and input remained with his friends and former bandmates for the whole of the Minutemen's existence; Watt, Boon, and Tamburovich co-founded New Alliance Records in 1980; Tamburovich would contribute lyrics to several Minutemen songs and sometimes travel with the band as a roadie.

No formal studio recordings of The Reactionaries exist, but a demo recording (possibly from a rehearsal tape) made in January 1979 of the song "Tony Gets Wasted In Pedro" appears on the Minutemen's odds-and-sods compilation album The Politics of Time, first released in 1984 on New Alliance. When Tamburovich died of a bacterial infection in 2003, Watt played "Tony Gets Wasted In Pedro" in tribute to his friend on his internet radio show The Watt From Pedro Show.

In 2005 several more unreleased Reactionaries songs were provided for free download by Watt to the fan audio site

In 2009, a San Pedro-based independent label, Water Under The Bridge Records, began working on, restoring, and releasing the Reactionaries first record with the permission of Mike Watt. The first side of the LP contains ten songs that The Reactionaries recorded in George Hurley's Shed in 1979, fully re-mastered from the original tape. The second side contains the same ten songs re-recorded by four decades of different San Pedro musicians (including George Hurley and Mike Watt). The record, titled 1979, was officially released on February 20, 2010 and can be purchased at the Water Under The Bridge Records online store and other various outlets.



Flower was a New York City indie rock band (June 1986 – 1990) formed by guitarist Richard Baluyut (later of Versus and Whysall Lane), singer/bassist Ian James (later of Cell and French), drummer Rob Hale (also later of Versus), and keyboardist Yosh Najita (formerly of synth band Groan Box). After recording the Crash EP with Kramer at Noise New York studios, Najita and Hale were replaced by Richard's brother Edward Baluyut (also later of Versus) on guitar and Andrew Bordwin (later of Ruby Falls) on drums, and Richard began sharing lead vocal duties. Their final album Hologram Sky was not released domestically in the US, and Ian James was briefly replaced by Fontaine Toups before the band dissolved in 1990. Following the renewed interest in the band generated by the success of Toups and the Baluyuts in Versus, high profile indie label Simple Machines compiled all the band's recordings (except Crash) into Concrete Sky in 1994, and the group reunited for some promotional shows.

Concrete Sky (1987-1990 Compilation)