Here are two seven inches by Ex-Ignota. They were from the greater Santa Barbara area, and back when I was a high school student in Santa Barbara during the mid-90s, I caught a bunch of their shows. I honestly don’t remember much from the shows, except that I enjoyed them very much, and often left them looking forward to the next time I would see the band play.

On their website, they note:

The group quickly became recognized for strange and extreme live performances consisting of the members dancing and crashing into one another amidst sounds ranging from pounding chords, to gentle guitars, to Italian zombie movie soundtracks. The band seemed to like nothing better than to challenge each institution they encountered, and audiences were turned on.

When they first got started, they were called IG-88. You may have heard the IG-88 song on the Heartattack #10 compilation. That’s Ex-Ignota!

One seven inch on this post is the Lazarus is Back… record put out by Ebullition in 1995. Ebullition:

The band consisted of kids that were going to the local university; many of whom were art students. Ex-ignota played hardcore that was definitely influenced by a lot of arty musical concepts; abrasive and melodic, with singing and yelling, and lots of variety. They strove to do things just a bit differently.

My record was the version with the oversized cover. And over the years it got tore up. So I had to get rid of the cover. But here is what it once looked like. After the break-up of the cover, my vinyl did NOT stay in top condition. So the two tracks from this contain snaps and pops. But I believe the record is not out of print, so buy it yourself if you want a fresh version.

Musically, these guys remind me a bit of St. James Infirmary mixt with Incurable Complaint and then mixt with whatever else. But that’s just me, and it doesn’t mean anything anyway. So here’s a preview track to help you decide for yourself.

(that’s an entire side of a record.)

Laid-back singer/songerwriter Jack Johnson, when he was at UCSB, made a short documentary about Ex-Ignota. Here it is:

The other record on this post is the 7″ put out on Redwood, also from 1995. That’s what the above song is from. The two songs on this record were also on the split CD with Uranium 9-Volt.

In addition to these records, they also put out a demo (under the name IG-88, and if anyone has this, please send it to me!!), as well as a full length CD. I haven’t heard the CD, but I am very eager to do so. Until then I consider myself a failed fan. I should just order it from somewhere! (but if you have it to share, please do so.) And they put out a split with Barcode. That split was posted on one of the music blogs on my music blogroll… I don’t remember which one! It’s been months.

Other notes: in one of the photos posted on their last.fm page, you can see Dylan from Stratego in the crowd. The band members set up lots of shows in Isla Vista. I really like the sweet melodic guitar on “Truce.” If I could play guitar, I’d probably just play stuff like that all day.

Great band! I hope you enjoy it.


also! If I can make some requests – can anyone hook me up with these:

bob tilton – crescent (my cd is all scratched, and I like this album) Thanks Geno!;

— (as mentioned above) the ex-ignota cd;

the Sunshine compilation. I have this, but I lent it to a friend enemy and never got it back. I still have the booklet, now I just need the music again.

–False Object Sensor compilation. I have this on vinyl, and it rules. x-mist put out the vinyl and vermiform put out the CD. So if someone has the cd version, I’d like to have the files. If not, I will just transfer it my damn self. Thanks Ricardo!

— lastly, an unknown band that I’m searching for (lost the mix tape). I know they made at least three songs, and the lyrics of one were, “Now that it’s gone, I can’t get it back. Now that it’s gone, I need it back.” they sung/screamed, and sounded like plunger, nuzzle, benchmark, indian summer, etc. and they had to have been from before 1997. I can’t believe it’s taking me so long to figure this out. help please… It was Pawn. Thanks Geno!

Mexican Power Authority

mexican power authority

My typing fingers are a bit tired after adding all 116 song titles from this CD, so this will be short. Of course, a short message would be appropriate for this band – ‘cuz they mostly play really short songs. Mexican Power Authority were from the giant country of Canada, and were around from 1991-1997. This CD compiles a number of releases into one: More Discipline (cassette, from 1991, Break Even Records); Salmon Mask Mctallica (cassette, from 1992, Break Even Records); Haiku… Gesundheit (1992, cassette, Break Even); and the January Sessions (7″). This CD was put out by Ragamuffin Soldier Records.

It’s a bit hard to classify them, as they have a lot of range.

The ‘zine Short Fast + Loud describes them as such:

MPA remain one of the least understood and most underrated bands from the ‘90s underground. Their style was entirely unique, borrowing from hardcore and grind, yet adding so many off the wall elements that the end results never quite equated with their contemporaries. Imagine Muppets who studied free form jazz playing punk rock songs with the RUINS at a high school music recital with students playing recorders. Odd clarinet sounds and yipping vox offset the spastic punkiness that abounds. Kev from the almighty NEOS is in this band, but don’t go expecting straight forward thrash. Maybe someday MPA will get the recognition they deserve, but for now check out this cult favorite if you want something completely beyond the radar.

Songs average around 30 seconds in length. There’s a swell mix of trash, rock, grind, and even, toward the end, some jazz grind with clarinet. Topics are light, and sort of humorous. A few songs reference popular rock songs within them. Some of the tracks on this are doubled up, since CDs don’t allow more than 99 tracks.

I find this to be catchy and fun to listen to. It can be a lot to take in at once.

Totally notable is the fact that they recently got back together and played shows, and are now working on new material. Stay up to date via their myspace page. And it looks like they have a double lp version of this CD still available.

Mexican Power Authority

side note: I added a plugin for the archives of this blog. Now they are easier to browse – browse by title of post (which is always the band(s)), and view them all without much scrolling.

Another side note, even less related to the MPA post:
portland pinball map flier

My housemate and I launched our new website the other day. portlandpinballmap.com

Last spring I created a google map to keep track of all the pinball machines in the city. It went well, and we had a lot of data on it, and lots of friends and strangers helped keep it up to date. My h-mate/business partner (Sassy Moves Today) and I had dreams of turning it into a bigger site, with search functions and other neat features. So we’ve spent the last many months working on just such a site. Scott did all the perl and javascript and all that tough technical stuff. I was mostly just in charge of data, but I ended up doing (plenty of)  the text, html, css, and images (which is why the site appears as simple/awesome as it does).

So, if you live in Portland and like pinball (which I realize probably amounts to like two to three readers of this music blog), I hope you check it out and I hope you like it! I think it’s rad.