E-mail Me! Click Here!
Louisville Music News.net
August 1994 Articles
Cover Story
Darrell Elmore
Paul Turner
Darrell Elmore
Berk Bryant
Jim Galipeau
Jan Winders
Paul Moffett
Earl Meyers
Keith Clements
Todd Hildreth
Duncan Barlow
Bob Bahr
CD Reviews
Allen Howie
Mark Clark
Allen Howie
Paul Moffett
Kevin Gibson
Bob Bahr
Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson
Todd Hildreth
Todd Hildreth
Cary Stemle
John Goodin
Kevin Gibson
Performance Reviews
Jean-Marie Ebel
Beverly Howell
William Brents
Allen Howie
Jean Metcalfe
Allen Howie
Pete Strojny
Allen Howie
Kevin Gibson
Jean-Marie Ebel
Bryan E. Hurst
Jean Metcalfe
Mark Clark
Wally Stewart
Bob Bahr
News Item
Eddie Davis
Jean Metcalfe
Paul Moffett
Jean Metcalfe
Michael Boehnlein
Got Shows?
Send Them To Us
Bookmark Louisville Music News.net with these handy
social bookmarking tools:
del.icio.us digg
StumbleUpon spurl
wists simpy
newsvine blinklist
furl blogmarks
yahoo! myweb smarking
ma.gnolia segnalo
reddit fark
technorati cosmos
Available RSS Feeds
Top Picks - Top Picks
Top Picks - Today's Music
Top Picks - Editor's Blog
Top Picks - Articles
Add Louisville Music News' RSS Feed to Your Yahoo!
Add to My Yahoo!
Contact: contact@louisvillemusicnews.net
Louisville, KY 40207
Copyright 1989-2018
Louisvillemusicnews.net, Louisville Music News, Inc.
All Rights Reserved  

Issue: August 1994

Material Issue at the Thunderdome

The first time I heard Material Issue was on a sampler called Ten of a Kind, released in 1988 by CMJ Entertainment.

The selection was an excellent pop tune telling the story of tragic, unrequited love titled "Valerie Loves Me." It was thrown in eighth of ten cuts by no-name bands from across the country, and I figured it would be the last I would ever hear of the Issue.

As one could imagine, I eagerly pulled out ten bucks three years later when I found (in Target, of all places) a copy of the band's first full-length release, International Pop Overthrow.

The CMJ version of "Valerie" led off the 14-song LP, but it didn't grab me as I had hoped and it certainly didn't get much attention on the radio. Again, I figured I'd seen the last of Material Issue.

When the Chicago band's current release, Freak City Soundtrack, hit the record stores, I balked. Even when they came to Louisville (twice) and even with the excellent single "Kim the Waitress" seducing me slowly, I continued to look the other way.

My loss.

Six hours before the July 17 show at The Thunderdome in Louisville, I finally broke down and bought Freak City and loved it. A few hours later I watched lead singer/guitarist Jim Ellison and his two companions rip through a short but energized set which hooked me once and for all.

Performing stinging renditions of cuts like "One Simple Word" and "A Very Good Thing" from Freak City along with revved-up renditions of "Renee Remains the Same" and the title track from Overthrow, Material Issue made a believer out of this reviewer and more than a few who were on hand for the show.

Ellison and bassist Ted Ansani flipped guitar picks into the crowd of about 200 all night, and Ellison's stage presence was startlingly entertaining.

His thin frame, Little Dutch Boy haircut and otherwise unassuming appearance left no clue as to the supercharged energy which was hiding inside. He didn't stop from the time the first drumstick pounded snare until the last screeching guitar chord faded into the night air. Angus Young has nothing on this guy.

Ansani and drummer Mike Zelenko seemed content to let Ellison do his thing and merely fill in where they felt it was necessary. And make no mistake: Ellison is Material Issue.

The trio wrapped up the set with "Kim" and a well-received "Valerie" (which told me I wasn't the only one in the house with a copy of Pop Overthrow in the collection), then encored with "Diane" from the first album and a cover of The Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz."

Don't let this group come to Louisville again without checking them out.

Similarly, The Gigolo Aunts, a Boston foursome, hadn't impressed me much with their studio work, but gave a good account of themselves on stage.

Their combination of blistering guitar with pleasant harmonies and pop hooks ("Hallmark Rock," as it is called in the group's fanzine) works to the point that it resembles Teenage Fan Club or perhaps The Posies.

The self-proclaimed "purveyors of sonic splendor" made their presence felt, and the band's new release, Flippin Out, might be worth checking out, especially for those who appreciate good power pop.

Bookmark and Share