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In 1980-1981, punk became hardcore, middle-aged women started spiking their hair, new wave turned into commercial crap, and everything was about to implode into the narrowly focused genres that dominate outsider music to this day. But in Bloomington, Indiana, things were moving a bit slower. MX-80 Sound had split for San Francisco a couple years earlier, and the original Gizmos were never more than a rumor to the post-’77 Bloomington crowd. When the Dancing Cigarettes appeared on the fringes of the Bloomington scene in 1980, they were doing music that still vibrated deeply with the naive/intellectual spirit that had informed much of underground rock since the mid-70s. The Cigarettes fused their high-school geek visions of dada and beat literature with punk energy, the Ralph Records catalog, an obvious love for pre-punk icons like Eno and Beefheart, and the fumes of earlier art-damaged Midwestern bands like MX-80, Pere Ubu, and Tin Huey. Their songs were tight, angular, ironic, and filled with obtuse lyrics. This new CD, 1980-1981: The Gulcher Recordings, collects their ’81 EP, two outtakes from the EP sessions, ‘Broken Windows’ from Red Snerts, and 15 unreleased tracks recorded live at the Bluebird in Bloomington.

-Eddie Flowers, SLIPPY TOWN

DOWNLOAD:
Dancing Cigarettes-1980-1981 THE GULCHER RECORDINGS (2004)
192kbps

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