All the talk about this week’s 20th Anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind album and the influence it had got me thinking about the music scene I’ve covered in Columbia, South Carolina during that time. I was originally planning on writing about a band I briefly managed in Charleston back in the pre-grunge era, The Whereabouts, which sounded like Pearl Jam even before Ten was released; while looking for the promotional 8×10 of them I still have around here somewhere (along with cassettes of live shows and the demo recording we did, none of which I could locate) I found a box of my old clips from the Columbia Free Times circa the 1990s. One in particular drew my attention, pictured below: A “Columbia Music Primer”, I’m pretty sure this appeared right smack in the middle of the decade in a 1995 Back to School issue (the date in the corner says August 23-29), hence the desire to tell all the new students what cool musicians and bands they should check out. It’s a veritable “Who’s Who” of the local scene, with a few familiar names and some not-so-well-remembered ones, too. Some of my descriptions are in retrospect a little off the mark, but remember I’d only been writing for the paper for a couple years at that point…I especially like some of the “Famous Comparisons”, like Metallica for The Nothing (a precursor to the later, much more popular Crossfade.). I’m also amazed at the number of musicians within these groups who are still out there playing in some form or another including Isabelle’s Gift, the Root Doctors, Danielle Howle and Treadmill Trackstar.
It was a long piece, size-wize, so I had to do some creative cut-and-paste editing on the last few column inches, which are included on the side. Hope you can read it (click on the image to make it big enough to see the text), and enjoy the walk through the past.