Friday, February 17

Chocolate USA

After focusing on newer goodies for a bit, I thought a shift back in time might be nice. You know you miss the early 90s. It's been ages since you listened to Ten, Nevermind, The Chronic, or either volume of Use Your Illusion. You wouldn't know where to begin looking for your Zubaz pants and Hypercolor shirt even if you wanted to wear them. It's a sad state of affairs.

While Seattle ruled the music world and Dre was introducing us to Snoop, one of the little bands toiling under the radar was a sort of proto-elephant 6 project called Chocolate USA. The band was the first of Julian Koster, who would later be a member of The Music Tapes and Neutral Milk Hotel. According to, Chocolate USA was founded in 1989 under the moniker Miss America but later changed its name as a result of legal threats. The band released scores of tapes as well as two full-length albums, All Jets Are Gonna Fall Today (1992) and Smoke Machine (1994), before its members moved on to other projects. Notably, the band's second album would also include contributions by Eric Harris and Bill Doss, who would later achieve noteriety as members of Olivia Tremor Control and related acts.

The albums include the same experimental tendencies associated with later e6 projects, with sound collages and a sampled grandmother interspersed among a generous number of psychedelic pop songs. While these albums may not measure up to some later e6 masterpieces, they offer insight into the musical development of a key e6 collaborator.

from All Jets Are Gonna Fall Today:
Chocolate USA - Two Dogs
Chocolate USA - All Jets Are Gonna Fall Today

from Smoke Machine:
Chocolate USA - The Boy Who Stuck His Head in the Dryer
Chocolate USA - USA Milkiest Theme

For more info, visit the fine folks at You can purchase AJAGFT or Smoke Machine online.


Blogger Paulie said...

Very cool. The last few days I have gotten into my own personal WayBack Machine and dialed back to the mid-90's by listening to (now-defunct Athens/Atlanta band) Dayroom. Somehow even with my "All Things Local" bent in those days I missed out on the Elephant 6 movement.

11:12 AM

Blogger Rich said...

Wow, Dayroom? Haven't heard that name in a while. Have you heard Day by the River? They were an Athens band in the late 90s that I saw 30 or so times. They used to play with Dayroom once in a while. I actually think I saw both bands on New Years Eve '98 at the Variety Playhouse.

11:14 AM

Blogger Paulie said...

Not real familiar with Day by the River.

1:08 PM

Anonymous gregor said...

great site. nice to see some useful links to some atlanta stuff, me being a recent transplant.

8:37 PM

Blogger Margot Dent said...

thank you very much for these

1:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:18 PM


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