There’s rock and roll mythology, and then there’s 90’s indie rock mythology... Unfortunately, stories about then NYC’s Sleepyhead are really neither. Michael Galinsky, Rachael McNally, and Chris O’Rourke, NYU students more into music than books, form a band, practice, release singles and an album on a non-descript independent label, tour, and then again practice, release another album, tour and play Lollapalooza’s second stage, and so on… Yeah, it is neither very glamorous nor salacious. It’s simply three individuals playing, recording, and releasing music, as that’s what lady destiny called them to do.
Born in 1988, Sleepyhead was certainly a band of the era, pre-internet, pre-cell phone, and fully dependent on Xeroxed zine culture and passed around hand-written knowledge on all things music. It was definitely slower times in terms of technology, but one that was still full of young adventurers eager to play music and see the world in a used van on their own terms. With things always rapidly evolving, some things will always stay near the same.
In a certain sense, it is through the driving culture provided with a used van that really allowed Sleepyhead to discover itself and thrive. Tours (on their own, with rad bands like Polvo, or even for lower-tiered Lollapalooza sets) helped hone the band’s vibe and distinctiveness. Many of these travels of Sleepyhead are the impetus for the stories told in Suki Hawley’s 1994 classic film, Half-Cocked, co-written by Hawley and Michael Galinsky. Additionally, by the time of this awesome visual documentation, Sleepyhead was at its initial apex in terms of sound and creativity with the results recorded on the two mid-90’s albums Starduster (1994) and Communist Love Songs (1996).Sandra Bell is essential listening for any New Zealand underground music fan. As a singer, Bell juggles fervent emotion and characteristic Kiwi reserve; as a guitarist and arranger, she embraces corrosive rock and edgy experimentation. Bell has a true ear for wry, cool vocals, unusual hooks and remarkable imagery, ranging from the personal to the natural world. Initially released in 1995, Net represents Bell at a crossroads between her folk-like experimentation and noisy guitar rock allegiances. Newly re-mastered, Drawing Room Records is most excited to re-present Bell’s great work to the world.