Cartoon were an American avant-rock band from Phoenix that released two albums and a live disc on self-press Twelve Tone Productions between 1981 and 1983. Three-fifths of the band subsequently recorded two further albums as PFS. Members: Scott Brazieal (keyboards), Mark Innocenti (guitars), Gary Parra (drums), Herbert Diamant (reeds), Craig Fry (violin) Discography: Cartoon (1981) […]

Djam Karet

Djam Karet are an American band from Claremont, Calif., that released more than 20 titles on self-press HC Productions between 1984 and the 2010s, in addition to five discs on Cuneiform. Members: Gayle Ellett (guitar, organ, percussion), Mike Henderson (guitar, synthesizer), Chuck Oken, Jr. (drums, percussion, synthesizer), Henry J. Osborne (bass, keyboards, percussion, 1984-?), Aaron […]

U Totem

U Totem were an American symphonic/avant-rock supergroup from Los Angeles that released two CDs on Cuneiform between 1990 and 1994. Members: Dave Kerman (drums, percussion), James Grigsby (guitar, bass), Emily Hay (flute, piccolo, vocals), Sanjay Kumar (keyboards, piano, sitar), Eric Johnson (bassoon, soprano saxophone), Steve Cade (guitar) Discography: U Totem (1990) Strange Attractors (1994)

The Tone Dogs

The Tone Dogs were an American avant-rock band from Portland, Ore., that released two albums on the NW small-press labels C/Z Records and Soleilmoon Recordings between 1989 and 1991. Members: Fred Chalenor (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals, violin), Amy Denio (guitar, bass, saxophone, drums, vocals), Matt Cameron (drums, vocals, 1988-89), Will Dowd (drums, 1990-91), Henry Franzoni […]

Rascal Reporters

The Rascal Reporters were an American avant-jazz/rock band from Oak Park, Mich., that released two cassette-albums on self-press Hebbardesque Records in 1980, followed by two proper albums on the label between 1984 and 1988. Members: Steve Gore, Steve Kretzmer Discography: Freaks Obscure (1980) We’re God (1980) Ridin’ on a Bummer (1984) Happy Accidents (1988) Purple […]

The Motor Totemist Guild

The Motor Totemist Guild were an American avant-rock band from San Francisco that released two albums, a standalone single, and a live disc on self-press Rotary Totem between 1984 and 1986, followed by titles on the RēR-affiliates No Man’s Land, Auf Dem Nil, and Cuneiform during the subsequent 13-year period. The band’s participation in the […]


Curlew were an American avant-rock/jazz band from NYC that debuted with an eponymous release on Landslide Records in 1981, followed by the album North America on the German Moers Music label in 1985. The band’s 1988 release Live in Berlin kicked off a seven-disc run on Cuneiform over the ensuing 15-year period. Members: George Cartwright […]

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic were an American avant-rock band from Boston that released two EPs and the album Magnetic Flip on small-press Ace of Hearts between 1983 and 1985, followed by a string of discs on Cuneiform between 1989 and 2006. Members: Erik Lindgren (piano, synthesizer, Farfisa organ, sampling, percussion, drum programming, trumpet), Roger Miller […]

French TV

French TV were an American jazz-rock band from Louisville, Ken., that self-released an eponymous album in 1984, followed by After a Lengthy Silence on local-press Y-Records in 1987. Ten further titles appeared over the subsequent three decades on bassist Mike Sary’s own label. Members: Artie Bratton (guitar), Bob Douglas (drums), Fenner Castner (drums), John Robinson […]

Forever Einstein

Forever Einstein were an American avant-rock trio from New Milford, Conn., that issued a cassette-EP on guitarist C.W. Vrtacek’s Leisure Time label in 1989, followed by five albums on Cuneiform between 1990 and 2005. Members: Charles O’Meara [C.W. Vrtacek] (guitar), John Roulat (drums), Marc Sichel (bass, 1989-90), Jack Vees (bass, 1993-2005), Kevin Gerety (bass, 2005-present) […]

A Thinking Plague

A Thinking Plague are an American avant-rock band from Denver, Colo., that released two albums on Endemic Music between 1984 and 1986, followed by In This Life on RēR in 1989. Four further discs appeared on Cuneiform during the subsequent three decades. Members: Mike Johnson (guitar, drums, percussion, vocals), Rick Arsenault (drums, 1982-83), Sharon Bradford […]


Random were an American avant-rock band from Illinois that self-released the album Nothin’ Tricky in 1977. Members: Ralph Athey (clarinet, saxophone, vocals), Jerry Fiddler (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, percussion, vocals), Sam Kolmodin (bass guitar, contrabass, vocals), Sandy Robinson (violin, viola, vocals), Paul Shimandle (12-string guitar, percussion, vocals) Discography: Nothin’ Tricky (1977)