The Fig Dish bookend series, featuring their unreleased first and final records


1991's Unleash the Cracken

01. Diet Song
02. Lita Stay
03. Wide Open Skies
04. Pop Wonders
05. Birthday Clowns
06. Midnight Dragon
07. Much Sense
08. Pretty Karen Record
09. Tube
10. Anything Black

2000's Onanism

01. Burn Bright for Now
02. Cellophane & Sulpher
03. The Ragged Ones
04. Science Goes Public
05. If Not Now When
06. Trouble & Sway
07. Lake Five Blue
08. Take Me Whole
09. Tear the Atmosphere
10. All the Blues are Pale
11. A.D. & D.
12. The Effects of Dehydration
13. The Bottom
14. Senior Circuit
15. Best Disguise
16. Carcharias Carcharodon
17. Extra Nanny
18. The Widow Cobain
19. When Shirts Get Tight (Demo)
20. Eyesore
21. Spit the Part


I've been sitting on these for as long as anyone else, but as they got to it first, I never saw the point in mirroring what others had done. Then those cunts let the downloads expire, so fuck them. Run a hipster music "blog" right or don't do it at all.

Fig Dish continued the incredible legacy of Chicagoland's specific brand of power pop rock and roll that Cheap Trick and Material Issue pioneered. They were so in love with bands (and attitudes) like those of the Replacements that their entire tenure as perennial Chicago underdogs is marked by a booze fueled self-destruction. What should have been the most important show of their young career, one full of A&R men and talent scouts, was sabotaged by their insistence upon playing an entire set of Neil Diamond covers.

While other bands talked up the directionless angst of growing up in a Midwest in decline, Fig Dish lived it. Nowhere is that more clear than in their young and hungry first album and jaded and exhausted final album.

When the dust of the 21st century's hipster dawn settles you'll be able to point to the true heirs to rock and roll's dimming light. They were always ones that made no big deal about the fact that they were no big deal, preferred it that way, and actively damned themselves to a future of relative unknown. Just as Paul Westerberg found shitty fucked up Alex Chilton records, so, too, did Blake Smith find fucked up gnarly old Paul Westerberg tapes. So, too, will someone find scratched and cracked old Blake Smith CDs.