Monday, March 4, 2013

Banned From Atlantis: People Write to Geena Davis in Japanese (1994)

Dr. Lisa Smirl, a Lecturer in International Security at the University of Sussex, has died of cancer at the age of 37. While I'm not really qualified to disuses her research, I am plausibly qualified to discuss her brief career in rock n' roll.

Lisa played bass, and did occasional lead vocals in a Winnipeg inde-punk band named, Banned From Atlantis in the early nineties. BFA released two cassettes, Self-Titled and Outie, a split seven-inch with noise-punk band Elliot and a full length, People Write to Geena Davis in Japanese. The band split, let's leave it at acrimoniously, and then guitarist Doug McLean formed The Bonaduces while Lisa went on to earn a Rhodes Scholarship.

But for a glorious year or so Banned From Atlantis were everywhere at once. While often chaotic in their playing, the intensity of their performance was fucking arresting. By the time this album came out, shortly before the band's demise, it seemed anticlimactic. Their label, Sister Records, had brought in Steve Albini's co-conspirator Bob Weston to produce three local bands (the others being The Breath Grenades and Bulletproof Nothing) but the results were no one's big break.

For a lot of their local fans the album was a bit of a let down being that so much of the material had appeared on earlier releases but looked on now when that overlap is no longer an issue (and we can forgive the murky production and after-thought-ish artwork so common on nineties CD's) it isn't really a problem. If you wanna check out a couple of the hookier tracks, ones reminiscent of Superchunk and Archers of Loaf, give a listen to "I Do" and "Subtle Suggestions".

Recorded at God of Thunder Studios by Bob Weston and Paul James. Mastered at John Golden Mastering.
  1.     Tantrums
  2.     Philadelphia/Cincinnati
  3.     Sebadohboy
  4.     Ido
  5.     Rickets + Riddles
  6.     Subtle Suggestions
  7.     Steaming Seed
  8.     Sovereign Thug
  9.     Tricks
  10.     Pretty Geek Poetry
  11.     Sociopathetic

Hey readers, I got lots more BFA rarities but I'll hold off the ripping, labeling and scanning till I see if we get some COMMENTS going here.


  1. Hey give us your thoughts on this!

  2. I'd for sure be into hearing more of this.

  3. Look forward to checking this out.Thanks.

  4. I was very very sorry to hear that Lisa died. I love this band and that you highlighted IDO and Subtle Suggestions, which often get left out in favour of the also lovable sovereign thug and Pretty Geek Poetry.

  5. I can't keep every disc from that time period. But I'm pretty sure I have two of this one.

  6. Lisa's passing is a great tragedy. I hadn't seen her in years but was greatly impressed when I heard of all that she'd accomplished. She'd always been such a vibrant and alive personality and was such a joy to be around back when I knew her in Winnipeg. My deepest sympathy goes out to her family and to all who knew and were touched by her presence.

    Mike Koop

  7. simply one of the greatest winnipeg records ever, of all time, in my opinion. at this point, i could only wish that they'd rerecorded everything from the previous releases for the disc. with absolutely no dead weight musically... it would have been epic. some of the greatest music is made from acts that were set to self-destruct from performance number one on.

    losing lisa, really brought back memories of each show that i caught, one of my favourites being at the winnipeg harvest warehouse for a benefit. also, any of the 'first show back from tour' shows were rediculously good. just as chaotic as ever but fucking tight.

    chris freezing

  8. I saw Chris from Propagandhi tweet a link to Lisa's obituary the other day, but I didn't know their connection or that she was in the Winnipeg music scene. Proof again people from good bands go on to do good things. It's sad she died so young; thanks for sharing her music.

  9. Loving the hell outta your blog!
    So much amazing sonic gold!
    And as other have mentioned so sad to hear of such talent no longer with us...

  10. One of several bands from that era in Winnipeg that I miss dearly.

  11. Wow. My favourite song from this band. Takes me back to the Albert...


Thanks for clicking the COMMENTS link.
Now that you're here,I should mentions that
without reader feedback blogs slowly wither and die