The Official Sugar Plant Thread

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Years ago, I asked my pal Joe for some record recommendations cuz he was a cool cat and I trusted his tastes implicitly. He had already turned me on to Ulver and Fleurety and a bunch of other things. He wrote down on a little slip of paper: *Sugar Plant - Happy/Trance Mellow* I kept it in mind. ONE WEEK LATER, I was at the salvation army around the corner from my house in Philly and what do I see amid the detritus but a perfectly perfect copy of the Happy/Trance Mellow CD twofer for a dollar. God was on my side! (For once, the bastard.) Anyhoo, long story short, on of my favorite CDs of all time. Everything I love about shoegaze (well, almost. it lacks volume and dissonance, which is something I also love about shoegaze), everything i love about trancepop, everything i love about everything that i love about what the Japanese do so lovingly and in a way that only they seem to have a knack for doing sometimes. I just love everything about it. And it's really two albums in one package, so I love it doubly. I love the production, I love the playing, I love their voices. I have played it 500 times and, if I live to tell the tale, I will play it 500 times more.

The plot thickens! Every once in a while for a period of years I have noticed a loose CD in a CD case that it doesn't belong in. I think it'was in a Pixies case. I don't really listen to the Pixies too much anymore so I always end up putting it away figuring it's some bad CD that I never got around to throwing away. Today, however, I played it. It sounded familiar. At first I thought it must be an Opal CD or a Mazzy Star CD that I didn't know I had. But it sounded like Sugar Plant too! In a more Mazzy/Opal mode. Strange, I thought. No info on the CD itself. Just some swirly cloud design. So I googled what was on the CD *Narc015* and whaddya know, it's another Sugar Plant album put out by Pop Narcotic! (called *Cage Of The Sun* and it's really just an EP, but it's a fairly long EP.)And I have no idea how I ended up with it. So, I think God is trying to tell me something and now I think I have to buy everything they ever made.

Anyone heard their even earlier stuff? *Hidingplace*? *After After Hours*? Later stuff liked *Dryfruit*? They had a ton of singles too. I'm gonna head to ebay. Was the one-two punch of Happy/Trance Mellow their shining moment in the sun? Anyone? Thanks! You guys are great!

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 29 January 2005 17:47 (fifteen years ago) link


weasel diesel (K1l14n), Saturday, 29 January 2005 17:53 (fifteen years ago) link

that thread sucks. plus, it's sugar plant. not sugarplant. i deny that thread's existence.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 29 January 2005 18:01 (fifteen years ago) link

damn, that dryfruit album is pretty expensive. even used. on the other hand, that after after hours CD can be had for a song on the internet.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 29 January 2005 18:08 (fifteen years ago) link

at least Nabisco likes them. HE knows what's up!

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 29 January 2005 18:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Years ago, a friend and I went to see Sugar Plant open for the Magnetic Fields in New York. Under Acme? Anyway, on the way to the bathroom my friend passed Dean Wareham, and joked to him that Sugar Plant "sounded familiar." Wareham just chuckled.

So basically, to the best of my recollection, Sugar Plant sounds - or used to sound - just like Galaxie 500.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Saturday, 29 January 2005 19:45 (fifteen years ago) link

Search ye out the E2E4 2001 comp! I played their track on it last night when I DJed!

Reviewer: Sir Potomus (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews (ex machina), Saturday, 29 January 2005 19:46 (fifteen years ago) link

"just like Galaxie 500"

the happy/trance mellow albums sound ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like galaxie 500.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 29 January 2005 19:51 (fifteen years ago) link


scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 29 January 2005 19:52 (fifteen years ago) link

I love Sugar Plant. After After Hours is a great record--it's noisier than Happy Trance Mellow and has longer, more deranged instrumental freakouts. I have always wanted to see them live. And there is *nothing* about them that sounds like Galaxie 500 *at all.* Dearn Wareham sounds like Lou Reed and is obv. neurotic about people sounding like other people.

mrjosh (mrjosh), Saturday, 29 January 2005 20:02 (fifteen years ago) link


Reviewer: Sir Potomus (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews (ex machina), Saturday, 29 January 2005 20:05 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah, after hours sounds like galaxie 500. it's true. but i suppose it's the tendency of this place to cast aside the obvious comparisons. not sure how noisy after hours is either, it's all pretty quiet, really. lovely.

keith m (keithmcl), Saturday, 29 January 2005 21:07 (fifteen years ago) link

apparently they covered a galaxie 500 song on a single once. and a verlaines song. the EP i was listening to today was really more in a mazzy/opal vein, but i guess you could expand that to include galaxie 500 too. though the guitars aren't really that similar and the vocals are completely different. other than that... um, you know, they have quiet songs that end up in a pretty little feedback squall and stuff. but the double album that i love is pretty far removed from galaxie 500 territory.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 29 January 2005 21:17 (fifteen years ago) link

The first time I saw them they were *very* Galaxie 500. But the second time, maybe at the Magic Stick in Detroit, they had gotten a lot louder (and more interesting, if memory serves).

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Sunday, 30 January 2005 02:43 (fifteen years ago) link

dood, Josh In Chicago, BUY the Happy/Trance Mellow two-CD thing. You will thank me so much.

scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 30 January 2005 02:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Their first album resembles Galaxie 500 quite a bit, After After Hours not so much, and everything after that (Happy, Trance Mellow, Dryfruit) not in the slightest.

My favorite is Dryfruit. My friend says it sounds like an album of technical difficulties music.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Sunday, 30 January 2005 08:54 (fifteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

not enough love on the sugar plant thread i started a zillion years ago

I concur. Sugar Plant is an aural opiate: incredibly calming and addictive.

Soggy Cheeseburgers (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 18 March 2012 14:36 (seven years ago) link

Holy crap, I hope I can find my happy/trance mellow. It has been years since I listened to it today is the perfect day for it.

Trip Maker, Sunday, 18 March 2012 16:14 (seven years ago) link

I sometimes feel soo saaaaaad...

Trip Maker, Sunday, 18 March 2012 17:19 (seven years ago) link

This is keyboard/organ gold

Trip Maker, Sunday, 18 March 2012 17:20 (seven years ago) link

seven years pass...

Revive because they released a new album in 2018! Looks like it's only been released on CD in Japan, but it is on Spotify...

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 29 August 2019 16:06 (five months ago) link

and their guitar lines remain languorous and heartbreakingly beautiful

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 29 August 2019 16:08 (five months ago) link

And they just released a dub version of headlights last week called "another headlights"!

go Sugar Plant go!

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Wednesday, 11 September 2019 18:34 (five months ago) link

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