Calling all Acetone fans

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Well, I have mentioned Acetone a couple of times in other threads, and nobody has commented yet so I can't tell if anybody else out there loves this band as much as I do. Early 2001 saw the suicide of bassist/vocalist Ritchie Lee, so all we got is what we got, but that's 5 LP's and an EP (depending on your definition), all very nice listening.

I highly recommend Cindy and If You Only Knew

It is chilling to listen to some lyrics on the latest LP York Blvd, in light of Lee's death: "How long can you go on believin' things are gonna be alright?"

There are a couple of audio clips at and an obituary site for Ritchie at

Ron Hudson, Wednesday, 13 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Wouldn't Cindy be a candidate for the "Split Personality" thread, with a faster, louder side and a more characteristic acoustic side? I haven't picked up on your earlier mentions of Acetone because it has been so long since I listened. I'll have to dig them out again soon. I like If You Only Knew, too, if it's the one I'm thinking of. A couple of their album titles are hard to keep straight. In fact, Acetone's similarity to other sad, slow bands and lack of memorable gimmicks probably left them lost in the shuffle for a lot of listeners.

Curt, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I would answer no on your Cindy suggestion, just because there are no acoustic numbers. Mark Lightcap is electric guitar only. In terms of feel, maybe, but the album is not split that way down the middle. What first brought me to the band was hearing 'Chills' on the radio, and that song is the most rockin' on Cindy, atypical of the rest of the album. There is a lot of contrast though, from the intermission on the mellow side, to chills, enless summer, pinch on the rawk side.

Nice to hear from someone with Acetone albums!!

A question for anyone who knows: Once met the band after a show and was told that the song 'Come On' was about a cult-classicy type movie but I can't remember the name of it. The lyrics in question were: Deep in a heavy fog, out from under a log, I creep just like an insect. Down in the mud I stay, laying there five whole days, where noone will come find me. Calling out to the shore, I can be so much more than bugs under the soil. And then the waves come down over me... Man that looks really weird when you see it in writing.

Ron Hudson, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

You sure about that obit site, Ron? Couldn't get anything. Acetone were always just sorta there for me in the early nineties, That Other Band signed to Vernon Yard that wasn't Low or Verve...

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Sorry all, It is spelled Richie, no 'T' so make it

Ron Hudson, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Maybe I can convince you to give them another shot. C'mon, I pulled out my old Cure records in your honor! :) I might even promise not to make rude comments about Timbaland.

Ron Hudson, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Ah, see, I'd actually have to *have* some Acetone records... ;-) And thanks for the link, I hadn't realized he'd died.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Good morning! I put on If You Only Knew at bedtime last night, and I'm picking up at #4 now with my first coffee. So far so good. Anybody who digs Bedhead should try Acetone. The other CDs I have are Cindy and I Guess I Would, and somewhere I might have a CD-R of York Blvd I don't recall hearing all the way through. Ron, looking at Cindy's track list, it sure appears to have a split personality, but I'll have to listen to it later. If not acoustic, I recall a run of softer, slower tracks like I'm hearing now on I Guess. Either way, thanks for the tip, Ron. Oh, and another thing. These CDs are pretty easy to come by used.....and easy to look up alphabetically.

Curt, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink


I have all the acetone albums and like them quite a bit. They definitely had an interesting song writing style, their songs always develop in an interesting and unobvious way. The interplay between bass and guitar lines, sometimes hard to tell which instrument is which, was cool too. I always liked If You Only Knew best. They would have probably been a more successful cult level type band but i think they were always on the wrong record labels, they should have been on a real indie label, like say Drag City, instead of Vernon Yard which was basically just an arm of Virgin. I guess Vapor has something to do with Neil Young but not sure if it really it gets things to the right ears. VY and Vapor both seem like the kind of labels that sent out a lot of promos and did little else. But this is really a topic for a different discussion, labels and indie cred and all. I didn't know about Lee's suicide, that is sad to hear.

g, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

This is really sad, i read a rumour about this on a messageboard last year but never heard anymore, the Fake Matador Board i think.

I own about 3 Acetone CDs i think, i love the song "99" - lyrics often seem profound in light of events like this, "Unfortunate baby, So sad you can't save me, And rescues are so much fun, But ambulance drivers don't wear guns". Again, this is very sad.

ian, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i saw them open for verve, they seemed concerned about appearing professional. they are probably big fans of cake.

keith, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Curt, if Bedhead fans should check out Acetone, does the reverse hold true?? Actually, somewhere I do have one EP from Bedhead but I haven't really listened to it, I'll have to dig it out. I think I accidentally bought it during a quest for what turned out to be a Garageland song, but perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. I'll find my record but would appreciate further guidance re: Bedhead.

Ron Hudson, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

keith, was the Verve tour close to the beginning of their career?? I think so. When I met them, they were opening for Spiritualized and seemed mostly concerned with scoring dope. And Richie was trying to avoid his mother-in-law, who was at the show.

I do think they were interested in serious musicianship though. Steve Hadley, drummer, was blissful when I complimented him on his use of a shaker-egg-thing taped to his drum stick.

Ron Hudson, Thursday, 14 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

ron, i saw acetone open for verve at bradford queens hall. it was december 93. the first band on? oasis. they weren't good. acetone were ok. verve were good though

gareth, Friday, 15 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Curt, if Bedhead fans should check out Acetone, does the reverse hold true??

Absolutely. I've had If You Only Knew playing again last night and today, and the resemblence there is especially striking. The whispered vocals, the cool guitar lines, the overall dragged down vibe. Bedhead differs, I'd say, in keeping more of a steady groove, even in slow songs, and showing a subtle New Order influence in the melodies. For what it's worth, Bedhead's lyrics tend to be rather droll, while Acetone's guitar playing stikes me as more accomplished.

Bedheaded, their second album, would be my first recommendation for an Acetone fan, although all three and their EPs are very similar and all good. Then there's New Year, the band that Bedheaded mutated into, and the EP of unreleased Bedhead songs that Macha recorded two years ago.

Curt, Friday, 15 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

eight years pass...

Finally got the last couple of albums the other day at Amoeba, and an idle scrounge turned up this blog by one of the two surviving members:

He just recently posted this:

Including "unreleased tracks and demos" so any fans should swing by...

Ned Raggett, Monday, 15 November 2010 04:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

i saw this band open for spritualized once and they were great

i got two wax cylinders and a speaking trumpet (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 15 November 2010 16:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

Listening to York Blvd now (found it for a dollar on RSD) - and holy smokes what a great album. I had a few of this band's records (actually covered "No Need Swim" once upon a time) back in the day but lost track over the past decade or so. Were all the vocals always all Phil Pearlmen-style stoned harmonies? Because some of these tunes - "Like I Told You" - sound like outtakes from the Relatively Clean Rivers LP. Great writing, great psychedelic guitar playing, all the best elements of slo-core without succumbing to bland genre exercises...

Pretty amazing.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Monday, 18 April 2011 23:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

Wow, never would have expected this:

This fall, the independent literary press All Night Menu will publish Sam Sweet’s Hadley Lee Lightcap, a nonfiction novel that traces the backstories of the three members in Acetone, a band that played in Los Angeles for nine years. Though few heard them, their recordings are time capsules of who they were, how they lived, and where they came from. Light In the Attic has partnered with All Night Menu to present Acetone 1992-2001, the first anthology of the trio’s music. The book and the album will be released concurrently on September 22....

They rehearsed endlessly in an empty bedroom in northeast Los Angeles, recording hours of music onto cassettes that were subsequently stuffed into shoeboxes and left in a shed behind the drummer’s house. Those tapes are being released for the first time in this anthology, which also includes highlights from Acetone’s official releases. Taken together, the songs form a companion soundtrack to Sam Sweet’s book, which maps the character of Los Angeles as a place through the lens of these three unique characters bonded by music....

“Acetone Clear” wax. Edition of 300. Limit two per customer.

First time band anthology
Includes 9 unreleased tracks
Audio restored and remastered from original tapes
Double LP housed in a deluxe gatefold Stoughton tip-on jacket
Liner notes by Sam Sweet
The “bundle” versions include a copy of Sam Sweet’s book, Hadley Lee Lightcap, with either the “Acetone Clear” color variant, standard black vinyl or CD

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 6 July 2017 13:07 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Don't really know these guys but this new comp has been some good music for nursing a hangover to today

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 22 September 2017 16:15 (one year ago) Permalink

Also the book sounds intriguing. Have you been sent that Ned?

plp will eat itself (NickB), Friday, 22 September 2017 16:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Upcoming Acetone show in LA w/ hope sandoval:

plp will eat itself (NickB), Tuesday, 26 September 2017 17:50 (one year ago) Permalink

I've not received the book yet, no.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 26 September 2017 19:02 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

this band had a GREAT sound

brimstead, Friday, 17 November 2017 15:41 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

heavenly overlooked slowcore. g500 on 1/2 speed

meaulnes, Friday, 9 March 2018 18:02 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

This compilation is so good that after obsessing over it for close to year I threw down $10 for a used CD copy of If You Only Knew, which also rules. Then I scored a $25 used copy of York Blvd. which is also excellent if a little more alt-rock.

Anyways. Compilation is basically perfect - almost anytime I play it at the shop I work at it gets sold or at minimum asked about.

Would support a Duster-esque full discography treatment of this band.

dronestreet, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 15:50 (two months ago) Permalink

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