We would have been remiss had we not mentioned legendary local label Spongebath Records in our 20th anniversary music feature. And since we don't like to be remiss, we said this:
Billboard cover story on Spongebath Records, 1997
Flash! Murfreesboro is the next Seattle, and a label launched on the town square by MTSU RIM majors looms as the next Sub Pop. Playing the roles of Nirvana, Mudhoney, et al.--at least for a few years--will be power-pop outfits Self, Fluid Oz., The Katies and The Features. By 2002, it will all come to naught, but for a brief shining moment Spongebath mounts the boldest challenge yet to the Nashville curse.
Of course there's always more to the story than one can slip into such remembrances. Here's Michael McCall in the July 8, 1999 issue of the Scene, writing--presciently, one might add--about Self and The Katies, whose albums, Breakfast With Girls and The Katies, were about to see release on Spongebath with the major label backing of DreamWorks and Elektra, respectively:
Because of the way the industry operates, both bands need to have a quick impact if they want to get support from their record companies and from radio stations. Their fates--as well as that of Spongebath Records--will likely be cast before the summer ends.
Check out the entire story, complete with ads for The Sutler and "Ladies Night" at The Outer Limit.