Sesamoid: 90's Minneapolis Band, Quirk-Rock, Avant-Punk, Steve Finch, Michael Donahue, Joey Donahue, Mike Lotz
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Photo: Sesamoid Lesbian Illustration by Mitch HeinPast Projects > Sesamoid

 

"They're quirky, kinda jazzy and smart which is exactly why some people probably DON'T like Sesamoid."

 

-Deneen Gannon, Cake

 

In the early to mid nineties, nobody anywhere was doing what Sesamoid did. Guitar noises that sound like squeaky bed springs, abstract lyrics put to reconstructed brutalizations of overplayed FM rock classics only begins to describe the Sesamoid sound. We were proud to have received a polite rejection letter from an A&R Rep who admitted that she loved our demo but was "too chicken" to sign us to a major record label.

 

The original band name was "The Sesamoid Lesbians" but was later changed for obvious reasons. Lineup: Joseph Donahue: bass, vocals, Michael Donahue: guitar, vocals, Steve Finch: drums, Mike Lotz: guitar. NOTE: This was also the original lineup for the Crashdummies from way back. In hindsight, we could have (and perhaps should have) called ourselves the Crashdummies to piggyback on our past success. Live and learn.

 

Sesamoid was once described by a Twin Cities music writer as a "nuisance" band. Perhaps this was not so much due to our music but rather our guerrilla marketing techniques. For example, since Personal ads were free in the City Pages, Sesamoid would fax in several phony ads every week with cryptic (and sometimes not so cryptic) references to the band's name. Soon Minneapolis singles were buzzing about Sesamoid. If an ad depicted a sexy woman, dozens of guys would respond. They were given the message: "I'm out of town so I can't respond to your message. I'll meet you at the Sesamoid show." Needless to say we had a sizable lonely male following.

 

Sesamoid once made a poster claiming the famous stripper Alyssa Alps (Miss Nude Wisconsin, Miss Nude Midwest, Glamour Model) would be giving a lecture about "the exploitation of women and the media's influence on young minds" during one of our concerts. A number of people arrived early with notebooks actually expecting to see a lecture, but instead witnessed a girl with balloons stuffed in her shirt performing a dude dance to Sesamoid's version of "Tush" by ZZ Top.

 

We also captured the attention of a right wing religious organization called the "Sacred Truth Action Foundation" who organized boycotts and protests against us. They were apparently offended by the themes expressed on our gig posters. In response, they hung up their own 'anti-gig' posters urging the community to "Avoid Sesamoid". We once had a poster for a Loring Bar show that said "Sesamoid is not bigger than the Beatles but is still bigger than Jesus." Offended people ripped down our posters from street poles and stuffed them into garbage bags only to ceremoniously dump them on to the stage at the Loring just to express their displeasure. We also received lots of interesting letters from religious folks at our post office box.

 

Though praised by critics, Minneapolis club audiences were often left scratching their heads at Sesamoid's live concerts. The Findell Years album chronicles Sesamoid's best material from 1993-94. Get a FREE album download here. The record is weird at times and annoyingly accessible at others, but it seems to have aged rather well. Listeners enjoy it more NOW than they ever did while the band was active. Check out the MP3's below by one of the "quirkiest" guitar bands you'll never hear.

 

Notable Lyrical Phrases

"I'm stupid. You're stupid. We have a lot in common. So let's fuck." -from Rocket Science

 

"So you think I have a lousy sense of humor. Well you're right. That's true. Get it?" -from One to Another

 

Music Samples
MP3 bit rate: 128 kbps.

 

My God

Sesamoid

Track 8 on The Findell Years.

 

We Met Moist Love

Sesamoid

Track 11 on The Findell Years. Lyrics were written by taking the words from "Love me Two Times" and rearranging the letters with Scrabble pieces and expanding upon related themes.

 

Primordial Ecstasy

Sesamoid

Track 7 on The Findell Years. This one is so deep we didn't even get it.

 

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