While ripping my Groceries album, I decided to play “where are they now” with Google and it turns out at least two of the band members are still in the music business. One, Mike Steelman, is a contributor to the Metasynthia electronic music CDs. And he must be cool because he replied to my email. Another, Greg Frey, is an engineer/producer/manager for Ween, who are also from New Hope.

Groceries were definitely an “alternative” band before “alternative music” was on anybody’s radar. They had catchy tunes and smart lyrics — I’m sure they would have been compared to They Might Be Giants if TMBG had been around then. They had the usual set of instruments for a pop band, except that the drummer played an assortment of stand-up drums and bongos and what not, instead of the usual drum set, usually with his hands. This created both a very danceable rhythm and a distinctive sound. When they played live, they avoided playing too loud, which was a refreshing change from the many bands that always played as if louder was better.

At least, that’s what I remember from 20-odd years ago. Happily, the songs have plenty more than nostalgia value after two decades. Listening to them again, Groceries are still a very rocking band.

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