The bands Geek, Slack, Grenadine, Liquorice, and -- most significantly -- Tsunami have featured the imprint of Jenny Toomey, one of the central figures of the do-it-yourself movement since the late '80s. In addition to being a member of each of the bands listed above, Toomey ran Simple Machines -- an Arlington, VA-based label that lasted from 1990 to 1998 -- with Tsunami partner Kristin Thompson. Just as importantly, Thompson and Toomey produced several editions and over 10,000 copies of The Mechanic's Guide, an invaluable step-by-step how-to manual for those who want to release records on their own.
After the demise of Tsunami and Simple Machines in the late '90s, Toomey became the executive director of the Future of Music Coalition, whose aim is to protest the rights of the recording artist in lieu of technological advances. Musically, Toomey took some time off and went solo for 2001's Antidote, a stellar double-record split between its recording locales of Chicago and Nashville. Full of lush, varied, subtle pop with strings, horns, and pedal steel from a number of friends (including many members of Lambchop), it solidified Toomey's identity as one of the finest and most valuable talents to have come from '90s indie rock. In October 2002, Toomey issued her ambitious collaboration with Franklin Bruno entitled Tempting. ~ Andy Kellman