|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genres||Punk rock, riot grrrl|
|Labels||Brain Floss Records|
|Past members||Debbie Haliday|
Lucid Nation is an American Los Angeles-based experimental rock band formed in 1994 made up of Tamra Spivey and Ronnie Pontiac, and an ever-rotating line up of musicians. More multimedia collective than traditional band Lucid Nation projects include zines, documentary films, and art. Lucid Nation is on their own independent record label Brain Floss Records.
"In 1994, Tamra Spivey started the Riot Grrrl Message Board on a fledgling one million subscriber America Online. Participants in the board and a related email list included Slim Moon of Kill Rock Stars, Courtney Love of Hole and Danny Goldberg, then president of Warner Bros. Records, college radio workers, several zinewriters, musicians, and high school girls, graduate students, Carla DiSantis, editor of 'Rockrgrl' magazine, and Donna Dresch of the band Team Dresch."
An email debate about the treatment of women at indie labels vs. major labels proposed by Spivey involving members of the AOL Riot Grrrl Message Board and others became the very popular zine TVi described by New York Magazine in a feature on Danny Goldberg as "an haute-grunge cyber salon of e-mail aficionados that include Courtney Love and Kill Rock Stars label chief Slim Moon."
Lucid Nation was formed in Los Angeles in 1994, when founding drummer, Debbie Haliday, joined Spivey and Ronnie Pontiac to form a riot grrrl band. Spivey and Pontiac were already playing in a band called Cat Cult who never released recordings or played live despite recording demos with Ralph Schuckett for Columbia Records. The three soon formed Lucid Nation and had their first live gig, a fundraiser for a riot grrrl art and zine collective known as Revolution Rising. The show was at a club called Cell 63, where they opened for two local riot grrrl bands: TummyAche and Crown for Athena. Haliday, Spivey, and Pontiac became members of the Los Angeles-based feminist art and zine collective Revolution Rising.
Their next show was in a downtown LA art gallery opening for Team Dresch, followed by a show opening for Bikini Kill in Montebello. Lucid Nation toured the West Coast next, playing seven riot grrrl conventions in one summer. They also backed Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn at several live shows.
After her apartment was ransacked and a gang member was shot dead in the doorway to her apartment building, Haliday moved back to Florida for college. Spivey compiled the band's work thus far and put out an album entitled The Stillness of Over (1997). The album reached #11 most added on the CMJ charts.
Spivey on The Stillness of Over: "'The Stillness of Over' has a triple meaning. Obviously it refers to the exit of Debbie, and also to the end of the golden age of riot grrrl, but 'The Stillness of Over' is also the instant when a hurdle is cleared."
The last track of the CD featured a guest drummer, Nick Romero (of The Limeys), who joined the band after Haliday left. The track was recorded live at a protest show headlined by iconic activist and poet John Sinclair during the Republican National Convention in San Diego.
In 1997 Tamra Spivey's zine writing was included in A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World: Writings from the Girl Zine Revolution (St. Martin's Press, 1997).
Erin McCarley took over on drums. Tamra had met McCarley in an online riot grrrl newsgroup. McCarley was also founder of the first riot grrrl chapter in Orange County, CA. At this point, McCarley introduced the band to the peace punk scene. In 1998, they released their second album, American Stonehenge.
At Koo's Anarchist Cafe in Santa Ana, California the band played matinees promoted by Jang Lee and McCarley, including Food Not Bombs fundraisers. At these shows they became acquainted with the local Black Panther Party, which had renamed itself New African Vanguard. New African Vanguard helped distribute Lucid Nation zines including Eracism to prisons all over the western United States. Lucid Nation's "The Stillness of Over" was positively reviewed in the Vanguard newspaper. While on their national tour, McCarley chose to leave the band and fly home.
Lucid Nation turned to Tia Sprocket, formerly of Sexpod, who was on a break from touring with Luscious Jackson. After the tour, the band (Spivey and Pontiac) invited Sprocket to write and record with them back in L.A. Spivey's former bass teacher, Margaret "Grit" Maldonado (bassist from Girl Jesus), began playing with them. Guitarist Danette Lee (formerly of Butt Trumpet) was also added when Sprocket arrived Christmas 1998. They began to record at Big Scary Tree in the Los Angeles Art District. Danny Goldberg's Artemis Records paid for mixes of several songs by Neil Perry. Faced with a decision between mixes made by Perry (who had worked with Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins) or Nitebob (who worked with Iggy and the Stooges, New York Dolls, and Aerosmith) and Mike Barile (who worked with Candiria), they decided to go with the latter two and began mixing at Unique Studios on Times Square, where Tupac was shot.
Before this group of musicians could perform their first gig together in Olympia, Washington (headlining a fundraiser for The Transfused at the Capitol Theater (Olympia)), the band imploded. However, the band put out a CD in 1999 of those recordings titled DNA. Holly Woodlawn provided spoken word for the song "L.A. River," a song Rolling Stone's guitarist Keith Richards called "marvelous". The band name after that was often displayed with a capitalized DNA in the middle: luciDNAtion. Two songs from DNA "Las Vegas the Instrumental" and "Fun" were later chosen by Sasha Grey for two scenes in avant garde porn filmmaker Jack the Zipper's "Naked and Famous".
In 2000 Lucid Nation put out another collection of recordings from the DNA sessions called Suburban Legends, a totally improvisational album. The album got the attention of Randy Roark (assistant to Allen Ginsberg for sixteen years) who was interested in Spivey's writing. In 2002 Laccoon Press released "Dialogue of a Hundred Preoccupations" by Roark and Spivey.
In February 2001 the band recorded a live show at the college radio station KXLU, in L.A. during one of the worst storms Southern California had ever seen. The gig would become their fourth album. The only members of Lucid Nation left from the previous group of musicians were Spivey and Pontiac (two of the three original members). The album was named Nonpoetic Rain: Live on KXLU and distributed in a limited edition of just one hundred home made signed CDs.
In 2002 the band came out with a double CD of improvised songs named Tacoma Ballet. Patty Schemel (of Hole) volunteered to play drums and Greta Brinkman (of Moby's backing band) was on bass. Larry Schemel of Death Valley Girls and Midnight Movies played guitar. Diane Naegel was recruited on keyboards and Lucid Nation recorded the whole album in Tacoma, Washington at Uptone Studio. There were no rehearsals, and Naegel had never played with a band before. The band recorded fifty-two tracks, thirty-two of which ended up on the album. Recording ended on September 10, 2001 and several of the songs foreshadowed 9/11 including the phrase "homeland security" and the chorus "everything's falling down" from the song "Fall." After some rearrangement, the songs were revealed to depict a story about a girl who realized the hypocrisy of her town, her family, and herself. Tacoma Ballet was broken into two discs of sixteen songs each. The first was labeled What is the Answer? and the second one was named What is the Question? (inspired by the final words of Gertrude Stein). The album gained critical praise from Rolling Stone and Magnet. Tacoma Ballet hit #8 most added on the College Music Journal charts in July 2002.
In January 2002 the band recorded Tribeca Shockwave with New York residents Lafrae Sci on drums and Jezebel Kipp on bass, keys and production. The recordings include many references to 9/11. They were never released. Alternative Press singled out the song "Las Vegas the Instrumental" from the DNA record when Lucid Nation was included in their "100 Bands You Need to Know: 2002".
After 9/11 Tamra refused to tour, telling her fans that it would by hypocritical to sing songs protesting oil wars while burning fossil fuels during long drives. Lucid Nation has expressed a desire to stay out of the mainstream. Tacoma Ballet reached #1 on college and commercial stations with playlists chosen by d.j.s, known as the secondary market in the music business. There was a chart to measure those stations, called the New Music Weekly Combined College Radio and Secondary Chart (aka 'NMW Chart'). By November, without tour support or radio promotion, Lucid Nation had broken through to the top five on the 'NMW Chart' and reached #1 in December 2002, after a six-month climb, with more spins than the Breeders, Beck, or the Pixies , becoming the only freestyle rock record to hit #1.
From July 2002 to October 2005 Tamra Spivey was an Art Editor and then Senior Editor for Newtopia Magazine, an award-winning website of progressive politics and under reported news. Ronnie Pontiac was Art Editor, a member of the New Poetry Collective and then Poet in Residence for Newtopia Magazine. Individually and in collaboration they produced articles on underground multimedia icon Jean Smith, peak oil author Michael Ruppert, music executive Danny Goldberg, election consultant Larry Tramutola, the late activist Rachel Corrie, and others. 
2004 saw the recording of mung jung bushi with Jean Smith on guitar and David Lester of Mecca Normal on guitar. Also on MJB was LaFrae Olivia Sci on drums and keyboard. There were no vocals on this album. The album name 'mung jung bushi' was thought up by Smith, and is a rough combination of Chinese and Japanese possibly meaning "grumpy dance".
In 2005 Lucid Nation released a 'best of' album named Public Domain: The Best of Lucid Nation. This compilation featured songs spanning the entire career of Lucid Nation. Also on the CD was a song titled FUBAR, which Lucid Nation collaborated on with Jody Bleyle of Team Dresch and Hazel. This song was originally created for the P.E.T.A. compilation by Fat Wreck, but rejected because it was "too raw". Denise Saffren of Wench played drums.
In January 2006, Tamra Spivey also began a process she named 'The Hundred Song March'. With the help of Jon Krop for programming, Tamra began to post one song and a story (some true, some fabricated) about it every day for one hundred and fifty days, starting in January. The songs were posted chronologically, from least recent to most recent. They were all available for free download by MP3, RSS, and podcast.
In Summer of 2006, Lucid Nation recorded improvisational sessions with Ken Schalk of Candiria on drums and others. The band has released a few rough mixes from the sessions as YouTube videos including "Stray" "Token Voter" and "Pretzels for Algernon."
In Summer of 2007, Lucid Nation recorded songs with drummer Rob Cournoyer and others. Rough mixes were shared as YouTube videos "Last Day of Pretend", "Pressure Cooker" and "World's Guiltiest Pleasure."
In November 2007 Spivey was included in the book Riot Grrrl: Revolution Girl Style Now! edited by Nadine Monem. 
In 2008 Lucid Nation headlined RockNRead at the VirginMega on Hollywood Boulevard where they covered a protest song written by Alex Maranjian called "Bring My Brothers Home".
In Summer of 2008 Spivey and Pontiac associate produced The Gits documentary with Executive Producer Danny Goldberg and Liberation Entertainment. In Fall of 2008 Tamra Spivey collaborated with Danny Goldberg to connect music artists and management with the Obama campaign to help bring rally concerts to key counties. 
In 2010 Lucid Nation released a cover of "Second Skin" by The Gits with guest drummer Steve Moriarity, who played with the original Gits, mixed by John X.
In 2011 Rookie included Lucid Nation in "Girl Germs", its list of favorite riot grrrl songs. Lucid Nation provided the music for deaf Muslim punk playwright and filmmaker Sabina England's experimental performance and video Vazzxo Alien Dance. Mixing and new recordings continued with the advice of veteran producers Rob Fraboni and George Daly (music executive).
Both Spivey and Pontiac became bloggers for the relaunch of Newtopia Magazine. Spivey's first blog for the relaunch was an interview with Kelly Heresy a day one occupier at OccupyWallStreet, the first protester pepper sprayed. Her interviews included presidential candidate and former governor Buddy Roemer, Food, Inc. documentary director Rob Kenner, writer Marianne Williamson, poet and AIM activist John Trudell, Feral House publisher Adam Parfrey, legendary music producer Rob Fraboni, and Beehive Design Collective.
In 2012 Spivey became a digital outreach assistant for 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film. She connected the directors with the Brooklyn Film Coop and organized the initial submissions to the film's YouTube channel. In 2013 the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival.
Also in 2012 Spivey and Pontiac were among the executive producers and writers of Cohen on the Bridge, a documentary short about the Entebbe rescue that won the St. Louis International Film Festival's Festival Prize. 
In June 2012 Lucid Nation's Mommie Dearest the Musical, a rock parody, was released on YouTube.
In 2013 Spivey and Pontiac produced "An Excerpt of the Forthcoming Documentary, GRRRL"(2013) directed by Angie Young and Vega Darling, a documentary short about the riot grrrl movement. The short which featured songs by Lucid Nation, Bikini Kill, Pagan Holiday and others, was an installation at Alien She, the first comprehensive museum exhibit about riot grrrl, hosted by Carnegie Mellon University, and toured other museums for three years. Lucid Nation's song "Landmark" is included in the exhibit's California section.
In 2013 Viva Cuba Libre: Rap is War a documentary by Jesse Acevedo about the Cuban hip hop legends Los Aldeanos premiered at Miami International Film Festival where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. The documentary played the Sound + Vision Film Festival at Lincoln Center on opening night. Spivey and Pontiac are among the several executive producers of the film. In 2013 Spivey and Pontiac as producers also began production on Exile Nation: The Plastic People a documentary about Zona Norte, Tijuana directed by Charles Shaw. In 2014 Edward James Olmos became executive producer and narrator of Exile Nation: The Plastic People, which became available on Netflix in February 2015.
In May 2014 Lucid Nation was filmed in rehearsal and interviewed for a riot grrrl documentary by Sonia Gonzalez for Arte the French/German arts channel, but were not selected to be in the documentary. Viva Cuba Libre: Rap is War screened at IDFA2014, Movies That Matter at the Hague, was chosen for the Embassies Program, and won the Student Jury Award at One World 2014 in Prague and the Student Jury Award at the Kraków Film Festival.
In Jan. 2015 Rookie included Lucid Nation in its list "Staying Power: Music that endures." In March 2015 an excerpt from Pontiac's first novel The School of Outlaws was featured in Exterminating Angel Press: The Magazine. In fall Spivey released her zine The Good The True The Beautiful for Printed Matter, a fundraiser for Atlanta Zine Fest. Contributors included Jackie Joice, Legs McNeil, Daniel Pinchbeck, and Adam Parfrey. In October 2015 Lucid Nation was picked by Momentoy for a technical test of their simplified multimedia music widget for Facebook. Lucid Nation recorded three songs and created a GoPro video for the project that was released in March 2016.
In early 2016 Pontiac used GoogleDrive and Facebook to release his Yi Jing inspired novel The School of Outlaws. and a non-fiction work he co-authored Dialogue with a Spirit. That summer Spivey began a series of interviews with Standing Rock Water Protectors and filmmakers including Linda Black Elk, Emerald Village co-founder Bianca Heyming, award-winning documentary director Shannon Kring, and Virtual Reality pioneer Jeris JC Miller. In November 2016 Sounding Out blog published Spivey's article "Riot Grrrl, Punk and the Tyranny of Technique."
January 1, 2017 in reaction to the election of President Trump the band posted the punk song 2BU. Inspired by the strong response among rock fans in Mexico the band commenced a series of Facebook video posts, some critical of Trump, others targeted at current events, e.g. the song Token Voter was posted, with a video featuring famous tokers, to commemorate Mexico's legalization of medical marijuana. The video received over 250,000 views in a week. In February 2017 the band released a live video of the cover song "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory" by Johnny Thunders, in honor of Tia Sprocket, drummer on the band's DNA and Suburban Legends records, who had recently died. Also in memory of Tia Sprocket, Pontiac began posting weekly "cool rock bands found on Facebook" on his own profile and in a group he started called Saturday Rock Band.
In May 2017 Lucid Nation's recording "Effaced" became the opening track on Silent Records compilation album Transcendigitalism - a compilation of esoteric drones followed in September by the inclusion of the Lucid Nation track "Mars Opposition Pluto" on the Silent Records compilation Tulpamancers.
Spivey continued her series of Standing Rock related interviews for Reality Sandwich including activist and producer Pearl Means. Spivey interviewed music business legend Danny Goldberg about his book The Lesson of 1967, and Grammy Award winner Mamone about the Queer Appalachia project. Spivey also commenced a series of interviews about creatives using Facebook to reach their audiences including multimedia artist Jean Smith and writer Jennifer Robin. Both Spivey and Pontiac continued writing for Exterminating Angel Press: the Magazine
In September 2017 Pontiac's views on underground music business were quoted in the academic publication Resisting Muse: Popular Music and Social Protest.
In early 2018 Lucid Nation released Ecosteria, an 18-song record, on Bandcamp, Tidal, Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, Rhapsody, Pandora, and Slacker Radio.
Rolling Stone wrote "If Spivey sounds spacey, she's not. Her songs range from aggressive, screaming punk to beautifully melodic rhythm and blues, the very definition of garage rock. Like Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill -- Lucid Nation has opened for both -- her band's music is raw, poetic, sloppy and infectious...simply bare-bones, kick-ass rock and roll."
Mario Mesquita Borges of Allmusic wrote "Lucid Nation's creations expose fierce streams of experimentalism within the rock genre by captioning a singular set of conceptual alternative pop/rock style, somehow following a similar trail as the one unclosed by Sonic Youth... "
- Tamra Spivey, vocals, guitar
- Ronnie Pontiac, guitar, vocals
- Grit Maldonado, bass
- Phoenix LaFollete, bass, keys, engineer
- Dave Greene, drums, percussion
- Debbie Haliday, drums, guitar, vocals
- Nitebob, guitar
- Darren Carter, sound engineer, guitar, bass, video
- Mardhavi Sakuntala, bass, drums, percussion
- Diane Naegal, keyboard
- Jody Bleyle, bass
- Greta Brinkman, bass
- Danette Lee, guitar
- Justin Citron, guitar
- Ken Schalk, drums
- LaFrae Sci, drums
- Lita Penaherrera, keyboard, vocals
- Erin McCarley, drums, guitar, bass, vocals
- Liam Philpot, saxophone
- Nick Romero, drums
- Denise Saffren, drums, percussion
- Larry Schemel, guitar
- Patty Schemel, drums
- John Sellers, bass
- Tia Sprocket, drums, vocals
- Kristian Storli, guitar
- Troy Taroy, guitar
- Craig Waters, drums
- Rob Cournoyer, drums
- Jimmy Shines, harp
- Art Johnson, fiddle
- Holly Woodlawn, spoken word
- Imran Asif, drums
- Jason Kirk, bass
- Jezebel Kipp, bass
- The Stillness of Over, 1997.
- American Stonehenge, 1998.
- DNA, 1999.
- Suburban Legends, 2000.
- Tribeca Shockwave, 2001, unreleased.
- Nonpoetic Rain: Live on KXLU, 2001.
- Tacoma Ballet, 2002.
- Public Domain, 2006.
- Ecosteria, 2018.
- Public Domain: The Best of Lucid Nation, 2006.
- FUBAR, single, 2005, included in this compilation.
- The Gits, 2005. Associate Producers.
- Cohen on the Bridge, 2012, Executive Producers, Writers.
- Grrrl, 2013. Producers.
- Viva Cuba Libre: Rap is War, 2013. Executive Producers.
- 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film, 2013. Digital Archiving.
- Edward James Olmos Presents Exile Nation: The Plastic People, 2014. Producers.
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- "A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World". St. Martin's Press. 1997. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- "Riot Grrrl: Revolutions from within". University of Chicago Press. 1998. JSTOR 3175311.
- "Rock Just Lost One of it's Fiercest Outlaws". LA Weekly. 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
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- "Mommie Dearest the Musical". YouTube. 2012.
- Spivey, Tamra (producer) Pontiac, Ronnie (producer) (September 2013). GRRRL (motion picture). Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- "Viva Cuba Libre: Rap is War". IMDB. 2012.
- "Staying Power". Rookie. 2015.
- "The-Good-The-True-The-Beautiful1.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
- "The School of Outlaws". Facebook. 2016.
- "Dialogue with a Spirit". Facebook. 2016.
- "The Women of Standing Rock". Reality Sandwich. 2016.
- "Riot Grrrl, Punk, and the Tyranny of Technique". Sounding Out. 2016.
- "2BU". Facebook. 2017.
- "Token Voter". Facebook. 2017.
- "Rock Just Lost One of Its Fiercest Outlaws, Tia Sprocket". LA Weekly. 2017.
- "Saturday Rock Band". Facebook. 2017.
- "The Wire #409 - Psyphonics: Further Listening". Miraculous Agitations. 2017.
- "Silent Records". Void Front Press. 2017.
- "Tamra Lucid Reality Sandwich Interview Archive". Reality Sandwich. 2018.
- Resisting Muse: Popular Music and Social Protest. Routledge. 2017. pp. 8, 85. ISBN 1351218050.
- Dirty D (February 19, 2018). Memphis Metal Mondays (radio). Radio Memphis. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
- Friedland, Benjamin (2002-08-19). "Lucid Nation Make Improvised Misery". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- Mesquita Borges, Mario. "Lucid Nation > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-12-26.