When I was asked to write a brief bio about MagellanMusic it turned out to be more formidable than I thought.
An independent band that’s been together this long, since 1975, didn’t make any sense. Especially considering their mélange
of unusual work originated in a Midwestern town in the Bible Belt when young hippies weren’t very welcome. MagellanMusic
started as a 2-man acoustic duo, worked into 3 men, even developed a 'cousin' Folk/Satire band called Phanus Phallus Phobias
that reeked with in-your-face-anti-Establishment vibe. But by 1978 they were a full electric rock ‘n’ roll band touring the
club circuit which we know is standard boot camp for rock and country bands alike. During this time they were strong on recording
because they were songwriters. Prodigious songwriters. It all had to be preserved and ‘in the can’. It’s why MagellanMusic was
possibly the first at selling their tapes at live gigs, which today is standard procedure for all Indie artists. They were also
probably first at passing around their song list for requests, and newsletters to keep fans interested. They would pull weird
stunts like play with their backs to the crowd, toss funny gifts into the audience, play different songs simultaneously, wear
goofy costumes just to make fun of themselves. They even used bizarre stage names, different ones every night, to keep those laughs coming.
As so often happens, bar bands rarely get lucky breaks, and neither did MagellanMusic. By 1984 they were tired of breaking their
backs to play for rowdy drunks whose hangovers obliterated memories of the night before, so they called it a night. All went their
separate ways, as the story goes. Nobody expected them to come back. “So long, and thanks for all the fish.” But by 1988 the MagellanMusic
roster found that home recording was a fast growing trend. They tried the idea of ‘sharing’ songs. Each member would record their touch
to each song, sending it from one member to the next, circling back to Per Jensen a.k.a. Jeff Youngblood, leader of this intrepid gang,
who would complete each to compile an album. To their shock it worked. Their double album “R” from 1988 may have been a rag-tag answer
to the Beatles ‘White Album’, but it’s how MagellanMusic still does it today.
In the mid 1990’s digital recording and home computers were a very serious happening. It changed not only MagellanMusic, but
revolutionized the entire music scene. The whole world for that matter. The Big 5 record companies were no longer Masters of the
Music Universe. Today they're down to the Big 3. Independent artists, ‘indies’, no longer needed the blessing of the Gods to stay alive.
MagellanMusic was at the heart of it, and their first official release in 1997 was called “A Strange Traffic of Dreams”. Even their old
fans were amazed, and it meant that after all those years MagellanMusic had finally come to flower. 2001 saw “Ghost of a Living Twilight”.
In 2004 came “Phanus Phallus Phobias – Greatest Sh!ts!”. In 2005 and 2009 were different versions of “Yesterday’s Children”. In 2011 came
“Whispers”. Each are distinctly different from the other, but expertly played, ‘tight’, and presented well. Listen to the body of this work
and it’s hard to believe that a band, any band, this old, could be better than their ‘glory years’. No artist is without flaws, but some of
MagellanMusic’s work is so good that it’s classic, as good as any major artist you can think of. Maybe the music honcho’s should be grateful
that indie bands like MagellanMusic are unknown, because if they and other indies came into the spotlight the labels would have to reach for
smelling salts and re-think the whole business. From the hearts of those who know what artists are supposed to be, carry on MagellanMusic,
-The Indie Chronicle