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1. Helium was an American indie rock group formed (as Chupa) in the summer of 1992 by Mary Lou Lord, Jason Hatfield (Juliana Hatfield’s brother), Shawn King Devlin (drums) and Brian Dunton (electric bass guitar). Devlin and Dunton were both also in the band Dumptruck at the time. Mary Timony (electric guitar and vocals, formerly of the band Autoclave) was recruited after Lord was reluctant to go electric. After Hatfield left the band, they changed the name to Helium. Timony became known for her Lolita-esque image (e.g. short schoolgirl skirts and hairstyle) and naughty lyrics, much like Helium’s then-labelmate Liz Phair. She was also known for her fairly husky, vibrato-less, monotone singing style.

Their first release was a 7” single entitled “The American Jean” (1993), which was followed by the 7” “Hole in the Ground.” They released their first EP, Pirate Prude, in 1994. Shortly after the release of Pirate Prude, Dunton left the band and Polvo leader Ash Bowie (boyfriend of Timony at the time) joined on bass. In 1995, they released their first full-length release, The Dirt of Luck, and played the second stage of Lollapalooza. Two of the band’s music videos (“Pat’s Trick” and “XXX”) were critiqued by MTV’s animated teen pundits Beavis and Butt-head. Adam Lasus produced and engineered The Dirt of Luck, Pirate Prude, and all the singles up to 1995.


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