Jenny Toomey: guitar, vocals
Dan Littleton:
guitar, vocals
Rob Christiansen:
Trey Many:
drums 1995-1996
Luther Grey:
drums 1997-1999

photo by Jessica Kourkounis 1998


Jenny Toomey (Tsunami, Grenadine) and Dan Littleton (The Hated, Ida) have been playing music together on and off since 1989. Actually, you can hear them harmonizing on Simple Machines' very first release, Choke's Kingdom of Mattresses 7". In the summer of 1990 they got together and formed a project band called Slack. After six practices Slack jumped into the studio and recorded five songs, which became the infamous Simple Machines Bates Stamper tool cassette that we duplicated hundreds of times for avid Slack fans.

But that was 1990. Jenny got busy with Tsunami and Grenadine, and Dan moved to Boston and eventually New York to finish school - neither had much time to be Slack. In early 1994, Ivo at 4AD asked Jenny if she wanted to do a solo project for a "now defunct" label idea. She was too busy writing and recording albums with Tsunami and Grenadine to even think of a third option, but she had always wanted to pick up the slack - literally - with Dan. They met one weekend and recorded a 4-track tape that they sent off to Ivo. Ivo wasn't convinced...he wanted Jenny and Dan to do demos. Jenny was bummed out. Jenny doesn't like to do demos.

Four months later Jenny got a call from 4AD's label manger, Robin. He told Jenny that the "side project label idea" had been permanently shelved (oh well...). He offered that they still go try to record demos, but this time for Guernica or 4AD. Jenny still didn't like the idea of doing demos, but this was another chance to record with Warren Defever who had done such an excellent job on Grenadine's second LP Nopalitos. Jenny and Dan flew to Detroit where they met Trey Many, the drummer for His Name is Alive. Together they recorded 30 songs in Warren's brown-paneled, hornet-infested basement. Warren made 75 different mixes and sent 4 full DATs off to Ivo.

So it was set. The demos became the record. The only thing left was the name. Being "slack" in the mid-90s is like being "hippy" in the 60s, so they changed it to Liquorice.

Liquorice released a single on Simple Machines, and a great tough-pop full-length on 4AD. After a few short tours of US and England, Liquorice took a back seat as both Jenny and Dan have focused on Tsunami and Ida, respectively. But a new Liquorice album is in the works. Throughout 1999 and 2000 Jenny will be working with Archer Prewitt (Coctails, Sea & Cake) at Chicago's Kingsize Soundlabs. With the assistance of many of Chicago's finest musicians, Jenny hopes to have a new, fully-orchestrated & arranged Liquorice record done sometime in 2000. We'll keep you posted.

Simple Machines Releases

SMR 38 Liquorice
Stalls 7"
7": $3.50

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Liquorice's's seriously hooky pop that believes the impulse to move originates in the head...not the ass. This single, handsomely packaged in Kristin Thomson's monument to mucilage, represents the first 3 songs ever released by Liquorice. On the A side: Jenny rants a blue streak and kicks Mr. Hot 'n' Cold to the curb. On the B side: Dan visits the ruins collecting "Artifacts" and then everyone takes a trip to Warren Defever's magic re-mix lab for "Squawk of the Town."


CAD 5008 Liquorice
Listening Cap CD.LP
LP: $9 CD is available from 4AD

Following up on their 7", Liquorice presents their debut full-length on 4AD/Simple Machines. Recorded by Warren Defever, Listening Cap brings Jenny and Dan's long-standing songwriting collaboration to the center stage. On Listening Cap, the pair craft clever, tough songs about love, betrayal, allegiances and "keeping the weekend free". Recorded by Warren Defever.


The Liquorice Discography


Stalls 7"

Simple Machines



Listening Cap CD/LP

4AD/Simple Machines

contact 4AD


Indie Rock Guide to Dating CD/10"

Red Hot & Blue



Songs of the Geographically Challenged comp LP

Temporary Residence

You can get any of the Liquorice titles listed as available from Dischord mailorder.

Check Tour Dates for Liquorice.



Simple Machines Records © 1998-2007