The Sutras | A Prize for Whitey

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Lots of Matador Records folks Pavement The Flaming Lips

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United States - NY - Upstate NY

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Rock: Lo-Fi Rock: Shoegaze Moods: Mood: Quirky
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A Prize for Whitey

by The Sutras

Northeast Indie Rock with similarity to the experimental grungy-pop of Sebadoh, early Flaming Lips, but with more melody and better chops.
Genre: Rock: Lo-Fi
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. 2nd or 3rd
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1:54 $0.99
2. Swamps, Marcy
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3:33 $0.99
3. The Human Bomb
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3:30 $0.99
4. Mom and Dad @ Night
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1:58 $0.99
5. Inertia
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4:36 $0.99
6. Undone
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3:53 $0.99
7. Big Motel
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3:23 $0.99
8. Dayscratch
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9. Steal
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4:40 $0.99
10. Huffer
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2:52 $0.99
11. Methane Pocket
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12. Ring Glocken!
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Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
The Sutras are Upstate New York's forever burgeoning indie rock quartet, complex, moody and here with a new album.

Founded in 1992, when they couldn't find a guitarist for their band Grandma Mapplethorpe, then-teenage classical piano student AJ Strauss was forced to learn the electric guitar, and the Sutras were born. With the help of two English majors (Paul Mauceri and Michael Madon) on drums and an anthropologist (Jarrett Mason, soon to be Derek Tripp, another anthro major) on bass, this union culminated in 1997's Pox Records release "A Prize for Whitey." Known then for their high energy and clamorous Sonic Youth like shows, the guys played Northeast gigs for a while, got depressed, said their good-byes and chalked it up to a good time. This is young Gen-X youngsters looking for direction past Pavement and My Bloody Valentine.

After six years of bitter break-ups, divorces, and cutting edge medications, Gen-X indie rockers the Sutras emerged from basement hideaways and bi-polar obscurity in rainy Ithaca, New York, with a new line-up delicious CDs. But the days of worshiping Sebadoh and MBV's are apparent, yet the healthy melodies and the spirit of indie pop and rock experimentalism is still somehow very much alive and utterly contemporary of its time. Move over Malkmus, this guy really does you well. Check out Huffer and Inertia. This author looks back and says "slacker rock" yet my guess is they still got a couple girlfriends out of the deal. Back when even crappy recordings were expensive and the record company could only afford 2 hours for mixing, I'm gonna say it's a minor freshman triumph for what comes later.


to write a review

D. P. Cooper

A Tasty Debut Effort
If I was in the driver's seat in 1997, I probably wouldn't have put "mom & dad at night" on this record. Why? Because the rest of the album sparkles with such memorable and unexpected moments, "mom and dad" seems out of place--it sounds like a typical mid 90's college rock song. That being the only negative thing I have to say about this album, let me gush about the good.

"Dayscratch" is a testament to the creativity, sincerity and dexterity of A.J. Strauss as a songwriter. "Your dress is so tacky, your lipstick drags..." He sings fiction, but weaves it with an autobiographical, heartfelt slant. Other track highlights include: "Inertia"--on the surface a Thurston Moore bow, but a 'second or third' listen, we see that while they travel the same road, it happens in different lanes. The song is really musical, whimsical. "Huffer" would really be a treat to see live, and not just because I have a penchant for songs about inhalants. The Sutras do well to mix up instrumentation, making each tune sonically unique, but cohesive as an album.

While the record dates itself (some of it just screams "120 Minutes"), it is deseving of regular revisiting. The range of emotions, the agile and dynamic musicianship and engaging lyrics makes "A Prize for Whitey" a tasteful treat for any ethnicity. Highly recommended.

The sutras are a confused lot: they play their guitars like pianos, their keyboards like drums and their drums like a singer who won’t wake up and put his glitter on for the show that’s supposed to start in like, just half an hour. The bassist would kinda cute if he shaved more often.


The Sutras sing songs about fair-weather friendship, having a great job and getting your un-fucking-qualified relative a job, too, and have a great track that’s the noise in your head if you’ve ever held more than nine hundred and ninety nine dollars for longer than ten minutes.


i saw these cats play in philly and damn, i was impressed,
even though their new stuff is pretty different, i still love this
disc, i agree with the last review that the song "mom and dad at night" doesn't really fit with the rest of the album, but every other track is a winner, and i find myself playing the album over and over again, something that happens too rarely with most music that i've found...

you can't go wrong with this disc, "dayscratch" alone is worth the price of admission...