Versus (band)

Versus (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Versus

Img_capt =
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Background = group_or_band
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born =
Died =
Origin = New York City, U.S.
Instrument =
Genre = Indie rock
Occupation =
Years_active = 1990 – 2001
Label = TeenBeat, Caroline, Merge
Associated_acts = +/-, TFT, Whysall Lane, The Pacific Ocean, Flower, Containe
Current_members = Richard Baluyut Fontaine Toups James Baluyut Patrick Ramos
Past_members = Edward Baluyut Robert Hale
Notable_instruments =

Versus was an American indie rock band formed in 1990 by Richard Baluyut, Fontaine Toups and Edward Baluyut in New York City. The band were noted for their marriage of indie pop songwriting and vocal harmonies to the "loud-soft" dynamics of grunge and alternative rock. They were also noted for their proficient and disciplined musicianship and for their credo of "meat, sports and rock", neither of which had much currency in the early 1990s American indie scene. They named themselves after the Mission of Burma album "Vs."

Versus has counted at least one, usually two and sometimes three of the Filipino-American Baluyut brothers as members throughout its existence, and was perhaps the most prominent example of a wave of American indie bands emerging in the early 1990s which featured Asian American members. Merge Records was Versus' most recent record label, although they have maintained a long involvement with TeenBeat Records, and released two CDs through Caroline Records in the mid 1990s.

Breakup and Other Projects

The band still continued to tour occasionally but began a recording hiatus in 2001 after it broke up for a short period and Richard Baluyut relocated to San Francisco. The members afterwards moved on to other bands - James Baluyut and Patrick Ramos formed +/-, Fontaine Toups formed The Fontaine Toups and Richard Baluyut converted his solo acoustic project Whysall Lane into a full band. Former member Edward Baluyut formed and played in The Pacific Ocean from 1996 to 2003.

Current Status

After a prolonged period of inactivity (the band had only played one show in the preceding 3 years) Versus played a private warm-up show in November 2007 and opened for Yo La Tengo at a Hanukkah show on December 4 2007. Further activity by Versus appears likely as Richard Baluyut had recently returned to live in New York City, both TFT and Whysall Lane appear to have broken up, and +/- seems to be temporarily on hold while member Chris Deaner is touring as part of Kelly Clarkson's live band. Versus opened for Love Is All at the Bowery Ballroom in June, 2008.


*Richard Baluyut - guitar, vocals (1990-2001)
*Fontaine Toups - bass, guitar, vocals (1990-2001)
*Edward Baluyut - guitar (1990-1991); drums (1992-1996)
*Robert Hale - drums (1991-1992)
*James Baluyut - guitar, keyboards (1995-2001)
*Patrick Ramos - drums (1996-2001)


*"Insomnia/Astronaut" [7"] Land Speed 1992
*"Bright Light/Forest Fire" [7"] Pop Narcotic 1992
*"Let's Electrify" [cd-ep] Remora 1993
*"The Stars Are Insane" [cd] TeenBeat Records 1993
*"Tin Foil Star" on "January Working Holiday" [7"] split single with Scrawl Simple Machines 1993
*"Frog/Go Tell It On The Mountain" [7"] K Records 1994
*"Big Head On/N.I.T.A." [7"] TeenBeat Records 1994
*"Tin Foil Star" on "Working Holiday!" comp. [cd] Simple Machines 1994
*"Dead Leaves" [cd] TeenBeat Records 1995
*"Reveille" on "" comp. [cd] Fortune 5 Records 1995
*"Deep Red" [cd-ep] TeenBeat Records 1996
*"Yeah You" [7"/cd5] (UK only) Caroline Records 1996
*"Secret Swingers" [cd] Caroline Records 1996
*"Glitter of Love" [7"/cd5] (UK only) Caroline Records 1996
*"Two Cents Plus Tax" [cd] Caroline Records 1998
*"Afterglow" [cd-ep] Merge Records 1999
*"Shangri-La" [cd5] Merge Records 2000
*"Hurrah" [cd/lp] Merge Records 2000
*"Drawn and Quartered" [cd-ep] Insound Tour Support Series 2000

External links

* [ Versus long-running unofficial fan site, covering all things Versus]
* [ Versus at Merge Records]
* [ Versus Lyrics]
* [ Entry for Versus at]
* [ Trouserpress entry]

* [ Official Versus Myspace page]
* [ Whysall Lane]
* [ Plus/Minus]

* [ Seattle Weekly]

* []
* []
* [ Sponiczine]
* [ Willamette Week Online]
* [ Detroit Metro Times]

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