ELEVENTH DREAM DAY
Background: Dual-guitar, Crazy Horse-y alternative vets.
Buzz: Perhaps fading; moderate base of critical support not appreciably expanding.
Goods: Dependable guitar-meistering and evolving songwriting on third Atlantic album, El Moodio.
Sales: Sketchy; El Moodio a minor college hit but failed to chart on Billboard's Top 200.
Background: Pop-soul-rock combo fronted by difficult, visionary Jeff Lescher.
Buzz: Once very high, less so today, but group still has friends in high places; recent short musician profile.
Goods: White Soul, a 1991 indie spectacular, universally ignored; new Pop Tarts more difficult, still rewarding.
Background: Unpleasant underground rockers descended from Scratch Acid and Rapeman; current favorite sons at deep-underground Touch and Go records.
Buzz: Moderately high in select u.g. circles, almost nonexistent beyond; band disdains major-label inquiries.
Goods: Connoisseurs dig the Lizard's groove, but harsh harsh harsh sound and lyrics may keep them an acquired taste even in post-Nevermind era.
Sales: Rumored 40,000-50,000 annually, high for ultra-indie rock.
Background: Retro power-pop trio led by unironic singer-guitarist-songwriter Jim Ellison
Buzz: Press is consistently favorable but nothing special.
Goods: Two tuneful, well-produced albums on Mercury, working on third.
Sales: International Pop Overthrow (1991): 180,000. Destination Universe (1992): 80,000; second-album single (booming "What Girls Want") failed to break nationally.
Background: Duo of Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker evolved from synth-pop outfit into industrial powerhouse.
Buzz: Press positive, if slightly uncomprehending, after acclaimed wowser performances at '92 Lollapalooza.
Goods: Five scabrous albums since '86.
Sales: Awesome 600,000 copies Sold of '92's uncompromising Psalm 69.
Background: Brash, talkative Wicker Park singer-songwriter.
Buzz: Verh high; Rolling Stone, Spin, Billboard, Village Voice, etc all fall for volatile smarts-talent-looks triple threat.
Goods: Debut Exile in Guyville a tour-de-force song cycle on trouble with boys, sex, self.
Sales: No word.
RED RED MEAT
Background: Difficult Chicago sludge rockers descended from Friends of Betty.
Buzz: Minimal but respectful. Recent signing with Sub Pop records should start some noise.
Goods: Uncompromising but textured band-funded CD got them deal.
Sales: Not applicable.
Background: Offbeat dance band based on creative guitar and horn work.
Buzz: '92's Duende had hand warmly shaken by those who heard it.
Goods: Fun-filled fourth album, Cavale, just out on respected indie Bar/None.
Sales: 5,000 for Duende. Cavale's done that already.
Background: Unapologetically psychedelic alternative rockers led by tall, ambitious Billy Corgan.
Buzz: Fairly high: 120 Minutes guests last year, "hot pick" by ultrahep manager John Silva (Sonic Youth, Nirvana) in new Rolling Stone.
Goods: New album on Virgin, Siamese Dream, consolidates their blend of swirling guitars and treated vocals.
Sales: Sold impressive 300,000 of indie album Gish.
STUMP THE HOST
Background: Winning cool-country quintet led by singers Diane Christiansen and Steve Dawson.
Buzz: None nationally, save for being runners-up in Musician magazine Best Unsigned Band contest.
Goods: Strong vocals, performances on locally circulated tapes; Dawson's songwriting skills could provide fluke break.
Sales: Not applicable.
Background: Well-dressed Touch and Go prodigal children turned hard-rock song masters.
Buzz: Extremely high; press barrage impending.
Goods: Ferocious major-label debut, Saturation.
Sales: Reliable, 50,000-area seller on Touch and Go; Geffen holding breath on extremely radio-friendly Saturation.