Eating birthday cake after her Thanksgiving feast today is Lori Barbero, the 37-year-old
drummer for Babes in Toyland. Babes in Toyland may be best known for Kat Bjelland's
screeching vocals and for being one of the first acts to adopt the now popular baby-doll-
dress-and-smeared-make-up-look, but their acceptance among a hard-core, cult audience
helped to blow open doors for such acts as Hole, Bikini Kill and L7. Babes in Toyland
formed in Minneapolis in 1987 after Bjelland left Sugar Baby Doll bandmates Courtney
Love and Jennifer Finch behind in San Francisco to try and make it in Minneapolis'
emerging indie-rock scene. Birthday girl Barbero was an original member of the group,
taking her first crack at the drum kit during the group's rehearsals. By 1989, the group had
released a single and were causing quite a buzz on the indie scene, although being dubbed
"fox-core" by some zine writers seemed to segregate the band into a sub-genre that only a
devoted following was willing to migrate toward.
In 1990, the Babes signed to Twin/Tone, released Spanking Machine and went on
a European tour with Sonic Youth. The band's popularity in Europe started to grow, so the
band toured there frequently and 1991's To Mother spent 12 weeks on the top of
the U.K. indie charts. 1992 brought a lineup change after Maureen Herman replaced
original bassist Michelle Leon, who left the band to grieve after her boyfriend was shot and
killed by a burglar. Later that year, the Babes released Fontanelle, which was
produced by Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo. The band received a lot of exposure to American
audiences in 1993 when they joined the Lollapalooza tour and the video for "Bruised
Violet" was given a hearty thumbs up on Beavis and Butthead, with Beavis being
particularly enamored of Bjelland's patented wailing. An EP entitled Painkillers,
which featured a live C.B.G.B.'s performance, was released in 1993, and two years later,
the group unleashed its most recent sonic assault, Nemesisters.
Other birthdays: Eddie Rabbit, 53; Kevin Kavavaugh (Southside Johnny & The Ashbury
Jukes), 46; Charlie Burchill (Simple Minds), 38; Ashley Ingram (Imagination), 37; Mike
Bordin (Faith No More), 35; and Fiachna O'Braonian (Hothouse Flowers), 32.