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Getting caught in a game of indier than thou with some local record store clerk? Getting tired of his High Fidelity name-dropping?

Break out The Latents.

You see, The Latents are the most malleable indie rock band ever, easily filling in any slot in a conversation after you've stopped caring what the other person has to say.

The History
The Latents started sometime in the early '80s or late '70s, with founding members Bill Martin, Darla N., Alfred "Buzz" Williams and Bobbi Baker. They played a groundbreaking form of punk rock that you've never heard before, and who influenced everyone from the Replacements to Sonic Youth and R. Kelly. That, and a couple of agreed-upon record releases are all you need to know.

The Joke
That's because The Latents (as far as anyone knows) never existed. They're a free-form shaggy dog story that bounced around, well, Minnesota at least, before being fleshed-out in an AOL music message board.
Past members include: Mandy West,Buck, Trevor Roth, Jackie Waxman, Jackie Waxman, Jr., Eric Ambel, Carla Monoxide, Becky Wreck, Vinnie Vincent, Kim Shattuck, Kim Gordon, Kim Deal, Opus Penguin, Helen Wheels, Vickie Blue, Courtney Love, Gary Ryan, Tom Servo, Pat Smear, Anita Williams, Ricky Byrd, Kasim Sulton, Kenny Aaronson, Andre Prochaska, Pat Place, Dee Plakas, Ray Manzarek, Roddy Bottum, Gino Vanelli, June Millington, Lori McAllister and John Stamos.
These are, of course, only the more well-known members. You are encouraged to add your own— did you know that Tito Jackson once jammed with them, and appeared on the bootleg "Jackson Off with the Latents"?

Out of the Closet (ROIR, 1981)
Better Latent than Never (Vinyl Records, 1982)
Where I'm Calling From (Carver Records, 1983)
Rhyme THIS, Kiddies (FuzzyCuddles Records, 1984)
Craven Thief (8-track only, K-Tel, 1985)
SPROING! (SnotRag, 1986)
Cheesecloth (Blackheart Records, 1987)
Velveeta (SubStandard, 1988)
The Six Million Dollar Band (Snakes Crawl Records, 1979)
Dream Whip (Cherry Red, picture disc, 1981)
Wet Crotch Corner (1986 Live EP, Bulgarian State Recording Company)
Things that go SPROING in the Night (Fan club limited edition EP, 1996)
You And Your Closet b/w In the Toilet (Beat Me Records, 1979)
Hamster Boy b/w Thank Me Spank Me, Kiss Me, Diss Me 7" (1981, limited edition on lavender vinyl, No Pants Records)
No Such Number b/w Are You Sure? (96 Tears, 1982)
Over Easy b/w The Hash Brown Song (1983, Ariola Records/Germany)
Scirocco Taco b/w Slappy's Pizza (live at Rockapella's) (Crack the Sky, 1984)
Bookbag/Knapsack, Same Thing! b/w live Spanish version (Almost a Virgin Records, 1986)
Jumbo Starsign Hotlick b/w Don't Please Me (live at the Star Club, Hamburg) (bootleg, 1989, Germany)

Using The Latents
Of course, the above is just a starter kit. Feel free to embellish the Latents with whatever bullshit you need to do at the time. Want to claim that Phil Collins drummed for them on their live tour through Denmark (the "Something's Rotten" tour)? Do it. But try to keep it plausible. The whole fun of the game is that indie wonks will continue to either pretend that they know what you're talking about, trying desperately to bring the conversation back to something they know about, or they'll get the joke and play along ("Yeah, man, that was the best thing Phil Collins ever put out. Didja catch 'em when East Bay Ray and Bootsy X were the rhythm section?")

Most information culled from http://users.aol.com/maggie212/Latents/Latents.html, the best repository for Latents info. Everything else invented whole-cloth.

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