, Seattle, WA USA


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Band after band after band....

Over the years I've been in a bunch of bands. I was in one briefly in 1984 -- like, for a couple of weeks, I think -- with Eric Masunaga (later of the Dambuilders, and I think maybe with Charlie Campbell as well (later of Pond). (Charlie might not have been in that group for sure, but we did write a song together, along with our friend Dave -- "Through The Rain." This was recorded in my dorm room, and in the echoey stairwell of A-Dorm at Evergreen, on a 4-track. VERY rough.)

Later I was in a band called The Suspicions. We played a few gigs around Seattle and released a cassette, Attractive Nuisance, on Tough Suspect Records (my own label).

Busking with Gavin Guss at Seattle's Bumbershoot festival, either 1989 or 1990. Photo by James Bush.

In 1987 I joined Prudence Dredge for a while. Dredge was a Seattle band with a strong R&B influence. There was a horn section, girl backing vocalists, the works. I toured the Midwest with them and played a few shows around Seattle. It was a blast.

After the Dredge thing ended I moved to Minneapolis for 6 months, and played in a nameless band there with a guitarist named Rick Meyer. It ended up not going anywhere, mostly because my roommates didn't want us practicing at the house. We never even got to the point of playing a party. sigh

Back in Seattle I released a couple of solo cassette singles that got some good reviews, under the name ICUTV. I also did a full-length cassette album, also as ICUTV, but never did much with that.

I eventually (1991) started a band, NOT! (see photo below) NOT! was pretty good, but as often happens in bands, personal conflicts shut this one down.

Then came Wink. We had a lot of setbacks, though, as many new bands do -- members joining then leaving, members never able to coordinate schedules to practice, etc. So we disbanded in mid-1995. We found out that someone else had a band called Wink, anyway.

Some of us formed a new band, called Doom Puffin. That ended a couple of years ago.

What did your bands sound like?

You know, I've always hated this question. I never knew how to describe us. As far as Doom Puffin was concerned: We had harmonies. Lots of them. We lived for harmony. But I have a strong garage band influence, so we weren't too wimpy and sweet. At least, I HOPE not. Did we sound like a Seattle band? Hell if I know. (When I was in the Suspicions, people used to compare us to X.)

What are you doing now?

I'd like to sing harmonies. I don't want to deal with looking for a drummer, soothing folks' egos, arguing over material... etc. I just want to sing songs I love, and sing in harmony with someone else who can sing good harmonies too. Maybe I will find a situation that will allow it to happen someday. (Like, say, a great guitarist/vocalist/producer to be the Jon Brion to my Aimee Mann? Maybe?)


Here's a photo of my old band, NOT! This was a party on, I think, July 27, 1991 (incidentally, this was one of the first dates with my future husband, Jason, whom I met only a couple of weeks before this). L to R: Nial McGaughey, Erin Ressler (in back, playing drums), me, and Joel Marquez.

Rough demo (.au) of "Life Story." (Written by me.) Recorded February 27, 1995, on a Tascam 424 four-track in my kitchen in Wallingford. It took about 1/2 hour total. Don't expect anything too polished -- it's very rough, and the quality of the sound sample isn't so good, either. (I made this sound file in 1995... before I had even heard of mp3s!) I didn't have a program to edit it so there's a loud click at the end. I played everything here, including bass and guitar solo! :)

More polished band acoustic demo (.mp3) of "Life Story". Recorded mid-1998 on the Tascam 424, this time in the living room and foyer of the Beacon Hill house. Credits: Me, vocals and guitar. Chris: guitar, vocals. Terri: bass, vocals.

In retrospect I prefer the rough demo. The arrangement just works better for me, even though it has a ton of mistakes and the harmony notes clash in a few places. I recently got GarageBand software and the first experiment I did was another version of this same song. Too much reverb on the vocals; I'll fix it someday.

Full band recording of "Out Of Luck" (.mp3), from 1991. The band was NOT! The song was originally by Vancouver's Pointed Sticks. This was our big set-closer.

Full band recording of "Xmas Won't Be Xmas" (.mp3), from 1991. This is NOT! as well. Lead singer here is Michael Cox, who wrote the song. Erin and I are singing back up.

Band acoustic demo (.mp3) of "Mrs. Green" (The Posies). Recorded mid-1998 on the Tascam 424, Beacon Hill house. Credits: Me, lead and backing vocals, percussion. Chris: guitar, keyboard, harmony vocals. Terri: bass. This is my favorite of our demos, though there is a timing error in the middle eight.

Band acoustic demo (.mp3) of "Wrinkle In Time" (by me). Recorded mid-1998 on the Tascam 424, Beacon Hill house. Credits: Me, lead vocals, harmony vocals, guitar, tambourine. Chris: guitar, harmony vocals. Terri: bass, ooh-ooh and harmony vocals.

Band acoustic demo (.mp3) of "New York Mining Disaster 1941" (Bee Gees). Recorded mid-1998 on the Tascam 424, Beacon Hill house. Credits: Me, harmony vocals, tambourine (maybe Terri played the tambourine on this?) and guitar. Chris: lead vocals and guitar.

"Remember Me", 4 track recording from... 1990? Recorded/produced by Rich Horton, and he is playing guitar and singing as well. This is a cover of an old song by the early-80s Seattle band, the Heats. This is obviously my "jangle" period. :) This mp3 is very wobbly-sounding, but don't blame Rich for that -- it's because my copy of the tape is in bad condition.

"Message To My Guy" -- this is a cover of the Split Enz song "Message To My Girl". This is, I think, the very first recording I ever made on my own 4 track, so it's from mid-1990. It's way rough because I was in a hurry just to get it recorded to see if the darn tape deck worked, and to finish before my roommates got home. Also, I can barely play the piano. ;) So, it's full of mistakes, coughs in the background, etc.

Why do I post it, then? I really like the performance despite the mistakes. I did the song later in a 16 track studio with real piano player, and though that version is slicker, I don't like it. I think it's my singing. And it's too slow. (Interesting bits about the rough recording: the piano was recorded via my vocal mic, duct taped to a broom handle, and stuck down into the chamber of the upright piano. The bass is real, at least -- most of my demos have fake bass played on the guitar. Oh, by the way, I can't really play bass, either.) ;)

© 1994-2004 by Wendi Dunlap /