Soul Coughing: Wikis


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Soul Coughing

Soul Coughing, 1998.
Background information
Origin New York City
Genres Alternative rock
Experimental rock
Funk rock
Jazz Fusion
Years active 1992–2000
Labels Slash / Warner Bros
Website Soul Coughing Underground
Mike Doughty
Mark De Gli Antoni
Sebastian Steinberg
Yuval Gabay

Soul Coughing was a New York-based alternative rock band. The band found modest mainstream success during the mid-to-late 90's. Soul Coughing developed a devout fanbase and have garnered largely positive response from critics. Steve Huey describes the band as "one of the most unique cult bands of the '90s ... driven by frontman M. Doughty's stream-of-consciousness poetry, Soul Coughing's sound was a willfully idiosyncratic mix of improvisational jazz grooves, oddball samples, hip-hop, electronics, and noisy experimentalism (described by Doughty as 'deep slacker jazz')."[1]



Mike Doughty (who billed himself at the time as "M. Doughty") was a folk singer (he attended Eugene Lang College with Ani DiFranco, where they studied with Sekou Sundiata and played around the school together), slam poet, sometime music writer, and doorman at the old Houston Street location of The Knitting Factory, then a nexus for such avant-garde artists as John Zorn and Marc Ribot. He put the band together from instrumentalists he met as they came through the club.

He met sampler player Mark De Gli Antoni (recently graduated with a composition degree from Mannes College of Music) when they both participated in a performance of Zorn's "game piece" Cobra. This same ensemble also featured Jeff Buckley. Doughty brought a stack of CDs over to De Gli Antoni's house one afternoon and had him sample iconic riffs from Raymond Scott, Carl Stalling, Howlin' Wolf, and The Andrews Sisters, among others. These, along with samples from De Gli Antoni's own orchestral works, became the foundation of Soul Coughing's musical identity, powering Doughty's half-sung, half-spoken vocals.

De Gli Antoni, Doughty, Boston-based upright bass player Sebastian Steinberg, and Israeli drummer Yuval Gabay (a collaborator with Zorn, and David Linton) played their first gig, as "M. Doughty's Soul Coughing", at the Knitting Factory on June 15, 1992, a late-Monday night slot that Doughty cadged from his boss because nobody else wanted it. In 1993, he founded a club night called "SLAW" at CBGB's 313 Gallery, which was meant to emulate the popular jazz and hip hop club Giant Step, but eventually became a showcase for Soul Coughing. Posters for SLAW were headlined "Deep Slacker Jazz" (a parody of The Who's slogan "Maximum R&B"), which became an enduring description of the band's sound.

Recording career

The band was signed within a year to Warner Bros subsidiary Slash Records, and released three albums: Ruby Vroom (1994), Irresistible Bliss (1996), and El Oso (1998). They enjoyed minor hit singles with "Circles", "Super Bon Bon", and "Screenwriter's Blues." They also had songs featured in the movies The X-Files film (Fight the Future), Batman and Robin, Tommy Boy and Spawn (a song called "A Plane Scraped Its Belly on a Sooty Yellow Moon", a collaboration with drum and bass artist Roni Size.) Also released following their breakup was Lust in Phaze (2002), a greatest hits compilation including a few b-sides and other rarities that featured extensive biographical and background liner notes written by Doughty.

Breakup and afterwards

The band broke up in 2000, after years of feuding over songwriting credits and publishing money.

Doughty continued as a solo artist, collaborating with trance producer BT on the hit single "Never Gonna Come Back Down" in the summer of 2000. Dropped by Warner Brothers that same year, Doughty toured as a solo artist for three years in support of a self-released solo CD titled Skittish. In 2005, he signed to Dave Matthews's label, ATO Records, and has released three full-length albums.

Mark De Gli Antoni moved on to soundtrack work.

Yuval Gabay formed the band UV Ray and has worked with Roni Size.

Sebastian Steinberg has recorded and/or toured with David Byrne, Dixie Chicks, Neil Finn, William Shatner, and Yerba Buena.

References in Pop Culture

  • M. Doughty Also appeared as a vocal artist on "Bond" by 808 State (1996)
  • Ricky Martin borrowed heavily from "Super Bon Bon" in his song "Shake Your Bon Bon"[2]
  • A remix of "Super Bon Bon" by the Propellerheads was featured on the soundtrack to the 1998 feature film Dead Man on Campus
  • "Super Bon Bon" (off Irresistible Bliss) appeared in "Strangers and Other Partners," an episode of the NBC television show Homicide: Life on the Street, "Long Term Parking", an episode of the The Sopranos, and was also the theme song of ECW wrestler Danny Doring and Roadkill.
  • The song "Unmarked Helicopters" appears on the X-Files tie-in album Songs in the Key of X, as well as the episode "Max" from season 4. "16 Horses" appears on the soundtrack of the movie based on the series.
  • "The Bug" was released on the Batman & Robin Soundtrack in 1997, although the song was not used in the Motion Picture Soundtrack.
  • "Disseminated" features on a European (originally UK) advert for the Ford Transit van (since summer 2006). Perhaps no-one at Ford noticed its opening lyrics are 'The Goat Chewed Up, Once A Tin Can, The Goat Shat Out, Was A Ford Sedan'.
  • "Sugar Free Jazz" from Ruby Vroom has been used in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle.
  • "Circles" is used in the 2004 movie Walking Tall starring The Rock. The song is also featured in the first episode of the short-lived Fox series Undeclared as well as in a Target TV advertisement.
  • The bass riff from "Super Bon Bon" was looped and used as bumper music on the Rush Limbaugh Radio Program.
  • The song "Super Bon Bon" is one of the songs played during gameplay in the PlayStation game Gran Turismo 2.
  • "Circles (Propellerheads Remix)" was played in a Dentyne commercial in 2003.
  • "Circles" from (El Oso) was played on the May 14th, 2008 episode of the Today Show.
  • "Rolling" (from El Oso) appears in the 2006 film Candy starring Heath Ledger.
  • "Circles" [3] and "Rolling" were used to create short animated videos (called "Groovies") on Cartoon Network in the late 1990s.
  • "$300" (from El Oso) can be heard briefly in a season five episode of the television series House.
  • "Super Bon Bon" was used in the soundtrack for Michael Jordan to the max, an Imax documentary about Michael Jordan.[4]
  • Super Bon Bon was featured in the video game, The Bigs 2 Soundtrack
  • The video for "Down to This" was featured in the season 5 Beavis & Butthead episode "Screamers".



External links

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