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The term Splab originated from 1960's era rock and jazz as an alternative term for scat singing in which several instruments from a song were improvised at once. The term appears in museum displays of several late-60's era posters from the San Francisco Bay area.

In 1980 Seattle singer Ben Davis (Weird Feeling #3) and several fellow Northwest School Alumni began performing "splab" around Seattle, making weird punk-rock beat-box a cappella songs and poems, influencing many area musicians including the Probes' John Wolverton, eventual Pearl Jam member Stone Gossard, and CZ Records founder Daniel House. In 1984 NWS Alum Pliny Keep was hired as production assistant to radio legend David Ossman of The Firesign Theater on the basis of his Splab Radio Theater, which he produced with partner Patrick Brainard on their radio show, the NO-DOZ-BROS. on KUGS FM at Western Washington University (Ref: 1884, 85, 85 The Western Front). The NO-DOZ-BROS. released their first album, " The Next Best Thing to Dead Air", in 1986, which featured Splab prominently, along with fake advertisements similar to the Firesign Theater. The called splab "Spontaneous Power Lip Art Blowing". The Northwest "SPoken word LAB", or SPLAB was founded in late 1996 by poets Paul Nelson and Danika Dinsmore, [SPLAB!] was created as an intergenerational SPokenword Performance, Resource and Outreach Center in Auburn, Washington. Another Northwest School Alumni founded Suzy Splab Design in (date...?). Splab is now commonly used to denote experiemental and improvised spoken word performance from LA to London.


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