THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282

WRITTEN BY
Mike Powell

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 / Photo by Ken Holt

Like the Residents before them, '90s San Francisco art-rockers TFUL282 made claustrophobic, oddly shaped rock music that replaced psychedelia's optimism with a surrealistic sense of violence inherited from '80s post-punk. They're not averse to being friendly and fanciful (one standout is called "My Pal the Tortoise"), but even at their friendliest TFUL's music is backlit by serious unease. If you're looking for evidence of influence, revisit AC's video for "Who Could Win a Rabbit," where the tortoise beats the hare and then, in an unconventional show of bad sportsmanship, proceeds to slaughter it.

Geologist: I think Stephen Malkmus or Mark Ibold from Pavement, one of those guys, was a big fan: brought them on tour, mentioned them in an interview. They were sort of, in high school, aside from Pavement, one of the bigger indie rock influences. They had a really dark sense of humor. Like their songs can be really weird and twisted, which we were into because it felt psychedelic but it didn't sound like psychedelic rock. Every time somebody came to us in interviews and were like, "Oh, you seem like you're fans of the Beach Boys or Pink Floyd or whoever," Dave and I would always be like, "When is the first time someone's actually going to pick up on Thinking Fellers being a huge influence?" We started joking, we were just going to bring them up constantly until we force someone to pay them enough money to reunite. And then luck would have it, it got to be us at ATP.

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