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Music: Soul Coughing

Soul Coughing was a popular New York-based, alternative-rock band formed in the mid 1990s and disbanded in the early 2000s. Soul Coughing developed a devout fanbase and have garnered largely positive response from critics. Steve Huey in Allmusic describes the band as "one of the most unusual cult bands of the 1990s ... driven by frontman Mike 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')."

Former members:

  • Mike Doughty - vocals/guitar
  • Mark De Gli Antoni - keyboards/sampling
  • Sebastian Steinberg - bass
  • Yuval Gabay - drums

Albums:

  • Ruby Vroom (1994)
  • Irresistible Bliss (1996)
  • El Oso (1998)
  • Lust in Phaze (2002)

"You take the tropes and I'll take the index, it all comes down to this":

  • Alternative Rock
  • Anti-Love Song: "Circles", about a man tired of his dull relationship repeating itself and his significant other.
  • Author Appeal: Doughty seems to have a penchant for American geography. The number of mid-size US cities that crop up in the lyrics is staggering.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: "The Bug" from the Batman & Robin soundtrack has a chaotic ending where Mike Doughty can be heard repeatedly muttering something in the background. If you listen carefully, you can make it out as "George Clooney is Satan!"
  • Broken Record: Multiple occurrences, especially in "Rolling" and "Circles" - the latter of which is obviously invoked, as it's about a failing relationship that keeps doing the same tired shit over and over again.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Houston" fades out with the lyric "roller-boogie motherfucker" being repeated about 20 times, seemingly just because the band had decided that was an inherently funny combination of words.
  • Fading into the Next Song: On El Oso, "Houston" fades into "$300".
  • Funk Rock
  • Greatest Hits Album: Lust in Phaze
  • Homage: The bridge to "Five Percent Nation" loosely quotes the themesong to the film Yor: The Hunter from the Future.
    Yor! Yor! He's the man! He's the man!
  • Lyrical Tic: Mike Doughty tends to pronounce an additional vowel at the ends of lines that end stanzas ("When you were languishing in rooms I build to file you in-uhh / And when the wind set down in funnel-form and pulled you in-uhh")
  • Miniscule Rocking: The one minute B-Side "Theme From Rachel's Sitcom".
  • Post-Grunge: While most of their stuff is jazzy (or at least jazz influenced), it's most obvious in "Rolling", which is about racing - and, being faster-paced and more heavy than the rest of the album, it shows.
  • Recycled Lyrics: the bridge to "Miss The Girl" ("I dream that she aims to be the bloom upon my misery") is recycled from a Mike Doughty solo song called "I Failed To Use It".
  • Sampling: Most prevalent in Ruby Vroom, but used sometimes throughout their career. The most prominent uses of this may be "Bus To Beelzebub" and "Disseminated", both heavily based around Raymond Scott samples ("Powerhouse" and "The Penguin", respectively).
  • Sanity Slippage Song: The increasingly frantic "Like waves in which you drown me shouting" chorus in "Pensacola" carries a definite whiff of SS.
  • Scatting: One of the band's trademarks. "Paint" is almost all scatting - Mike Doughty had written the chorus lyrics before the verses and started scatting as lyrical filler, then decided to just keep the verses as mostly nonsense syllables.
  • Shout-Out: The bridge to "Casiotone Nation" includes lyrical nods to Fugazi's "Waiting Room" and the title theme to Yor: The Hunter from the Future.
    • Doughty's description of the band's music as "deep slacker jazz" is a reference to The Who's billing as "Maximum R&B".
  • Spoken Word In Music: Not counting the many times Doughty does his own spoken word in songs, there's "$300", which loops a slowed-down snippet of a Chris Rock comedy album for it's chorus ("How much? She said 'for three hundred dollars I'll do an-'").
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Also one of the band's trademarks. Even their more sensical songs turn into things like "Fucking motherfucker" on loop.
    • "A Plane Scraped Its Belly on a Sooty Yellow Moon", their song from the Spawn soundtrack.
    • "A Murder Of Lawyers In Overcoats", a B-side from the El Oso sessions.
    • "Come And Dig Me 'Cause I'm the Fly Pygmy", a track from their Hello Recording Club CD released in 1996.

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alternative title(s): Soul Coughing
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