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Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

Bulbous Monocle, a new label focused on the legacy of the Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 and the scene from which it reveled in between the years 1986-1996, is honored to launch the label with arguably the most lauded and concise testament from the band. 1993’s mini-masterpiece Admonishing the Bishops. Originally released on the Matador Records label, this title and most of the “Fellers” discography has been out of print for over 25 years. Now, newly remastered by Mark Gergis (Sublime Frequencies this perfect EP is sounding better than ever! “Formed in San Francisco in 1986, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 had the bad luck to display a range of cultural and musical reference points shared by relatively few members of that era’s archconservative “underground culture.” On any given day, you might hear that their records were too manicured or too chaotic, too cerebral or too absurd, too personal or too impersonal, too experimental or too pop. Above all, they were derided as “self-indulgent” by critics who expected artists to tiptoe deferentially around their audience’s blind spots. "To be fair, their early recordings had about as much relation to their in-the-flesh grandeur as a dripping faucet does to Iguazu Falls. Against steep technical odds, Greg Freeman of Lowdown Studio made their LPs work beautifully as aural monuments. But listeners who hadn’t seen the Fellers’ live could be forgiven for finding these albums a bit forbidding. "Which brings us to Admonishing the Bishops — a wholly unexpected breakthrough...

12" $24.00

11/11/2022 795154136209 

BM 01 

Bulbous Monocle presents a first time vinyl reissue of The TFUL 282 masterpiece LP originally released in 1994 on Matador Records. Even in a catalog that bristles with pinnacles, Strangers from the Universe remains pinnaclier than most. Somehow harnessing influences from Bali to Cinecittà to Memphis to the wobbly Sunday morning organ at Oakland’s Rose of Sharon Missionary Baptist Church without feeling contrived or showoffy, Strangers is possibly and/or indisputably the most successful shotgun marriage of the Fellers’ disparate pop sensibilities with their outlandish song structures, their acre-feet of tape snippets with their hydra-headed arrangements, and their individual compositional and instrumental skills with their congenitally peculiar joint sensorium. Eager as always to experiment with unconventional (i.e., daft and cumbersome) approaches to writing and recording, the Fellers fine-tuned their working methods for Strangers, assigning individual members as “sheriffs” to oversee the arrangement of promising morsels into coherent compositions. Even more daringly, they decided to let Greg Freeman, their long-suffering engineer, control his own mixing board. “The result was a much more cohesive sound than we'd ever gotten with our usual approach,” says TFUL282 multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Mark Davies. The Fellers’ 1994 tour saw the band in full flight bringing the Strangers material to their growing fanbase. Sharing bills with Matador labelmates Pavement and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion for more high-profile gigs, TFUL 282 tore through the US playing from coast to coast and sharing stages with kindred spirits the Sun City Girls, Fly Ashtray, and a host of regional bands...

LP $27.00

11/11/2022 795154136216 

BM 02