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Trip Shakespeare

Playing engaging and imaginative alternative rock with a pop twist, Trip Shakespeare were a Minneapolis-based combo who earned a loyal cult following for their playful but literate, rhythmically inventive music. The band's story began in the early 1980s, when Harvard anthropology grad Elaine Harris answered an ad looking for "wicked percussion hands" posted by English major Matt Wilson, who would soon abandon school for music to relocate to his hometown of Minneapolis. Harris and Wilson would found Trip Shakespeare, along with John Munson, a Chinese-language major at the University of Minnesota. After issuing a debut LP, 1988's Applehead Man, on local label Gark Records, the album was picked up for national distribution by Restless Records. Not long after the album came out, the band expanded to include another Harvard student, Dan Wilson, a graduate student in art and Matt's elder brother. With an arty sound but unpretentious approach which attracted new fans, the band released their second album, 1989's Are You Shakesperienced?, on Twin/Tone. In 1990, the band signed with A&M, releasing Across the Universe the same year, followed by Lulu in 1991. These two major-label albums showed off a bright melodic style with increasingly tight production values, providing a nice package for their arcane lyrics and free-ranging instrumentation. Unfortunately, neither album became a major commercial breakthrough, and after Trip Shakespeare recorded a six-song EP of cover tunes entitled Volt, A&M rejected the project and dropped the band. (Twin/Tone records would belatedly release Volt in 1994.) Shortly after severing ties with A&M, Trip Shakespeare broke up. Elaine Harris returned to the Boston area, Matt Wilson performed with several Minneapolis-area bands, and Dan Wilson and John Munson joined with Jacob Slichter to form Pleasure, later known as Semisonic. Dan Wilson would go on to a successful career as a songwriter and solo artist, and performed occasional shows with Matt Wilson, two of which were documented on live albums. In 2013, Wilson was invited to perform with the Minneapolis jazz/rock band the New Standards (featuring John Munson on bass) for their annual Christmas show, and Wilson had a surprise for the audience -- he brought out Elaine Harris and Matt Wilson, and the complete Trip Shakespeare lineup performed for the first time since their breakup. In 2014, Omnivore Records released deluxe, expanded editions of the first two Trip Shakespeare albums, Applehead Man and Are You Shakesperienced? ~ Stacia Proefrock & Mark Deming, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Report...
Across the Universe is one of my all-time favorite albums. A must have for me. Incredible group.
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I didn't go to many live shows, but I never missed these guys, when they were in Atlanta. They were all great.
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One of our favorites at Parody Hall in Kansas City. Got to work with these guys every few months, they were the best band I ever ran sound for I think.
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eileenhazel
Ah, what memories! Dancing to Trip Shakespeare at the Cabooze, First Avenue or...what was the name of that other place in downtown Mpls? I always loved to watch the way Matt moved his hips around and his onstage interactions with John were downright sexy! I loved Trip Shakespeare in those days. And am now loving Dan's solo stuff...wow how he has grown as a songwriter since those days!
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jamespiche25
In my opinion, one of the most fun bands you could ever witness live. Their live shows were as tight as their albums. They were so frickin cool.
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Never forget the show they played on the lawn in the union at Mankato State in 1992. They were brilliant.
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rockmo66
Always wondered if they would have changed if they blew up? It was kind of cool having them to ourselves. If they came up in the digital age, they would have been huge. Saw them every time they came through Omaha and I always left feeling on top of the world.
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rickinnovati v e
The most underated band of all time!! Most talented song writers of the 90's! Across the Universe and Lu Lu should have been platinum. Poor management by AM!!
Report...
I used to see them every time they came to Lawrence @ KU. What a great and fun band to watch live!
Report...
jhg1971z
Toolmaster Of Brainerd,
we're going to start up the old machinery
Report...
Elaine was such a cool drummer and HOT
Report...
Great reunion show at First Ave, hope they decide to play more shows.
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raphaellorr
so much fun. they should be bronzed
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raphaellorr
used to see them live in college , mind blowing. reunion? please
Report...
mike1197
Great band. Saw every show they had at the Metro in Chicago. Bring em back!
Report...
eciccone
Best live performance I ever saw. They should have fired their managers - they should have been as big as the Beatles.
Report...
Trip is amazing, one of the all time greatest bands...unde r rated is an under statement.
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We played "The Slacks" from Across The Universe at our wedding. All of T.S.'s albums are great, although I'd probably skip "Volt".
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Lulu= BEST ALBUM EVER!!!
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Where is "Are You Shakesperien c e d ? "
Report...
'Lulu' is a lost classic. . and today one of my all time favorites. Simply solid in all aspects, this is one great collection.

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