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Uncle Bonsai


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Comedic contemporary folk/pop

Status:

Most recent release, The Monster in the Closet / Go to Sleep (children's book + CD, 2013); most recent release of non-children's music, The Grim Parade (2010)

See also:

The Official Uncle Bonsai page

Comparisons:

The aptest comparisons come to mind are much of the material on Liz Phair's first album, and the collected works of that unfortunately forgotten folk act of the '60s, The Fugs. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Their albums were imaginative, funny, and great fun to listen to. Uncle Bonsai were from Seattle, a mixed-gender band in the early to mid '80s, when those probably were less common than they are today. Their type of music can best be described as satirical folk. Much, but not all, of their satire was directed at male/female relationships.
     If you run across any of their albums, buying them should be a priority—they're the last available word from one of the best bands of their genre. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

A folky funny trio of two women and one guy. Lots of novelty songs, including the classic "Penis Envy". Highly recommended for those with a sense of humour about life and music. They're good & fun. (Neile)

Uncle Bonsai are a blast. Good to hear they are doing stuff together again. (neal)

Comments about live performanace:

They were definitely in their element in live performance. Anyone who enjoys humorous harmonic music should check them out! They're wacky and the sound is fun, too. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Whatever you can find, though A Lonely Grain of Corn is by far my favourite. (Neile)

Recordings:


A Lonely Grain of Corn

Release info:

1984—Freckle Records (U.S.A.)—FR 01908

Availability:

Newly rereleased on cd

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of amusing folk/pop

Group members:

Arni Adler—vocals, percussion, tin can solo
Ashley Eichradt—vocals, percussion, bloogel tube
Andrew Ratshin—vocals, guitar, DX7, instruments

Guest artists:

Steve Allen—bass
Robert Puff—guitars, programming
Page Smith-Weaver—celli
Tyrone Davis—percussion
Tom Hall—bass, percussion
Tom Dziekonski—violins
Etta Gray—violins
Dave Hensler—trumpets
Margaret Berry—French horns
William Berry—trumpets
Jeff Domoto—trombone
Ed Phillips—tubas

Produced by:

Uncle Bonsai and Lary Nefzger

Comments:

This album was my introduction to the group, and is a great collection of witty and touching songs, including the classic, "Penis Envy". Songs that will entertain you for a long time. (Neile)

Boys Want Sex In The Morning

Release info:

Freckle Records (U.S.A.)

Availability:

Can be found in Seattle

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of amusing folk/pop

Group members:

Arni Adler
Ashley Eichradt
Andrew Ratshin

Comments:

While this album has some great moments, it seems just a notch less impressive than A Lonely Grain of Corn. (Neile)

Myn Ynd Wymyn

Release info:

1992—Yellow Tail Records—10003

Availability:

Can easily be ordered in the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended if Uncle Bonsai sounds like something you might like.

Group members:

Arni Adler
Ashley Eichradt
Andrew Ratshin

Comments:

A collection of 23 songs, some off previous releases and some that were only available on this release. It was originally released as a cassette to their mailing list after the band broke up as a kind of thank you for the support of their fans. It has never caught me as much as the previous two releases. (Neile)

The Inessential Uncle Bonsai

Release info:

Yellow Tail Records—Yellow Tail 10002

Availability:

Can easily be ordered in the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended if this sounds like music you'd like to hear

Group members:

Arni Adler
Ashley Eichradt
Andrew Ratshin

Comments:

This is a "best of" collection but has live versions of the songs and not the original versions that were available on their vinyl albums. They truly were at their best live, though I found this a little jarring at first as I was more familiar with the album versions. Unless you're lucky enough to find one of their earlier recordings, this is your best bet—and it's fun, and does contain most of their best songs. (Neile)


Thanks to Jens P. Tagore Brage and Mitch Pravatiner for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2014-03-27 21:50:07.
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