trouble dolls

trouble dolls


co-ed pop band. pixies meet bubblegum. wait, the pixies ARE bubblegum. ok, pixies fronted by betty and veronica, and veronica plays a casio. short songs. melodies matter. harmonies matter. meaning does not. any apparent meaning is probably accidental. can we please have a bite of your cookie?


Like many of our favorite bands, we were three friends when we started, and we weren't exactly musicians. Matty was reviewing records for music store kiosks, Michael was pitching television scripts at unamused Hollywood agents, and Cheri was designing television graphics for a financial news network that once invited Lou Barlow to play live in the studio as the stock ticker scrolled by.

Cheri played drums and Matty and Michael played acoustic guitar. For a while, our friend Andy pretended to play bass by plucking the low strings on his electric guitar. We got ourselves some gigs at the Sidewalk Cafe, home of New York's anti-folk movement, but we were never good at fitting into scenes and we didn't have anything against folk music anyway, and what we really wanted to do was sit at home and write songs and make records. (In case you're wondering: actual description of Trouble Dolls music can be found in paragraph 8.)

Our first one was called "Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac." We wrote and recorded the songs, designed a cover, and didn't tell anyone. To this day, no one knows.

We got a gig as the house band for a surreal radio drama called "Automatic Vaudeville" that aired once a month on WBAI-FM in New York. And then we did the soundtrack for a movie called "American Bohemian," written and directed by "Automatic Vaudeville" mastermind Tony Daniel. We even played "the band" on screen, and Cheri got to smoke a cigarette, 'cause Tony thinks everyone should.

Andy, the not-quite-a-bass-player, eventually moved on, and Michael sold a TV script and before you know it he was moving across the country to Los Angeles and buying mid-century modern furniture for his Hollywood bungalow.

Left to our own devices, we decided the Trouble Dolls would be a proper band, with gigs, rehearsals, a bass -- the works. Cheri moved out front to sing while making glorious squeaks and squonks with her collection of Casios and we found ourselves a real rhythm section (which, after a few false starts, now goes by the names Pam and Chris). We wrote some more songs and decided to make a record people could actually hear.

The "I Don't Know Anything at All" EP was released in 2002 on our own La La La Unlimited label. The title song became a major hit on MTV -- only Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" kept it from hitting #1 on the "TRL" countdown. We were on the covers of FHM and Blender magazines, and the EP went on to sell 3 million copies. No, wait, that was Michelle Branch, not us. Sorry about that.

Our first proper full-length, "Sticky," was released in 2003 on the great Australian pop label Half A Cow (home to Sneeze, Smudge and Godstar), and later released in the UK on Warmfuzz. If the music press is to be believed, it was an album of "terrific fuzztone bubblegum" "aglow with Juliana Hatfield harmonies, handclaps and whatnot" that embraced "both the 'art' and the 'pop' in art-pop" and featured one "quasi-George Harrison guitar solo." It sounded more or less like "die Pandoras treffen auf die Bangles, die Go Gos, Shonen Knife und die Archies." We highly recommend that you do in fact believe the music press.

We are hard at work on album #2 with producers Ron Haney and Bart Schoudel, known to pop fans everywhere (or at least somewhere) as the Churchills. Once again the working title is "Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac," and once again we will probably chicken out.


-"i don't know anything at all" ep (la la la unlimited)
-"something blue amazed me" appears in feature film "pipe dream"

"sticky" cd (half a cow records, australia)

"sticky" rerelease (warmfuzz records, london)

Set List

mostly originals, plus the occasional cover that may be anything from pink floyd's "waiting for the worms" to beyonce's "crazy in love" and that we will try our best not to botch, but no promises.