T*Shirt

SG-032 - What's Wrong With You is Wrong All the Way Through You CD

SG-037 - The Convincer CD

T*Shirt formed as all bands do, out of weird poetic circumstances that bring people together. Mike Elliott (guitar) and Cotten Seiler (guitar and vocals) started playing together shortly after Cotten moved to Lawrence, Kansas from his Louisville home to attend grad school (at University of Kansas). Leslie Sink (bass, keyboards, vocals) dissolved her previous band, Shower Trick, to play with them. They were flattered. Debby Vander Wall from Butterglory was their first drummer.

T*Shirt played their debut show in June of 1995. Butterglory’s tour and recording commitments soon took Debby from them, so they added Corey Sievers on drums. In the Spring of 1996, Cotten asked former Shower Trick member Brandon Burke to play keyboards on a few songs. The band had no idea he had never actually played keyboards before.

Priapus Records invested in releasing their debut EP, which landed on the Silver Girl turntable in early ‘96. T*Shirt toured for the first time that summer. They drove a cargo van with a futon inside. They laughed and drank beer. One of ‘em almost got laid. It was rock and roll. Corey left the band and Jeremy Moeller entered like a cool breeze from the north woods of Minnesota.

T*Shirt approached their music intellectually. Firstly, they were fans of music, people whose lives had been altered and, so they thought, improved and ennobled by encounters with great music. They analyzed their own songs needing them to feel as if they belonged in the band members’ record collections. They thought a great deal about why songs sound the way they do, how a particular emotional response in themselves was engineered and executed by other musicians, and about the sounds they wanted to create as a unit. They were hypercerebral about their musical creativity. They were classified by the press as "smart rock," a label they always disagreed with but understood others’ reasoning.

Cotten remarked on the band’s unique flair “...we do a lot more writing as a band, with one person bringing in a part the others build their parts around. I prefer this. It allows for everyone to develop and improve on what each member of the band has: style. No one comes up with bass parts like Brandon's. Leslie has a distinct way of phrasing lyrics. Jeremy incorporates the strangest fills. I play the guitar like a drum. Mike shifts from convention to wild creativity in a single part. What has happened is that we have become a band, rather than a lineup of instruments and parts. We have gotten to know each other musically.”

Shortly after Silver Girl released T*Shirt’s debut album What’s Wrong With You is Wrong All The Way Through You the band dissolved. The Convincer is the result of years of tracking down DATs and CDRs and works to not only collect together their recordings, but to showcase the growth of the band over several years. The first four songs being the last they recorded (with Small Factory’s Alex Kemp and Phoebe Summersquash in their New York bunker) and the remaining songs dating back all the way to their inception as a band including their frist 7” on Lawrence, Kansas label Priapus (who later went on to release Sun Barrow, Hopewell, Teriyakis among others).