Welcome to the Soul Coughing Frequently Asked Questions file!
Changes/updates from the previous release are marked by a ‘*’.

Please read this entire FAQ before posting on any Soul Coughing message board.
It contains an extremely large amount of information compiled over several
years, and will save a lot of time covering basic info.

-= Table of Contents =-

0. Legal Disclaimer

1. General
1.1 Who are the boys of Soul Coughing?
1.2 General newsgroup/list info
1.3 Getting on and off Slanky-L

2. Songs/Albums
2.1 Short discography
2.2 Finding lyrics
2.3 Guitar/bass tablature
2.4 Cover songs
2.5 Unreleased songs
2.6 Where to find given songs
2.7 “Secret” messages/sounds
2.8 Song/album meanings
2.9 Differences between releases
2.10 Photos/Cover art

3. Band Info
3.1 Origin of name
3.2 First appearance
3.3 Short Bios
3.4 Contacting the Band
3.5 Doughty’s Full Name
3.6 Album Titles
3.7 Noteworthy Others

4. Merchandise
4.1 Finding rarities
4.2 T-Shirts
4.3 Videos
4.4 Trading live Soul Coughing tapes
4.5 Taping Policy

5. News/Info/Net Resources
5.1 Brief history
5.2 Tour Info
5.3 Internet Chat info
5.4 Web Links
5.5 Other recommended sources

6. Random Oddities
6.1 90210
6.2 Strange Facts
6.3 Tour Mates
6.4 President?
6.5 7

7. Conclusion
7.1 Acknowledgments
7.2 Disclaimer

0. -Legal Disclaimer-

The Soul Coughing FAQ is copyright (c) 1997-2000. It
is freely distributable online through Usenet, email, and ftp. It may not
be used for commercial purposes, nor may any charge be imposed for its
distribution. Mass distribution or otherwise non-personal use prohibited
without consent. If you wish to use part of this in an article or
publication, please CONTACT me first, or at least include my name as a
reference for where you found the info – it does take work to compile and
maintain this information, and I’d like to be credited as such if you
decide to use it. Links to the main URL are welcome, and I’d prefer
that copies not be kept on other sites, so that the most current version is
always the one available. Overall, though, give credit where it’s due.

1. -General-

1.1 Who are the boys of Soul Coughing?

Soul Coughing is extremely New York City; they have a cosmopolitan
hipster sound that could only come from such an eclectic town. The band met
in The Knitting Factory, a NYC club known for producing innovative new bands.
M. Doughty was the doorman and formed the band with drummer Yuval Gabay,
bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and keyboardist / sampler, Mark De Gli Antoni.

“Not many bands come along that are as innovative as Soul Coughing.
Mixing billions of musical influences, they’re sort of a hip-hop/jazzy/
cartoon-style thing with either totally crazy or incredibly colorful
lyrics read and sung over them.” – By Ryan Schreiber

1.2 General newsgroup/list info

The Soul Coughing newsgroup, alt.music.soulcoughing, and the
mailing list: Slanky-L, are the primary places to discuss Soul Coughing.

The newsgroup can be read efficiently via http://www.dejanews.com

1.3 Getting on and off Slanky-L

Send an email to majordomo@hcirisc.cs.binghamton.edu and in the
body of the message, put:

subscribe slanky-l (your e-mail address here)

Insert your email address (omit parentheses) and disregard the subject
line. If all goes well, you will be added to Slanky-L

Reply to any of its messages, or start a new message addressed to:


Send an email to majordomo@hcirisc.cs.binghamton.edu and in the body
of the message, put:
unsubscribe slanky-l (your e-mail address here)

2. -Songs/Albums-

2.1 Short discography

Ruby Vroom (Sept 27, 1994) – LP
Down To This (Apr 25, 1995) – Single
Screenwriter’s Blues (1995) – Single
Sugarfree Jazz (Sept 28, 1995) – Single

Irresistible Bliss (July 09, 1996) – LP
Soundtrack to Mary (Nov 08, 1996) – Single
Super Bon Bon (Mar 30, 1997) – Single
Soft Serve (1997) – Promo Only Single

El Oso (Sept 29, 1998) – LP
Circles – Single
Rolling – Single
St. Louise is Listening – Single

Several soundtracks, compilation, and other CDs also have unique tracks.
For more info, check out the complete discography, maintained by [SCUG]
Soul Coughing Underground at: http://www.wbr.com/soulcough and click on

2.2 Finding lyrics

All lyrics reside at the 5% Nation at http://www.soulcoughing.com

2.3 Guitar/bass tablature

An extensive Guitar/Bass tablature depository can be found at [SCUG]
Soul Coughing Underground at http://www.wbr.com/soulcough
Click on TABS. Virtually every song has been transcribed in to tablature.

Other guitar tablature can be found at OLGA (the OnLine Guitar Archive) and
its mirrors: http://www.olga.net/

2.4 Cover songs

The comprehensive list on [SCUG] Soul Coughing Underground indicates many
songs that Soul Coughing have covered. However, many of these are live or
partial. Check it out, though- http://www.wbr.com/soulcough Click on songs,
then covers.

Songs that have been covered by Soul Coughing and which appear on official
releases are as follows:

Song Title: Original Artist: Where Found:
I Will Always Love You Dolly Parton Casiotone Nation
(Whitney Houston covered)
The Lemon Tree Peter, Paul and Mary Janine (performed by
Rachel Benbow Murdy)
Suzy Snowflake Sid Tepper/Roy C Bennett Holiday Promo

2.5 Unreleased songs

Recent songs that have not been released, and perhaps never will be,
include A Milkshake, Tears Welling Up. Check the songlist at [SCUG]
Soul Coughing for everything else you won’t find 🙂

Songs that have never been released officially as Soul Coughing songs:

Angels Are 2 Men on a Mission
Blues She Blew
Brooklyn Girls by Train
Don’t Go Wreck the Car
Genius of Displacement
Good Thursday Blues
Henry Rollins Has A Very Large Neck Indeed
I Got to Get Right With This
I Shot Lily Brick Down
It Don’t Mean a Thing
Jersey Devil
Laugh On Fat Boy
Like You Did
Little King of Misery
Michael Jackson
Target of Design
Thank You F-Train
What Can I Do?
Wooly Imbibe
You Lucky Dog
Yuval Gabay
Mermaid (Finally released on Mark De Gli Anotoni’s Solo CD entitled “Horse Tricks”)
– but never as a Soul Coughing song.

2.6 Where to find given songs

Check the songlists at either [SCUG] Soul Coughing Underground or the
5% Nation, and they’ll tell you every official release you can find something on.


2.7 “Secret” messages/sounds

“And this record it’s Daryl Hall! [The Tori Amos samples are]
in two songs, ‘City of Motors’ and ‘Mr. Bitterness’ and when I listen to it,
it’s so loud and clear, but I’ve never been called on it. You know, she does
a cover of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and you know, it’s so melodramatic…
actually, it’s a really great cover. She’s amazing until like two-thirds of the
way through and then she gets into one of those [mimics wispy vocals] and it
just falls apart, but until that moment, it’s like ‘Wow, this is a really
sick, great version of the song. The way she sings ‘I feel stupid’ is so
overwhelming. I used it and tried not just to treat it as her saying that
directly, but I tried to break up the phrase a little bit and treat it like
a woman singing. But with the second record it’s Daryl Hall. I don’t wanna
say where it is on this record yet, because I did a lot of inviting last time.
I made a big point of saying, ‘Hey, I sampled Tori Amos,’ and didn’t get caught.”
-Mark (1996)

Also sampled by Soul Coughing is Raymond Scott. The songs which contain large
Raymond Scott Samples are ‘Bus To Beelzebub’ and ‘Disseminated’ use
‘The Pengiune’ by Raymond Scott.

‘Down to this Samples?’
“It’s from the Andrews Sisters and it’s just ‘Don’t sit under the apple tree with
anyone else but me, no no no,’ and it’s kind of an old World War II song” – Mark

‘The Bug?’
Allegedly you can hear “George Cloony is Satan” at the end of this song.

‘4 our of 5’
Has a Theremin, played by Walter Sear. It’s in the left channel.
The Theremin follows Doughty’s melody lines in the second verse:
“Sometimes I was drifting on a coffee buzz,” and “Quantify my
luck, I need a mercy fuck.” As he sings those two lines you’ll hear a
high-pitched warbling sound following the melody he sings, just to the
left of the mix. That’s the theremin. It sounds like it’s also following
the melody of the synth throughout the song (more noticeably during the
choruses) but it really stands out in the second verse.

2.8 Song/album meanings

Doughty’s Disclaimer of Luv
Explaining the Explanations

We get accosted by a lot of stoned folks–lovely people, though–who quiz us about
the nuances of meaning and overarching thematic content in our songs. I guess our
purpose is to cater to the discriminating drug user, so I can’t complain. But mostly,
when I’m hashing out the lyrics, I’m thinking, “Ooh, nice word. Pretty word. Mm,
word tastes nice, I like.” So it’s mostly a sound thing, a musicality thing. Still, given
the couple of lucid flashes in the lyrics, I’ve been asked to discuss the songs.
Though personally, I’m more apt to dig the beats, and being that I can’t read or
write notation, you’ll only get the meatheaded metaphors here.

P.S. If you hear lyrics wrong and imagine some construction of words that doesn’t
really exist, please bring it to our attention and we’ll retool the lyrics to match your
mistake. We love that more than anything else. Also enclose any five percent
nations you may have.

-M. Doughty

Opus the ruler of the 5% Nation Web Site has been collecting song backgrounds
& interpretations on his web site: http://www.soulcoughing.com

2.9 Differences between releases

The Japanese version if Irresistible Bliss contains two extra songs:
‘Blow my Only’ & ‘Lemon Lime.’

El Oso also has a Japanese counterpart, which contains two extra songs: ‘212’
and ‘Rare Star Ball.’

For more details, consult the discography on [SCUG] Soul Coughing Underground,
found at http://www.wbr.com/soulcough

2.10 Photos/Cover art

Since some people wonder where all those pictures come from in all the
releases, here’s a brief synopsis:

Ruby Vroom – Kenndal Lynn Andrew is the girl on the front cover &
was only seven years old at the time of the photo.

Irresistible Bliss – the front cover model is the man himself: Sebastian

El Oso – The idea came from this picture (http://www.soulcoughing.com/photos/OSO2.jpg)
The photo was taken my Mark and given graciously donated to Opus over at
the 5% Nation.

3. -Band Info-

3.1 Origin of name

Soul Coughing was the title of a really, really bad poem that Doughty
wrote about Neil Young throwing up in the back of a bus. Everybody who
read it said, “Um, hey, nice name…” so he took it.

3.2 First appearance

The first appearances were in mid June 1992 at the lovely Knitting Factory in NYC.
June 15, 1992 was supposedly the first public show ever.

3.3 Short Bios

M. Doughty:
b. Fort Knox, KY: June 10, 1970

Mark De Gli Antoni:
b. San Francisco, CA: June 20, 1962

Yuval Gabay:
b. Jerusalem, Israel: July 23, 1963

Sebastian Steinberg:
b. Boston, MA: February 20, 1959

Opus’ 5% Nation has great information on the boys at http://www.soulcoughing.com

3.4 Contacting the band

Contact the band at soulcghing@aol.com

Contact Doughty at PhnomPenh276@aol.com
Contact Mark at BoniMoe@aol.com
Contact Yuval at GirthYG@aol.com
Contact Sebastian at Shyfive@aol.com

and via snail mail:
Soul Coughing
P.O. Box 773
New York, NY 10108

Only Doughty and Mark have access to computers regularly. I wouldn’t
even bother emailing Yuval or Sebastian as you’ll doubtfully get a reply.

3.5 Doughty’s Full Name

Michael (honestly!)

3.6 Album Titles

Ruby Vroom – The producer of said album was Mitchell Froom, who is also
Suzanne Vega’s husband. They would bring their daughter,
Ruby Froom, by the studio from time to time, and with Yuval’s
accent it turned into the title we know and love.

Irresistible Bliss – It’s a takeoff on Doughty’s favorite Prince song of
all time, ‘Irresistible Bitch,’ the B-side to ‘Let’s
Pretend We’re Married.’

“…a lot of the lyrical themes on this record have
to do with wanting love and being terrified of it,
wanting a relationship and not knowing how to deal with
it, and sort of resisting the idea…” – Doughty

“…it’s more about resistance than bliss, and I would say,
for the other three, it’s more about bliss than resistance.
The tidal wave takes over no matter how many sandbags you
put on the beach.” – Doughty

El Oso – El Oso means The Bear in Spanish. There was an old Soul Coughing
tradition to draw bears on the set list, spurred by Sebastian who
would pout until a bear was added.

“Sebastian likes me to draw pictures of bears on his set list, after
we’ve all written it. The more notable recent bears–Champagne
Glass-Shaped Weeping Bear, Aerosol Bear, Shriner Fez Bear, Digital
Bear, El Oso con Queso y Jamon, Taco-Shaped Bear. People keep
stealing his set lists from him after the shows, and it really
bums him out. He likes the Bears as a souvenir. ”
– Doughty (11-94)

3.7 Noteworthy Others

Wilbo Wright- Played bass before Sebastian in June of 1992.
Wilbo had to leave band due to large plot twist on the
Soap Opera he was also working on.

Cathrine Bent- Played cello around the same time as Wilbo and for a
similiar small time period.

Gus Brandt- Tour manager for the majority of the Irrestistable Bliss tour.
He was quite obsessed with the actress Claire Danes for quite a
while with due right.

Larry “Lars” Smith- Elusive soundman from Baltimore. Hasnt run the boards for
Soul Coughing since early 1999. Rumoured to have be the
soundman for the Baltimore bread glam band Kix back in the day.

“Gentleman” Jim Norton- Guitar tech extrortinaire. Perhaps one of the nicest, most
friendly and personable guys who hand guitars to the stars.
Also a fabulous deep tongue kisser.

Randall Davis Kaye- The man who originally signed Soul Coughing to Slash/WBR Records.

People Who Have Sat in with Soul Coughing:
Dave Matthews, John Popper, Redman, David Krakauer, John Zorn,
Anthony Coleman, Casual, Elliot Smith, Priest

4. -Merchandise-

4.1 Pricing/finding rarities

Since prices vary from area to area, and everything changes over time, I
can’t give any pricing info here. If something sounds too expensive, ask
why. If you doubt the numbers they’re giving you, check around.

[SCUG] Soul Coughing Underground offers the feature: “Soul Coughing CD Finder”
– this feature is available from the webpage at http://www.wbr.com/soulcough
Click on CD Finder

Finding items is also equally impossible for me to do, as I cannot give
everyone, in every city, the name and address of a place nearby that’ll have
what they’re looking for. I do suggest checking out the Goldmine magazine,
which includes tons of trader info, or visit their web site at

Another place to find CDs, Vinyl, and T-shirts is a place called www.ebay.com
You can find lots of promotion items here too. I personally don’t recommend it,
as the majority of the items for auction there are illegally recorded cassette
tapes and CD-Rs sold for super inflated prices. Mark and Doughty have also
publically frowned upon ebay and don’t like people selling anything there,
as they do suggest you trade tapes. (http://www.wbr.com/soulcough/SCtrade.html)

4.2 T-Shirts

T-Shirts and stuff can be ordered from Soul Coughing Direct at:

4.3 Videos

There are videos out for the following songs: Down to This, Screenwriter’s
Blues, Soundtrack to Mary, Super Bon Bon, and Circles.

Brief descriptions of the videos:

Down to This – very blue…the are performing almost live
Doughty reminds me of max hedron

Screenwriter’s Blues – footage of the greater los angeles area freeway system
as viewed by someone inside a moving vehicle

Soundtrack to Mary – directed by John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants fame,
a very green and bouncy video

Super Bon Bon – the boys playing in front of a small crowd and in a tiny room.

Circles- Doughty gesticulating and singing while walking down what appears to be
rather dim and circular underground passageway, and all the while an
oversized red sweater that he is wearing is unraveling row by row.
There are also some interesting slow motion sequences of a jogging Mr.
Steinberg wearing a suit of light bulbs, ala Pink Floyd’s The Delicate
Sound of Thunder cover, and some quick, dramatic shots of the band members
looking rather serious.

Download video samples at [SCUG] Soul Coughing Underground
http://www.wbr.com/soulcough and click on Songs.

4.4 Trading live Soul Coughing tapes

The best way to start up trading is through the Tape Trading Network at

Also [SCUG] Soul Coughing Underground offers the Soul Coughing Tape
Trading Page at http://www.wbr.com/soulcough

4.5 Taping Policy

Soul Coughing is definately ‘pro-taping’ for audio only, provided you have your own
equipment, power, tapes, etc. It is suggested that you email the band to ensure
there are no problems for a specific venue and if all goes well they will find you a
nice dry location to tape. Contacting the venue is another good idea. Also, be sure
to send the band and SCUG a copy. This is the nifty page that has a listing of all
bands that allow taping- http://www.enteract.com/~wagner/btat/

5. -News/Info/Net Resources-

5.1 Brief history

“Um, I was working at the Knitting Factory and these cats just
came through in various bands, various projects, and I was looking to
get a collaborative thing together, so, you know…”

– M Doughty (1995)

5.2 Tour info

Tour information can always be found at [SCUG] Soul Coughing Underground
and the 5% Nation.


Also try Pollstar at www.pollstar.com and tourdates.com

5.3 Internet Chat info


5.4 Web links for cool stuff

There are only a couple Soul Coughing Sites, here are the few:

The 5% Nation (official) – http://www.wbr.com/soulcough
[SCUG] Soul Coughing Underground – http://www.wbr.com/soulcough
Sugar Free Soul Coughing – http://members.aol.com/jabrant/scoughing.html

If you’re creating a new site, keep in mind that simply copying someone
else’s site is NOT a good idea, as you will likely get a lot of complaints.
Try to come up with something novel and original, and remember that content
is more important than how many “hits” you get. Announcing it only once
upon creation, or after a time of extreme upgrade/change, and including the
URL in your .sig is the best way to go. If it’s good, people will visit it.
If not, perhaps it could use some improvement. 🙂

5.5 Other recommended sources

Try AllStar Music Magazine at

and allmusic.com

and the Ultimate Band List

6. -Random Oddities-

6.1 90210

Q: Are all you guys into 90210 or is that just Doughty?

A: “Hell no! That would be just Doughty. The man with the
television and nothing better to do.” – Sebastian

6.2 Strange Facts

M. Doughty – Obsessed with Beverly Hills 90210 (duh!)

Yuval – Used to be the musical director of a New York City
dance company

Mark – composes independent film scores on his spare time

Sebastian – has performed on belly dance music recordings

Gus (old tour manager) – had a slight obsession with the actress
Claire Danes and had her on the guest list
to virtually every show. Also notice early
videos with Sabby’s bass amp reading:
“Claire- Call Gus”

6.3 Tour Mates

The band has toured with many of people…to name a few:

Sunny Day Real Estate
Cop Shoot Cop
Trans Am
Poster Children
Dave Matthew’s Band
Jeff Buckley
Shudder to Think
Geggy Tah
Los Amigos Invisibles
DJ Spooky
Lake Trout

6.4 President? Which boy of Soul Coughing would make the Best President?

“…the best president would be Yuval Gabay. Every day would be a party.
Every day would be lunch. There would be amazing food and he’s a great
host.” – Mark

6.5 7

Q: What is the significance of the number 7
(e.g. the large numeral 7 written largely on Sebastian’s amp, etc)

A: “7 is the number of foolishness…” – Sebastian

7. -Conclusion-

7.1 Acknowledgments

This work could not have been made possible without the generous
contributions (info and otherwise and love) from the following people:
Todd Steinman, Elise (the rad girl,) Rene Usdrowski, Anne Marie, Darc,
March Hare, J-Dude, Ryan Walsh, Stacy, Opus, Ythan Burstein, Rachael,
P. McPhail, Awapy (Lisa K), Jessie H, Eric Helms, Chris Holly & Mark

and, of course: the band of Soul Coughing, for their
inspiration, all that rock music, and for being so nice…

7.2 Disclaimer

Any additions,
corrections, suggestions for improvement, offers for other translations,
etc. are greatly welcomed. Mat always will get back to people over email,
and he does read every message he gets. So, if you have anything to offer,
drop us a line.

3 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. Pingback: Soul Coughing | Frame A Mind


    I swear I heard a song (screenwriters blues?) in a movie but can’t remember what movie. Am I dreaming ?

Leave a Reply