Throughout the 1990s, Soul Coughing went against the popular “less-is-more” stage presence of their mope-rocking contemporaries. Instead, they brought loud, rambunctious and interactive live shows to the concert-going masses.
After splitting up, bandleader Mike Doughty continued his crusade on a smaller scale, touring the country with nothing more than an acoustic guitar to accompany his profound, hilarious and at times incoherent songwriting. Soul Coughing scored a hit with 1998’s radio favorite “Circles,” but with no radio play in five years, the former frontman of the avant-garde indie rock band had relinquished himself to a rabid cult following and the bittersweet status of being a one-hit-wonder.
After signing with Dave Matthews’ ATO Records in 2004 and releasing his critically acclaimed album Haughty Melodic, he has regained his former popular appeal and spent some more time on the charts. Doughty’s fan base has become large and loyal, a trend that thankfully has kept him motivated-Haughty Melodic proves to be one of his most accomplished works to date.
Featuring the single “Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well,” the fan-favored “Busting up a Starbucks” and Dave Matthews duet “Tremendous Brunettes,” the album delivers a big helping of Doughty’s trademarked brand of irreverent pop.
Pulling out lines such as “this bitter drink / has made you drunk / the thoughts you think / become unthunk,” the idiosyncratic Doughty proves that his seemingly stoner sensibility is still intact. Now touring the country with a full band in tow, everyone’s favorite eccentric has been sprinkling his set lists with new gems and old favorites – not to mention his philosophical tirades that border on stand-up comedy.
Doughty will play the 9:30 Club Wednesday, Sept. 14; Chris Glover opens. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.930.com.