Capillary Action (band)

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Capillary Action
Genres Experimental rock
Years active 2004–2012
Labels Discorporate
  • Jonathan Pfeffer
  • Michael Harrist
  • Julian Chin
  • John DeHaven
  • Colin Hacklander
Past members
  • Dan Sutherland
  • Doug Stuart
  • Ricardo Lagomasino
  • Kevin McHugh
  • Spencer Russell
  • Sam Kulik
  • Lauren Day
  • Sam Krulewitch
  • Bryan Cook
  • Matt Davis
  • Noah Hecht
  • Curt Howard

Capillary Action was an American avant-rock/experimental music group formed at Oberlin College in 2004 by Philadelphia native Jonathan Pfeffer, the group's sole constant member, and active until 2012.

Capillary Action's self-described “confrontational cubist-pop” was characterized by an unusual blend of acoustic timbres; complex, constantly shifting meter; and Pfeffer’s 12-tone and Philly soul-inspired baritone vocals. The lyrics often employed autobiographical themes to critique power structures. Pfeffer cites Tropicália, Dizzee Rascal, Tim Buckley, the Batman Forever soundtrack, Need New Body, Joe Matt, the Minutemen, Converge, Ornette Coleman, and Scott Walker as major influences.[1]

The group performed extensively across North America and Europe alongside Joe Lally, The USA Is a Monster, The Max Levine Ensemble, Už jsme doma, Lightning Bolt, Dirty Projectors, Deerhoof, Les Claypool, Rhys Chatham, Shudder to Think, and Dos, among others.[2]

In 2009, Boston Phoenix named Capillary Action the Best New Band from New York, likening the group to "Both Elvises in a serious Burt Bachawreck with the Mothers of Invention".[3][3]

In 2011, Capillary Action performed at Willisau, Incubate, Primavera, Pop Revo, and Rumor Festivals.


  • So Embarrassing - 2008 (US), 2009 on Discorporate (EU)
  • Capsized - 2011


  1. ^ "Facebook: Capillary Action". Retrieved 29 Jun 2015. 
  2. ^ "Interview with Capillary Action". Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Best New Bands in America: New York". Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 

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