Dead Air Fresheners

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Dead Air Fresheners
Dead Air Fresheners, performing 12 January 2008 at Bob's Java Jive, Tacoma, Washington.
Dead Air Fresheners, performing 12 January 2008 at Bob's Java Jive, Tacoma, Washington.
Background information
OriginPortland, Oregon,
Olympia, Washington,
Seattle, Washington USA
GenresExperimental rock, post-punk
Years active1996–present
Associated actsKarp, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead

The Dead Air Fresheners are a Portland, Oregon, Olympia, Washington, and Seattle, Washington-based experimental and post-punk musical group with a somewhat fluctuating membership. They have been described by Portland's KPSU as "A long-time mainstay of the Experimental Rock Scene."[1] They count Sun Ra, John Cage, Sonic Youth, Sun City Girls, and Jandek as influences.[2]

Band history[edit]

Another image from the same show.

The band formed around 1996.[2] They claim to have first formed "in a dilapidated beachfront mansion on the Eld Inlet in Thurston County, Washington"[3] (Eld Inlet is the site of The Evergreen State College[4]); in any event, they first performed publicly in the late 1990s at Olympia, Washington's annual Olympia Experimental Music Festival.[3]

Their instrumentation has been known to include Moog synthesizer, and tape samples, drums, ambient vocals, distorted feedback, electric guitar, computers and digital toys, and digeridoo.[2] The Dead Air Fresheners state in interviews and on their My Space page that they do not play improvised music despite frequent perceptions to the contrary.[3] Rather they use a process of Chance Music composition influenced by the work of John Cage (also called Indeterminate music) and their Myspace page provides several examples of scores from past performances.

They have done several live radio performances; portions of their hour-long session with poet Chuck Swaim on KEXP's "Sonarchy Radio" were included as songs in the self-released album Pleasure Is Where All Labor Ends[5] and two performances on KPSU are on that station's archives.[6]

Band members[edit]

Because of their penchant for anonymity, masks, and costumes,[1][7][8] there is no definitive list of the group's membership.[3] Nonetheless, several publications covering either the experimental music scene or entertainment in the Pacific Northwest have reported them to have included at various times members of such bands as Olympia's now defunct Karp, Austin, Texas' ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Bellingham, Washington's Noggin, and Portland, Oregon's Nice Nice.[9][10] In Signum magazine, writer Tiffany Lee Brown implies strongly that Olympia Experimental Music Festival founder Jim McAdams is one of the anonymous musicians in the group.[11] Matt Driscoll of the Weekly Volcano (South Puget Sound) states this outright.[10]

McAdams's wife, Deanne Rowley McAdams, died 3 August 2011. Her obituary in The Olympian indicates that she was a member of the group, and that she had also played with Texas and Pacific Northwest bands Plain Jane, [...And You Will Know Us By the] Trail of Dead, Pro-Ex Marauders, and Cherry 2000, and that she had a band of her own called Leopards.[12]


At the 14th Olympia Experimental Music Festival, 2008
  • I Try To Show My Love, Plastic Duck Records, 1999
  • Verses of Echo, Bastard Customer, and Pleasure Is Where All Labor Ends, with poet Chuck Swaim, (self-released) 2001–2003
  • An Ulcer is a String of Pearls, 2006, Kill Pop Tarts (CDR-ep)
  • a Slip Inside the Quiet Room, 2007, Icky Recordings[9]
  • Separated by Commas, 2010, Dubuque Strange Music Society (collaborations with various other artists; CDR)[13]
  • Extension Cord Symphony 9, (Postmoderncore, 2016)[14]
  • Fast Radio Bursts, Personal Archives (Dubuque, Iowa, 8 August 2016)[15]
  • Evidence of Superstructures II (Postmoderncore, 2017)[16]
  • Brother Calls (Postmoderncore, 2019)[17]

Also included in compilations:

  • Infamous Polywogs Vol. 1?, Inlet Recordings, 2002
  • Infamous Polywogs Vol. 2?, Kill Pop Tarts, 2004
  • Reek of Influence, Icky Recordings, 2006
  • "Five Minutes in Dog Years" track on compilation Winter Copulation 2016 (SDM-032), SadoDaMascus Records (Portland, Oregon, 2016)[18]

Source for discography (except as noted):[2]


  1. ^ a b The Dead Air Fresheners... LIVE! Archived 7 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, KPSU, 25 April 2006. Accessed online 17 September 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d Portland Mercury staff 2007
  3. ^ a b c d Blanchard 2007
  4. ^ Campus Master Plan 1998, The Evergreen State College. Accessed online 17 September 2007.
  5. ^ Doug Haire discography Archived 7 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine, accessed online 17 September 2007. Swaim's name is incorrectly given there as "Swaims".
  6. ^ Recordings by Dead Air Fresheners on the KPSU archives Archived 11 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine, accessed online 18 September 2007.
  7. ^ Blanchard 2007 quotes one member as saying, "Our goal is to completely lose all identity within the Dead Air Freshener experience... While we have nothing against pop culture per se, or groups built around the cult of personality, we are trying to achieve the total opposite."
  8. ^ Brown 2007, page 3 Archived 12 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ a b Rate Your Music Dead Air Fresheners Band Page, [1].
  10. ^ a b Driscoll 2008
  11. ^ Brown 2007, page 2 Archived 12 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine, page 3 Archived 12 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Deanne Rowley McAdams, The Olympian, 2011-08-09. Retrieved online 2011-08-15.
  13. ^ DSMS024 Dead Air Fresheners - Separated by Commas
  14. ^ Extension Cord Symphony 9, Postmoderncore, 2016, accessed 2016-10-02.
  15. ^ Fast Radio Bursts, 2016, listed on, accessed 2016-10-02.
  16. ^ Evidence of Superstructures II, Postmoderncore, accessed 2019-12-26
  17. ^ Brother Calls, Postmoderncore, accessed 2019-12-26
  18. ^ SadoDaMascus Records: Winter Copulation 2016 (SDM-032), 2016, listed on, accessed 2016-10-02.


  • Baxter, Jason (22 September 2010), "Thursday, Sept. 30: Dead Air Fresheners", Weekly Volcano, South Puget Sound, retrieved 28 September 2010.
  • Blanchard, Josh (11–17 January 2007), "We, Anonymous: The Secret History of Dead Air Fresheners", Portland Mercury, retrieved 17 September 2007.
  • Brown, Tiffany Lee (2007), "Bleepy-Bloopy Noises: Creepy-crawly creatures emerge for the Olympia Experimental Music Festival", Signum magazine, Issue, 12, archived from the original on 15 November 2007, retrieved 17 September 2007.
  • Driscoll, Matt (2008), Air Fresheners "7 on 7 and others: EXPERIMENTAL dead air fresheners" Check |url= value (help), Weekly Volcano, South Puget Sound, retrieved 2 February 2008.
  • Portland Mercury staff (2007), band page for Dead Air Fresheners, retrieved 17 September 2007.

External links[edit]