I Am Spoonbender

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I Am Spoonbender
OriginSan Francisco, California, U.S.
GenresExperimental music
Art rock
Indie rock
Progressive rock
Electronic music
Years active1997–present
MembersDustin Donaldson
Robynn Iwata
Dave Edwardson
Past membersBrian Jackson
Marc Kate

I Am Spoonbender is an American/Canadian multimedia group formed in San Francisco in early 1997 by composer/multi-instrumentalist/producer Dustin Donaldson, with Brian Jackson and cub guitarist Robynn Iwata (a.k.a. 'Cup', who joined halfway through the recording of the debut album Sender/Receiver, after abandoning the guitar for synthesizers').[1]

Their musical style has been favorably compared to Brian Eno, Can, and This Heat, and touches on elements of neo-psychedelia, ambient music, electronic music, tape music, psychedelic folk, synthpop, post-rock, post-punk, progressive, math rock, jazz, noise, pop, and musique concrete, with a distinctly experimental/avant-garde bent. Their sound has evolved over time and remains distinctive, making it difficult to place the group into a concise style or genre. Dustin Donaldson has noted that most of their influences are outside of music itself, although he has mentioned being inspired conceptually by Morton Subotnick, Wire, Laurie Anderson and Devo.[2]


Current members[edit]

  • Dustin Donaldson: synths, drums, vocals, production 1997-
  • "Cup" (Robynn Iwata): synths, vocals 1997-
  • Dave Edwardson (Neurosis): bass on Shown Actual Size, Buy Hidden Persuaders

Past members[edit]

  • Brian Jackson: bass, synths, 1997–2000
  • Marc Kate (live member): synths 1998-2003
  • Chad Amory (live member): bass, synths, 2000–2001

Current live members[edit]

  • Kevin Farkas - 2nd drumset, synths
  • Nolan Cook - bass and synths (The Residents, Dimesland)
  • Drew Cook - bass and synths (Dimesland)
  • MA'AT - perception management and subliminatexture


Sender/Receiver CD/ 12" picture disc 1999 Gold Standard Laboratories (US), Mint Records (Canada)
Teletwin 3-sided 12" EP, CD 2000 Little Army Records (US), Mint Records (Canada)
Plastic Lips 7" single 2000 Contact (Japan)
Shown Actual Size CD/12" EP 2002 Gold Standard Laboratories
Buy Hidden Persuaders CD 2004 Mesmer Detector, Ltd (world)
Stereo Telepathy Academy CD 2006 Helen Scarsdale Agency (world)

Live appearances[edit]

Live appearances are rare. In addition to their own shows, I Am Spoonbender has performed on bills with Mogwai, Glenn Branca, Cibo Matto, The New Pornographers, Wire, Money Mark, Einstürzende Neubauten, Hot Hot Heat, Steven Stapleton, Mike Patton, Secret Chiefs 3, Man or Astro-man?, The Locust, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Kid 606, The Faint, Grandaddy, Trans Am, Pleasure Forever, Chrome, Ariel Pink, Notwist, Oneida, Tarentel, Fly Pan Am, Matmos, and Explosions in the Sky, among others.


External links[edit]

  • I Am Spoonbender website (link to history of archives at Internet Archive)
  • AllMusicGuide
  • Burland, Chris (2001-03-28). "CMW 2001 Chart Showcase: I Am Spoonbender". Chart. Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  • Interview in Montreal Mirror, 2003
  • Interview in NOW magazine, 2003
  • Interview on CitySearch