Penelope Houston

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Penelope Houston
Penelope Houston.JPG
Chicago 10/28/2012
Background information
Born (1958-12-17) December 17, 1958 (age 59)
Los Angeles, California
Genres Punk rock, folk
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1977–present
Associated acts Avengers

Penelope Houston (born December 17, 1958 in Los Angeles, California) is an American singer-songwriter best known as the singer for the San Francisco-based punk rock band the Avengers. She was raised in Seattle. In the mid-1970s she attended Fairhaven College in Bellingham, Washington.[citation needed] In 1977, Houston moved to San Francisco, attended the San Francisco Art Institute and shortly thereafter became the lead singer and songwriter for the Avengers. That band released only one album, their eponymous debut in 1983. The album is now out of print, although two retrospective collections are available.

Following the group's demise in 1979, Houston moved first to Los Angeles to work in film and video with The Screamers and director Rene Daalder, then to England where she collaborated with Howard Devoto on his post-Magazine projects. In the mid-1980s, she returned to San Francisco and helped originate the West Coast neo-folk movement. In 1986, she was featured alongside Tomata du Plenty of The Screamers in the punk rock musical Population: 1, which was released on DVD in October 2008.[1] By 1996 she had toured Europe extensively, signed with WEA Germany (Warner Brothers) and earned numerous awards with the dozen albums, which blended influences of punk, folk, rock, blues and Americana into her dark unique acoustic sound.

Her first full-length album was Birdboys which came out in 1987. Her most recent album is 2012's On Market Street.

Shortly after the release of Pale Green Girl, Houston and original guitarist Greg Ingraham recreated the Avengers, adding bassist Joel Reader (formerly of The Mr. T Experience, and The Plus Ones) and drummer Luis Illades (of Pansy Division, formerly also of The Plus Ones) to round out the lineup. Since the spring of 2004 she has toured the U.S. and Europe with this lineup. She continues to play her solo material, mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A new album titled On Market Street was released March 20, 2012.

In August 2012, Houston conducted an audio interview with Music Life Radio about her life and musical career.


Title Year Notes Label
Birdboys 1988 Acoustic album Subterranean Records
On Borrowed Time 1990 live album id Records
500 Lucky Pieces 1991 Limited release of 500 copies id Records
The Whole World 1993 Heyday Records
Silk Purse 1993 Limited release Return to Sender
Karmal Apple 1994 Normal Records
Crazy Baby 1994 Limited release Return to Sender
Cut You 1996 WEA Records
Tongue 1998 WEA Records
Once In A Blue Moon 2000 Compilation/demos records
Loners, Stoners, and Prison Brides 2001 Live album Return To Sender
Eighteen Stories Down 2003 Best Of WEA Records
The Pale Green Girl 2004 DBKWorks
On Market Street 2012 Devout Ruins


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