Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

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Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
OriginSan Francisco, California, United States
GenresExperimental rock, noise rock, indie rock
Years active1986–2001, 2004, 2011
LabelsMatador, Communion, Nuf Sed, Ajax, Scratch, Thwart Productions, Amarillo, Japan Overseas, Brinkman, Hemiola
Associated actsHorny Genius, Caroliner, The White Shark, Mr. Hageman, U.S. Saucer, World of Pooh, Sun City Girls, Babe the Blue Ox, Fly Ashtray, Job's Daughters, Brown Supper, Supreme Reality, Girl Feelings, Archipelago Brewing Company
WebsiteOfficial website
Past membersMark Davies
Anne Eickelberg
Brian Hageman
Jay Paget
Hugh Swarts
Paul Bergmann
Gino Robair

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 is an American experimental indie rock group, which was formed in 1986 in San Francisco, California, United States, though half of its members are from Iowa.[1][2] Their albums combine lo-fi noise rock and ambient sounds (referred to as "Feller filler")[3] with tightly constructed rock and pop songs. The band has a small but intensely loyal cult following. Band members are Brian Hageman, Mark Davies, Anne Eickelberg, Hugh Swarts and Jay Paget. Hageman was also a member of the Iowa City based group, Horny Genius.

The band achieved their greatest critical and commercial success in the mid-1990s, when they signed with the indie rock label Matador Records. It was during this time that Thinking Fellers produced their most prominent albums, Lovelyville, and Strangers from the Universe. They toured the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the UK in 1994 and made an appearance on the John Peel radio show on the BBC. In 1996 they toured briefly as an opening act for the then-popular band Live but were not received well by the Live fanbase. Thinking Fellers has been largely dormant since 1996, having toured sporadically and released only one full album, Bob Dinners and Larry Noodles Present Tubby Turdner's Celebrity Avalanche, since.

Elf Power's 1999 album A Dream In Sound featured a cover of Thinking Fellers Union Local 282's song "Noble Experiment."

In 2001, author Jonathan Franzen referenced the band in his novel The Corrections. The character Brian, a snobbish fan of "west coast underground bands," listens to the albums of Thinking Fellers while writing the music software that will make him a young millionaire.

On January 7, 2011, the All Tomorrow's Parties festival announced a Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 performance at the ATP festival weekend May 13–15, 2011 curated by Animal Collective.

In 2017, Beverly Williams's book Survival Kit's Apocalypse quoted the lines "If the sadness of life makes you tired/And the failures of man make you sigh/You can look to the time soon arriving/When this noble experiment winds down and calls it a day" from the Fellers' song "Noble Experiment" from Strangers from the Universe. In 2019, The National interpolated those same lines in their song "Not in Kansas" on the album I Am Easy to Find.


Studio albums[edit]

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "2×4's" / "Horrible Hour" 7" Nuf Sed 1990
  • "The Natural Finger" 7" Ajax Records 1990
  • "Outhouse Of The Pryeeeeeeee" / "Wheat Delusion" split 7" w/ Sun City Girls Nuf Sed 1991
  • "Where's Officer Tuba" 12" Hemiola Records 1993
  • "Admonishing The Bishops" Matador Records 1993
  • "The Funeral Pudding" Ajax Records/Brinkman (Waaghaals) 1994
  • "Everyday" / "A Fistful of Dollars" 7" Amarillo Records 1995
  • "The Kids Are In The Mud" / "Broken Bones" 7" Japan Overseas 1996

Compilation albums[edit]

  • TFUL282 Japan Overseas 1995
  • Eyesore - A Stab At The Residents Vaccination Records 1996 (cover of The Residents' "Electrocutioner")
  • Porcelain Entertainments Normal Records 1995 / Runt 2000
  • Duck, Duck, Chimp (Rarities 1987-2001) 2002


  1. ^ "Thinking Fellers Union Local 282". 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Edgerton, Robin; Wolk, Douglas (2013). "Thinking Fellers Union Local 282". Trouser Press. Retrieved February 28, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Clements, Paul (May 2001). "Thinking Fellers Union Local 282". Retrieved February 28, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]