Anyone who has more than a passing interest in independent music has heard of Doug Martsch. His musical talent stirs every fan base he acquires, from the loyal groupies of his native Boise, Idaho, to the hipster masses of Seattle, Doug Martsch has to be admired for his ability to spawn great music, wherever he might be.

The story of Martsch's life takes off, flies around and lands again in Boise, Idaho. Imagining the city of Boise, one begins to picture a quiet midwest town, potato vendors peddling their goods as tumbleweeds dot the scenery. But among this very stereotypical creation would be Doug Martsch. The singer/songwriter's hometown has played a pivotal role in the development of Martsch's career. His life in professional music began with his small late-80s Boisean band called the Treepeople, consisting of Scott Schmaljohn(another local Boise star) and Doug, along with many hired guns to drum and bass for them. The band enthusiastically got to work releasing albums (Guilt, Regret, and Embarrassment; Just Kidding), two EPs (Something Vicious for Tomorrow, Time Whore) and several 7"s.

In 1990/91 the band became extreme popular in the local area, to the point of being known as the "Heroes of Boise" (very good for a midwest capitol like Boise that would be in desperate need of heroes). During a lull in the Treepeople output in 1992 Martsch decided to spend some time developing his talent, and renounced his position in the trees.

After leaving the Treepeople Martsch bounced around Boise, jamming (a favorite pastime) and writing songs through most of 1993. At this point Doug teamed up with local buddies Ralf Youtz and Brett Nelson to form the first but fickle apparition of Built to Spill. They released one album on C/Z records (Ultimate Alternative Wavers), but because Youtz and Nelson had their own projects they decided to call it quits.

In 1994 Martsch dragged himself to Seattle to shake off C/Z records and to reunite with high school mates Andy Capps and (again) Brett Nelson to form the new Built to Spill. They had a quick session and created many 7"s that were later compiled in The Normal Years LP.

But these were still the early days of Doug and Built to Spill. Their next record, on the UP records label, would be their first true BtS album. There's Nothing Wrong With Love created the future of Built to Spill, and was very well received.

While he was creating There's Nothing Wrong with Love Martsch was also on a side project with K Records guru Calvin Johnson called the Halo Benders. Together with Steve Fisk (who was earlier asked to produce There's Nothing Wrong with Love), Ralph Youtz (Martsch's long time friend), and Wayne Rhino Flower, God Don't Make No Junk (an album that can only be described as...garage-y) was made.

Now Martsch was really starting to receive attention for his brainchild Built to Spill. The band toured like demons and created enough press to be approached by Warner Brothers, and so dutifully hopped on the WB ship.

In 1996, after touring and releasing some EPs with Built to Spill Martsch returned to his nest in the Halo Benders to record their second effort Don't Tell Me Now.

By 1997 the fans were longing for some new Built to Spill and were tired of EPs and compilations so the the band released the excellent Perfect From Now On, an album soaked with emotion and effort.

Again, while doing a Built to Spill album Martsch once again rounded up the Halo Benders and released The Rebels Not In. The Halo Benders were always a bit different from Built to Spill, being rather obvious that they were a release for Martsch's worries.

Then, touring through 1997, recording through 1998, and releasing in 1999 what many consider the pinnacle of their career, the album Keep It Like a Secret. With songs like The Plan, Time Trap, and You Were Right, this album officially made Built to Spill "the most unknown popular band in the world". Even though it is overlooked by many, among the fan base it is considered one of the best

After Keep It Like a Secret, Martsch and Built to Spill released a live album and Ancient Melodies of a Near Future, currently their latest album. Ancient Melodies is a great note to leave on because, while reflecting the greatness of Keep It Like a Secret shows the band's and Martsch's progress.

In 2002 Martsch finally fulfilled his supposed life's dream and released through WB a solo blues album titled Now You Know. This can only be described as insanely different from Built to Spill and Martsch other efforts, as Martsch "dons denim overalls and a straw hat while drinking from a flask marked XXX in the bayou playing these songs". The album is definitely not pure blues, as one can here many distortions and Martschisms in there, but it really does seem that Martsch is happy to have accomplished it.

The great Martsch has returned to Boise, Idaho and lives his perfect life with his wife and children, taking a break from the music world. It is unknown if he plans to return to the music world with a band, or continue his bluesy solo projects.


Albums, EPs, 7", hopefully a list of everything Doug Martsch has ever participated in, in chronological order:

Treepeople
Guilt, Regret, Embarrassment(1989)
1. No Doubt (Treepeople) - 3:33
2. Andy Warhol (David Bowie) - 2:52
3. Gre (Treepeople) - 2:31
4. Lost (Treepeople) - 4:04
5. Transitional Devices (Treepeople) - 1:27
6. Pity (Treepeople) - 4:39
7. Miss You (When You're Dead) (Treepeople) - 4:17
8. Wasted on You (Treepeople) - 1:21
9. Stay (Treepeople) - 2:33
10. Chunks of Milk (Treepeople) - 3:26
11. Everytime When I Fall Down and My Head (Treepeople) - 2:43
12. Trailer Park (Treepeople) - 3:47

Treepeople
Something Vicious for Tomorrow/Time Whore(1992)(two EPs merged)
1. Liquid Boy (Treepeople)
2. It's Alright Now Ma (Treepeople)
3. Something Vicious for Tomorrow (Treepeople)
4. Bigmouth Strikes Again (Marr/Morrissey)
5. Filter (Treepeople)
6. Ad Campaigns (Treepeople)
7. Funnelhead (Treepeople)
8. Party (Treepeople)
9. Tongues on Thrones (Treepeople)
10. Lives (Treepeople)
11. Radio Man (Treepeople)
12. Size of a Quarter (Treepeople)
13. Time Whore (Treepeople)

Treepeople
Just Kidding(1993)
1. Today (Perringer/Schmaljohn) - 4:33
2. In C (Akre/Reed) - 3:13
3. Cartoon Brew (Treepeople) - 1:40
4. Ballard Bitter (Treepeople) - 3:07
5. Clouds and Faces (Martsch) - 3:19
6. Fishbasket (Treepeople) - 2:25
7. Nod and Blink (Schmaljohn) - 4:06
8. Anything's Impossible (Martsch) - 2:09
9. Neil's Down (Treepeople) - 3:29
10. Outside In (Treepeople) - 6:42

Built to Spill
Ultimate Alternative Airwavers(1993)
1. The First Song (Built to Spill) - 3:59
2. Three Years Ago Today (Built to Spill) - 3:51
3. Revolution (Built to Spill/Christ on a Crutch) - 4:24
4. Shameful Dread (Built to Spill) - 8:26
5. Nowhere Nothin' Fuckup (Built to Spill/V.U.) - 6:30
6. Get a Life (Built to Spill) - 5:48
7. Built to Spill (Built to Spill) - 5:49
8. Lie for a Lie (Built to Spill) - 3:12
9. Hazy (Built to Spill) - 6:39
10. Built Too Long, Pts. 1, 2, & 3 (Built to Spill) - 9:23

Built to Spill
The Normal Years(1993)(LP)
1. So & So So & So from Wherever Wherever
2. Shortcut
3. Car (Built to Spill)
4. Some Things Last a Long Time (Fair/Johnston)
5. Girl
6. Joyride
7. Some (Built to Spill)
8. Sick & Wrong
9. Still Flat (Duggins)
10. Terrible/Perfect (Built to Spill)

The Halo Benders
God Don't Make No Junk(1994)
1. Snowfall
2. Don't Touch My Bikini
3. Will Work for Food
4. Freedom Ride
5. Sit on It
6. Canned Oxygen
7. Scarin'
8. On a Tip
9. I Can't Believe It's True
10. Big Rock Candy Mountain

Built to Spill
There's Nothing Wrong With Love(1994)
1. In the Morning (Built to Spill) - 2:37
2. Reasons (Built to Spill) - 3:46
3. Big Dipper (Martsch) - 4:09
4. Car (Built to Spill) - 2:59
5. Fling (Built to Spill) - 2:33
6. Cleo (Built to Spill) - 4:35
7. The Source (Built to Spill) - 3:20
8. Twin Falls (Built to Spill) - 1:49
9. Some (Built to Spill) - 5:57
10. Distopian Dream Girl (Built to Spill) - 4:24
11. Israel's Song (Built to Spill) - 3:47
12. Stab (Built to Spill) - 5:29
13. Preview - 1:23


Built to Spill
Built to Spill/Caustic Resin(1996)(Split EP)
1. When Not Being Stupid Is Not Enough performed by Built to Spill / Caustic Resin - 9:17
2. One Thing performed by Built to Spill / Caustic Resin - 5:09
3. Shit Brown Eyes performed by Caustic Resin / Built to Spill - 3:28
4. She's Real performed by Caustic Resin / Built to Spill - 8:13

The Halo Benders
Don't Tell Me Now(1996)
1. Phantom Power (Halo Benders) - 1:51
2. Halo Bender (Halo Benders) - 4:30
3. Mercury Blues (Halo Benders) - 3:10
4. Bomb Shelter, Pt. 1 (Halo Benders) - 1:50
5. Bomb Shelter, Pt. 2 (Halo Benders) - 4:15
6. Volume Mode (Halo Benders) - 3:18
7. Inbread Heart (Halo Benders) - 2:13
8. Planned Obsolescence (Halo Benders) - 4:40
9. Magic Carpet Rider (Halo Benders) - 2:08
10. Blank Equation (Halo Benders) - 3:17
11. Crankenstein (Halo Benders) - 4:14


Built to Spill
Perect From Now On(1997)
1. Randy Described Eternity (Martsch) - 6:09
2. I Would Hurt a Fly (Martsch) - 6:15
3. Stop the Show (Martsch) - 6:26
4. Made up Dreams (Martsch) - 4:52
5. Velvet Waltz (Martsch) - 8:33
6. Out of Site (Martsch) - 5:33
7. Kicked It in the Sun (Martsch) - 7:32
8. Untrustable, Pt. 2 (Martsch) - 8:53

The Halo Benders
The Rebels Not In(1998)
1. Virginia Reel Around the Fountain - 6:18
2. Your Asterisk - 2:50
3. Lonesome Sundown - 4:43
4. Devil City Destiny - 4:56
5. Bury Me - 3:25
6. Surfers Haze - 3:11
7. Do That Thing - 3:47
8. Love Travels Faster - 4:11
9. Turn It My Way - 4:22
10. Rebels Got a Hole in It - 6:02
11. Foggy Bottom - 4:39

Built to Spill
Keep it Like a Secret(1999)
1. The Plan (Built to Spill)
2. Center of the Universe (Built to Spill)
3. Carry the Zero (Built to Spill)
4. Sidewalk (Built to Spill)
5. Bad Light (Built to Spill)
6. Time Trap (Built to Spill)
7. Else (Built to Spill)
8. You Were Right (Martsch)
9. Temporarily Blind (Built to Spill)
10. Broken Chairs (Built to Spill)

Built to Spill
Live(2000)
1. The Plan (Built to Spill) - 4:54
2. Randy Described Eternity (Built to Spill) - 3:55
3. Stop the Show (Built to Spill) - 4:15
4. Virginia Reel Around the Fountain (Benders) - 7:00
5. Cortez the Killer (Young) - 20:30
6. Car (Built to Spill) - 3:07
7. Singing Sores Make Perfect Swords (Love As Laughter) - 3:33
8. I Would Hurt a Fly (Built to Spill) - 5:24
9. Broken Chairs (Black/Built to Spill) - 19:05

Built to Spill
Ancient Melodies From the Future(2001)
1. Strange (Martsch) - 3:59
2. The Host (Martsch) - 3:55
3. In Your Mind (Martsch) - 3:46
4. Alarmed (Martsch) - 5:06
5. Trimmed and Burning (Martsch) - 4:19
6. Happiness (Martsch) - 3:40
7. Don't Try (Martsch) - 3:16
8. You Are (Martsch) - 3:50
9. Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss (Martsch) - 2:44
10. The Weather (Martsch) - 4:34

Pajama Party in a Haunted Hive
Bulding a Building(2002)
1. Oh Yeah! - 1:13
2. Over - 2:55
3. Capitalism's a Fake Smile - 2:05
4. Tape Hiss - 2:52
5. Silver State - 3:25
6. Elevation Map - 2:46
7. Fly Thru Dark - 2:02
8. Astrological Charts - 4:42
9. The Day She Died - 1:47
10. Sickeningly Dark Sad Circus Music - 2:44

Doug Martsch Solo
Now You Know(2002)
1. Offer (Martsch/Youtz) - 3:07
2. Dream (Martsch/Youtz) - 3:20
3. Gone (Martsch/Youtz) - 3:16
4. Window (Martsch/Youtz) - 3:56
5. Heart (Things Never Shared) (Martsch/Yountz) - 3:19
6. Lift (Martsch/Youtz) - 3:17
7. Woke up This Morning (With My Mind on... - 4:25
8. Instrumental (Martsch/Youtz) - 3:05
9. Sleeve (Martsch/Youtz) - 3:01
10. Impossible (Martsch/Youtz) - 6:35
11. Stay (Martsch/Youtz) - 2:51

Thanks to Kjoker and ChihuahuaGrub for pointing out some mistakes!

Sources:
http://www.builtospill.com
http://www.allmusic.com
http://www.pitchforkmedia.com
builttospill.wowzer.net/biography.aspx

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