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Before emerging as a solo artist, Mike Doughty (known as M. Doughty during the early stages of his career) was best known as the frontman of the unique avant-garde group Soul Coughing. Formed in 1992, Soul Coughing took shape after Doughty met Yuval Gabay, Sebastian Steinberg, and Mark de Gli Antoni while working as a doorman at the Knitting Factory, a staple of New York City's underground music scene. The four musicians signed with Slash/Warner Bros. in 1993 after making a name for themselves on the local scene with a fusion of rock, Doughty's beatnik-inspired lyrics, and elements of hip-hop and electronic music. Releasing their first of three albums the following year, Soul Coughing enjoyed only moderate commercial success over the next six years with the singles "Super Bon Bon" and "Circles." However, their unclassifiable style kept Soul Coughing apart from the mainstream, which became beneficial as the initial boom of alternative rock in the early '90s subsided considerably.
In March 2000, the members of Soul Coughing split up to work on their own side projects. Shortly after the breakup, Doughty -- who had been writing as a columnist for New York Press on the side -- embarked on a solo acoustic tour, playing material from a then-unreleased solo album recorded in 1995 entitled Skittish. After bootleg copies of the album surfaced on the file-sharing network Napster, Doughty released an official version of Skittish on his website in October 2000. A stripped-down acoustic effort, Skittish featured some of Doughty's most direct and personal lyrics, accompanied by his signature, syncopated guitar-playing style.
In addition to overcoming drug addiction and beginning work on a second solo album, Doughty continued to do solo tours and was heard contributing vocals to BT's club hit "Never Gonna Come Back Down," and collaborating with John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants for a CD that accompanied an issue of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern. He also composed the soundtrack to a trailer for New York City's Gen Art Film Festival.
In July 2002, Doughty released the limited-edition live album Smofe + Smang: Live in Minneapolis. It featured a large selection of solo material as well as Soul Coughing classics. A book of poetry entitled Slanky, which was initially self-released in 1995, also coincided with the live album. In 2003, more solo work surfaced in the form of the Rockity Roll EP, which was then combined with the Skittish album and re-released with a handful of bonus tracks when Doughty signed to ATO Records in 2004. In 2005, Doughty released his first solo effort to feature a band, Haughty Melodic, which contained fleshed-out studio versions of several songs debuted on Smofe + Smang, and 2008's Golden Delicious followed suit. The latter album cracked the Billboard 100, Doughty's first solo release to do so, and he quickly returned in 2009 with another record, Sad Man Happy Man. In 2011, he released the full-length Yes and Also Yes on his own Snack Bar label. In 2012, Doughty released a second book,The Book of Drugs, a memoir about his life with Soul Coughing and his struggles with addiction, as well as the live album The Question Jar Show, and The Flip Is Another Honey, which featured Doughty covering artists from Thin Lizzy to Randy Newman.
Mike Doughty (pron.: /ˈoʊiː/ DOH-tee; born June 10, 1970) is an American indie and alternative rock singer-songwriter and author. He led the band Soul Coughing in the 1990s, and in the 2000s, became a solo artist. His best known songs include "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well", "I Hear the Bells", "Busting Up a Starbucks", "Na Na Nothing" and "27 Jennifers".
Early life 
The son of a military family, he moved around the country and Europe, and spent his teenage years living on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he attended James I. O'Neill High School in Highland Falls, New York. From there he attended Bard College at Simon's Rock. He eventually moved to New York City to study poetry at the New School University, where singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco was one of his classmates in Sekou Sundiata's poetry course, "The Shape and Nature of Things to Come."
In 1992, Doughty, then a doorman at the New York avant-garde club The Knitting Factory founded Soul Coughing (billing himself as M. Doughty), and released the minor hit singles "Super Bon Bon" and "Circles".
Wearying of the band and addicted to heroin, Doughty broke up Soul Coughing in 2000, and was promptly dropped by Warner Brothers. A few weeks later, Doughty beat his addiction and started touring as a solo artist. He drove around the country in a rental car, covering 9,000 miles on his first tour, playing acoustic shows, often to crowds of Soul Coughing fans. After the shows, he would sit at the front of the stage and sell copies of his acoustic album Skittish — then on CD-Rs in plain white sleeves — a record that he had recorded for, and which was rejected by Warner Brothers in 1996. During his three-year tour, Doughty sold 20,000 copies of Skittish and gradually developed a following independent of Soul Coughing.
At the Bonnaroo music festival in 2004, Doughty bumped into Dave Matthews, a longtime Soul Coughing fan who had the band open for him on two US tours, including shows at Madison Square Garden. When Matthews professed to be a fan of Doughty's solo record Rockity Roll and the song "27 Jennifers," Doughty gave him a CD with rough mixes of an album he had been working on in Minneapolis with singer-songwriter and producer Dan Wilson. Matthews eventually released the album on his ATO label as Haughty Melodic (an anagram for 'Michael Doughty'.) Haughty Melodic's hit single, "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well," received heavy airplay in 2005; Doughty made a music video for the song with director/photographer Danny Clinch, opened for DMB at Madison Square Garden, and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Founding Mike Doughty's Band, featuring Dan Chen (keyboard and synthesizer), Pete McNeal (drums), and Andrew "Scrap" Livingston (upright bass), Doughty toured extensively in 2005. In the summer of 2006 Dan Chen left the group, and was replaced by John Kirby.
In February 2008, Doughty released his fourth solo album, Golden Delicious, also produced by Dan Wilson. The album features a reworked version of "27 Jennifers", which received some radio attention following the release. The album was followed by a full-band tour in the spring.
Mike Doughty released his fifth album, Sad Man, Happy Man on October 6, 2009. It consists of 18 tracks including a version of "Casper the Friendly Ghost" and "Three is a Magic Number". While the album is not a solo record, its sound is reminiscent of his days as a solo acoustic performer and debut album, Skittish, when compared to the full band sounds of Haughty Melodic and Golden Delicious. Doughty embarked on a tour,"The Question Jar" tour, in the fall of 2009 to support the album, backed again by Andrew "Scrap" Livingston.
On July 6, 2010, Doughty debuted 14 new songs at the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC. Some of the song titles were "I Love Surprises", "Shine", and "Russell". Videos of these can be viewed on YouTube. During the performance, Doughty would read lyrics from a music stand, and then, when finished with each song, crumple the paper and throw it into the audience. He performed this show alone, stating his partner, Andrew "Scrap" Livingston, became a taxi driver. Whether or not this was a joke is unclear. That summer, Doughty toured as the opening act with label mates Gomez.
Doughty's album, Yes and Also Yes, was released in August 2011. It includes songs such as "The Huffer and The Cutter", "Hapless Dancer", "Day By Day By", and "Na Na Nothing". The album was supported by a nationwide club tour.
In January 2012, The Book of Drugs, Doughty's memoir about his "ugly, drug-doing years", was published by Da Capo Press.
In 2012 Doughty recorded a version of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" for a fund raising cd titled "Super Hits Of The Seventies" for radio station WFMU.
Doughty's album, The Question Jar Show, was released in late January 2012. It is a two disc set containing highlights from his Question Jar tour.
Doughty started "The Lo-Fi Lodge", a subscription based album, where fans had the opportunity to sign up and receive a song a week for 32 weeks (for a total of 32 songs). The songs will include previously unreleased material, demos, and acoustic versions of released songs. Doughty mentioned that it will include songs from the Evenhand soundtrack. As of April 27th, fans can no longer sign up for the subscription.
In media 
Doughty is an active blogger, commenting on pop culture, his life as a musician and his fans, and writing about and photographing his numerous travels. In 2002, Doughty recorded four songs for the film EvenHand. "Get Along" was subsequently released as a bonus track on Skittish / Rockity Roll. In 2003, Doughty released a book of poetry entitled Slanky (ISBN 1-887128-71-9). In 2004, Doughty recorded the anti-Iraq War anthem "Move On," which appeared on the compilation Future Soundtrack for America.
"Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well" was featured on the show Grey's Anatomy and also is on the soundtrack. This song was also featured in a 2005 episode of Bones titled "The Man in the Bear", and on a 2007 episode of the TV show What About Brian. Doughty's song, "I Hear the Bells", is featured prominently in an episode of Veronica Mars called "Look Who's Stalking" and also appears on the show's soundtrack. His song "(I Keep On) Rising Up" appears in the 2010 Jack Black film, "Gulliver's Travels (2010 film)".
Doughty's publicist, Andy Adelewitz, sends out an annual April Fool's Day email with fake Mike Doughty news. Past jokes have said that he was changing his name to Mike "Lion-Heart" Doughty, and had accepted an offer to become the new guitar player in Limp Bizkit. A message in April 2006 said that Doughty announced he was running for the New York State Senate, representing the 7th District (comprising most of northern Nassau County, Long Island), in order to ease tensions between Long Island authorities and soy gluten farmers.
Doughty currently has a large list of unreleased songs registered on the Harry Fox Agency website. Song titles include: "Booty Czar", "Feverish", "I Think I Know How I Feel About You", "I Wish To Fix It", "Jimmy Snackbar", "Leap & Land", "Loveliness", "Never Known To Nap" (possibly an early version of "Burn You Down"), "Oh Tanya", "Phnom Penh", "Rosearise", "Split", "She's The Ginchiest", "Some Clown", "Utility Man" (possibly an early version of "More Bacon than the Pan Can Handle"), "Who Do you Think You Are", and "Walk the Plank". There also is a song registered titled "Is Change a Crime", which also credits Rosanne Cash as a writer, which probably indicates this song was written during the Yes and Also Yes sessions.