Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Indie-punk subversives the Make-Up emerged from the ashes of the seminal Washington, D.C. outfit Nation of Ulysses, reuniting vocalist Ian Svenonious, guitarist James Canty, and drummer Steve Gamboa (who together also previously teamed in the short-lived Cupid Car Club, M.P. as well as the T.A.M.I. Show). Completing the lineup with bassist Michelle Mae, the Make-Up surfaced in early 1995 with their debut single "Blue Is Beautiful," the first call-to-arms to spring from their self-styled liberation theology 'Gospel Yeh-Yeh,' a belief system advocating the oppressed masses to "get theirs" and "off the pigs in all their forms." Split singles with the Meta-Matics and Slant 6 followed, and in the wake of the "R.U.A. Believer" single the group returned in early 1996 with their first LP, the Dischord label release Destination: Live at Cold Rice. In February 1997, the quartet launched their second album, The Make-Up After Dark; a third full-length, Sound Verite, appeared on K Records just a month later. The subject of James Schneider's 1997 tour film Blue Is Beautiful, the Make-Up rounded out the year with "Free Arthur Lee," recorded in tribute to the imprisoned leader of the legendary psychedelic-era band Love; upon completing their 1998 LP In Mass Mind, the band toured Brazil, returning to the U.S. to issue the singles "Wade in the Water" and "Untouchable Sound." The brilliant Save Yourself followed in the fall of 1999.