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Trip Shakespeare

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  • Formed: Minneapolis, MN
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s
  • Group Members: Dan Wilson


Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Dan Wilson

All Music Guide:

Answering an ad for "wicked percussion hands," Harvard anthropology grad Elaine Harris hooked up with English major Matt Wilson, who would soon abandon school for music to relocate to his hometown of Minneapolis and found Trip Shakespeare, along with John Munson, a Chinese-language major at the University of Minnesota. After releasing a debut LP on Restless, Applehead Man, in 1988, the band expanded to include another Harvard student, Dan Wilson, a graduate student in art and Matt's elder brother. With an arty sound that betrayed their intellectual pasts, the band continued to release albums for the next three years, including 1989's Are You Shakesperienced? on Twin/Tone. In 1990, the band signed with A&M, releasing Across the Universe the same year, followed by Lulu in 1991. These two major-label albums showed off a bright melodic style with increasingly tight production values, providing a nice package for their arcane lyrics and free-ranging instrumentation. The band broke up shortly after the release of Lulu, with Elaine Harris returning to the Boston area, Matt Wilson performing with several Minneapolis-area bands, and Dan Wilson and John Munson joining with Jacob Slichter to form Pleasure, later known as Semisonic.