A San Francisco supergroup of underground musicians, the Cat Heads formed in 1985. Singer and guitarist Mark Zanandrea was from the Leaches and Love Circus, guitarist Sam Babbit from the Ophelias, drummer Melanie Clarin played with just about everyone in town, and bassist Alan Korn hailed from X-Tal. The band traded vocal and songwriting chores to create a chaotic mix of folk-rock, indie-rock, joke-rock and country. Its 1987 debut, Hubba, was produced by the Rain Parade's Matt Piucci, and its follow-up, 1988's Submarine, was produced by Camper Van Beethoven's David Lowery. With so much insider support, it's a small wonder that the Cat Heads didn't survive the late-eighties post-R.E.M. groundswell of alternative bands, but instead disbanded after touring behind their second album. All former members continue to work in Bay Area bands too numerous to list here. Babbit and Korn immediately formed the (ex) Cat Heads after the group's demise. Zanandrea and Clarin remained collaborators in It Thing. Zanandrea and Babbit regrouped in 1996 under the name Androgynauts, and Babbitt and Korn also reunited with the (ex) Cat Heads to form the Mudsills.
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