Gerty, the indie rock three-piece from Baltimore, MD, came together in 1996. Guitarist David Koslowski had grown tired of playing with Liquid Bike, while his girlfriend Shirle Hale had taken a break from playing bass for the riot grrl act Womyn of Destruction. Hale had done some recording on her own, and luckily, Koslowski found the tape. He was so impressed by the emotional depth of these tracks, he encouraged Hale to call upon their old friend Miyuki Furtado. Furtado knew Hale from their days of playing in Jag. In mid-1996, the trio was in the studio recording seven new tracks. Hale tagged the project Gerty after the name of her moped, but the name goes back to Hale's undying love for Gertrude Stein.
Gerty braced themselves for their debut release in fall 1996. The Raggedy Aneurysm EP appeared on Merkin and Gerty's solid, indie pop sound was in full effect. Their studio full-length, Carload of Scenic Efforts, was released the following year. Gerty hit the road in support of the record. While touring the Southeast, the band made a decision. They had fallen in love with the countryside of Chapel Hill, NC, and considered making a move. The music scene was also thriving and that gave the band an extra push to uproot their Baltimore foundation. In spring, 1998, Gerty permanently planted themselves down South.
Furtado wasn't around for long, for he had fallen in love and moved to N.Y.C. with his girlfriend. Gerty was supportive of Furtado's change, but opted to keep Gerty going. Furtado contributed songs to Two Kisses in Row, but the album wouldn't see daylight until April 1999. Koslowski founded the Plastique Recording Co. with a friend of his so Gerty could release the album. Tours in and around the Southeast and East Coast proved successful for Gerty. Koslowski and Hale solidified their union as well. The two married in May 2000 after seven years of dating. While honeymooning in Europe, Hale and Koslowski decided to put Gerty to rest. Both had grown tired of the band, and plans for a third album weren't forming as they had hoped. Gerty played their last show in Chapel Hill that June.
Before they could finally take a break, Gerty headed into the studio to touch up a few final recordings. They hooked up with studio man Chris Stamey (the Butchies, the dB's) and Gerty's new wave/indie sound was collected for what would be a third album. In spring 2002, Gerty returned to music and tinkered around with Stamey's work. The end result was Sweets from the Minibar, issued on Eskimo Kiss in September 2002.