Why? (U.S. band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Why?

Img_capt = Why? performing a live show at a small venue in Columbus, Ohio
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = Berkeley, California, USA
Genre = Indie rock
Psychedelic pop
Alternative rock
Years_active = 1997 – present
Label = anticon.
Associated_acts =
URL = [http://anticon.com/index.php?section=artist&target=Why&js=yes Why?]
Current_members = Jonathan "Yoni" Wolf
Josiah Wolf
Doug McDiarmid
Austin Brown
Past_members = Matt Meldon
Notable_instruments =

Why? is originally the moniker of Berkeley hip hop and indie rock artist Jonathan "Yoni" Wolf. Why? became a full band before their 2005 release "Elephant Eyelash", with Doug McDiarmid and Matt Meldon, as well as Yoni's older brother Josiah Wolf.

Why? is one of the founding groups of the anticon. collective of Oakland, California. More recently, Matt Meldon left the band, making Why? a three-piece with Yoni as the primary song writer and an additional keyboardist at live concerts. In 2007, the group added bassist Austin Brown to their lineup, making them a four-piece once again. In their arrangements, Why? lean more towards folk and indie rock as opposed to the more hip-hop styling of their label mates. Their lyrics also tend to be very abstract, focusing more on imagery than on any particular story.


Yoni Wolf was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Before his first year at High School, Wolf discovered an old 4-track in his father's synagogue and began to experiment musically. His forays into rapping, drumming, and poetry followed.

In 1997, while attending an "Art of Sex" class at the University of Cincinnati, Wolf met fellow student Adam Drucker — better known as Doseone —. At the semifinals of the 1997 Scribble Jam, Doseone and Wolf formed the live improvisational group Apogee along with Yoni's brother Josiah and DJ Mr. Dibbs. The partnership of Wolf and Doseone continued for many years, under many guises including Greenthink, and most notably, cLOUDDEAD.

In 2005 Why? released "Elephant Eyelash", which deviated considerably from their previous full length "Oaklandazulasylum", primarily as less of an independent solo-project to the sound of a full indie rock band. To accomplish this sound, Yoni enlisted the help of his brother on drums, Matt Meldon on guitar and Doug McDiarmid as a random-task member. The group toured much of 2005 in support of the album as a four piece; however, by the time of their May 2006 tour with Islands, the group had become a three piece because Matt Meldon moved to an island off the coast of Seattle to live with his girlfriend. [http://www.southern.net/southern/news/?id=90]

Why?'s discography consists of three full lengths, four EPs, a number of singles and a handful of limited edition CD-Rs. Further collaborative work has been done with a number of groups: Hymie's Basement, Miss Ohio's Nameless, Object Beings and Reaching Quiet.

For their third LP, "Alopecia", Why? asked fans to contribute photographs of their palms (hands) for the album's artwork. The album was released March 11, 2008, to positive reviews. The first single was "The Hollows." Two different European and US versions of the single were released, featuring remixes and covers by Boards of Canada, Xiu Xiu, Dntel, Half-Handed Cloud, Dump and Islands on their respective issues.



*"Part Time People Cage…Or Part Time Key?" (self-released, 1999)
*"Miss Ohio's Nameless" (anticon., 2001)
*"Oaklandazulasylum" (anticon., 2003)
*"Early Whitney" (anticon., 2003)

With band

*"Almost Live From Anna’s Cabin" (limited tour release, 2003)
*"Sanddollars" (anticon., 2005)
*"Elephant Eyelash" (anticon., 2005)
*"Rubber Traits" (anticon., 2006)
*"Dumb Hummer" 7" Single (anticon., 2006)
*"The Hollows" 12" Single (anticon./Tomlab, 2007) (Note: tracklist varies between the US and European releases.)
*"Alopecia" (anticon./Tomlab, 2008)
*"Almost Live From Eli's Room" (limited tour release, 2008)


* "Apt. A" (Mush Records, 2000)
* "And All You Can Do Is Laugh" (Mush Records, 2000)
* "I Promise Never to Get Paint on My Glasses Again" (Mush Records, 2001)
* "JimmyBreeze" (Mush Records, 2001)
* "(Cloud Dead Number Five)" (Mush Records, 2001)
* "Bike" (Mush Records, 2001)
* "cLOUDDEAD" (Mush Records, 2001)
* "The Peel Session" (Mush Records, 2001)
* "The Sound of a Handshake/This About the City" (Mush Records, 2002)
* "Dead Dogs Two" (Mush Records, 2004)
* "Ten" (Mush Records, 2004)

With Odd Nosdam

A collaboration between Why? and Odd Nosdam released a split EP under their own names on anticon., and an LP on Mush Records under the name Reaching Quiet, as well as being featured on a compilation album.
*Reaching Quiet - "113th Clean" on "Ropeladder 12" (Mush Records, 2000)
*Why? & Odd Nosdam - "The Split EP!" (anticon., 2001)
*Reaching Quiet - "In the Shadow of the Living Room" (Mush Records, 2002)

With other musicians/acts

* "It's Not Easy Being...", with Greenthink (1998)
* "Blindfold", with Greenthink (1999)
* "Object Beings", with Object Beings (2001)
* "So Long, Mike, part 1", with Madtoons Beat Orchestra and Black Light District {2001}
* "Hymie's Basement", with Fog, (2003)
* "What a Day Day" remix from "What a Day Day", with Fog (2003)
* "Poison Pit" remix from "The No Music of Aiffs: The No Music Remixed", with Themselves (2003)
* "Into the Trees" remix from "Men of Station", with 13 & God (2005)
* "Freshman Thesis" from "Monkey vs. Shark", with Thee More Shallows(2006)
* "Crushed Bones" from "The Subtle6 Mix", with Subtle (2006)
* "Falling" from "Yell&Ice", with Subtle (2007)
* "The Wig Master" from "Remixed & Covered", with Xiu Xiu (2007)
* "Well Water Black" from "Resurgam", with Alias (2008)
* "As I Went Out This Morning" from "Unusual Animals Vol. 4", with Cryptacize (2008)

External links

* Bio of Why? at [http://www.anticon.com/index.php?section=artist&target=Why Anticon]
* [http://larecord.com/interviews/2008/03/06/thur-mar-6-why-interview/ March 2008 Interview with L.A. Record]
* [http://scheduletwo.com/video/why set of 6 live videos at scheduletwo.com]

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