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Actionslacks are an Americanmarker indie rock band, based primarily in the San Francisco Bay Areamarker, long associated with the region's Noise Pop scene.


Actionslacks formed in Northern California's East Bay in 1994 when ex-Pillbox members Tim Scanlin and Mark Wijsen met drummer Marty Kelly and discovered a mutual appreciation of late-70s English punk rock, 1980s American post-punk and guitar-based New Zealand indie rock. The band played one gig in Berkeley, Californiamarker under the name King Friday but changed their name after Scanlin realized he "just couldn't be in a band named after a puppet."

The band soon became a regular on the San Francisco and West Coast club circuit and released the "Tugboat Mutiny" b/w "A.C.R.O.N.Y.M." 7" single on their own Permanent Records imprint. In 1996 the band's first full length, Too Bright, Just Right, Good Night was released on the Minneapolis Skene! label. Actionslacks' second LP, One Word (a reference to the spelling of their name as well as a nod to the influence of Overwhelming Colorfast's second album Two Words) was recorded in 1997 and released in 1998 by the Arena Rock Recording Company. The band toured with labelmates Harvey Danger and an ascendant Death Cab for Cutie in support of the record.

Wijsen left the band in late-1998 and Scanlin and Kelly began working on more pop-oriented songs, first with producers Greg Freeman (Pell Mell, Virginia Dare) and Jeff Palmer (Granfalloon Bus, Sunny Day Real Estate, Mommyheads) and later with new band members Aaron Rubin (bass; Mr. T Experience, Samiam) and Chuck Lindo (guitar and vocals; The Nukes, Jumbo Shrimp, The American Professionals). The Scene's Out of Sight was recorded in the fall of 1999 with producer/engineer J. Robbins at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone recording studio and released in early 2001 by the Self-Starter Foundation. The band's following grew in part due to well-timed promotions with Napster, various song placements in television shows and video games, and a strong showing on college radio. Prior to touring in support of the album, Rubin left the band and Lindo took time off to attend to other projects. Enter new permanent bassist Ross Murray and touring guitarist/singer Doug Modie.

In 2002 Scanlin moved to Los Angelesmarker and the band began a continuing long-distance relationship. Full Upright Position was written and recorded between 2001-2003 in various studios in California and Washington, DCmarker. J. Robbins once again engineered and the band produced, venturing into the far-ranging territory of multi-instrumentation, eloborate arrangements and stylistic diversity (including elements of pop, alt-country and electronica). The album's release was complicated by Kelly's relocation to Mainemarker in late 2003 and record label issues. Nevertheless, the band managed to tour both the East and West coasts, adding keyboard/vocalist Darice Bailey to help reproduce the band's new sound. Actionslacks took a semi-hiatus beginning in late 2004, with occasional live appearances and writing sessions amid individual projects, careers, and family life.

In early 2008 the band was reinvigorated by the idea of a new writing and recording paradigm, writing new tracks via online collaboration and meeting up at Tiny Telephone to rehearse and record over the course of 8 days with engineer Aaron Prellwitz. The resulting collection, which marks a return to the aggressive yet tuneful punk sound of The Scene's Out of Sight, was self-released as Kids With Guitars in spring 2009. Downloaders were invited to pay however much they wished for the record in a move similar to that used by Radiohead on In Rainbows.





  • "Tugboat Mutiny" b/w "A.C.R.O.N.Y.M" / "Space-Age Heart" (permanent records, 1995)
  • "John Hughes" b/w "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" (Go Zombie!, 1996)


  • "John L. Sullivan" (recorded live at the Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco) on Ten Years of Noise Pop (2002)
  • "Annie Oakley" and "Perfect G" on Inside X (Games) DVD and CD Sampler (2004)
  • "Iodine" on Until the Shaking Stops: A Tribute to Jawbox (2004)

Appearances in Media



Video Games

  • "I Hope This Makes It Easier For You" and "The Scene's Out of Sight" appeared in Amped 2 for Xbox
  • "33 1/3" appeared in NHL Rivals 2004 for Xbox


  • "Shining Jewels" was used in a promotional DVD for the Los Angeles Galaxy professional soccer team
  • "Simple Life" was featured in an interactive car radio section of Honda's CR-V Web site in 2007
  • "If I'm Not Deceived" was used in an American Eagle Outfitters commercial/vignette on MTV in 2007

External links

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