The Spinning Jennies were one of the longest-lived bands to spring out of the California-based independent pop scene of the late 1990s, although they were based in the Bay Area, and not L.A., like most of their peers. The pop underground scene was defined by the still-running International Pop Overthrow festivals, which the Spinning Jennies played at many times.
Formed in 1993, the original line up contained drummer Dave Friel, bassist Doug Free, and songwriter/guitarist/lead vocalist Jeff Shelton. While they initially sounded (and were billed as) a traditional college-rock band in the R.E.M./Hüsker Dü-vein, the band frequently and increasingly ventured towards the harder end of power-pop, with an unmistakeable similarity to The Posies and Shoes. The band gained an audience in the San Francisco area in the early years based on many shows, building an audience to support their first release, the 1995 LP "Bloom," which was recorded on a shoestring budget. This line-up also released a follow-up in 1996 with "Pop N Serve."
In 1996, Friel departed the band and was replaced by Nick Laquintano in early 1997. The rise of the internet helped the band find a new audience well outside of the Bay Area, and 1998's "Starstruck" began to find the band fans all over the world, being named in Swedish fanzine Poppin Up as "Best Album of 1998." "Peer Pressure," the band's fourth album, was a step towards arena rock territory as its shiny surfaces and anthemic hooks were the most direct thing the Jennies had done to date. The band's fifth and final album, "Stratosphere," was released on Jam Records in the fall of 2002, and was even more of a rocking tour de force than its predecessor. Shortly thereafter, the band called it quits, releasing a "Best of" compilation with a few new songs in 2006.
Currently former Spinnies vocalist Jeff Shelton is the lead singer of The Well Wishers, who have mostly continued in the vein of the Spinning Jennies.
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