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Paleface emerged from New York's anti-folk movement in 1990, frequenting the Lower East Side's open-mike circuit while honing his hip-hop flavored, anarchic folk alongside the likes of John S. Hall of King Missile. A onetime roommate of Beck, Paleface was performing at the old Chameleon club when he came to the attention of Danny Fields, the former manager of the MC5, the Stooges and the Ramones; after Fields' management offer, Paleface signed with Polygram to record his self-titled 1991 debut, which featured the underground hit "Burn and Rob."
After a disastrously mismatched tour in support of his labelmates the Crash Test Dummies (where performances of the vitriolic "World Full of Cops" resulted with several run-ins with area police officers), he was unceremoniously dropped by Polygram in the midst of recording his second effort. After switching from acoustic to electric guitar and hiring a punk band as his support unit, Paleface recorded 1995's Raw for the Shimmy Disc label; although intended as a collection of studio recordings, material from live bootlegs was substituted during the eleventh hour when the singer accidentally erased half of the master tapes. After signing to Elektra, he issued Get Off in 1996.