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Whirlwind Heat

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The Moog rock trio Whirlwind Heat -- whose name comes from the cover artwork for Sonic Youth's album Goo -- features vocalist/keyboardist David Swanson, bassist Steve Damstra, and drummer Brad Holland. Initially, the Grand Rapids, MI-area trio, who have been friends since fourth grade, had a more traditional guitar-bass-drums setup when they began playing in 1996, inspired by the likes of the Melvins and Mudhoney. The following year, however, Swanson switched from guitar to keyboard for a St. Patrick's Day gig opening for Arab on Radar; the next summer, Whirlwind Heat went on a U.S. tour with that group. 1999 was a busy year for the band -- in addition to releasing their debut single, Whirlwind Heat/Mechanik, on the Offsite imprint, they also added guitarist Jason Eberspeaker and played a fateful gig at the Gold Dollar that was attended by Italy Records' Dave Buick. Whirlwind Heat recorded a single for Buick's label and through him met the White Stripes' Jack White, who offered to record the band. The collaboration resulted in 2000's Glaxefusion single, also released by Italy, and the track "Decal on My Sticker" on Sympathy for the Recording Industry's 2001 compilation Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit. Eberspeaker left the group to pursue a career in fine arts; meanwhile, the rest of Whirlwind Heat continued to record and tour, gigging with acts like the Dirtbombs and MC Paul Barman. In 2002, the group worked with White once again, this time recording their full-length debut, Do Rabbits Wonder?, with him at Brendan Benson's studio in four days; the album was mixed by Dave Fridmann at his Tarbox Road Studios. Whirlwind Heat's cover of the Stripes' "You're Pretty Good Looking" appeared on the Hot Chick soundtrack later that year. Do Rabbits Wonder? was co-released in spring 2003 by White's Third Man imprint and V2, and the group appeared as one of the opening acts on the White Stripes' tour that year. In 2004, they released the Flamingo Honey EP on Dim Mak. Tours supporting the Kills, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Beck kept Whirlwind Heat busy until the release of 2006's Types of Wood. ~ Heather Phares

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