A Short History For over 25 years, Life in a Blender has been the canvas for singer and songwriter Don Ralph's blackly comic landscapes. The group has released six albums ranging from screaming punk to orchestrated chamber pop, and has brought the high theatrics of its live act to stages from Berlin to Austin to Toronto to Brooklyn and Seattle.
Don Ralph formed the band with high school friend Dave Moody (then bassist, now cellist), and within a couple of years had acquired the drumming services of Ken Meyer. Guitarist Al Houghton and bassist Mark Lerner joined in 1992, and violinist Rebecca Weiner Tompkins signed on in 1993. While the band's core lineup has remained remarkably constant for the past 18 years, the list of former members, guest artists, and collaborators includes Chris Butler (The Waitresses, Tin Huey), Chris Rael (Church of Betty), Jonathan Gregg, John Linnell (They Might Be Giants), Gavin Smith (Les Sans Culottes), and Olivier Conan (Chicha Libre, Las Rubias Del Norte).
Life in a Blender's songs have appeared in at least two films: "Friend from Quebec" was featured in the Michael Moore's Canadian Bacon, and "Mobile Wash Unit" appeared in Sara Lamm's documentary, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox.
The band's seventh album, "Homewrecker Spoon," produced by Al Houghton, is slated for release in March 2011.
Don Ralph (vocals) loves W.C. Fields, Preston Sturges, and Nikola Tesla. He lives with his lovely beekeeping wife, Monique, and his cartooning, surrealistic son, Leo. He has written books under the name Don Rauf, including Killer Lipstick and Other Spy Gadgets. He is the proud founder of The Blowhole Theater, an annual Brooklyn variety show featuring the Blowhole Theater Players and their characters Puckerballs the Garbage Can Elf, Scottish Jesus, and Abraham Lincoln.
Al Houghton (guitar, vocals, producer, engineer) cut his teeth on innumerable shards of New York’s music, including the more enduring They Might Be Giants, Antony and the Johnsons, and Enrique Iglesias. He can generally be found at Dubway Studios, NYC, or at home in Manhattan with his wife, the artist Sky Pape.
Mark Lerner (bass, vocals) has led the bands Flat Old World and Rosine and has recorded with Mark Donato, John Linnell, Uncle Rock, the Good Loser Club, and many others. He is a graphic designer and lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York. He can be found at Rag & Bone Shop.
Ken Meyer (Drums and cymBals) has played with an embarrassing number of embarrassing bands in the NYC area. He is also an audio engineer and an amateur papyrologist.
Dave Moody (cello) loves a great pop tune.
Rebecca Weiner Tompkins (violin and viola) has played and recorded acoustic and amplified four- and five-string violin and viola with Life in a Blender, Chief, Scott McClatchy, Patti Smith, Jim Malone, Standpipe, Stage Shadows, Dayna Blitz, Louie Fleck, Eddie Skuller, Menthol Kings, Mark Donato, Canoeful Of Strangers, Zane Campbell, Mary Connolly, Stellan Wahlstrom, Paul Page, Clockwork Robin, Carrie Nation, Dreamhouse, Waldo County Line, Bluegrassachusetts, Tuna Canyon Boys . . . .
Life in a Blender Members Emeritus include the estimable Mel Melon.