Semisonic formed in 1992 when Minneapolis natives Dan Wilson and John Munson, former members of Trip Shakespeare, teamed up with drummer Jacob Slichter. From 1995 to 2001, the band released four recordings – The Pleasure EP, Great Divide, Feeling Strangely Fine and All About Chemistry – and toured the globe. Feeling Strangely Fine sold over two million copies worldwide and remains a touchstone of late-90’s alternative rock. “Closing Time,” the band’s biggest hit, for which they received a Grammy nomination, was ubiquitous around the world and remains a familiar and recurrent radio presence in many countries. “Secret Smile,” which became a chart-topping single in UK and Europe a year after the album’s release in the US, is equally long-lived. Semisonic’s appearance at this benefit marks their first live show in over two years.
Since the release of All About Chemistry, the members of Semisonic have pursued their various artistic endeavors, in several cases in collaboration with one another. Dan Wilson’s critically acclaimed solo album, Free Life, on which both Munson and Slichter perform, was released in 2007. Wilson has also been busy as a song writer, winning a Grammy for his work with the Dixie Chicks. His most recent songwriting collaborations have teamed him with Weezer, Josh Groban, Adele, and Keith Urban. John Munson has recorded and toured extensively with The New Standards, a trio that performs jazz renditions of punk and indie rock classics. (Wilson produced the band’s two albums.) Munson’s other band, the Twilight Hours, is a collaboration with Dan’s singer/songwriter brother Matt Wilson. Jacob Slichter’s critically acclaimed memoir of life in the music business, So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star, was released in 2004 and is regarded by people throughout the music business as required reading – in Rolling Stone’s words, “A killer account of the absurdity of life inside the majors’ hitmaking machine.”