The Pleased (originally ‘The Please’) are a presumably now defunct band from San Francisco that consisted of a number of excellent, highly creative local musicians. During their relatively brief existence between 2002-2006, the Pleased stylistically drew numerous comparisons to the Strokes. In hindsight, despite the fact that Is This It? by the Strokes was an undeniably great album, I’d argue that had the Pleased stuck together, they would have easily surpassed the Strokes in terms of quality of output. I should explain that I described the Pleased as “presumably” defunct because they haven’t released a record since their 2006 debut, and since several of the members have moved on to other, more successful projects, it is unlikely they will release any new albums in the foreseeable future. Keyboardist Joanna Newsom‘s solo debuts are both quixotic and beautiful, and have received significant praise from critics. In fact, Newsom’s album Ys topped a number of year end lists in 2006. Singer and guitarist Noah Georgeson has released his own freak folk album, produced albums for Devendra Banhart and Newsom, and performs as a guitarist in Banhart’s band. And if I’m to be honest, it is probably better that way: I’d rather another Joanna Newsom album or a Georgeson-produced Devendra Banhart album over another record by the Pleased any day. Nonetheless, The Pleased’s records were quite good, and it would be unfortunate if they slipped into complete obscurity following the individual success of the separate members. My first introduction to the Pleased was their excellent 2002 self-released demo Never Complete E.P., which has held up extremely well over time.
I first saw the Pleased perform at Studio Z in San Francisco back in August of 2002 with Tokyo Marine Fire. I’d never heard of them before, and I can’t recall how I ended up at the show other than that the show was part of Nadine’s Wild Weekend, and I may have dragged either my friend Heather or my friend Angela with me. I do recall that I fell in love with The Pleased at that show. I had been writing for the also now-defunct zine Sponic, and I later interviewed the Pleased for my first ever interview. To be honest, completely because of my inexperience as an interviewer, it was a terrible interview. I remember that I had worn a homemade White Stripes t-shirt (that definitely looked homemade), a ratty sports-coat I had bought from a consignment store, and a pair of shredded blue jeans. I’m almost 100% sure I looked ridiculous. And the questions that I asked were pretty vapid. For example, I asked them which songs they liked to listen to when “knocking da boots” (to which Ms. Newsom gave the truly awesome reply: “anything by the Jackson 5”).
Never Complete is a 6 track E.P. the band self-released in 2002, and to the best of my knowledge is completely unavailable by any normal outlets. For this reason, I’ve provided it in its entirety below for your downloading pleasure. The whole E.P. is great and worth listening to, but I especially like the demos for “Another Disaster,” “No Style,” and “About Me.”
To read Kasey’s review of Domo, a sushi joint in Hayes Valley, head back over to our homepage. And, find out who won the Neo Cocoa truffles!