Does the name Mike Doughty ring a bell? Didn't think so, but it should.
That first line was based on the assumption that you are not familiar with the band Soul Coughing. I probably shouldn't make that assumption, but they never really did make it big, sure they had a minor hit with "Circles" off of their third album, El Oso, but that was back in 1998. Sadly that would be their last album.
If you are not familiar with Soul Coughing, I recommend that you go and check out any of their albums, Ruby Vroom, Irresistible Bliss, and the previously mentioned El Oso. During their reign they created a self described form of slacker jazz, fueled by quirky music with a laid back groove, and featuring, as I have seen it described, coffee house poet lyrics. A very interesting style of music that is easy to listen too and has some great wordplay layered throughout. But that is enough about Soul Coughing, I am sure you are all now wondering what I think of this two CD set from the former frontman, Mike Doughty.
My initial reaction was that it is a very good set, full of that familiar Soul Coughing aura, but also standing apart as something completely different. Mike wanted to do acoustic music, but unfortunately that sound didn't really fit in with what Soul Coughing did, so in 1996, the same year that Irresistible Bliss was released, he recorded an acoustic album, Skittish. For some reason, it was rejected by his label, a real shame too, as this probably would have sold well to the established Soul Coughing fan base, but could have expanded into the acoustic music fans. A small base to be sure, but there would have been enough there to support it's release. As it turns out, it became a success on Napster, as Mike found out doing a solo tour, post-Soul Coughing. In 2003 he recorded some more acoustic songs, but added some synthesizer and drum machine to give it another layer, and that became the album Rockity Roll. This set presents both albums, plus a couple of live tracks and outtakes from the Skittish sessions.