Rainer Maria came together in 1995 in the not-so-sleepy university town of Madison, Wisconsin. Famous in no small part for its long history of social activism, Madison supplied the perfect environment for the members to run a music collective, hosting many events for seminal Indie/Punk acts such as Bikini Kill, Sleater Kinney, Make* Up and Promise Ring while these bands were very much in their infancy.
Two years later, making time to write and rehearse in between attending college and promoting events, they recorded their first full length album, Past Worn Searching. This record, much to the band’s surprise and elation, was embraced by independent outlets across the country. Just weeks after the album’s release, the band received a call from the home office of tiny indie label Polyvinyl Records, which released Past Worn . . . , to say that a college radio station in Maryland had charted the record number one, knocking out hometown favorites Fugazi. In 1999 the second full length, Look Now Look Again placed Rainer Maria among the likes of Eminem, Rage Against the Machine and Beck in Spin magazine’s “Top 20 Albums of the Year.”
After finishing school and relocating east to Brooklyn, New York in late 1999, the band sat down to write their third album, A Better Version of Me. Released in 2001, the album earned not only accolades from the press but the number one spot on CMJ’s College Music charts. In 2003 the Long Knives Drawn single “Ears Ring” reached number one on the Alternative Specialty Chart and went into rotation on MTV2.
2004 saw the release of their live CD/DVD Anyone in Love with You (Already Knows), the first comprehensive document of their legendary live performances.
The band returned in 2006 with Catastrophe Keeps Us Together, recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop et al.). An immediately recognizable yet very different record for the band, the production is big, atmospheric, and extraordinarily moving. Fitting for an equally jaw-dropping batch of songs.
Singer/bassist Caithlin De Marrais, drummer William Kuehn, and guitarist Kaia Fischer reunited at a sold out a New Year’s Eve gig at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom in 2014, while 2015 saw the band hitting stages in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Puerto Rico, and closing out the year with a performance for the Ground Control Touring 15th Anniversary showcase at Webster Hall. Rainer Maria continues a string of select live appearances with a residency at Union Pool over a string of Sundays in June, debuting new material before entering the studio this summer.
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