Turn to the Left and Cough

wouldn't stop. You would keep playing. It's how dance music should be, and I like to think that Soul Coughing is a dance band. I've seen our music have that kind of effect on people and that's part of what excites me about being a part of this band."

Soul Coughing's live shows do allow songs to open up, but not in the conventional way of most rock acts, where the key is the solo. Instead the band approaches live versions of songs almost in the way DJs mix records in a live setting, pulling out parts here and there as new elements are slipped into the grooves. The focus on live improvisation within danceable tunes is part of what has attracted many fans in the first place; the band encourages listeners to bootleg shows when possible, an approach that has worked for bands like Phish and the Grateful Dead. As a result an active trading community has developed on the Internet in which fans trade shows to spread around the music. Eventually Soul Coughing plans to use Internet resources to put out music in their own way. Although the idea is still in the planning stages, Steinberg says the band hopes to unleash an Internet radio station within the next year that will air songs from the band's albums as well as alternate takes, rarities, and live cuts.

As Soul Coughing continues to draw in fans through conventional and not-so-conventional means, Steinberg and the other band members are enjoying a period of relative fame. So how does it feel to be in such a situation?

"It's a lot more than I've dreamed, but I'm definitely trying to keep my head clear," he says. "Things in the music industry are really deranged and the more I think about it, the more it troubles me. But as long as I just focus on the music, everything should be alright."

Soul Coughing performs at 8:00 p.m. Friday, May 7, at the Carefree Theater, 2000 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach. Tickets are $16.50. For more information call 561-833-7305.

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