One of the most unique cult bands of the '90s, Soul Coughing anchored a new crop of quirky, unclassifiable bands that emerged in the post-grunge era, including Morphine, the Eels, and Cake. Driven by frontman M. Doughty's stream-of-consciousness poetry, Soul Coughing's sound was a willfully idiosyncratic mix of improvisational jazz grooves, oddball samples, hip-hop, electronics, and noisy experimentalism (described by Doughty as "deep slacker jazz"). Even at the height of the alternative rock era, it was too avant-garde to cross over into the mainstream, keeping one foot planted in the downtown New York scene from whence the band sprang. Yet their ironic sense of humor and stylized bohemian-hipster image made them accessible enough to earn a widespread, enthusiastic following on college campuses. Moreover, they built a reputation as an excellent live act, thanks to a jazz aesthetic that kept their concert performances fresh and spontaneous (not to mention a liberal policy on fans trading tapes). After three generally acclaimed albums, the group split up, and Doughty mounted a solo career.