Waxing Poetics PhotoThe Waxing Poetics were a rootsy, sometimes folky power-pop group formed in Norfolk, Virginia in 1984 by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter David Middleton, guitarist/vocalist Paul Tiers, bassist Sean Henessy, and drummer Bil Shearin. They began playing bars in their hometown and gradually built a following up and down the East Coast, helped by the self-released single "Hermitage." Their debut album of the same name was released in early 1987, and was produced by Mitch Easter and R.E.M.'s Mike Mills; the video for "If You Knew Sushi" was aired on MTV's 120 Minutes.

1988's Manakin Moon was a harder-rocking affair that helped the group get an audition with Warner Bros. However, when that opportunity bore no fruit, Henessy left the band and was replaced by Jeff Bailey, late of the Bo Weevils. In 1990, the Poetics issued their strongest and most mature album, Bed Time Story, which featured a cover of Wreckless Eric's "Semaphore Signals." However, poor sales and the forthcoming breakout of the Seattle sound led to the band being dropped from its contract at Emergo. Tiers and Middleton moved to New York and joined Splotch and the Floyds of Flatbush, respectively, while Shearin worked with Rumble Fish and the Left Wing Fascists. A live album, Never Were Never There, was released on a small label in 1996. ~ Steve Huey, All Movie Guide