The Electric Grandmother is Pete Faust and Mary Alice Hamnett, and are the inventors of the genre “Sitcom-Core.”™
My name is Pete, and this is my band. My wife’s name is Mary Alice, and she is my band mate. She is also my wife and best friend. The Electric Grandmother is a Romantic Musical Comedy. We are the inventors of the genre “Sitcom-Core,”™ which used to merely mean “songs about TV shows from the late 80’s and early 90’s,” but over time has blossomed into a very specific brand of absurdity.
The story she and I of began when we met online 1996, but the story of the band begins in 1999, when I remarked to my wife that “‘The Electric Grandmother’ would be a good name for a band.” A handful of homemade cassette tapes and CD-R’s followed, and in 2004 we played our first live show together at the beckoning of a Cleveland college radio station. We had no live act at this point, the band was just me and a permanently borrowed 4-track. So we decided to throw together an arrangement of me on stage singing over the music I’d created, while she would operate this broken, second-hand slide projector to show images from the front of the audience. We also threw in a bubble machine and a cheap light show for good measure. We didn’t realize at the time, but The Electric Grandmother official became a duo that day.
We then set our sights on our own city and played as often as we could over the next couple of years, particularly at our home away from home, The Treehouse. Eventually the slide projector turned into an LCD, and the Casio-style beats and minimalism turned into a more dense and complex sound. The live shows got more energetic, usually fueled by copious amounts of alcohol. In 2007 we put out our album “The Stenographer” on the Columbus-based All Hail Records, and got spins on college radio all over the country. 2010 brought the release of “Listening Party,” which marked our first official release with Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company. Somewhere along the way, Mary Alice permanently joins me on stage to sing backup vocals while doing her projection, and it makes the operation finally feel complete. After 120 live performances mostly in the Midwest, my wife and I moved to Washington DC to show the East Coast a good time. We released “Love in an Escalator” in 2012 and picked up right where we left off, screaming like banshees on fire on brand new stages. 2015 brings the release of “The Bodyguard Soundtrack,” and many stages yet to be conquered.
Over the years we’ve amused and bemused many, and we’ve caused a ruckus and gained a faithful cult following with our obnoxiousness. We’re two dillweeds in love. Come on out and see us some time.
– Pete, 10/08/15
Hey, doesn’t your band name come from an old movie I saw on TV when I was a little kid?
Yes. There was a made for TV movie called “The Electric Grandmother“ that originally aired in 1982. It is based on the Ray Bradbury novel I Sing the Body Electric. It is an extremely bizarre movie starring Maureen Stapleton.
Make a Joyful Noise: The Cassette Recordings 1999-2002 (2013, INS Recording Company)
Love in an Escalator (2012, INS Recording Company)
Listening Party (2010, INS Recording Company)
The Stenographer (2007, All Hail Records/2009, INS Recording Company)
Pee Sells…But Who’s Buying? (2005, Self-Released/2009, INS Recording Company)
Sin City Sex Mix (2004, Self-Released/2009, INS Recording Company)
Dickalis (2003, Self-Released/2009, INS Recording Company)
My Imaginary Audience (2003, Self-Released/2009, INS Recording Company)