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The Make-Up! was a band from Washington, D.C. formed in 1995, consisting of Ian Svenonius on vocals, James Canty on guitar and organ, Steve Gamboa on drums, and Michelle Mae on bass guitar. The Make-Up! were joined in late 1999 by a fifth member, Alex Minoff who played guitar with the group until the band's dissolution in early 2000.
The Make-Up! combined garage rock, soul, and a self-styled liberation theology to make a new genre they called "Gospel Yeh-Yeh". This style led to an emphasis on live performances and interaction between the band and their audience, incorporating the audience into the performances as a "fifth member", creating what one reviewer described as ""highly energetic and participatory live shows". Parallel to the band's gospel musical stylings, the Make-Up! produced music under a political ideal that they saw as counter to the capitalist form of modern rock and roll and pop music.
The Make-Up! released five studio albums, a posthumous live album, a compilation of singles and B-sides, and a number of singles, all released on independent record labels such as Dischord Records, K Records, Southern Records.
The Make-Up!'s frontman and mouthpiece, Ian Svenonius often contextualized the band's music in terms of larger socio-political themes. Svenonius typically described the band and its gospel attitude in Marxist and socialist terms, in opposition of what he saw as the capitalist, bourgeois, machismo paradigm of rock and roll.This political position was typically presented during live performances and interviews with Svenonius, rather than in the music itself or its lyrics. Svenonius compared the Make-Up!'s ideology to the Situationist International group of the 1950s and 1960s, since both presented a critique of the modern, capitalist lifestyle, specifically of capitalism's effect on popular and consumable culture, such as rock and roll and pop music.