Buttersprites are the brainchild of guitarist Elizabeth Jameson, who is internationally recognized as a visual artist; vocalist Haruko Nishimura is a Butoh dancer and a longstanding member of Seattle's Degenerate Art Ensemble. Bassist Lunarre Omura is also a member of the nouveau cocktail lounge group Lushy, and Buttersprites are rounded out by keyboard player Julie Grant and drummer Jen Gay. Their sound is bright, uptempo, and quirky and demonstrates affection for the so-called post-punk music of the early '80s. Nishimura, as vocalist, oozes charisma and serves as a focal point in their live performances, which are generally done in crazy costumes designed by Jameson and made by Gay. Sometimes Buttersprites dress as nurses, at others in matching tennis outfits or Chinese communist military garb -- the varying styles of dress create an irreverent counterpoint to their gleefully nutty music and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, mostly sung in Japanese.
Buttersprites were born out of Jameson's idea to start an all-girl Japanese pop band in the mold of Shonen Knife, and played their first gig in Seattle in 2003. Buttersprites soon found themselves out of step with the rest of Seattle's typically grungy music scene, but got a boost of confidence with a well-received appearance at Ladyfest in Seattle in June 2004. Their first demo recordings soon followed, produced by Tiny Hat Orchestra alumnus and Lushy member Andrew Sodt with Lynval Golding, once of the Specials. The demo was received favorably by Dionysus Records in Los Angeles, who issued Buttersprites' debut CD in June 2005, utilizing the same production team and adding Johnny Horn. Gradually finding its way onto the college radio charts across America, Buttersprites is an infectious and ultimately irresistible debut that is musically fulfilling well beyond what may be its perceived novelty value. In the rather dour, dark, and polluted climate of post-9/11 American music, Buttersprites represent a welcome burst of sunshine. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis