11 June 2012

10 June 2012 - Game Theory - The Waist And The Knees / Look Away / Wyoming / The Real Sheila / Erica's Word

Game Theory were a band led by Scott Miller of Davis, CA.  The rest of the band was rotating, but this lineup, featuring Donnette Thayer (more on her in a bit), was the classic one.  Despite catchy pop/rock tunes and aural experimentation, and the greatest double album ever released - Lolita Nation, from which album this first song is plucked - they never achieved big time success.

This song, one of my favorites, is from a live performance in 1988, soon before their final breakup. It was a harder rocking song, with a little bit of experimentation built in.

Scott Miller, who went on to found the long-lasting Loud Family (who are equally good), gave up the microphone and the songwriting very little.  In a few cases, he did cede that to Donnette, who was really talented in her own right - she would leave Game Theory to found Hex with Steve Kilbey from The Church - and when he did, it was magical between the two of them.  Here is a live performance of one of her tunes, performed live. And, when you see her hair, remember that it was 1986.

OK, let's do one more.  This is another Donnette song, with a better harmony with Scott, and is my absolute favorite Game Theory song. From their last, and second-best album, Two Steps From The Middle Ages, it is worth hearing, even without a video.

I urge you to seek out more Game Theory music.  It isn't easy to find, but it's worth the time and effort to find it.

Update (19 April 2013): Scott Miller has passed away this week. In tribute, here is the band's biggest hit, from Lolita Nation.

And here is the first Game Theory song I ever heard.  I heard them first on the Enigma Records compilation The Enigma Variations 2.  (They also appeared on the classic Enigma Variations).  Arguably the best power pop song ever written.


  1. Very nice write-up, thank you so much for your kind compliments. Sharing to the Game Theory group on Facebook.


  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. I meant every word!