Nothing Painted Blue

Nothing Painted Blue is an American indie rock band, sporadically active since the 1990s, led by songwriter Franklin Bruno. Bruno and drummer Kyle Brodie have been the only constant members, as the remainder of the lineup has undergone a number of changes throughout the band's existence. They formed in 1987 in Los Angeles and released their debut LP, A Baby, A Blanket, A Packet of Seeds, in 1990. The band sometimes spelled their name as "Nøthing Painted Blue" (abbreviated "ØPB"), a use of notation for the empty set in mathematics. References to mathematics are common in their songwriting and iconography (Bruno's undergraduate degree was in mathematics; he is currently a visiting professor of philosophy at Northwestern University); for example, their 1998 record was named after the Monte Carlo method. The cover of the same album depicts pins scattered randomly on a surface, an apparent reference to a probabilistic method for approximating pi. Their album Placeholders features a song called Can't f(x), an abuse of mathematical notation for the song's refrain, "can't function." The band's name apparently comes from one of Ann-Margret's lines in the 1964 film Kitten with a Whip: "How come you think you're such a smoky something, when you're so nothing painted blue?" Bruno's compositions are known for their intellectually quirky sound and lyrical cleverness. Though Nothing Painted Blue has not achieved the level of cult status that contemporaries like Pavement and labelmates Guided By Voices did, many fans insist that they deserve a place in the canon of '90s underground rock, especially on their 1994 album Placeholders, which is often viewed as an unheralded masterpiece. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.