Jay McHale

 2i was formed in 1980 and performed and recorded regularly until 1986. They played locally and toured in the Midwest and Canada in the 80s.  They blurred many lines between musical genres, and their use of trumpet and saxophones established their reputation as a unique voice. This horn section, or the members thereof, appeared with a variety of other groups in performance and in recording. They have been featured with the Violent Femmes, Boiled in Lead, The Hypstyrz, The Buck-Fifty Boys, Curtis A, Poetry Grenade and many other notable acts. Most demonstrative of their own recordings are the CD, “2i”, the LP, “House of Nerves” and the single, “Smile Down”.

 Since 1995, 2i performed infrequently, but sustained an adventurous course.  Rather than rely on tired and familiar material, they entertained their approach to songwriting publicly.  That is to say that their public performances were mostly improvisations.  Whether the segments of a performance were made up by the suggestion of musical genre, poetic wordplay, or prepared but unexplained titles, the result was a living surprise for audience and musician alike.

While this approach could be cited in the world of music in the work of John Zorn, Material, Tom Waits, Frank Zappa and many others, when churned with the ideals, coloquialisms and passions of the Midwest it took on another patina.

With the passing of Jay McHale in October of 2002, the music that was 2i truly lost its heart.  Jay’s horn and keyboard involvement was integral to the creation of the sound. The entity stopped performing under the 2i banner in 2002, but the spirit has continued in BLACKi.

Daniel Kaniess, singer, guitar player and another founding member of 2i, died in April of 2012.  Music provided this visual artist another outlet for his unbound creativity. Watch for a documentary of the world of 2i in the future.


Who Hears? 1982    i tapes 1    (cassette)
BOO! 1983    i tapes 2    (cassette)
Never Pet A Burning Dog 1984    i tapes 3    (cassette)
House Of Nerves 1985    Goat in a Birdsuit  001     (LP)

Smile Down
b/w Baby, Your House

Goat in a Birdsuit  002     (7″ ) 2i 2000
breakeven records BE02 2000 (compact disc)