Lois Maffeo

Lois Maffeo (professionally known as Lois) is an American musician and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Although never achieving mainstream success, she has been closely involved with and influenced many Seattle-based musicians.

Early life

Maffeo, a third-generation Arizonan, graduated from Xavier School for Girls, a Catholic girls’ high school in Phoenix.

In 1981, Maffeo began attending Evergreen State College in Olympia, and soon became a popular DJ on KAOS radio, with the female-oriented show Your Dream Girl.


Having picked up a second-hand guitar in 1985, and learning from Calvin Johnson, her first band was Lumihoops, with Sharon Berman and Jan Brock. They only played live once, at the Smithfield Cafe, but can be heard on the Yoyo Recordings compilation Throw.

Her second band, The Cradle Robbers, was formed with future The Spinanes member Rebecca Gates. They released one track on the compilation Red Hot + Bothered/Indie Rock Guide To Dating before disbanding.

She then teamed with drummer (and Yoyo Recordings founder) Pat Maley in a band named Courtney Love. There are multiple explanations for the name, but this was before Love herself became famous. The duo would release three well-regarded 7" singles and a few compilation tracks, but no albums. According to Pitchfork Media, Maffeo was an early acolyte of the indie pop movement, as women musicians traded tapes and created their own pop-oriented music culture, instead of blending in with boys in the punk or cock rock genres.

After this, Maffeo began her solo career as Lois (or, as she often says, The Lois). Maffeo lived in Mount Pleasant, Washington, D.C. from 1989-1995. She was resident in the neighborhood during the 1991 riot.

She generally appeared with other musicians playing drums and backup, but her group has changed over the years. Some may consider her an anti-folk musician, combining the ethics and politics of punk with acoustic instrumentation, though she generally disdains such simplistic labels. She has worked with musicians such as Donna Dresch, Molly Neuman, Elliott Smith, Brendan Canty and Heather Dunn. Her recordings have been produced and co-produced by artists such as Calvin Johnson and Ian MacKaye. She has occasionally sung with bands Dub Narcotic Sound System, Red Stars Theory and others.

After her return to Olympia, she joined Carrie Brownstein, now of Sleater-Kinney, in two bands. Their duo Tommy released one compilation track, "Go Sonics." The Tentacles included Peter Momtchiloff and released one single, "The Touch" (backed with "Louie Louie Got Married").

Writing and post-music career

Beginning in 1999, Maffeo worked mainly as a freelance writer, submitting primarily music-related pieces to The Stranger, The Boston Phoenix, the Portland Mercury, and, among others. She also wrote a 96-page chapbook documenting the band history for Beat Happening's Crashing Through box set.

She still lives in Olympia, where she works full-time in public relations for a coffee company. She has served as theater manager of the Olympia Film Society. Her sketch comedy performances on opening nights have become a fixture of the Olympia Film Festival. She has also served on the Olympia Arts Council.


as Lois Maffeo


with Cradle Robbers


  • "Sotto Voce", Red Hot + Bothered/Indie Rock Guide To Dating, 1995, Kinetic/Reprise

with Lumihoops


  • "Roman Holiday", Throw: The Yoyo Studio Compilation, 1992, Yoyo Recordings

with Courtney Love (the band)

singles and EPs

  • Uncrushworthy 7" EP, 1990, K Records
  • Highlights 7" EP, 1991, K Records
  • Hey! Antoinette 7" EP, 1991, Feel Good All Overcompilations
  • "Don't Mix The Colors", Kill Rock Stars, 1991, Kill Rock Stars
  • "Spray", Throw: The Yoyo Studio Compilation, 1992, Yoyo Recordings
  • "Baseball Bat", One Last Kiss, 1992, Spinart
  • "Motorcycle Boy", International Pop Underground Convention, 1995, K Records

as Lois


  • Butterfly Kiss, 1992, K Records
  • Strumpet, 1993, K Records
  • Lowrider cassette, 1994, Slabco
  • Bet The Sky, 1995, K Records
  • Infinity Plus, 1996, K Records
  • Butter Yellow: A Lois Collection, 1996, Rebel Beat Factorysingles and EPs
  • Press Play And Record 7" single, 1992, K Records
  • Trouble With Me 7" single, 1993, K Records
  • Shy Town EP, 1995, K Records
  • Snapshot Radio EP, 1996, K Records
  • Ship To Shore maxi-single/EP (with Dub Narcotic Sound System), 1996, K Recordscompilations and [Split] singles/EPs
  • "Indie", Working Holiday!, 1994, Simple Machines
  • "Indie", July [Split] 7" single (with Nothing Painted Blue), 1993, Simple Machines
  • "Strumpet", Yoyo A Go Go, 1994, Yoyo Recordings
  • "St. What's-Her-Name", Free To Fight 2-CD/LP set, 1995, Chainsaw Records/Candy Ass Records (as "The Lois")
  • "A Summer Long", Paper [Split] 7" EP (with Mad Planets, Low, and The Receptionists), 1997, Papercut
  • "Davey", Yoyo A Go Go: Another Live Yoyo Compilation, 1999, Yoyo Recordings

with Tommy


  • "Go Sonics", Selector Dub Narcotic, 1998, K Records

with The Tentacles

singles and EPs

with Owl & The Pussycat


other collaborations

  • "Ship To Shore" (with Dub Narcotic Sound System), Boot Party, 1996, K Records
  • "Thick With The Paint Swaying" (with Red Stars Theory), But Sleep Came Slowly, 1997, Rx. Remedy
  • "Two Of The Same Name" (with Sean Na Na), ...And His Baby Blue EP, 1998, Polyvinyl Records
  • "Washington" (with Sean Na Na), ...And His Baby Blue EP, 1998, Polyvinyl Records
  • "Girls! Girls! Girls!" (with Sean Na Na), ...And His Baby Blue EP, 1998, Polyvinyl Records
  • "A Sailor's Warning" (with Red Stars Theory), Life In A Bubble Can Be Beautiful, 1999, Touch & Go Records
  • "Detour" (with Bis), Social Dancing, 1999, Capitol
  • "Detour" (with Bis), Detour EP, 1999, Willija
  • "2-9476" (with Sean Na Na), Troubleman Mix-Tape, 2001, Troubleman Unlimited


External links

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