Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 is an experimental indie rock group formed in 1986 San Francisco, California , though half of its members are from Iowa. Their albums combine lo-fi noise rock and ambient sounds (referred to as "Feller filler") with tightly constructed rock and pop songs. The band has a small but intensely loyal cult following. Band members are Brian Hageman, Mark Davies, Anne Eickelberg, Hugh Swarts and Jay Paget. Hageman was also a member of the Iowa City based group, Horny Genius.
The band achieved their greatest critical and commercial success in the mid-nineties when they signed with the influential indie rock label Matador Records. It was during this time that Thinking Fellers produced their most prominent albums, Lovelyville, and the critically lauded college radio hit Strangers from the Universe. They toured Holland, Germany, Switzerland and the U.K. in 1994 and made an appearance on the John Peel radio show on the BBC. In 1996 they toured briefly as an opening act for the then-popular band Live but were not received well by the Live fanbase. Thinking Fellers has been largely dormant since 1996. They have toured sporadically and released only one full album, Bob Dinners and Larry Noodles Present Tubby Turdner's Celebrity Avalanche, which received mixed reviews.
In 2001 author Jonathan Franzen referenced the band in his widely-acclaimed bestselling novel The Corrections. The character Brian, a snobbish fan of "west coast underground bands," listens to the albums of Thinking Fellers Union while writing the music software that will make him a young millionaire. Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 is inactive, although band members have not ruled out the possibility of further albums and touring.