BioChicago's Dishes have a reputation for being unusually concise. Even in the realm of punk rock--"to hell with a third verse, gimme gimme gimme another chorus and we're done," wrote one admirer of their early work--they stand out. The Dishes frontwoman, Sarah Staskauskas, and guitarist, Kiki Yablon, have been playing together since the mid-90s. The band recorded The Dishes for their own label, No. 89, in early 2000. In 2001, they were named one of "100 New Bands to Watch" by Alternative Press. The Dishes opted to release their sophomore album, 1-2, on No. 89 as well. It charted in CMJ's Top 200 and garnered raves from the likes of AP, Magnet, Wired, Bust, Punk Planet, The Onion, the Village Voice, and the Chicago Tribune. The band has contributed tracks to compilations on Kill Rock Stars and Thick Records and is the subject of a documentary-in-progress by New York filmmaker Katy Chevigny and, former This American Life producer, Blue Chevigny.
Garage-punk legend Tim Kerr, a longtime friend to the band, produced 3, helping them capture something more akin to a live sound (in part by taking away their headphones). Bill Skibbe, electronics whiz and Shellac soundman, engineered and mixed the album at his studio, Key Club, in Benton Harbor, Michigan, a couple hours east of Chicago. (The album was recorded on a Flickinger console, custom-built in the 70s for Sly Stone.)