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Arcwelder formed in 1988 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Originally named Tilt-A-Whirl, this indie rock band changed its name to Arcwelder after being informed by Sellner Manfacturing Co. of copyright infringement.

The band released their record This in 1990 on the small Minneapolis label Big Money Inc. As it was being released, the band was sued by the manufacturer of the Tilt-A-Whirl carnival ride and rather than go to court, the band decided on Arcwelder, which is the title of an instrumental on the record. The initial release of This had a disclaimer sticker noting the lack of affiliation between the ride's manufacturer and the band. 1

Arcwelder has toured the U.S. with such bands as the Jesus Lizard, Jawbox, and Tar, and has played shows with such artists as Dirty Three, Pegboy, Caspar Brötzmann, and The Cows.

In 1992, the song "Favour", from the album Jacket Made in Canada, appeared at number 33 on John Peel's "Festive Fifty".

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