It's no surprise that Stephin Merritt was in a band in high school. The Zinnias, as they were called, were like an early version of the Magnetic Fields, and Fielder Claudia Gonson was also involved. Earlier this week, the Mythic Signifier posted a cassette that the band recorded back in 1986 of a self-released album called Sand Dollar, which Merritt would later remix, after Gonson had gone away to college, and release as Compost.
The tapes feature an early version of "Kings," later released on Distant Plastic Trees, and "Otters," which was expanded into The Wayward Bus's "Jeremy." Download the albums at the Mythic Signifier.