The Woods was a postpunk pop/rock band in NYC in the 1980s (ca. 1984–87). The founding members were Brian Bendlin (drums, guitar, vocals), Peggy Bitzer (bass, guitar, drums), Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer (guitar, vocals, cello), and Linda Smith (guitar, vocals); at other times the band also included Susan Brewster (guitar, vocals) and Antonio Tatum (bass).
The band played a number of shows at a variety of NYC area venues, including CBGB's, the Pyramid, and Maxwell's, and played live (with interviews) on WFMU (East Orange, NJ) and WYBC (Yale University radio, New Haven, CT).
In 1985 The Woods released a single on Mark Dumais' Justine (3) Records, "Miracles Tonight / Love Me Again This Summer" (produced by Bill Carey), which enjoyed a fair amount of airplay on indie radio stations and jukeboxes in the NYC area. They were perhaps best known for their intricate harmonies and the fact that the instrumentation included cello (played by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer), both of which were unusual in the indie music scene at that time.
Linda Smith went on to record a series of solo cassette albums and CDs that received great critical acclaim; both she and Peggy Bitzer performed for a time in the Baltimore band Girls Ranch.
Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Brian Bendlin also released a series of solo and duo cassette albums under the moniker Trouble Picnic. Later, with Lloyd Miller, they formed the band Two Houses. Additionally, Steven and Brian composed music for a number of productions of tiny mythic theatre company (cofounders/directors Kristin Ames, Tim Maner, Francine Zerfas, and Kristin Marting).
After the Woods, Steven had a band called TV Goodbyes for a short time, then spent 10 years as half of the neo-country vaudeville duo, Y'all (with James Dean Jay Byrd). Y'all released several CDs, published a book, and appeared on MTV and Comedy Central. Steven made a documentary about the final years of Y'all, Life in a Box, which premiered in the San Francisco Int'l Film Festival in 2005.
Steven and Tim Maner have continued to collaborate to this day; their rock musical "Lizzie," based on the story of Lizzie Borden (which began as a tiny mythic production in 1990), has been staged in a number of venues around the world to much critical acclaim.
At the time The Woods (3) parted ways (in late 1987) they were recording an album; it was never released. About that time, another band named The Woods (2)—a roots rock outfit hailing from the US South—became better known. Since then a number of bands have taken the name The Woods—including, most recently, a group from Brooklyn, NY.