In March 1998, the members of Soul Coughing split up to work on their own side projects. Shortly after the breakup, Doughty, who had been writing as a columnist for the New York Press on the side, embarked on a solo acoustic tour consisting of material from a then-unreleased solo album recorded in 1995 entitled Skittish. After bootleg copies of the album surfaced on the file-sharing network Napster, Doughty released an official version of Skittish from his website (www.superspecialquestions.com) in October 2000. A stripped-down acoustic effort as opposed to the sonic abundance of Soul Coughing, Skittish features some of Doughty's most direct and personal lyrics accompanied by his signature syncopated guitar-playing style.
In addition to overcoming drug addiction and beginning work on a second solo album, Doughty continued to do solo tours, and was heard contributing vocals to BT's club hit "Never Gonna Come Back Down," collaborating with John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants for a CD that accompanied an issue of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, and composing the soundtrack to a trailer for New York City's Gen Art Film Festival. ~ Lee Meyer, Rovi