Blogaroo: Day 1: ALO

5 Jun

Now I wouldn’t be a very good vegan if I didn’t dedicate a blogaroo post to the Animal Liberation Orchestra.

ALO is a California rock band composed of Zach Gill (keys and vocals), Steve Adams (bass and vocals), Dan Lebowitz (guitar and vocals) and Dave Brogan (drums and vocals).

The group got their start in 1989, when Lebowitz, Adams, Gill and former drummer Matt West formed a band in junior high school. Calling themselves Django, the group recorded their first album, Contact, the summer before their senior year. The band continued through college, when the boys moved to Santa Barbara. West returned home after a couple of years, making room for Brogan.

The group is currently signed to Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records. They have released three full-length albums for Brushfire, along with a number of independent releases.

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Blogaroo: Day 2: Flying Lotus

4 Jun

Steven Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, is an experimental multi-genre music producer from Winnetka, California whose debut album, 1983, was released on Plug Research Records in 2006.

While he’s uncredited, Ellison has produced bumper music for the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. He’s also remixed songs for fellow Plug Research artists, including Mia Doi Todd.

In January 2011 FlyLo won the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards in the short-form video category for MmmHmm. He will be collaborating with R&B singer Erykah Badu on new material for her next album and he is working on a  multimedia project with filmmaker Miwa Matreyek,  titled The Mapping of Countries Yet to Come. It is also rumored that Flying Lotus will remix one of Radiohead’s songs from The King of Limbs.

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Blogaroo: Day 3: Dispatch

3 Jun

Dispatch is a Boston-based indie/roots band that was active from 1996 to 2002. While the band took a decade-long hiatus, they’re back in action just in time for Bonnaroo. Following a 2011 national tour, the group released a self-titled EP containing six new songs. It was their first all-new release since 2000.

The band includes Brad Corrigan (vocals, drums, guitar, percussion and harmonica),  Pete Francis Heimbold (vocals, bass and guitar) and Chad Urmston (vocals, guitar, bass and percussion). Their music crosses several genres, including acoustic folk-rock, reggae and funk.

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Blogaroo: Day 4: Major Lazer

2 Jun

Major Lazer is a musical project by DJ/Producer Diplo. While it used to include Switch, he left the group last year due to “creative differences.”   Hype man Skerrit Bwoy was also involved in the project, but he left earlier this year to pursue religion.

Diplo and Switch met while working with M.I.A. In 2009 the duo recorded their first album Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do in Jamaica’s Tuff Gong Studios. A number of musicians contributed to the album, including Santigold, Amanda Blank and Turbulence.

While involved in the project, Switch produced Beyoncé’s Run the World, which sampled Major Lazer’s Pon de Floor.

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Blogaroo: Day 5: fun.

1 Jun

The group fun. got started in New York City in 2008, following the break up of The Format. After the group disbanded, Nate Ruess teamed up with Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff of Anathallo and Steel Train. Dost had toured with The Format, and Ruess met Antonoff after The Format toured with Steel Train. The band recorded their first demo, Benson Hedges, in 2008 — which ultimately led to a gig with Chevy  and spot on the 2012 Bonnaroo lineup.

They’ve blown up in four years, and something tells me they’re only getting bigger.

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Blogaroo: Day 6: SOJA

31 May

Soldiers of Jah Army, or SOJA, got their start in Arlington, Virginia in the late-1990s.

Jacob Hemphill (vocals, guitar) and Bob Jefferson (bass) met in first grade soon after Hemphill had returned from Africa, where his father was working as a defense contrator in Uganda. The lifelong friends teamed up with Eric Rogers (keyboard), Ryan Berty (drums) and Ken Brownell (percussion) in middle and high school, and the group recorded their self-titled album, Soldiers of Jah Army, in 2000. Patrick O’Shea replaced Rogers in 2003, shortly after the group released their first full-length album, Peace in a Time of War.

The band recently released their newest album, Strength to Survive, on Jan. 31, so hopefully they’ll perform some new hits at Bonnaroo.

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Blogaroo: Day 7: GROUPLOVE

30 May

GROUPLOVE hit the music scene in 2010 with an independent EP. The following year they recorded their official debut album, Never Trust a Happy Song, which drummer Ryan Rabin produced.

The group formed out of a friendship between the band’s five members, with Christian Zucconi on vocals and guitar, Hannah Hooper on vocals and keyboard, Andrew Wessen on vocals and guitar, Sean Gadd on vocals and bass, and Rabin on drums and “stuff.”

In 2008 Hooper met Zucconi at a show he was performing in New York and invited him to an artist commune in Crete. Rabin and Wessen grew up together and were visiting the commune with Gadd at the same time. While they entered into a quick friendship, they did not form a band until the following year.

In 2011 their song Colours was ranked number 12 on USA Today‘s alternative chart and their song Tongue Tied was featured in an Apple iPod touch commercial.

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