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Pop - General | Richmond, VA and Brooklyn, New York, United States
Total Song Plays: 104   
Member Since: 2006
   Last Login: over 30 days ago

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A knowing but not overly self-conscious return to the days of the synth pop duo, the Gaskets include echoes of everything from Suicide's punky drones to the pure pop wit of Sparks circa Angst in My Pants to the coolly sleazy electro-soul vibe of Soft Cell to the chilly modernity of vintage Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Part of the same new wave revival scene as VCR (both bands are from the somewhat unlikely hipster hotbed of Richmond, VA), the Gaskets are considerably less serious than their compatriots, with lyrics that are often compared to Jonathan Richman and They Might Be Giants. The Gaskets formed in 2001, when their two members, Teddy Blanks and Ross Harman, were high school friends in the small central Virginia city of Petersburg. Armed with a stack of high school-written tunes like "Open Mic Nite" and "I Don't Have to Work Tomorrow (Woo Hoo!)," and a vintage Yamaha sequencer that was the band's sole musical instrument, Blanks and Harman moved to Richmond to attend Virginia Commonwealth University. A series of local shows while the duo were still freshmen led to the release of 2003's Big Fun. Although generally positively reviewed, the largely comic album did peg the duo with a "wacky jokesters" image. (Gigs opening for Weird Al Yankovic probably didn't help.) Following the release of Big Fun, the Gaskets returned to their studies at VCU (Blanks majoring in graphic design, Harman in fine arts) and adjusted their artistic direction, ditching their early songs and image. Produced by transplanted Virginian David Lowery of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker fame, 2006's Loose Change is a considerably less goofy affair, with more mature and thoughtful songwriting and a greatly expanded instrumental palette that remains based on vintage electronics but incorporates live drums, guitars, and piano alongside the synths.