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Walker Kong

A typical Walker Kong listening experience conjures images of Johnny Marr and the Africa 70 rhythm section backing a hyperactive Edwyn Collins on a high-energy rendition of Jonathan Richman's "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar." While that may be enough for any pop music fan to have trouble wrapping their head around, Minneapolis' Walker Kong (formerly known as Walker Kong & the Dangermakers) is assuredly, first and foremost, a good-time, party, and dance outfit that isn't afraid to wax obtusely political every now and again. The band came together in Minneapolis in 1998, after Massachusetts College of Art students Jeremy Ackerman and Alexandra Reinhart (who were eventually wed) moved to Minnesota and met future Dangermakers Emily Cahill, Katie Kanwischer, and Sara Vargas. The only member of the fledgling combo with any real musical experience being eventual frontman Ackerman, he set about teaching the band to play their instruments, cannily avoiding the cagey omnipotence of Phil Spector or Scott "Causey" Stanton. Determined to make a name for themselves, the Dangermakers released their debut album, The Early Years, in 1999. A solid set of charmingly naïve pop, the record earned them moderate local attention, and more importantly, gave them a chance to perfect their ecstatic live shows. In 1999 the band released the WK+DM vs. WK+DM EP, which spawned several college radio hits, and also marked the final time that the Dangermaker tag would grace the cover of their records. 2000's Distant Lovers on Listening Stations EP debuted the band's new name (they would now be known simply as Walker Kong) and solidified the band's local popularity. Over the course of recording the two EPs (nine songs in all, including one cover), the band's sound evolved drastically and rapidly from a Modern Lovers-style pop to a dynamic, genre-inclusive, rhythm-based groove. The group continued to play to packed local houses and in 2001 recorded and released their national debut, There Goes the Sun, with Portland, OR's Magic Marker Records. ~ Bryan Carroll, Rovi
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