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UCLA

Synth and the City

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By Andriana Trang '12

Published Aug 25, 2011 12:00 AM


art

 

"We all trickled in through Craigslist," explains indie band Roosevelt Radio's backup vocalist and keyboardist Sarah Morgan '09 with a laugh. "It's kind of normal up here in Berkeley to form bands that way."

From those humble beginnings in early 2010, Roosevelt Radio's "sparkling synth rock" has splashed across the San Francisco indie scene with regular performances at some of San Francisco's biggest venues like Slim's and Café du Nord. Its "wonderfully punchy and melodic pop-rock gems" (San Jose Examiner) invites comparisons to indie-to-mainstream bands The Decemberists and Phoenix.

Gimme the Gig



Gimme the Gig TV special from the famous Whisky A Go Go in LA.

Sponsored by Ford Motor Company.

As a finalist in Ford's Gimme the Gig competition in February, the band performed at the legendary Whisky A Go Go on Hollywood's Sunset Strip, vying for the chance to work with Grammy Award-winning producer Don Was. There, the band earned TV exposure, "which was a huge leap from local shows," says Morgan, along with the "eye opening opportunity to chat and hang out with Don Was and meet a lot of new fans and other bands."

"Arcade Fire, Postal Service, Passion Pit, Coldplay and The Strokes influence the band's sound, adds lead vocalist Ben Ross. Like those bands, Roosevelt Radio — with Morgan and Ross, in addition to Adrian McCullough (bass), Joel Line (lead guitar), and Philip Coffin (drums) — is on a "quest to make indie rock both meaningful and fun."

"We want to be easy to find and accessible," concludes Morgan, "not that 'one cool band no one knows'. So I think it's important that our style is catchy and easy to dance to. Our goal is to have everyone like it, not just a select group of fans."

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