Sometimes opportunities come all at once, unexpectedly out of the most desperate of times. And they almost always pull in opposite directions, forcing tough choices to be made quickly; hesitate and all the roads could close again.
It's a truth that co-founders Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi of the indie-pop quintet Grouplove know well.
In 2008, Hooper was another starving painter in Manhattan when a friend dragged her to a show by a popular underground post-hardcore band called Aloke, which featured budding vocalist and songwriter Zucconi.
Hooper says she fell in love with his voice, spirit and person immediately, but when a prospective client offered her a chance to join an artist residency in Greece a few days later, Hooper had to act fast to keep both paths open.
Not wanting to lose the possibilities she felt she had, Hooper tracked down the songwriter and asked if he would like to go to Crete with her. Surprisingly, Zucconi agreed and the pair traveled to Crete together, where they met bassist Sean Gadd, drummer Ryan Rabin and guitarist Andrew Wessen.
There, in an artist commune on the largest of the Greek islands free from the responsibilities of normal life, the five new friends stumbled upon a kinship from which Grouplove was born.
Two years later, the band's anthemic, upbeat studio debut, "Never Trust a Happy Song," landed on the Billboard Top 200 at No. 75 in the U.S. The group's follow-up, 2013's "Spreading Rumours," rose to No. 21.
Grouplove will perform Sunday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St., with Sleeper Agent. Tickets are $22-$25 and are available at the door or online at Ticketfly.com. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show slated to start at 8 p.m.
For more information, go to www.musicfarm.com or call 577-6989.
When Swedish indie synthpop quartet Little Dragon began in 1996 with a group of high school friends, no one expected it to last.
A bunch of 14- and 15-year-olds crudely carving out a simultaneous understanding of themselves and music isn't something most would take seriously from the outside, but Yukimi Nagano (vocals), Hakan Wirenstrand (keyboards), Erik Bodin (drums) and Fredrik Kallgren Wallin (bass) saw a chance for something more.
Welding the soundtracks of multiple generations and genres into one harmonious structure of R&B, new wave, punk rock, soul, funk and electronic, Little Dragon slowly began to define itself as something indefinable, shape shifting into categorical gray areas that earned attention in the underground long before its first studio album emerged nearly 10 years after forming.
The band's 2011 sophomore effort soared into the Top 5 on the U.S. dance/electronic chart and No. 12 on the independent albums chart following the success of the album's eponymous single, "Ritual Union."
The heightened attention has helped propel the group's latest release, "Nabuma Rubberband," into the Top 25 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200.
Little Dragon will perform Tuesday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St., with opener Lawrence Rothman. Tickets are $20-$23 and are available at the door or online at Ticketfly.com. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m.
Go to musicfarm.com or call 577-6989 for more information.
Toad the Wet Sprocket
Injecting itself into the mainstream in the early '90s as part of a pop-heavy alt rock movement that included the likes of Better Than Ezra, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms and Hootie & The Blowfish, Toad the Wet Sprocket is now in its third decade as a band.
Formed in 1986 in Santa Barbara, Calif., with members that ranged in age from 16 to 20, the quartet has defied all odds by retaining its original lineup throughout its existence.
The band signed to Columbia Records in 1990, which reissued the band's self-released debut, "Bread & Circus," as well as releasing its follow-up, "Pale."
The following year, Toad the Wet Sprocket's junior effort "fear" soared to No. 49 on the Billboard charts and was certified platinum due in large part to the singles "All I Want" and "Walk on the Ocean."
"Dulcinea" (1994) also went Platinum, but the quartet disbanded in 1998 for its members to pursue solo projects.
While the band returned several times for special performances, it wasn't until 2006 that the band officially reunited and began touring again regularly.
The band is now touring in support of its first album in 16 years, "New Constellation," which was released last year after receiving $250,000 in financing through Kickstarter. The album has since risen to No. 97 on the Billboard 200.
Toad the Wet Sprocket will perform Monday at The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd., with Emily Hearn. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 the day of, and are available at the door or online at The-Windjammer.com. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Call 886-8596 for more information.
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