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BEST NEW BAND Minneapolis 1998 -

At Lunar 9's live debut April 4, opening for Polara in the Entry, audience reaction varied from "The best first show I've ever seen a band play!" to "Pretty good Oasis tribute." The truth is probably somewhere in between. Four years in the making, Lunar 9 rose to the stage from the ashes of several local bands that specialized in lysergically distorted pop: There are two ex-members each from Shapeshifter, Deep Shag, and the defunct MCA-act Shatterproof. But all you really need to know is that Lunar 9 favorably reflects the early-'90s local dream-pop and space-rock movements, and they're poised to take the whole thing a step further. Find out if they can translate it to the studio when they release an EP and 7-inch single this spring.

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