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The core unit of San Diego's Louis XIV had originally played together in the rootsy, alt-rocking Convoy, which issued an album called Black Licorice in 2001. Having moved on by 2003, vocalist/guitarists Jason Hill and Brian Karscig and drummer Mark Maigaard hooked up with bassist Jimmy Armbrust and began fleshing out the Louis XIV concept -- irreverent, oversexed lyrics and songwriting that channeled glam, scratchy punk, and vintage Rolling Stones. A self-recorded EP caused quite a stir locally, MP3s helped spread that buzz to England, and Louis XIV released more material to keep up with the growing demand. That spring and summer they played the 2004 South by Southwest festival, toured the U.S. with the Killers and Von Bondies, and signed with Atlantic Records, which issued the introductory EP Illegal Tender in January 2005 and the debut full-length The Best Little Secrets Are Kept the following March. After time spent touring -- and being banned in Alabama for the nature of their lyrics -- the band returned in 2008 with their second album, the decidely more somber and world-weary Slick Dogs and Ponies. ~ Johnny Loftus