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Lotus Crown

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Named for an ancient Chinese fable, the orchestral hip-hop band Lotus Crown was the vehicle of singer/guitarist Jimi Shields, a onetime member of the Irish noise-pop outfit Rollerskate Skinny. After exiting the group's ranks following their 1994 EP Threshold, Shields relocated from Dublin to Chicago, stopping briefly to play drums for his brother Kevin's band My Bloody Valentine. After settling in the U.S., he recruited guitarist Paul Dillon, bassist Lennie Dietsch and drummer Zack Kantor, and Lotus Crown soon hit the road in support of the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev before recording their debut EP Alvar Aalto (titled in tribute to the Finnish architect) in late 1995. After entering the studio with producer Dave Fridmann, the quartet emerged with the full-length Chokin' on the Jokes in the spring of 1997. ~ Jason Ankeny



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