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The solar-powered space pop combo Grandaddy were formed in 1992 in Modesto, CA, by singer/guitarist/keyboardist Jason Lytle, bassist Kevin Garcia, and drummer Aaron Burtch. Although a noisy, lo-fi approach characterized early recordings like 1994's Complex Party Come Along Theories, the addition of guitarist Jim Fairchild and keyboardist Tim Dryden in 1995 expanded the band's sound exponentially, fueling such subsequent efforts as the unreleased Don't Sock the Tryer and the 1996 EP A Pretty Mess by This One Band. Originally issued on indie label Will Records, 1997's acclaimed full-length Under the Western Freeway proved to be Grandaddy's creative breakthrough, and the following year the album was reissued on major label V2, with "Summer Here Kids" earning Single of the Week honors in the pages of the NME. The Broken Down Comforter Collection, a compilation of singles tracks, preceded the 1999 Signal to Snow Ratio EP, which heralded a movement toward the vintage electronic textures further in evidence on 2000's superb Sophtware Slump. In 2002, the group released another odds-n-sods collection, Concrete Dunes, which paved the way for a busy 2003. That spring, Grandaddy released the Floating Debris EP as well as their fourth full-length, Sumday, and spent the rest of the year touring, making appearances at festivals such as Glastonbury. In 2005, they resurfaced with the Excerpts from the Diary of Todd Zilla EP, and a full-length album (Just Like the Fambly Cat) followed in 2006. The latter release was essentially a solo project for frontman Jason Lytle, however, as the group disbanded during the recording process. Lytle subsequently relocated from California to Montana, where he mounted a solo career in 2009. ~ Jason Ankeny
1992 in Modesto, CA