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Album Review

Barcelona's 1999 debut full-length on March Records, Simon Basic, marked the beginning of a new wave of suburban, Casio-based indie pop. Led by singer/guitarist Jason Korzen, the Washington D.C. quartet turned heads with the single "Why Do You Have So Much Fun Without Me?", which was also featured on the March Records compilation Summer Sampler 1999. The early part of the album is chock-full of whimsical and catchy songs like "Sunshine Delay" and "Indian Names". Songs in the middle of the disc are straight-forward indie pop, such as "Space Guy Blues" and "I Know What You Think of Me". The Casio keyboard regains a focal point on songs such as "Unreal" and "Summer Songs". The band quickly gained notice for references to computer terms in their songs, especially on "C-64" and "The Downside of Computer Camp". The band's steady, computerized beats and quick turns-of-phrase garnered the band much deserved attention outside of their hometown. Produced by hollAnd's Trevor Kampmann, Simon Basic was recorded over a period of nine months during 1998 and early 1999. Artwork for the album was designed by fellow Washington D.C. resident Mark Robinson (of Teenbeat Records, Unrest, Air Miami, Flin Flon).


Formed: Arlington, VA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Having been raised in Washington, D.C., during the Reagan regime of the '80s, it was hard for anyone not to be under the influence of new wave pop and Commodore 64s, let alone the members of Barcelona. Comprised of Jennifer Carr (bass), Jason Korzen (guitar/singer), Christian Scanniello (drums), and Ivan Ramiscal (moog/keyboards/ guitar), the band somehow found time away from their love of soccer and computers to add their own dose of synth pop and indie to release their first full-length, Simon...
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simon BASIC, Barcelona
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