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Not the solo artist one might assume from the name, Nico Vega is an alterna-rock trio from Los Angeles, CA. The band bio on the group's MySpace page explains the name thusly: "Nico Vega represents a modern day saint. A warrior that has led us to a more fulfilling, lighter way of being. She represents people and unity." (This manifesto goes on for another 228 words, but that's the gist.) Featuring singer and lyricist Aja Volkman, a vocal dead ringer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O who claims Janis Joplin and Tina Turner as her primary musical heroes, Nico Vega incorporates those vintage soul and blues influences into their spiky indie rock tunes, suggesting a musical affinity with the likes of the White Stripes, Black Keys, and Fiery Furnaces. Nico Vega formed in 2005; Volkman, a native of Eugene, OR, had dropped out of theater school at the California Institute for the Arts, giving herself one year to establish herself as a solo singer/songwriter in nearby Hollywood. Volkman was most of the way through her self-imposed trial period and almost ready to move back home to Oregon when drummer Mikey Pena happened into one of her solo gigs. Joining forces, the pair quickly added guitarist Rich Koehler to form the bass-less trio. After releasing their debut EP, Choose Your Words Poorly, on their own in early 2006 and establishing themselves as a popular draw on the local concert scene thanks in large part to Volkman's uninhibited and minimally clothed on-stage performance style, Nico Vega signed with MySpace Records, the new recording arm of the popular social networking site, for their second EP, 2007's No Child Left Behind. A full-length debut album was scheduled for early 2008.