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Arts and Culture News

Laika & the Cosmonauts

Members of Laika & the Cosmonauts.
Members of Laika & the Cosmonauts.
'Local Warming' CD cover
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'Local Warming' CD cover

Just in time for the start of summer, the Helsinki-based surf rock band Laika & the Cosmonauts has arrived in the U.S. for a North American tour. NPR's Liane Hansen took the opportunity to invite the group to NPR for an interview and performance in Studio 4A.

Formed in Finland in 1987, the band's lineup has remained steady for nearly two decades: Matti Pitskini on guitar and organ, Janne Haavisto on drums, lead guitarist Mikko Lankinen, and bassist Tom Nyman.

Originally inspired by the American surf instrumentals of Dick Dale, the Ventures and the Surfaris, the Cosmonauts have gradually expanded their repertoire to include more contemporary styles.

The Cosmonauts' latest CD, Local Warming, is its first studio effort in six years, a worthy addition to the group's discography, which features classics like 1990's Surfs You Right and the 2001 live disc, Laika Sex Machine.

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