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Breaking Artist: Grand National

September 12, 2007 7:38 PM ET

Who: Lawrence "La" Rudd and Rupert Lyddon, a pair of witty English dance-music enthusiasts with no particular fondness for horses — they had planned to name themselves after the pony that won a major horse race, wound up taking the name of the competition itself to save time, and have been plagued with horse-related questions from interviewers ever since.

Sounds Like: Dancey electro-rock that bounces along to soulful, Eighties-tinged grooves and clubby synths but never loses the "rock" side of the equation. The group's second album A Drink and a Quick Decision, like their debut Kicking the National Habit pulls from influences that range from Depeche Mode to Hall and Oates.

Three Things You Should Know:
1. When Lyddon used to deliver sausages for a living, he scored studio time in the band's early days by making a deal with Primal Scream — he'd hand over as many sausages as they desired, and the band let him borrow the keys to the studio.
2. Rudd used to perform in a Police cover band when he was a teenager.
3. Lyddon has a unique way of keeping snoopers out of the group's studio space: he urinates in bottles so he doesn't have to get up and break his concentration.

Get It: Grand National's second album A Drink and a Quick Decision is available now on Recall Records.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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