Walker Kong is a group, not a person. And there is no Mr. Kong in this Minneapolis-based band, playing Monday at Common Grounds coffeehouse.
Originally known as Walker Kong and the Dangermakers, the group came together in 1998 around singer-songwriter Jeremy Ackerman, the only musically trained member at the time. A debut album titled "The Early Years" and two subsequent EPs attracted regional attention and earned Walker Kong local awards such as "Best Pop Group" and a string of No. 1 hits on the University of Minnesota's radio station. Creating a classic pop-rock sound with gentle subtleties, the band has earned comparisons to Yo La Tengo, the Modern Lovers and Luna. The band's press bio calls the sound "pastoral dance music that you dance to alone."
The group's Web site (www.Walkerkong.com) is a charmingly designed source of more information, photos and music.
Walker Kong's recently released album, "Transparent Life," on the Portland, Ore.-based Magic Marker Records label, arrived three years after its previous release, "There Goes the Sun." After the Common Grounds gig, the band is heading north for a couple of New York City shows, including one at Brooklyn's trendy Southpaw club and another at the legendary Sin-e, Manhattan's high-pedigree launching pad for the likes of Jeff Buckley.
Also on the bill Monday night is the Positions, a local band that has been mentioned in this space before. You can check it out at www.the-positions.com.
-- MARIANNE MEYER
Common Grounds is at 3211 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, two blocks from the Clarendon Metro station. Admission is $5 and open to all ages. For more information, call 703-312-0427 or visit www.cgespresso.com.
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