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Best Party Bands 

Dance parties are great, there's no doubt. But sometimes a DJ just doesn't emit enough energy all by himself. Sometimes you need the boost that only a live group can deliver. Luckily, a bunch of fun party bands has sprung up in town over the past few years — groups who know how to rock out without alienating the dancefloor. These are four of the best.


They started out as a goof, a nutty way for Eric Frederick to blow off steam while away from his hard-prog outfit, Facing New York. But thanks to drummer Arjun Singh's manic beats, some hilarious synchronized visuals, and Frederick's knack for writing insanely catchy, kitschy R&B, Wallpaper has made silly a serious pursuit.

Hot Tub

This hip-hop ensemble is equally adept at making goofy go far. The quintet's three lady MCs — Co-Co Machete, LoLi Pop, and A.M. Breezy — often dress up like spandexed extras in Xanadu. Their interlocking raps celebrate the lewd and crude with a joie de vivre that's seriously smile-inducing.

Sugar and Gold

This quintet isn't as funny as Hot Tub or Wallpaper, but it knows how to get the party started. Borrowing disco's slinky rhythms, sleazy synths, and soft-rocking vocals, the group revels in '70s nostalgia, approximating Daryl Hall if he were produced by Giorgio Moroder.

Music for Animals

This may be the most conventional of these bands, what with its epic guitar solos and its U2-like grandiosity. But live, the musicians add some major spectacle, painting their faces in fluorescent ink, wearing lights inside big white suits, or unleashing giant balloon drops. The tunes get an extra push of adrenalin onstage, often making audiences sing, dance, and even strip off their shirts. Party on, dudes.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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