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Meet a band called Universal Studios Florida




Sometimes a catchy band name is all you need to make it in the music business. If that's the case, then Universal Studios Florida might just be onto something.

Yes. That's their name. "Universal Studios Florida." Not to be confused with the theme park in Orlando.

Universal Studios Florida is an ambient, experimental duo from Seattle (think Animal Collective) with trippy, folksy electronic tinges. It's warm, fuzzy, trippy hipster music ... which is probably why Pitchfork decided to declare the band "rising."

Recently, Pitchfork ran an interview with the duo, Jason Baxter and Kyle Hargus. Here's what they had to say about their (possibly) copyright-infringing name:

Why did you decide to go with the name Universal Studios Florida?

Hargus: It's based on memories of vacations -- like an idealized version of childhood nostalgia. We wanted to make nostalgia-driven music.

Do you have any specific memories of Universal Studios?

Hargus: Yeah, one of the first times Jason and I hung out in college we realized that we had both been there at the same time when we were about 13 and we may have rode this roller coaster called Dueling Dragons at the same time.

Why Universal Studios instead of, say, Disney World?

Hargus: At the end of Nickelodeon game shows like Legends of the Hidden Temple and Guts, it would say, "Filmed in front of a live studio audience in Universal Studios Florida" with a shot of the Universal Globe and fountains of Gak in the background. We talk about nostalgia for 90s television all the time.

Click here to read the full interview.

Naturally, we wanted to know what the good folks at Universal Studios Florida had to say about, um, Universal Studios Florida. The theme park's representatives promised to check in with their legal department and get back to us, but so far, we haven't heard anything.

Finally -- as if this strange little saga needed another oddball, Florida-centric twist -- Universal Studios Florida have collaborated on a track called Moon Bungalow with none other than St. Petersburg indie sensations Blind Man's Colour.

The pairing makes sense -- the two bands do have very similar styles -- but how did they even hook up in the first place?

"That band contacted us just as fans of our music through MySpace back in late 2008," Blind Man's Colour's Kyle Wyss said in an e-mail. "We sort of became friends with them through the Internet and they asked us to sing on a track of theirs. There was no talk of money or anything like that, it was just two young bands collaborating for fun.

"We had liked their stuff, but never really listened to them that much; we were just bored at the time and decided to just go ahead and do it. It was really just a couple of hours. All of the production on that song is them, we just sang on it and sent them the track."

If you find yourself confused by the name Universal Studios Florida, they also go by their initials for short. That's right: You can just call them USF.

That ought to clear up any mistaken identities around these parts.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:13pm]


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