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Tonio K.

February 4, 2007

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New wave ironist Tonio K. was born Steve Krikorian in Palm Desert, CA, on April 15, 1949; the son of Armenian immigrants, he was raised in nearby Fresno, and while in highschool formed his first band, the Raik’s Progress. In 1973, he appeared on his first album, Remnants, as a member of the former Buddy Holly backing band the Crickets; after going solo, he assumed the stage name Tonio K., apparently in honor of the Thomas Mann novella Tonio Kr�ger. His debut LP, Life in the Foodchain, was a critical smash upon its 1978 release, winning acclaim for its scathing wit and smartly crafted songs; Amerika followed two years later, and although it fared poorly commercially it helped establish the singer as a major favorite on the L.A. club scene.

A follow-up, Too Cool to Be a Christian, was recorded but never released; despite Tonio K.’s famously sarcastic attitude, the project’s title was far from a joke, however, and his growing spirituality remained the focus of his work in the years to follow. After 1982’s La Bomba EP, he was silent until the release of 1986’s Romeo Unchained, which heralded a newly mellow sound; 1988’s Notes from the Lost Civilization was his final proper LP, although a planned follow-up, Ol�, was recorded but not issued. (It was finally released in 1997). During the 1990s, Tonio K. was most active as a songwriter; in 1998 he issued Rodent Weekend ’76-’96 (Approximately), a collection of unreleased material. Yugoslavia followed a year later.

Jason Ankeny

Similar artist :

www.myspace.com/toniok

Audio Sample : 90 seconds

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