August 18: Trans Am
Nathan Means, Philip Manley, and Sebastian Thomson formed synth-rock band Trans Am in 1990 near Washington, D.C. The band, which started as a side project of a ska collective, signed to Chicago-based independent record label Thrill Jockey. Their self-titled debut album, recorded after only a few rehearsals in 1996, was mainly instrumental and incorporated sounds of bands from the 1970s such as Boston and Yes. Since then, the group has toured with bands like Tool and the Bronx as well as released seven other albums, solidifying a more rock and roll sound with nods to Kraftwerk, Can and New Order. Their latest album, Thing, was released earlier this year.