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Laika & the Cosmonauts

Members of Laika & the Cosmonauts.
Members of Laika & the Cosmonauts.
'Local Warming' CD cover
'Local Warming' CD cover

Just in time for the start of summer, the Helsinki-based surf rock band Laika & the Cosmonauts has arrived in the U.S. for a North American tour. NPR's Liane Hansen took the opportunity to invite the group to NPR for an interview and performance in Studio 4A.

Formed in Finland in 1987, the band's lineup has remained steady for nearly two decades: Matti Pitskini on guitar and organ, Janne Haavisto on drums, lead guitarist Mikko Lankinen, and bassist Tom Nyman.

Originally inspired by the American surf instrumentals of Dick Dale, the Ventures and the Surfaris, the Cosmonauts have gradually expanded their repertoire to include more contemporary styles.

The Cosmonauts' latest CD, Local Warming, is its first studio effort in six years, a worthy addition to the group's discography, which features classics like 1990's Surfs You Right and the 2001 live disc, Laika Sex Machine.

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Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.
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