The unusual Washington, D.C., indie rock combo Viva Satellite! formed in the mid-'90s, on the heels of the breakup of Rob Christiansen's former group, Eggs. Christiansen, who had been playing a bit with Grenadine, hooked up with Lauren Feldsher to form Viva Satellite! (later to be joined by Dan Morrissey, Ian Jones, and Paige Smith). The unique group was clearly formed as a fun outlet, but soon blossomed into a band/musical theater troupe, going so far as to debut with a full-fledged rock opera album, Nishma, in 1996. (The plot is unraveled in an opening track with the unwieldy title "The Legend of How Salt Water Taffy Came to Be.") The effort was performed in a semi-classical style, replete with Greek chorus. Viva Satellite! released Extra Eye in 1997. This effort told the story of a boy from a land of one-eyed people who finds love, with the group members performing as the characters throughout. The group has also released a pop/rock opera about Leonardo DaVinci.
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