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Sleeper Agent (music group)

A taste of the dream in bands' uneven lives

A taste of the dream in bands' uneven lives

For a big swath of last year's Coachella, I followed around the young Kentucky rock band Sleeper Agent as they made their festival debut. They weren't an especially hyped or sonically au courant act, just a charismatic, road-dogging power-pop group on a slow ride up from the hometown dive circuit into national tours. They had a midday slot, a few powerful backers (like their manager, the son of music mogul Irving Azoff), and they seemed like a perfect band to trail to find out what it feels like to dip a toe into the warm pool of Coachella fame.

And in the hours leading to the fest, it really was the Dream — or at least the suggestion of the Dream. Walking into a mansion used by...

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