The Internet is a sensational place.
In 2008, a trio of young musicians from Hartford, Conn., uploaded a video, recorded in a basement, of Phish's "You Enjoy Myself."
The video went viral.
Teenagers at the time, the bass player and the guitarist were immediately recognized in the comment section as doppelgangers of McLovin, a character from the movie "Superbad."
The name stuck. The video is still on YouTube. And the McLovins were born.
"People were searching for us by the McLovins," drummer and lead vocalist Jake Huffman said. "People kind of named us that. Some people were making fun of the name, but at the same time, that is how they were finding us on the Internet.
"Six years later, there are people that haven't even seen 'Superbad' and come to our shows and just think of the McLovins as us."
After playing for several years in the Northeast, the McLovins are bringing their jam band mix to the Southeast.
They are set to play, for free, Jan. 18 at Congress Street Social Club.
The original lineup has changed in the subsequent six years. Formed by Huffman and bass player Jason Ott after a Jazz camp, the viral sensations have grown up and are set to release their fourth album, "Beautiful Lights" on Jan. 21.
They added Huffman's friend, Atticus Kelly, to guitar and keyboard, as well as guitarist Justin Berger.
The guitar-centered jam band built their sound around jazz, but have not limited themselves, allowing the music of pop, rock and world to play a pivotal role in their sweeping voice, a sound that quantifies itself with influences from bands like Phish, Steely Dan, The Grateful Dead, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk.
"Jazz is a really big foundation," Huffman said. "Atticus and I went to jazz high school at the Academy for the Arts in Hartford. Even if we don't play straightforward jazz, it's influenced us through improvisation. To be a little free with forms and to see music and solos and changes in a very different way than if you just played rock. We listen to all genres of music, but jazz is definitely a foundation."
Huffman plays dual roles as the lead vocalist and drummer, and when he's not playing with the McLovins, he composes for Sesame Street. This little note should be an incandescent sign of this band's talent.
Each member of the McLovins brings different musical flavors to the band. From jazz standards to Led Zeppelin and even emo rock, all these outside influences and experiences coalesce into the McLovins' sound.
"We take everything we like and that we know and our influences, and we put it together in this melting pot of music," Huffman said. "It comes out as jam music. We have some songs that are 3 minutes and 30 seconds long, and they're really catchy. And then we have songs that go for 25 minutes.
"We have some songs that are more tangible for people that are not into the whole jam band improvisation thing," he said. "At the same time, we love to play the jam band, improvisation thing. In live shows, we'll go on 20-minute funk odysseys. We feel like we're artists, and it's the music we like and it's the music that comes out."