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Singer Mark Foster of Foster The People performs at Terminal 5 on September 27, 2011 in New York City. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images/Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Singer Mark Foster of Foster The People performs at Terminal 5 on September 27, 2011 in New York City. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images/Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Hot ticket: Foster the People

Hot ticket: Foster the People Add to ...

It started with a single free download.

Foster the People lead man Mark Foster was writing music for commercials to pay the bills when he decided to offer the infectiously catchy tune Pumped Up Kicks as a free download on his L.A. band’s website.

Soon after, his e-mail box was filling up as the song spread across the blogosphere, and his phone started ringing off the hook with calls from interested labels.

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Now, less than two years later, Foster the People has inked a record deal, landed a top 10 spot in the Billboard 200, done the rounds of top TV shows, headlined huge hipster fests, garnered a Best New Artist nomination at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards – and this weekend they make their debut on Saturday Night Live.

The lesson? If you’ve recorded a good tune, post it as a free download on the Internet. Until then, surf the web and try to land yourself a ticket to one of the band’s two ridiculously sold-out sets.

Foster the People play the Commodore Thanksgiving Monday at 7 and 10:30 p.m.

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