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My Pet Dragon / Bio


Recently featured in Filter Magazine's 'Discover The Undiscovered' and nominated by Deli Magazine for Best of NYC 2011 Emerging Artists, My Pet Dragon’s anthemic songs and powerful live show has drawn comparisons to Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Smashing Pumpkins, and the Flaming Lips. MPD is led by singer/guitarist Todd Michaelsen and actress/dancer Reena Shah. They are joined by Mario Padron on bass and Rajeev Maddela on drums. Michaelsen's soaring vocals and strong pop melodies define My Pet Dragon's latest LP, Mountains and Cities. Deli NYC describes the album as "the ideal soundtrack for that cross-country, convertible drive under Augusts’ everlasting sunshine”.

MPD’s unique performances include Shah’s dancing influenced by the classical Indian dance style of Bharata Natyam, and nods to electronic music and stadium rock. My Pet Dragon headlined the 2012 Breckenridge Beer Festival in Colorado in April presented by KSMT - The Mountain and will perform at music festivals this summer including Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, NXNE Music Festival in Toronto, Canada and the KahBang Music Festival in Bangor, Maine -- with more Festivals appearances being announced soon.

Fuse TV featured My Pet Dragon’s official music video for their single Moonshine, which is currently in-rotation on radio stations across the United States. MPD is honored to have their song Love Anthem as a part of the Music for Occupy compilation Occupy This Album to support the movement. The compilation includes songs by Yoko Ono, Mogwai, Patti Smith, Tom Morello, Ani Di Franco, Thievery Corporation, Yo La Tengo, and more. Also, Todd Michaelsen was also chosen as a finalist for the 2011 Peacedriven Songwriting Award for Love Anthem.

Roll Magazine says, "As U2 and Muse are already packing stadiums around the world... it’s really only a matter of time before My Pet Dragon is doing the same. Thanks to Michaelsen and his musical compadres, they’ve already got the hooks and chutzpah to make it happen. Now all they need is opportunity to knock on the door."

"This is big, audacious & brimming with hooks. Considering that’s only kind of rock that gets the big boys to notice anymore, do not be surprised if you’re hearing more from and about My Pet Dragon, and soon."
--John Norris (Noisevox, ex-MTV News)

Mountains and Cities was produced by Stephen George, the former drummer of the band Ministry. George has worked with a wide range of pop artists including Iggy Pop, the Cars, and Common. The LP also includes contributions by members of Mercury Rev, Gov't Mule, and Hurricane Bells.

My Pet Dragon is Todd Michaelsen, Reena Shah, Mario Padron, Rajeev Maddela.

Todd composed the soundtrack/score for Nina Paley's award winning Animated Feature Film, Sita Sings The Blues. He has also collaborated with Karsh Kale on his albums, 'Broken English' on Dancing at Sunset and his latest LP release 'Cinema' on the track Phoenix Rising. And contributed to Anoushka Shankar and KK's album, Breathing Under Water.

Reena was the speaking voice of Sita in Sita in Sita Sings the Blues as well as the rotoscoped dancer in the film. She was the Assistant Choreographer and a dancer on-screen for the Universal Pictures film, The Guru, where she taught Indian dancing to Marisa Tomei, Heather Graham, Jimi Mistry, and Michael McKean. She has appeared with Conan on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in a comedic Bollywood Skit for the show. She has also appeared in numerous Independent Films and Theater Plays worldwide. Reena has also taught and performed Indian Dancing at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for Midsummer Night Swing, The Kennedy Center, The White House 2011 Easter Egg Roll, 2010 Sundance Film Festival, 2010 Maine International Film Festival, 2009 Wakarusa Music Festival, Central Park Summerstage, S.O.B.’s, Brooklyn Museum, and the Queens Museum of Art.
The My Pet Dragon story begins with a young Todd Michaelsen climbing into his old, beat-up Buick headed for New York City with a lyric book & Stratocaster in tow...

Todd grew up in upstate New York in a town called Granville, a small mining community on the Vermont border not too far from Saratoga. He grew up listening to his parents rock records of Springsteen, Young, Hendrix, and Dylan, but w...as also very influenced by 90's alt-rock. He had just quit college to expand his horizons in New York City's East Village, where he crashed on his uncle's couch for a year. After meeting artists, musicians, and DJ's, he moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn & immersed himself in the burgeoning music scene of Brooklyn. It was there he started playing with future My Pet Dragon drummer Rajeev Maddela. The two bonded over a love of rock music influenced by big, expansive artists such as the Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, & Bjork.

It was at Raj's loft/rehearsal space that Michaelsen met Reena Shah, an actress and classical Indian dancer from New Jersey.

More About My Pet Dragon can be found on their website:

General Info

Band Members
Todd Michaelsen- Lead Vocals + Guitar + Trumpet // Reena Shah- Vocals + Percussion + Keyboard // Mario Padron - Bass // Rajeev Maddela - Drums //
Artist Name
My Pet Dragon
Home Page
Active Since
Rock / Alternative / Pop

Contact Info

Brooklyn, NY
Reena Shah

Similar Artists

  • Muse
  • Flaming Lips
  • Arcade Fire
  • The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Coldplay