Jenny and Johnny – “Scissor Runner”

It’s a special week for rock-pop aficionados. Jenny and Johnny, a spankin’ new music group formed by Jenny Lewis and her Scottish boyfriend, Jonathan Rice, just released their first single, “Scissor Runner,” as a free download. The song, a deliciously fun anthem just in time for summer, will be on the group’s forthcoming debut, I’m Having Fun Now.

Yet don’t think every Jenny and Johnny track will match the cutesy lyrics of “Scissor Runner.”

As their site states, “The exuberance of love songs like ‘Scissor Runner’ mask some of the record’s darkness, with Lewis chronicling the economic demise of her beloved California in ‘Big Wave,’ Rice’s haunting vocal on ‘Animal,’ and both songwriters raising a middle-finger kiss off in the acerbic ‘My Pet Snakes.’ The overall result is genuine and original pop music for Right Now.”

Lewis, of Rilo Kiley fame and also a pair of solo albums, met Rice about five years ago while working on her solo debut, Rabbit Fur Coat. The pair struck up a creative friendship and lent help to each others’ respective recordings. Rice has actually performed with Lewis for every live show of her solo career to date.

Touring for the album, which may drop as early as August 31st, kicks off September 1st at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz, CA. The full list of cities and venues is available here.

Noticeably missing from the tour are stops in Arizona. Due to the state’s new immigration policy, which Jenny and Johnny say “legalizes and sanctions racial profiling,” the group refuses to play there.

“To all our rad southwestern peeps, we’re sorry that the brutes are running the show and we hope they get voted out of office.”

I’m Having Fun Now (2010)

(mp3) Jenny and Johnny – Scissor Runner

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New Andrew Bird: “Oh No”

When Armchair Apocrypha came out, I had a hard time listening to anything else. In fact, I felt a similar way when I first heard Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs. There’s something very infectious about his music; there are pop sensibilities without compromising any lyrical depth. The wait for this new album Noble Beast will be a long one (it’s released 1/27/09), and after hearing this track, you’ll only want to hear more.

MP3: Andrew Bird – Oh No 

Bonus MP3s

MP3: Andrew Bird – Fake Palindromes (Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs)

MP3: Andrew Bird -  Heretics (Armchair Apocrypha)

Sunny Levine – Love Rhino

I came across Sunny Levine’s music a few weeks ago, and haven’t stopped listening since. He has a lot of influences, it’s hard to make an exact comparison to other musicians. Songs like “Relations” bring to mind Dave Matthews. Other songs remind me of Jack Johnson, but less acoustic based. At times, I also hear Beck a little. Even if you aren’t a fan of Matthews or Johnson, check out Levine. He has his own sound.

Levine’s recently released solo album, Rhino Love, is Californian electro/soul reggae/pop. I like most of the songs on the album, the only one I really dislike is the single for the album, “Daylight.” It sounds like a single. The rest of the songs range from decent to great. I’ve been listening to “Love Rhino” the most. I really like “Relations,” “Glass Jaw,” and the banjo in “Love On The Rocks.”

Sunny Levine is from Santa Monica, California. His family is deeply involved with the music industry, as his grandfather is Quincy Jones, his father is Stewart Levine (Simply Red, Joe Cocker, B.B. King, Dr. John, Minnie Ripperton, and Jamie Cullum), and his uncle is producer QD3 (Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube). Love Rhino is out on Quango Records. He was in the band Mata Hari for a short time a decade ago, but before releasing this solo album, has mostly been producing (The Happy Mondays, Mickey Avalon, Pete Yorn, and Hugh Masekela).

Love Rhino (2008):

Sunny Levine – Love Rhino

Sunny Levine – Relations

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