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Judge for The Energy Commission

Valparaiso, IN
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Portrait of The Energy Commission
How do you describe a band that sounds like Cat Stevens giving Mos Def a piggy back ride?

In selecting The Energy Commission's "10,000 Hours" for his top 10 albums of 2009 Tom Lounges called it a "Totally refreshing sound and approach, Weinberg sings what average Americans are thinking. He's got brass."

"He's become a bit of a national folk hero of sorts. He's a man who thoroughly believes in his causes and puts his guitar, where his mouth is." ~ John Williams. Williams of Chicago's WGN 720 was commenting on Weinberg's act of civil disobediance that took place on May 5, 2008. At 4:51pm Weinberg took his socially charged song Price Gouge'n to the roof of an Indiana gas station with his guitar and a megaphone. His ensuing arrest lead to global press and The Chicago Tribune called him an overnight hero. The message behind the song, which was mastered pro bono by Doug Sax, escalated to Jay riding a bicycle across the country. The bike was donated by Trek and took him some 675 mile from the gas station where he was arreseted to Washington D.C. and front gates of the White House.

So when radio personality Greg Batton says "You are a new generation of protest singer-songwriter." or Waymon Timbsdayle of Roctober Magazine clarifies " Take Dylan-level complexity lyrics - but never tuneless or humorless like too much protest music. They bounce and jive and groove their messages." you get about half of the story.

You have to expect the unexpected from this band. At the drop of a hat these guys go from a solemn ballad about lonlieness and deep depression to a hysterical hip-hop video about the modern war between a man with his videogames and his girl's expectations of quality time. These are real songs about real experiences that real people understand.

Though Jay has been writing songs for 11 years with Hip-Hop compadre Santonio Ussery, the band is young in it's foundation. The elusive sound is being explored by Danielle Cales (guitar,vocals) Nicholas Evans (percussion) Josva Ibrahim (bass) and Ussery (guitar,vocals) . Exploring life's pain and humor and crafting songs about despair and hope is the catalyst for each and every song. The expereince dictates the direction of the sound. Life is without genre - so too is The Energy Commission