If you’ve never heard of LA-based band Street Joy, let me describe the feeling: Do you ever wish that your life were a little more Almost Famous-esque? Your mom lets you leave home with a whistle and follow some alt-rock folk band where you somehow lose your virginity, meet all the most influential people you could possibly know and still write a story that gets you into Rolling Stone. Yeah, it’s super realistic, but you know the music nerd in you used to lie on some dismal carpet in your room as a skulky 16-year-old listening to all your parents’ old cassette tapes and records wishing your life could be that cool. That’s Street Joy in a nutshell.
The alternative duo who recently opened for Stone Foxes during their residency at The Bootleg in Los Angeles is made up of vocalist and guitarist Jason DeMayo and drummer and backup vocalist Scott Zimmerman. The two could be the story of far too many bands: they met as students at the University of Oregon and made their way to Los Angeles, spending two years subsequently working with engineer Michael Coleman to record their debut LP , which came out in June of this year.
The interesting part of this duo is that they aren’t like a lot of indie bands who snap up the first chance they get to give up the “indie” title. They’re happy to remain independent until the right person who can help comes along. What a novel concept: an independent band happy to stick with that idea because they’re passionate about staying true to their own sound.
In the meantime, they’ve worked to create their own label, Trick Pony, and continued to create music that sounds, to me, a lot like The Strokes did back when they were fresh and…well…good. “Wrong Cloud”, which the band released on their Soundcloud about a month ago, has some of that early sound from The Strokes to it and feels very much like an honest revival of that late 1970s punk and 1980s post punk scene.
Without the idea of letting it all go their head, Street Joy could honestly be my favorite underground alternative indie band of 2014. One of the most popular songs from their latest LP, “Moon” has that perfect garage-y feel with beats and harmonies that leave a very Weezer-esque taste in your mouth. Try not to look too longingly at that high school yearbook after you listen.
If you couldn’t catch these guys when they played with the Stone Foxes and you’re in the LA area, check them out again next Tuesday, November 18th, at The Satellite. If you’re not in the area, find a way here. Last resort, connect with them and keep your eye out for Silverlake’s best kept secret to come to a town near you: