Local Wire

Rooney

Ben Lee may be headlining the "Fun! Fun! Fun! Tour," but the artist most likely to live up to the spirit of that tour name is Rooney, a band whose infectious self-titled debut felt like the Beach Boys bringing in Rivers Cuomo to save the day when Brian Wilson had his 19th nervous breakdown. It's been three years since that sun-kissed debut album hit the streets, two years since an appearance on The O.C. — as themselves, of course — made Rooney almost famous (if not quite as almost famous as the singer's older brother, Jason Schwartzman), and maybe a month since the album they promised to follow it up with called in sick. The only way to hear new songs for now, it seems, is to go to the show. Fresh off the road with American Idol Kelly Clarkson, the band is promising surprises, including the threat of a 10-man jam with Ben Lee's band to close things out. But go for the sugary pop hooks and chugging post-Weezer guitars, and you'll be glad you did.
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Ed Masley