Summers in Los Angeles
are custom built for simple, laid-back punk rock fun. It’s too hot for black
leather jackets. Bullet belts rust from sweat. Pants don’t help. Benny The Jet
Rodriquez reminds me of the ninety-nine percent of L.A. that never gets on TV. They sound like
morning haze burning off and giving way to 326 days of sunshine, cracks in the
sidewalks from the roots of trees, 1960s AM radio, and Mexican food in strip
malls. Simple pleasures.
The close friendship between Lauren and Joey is at the heart of BTJR. They play
buzzy-melody, catchy punk that’s in line with Thee Makeout Party and
Underground Railroad To Candyland. This isn’t stabbing music or kill dad music
or hurt animals with firecrackers music. But it’s still undeniably modern, DIY
punk in both sound and action. Think: cut-off shorts. Sleeve-optional shirts.
Backyard grilling. Avocados in multiple forms. A San Pedro that celebrates Mike
Watt. Strong female lead. Nationwide drives in vans with episodes of California-suspicious
Don’t you worry; Benny The Jet Rodriguez leaves their unique fingerprints.
There’s no denying Lauren’s voice and lyrics. She exudes a perennial, rosy-eyed
confidence when they play, conveying it with a clear, understated strength.
Joey’s the anchor, the corn dog on a stick… on a stick (read to the end of the
interview), the one who’s willing to take the fall. They work as a team. I want
to say it’s sort of like Cagney and Lacey—if Cagney and Lacey smoked a ton of
weed in their parents’ garage, weren’t cops, and one of them was a dude—but
BTJR is nothing like that. They’re L.A.,
year-round summertime punk.
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With the year’s end quickly approaching, it’s time once again to focus on our
yearly donation drive.
If you are able to, please consider making a donation. Everything helps us
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Click hereto see more info (such as this year’s gifts) or watch the video below.
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