SF Weekly Music Awards Nominee: The Heavenly States

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The Heavenly States
have only been together for six years, but the Oakland indie rockers have a career's worth of accomplishments. Not only have they put out three stellar recordings to date, but they are also known as the first American band to ever play in the African dictatorship of Libya. Ever. An odd choice considering their political stance (watch this video for Osamabin Lozenges), but if liberating a country to the wonder of western Rock 'n Roll isn't enough for a music award nomination, I don't know what is.

While most bands could have easily called it a career after that honor, the States didn't simply stop just there. This year marks the release of Delayer, their third album and first since visiting Libya. The new record features Ted Nesseth's lucid lyrics and roaring guitar riffs, Genevieve Gagon's melodic violin and keys, and percussionist Jeremy Gagon and bassist Masanori Christianson's booming rhythms. Their energetic brand of indie pop has earned the group comparisons to Ted Leo, the Hold Steady, and Dinosaur Jr. The Heavenly States also achieved yet another accolade this year by opening for indie rock juggernauts Spoon on their tour dates at the Fillmore.

The Heavenly States' diplomacy and awesome new album have earned them a nod in the SF Weekly Music Awards. If you support the globalization of good old rock music, please cast your vote. --Oscar Pascual

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