Spotlight \

The Southland

It’s no wonder the two founding forces behind the Southland, singer Jed Whedon and guitarist Nick Guisikoff, abandoned the Pacific Northwest to return to their So-Cal homeland: Their kind of eclectic indie pop would fare better beside the ocean in Santa Monica than it would on the muddy banks of the Wishkah. The Southland is clearly influenced by their surroundings — so much so that their just-released album is called The Influence of Geography — but the sunny music the Southland creates could only be a product of California.

Southland’s influences are all over the map on their debut LP, from electronic-leaning acts to down-home folk guitar. The opening song, “Shadow,” sounds like a less sissy Postal Service, full of boingy guitars and digital sweeps. The highlight of The Influence of Geography is definitely “Shining Sun,” a jam band number with a wry sense of humor. “Puking in the backseat,” Whedon deadpans, “Flush your money down the drain / But the sun is always shining / How can you complain?”

“Shining Sun” is reminiscent of O.A.R.’s rollicking frat boy pleaser, “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker,” and, accordingly, fans of the jam will be thrilled that the Southland is touring with O.A.R. this summer. Just make sure you bring your (beer) bong and a smile. The Influence of Geography is in stores.

The Southland tour dates: 7/8, Chicago, IL (Schubas Tavern)7/9, Milwaukee, WI (Summerfest Festival)7/13, Pittsburgh, PA (Chevrolet Amphitheatre at Station Square)*7/15, Wantagh, NY (Jones Beach Theater)*7/16-17, Philadelphia, PA (Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing)*7/18, Rochester, NY (High Falls Festival Site)*7/22, Holmdel, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)*7/23, New York, NY (The Cutting Room)7/27-28, Boston, MA (Bank of America Pavilion)*7/29, Wallingford, CT (Careerbuilder.com Oakdale Theater)*7/30, Columbia, MD (Merriweather Post Pavilion)*7/31, Glen Allen, VA (Innsbrook Pavilion)*8/2, Portsmouth, VA (NTELOS Pavilion at Harbor Center)*8/4, Cary, NC (Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park)*8/5, Atlanta, GA (Masquerade Music Park)*8/6, Clearwater, FL (Ruth Eckerd Hall)*8/7, Pompano Beach, FL (Pompano Beach Amphitheatre)*8/9-10, Lake Buena Vista, FL (House of Blues)*8/11, Jacksonville, FL (Florida Theatre)*8/12, North Myrtle Beach, SC (House of Blues)*8/13, Birmingham, AL (Sloss Furnaces)*8/16, Columbus, OH (PromoWest Pavilion)*8/17, Cleveland, OH (Tower City Amphitheatre)*8/18, Rochester Hills, MI (Meadow Brook Music Festival)*8/19, Indianapolis, IN (Lawn at White River State Park)*8/20, Chicago, IL (Feeling Better Than Everfine Festival) (* – with O.A.R.)

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