Sporting a look and an overall affect that makes him seem like an indie rock hipster version of Napoleon Dynamite, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Kennedy is affectedly ironic enough to make Beck look like a confessional poet. However, there's enough melody and wit in his sardonic blend of contemporary dance music, '70s AM soft rock, and indie pop to keep it from being merely empty posturing. Raised in the L.A. suburbs (his official bio claims that his real name is Jack Kennedy, and that his father's name is John Wayne Kennedy, claims as likely to be fiction as fact), Kennedy began his musical career in a high-school cover band specializing in Smiths and Cure songs, then took a day job working as a tape operator at Cherokee Studios in Hollywood. Kennedy also played guitar in an early lineup of L.A. indie stars Silversun Pickups before supposedly getting kicked out of the band for setting leader Brian Aubert's clothing on fire. Prior to and concurrent with his membership in the Silversun Pickups, however, Kennedy maintained a solo career that started with the druggy '60s-influenced power pop of 1999's Unicorn and the tougher-sounding garage rock revivalism of 2002's Kennedy. Following that release, Kennedy traveled to England, where he recorded a more dance-oriented track called "Mom Made Me a Pimp" with the French production duo Count De Money. Inspired by the mid-career change of musical direction, Kennedy completed the 2004 dance-rock EP Pink Afros with the duo. A follow-up EP, 2006's Special K, attracted more attention thanks to the single and video for the ironic slow jam "Your Mama." Signing to Cordless Records, distributed by Warner Bros., Kennedy released his first full-length album, Kennedy for President, in the summer of 2007. ~ Stewart Mason

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