The Jellybricks might not be blowing up, but they are running smoother than ever.
The Harrisburg, Pa.-based band, fronted by Boardman native Larry Kennedy, recently stopped in Youngstown for a tune-up.
A Youngstown Tune-Up.
That was the darkly humorous nickname given to the car bombs that local mobsters famously used on each other during the crime wars of the 1960s.
It’s also the title of the Jellybricks’ new album, which was laid down at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown. It will be released in a few weeks.
But the first single from “Tune-Up” will debut Sunday on Little Steven’s Underground Garage, the globally syndicated radio show that airs locally at 10 p.m. on WNCD-93 FM.
The song is “About the Weekend,” and it is a contender on the show’s weekly Coolest Song in the World competition.
It’s the second time that show host Little Steven Van Zant has chosen a Jellybricks song for the honor. He picked “Rock and Roll Suicide” in 2012, which wound up winning for the week and the year.
Van Zant, of course, is also known for his role in the HBO mob series “The Sopranos” and for being part of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
“Having won the Coolest Song in the World for 2012 title from Little Steven’s Underground Garage, the man was very open to hearing our new music, and luckily for us, he really likes it,” said Kennedy. “Who better to debut a new record called ‘Youngstown Tune-Up’ than a cast member from ‘The Sopranos,’ right?”
The pop-rock band with the Beatle-esque sound has always considered Youngstown to be its Ohio home and plays Cedar’s lounge once or twice each year.
The name “Youngstown Tune-Up” presented itself organically — a play on words that rang true.
The Jellybricks came to town for 11 days of recording and somehow got revved up more than expected.
“We didn’t even set out to make a whole album, but 14 songs made it to tape as quickly as we’ve ever recorded,” said Kennedy. “The best part is that we just started plugging in instruments and recording, and about half of the record was still being written when we started. It was almost no work at all, all play, with an occasional visit to Fellows Riverside Gardens thrown in to clear our minds of music.”
Kennedy calls the new album “the most in-the-moment, off the cuff and spontaneous record we’ve yet recorded, and it happened faster than any record before it. ... We all think it’s our best collection to date, and we probably had more fun making it than all the ones before it.”
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL LAUNCHES VALENTINE’S DAY CONTEST
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Cirque du Soleil is returning to Covelli Centre and will mark the occasion with a contest.
The “Varekai” show wants to hear how fans’ love affair with Cirque du Soleil began and why.
Did you take your Valentine to a Cirque du Soleil show on your first date and captured her or his heart forever? Do you return every time it comes to town because it’s where you shared your first kiss? What show ignited your love affair with Cirque? Why do you want to spend this Valentine’s Day with “Varekai”?
Stories will be accepted at facebook.com/varekai under the “contest” tab. Deadline is Monday at 11:59 p.m. The winner gets a pair of tickets to the Feb. 14 performance and a behind-the-scenes experience.
“Varekai” will be at Covelli Wednesday through Feb. 16 for seven performances.