I don’t know if The Capitol Years are the best band Philadelphia has to offer currently (a scene I’m not up on), but my guess is they are. (I’m sure someone [Matt?] will pipe in to prove me wrong.) Main man Shai Halperin is one of these encyclopedic rockologists (like Sloan’s Jay Ferguson) who peppers his songs with clever little nods to all his favorite bands but making it his own in the process.
Originally the name used for Halperin’s home recordings, The Capitol Years have been a real live band with other members and everything for a few years now, releasing last year’s little-heard Let Them Drink and the follow-up Dance Away the Terror, which hit stores today. If you enjoy Sloan or the Pernice Brothers (whose Thom Monahan produced Let Them Drink) you’ll certainly dig The Capitol Years, who inhabit an imagined world where Television jam with Seals & Croft, T-Rex hangs out with Felt, and the Strokes’ biggest influence turned out to be Badfinger.
It’s also a universe where Kevin Sheilds was a member of The Beatles:
Do you think Halperin came up with the title first and then tried to write a song it fit? Pretty clever either way. Anyhoo, The Capitol Years play Sin-é this Friday (Sept. 15) at 9pm. It would be a great way for any pop lover to kick off the weekend.
More tunes at their MySpace page which also has tentative dates for their October US tour.