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'Tranquility is of no poetic use' to Coals frontman Jason Mandell

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Prepare to get wet if you film a music video in the L.A. River

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Jason Mandell on The Coals' new album, 'A Happy Animal,' unashamed L.A. country music

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Like the wily, unlikely urban coyote, the Coals main man Jason Mandell is an apparently rural, instinctive creature incongruous amidst L.A.'s mechanized, sterile sprawl. In fact a native New Yorker, he doesn't just survive in this complicated, confused mess of humanity but embraces it as a backdrop to and inspiration for his utterly organic, endearingly musty folk songs. Channeling Nick Cage's country cousin, the rangy frontman leads various permutations of his five-capacity crew around this city's self-conscious coffee shops, faded bars and painfully civilized outdoor gatherings with a knowing, slightly stoned half-smile and a repertoire of romantic, musically poetic material that gnarled Nashville bards would kill for.