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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

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.