A repeat winner from last year. The band’s about as large as Earth, Wind & Fire (some eight members, and that’s without frequent special guests), and damn near as quirky. Its long-awaited debut, The First American, wouldn't have sounded out of place on any major indie in the country, and why the group is not currently on tour with, say, Smog is beyond us. Except for the fact that most of the band members have other interests and passions and loves (not to mention wives), and, well, have you ever tried to get eight people to do the same thing for a month at a time? Music is the band’s life, but you don’t feel like the members would care all that much were it never to be their livelihood. Maybe that’s what makes them so good?