The Energy Commission
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The Energy Commission

Coffeyville, Kansas, United States | SELF

Coffeyville, Kansas, United States | SELF
Band Pop Alternative




"The Energy Commission"

NWI Entertainer. Link is to scan of the printed article. - NWI Entertainer

"Camo Santa arrrested in Valparaiso"

Shoppers expect to see Santa hats and suits during the holiday season, but customers in the parking lot of the Valparaiso Best Buy were concerned when they saw a man accessorizing with what appeared to be an assault rifle Wednesday afternoon.

Shoppers called Valparaiso police around 2 p.m., saying that the man was dressed in a Santa suit and toting an AK-47. Around 10 squad cars responded and police questioned the man — local musician Jay Weinberg.

The gun turned out to be an Airsoft rifle, which shoots pellets, but “it looked real,” said Valparaiso Police Sgt. Mike Grennes. He said Weinberg claimed that he was in the process of shooting a video.

Grennes said that Weinberg wasn’t arrested but the matter is still under investigation.

This wasn’t Weinberg’s first brush with the law. In May 2008, He was arrested and charged with trespassing after he sang a song called “Price Goug’n” atop the roof of the Family Express station on LaPorte Avenue. - Post-Tribune

"Gas Price Tipping Point"

See video in link - - Good Morning America

"Xbox Live Gamer Spotlight"

This Indiana gamer is an illustrator and a musician. Check out Epoch Apostle’s band The Energy Commission, and his awesome (but not for kids or the easily offended) music video about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s effect on the love life.

trixie360: What’s the story behind your gamertag?

Epoch Apostle: I met my best friend in Art school and we formed a Hip Hop group called Double Dragon about 11 years ago. In Hip Hop you have to have a stage name or 20 - this particular one suggests I'm a dood who's gonna rap with you about the coming shift in humanity. You know 2012 type of change.

trixie360: Where do you live?

Epoch Apostle: Valparaiso, IN. It's about 50 miles outside of Chicago so we call it "Chicagoland". I think people collectively agreed to call it that so they didn't feel like hicks.

trixie360: What do you do when you’re not playing games?

Epoch Apostle: I write, record, and perform music. I also have a degree in illustration so I spend a lot of time drawing, painting and doing design work. I'm not very web savvy but being DIY means I have to do all the websites too. So we've started up a small record label and art/publishing house.

My band's site is
Our label's site
My art portfolio can be found at

trixie360: What’s the worst or weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Epoch Apostle: I worked at this miniature golf place that had a driving range. I would have to go out in the field and fetch golf balls in this little pale. Many of them would be sunk deep into mud so I had to wedge them out with a putter.

trixie360: How long have you been on Xbox LIVE?

Epoch Apostle: Since Halo 2!

trixie360: Do you have an arch enemy on Xbox LIVE, and if so, who?

Epoch Apostle: Yes and his name is Bling Crosby. Hey Bling... "I'm comin' for youuuuuuuu!"

trixie360: What’s your Xbox set-up like?

Epoch Apostle: Westinghouse 42 LCD - Samsung 5.1 Surround.

trixie360: What’s the best feature of Xbox LIVE?

Epoch Apostle: Communication! It's so seamlessly integrated into every facet, from friends being available to chat at any time to Facebook and Twitter.

trixie360: What is your favorite multiplayer Xbox game?

Epoch Apostle: Modern Warfare 2 of course! Everyone needs to check out my awesome music video on youtube. . It details my obsession for the game and how it can ruin a relationship.

trixie360: What is your favorite single player Xbox game?

Epoch Apostle: GTA IV - with high hopes of Red Dead Redemption taking its place.

trixie360: What is your favorite Xbox LIVE Arcade game?

Epoch Apostle: Marble Blast Ultra

trixie360: What do you think is the best game of all time?

Epoch Apostle: GTA San Andreas

trixie360: What do you think is the best film of all time?

Epoch Apostle: Donnie Brasco

trixie360: What do you think is the best comic book of all time?

Epoch Apostle: V for Vendetta (a graphic novel I know)

trixie360: What do you think is the best album of all time?

Epoch Apostle: Tea for the Tillerman - Cat Stevens

trixie360: Rock Band or Guitar Hero?

Epoch Apostle: Rock Band

trixie360: What is your greatest Xbox LIVE moment?

Epoch Apostle: Going 22 - 0 in a team deathmatch on MW2

trixie360: What’s your favorite TV show?

Epoch Apostle: Curb Your Enthusiasm

trixie360: Who is your inner rock star?

Epoch Apostle: I can only answer - me!

trixie360: If they made a movie about your life, who should play you?

Epoch Apostle: I'd say Al Pacino about 25 years ago but if it had to be someone now I'd say Johnny Depp

trixie360: Ah the Scerpico-era Pacino! What’s your karaoke song?

Epoch Apostle: I can't bring myself to karaoke - I know I'm no fun...

trixie360: Favorite cartoon character?

Epoch Apostle: Gizmo Duck

trixie360: Favorite movie quote?

Epoch Apostle: "Get a pair a pants. This ain't a rodeo. Dress like I dress." Lefty from Donnie Brasco

trixie360: If you could trade places with anyone for one day, who would it be?

Epoch Apostle: The judge that sentenced Lil Wayne to jail so I could put him away longer.

trixie360: What celebrity would be the worst roommate?

Epoch Apostle: Lil Wayne - 1) I'd be in jail 2) I'd have to listen to his pathetic excuse of what he thinks is "Hip Hop"

trixie360: Oh snap. How many people are on your Friends List?

Epoch Apostle: 49

trixie360: Who's your favorite Superhero?

Epoch Apostle: The Punisher

trixie360: Hot celeb you’d like to be stranded on a desert island with?

Epoch Apostle: Pink

trixie360: Edgy, I like it. If you could be any video game character, who would it be?

Epoch Apostle: My wizard from Oblivion

trixie360: What’s the worst food you’ve ever eaten?

Epoch Apostle: Blue Cheese

trixie360: What’s the first video game you ever played?

Epoch Apostle: Boxing - Atari 2600

trixie360: What’s the last book you read?

Epoch Apostle: The Undiscovered Self - C. G. Jung

trixie360: Complete this sentence: “People of Earth, ….”

Epoch Apostle: Clean this place up!

trixie360: If you could go on tour with any band --past or present-- which would it be?

Epoch Apostle: The Energy Commission - we are planning our first mini-tour late summer. Can't wait!

trixie360: What do you predict will be the 'next big thing' in gaming?

Epoch Apostle: Natal

trixie360: What do you think is the best thing about the Xbox 360?

Epoch Apostle: Multi-media powerhouse! Lastfm, Netflix, and Games!

trixie360: What is the Xbox 360 Achievement that was hardest to get?

Epoch Apostle: Mile High Club - COD4

trixie360: What would you like to be doing in ten years?

Epoch Apostle: Moving the masses with my music and art. Making enough money to pour into humanitarian efforts. Finish my first book and have a screenplay filmed that I'd act in. Last but not least, I hope to be involved in producing a videogame that would bend even Charlie Kaufman's mind. I better get back to work! - Microsoft Xbox 360

"Police Silence 'Price Gouge'n' Show at Gas Station"

No matter what gasoline costs, many of us just have to pay. But Jay Weinberg is not going to sit behind the wheel and take it. The Indiana man was unhappy with the price of gas. So he climbed to the roof of a convenience store, and with the aid of a guitar and a megaphone, he serenaded customers with a song called "Price Gouge'n." - NPR radio broadcast

"Chicago Tribune"

By Emma Graves Fitzsimmons | Tribune reporter
6:06 PM CDT, May 11, 2008

Jay Weinberg struck a chord with drivers when he staged an unauthorized concert on the roof of a gas station in northwest Indiana to protest high fuel prices. Armed with a guitar and megaphone, he crooned about feeling pain at the pump before a growing crowd below.

Last week's stunt got him arrested, but his catchy tune caught fire and turned the musician into a local hero overnight for saying, or rather singing, what is on everyone's mind.

"The $4 mark is the breaking point," he said. "People are really upset."

Weinberg, 29, of Valparaiso has been strumming his ditty "Price Gouge'n" on Chicago radio stations, and the story has been picked up around the country and by The Times of India. (Yes, India, not Indiana.) The lyrics have been met with laughter and righteous head nods when he sings, "I can't afford it, I'm banging on my dashboard, I can't believe they think I'm a fool."

Protests are cropping up around the country as frustration over gas prices grows. A truck driver stood by a Louisville expressway with a sign objecting to diesel costs. The owner of a Milwaukee-area gas station closed for 24 hours to protest prices last month, and a lawn-care company in Tennessee organized a rally outside its business last week. Hundreds of truck drivers protested at the U.S. Capitol, and gas prices have become an issue in the presidential campaign.

That was part of the reason Weinberg took his protest song public May 5 at a convenience store in Valparaiso. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were in his area campaigning, and he wanted them to take notice.

A YouTube video of his protest shows cars honking as Weinberg asks from the megaphone, "Are you sick of these gas prices?" A woman holding a young girl stops to watch, and people hold up fists in the air in solidarity as they walk by with a dog.

Weinberg proclaimed he would not come down until prices came down, but that was not to be. He expected police would arrest him but knew they would have a difficult time reaching him atop the roof.

"I thought, 'What if I get on top of the canopy where they can't get to me? Then I've got a little bit of time to really say some stuff. They'd have to send firetrucks to get to me.' "

Turns out that is exactly what they did. They brought Weinberg down using a fire ladder, said Valparaiso Police Sgt. Mike Grennes.

"When we arrived, there was a crowd of about 40 people," Grennes said without a hint of amusement. "They were singing a song about the high price of gas."

Weinberg was charged with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct by Porter County authorities and bonded out by a friend. He will appear in court in June.

Carl Cohen, a philosophy professor at the University of Michigan, said the mini-concert was an act of civil disobedience, a topic he wrote a book about during the Vietnam War. It's rare for such protests to target economic problems because the culprit is often vague, but in this case it was easy to lay blame on oil companies, he said.

"What is most interesting about this case, I would say, is the inventive way he devised to express the protest—singing from on high," Cohen said.

Weinberg is the first to admit the hoopla was a great way to get his name out as a recording artist. He spent 30 hours in the studio recording the tune, which can be downloaded online for 37 cents.

But he sees the spectacle as a form of civil disobedience in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi.

"I'm not saying what I'm doing is as important as those guys, but they talk about unjust laws. Well, this is pretty unjust," he said.

Weinberg took a break from his day job at a framing shop to hit the road for interviews about his arrest. Along the way, he saw the range of gas prices in Illinois and Indiana and had to top off the tank of his friend's Ford Taurus for $3.89 a gallon.

"I'm hoping this song can be an anthem," he said. "It's something I've felt personally. It's something resonating with people's minds and hearts, and most importantly in their wallets." - Emma Fitzsimmons

"Top 10 Album of 2009"

#6. JAY WEINBERG/THE ENERGY COMMISSION "10,000 Hours" (Persistence Records)
This Valparaiso singer/songwriter is an adventurous protest singer and troubadour with plenty to say about common folk being used as chattel by corporate powers.
Totally refreshing sound and approach; songs range from smooth ("Davy Jones Locker"), to ska-like ("Price Gouge'n"), to white boy rap ("Ode To Howard Beale").
Politically-charged with instrumental assistance by a bevy of regional talents, including the Schaffer-Murray brothers of Planetary Band (see #5 on this list). Weinberg sings what average Americans are thinking. He's got brass. Highlights: "Price Gouge'n," "You're So Vain," and "Mediaocracy (if it bleeds)." FYI: THEENERGYCOMMISSION.COM - NWI Times

"Video: The Energy Commission Raps About Halo: Reach"

Does not a Master Chief, also, need to do his laundry?

Machinima and Chicago-based band The Energy Commission have teamed up to give us this rap-based tribute to the end of a social life and the beginning of Halo: Reach.

I played Reach the other day all of my own volition, believe it or not. I killed some guys, defended a flag. Felt proud of myself.

But it should go without saying that this video doesn’t even come close to the greatness of the Halo Zune rap (feat. bag puppet J Allard) - Wired Magazine - Chris Kohler

"Hip Hop Halo"

Hip Hop Halo - Interview With The Creator Of "Reach" Rap Video
Ryan Smith on 10.11.10 at 10:20 AM

Is that Master Chief washing his whites in a laundromat, riding a 10-speed and pumping gas?

Nope, the man behind the Halo mask in the rap music video "Reach (Halo Rap Video)" you may have seen recently on YouTube is Jay Weinberg.

Former Chicagoan Weinberg, and his Valparaiso, IN-based band The Energy Commission posted their hilarious Halo video recently and it's already amassed over 60,000 views and was the 19th most viewed videos on YouTube on its first day online. This isn't the first time Weinberg's taken on video games. Last year, he made a video about Modern Warfare 2 that included a line that may never be topped - "Team Deathmatch is better than fellacio."

The Energy Commission is headlining a show at Chicago's Elbo Room on Nov. 13 and may play the Halo rap there. In the meantime,GameSmith chatted with Weinberg about Halo, hip-hop and the art of guerrilla parade crashing.

GameSmith:What inspired you to write the song and make this video?

Jay:I was looking for a costume in this Costume World shop in Michigan City when I saw a Master Chief suit. I had to get it! I was looking forward to Halo: Reach, it's sort of a swan song for Bungie with Halo. The song just sort of formulated in my head from there. I wanted for the video to put the suit in some ridiculous scenarios where it didn't really belong. When I wrote the lyrics it kind of just came out.

And you know, I've been playing games since I was a kid. In between stuff with the band, playing games is how I get away from it all. The audience for games is so huge, and people appreciate it so quickly. It's a cool way to relate to people.

GameSmith: In the video, you blow up a kid with a sticky grenade and then teabag him. Did you feel bad about that?

Jay: The funny thing, is that guy is actually my drummer. We dressed him up and he did look like a little guy. Pulling off the teabag move was classic. I was going to do it to a little kid but I probably would feel bad doing that. Plus, everyone thinks our drummer is a kid anyway, so it worked out.

GameSmith: When you were making the video, how did people respond seeing you ride a bike with the Master Chief suit on or crashing that parade and stuff?

Jay: I really want to put some of our footage together and make "A Day In the Life of Master Chief" because we have so much good stuff, some of which we had to leave out. For the parade scene, it was Popcorn Fest in our hometown and it was no-holds barred. I actually just jumped out in front of the parade guerilla-style. We literally stopped the parade because about 50 kids tried to run over and were like "Oh my, Master Chief!"

With the tennis scene, we just saw these women playing doubles tennis and we just got lucky. The bike ride we shot at Valpo University and we ended up just borrowing this college guy's bike. People were excited, they're like "Master Chief, come have a beer with us!"

Honestly, that suit was so hot though! I probably lost a lot of weight doing that.

GameSmith: You got some press a couple years ago for a political song "The Gasoline Song" and now you're doing a Halo rap?

Jay: I don't want to box myself in. I'm social minded and care about people's lives. At the same time, I have fun and playing video games. That's the way it should be, art expresses who I am and what I do. You just do what do you do.

GameSmith: It feels like there is a bit of social commentary in this Halo song through.

Jay: I'm not that hardcore of a gamer, but there are those people like that out here. The social know, it's funny because Tiger Woods get paid a lot of money to play a game, and no one thinks twice about it. But people that play Halo a lot- you're ostracized. It's like, if you get paid for it like Tiger Woods...Golf is a game and so is Halo. It's not that much different.

GameSmith: Have you been playing a lot of Reach?

Jay: A decent amount. The multiplayer is great. I feel like they've finally stepped up. Halo 3 and ODST I thought they were pretty much regurgitating old stuff. But this game with the textures and animations. I'm a graphic whore--we're a visual culture, so I love that stuff.

GameSmith: Planning on any more video game raps?

Jay: I'll probably will do another video game song at some point. But I don't want to do it indefinitely. If something inspires me. I'm a big time Rockstar guy, so Grand Theft Auto V maybe.

- RedEYE / Chicago Now

"Roctober Magazine"

The Energy Commission "10,000 Hours"(Persistence)Take ska-inspired pop, add poetic Dylan-level complexity lyrics and you get this jolt of energy. Jay Weinberg is not just a poet, he's an activist, and these tunes take on Big Oil, Big Media, and a lot of other Bigs. But it never becomes tuneless or humorless like too much protest music, these bounce and jive and groove their messages. Maybe next record, though, he'll use a CFL bulb for his artwork. - Waymon Timbsdayle


Gasoline song, protest goes viral
By Matthew Ralph

When 29-year-old Indiana resident Jay Weinberg climbed on the roof of a service station earlier this month to protest gas prices, a campaign that started with a guitar strumming rant on $2 gasoline two and a half years earlier went viral.

Sporting a uniform synonymous with blue-collar anguish – a Cubs hat and shirt – Weinberg, aka Epoch Apostle, shouted the words of his gas price lament “Price Gouge’n” through a megaphone, leading a crowd of friends and rubber-necking bystanders in the middle-finger-to-the-man chorus. The impromptu 15-minute concert and subsequent arrest went even better than expected.

Within days of the Valparaiso resident’s staged act of civil disobedience, a YouTube video was attracting thousands of hits and mainstream media from as far away as India had given Weinberg and his gasoline song ink.

“I didn’t think it was going to blow up this fast,” Weinberg said in a phone interview from his apartment in a week that included interviews with a Detroit radio station and a Chicago ABC affiliate. “It’s just been like wild-fire.”

Though he was known as the shy kid in high school, Weinberg said he’s made a name for himself in his local music community for not being afraid to speak out.

“Basically, for the past 10 years I’ve been doing this music and it’s been in my blood and it’s been in my consciousness that I’m going to do more than just complain like the average person would do,” he said. “I don’t think all the money should be going to these oil companies and these big conglomerates.”

From the day he launched, Weinberg said the protest was about more than just the price.

“It’s about the price we are paying, but it’s bringing certain issues to the forefront like environmental issues, political issues, all the way down to war,” he said.

For Weinberg, his wife Danielle and his legion of musical comrades and friends, it’s also a kind of guerilla style way of getting their music heard and art seen. In an age where publicity stunts and viral marketing are used to promote all manner of commercial endeavors, this point has rubbed some people the wrong way.

Scanning the comments in a Chicago Tribune article about the protest, it’s not hard to find critics questioning Weinberg’s motives. In a space where even Mother Theresa’s intentions would have likely been ridiculed, Weinberg was called a “greedy folk singer” by one poster, accused of “trying to make a buck” by another and ironically enough told he should be thrown in jail by a poster with poor grammar.

Weinberg, who said he was inspired in part by George Orwell’s “1984,” Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train” and the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car,” isn’t apologetic about his goals as a musician. Since his primary eve stunt (about 15 minutes from a rally Hillary Clinton was at that day), he hasn’t been called back in to work at a local frame shop. With little money in the coffers, he’s working every angle to get his music and message out there.

“Ghandi said to be the change you want to see in the world and that’s the kind of thing we’re going after,” he said.

As for the stunt itself, it was anything but a one-man show. Like an Improv Everywhere skit, Weinberg enlisted the help of friends to spot for police, capture photos and video and sing. It wasn’t quite “we shall overcome” but even critics have to acknowledge it took some guts.

“As far as courage goes, it’s hard to say,” he said. “I feel like the truth needs no defense in a sense and I feel like the truth is on our side with this whole thing. Getting up there and doing it? I felt like it was going to fall into accord and harmony with what needed to be done. So I wasn’t too nervous. But my mom, she was freaking out.”

To download the song for about $3.50 less than a gallon of gas and to check out other merchandise, visit

posted [5.19.08]

- Matt Ralph


Consistently Inconsistent (LP) Feb. 4th 2014

Time is On My Side (single) used in national television ad for Austria's leading telecom provider A1. 

Time is ON My Side - sung by Danielle Cales for Granite Transformations Television spot.

Parade of Fools (EP)

Modern Warfare 3 Some (Single/Music video 56,000 views)

Reach (Halo) - (Single/Music video with over 141,000 views)

Everything's Fair in Love and Warfare (Single/Music video over half a million views)

10,000 Hours (LP)

Price Gouge'n (Single)



Lets go for a ride. - There Goes My... by The Energy Commission

Taking Chicago by storm, The Energy Commission is more than just another band. They are a multimedia, multi-layered, communal experience that calls their charismatic live performance, a backyard wrestling version of a Cirque du Soleil show. The Energy Commission have been ripping through the Windy City like the fire caused by Mrs. OLearys cow, headlining the House of Blues, Double Door, Cubby Bear and Metro. Their Commissioners represent in hot pink with the e shaved in their hair or permanently tattooed on skin. They Bleed Pink, filling up the entourage of Beer Buses that shuttle fans to shows. Our fans are the show singer Danielle Cales says, Watch for flying effects and Jays ritual smashing of his pink ukulele. From leis to tambourines, every show is a party. The stage takes on a
character of its own featuring their mysterious mannequin with a plasma ball head, their album art in the form of a larger than life 3ft. Rubiks Cube, and Clinton Worthington furiously painting a picture which is often given away at the end of the show.

Dubbing the experience New Renaissance Pop, akin to a box of chocolates, the bands sound incorporates everything from Danielle Cales beloved Andrews Sisters 40s swing to in-your-face rap with elements of dub step. On the Energy Commissions new full-length album, Consistently Inconsistent, you never know what youre gonna get. From the autobiographical The Man With a Pink Ukulele (He dont drive a muscle car / He dont play electric guitar / He just strums his pink ukulele) and Cales winsome vocals on Clean Up on Aisle 18 to the swaggered dub-hop of Dirty Secret, the funk-rocking Cant Afford to Die and Weinbergs playful salute to his wife Danielle, the Lennon-esque Youre My Yoko (with nods to such famous pairs as Johnny Cash and June Carter).

Its not just about the music, explains Weinberg. We leave constraints of genre and even the boundaries of being just a band behind. We hope to remind people that theyve an innate uniqueness of experience and should be fearless in the world they create. Our goal is to appeal as distinctly as we can to pop culture, but our sense of adventure and unconventional expression are what set us apart.

That adventurous spirit was the springboard for Weinbergs Price Gougin and the source of the bands name. Grammy award winning Doug Sax said the song Sounded like a hit record, the Chicago Tribune called Weinberg an Overnight Hero, but a message on Jays phone sounded a little less amused; This is Colonel Jacob Scott of the Energy Commission. We are shutting down your operation. Jay punctuated his message by riding a bicycle donated by Trek some 675 miles to the front gates of the White House and said, When you believe in your song enough to get arrested for singing it and ride a bicycle halfway across the country, the line between art and life really begins to blur. We intend to blur that line intentionally because we dont think it should even exist.

No one would hesitate to call them ambitious. Academy of Art graduate Weinberg designs the bands visual content and produces many of the bands videos entirely on his own. Their satirical Modern Warfare videos have racked up half a million views and partnered the band with leading YouTube content provider Machinama, with nerd core appeal leading to coverage on, Redbull USA, and Xbox Lives Gamer Spotlight.

A testament to diversity, the bands rendition of Time Is on My Side was used by A1 (Austrias leading telecom provider) for their national television campaign. Other artists A1 has used include Ellie Goulding and the XX.

With a successful Kickstarter campaign, sponsorships from The Alley and Sailor Jerry, another arrest (this time with Weinberg in a camo Santa suit), energy is a fitting word for a band that knows no rest. They call themselves the Fittest Band in the Land. Weinberg is a fitness instructor, Josva a personal trainer, and Tone the beast works at the local Y. There are plans for a YouTube workout series, sketch comedy, short films, more on their kickball league, and a coffee table book in 2014.

On designing the album cover Jay says, The Rubiks Cube and its mismatched colors came to represent the diversity of sound and ideas we have. Life is a puzzle. Sometimes it seems impossible to solve, like you just cant get the pieces together. Its like that with the Energy Commission, a challenge to solve what we are, so the solution is to leave those inconsistencies as they naturally occur. We symbolize that misfit courage that takes matters into your own hands. Paint it pink. Play by your own rules!

Unconventionally tangible in a digital world is the 4GB USB drive the band is releasing its special edition of the album on. Shaped like a Rubiks Cube, the USB protrudes as the pink sides align. Its Jays genius.