Wesley Jensen and The Penny Arcade
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Wesley Jensen and The Penny Arcade

Denton, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Denton, TX | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie




"Paste Magazine: Song Premiere"

Wesley Jensen is sharing his new track, “Carpenter,” off of his upcoming 2016 album, Memos.

The father of three wrote the album mostly in his spare time using the “Memos” app on his phone, hence the name.

“So, this happens to be a very pivotal track for Memos, making it a good one to feature,” said Jensen of the track. “This song was written after my uncle got sick and passed away, which was right in the middle of making the album. It was a very hard record to make from the start, done while juggling a full time job and a young family, doing most of my writing in transit to and from work on my cell phone ‘Memos’ app.”

The passing of Jensen’s uncle heavily impacted the tone of the album as a whole and especially inspired the track “Carpenter.”

“The album itself was incredibly sarcastic and cynical, based on my internal fight between being a provider and an artist, but when my uncle died the second half of the album changed quite a bit because of it. There is now a hopeful tinge to the record as a whole. Dying young, and doing so with such an admirable grace and peace about him was really inspiring to watch. This song in particular is about my last interactions with him, turned into a desire for some sort of spiritual peace that he had and I didn’t. ”

Listen to the exclusive premiere of “Carpenter” above. - Paste Magazine

"American Songwriter: Daily Discovery"

HOMETOWN: Redding, California


AMBITIONS: To always be creative.

TURN-OFFS: Superiority complexes, disorganization, bagpipes

TURN-ONS: Vinyl, beer, pipe tobacco

DREAM GIG: To share the stage with Brian Wilson or Neil Young would be fantastic.

FAVORITE LYRIC: “She started dancing to that fine, fine music, Oh, her life was saved by rock ‘n’ roll…” – Lou Reed

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “God Only Knows”

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Bill Murray, Larry David, and Joe Montana

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: A fairly recent Beach Boys reunion at one of my favorite venues, The Greek Theatre in Berkley, California. Brian Wilson sang “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” with a Pet Sounds montage and footage of Carl and Dennis rolling in the background. It was pretty incredible.

I WROTE THIS SONG BECAUSE… Writing this song came with unfortunate circumstances, as my uncle got sick and passed away right in the middle of making the album. This song in particular is about my last interactions with him, turned into a desire for some sort of spiritual peace that he had and I didn’t. Dying young, and doing so with such an admirable grace and peace about him was really inspiring to watch. - American Songwriter

"KXT: New Music Mondays"

Your post-St. Valentine’s New Music Monday selections feature an inspired duo, a solo debut and Denton’s newest songwriting ace.

With a nod to his phone’s “Memos” app that he wrote of most of the songs for his new record with, recent California-to-Denton transplant, father of three and songwriter Wesley Jensen didn’t have far to search for the perfect album title of his new album. Songs like “Carpenter” – written in the wake of his late uncle’s valiant battle with cancer – and “Humanitarians,” our made-for-radio pick for New Music Monday, make it clear to us that there’s a mega-notable new talent in town and that we’ll be hearing even more about Wesley Jensen & The Penny Arcade in the months ahead. - KXT Radio Music Blog

"Milk Crater: Wesley Jensen"

Wesley Jensen is a family man. He has three kids and full-time job.

Memos is the name of the soon to be released album. The origin is simple – Jensen used the memos app on his phone to write most of the album. However, rooted below the five-letter surface grew a sentiment that he didn’t expect:

“The turning point came in the middle of creating this album when my uncle got sick [and passed away]. It evolved from a very cynical, complaisant collection of my everyday thoughts into wanting to turn that all around and focus on the good in my life. Not only did it make the songs better, which in turn made the album better, but the experience also made me realize that I should be doing what I love.”

“Dying young, and doing so with such an admirable grace and peace about him was really inspiring to watch. This song in particular is about my last interactions with him, turned into a desire for some sort of spiritual peace that he had and I didn’t.”

The family man revealed. Via Jensen’s toggle between artist and provider, we get “Carpenter.” In one song, we’re exposed to the internal markings of what really composes a family man: an abundance of love, grief, maturity, and ultimately — resolve. - Milk Crater

"Filter Magazine's Discover the Undiscovered"

Welcome to the September edition of Discover The Undiscovered. We’re excited to present our little unknown gem: Wesley Jensen & The Banquet.

Jensen was born and raised in a small town in Redding, CA and his music often reflects this small town upbringing, heavily inspired by the people and scenery surrounding him. His lyrics are honest and music pure, mixing the best of new and old sound. Wesley has been around for 6 years and counting, touring the country and releasing a number of records including his latest, a full length album called Tales of a Wandering Man. Tales was produced, engineered, and mixed all by Jensen at his humble studio he calls, Whiskey Hound Studios. Wesley, along with his talented backing band, are working on a new full length right now that can be expected to be released in 2013.

FILTER: Who do you site as your main influences?
WJ: Brian Wilson and Neil Young

Can you tell us a little about how you and your band met?
I first met Zach (drums) on a tour we did together a couple of years ago. He was essentially a hire on for the other band we were touring with. We had a good appreciation for the same kind of music, and just hit it off. After tour was over and it was time to record a new album, I knew he was the guy I wanted to drum for it. We later added Zach's brother Ethan (lead guitar) and Chandler (bass) who play in another great band called The Ragged Jubilee. Our last addition, Ryan (keys), caught my ears around town and just joined this year.

What achievement are you most excited about?
Our latest record, "Tales of a Wandering Man", is probably my favorite of all our achievements because it was the first album I had produced, mixed, and engineered all on my own. We've played some cool things and had some nice write ups here and there, but being able to fully create that record on every level out does those things I think.

And the band name?
My mother and father gave me my name. As for the band going by "The Banquet", we love Coors original. It seems like the band has a new name every time we play though, so I don't know how long this one will last.

Who are some of your favorite bands?
Old: Beach Boys, Neil Young, Velvet Underground, The Beatles and Stones- New: My Morning Jacket, The National, Beach House, Arcade Fire

Do you have any upcoming plans to tour?
Hopefully after we finish our new record we're working on right now. We're constantly playing shows up and down the west coast though.

Tell us a little about your next releae:
As mentioned above, we're in the middle of recording a new album right now that we're very excited about. Its kind of a Beach Boys style, noise rock album inspired by California and Wes Anderson soundtracks. I'm hoping to have it out by the new year.

- Filter Magazine

"Fresh Pick for Aug 4 2012"

Today’s Fresh Pick on Daily Unsigned, Wesley Jensen has an exquisite voice that will for sure capture you and take you on a sonic journey that will get you to hit the repeat button many times!
- Rob Daily - Daily Unsigned

"Wesley Jensen mySpoonful"

hometown: Redding, CA

categories: Folk Rock, Indie

for fans of: Neil Young, Head and the Heart, The National

why you should check them out:
The recent Folk-Rock explosion has sent a lot of bands running towards a sound that some call classic, others archaic. Many of these bands focus so tightly on the roots of their genre that they’re incapable of looking forward; Wesley Jensen looks forward. His songs flow with a graceful sort of wit, lulling you into a sense of familiarity before surprising you with an unexpected string section or an understated harmonica solo. Jensen’s sings like a twangy Chris Martin, a honeyed voice with just a hint of a rough edge. The lyrics tread a familiar path, of love and loss and home, but his songwriting is so direct and authentic that the subjects feel fresh. Jensen effortlessly shifts between rocllicking uptempo ditties and somber ballads the likes you’d expect to hear in an episode of Justified.

background check:
Hailing from the Northern California city of Redding, Jensen is a bit of a triple threat (for a very specific crowd): A singer, an artist, and a recording engineer. As such, his songs are self-written, self-recorded in his Redding studio and his website is adorned with charming sketches of anthropomorphic animals. He first launched onto the scene with his well received 2007 EP Pirates and Cowboys and 2011 full length Tales of a Wandering Man. Lately, Jensen and his backing band have been touring a bit, geared to open for Teagan and Sara in the upcoming Britt festival.
In interviews, Wesley Jensen cites Brian Wilson as a strong influence, and fans of the Beach Boys will be excited to learn that Jensen’s latest album, a surf/noise-rock tinged album titled Californian, is due to be released very soon.
- mySpoonful

"Relevant Magazine's "Video Of The Day""

Wesley Jensen
Building Houses
Tales of a Wandering Man
Dir: Jesse Rosten - Relevant Magazine

"Band of the Day App"

....His lyrics are honest and music pure, mixing the best of new and old sound. Wesley has been around for 7 years and counting, touring the country and releasing a number of records including his latest, an upcoming full length album called Californian. Californian was produced and engineered by Jensen at his humble studio he calls, Whiskey Hound Studios. Different from previous folk-pop tunes, this new surf/pop noise/rock record pays great tribute to some of his favorite albums: Beach Boys Pet Sounds, Velvet Underground's Loaded... - Band of the Day App

"Review: Wesley Jensen"

Wesley Jensen & The Penny Arcade – Californian (Independent)

A singer-songwriter, musician, studio-engineer and illustrator – mainly pencil drawings of animals sporting bows – Wesley Jensen is a man of many talents. I’m not qualified to comment on his drawings (though I am partial to his lady hedgehog – see his website), but musically, he’s making all the right noises – literally. A native of California (the clue’s in the title), his sophomore album taps directly into the new folk tradition, and does so in ways that avoid cliché or imitation.

Of course, there are hints of other artists, from Coldplay and Fleet Foxes, to Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend. Older artists who provide stated points of reference include Neil Young circa “On The Beach” and “Pet Sounds” period Beach Boys, but Jensen’s sound is very much of the present. The same can’t be said for his song titles. The collection begins with “Where Has the Time Gone: Brothers”, a quirky call to arms, that revels in askew percussion and rhythmic tics. It’s followed by its sister track, “Where Has the Time Gone: Solar Condos”, and Jensen’s pop instincts are fully revealed.

With an instrumental line-up that includes glockenspiel, melodica, omnichord, cellos and “noise”, together with standard guitars, basses and drums, there’s no shortage of interesting things happening, and equally, no shortage of outstanding songs. I’ve already mentioned a couple of my favourites, but it would be remiss to sign off without mentioning the propulsive pleasures of “Wherever You Go: John and Yoko” and the epic guitar sweep of “The Beach”, where those Neil Young and Beach Boys references suddenly make complete sense.




Wesley Jensen and the Penny Arcade CD Baby Page

Phil S. - Leicester Bands

"Review: Wesley Jensen"

Wesley Jensen - Tales Of A Wandering Man (Independent)
Wesley Jensen’s biography can be found on various sites scattered around the information superhighway, and some of them go into considerable detail regarding family, upbringing, beliefs and career. Unfortunately, having perused several of them, I’m still not altogether sure what is precisely truth and what’s pretend. Perhaps it’s all true, in which case, I apologise to Mr. Jensen for doubting him, but all I’m ready to share with you, dear reader, are the basics; Wesley Jensen was born, he lives in California, and “Tales Of A Wandering Man” is his new record.

It’s not that there are obvious mistruths amongst the texts; it’s really just down to the telling. It’s all a little askew and awry; something that’s echoed in the music, a hybrid of alternative folk, sandblasted Americana and toothsome, quirky pop. Obvious influences aren’t easily recognisable, which is always a good thing, though the ambition, the capacity to bring non-pop sounds into a pop setting, and the ability to write and produce songs that leave an imprint long after the music has ceased, it’s groups like Arcade Fire and Radiohead that come to mind.

“Tales Of A Wandering Man” is an album that should be enjoyed undiluted. At 44 minutes, it’s a perfect duration, and ideal for taping on one side of a C90 cassette tape to enjoy on a Sony Walkman, ideally whilst roller-skating. For those with more modernist tastes, I suppose some sort of iPod might be used, and for that kind of person, I understand ‘playlists’ are popular. If that is your predilection, I shall recommend the following tracks: “Dark Horse” is quite wonderful. Its propensity to change time signatures, its mysterious tones and natural, unfettered drive is quite captivating. The title track “Wandering Man” is equally appealing. Though never quite as extreme in its presentation, it compensates the listener with a gentle vulnerability, which doesn’t stop it getting boisterous, in parts. “The Stairs Are Alive” scores maximum points just for its title, and the song, much like the whole album, repeatedly lives up to expectations.
Simon M.
- Leicester Bangs


Pirates and Cowboys EP (2007), Stories EP (2008), Battles EP (2009), Tales of a Wandering Man (2011) Californian (2013) Memos (TBD)



Blending nostalgic 60's pop with fresh modern production

Band Members