Yo La Tengo and Jeff Tweedy remind us why local music rules on 'Parks and Rec' finale



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Local music plays a pretty endearing role on Parks and Recreation, from kids rocker Freddy Spaghetti to Ron Swanson alter ego Duke Silver, and of course, Andy's prolific rock band Mouse Rat. A big part of Parks and Rec's takeaway for viewers is the understanding that everyone plays a role, and together, we form a community that is only as good as the effort individuals put in. That sounds schmaltzy, because what induces more super-charged feelies than a group of people working toward the collective good?

Orlando's music community has taken decent strides recently to genuinely embody the spirit that Parks and Rec jokingly conveys, including forming an Orlando Musicians Guild and other online forums to assist each other, like the CFL Music Gear 4 Sale/Wanted Facebook group. From hooking up bands who need help booking out-of-town gigs to networking events that encourage direct conversation, we got a little Pawnee pride cookin' in Orlando's bands and venues.

For the season finale, which airs Thursday, April 23 on NBC, some major talent has been booked to play Pawnee local bands, including Yo La Tengo as Bobby Knight Ranger and Jeff Tweedy as Land Ho!'s frontman. Ginuwine, Letters to Cleo and the Decemberists will also make guest appearances in the final episode of this season. While it's obviously an attempt to gain these artists' fans as Parks and Rec fans (as if we all aren't already watching!), it's also a considerate nod to how local music can surprise you with the level of otherwise unknown talent assembled. If Pawnee can have a celebrated local rock band fronted by a Jeff Tweedy type, who might you be missing out on in your own small town? (Or in our case, our sprawling city?)

We cover a lot of local music in Orlando Music News, and we track our favorites by following this Facebook list of Orlando Bands. Got a favorite local band you haven't heard the Weekly mention? Let me know what beautiful messes we've been missing.

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