Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Soulsavers - It's Not How Far You Fall It's The Way You Land

Thanks for this.

The question posited to me was whether or not this album was "Christian."

I don't think that a silly question, I took it seriously.

It is, and it isn't- it doesn't have to be and it doesn't have a choice not to be.

Cryptic, but that's the album. It is dogmatic, and dirty and in so many ways what it claims to be.

The Soulsavers are aptly named, as it really does get to the meat of the matter of the soul and the lyrics beg for saving.
"Revival" is a good single, but the deeper voice from Mark Lanegan is chillingly reminiscent of Johnny Cash- as is noted on their website concerning the second single "Kingdoms of Rain." The man's voice is enthralling, but the lyrics are simple, roots/americana based. In "Ghosts of You and Me" there is a fair amount of borrowing, but the emotion is felt throughout.

Highlights are certainly "Revival" & "Kingdoms of Rain", but I also fancied "Ghosts of You and Me," the stand out "Spiritual" is simple and a prayer against a man's greatest fear- a lonely death.

The production value is superb, the quality of the entire album is cohesive, this album is tarnished silver with all the functionality despite its aged appearance.

"Jesus of Nothing"is another notable track (it was hard not to note something about every track), but continues the story telling from Mark Lanegan and the Soulsavers, with a biting chorus, probably the track risking the most of a blashphemous label, yet it doesn't desecrate.

The final track is "No Expectations" but it is also an outro for the album, segmented by a significant, but not lengthy pause between the dark and personal lyrics of "No Expectations"- in which the themes and lyrical elements from the previous songs culiminate- and the almost phantasmal instrumental outro.

Consistency this complete for an album is rarely seen, while the few standouts I mention are either the singles or Spiritual- lyrically simple, the whole album exudes a sort of intoxicated dreary divine quality. I recommend watching the videos for "Revival" and "Kingdoms of Rain" as well.

If you like Johnny Cash's recently produced works (or perhaps the Sneaker Pimps/Portishead, some elements are reminiscent) and soulful introspection, this album is for you.

Now, the matter of the content and soul saving?

Art does reflect life, and if the content of this album is evidence enough- then Lanegan's own pain and redemption is in it for the long haul.

As far as Christian? Not terribly, this is a sinner's album, for sinners, but the point of that is that it is Christian dogmatic- dealing with those elements and loads of suffering- which is what blues & country had done alongside gospel, only this is something else, something dark, brooding and very much singular to the Soulsavers.

Chuck Yeah!

So last night, fellow music staffer Birdwell, his girlfriend Casey and I trekked to Atlanta to see the man, Chuck Ragan (formerly of Hot Water Music), himself doing what he does best: being a badass.

It was a great set, even though he did not play my favorite song "For Broken Ears".

But he did close out with "California Burritos", which made me happy.

Chuck Yeah!

Check out these Chuck records:

Los Feliz
Feast of Famine
Blueprint Sessions

No Idea Records is a good place to look for Chuck stuff.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Latest on Anti-Piracy Issues

There's legislation about illegal downloading being drawn specifically targeting the article and let me know what you think!


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Please Can You Stop the Noise? I'm Trying to Get Some Rest

Okay, it's time to do my own list. This should be a band we all know and love, so I expect lots of comments...

Top 10 Radiohead Songs:

1. Let Down - OK Computer (1997)
2. High and Dry - The Bends (1995)
3. There There - Hail to the Thief (2003)
4. Idioteque - Kid A (2000)
5. Nice Dream - The Bends (1995)
6. House of Cards - In Rainbows (2007)
7. Thinking About You - Pablo Honey (1993)
8. Gagging Order - Com Lag (2004)
9. Knives Out - Amnesiac (2001)
10. True Love Waits - I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings (2001)

Ordered Radiohead Albums:

1. Kid A
2. The Bends
3. OK Computer
4. In Rainbows
5. Hail to the Thief
6. Amnesiac
7. Pablo Honey

... Alright, what's the feedback?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

360 Deal

Seeing as how the future is looking dull for record labels, especially the crappy ones, some record labels have entered into 360 deals with their artists. This basically means that the record label gets money from not only record sales, but merchandise and such forth. The basis for this is falling record sales, I'm guessing. Record labels aren't making back what they put into making the record. I had heard about the 360 deal with big artists like Madonna, but now apparently Paramore has entered into a 360 deal. I'm not quite sure how to feel about it. It's a really interesting trend in the industry, so read the following article and tell me how you feel about it!


Do you still love rock 'n' roll?

Alright, I'm gonna follow Reid's lead and make a list. Because lists rock. I'm going to start off with the easist one for me: Top Wilco Songs. Duh.

My Top Wilco Songs:

1. Passenger Side (A.M.)
"You're gonna make me spill my beer if you don't learn how to steer." PURE POETRY!!!
2. Misunderstood (Being There)*
3. Sunken Treasure*
"I am so out of tune..I am so out of tune with you."
4. Outtamind (Out of Sight)
I like sleigh bells.
5. California Stars (Mermaid Avenue)*
6. Hoodoo Voodoo (Mermaid Avenue)*
7. A Shot in the Arm (Summerteeth)*
8. I'm Always In Love (Summerteeth)
9. Nothingsevergonnastandinmyway (again) (Summerteeth)
10. Via Chicago (Summerteeth)*
11. Candy Floss (Summerteeth)
12. Airline to Heaven (Mermaid Avenue Vol. II)*
13. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)*
14. Jesus, Etc. (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)*
15. Ashes of American Flags (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)*
16. Heavy Metal Drummer (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)*
17. Pot Kettle Black (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)
18. Spiders(Kidsmoke) (A Ghost Is Born)*
19. Handshake Drugs (A Ghost Is Born)*
20. Theologians (A Ghost Is Born)*
21. Either Way (Sky Blue Sky)
22. You Are My Face (Sky Blue Sky)*
23. Impossible Germany (Sky Blue Sky)*

Wow, that was kind of stressful. I love Wilco. The asterik means that I got to see that %^&@ live!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christmas Music

It's that time of year kids! Does anyone have any Christmas music suggestions (new and old) for the music rotation?

Here's what I've got for starters:

Death Cab For Cutie: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Ron Sexsmith: Maybe This Christmas
The Raveonettes: The Christmas Song
Pedro the Lion: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Feist: lo, how a rose e're blooming
Bright Eyes: Blue Christmas
Teenage Fanclub: Christmas Eve
Viva Voce: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Erlend Oye: Last Christmas
Yo La Tengo: It's Christmas Time
The Flaming Lips: A Change at Christmas
The Eels: Christmas Is Going To The Dogs
Low: Just Like Christmas
PAS/CAL: Last Christmas
Mogwai: Christmas Song
The Flaming Lips: Christmas At The Zoo
Dismemberment Plan: This Christmas
Bright Eyes: Little Drummer Boy
Pedro the Lion: I Heard the Bells on Christmas
The Walkmen: Christmas Party

And then there's Sufjan...
Joy To The World
Only At Christmas Time
That was the Worst Christmas Ever!
Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time!
The Little Drummer Boy
Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!
Sister Winter
We're Goin' To the Country!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Are you restless like me?

A post about Against Me!
Don't act like you are surprised.

But it is relevant, because I got to see the kids in their prime element last week: the live show. If you haven't seen these guys live, then I don't even really know if my words are worthy enough to capture or relate the experience. A Universal representative once said that it was more of a movement than a show, and I have to completely agree.

I was fortunate enough to get to hang out with drummer Warren Oakes before the show, and we had a lot to talk about when it came to the band, the state of music today, and art. This tiny man with a big beard also has a great mind, and it gave me hope that maybe someday soon we will come out of this music lull we are in today if bands like these keep pushing on and fighting againstthe dull, safe music that we hear on commercial radio today.

Fellow music staffer Birdwell and I made it extremely close to the stage. Actually, I could not get any closer because I was front row center. (I may be short, but seriously, don't mess with me at shows!) The band did an excellent job of playing songs from every album (Reinventing Axl Rose, As the Eternal Cowboy, Searching For a Former Clarity, and New Wave). They even played "Impact" from their Crime E.P.

Birdwell and I most definitely got on stage during "Baby, I'm Anarchist"..and I went back for seconds during the last song "We Laugh at Danger and Break All The Rules".

There is depth to my love for Against Me!. I love a band that is challenging the way things are. I love a band that can evolve and continues to re-evaluate the way they think and approach things.

...and they make me want to rock.


The Late Greats

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to hear a song and not have it affect me in some way. It's a strange thought for me to about music just stopping at my ears and not reaching any other part my body. But I have to realize that there are people out there that don't share my passion for music, but all I can hope is that they at least respect it as the great art that it is.

My goal as music director is not only to ensure that there is quality music getting infiltrating people's speakers, but to also foster a sense of community among those of us that truly love music. I really hope that more people will share their thoughts on this blog. Tell us about your favorite band, a new song you heard, the latest album you reviewed for the station, a kickass show that you went to...something, anything!

I feel like apathy is a big issue in our world today. And I know I've been guilty of being apathetic before, because it's just so easy to do. But where does it get us really? Sitting in the car listening to Nickelback because we're too lazy to turn the knob to a different station?

So let's talk, kids. Tell me your favorite band.