This week, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson reunited under the banner of their old band, The Replacements, to release a song to help raise funds for former bandmate Slim Dunlop, who is in recoverey after suffering a stroke. The “reunion” is barely a reunion, but it’s cause enough for me to use it as a platform to discuss one of my favorite bands of all time.
I know you’re probably going to find a lot of online primers for The Replacements seeing as how they’re one of those seminal bands that a lot of people hold near and dear, but if you haven’t given these Minneapolis bad boys a listen, I’ll be glad to be your tour guide. Instead of just listing off my favorite ‘Mats songs, we’re going to take a chronological journey – a song per album (eight of ‘em), from the band’s rowdy, desheveled beginnings to their staid and disappointing end (the only possible outcome for lovable losers). Enjoy.
Stompin’ Tom Connors, a Canadian icon who penned what is considered to be his nation’s unofficial national anthem, has died. He was 77.
While Connors will be remembered fondly for his music, it is his devout nationalism that may be his most profound contribtution to the world.
Here is his final statement.
After the jump is a collection of thoughts comedian Norm Macdonald put together on his (amazing) Twitter page. It gets to the heart of the man.
March 5, 2013
After some of the discussion yesterday regarding the concept of Christian dubstep, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be a nice bit of synergy if I discussed other attempts by Christian artists to co-opt popular music genres of the day?” And you know what, I think I’m going to go through with it.
Christian artists latching onto popular trends is as old as time. What better way to sneak your message in than through whatever the hell the kids are listening to these days? Now, to be honest, I’m not really sure what Christian co-opting sounds like in 2013. A quick scan of my local Christian radio station reveals a shit-ton of worship acts that either sound like modern pop country laced with U2 or some garbage mall emo/Muse hybrid (also, I think the “Mumford sound” is starting to sneak into the Christian atmosphere), so, you can forgive me for not being particularly current (perhaps enlighten me on the current zeitgeist of Christian music). But being a churchgoing kid of the 90s, I certainly know what the Chrizzo’s were pumping back in the day (and before).
A disclaimer: huge, glaring pendulum swings of quality are contained here. Your mileage may vary, but there are a handful of bands here that I wholeheartedly cosign on and a selection that I would prefer to not be associated with.
A second disclaimer: This is a list of 10, and by and large I’ve ignored some of the more original artists that have been tagged as Christian artists. My focus is more on genres being co-opted by the Christian music industry, so true originals like Danielson, Pedro The Lion and Sufjan Stevens are staying on the sidelines.
Where Carson attemps to introduce you to another Canadian singer, except this time it’s a country singer from the current century. Good luck with all that. (more…)
February 19, 2013
Hey all! Sorry no post last week. I had some family business to tend to.
From week to week these mixtapes can be pretty tricky to compile. It’s not so much thinking of songs, but thinking of themes. While I wrack my brain for an interesting conceptual foundation for each week’s new mixtape, I find that I’m oftentimes neglecting to just simplify. This week I will try to simplify by focusing on introducing (or reminding) readers to an artist that I love. This week I want to play you a few Judee Sill songs.
Here are the “fun” facts on Judee Sill: she was the first person signed to David Geffen’s Asylum records; she released two albums for them (1971′s Judee Sill and 1973′s Heart Food)before her overdose death at the age 35 in 1979; she was briefly homeless; she was briefly a prostitute; she was briefly a bank robber; she was obsessed with Jesus and other aspects of spirituality.
Here’s what you need to know about Judee Sill: her voice.
Sill’s voice is a strange instrument. While she was from California, her voice has a sort of flat (not in terms of pitch) intonation that sounds like a midwesterner trying to sing with a southern twang. But with the reediness of her voice, there is this etheral quality that allows her to slip from note to note like she’s using auto-tune (but she’s not). The layers of overdubs certainly help.
Anyway, enough of my jibber jabber. You guys need to fall in love with Judee Sill.