Recent Entries
A Book A Week
BFL 2005
Blogroll Cruise
Book Reviews
Church and State
Current Events
Everything Else
Feast Days and Holy Days
Intolerant Tolerance
Mark Study
Movie Metaphysics
Music Mondays
Music Reviews
New Media
Nicholas Kristof
Seven Councils
The Chronicles of Andreius, the Paladin
This Week in Church History
Webcomics Wrapup
Thanks a LOT, NPR
Monday Morning -- Fool's Paradise

August 20, 2007

Thanks a LOT, NPR

So I'm listening to NPR one day, minding my own business. World Cafe comes on, and they're featuring a band my wife had just heard about (on another NPR show -- we're such yuppies!) -- Los Straitjackets. And so I listened. And now?

I'm hooked.

It's not just the luchador masks (though that IS a cool touch). It's the guitar work, the Dick Dale-style instrumentals. It's the whole 1960s surf-rock vibe, and I can't get enough.

Their latest album is Rock en Espanol, and it's Spanish versions of classic rock tunes. Note I didn't say covers -- if you know Spanish, you'll notice that the lyrics don't always match up perfectly, but the feel is right. They rhythm is right. And the guitar is always right. My favorites on this one have to be "Hey Lupe" ('Hang On, Sloopy'), and "Loco Te Patina El Coco" ('Wild Thing'), but the entire album is outstanding, with vocals provided by Big Sandy (of Fly-Rite Boys fame) since they don't normally do vocals.

I also downloaded "Little Drummer Boy" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" from their Tis the Season album. I love unique takes on Christmas music, and these will both be excellent additions to the playlist this November and December. I especially like the Dick Dale influenced take on "Drummer Boy."

The last album I sampled (at least for now) was Sing Along with Los Straitjackets. I downloaded "California Sun" (vocals by Dave Alvin) and "The End of the World" (vocals by Leigh Nash, formerly of Sixpence None the Richer). "The End of the World" was one of the first country songs I remember, with Skeeter Davis' plaintive vocals. Nash does a good job on this song, and it brings back memories of long car trips listening to the 8-track in the family station wagon.

All of these are available at emusic, so go download them. And if you haven't joined yet, you should -- you get 50 free songs!! And make sure you check out Los Straitjackets -- any band that offers actual vinyl LPs has got to be great!

Posted by Warren Kelly at 07:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2005

Monday Morning -- Fool's Paradise

As soon as I threw this into the CD player, I knew I was going to enjoy the CD. This is good, melodic, powerful rock and roll that's a lot like the stuff I listened to when I was in school.

Monday Morning is a four-piece band featuring Derek and Kevin Stipe (vocals and bass, respectively), Justin Blythe (guitar), and Kent Rector (drums). Their first release, Blind, sold over 5,000 copies. They hit the festivals this summer, playing Atlanta Fest, and Cornerstone already, and are scheduled to play Gracefest in Pensacola Florida this September. They tour a lot for an indie band.

And the CD is outstanding. "Sunshine" is the current radio single, and is not the bright, sunny song that you might think it should be. The song is about a struggle -- it's about living through pain and emerging to find God's love still there. It's an encouragement to anyone going through something that seems to have no solution; persevere, and the Light will break through the clouds. "Next Year" is almost an autobiography of the band, telling of times of difficulty and, once again, perseverence. In fact, that kind of perseverence seems to be a theme throughout the album, and marks the band's career up to this point.

I do have a couple favorite tracks on the CD. "Dear You" tells a story that hits close to home to me -- the broken heart of a believer who didn't take time to share the reason for their faith to someone who they were close to. "Until the End" is the battle-cry of the believer who is committed to serving God. "Tonight" is an awesome story about one girl's search for meaning in her life.

From the promotional materials that came with the CD:

Maybe it's okay to think everything's all right, to ignore problems going on down the street, outside your dood, inside the hearts of people you know. Maybe it's best just to live life in the universe you've fashioned for yourself, oblivious to chaos swirling barely beyond your view. Or maybe not.

Perhaps we should be cognizant of the situation at hand. Admit that bad things happen, and people aren't always what they seem to be. But knowledge is power, and hope can be found, if you choose to look for it. If you choose to leave your Fool's Paradise.

This CD will challenge a lot of people's opinion of "Christian rock." I know that, at a time when I was starting to think I was too old for new music, this CD came as a breath of fresh air. Good rock and roll, with a contemporary sound and lyrics that speak to the heart. Just the way I like it.

The album isn't available at Amazon (yet). The release date is August 30. If you can't wait that long, head over to Grassroots Music and pre-order your copy. You can listen to samples at the band's website. You owe it to yourself to check thi band out.

Posted by Warren Kelly at 04:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from mindandmedia. Make you own badge here.