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In the hopes of continuing to expand The Blah Blah, I’ve taken the site off of WordPress and onto my own domain. I seem to have reached capacity here at WordPress, and now it’s time for bigger and better things.
Head on over to www.theblahblah.net and subscribe to the blog there.
Also, if you’re interested in writing, shoot me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll talk about it.
And as always if you have some awesome new music and want me to write about it, send it my way. Don’t bother sending me your crap though, because I’m not gonna say anything positive about it unless it really is great. I’m tired of polishing turds.
I do mean that in the best light possible. 🙂
I’ve never been a huge fan of American Idol but I caught myself sucked into this season’s first episode last week. It was entertaining to see so many songs tortured by well-meaning singers with delusions of grandeur, I admit, but I found myself a little annoyed afterwards.
American Idol is destroying the very thing that makes rock-n-roll what it is. Chuck Berry would never have made it past the tryouts. Elvis Presley would have been laughed off the stage. Little Richard would have been ignored. Joey Ramone would have been censored. Bob Dylan would be crucified and Mick Jagger would be told to stick to his day job.
I tried to think of anybody who I really like to listen to who might have what it takes to be the next American Idol, and I couldn’t think of any. Sufjan Stevens is too whispery. Robbie Seay is too gravelly. Michael Nau is too sad. David Eugene Edwards (Woven Hand) is too depressing. Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou) won’t even try to sing. Jesse Coppenbarger (Colour Revolt) screams too much. Aaron Strumpel’s range is too limited. Vincent Voss (The Singing Mechanic) has an odd vocal style. Daniel Smith… well Daniel Smith wouldn’t even be allowed to sing on American Idol if he wanted to.
Pretty much anybody I like to listen to would probably not even be allowed past the tryouts. And chances are that anybody who would do good on American Idol wouldn’t last long on my playlist.
When rock-n-roll came on the scene, it was fighting against staid, overly-perfected songs that dominated American listeners, replacing that with music that burst forth from the gut. By its very nature, rock-n-roll emphasizes experimentation, self-expression, and raw emotions. American Idol is destroying all that.
A few years ago, I was doing a lot of driving, and I wanted to get more time in God’s word, but I didn’t want to spend any money on an audio Bible. So, what do I do? I go online of course, for the world’s largest collection of downloadable mp3s ever! In my searching, I came across the work of John and Nicole Mahshie, the founders and artists behind Relevant Revolution and Sermon Jams, a collection of mp3s amounting to much more than an audio Bible.
I downloaded a few tracts and was instantly hooked. So, of course, I had to go get more. John views his work as a ministry and, like Keith Green before him, offers his music for a donation, even if that means he never makes a cent for it.
I just found out about this site called The Collective Family a few days ago, and it sounded like a cool enough idea to pass on to ya’ll. And, yes, I know the name sounds like some 1930’s Socialist propoganda on family planning, but it’s so much better than that.
Their tagline is: “We’d rather have our music heard than sold. We’re a bunch of artists that make music and then give it out for free.” I’m definitely not opposed to that.
I’m not sure who all you’ll find on there, but I did notice Destroy Nate Allen had a few albums for download. Anybody notice anyone else cool? I haven’t had the time to check it out like I want to yet.
I’ve done two posts on Paste Magazine recently, the first called “I Hate Paste Magazine” and the second “Ten Reasons I Love Paste Magazine,” and I’ve been delightfully surprised to find that, if you search for “paste magazine” in Google, my hate post is #4, right behind 2 sites from the magazine itself and a Wikipedia article. That’s about as high as you can get in rankings. I’d hate to be higher than the magazine itself (seems somehow wrong), and nobody beats Wikipedia.
What’s even funnier than being #4 is that my Paste-love post comes in at #5, right after my hate post. Talk about being schizophrenic…
So Paste Magazine probably either hates or loves me right now. Or, in reality, they probably don’t even notice me.
Either way, here’s the link to the Google search so you can see it for yourself, in case you have a hard time typing “www.google.com” into your address bar and searching for “paste magazine” on your own. I know, it’s hard.
In other news, if you search for “christian indie mp3,” I’m ranked #2, which is pretty good for a WordPress blog. What else am I ranked high for? Has anybody noticed anything weird?
1. I only paid $1 for a whole year of it!
2. They’ll review unsigned local artists who have no real business being reviewed by a national magazine.
3. Tons of different music styles are covered in every issue, in addition to movies, games, and books.
4. You get a free CD full of sample music with every issue.
5. Five little words: Ezra Furman and the Harpoons.
6. It’s nice and small, so you won’t strain your back lifting it.
7. They’re where I first heard about Okkervil River, which is a great band.
8. It makes great quick reading for those faster-than-average bathroom runs.
9. Their review of Sandra McCracken was very honest, even a little too positive.
10. Crap, I don’t think I have a tenth reason.
See? I’m not all crabby and opinionated.
WARNING: This is a rant. Rules of fairness and objectivity no longer apply.
I hate Paste Magazine. Well, hate’s a strong word, but I’ve decided I don’t like it.
I paid $1 for a 1-year subscription to it, thinking, “Well, what’s to lose for just a single buck?” I’m glad I didn’t pay much more because after almost a year I’ve decided I don’t care for it. Sure, there are good parts to it, but I’ll put those in my “I Love Paste Magazine” post when I get around to it.
What’s not to like in a magazine touting iteslf as finding “signs of life in music, film, and culture”? Well, it’s thin, pathetically thin. The articles are mostly boring. Many of the reviews are unintelligent, overly-snobbish, and miniscule (not that my little line there wasn’t).
What finally forced me to give in and realize I can’t stand the magazine was a recent review of Joe Pug’s EP Nation of Heat. Not only does the review tell you nothing about the EP other than the fact that “it sounds like there’s something in Joe Pug’s mouth,” it’s pathetically short – a mere 62 words.
First, I’d like a little more about the music than a scant Junior High essay answer, and second, I don’t care that much about Joe Pug’s lisp. Sure, I want to know he’s got a lisp, but surely there’s something more interesting about the album than that.
Too many of the reviews are written like a roomful of music (or film) snobs constantly snickering at how they can throw random words in to sound smarter than they are. What the heck does “out-of-vogue unkempt mops of hair” mean? Who knows what “chaw” is? And why might it be in Joe Pug’s mouth? What, exactly, are the “ubiquitous string arrangements” and “thick gloss of reverbed guitars” that Copeland employs on their latest album?
How about some reviews that people can understand?
I paid $1 for an annual subscription to the magazine plus a monthly CD with “the best” new music, according to Paste editors. I read the magazine and usually get either 1) bored or 2) annoyed at the obsessive use of “I’m smarter than you” adjectives. I listened to the CDs for a while, but there hasn’t been much good really so I usually just pop ’em on the shelf and ignore ’em.
For a magazine that should be insanely cool, it’s really lame.
Ask me tomorrow and I may have better stuff to say, but for right now, I’m tired of the ubiquitousness of it all.
Note: on further review, Joe Pug’s lisp is pretty strong.
For a while now, I’ve been a fan of the techno / electronica / worship group the Prodigal Sons. Well, that’s not exactly true. I’ve been a fan in theory. You see, the problem was that they hadn’t made a new album in about 8 years, which made it hard to find anything.
Well, all that will soon be over. I just found out that, after 8 years off, they’re working on a fifth album which will hopefully be released soon.
Head on over to www.myspace.com/prodigalsons to listen to streaming samples. The stuff is awesome. It’s more than good techno – it’s worship music without words. I think you’ll love it.
I can’t wait till the album is released. I’ve been waiting for stuff like this for a while.
I stumbled across this video the other day of David Crowder playing a Guitar Hero guitar for the song “Neverending” at a concert this past March.
I want that guitar.