I love Religous Music. Not because of anything to do with the religiosity itself - in other words, yes I still hate Christian Rock, and it's new found top-40 radio brethren and the occasional "Rapper finds Jesus and spews a rhyme for the big guy" track that are just all so predictable and boring. Rather, I love that old-time religion. There's an exuberance and an energy to it that is just so rare, it's impossible not to love it. Even more so though, what I love is pop music that deliberately imitates the sounds and structures of that old time religion - Popspel for lack of a better word. Songs like Blur's "Tender", The Clash's "Sound of the Sinners", or todays post, all have that exuberance to them. It's a rare and wonderful thing.
David Byrne and Brian Eno - Help Me Somebody! - This is off of 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts an album that was really incredibly far ahead of it's time. Yea, the incongruously paired spoken word vocal with dance beat is old hat know, but think about how it sounded back then. Fear of Music was pretty damned experimental. This was just over the edge, with a preacher flying off the handle about the bigness of god, paired with steady african drumbeats, a funky bassline, and that distorted tapehiss that MIGHT be the roar of a crowd. It was a HARD choice between this and it's sister track, "The Jezebel Spirit" - which features a more subdued beat, and a vocal track of an Exorcism being performed in NYC. "Help Me Somebody!" wins on the strength of it's energy, the "I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I KNOW!", and that YELP!
The MC 5 - Sister Anne - off of 1971's High Time this song is somewhat less political than classic MC5, but what it lacks in revolutionary fervor, it makes up for with a Chuck Berry riff, a hint of what might have been to come with some nascent power chords, and a chorus that downright screams PREACH - at least to me. This is probably my favorite MC5 song, and that is high praise indeed - even if it is a bit bloated in it's legnth.
In other news (AKA Clicky):
Just A Fan is a new website organized by Wilco fans to say "Sorry for downloading, how can we make it up to you?" And solicitng donations to the band selected charity Doctors Without Borders, and in ther first day, on word of mouth alone, raised 1500 bucks. Though I won't be contributing (1 - I didn't download the Wilco album, and 2 - I have no money to give), this is a GREAT idea, and I hope the site doesn't just die when the Wilco leak donations dryout. I.E. I hope this concept gets extended to other high profile leaks, and Justafan.org becomes a stable and permanent presence on the net.
My friend Ben's band The Axe Wound Kids (whose music I have posted here previously and is availiable for free on his website), is going on tour in late May, but they're still looking for bookings. They aren't doing this for the money, and you don't really need to pay them, if you can offer 1) shelter, and 2) an audience, they'll be happy. At the moment, they're looking for bookings in Jersey on May 24th, and somewhere between there and Connecticut on the 25th. If you or someone you know books shows, and wants the Axe Wound Kids to play, drop them an email at TheAxeWoundKids@Yahoo.com. They need the love.
Finally, I'm in the midst of a little project, and could use a hand. Namely, I have no f*cking clue how to make a .torrent file with Bit Torrent (something about a tracker URL? Wuh-huh?) and could REALLY use a hand. It's all for the good of you reader type folks, so please. Offer a hand to a guy in need?