We surely can’t be the only ones who suppressed a shudder when we saw the title of My Morning Jacket songwriter Jim James’ new solo album: Regions of Light and Sound of God. As it turns out, the title doesn’t necessarily mean that James has gone born-again on our hellbound asses, but either way, we have to admit that our reaction did rather have us reassessing our own prejudices: would James going all Christian necessarily mean that the resultant album would suck massively? We have to say that the answer is probably no — some of our favorite songwriters have addressed matters of faith over the years, after all. And so in payment for our, ahem, sins, we’ve put together a collection of Christian music that doesn’t suck. (Spoiler: sorry Creed and Christian hardcore fans, our charity only goes so far.) … Read More
The Occupy movement is famous for welcoming anyone who wants to join. But you can’t help but wonder if, for campers who’ve endured taunts and snow and pepper spray, some musical guests are more welcome than others. Yes, it’s a thrill to see Philip Glass using the people’s mic at Lincoln Center, but too many of the celebrities who visit OWS seem (at the risk of being uncharitable) to be using its fame for their own good instead of vice-versa. One wonders, for instance, how many impassioned discussions of banking regulations and foreclosure statistics were ever interrupted by the comment, “You know who I’d love to hear right now? Third Eye Blind.”
With that in mind, we offer ten dream concerts for OWS — double bills of music that’s relevant and rousing, from artists (unlike these movement-friendly newcomers) with enough name recognition to draw both fans and media attention to Zuccotti Park, or anywhere else the 99 percent are trying to make themselves heard. … Read More
Monday is a day for ennui and spiritual fatigue, so let us ease the existential pain a little with a selection of this week’s most noteworthy streaming albums. Judging by the largely downtempo nature of what’s surfaced on the web for this week, everyone is feeling pretty much the same we are – there’s wistful synthpop and mournful alt-country aplenty. These should get you through the day, and then you can go home and watch the copy of True Blood that you DVRed last night. … Read More
Welcome to Unpopular Opinions, a weekly column written by Flavorpill’s resident music curmudgeon and esoteric record-bin enthusiast, the Beard. His opinions do not reflect those of Flavorpill, Flavorwire, or any of their affiliates. Enjoy.
It might make me unpopular, but I think that… despite her recent rise to B-grade celebrity status, Rilo Kiley frontwoman and solo singer Jenny Lewis should have stopped making records in 2004. What better way to protect the L.A. daughter’s brilliant indie-pop past than taking her name off Rilo Kiley’s 2007’s Under the Blacklight (the most stunning example ever of thoughtless style’s diminishing effect on substance)?
On the record, Lewis replaced her everygirl approachability with forced attempts at sexiness and, even worse, seedy porn-star serenading. It’s no so much that she sold out or that she doesn’t have a right to strut her stuff, more that she reached inadvisedly (not to mention insincerely) beyond her bounds. Critics leveled plenty of all-too-kind Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac comparisons, but the fact remains: Lewis is no Stevie Nicks, Blacklight‘s slickness was insipid, the song quality suffered, and the supposedly-similar back-story (internal band drama between former lovers) was a real stretch.
Of course, her solo career is another thing entirely – it’s actually hurting the indie-music industry… … Read More