Spring Concerts: Augustana and Band of Skulls

Pretty much the only two reasons to be inside in the spring just happened in Salt Lake City the last couple of weeks. Augustana and Band of Skulls both showed up in town for much-needed reappearances. These are two of my favorite bands, as is readily apparent to anyone who has read much of my previous concert reviews, so I’ll spare you the repetition of why they are two of the greatest bands ever and just get straight to the facts: If you don’t go see these bands you are a moron. Continue reading

Best Songs About Death

Don’t know if we’ve ever gone down this morbid highway to discuss the very best songs about shuffling off the mortal coil, but it seems like as good a time as any. So dredge the lake for the very best of them and make your nominees. Mine is this one from Elbow: Switching Off.

New Music: 80s Edition

We haven’t talked about new music in a while and there are a lot of great new albums that have dropped recently. But two albums in particular caught my attention because they are from two 80s bands that you might have thought were long gone: Depeche Mode and Orchestral Manoevers in the Dark (“OMD” Surprise, it’s not an abbreviation for anything you would text to anyone). Both released new albums in the last couple months to mostly positive reviews. The first, Depeche Mode’s Delta Machine, is maybe the biggest surprise. Continue reading

Toad The Wet Sprocket – Dulcinea

I found myself reminiscing about this album, one of those I pull out and play in its entirety on regular occasions. It’s still great and it still has the power to surprise and move me even today after many re-playings. All the songs are well-chosen and seem to fit into the story of the album (so to speak) but there are three songs that will always standout to me. The lyrics are sometimes puzzling because they seem pulled from the subconscious somehow, more than tied to any specific frontal-lobe meaning. Here they are:

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New Bond

So a year that seemed like it should be fantastic has turned out to be pretty disappointing. Prometheus, the highly anticipated prequel to Alien turned out to be visually stunning but had a script so egregiously bad you couldn’t even lay back and just enjoy the visuals. Dark Knight Rises, while far from a bad movie, was pretty disappointing to many people as well. However one of the highly anticipated movies of the year, Skyfall, is thus far getting nothing but rave reviews.

It’s hard to talk about a film that isn’t released for American audiences for about a month. However I thought I would throw out the lead song. I thought “Do You Know My Name” from Casino Royal was arguably one of the best Bond themes ever. Quantum of Solace was inferior to Casino Royal on most levels, including the music. It wasn’t a bad song but somehow was pretty forgettable. 

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The Lower Lights: A Hymn Revival Volume 2

The Lower Lights // I Saw The Light from The Lower Lights on Vimeo.

The Lower Lights is a group of amazing musicians and performers who have taken it upon themselves to rework church music in a style that is newer and somewhat less, well, churchy and starchy than you may be used to. The style of their albums is folky and bluegrassy, yet still spiritual and perhaps even more meaningful than the original arrangement, at least to some. We’ve talked about them before, when their first album came out. I’m happy to let you know that their second volume of hymns came out last month, and even happier to tell you that it’s even better than volume 1 (which is saying something). Continue reading