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

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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 some of our hymns in a style that is newer and somewhat less, well, churchy and starchy than we 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

New Music: Band of Skulls – “Sweet Sour”

Band of Skulls has been one of my top five favorite bands since their debut, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey discussed here, and they are also in my top three of bands to see live (discussed here). So you can imagine that I have been awaiting their sophomore album with great anticipation. Sophomore albums being what they are, however, I have tried to keep my expectations in check. Continue reading

I Don’t Want To Go To Heaven If I Can’t Get In

The title of this post comes from a recently released single, called “Heaven” by the band O.A.R. (which apparently stands for “Of A Revolution”).

This is not a band I follow much, so I’m not very familiar with their other work, but I like a lot of what I have heard of their music. This particular track, the first single of the bands album King which was released this year, caught my attention partly because it’s a catchy tune and has been getting some radio play, but mostly because of the lyrics.

Of course, it’s just a dumb pop song in some ways, but it resonates with some people and is causing some small stir in the Christian community, partly because it captures, in a very articulate and pithy way, a view that is very widespread in our culture and is the reason, I believe, why many people want nothing to do with any organized religion, including ours. That view is that religion pitches heaven (the ultimate goal of existence) as a kind of exclusive country club, and the kind of person you are is really not welcome there. Continue reading

New Music – Mumford & Sons

Here are a couple of new tracks from Mumford & Sons, a band I have really come to like lately. Let me know what you think.

A Year in the Making: U2 360 Salt Lake City

U2 are the band that it seems everyone, of every age, has a fervently held opinion about, either positive or negative. It’s possible, maybe even fashionable, to be deeply cynical about them now, especially when they show up with 27 semis and build a UFO in a football stadium, preach at you between songs (am I buggin’ you?) and charge a hundred bucks per ticket for the privilege of hearing them do so. That kind of thing can turn people off.

And on top of all that, when you delay the concert for a year while your primadonna lead singer recuperates from a bad back (damaged while shouldering the cares of the world no doubt) you better think twice before hauling your sorry ass into town and asking people to dust off their year-old tickets and show up to your over-late, over-blown traveling circus of a show. Continue reading

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

We haven’t talked about Foo Fighters new album, Wasting Light, which was released a couple weeks ago, and which reunited Grohl with Butch Vig, the Nirvana producer. I was planning to do a post on it but then I saw them perform on Letterman and thought the videos of that performance were just awesome, so I’m posting one of them above. As with most Foo Fighters albums, this album has some great tracks and some that just are over the top. One of the tracks, called “I Should Have Known” features Krist Novoselic on bass and appears to be a memoir of their former bandmate’s death, with Grohl repeatedly singing “I cannot forgive you yet.” Seriously. I think this album is one of the best albums this band has ever done.

My favorite track is the one above. I also really like “Walk.” Let me know your thoughts on this new Foo.