Christian Pop, Trucking Music, Mexican Weirdness, Etc.

Apr 22nd, 2009 // 3 Comments

This is my last week here at Idolator after a year and a half or so of regular appearances, and it’ll be a little strange to not have such a high-profile opportunity to broadcast my preferred (if odd) mix of music tastes to the Internet world.  For example, I’ve been waiting for some excuse to post something by Christian rock’s answer to the Replacements the Altar Boys (not to be confused with the similarly titled Broadway musical) for awhile now, but I couldn’t really come up with a legitimate reason.   Well, the clip above takes care of that problem, so while I still have the platform, let’s run through a few other things I’ve been listening to lately.

It wouldn’t be right for me to say goodbye to this place without some Christian rock.  Sure, it’s cooler to wash your hands of the recent stuff and only declare your love for obscure albums from the ’80s and ’90s, but there are still a few mainstream Christian artists who manage to put out quality music, including Jars of Clay.  While the band hasn’t done much to cross over since their debut and its somewhat surprising hit “Flood” from their debut, Jars of Clay has been plugging away for 16 years now, with each album bringing them closer to the adult alternative camp.  Two years ago, they put out Good Monsters, a disc I absolutely loved thanks to the little bit of a rock edge added to their sound.  Their new album The Long Fall Back To Earth came out yesterday, and while it’s a little more in the U2-anthemic style that’s still so popular in Christian music, there are still some songs I like a lot, including “Weapons”:

I mentioned how much I liked the Road Hammers a few months back (mostly because their first album here in the U.S. was full of songs about trucking), and through the magic of label promotional people who are actually good at their job (Thanks, Carly!), their new, unjustly Canada-limited album was in my mailbox a few days later.  While there aren’t as many trucking songs as I would prefer, the disc is just a solid hard-working country/rock album from start to finish.   I like to feel like a tough guy on occasion, and even in my seven-passenger family vehicle, “I’m Got The Scars To Prove It” nearly does the trick.

I’m a little slow to getting on the Juan Son bandwagon, even though I liked his work as the frontman for the falsetto-heavy Mexican act Porter. But I can’t get enough of his new album Mermaid Sashimi, which is a somewhat Bjork-like concept album about falling in love with a mermaid.  I have no idea where the sashimi comes in, but the disc is strange, weird and wonderful.  Even with a good deal of the songs in English, I have no idea what’s going on, but as long as there are songs like “El Resplandor” that appeal to my somewhat embarrassing synthpop-nostalgia tendencies, I’m in.

There’s probably not much I can say about a Basement Jaxx single at this point that’s going to convince anyone one way or the other, but it’s probably worth noting that they seem to have dropped their obsession with Gypsy music for the moment. This track has one of the guys from the group singing (I think), but it’s a nice interpolation of T-Pain for white guys like me, who like dancing to music with hard-to-miss rhythm cues. I mean that in the best possible way.

I don’t know if I’ll get around to a “farewell” post on Friday, but for a few months, I’ll hear a song and probably still have the reaction of “I should post about this on Idolator”, and while I’ll probably start actually writing something on that Tumblr I set up ages ago at some point, I’ll miss having you all to share things with.

Jars of Clay [official site]
The Road Hammers [official site]
Juan Son [MySpace]
Basement Jaxx [MySpace]

  1. Godspeed, Dan. We never got the posts on One Bad Pig, Stavesacre, and Derek Webb that would’ve been fun. Don’t be a stranger.

  2. i always liked undercover better than the altar boys, but i was probably just too young to appreciate altar boys.

    keep it real, dan!

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