Free Download: Picardy III – Lonely Songs EP

Its slightly strange for me to talk about about Picardy III because for the last few years i have known him as James Summers. In fact its amazing to think that my friends had a part of every aspect of this album from the music (James) to the recording/production (Brandon Kinder of The Rocketboys/The Wealthy West fame) and even the photo for the cover art is my friend David’s work. What makes it all the better is that Lonely Songs is really good. Like stupid good. Its a mix of Pedro the Lion, The Rocketboys, and a little Johnny Cash, which means basically if you are into folk music with and indie rock bend then you will be all over this.

Im proud of my friends. Listen below and you will understand why.

Christian Music Artist Tops Paste’s Best of Decade List

Paste magazine just released their list of 50 greatest albums of the decade on their website. Five recordings made by Christian music artists made the list.

We were excited that iconic indie artist Sufjan Stevens was number one on the list with Come On Feel the Illinoise (notice Paste did not get the name correct)  and alternative rock’s darling Pedro The Lion made the list with Control.  The rock cred of Jack White garnered the attention of Paste writers so that country legend Loretta Lynn made the list with Van Lear Rose.  The best movie soundtrack of the decade ‘O Brother Where Are Thou? made the list but why do we include it here?  Well, the soundtrack was the brainchild of Christian music artist and famed producer T Bone Burnett.

Finally, we were shocked and thrilled that one of our favorite cds of the decade, Over The Rhine‘s Ohio made the list. We did not think anyone had noticed the greatness of this folk, rock, jazz, pop masterpiece.

Of course we think the list excluded these masterpieces:

But worry not we are working on our list of essential recordings by Christian Music Artists.

In the meantime, here is what Paste had to say about these great records.

1. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois [Asthmatic Kitty] (2005) Amazon

Sufjan Stevens IllinoiseIn 2005, when Sufjan Stevens released Illinois, the second album in his planned 50-state project, American pride was at a record low—especially among young people. The death toll in Iraq was steadily climbing, and Abu Ghraib was fresh on our minds. Meanwhile, Stevens was beginning to seem brilliant enough to fulfill his ambitious plan. His music pushed boundaries between pop and classical, and the emotional weight of his lyrics grounded his feather-light voice. There was a distinct peculiarity about Illinois and Stevens himself, who gave his songs titles like “To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament.” Critics embraced the mystery and declared the album a masterpiece. Stevens and his band, The Illinoisemakers, wore cheerleading costumes onstage to promote the record, and once its success took them to larger venues, Stevens switched to giant, colorful bird wings. His band was a spectacle, their performances magical. Thousands of fans gathered in theaters across the country to behold this winged creature and rally behind his songs about America’s heartland. It was a new, weird kind of patriotism.

26. Over the Rhine: Ohio (2004) Amazon

Over The Rhine OhioIn the liner notes accompanying Over the Rhine’s gloriously self-indulgent double-disc, Ohio, co-founder Linford Detweiler, writes, “We grew up in small coal mining towns in the Ohio Valley, listening to music that could have only been unearthed in America: Southern Gospel, Country Western and Rock ’n’ Roll. This music fertilized the soil of our early lives. We sit down at the upright piano these days with dirt under our fingernails.” And I suppose that’s what I love about this album. The songs feel gritty and real, unpolished and perfect. Just like people. All the artifice (both musical and emotional) has been carefully dismantled, traditional instruments—upright piano, pedal steel, acoustic guitars—have been dusted off, arrangements have been simplified, windows into souls have been propped open a bit wider. In stark contrast, Karin Bergquist’s voice has never felt as undressed and painfully honest as it does in these songs, as if she’s opened her gut and tugged the melodies out like a breach baby. This process is partly masochistic, partly exhibitionist, entirely self-consuming: but such is true art. Ohio, is more than simply a dense, rich, vulnerable collection of songs; it’s a dirt road companion on that difficult journey inward, upward. Homeward. Jason Killingsworth

34. Various artists: O Brother Where Art Thou? [Mercury] (2001) Amazon

T Bone Burnett O'Brother Where Art ThouThis old-timey country album and most unlikely hit may have signaled the last gasp of alternative country. On the bright side, it suggested that those alt-country values (rough-hewn vocals, acoustic instrumentation, a palpable connection to American roots music) had busted out of the sub-genre ghetto and crossed over into the mainstream. After all, the album did win the Grammy for Album of the Year. Some of our favorite female vocalists—one-named artists like Emmylou and Gillian—got much-deserved exposure thanks to this collection, which scored a freewheeling Coen Bros movie and did nothing but good for all concerned. Nick Marino

36. Pedro The Lion: Control [Jade Tree] (2002) Control

Pedro The Lion Control

David Bazan’s Seattle indie rock is well played, and his voice is perfectly restrained, but his most unique gift lies in storytelling—vivid images and a thoughtful perspective create a deep, dark feeling of sadness. In-depth descriptions of extramarital affairs appear throughout Control, a characteristically bold move for the former Christian singer/songwriter. The music is heavier, too—this time around, electric guitars dare to match the lyrical intensity. Kate Kiefer

48. Loretta Lynn: Van Lear Rose [Interscope] (2004) Amazon
Loretta Lynn Van Lear RoseIn 2004, 69-year-old Loretta Lynn released her thirty-seventh solo studio album. It could have been a sad affair, the desperate yawp of a legendary Nashville madam teetering into an aged cliché of herself, but with the help of rock ‘n’ roll upstart Jack White, Lynn made the greatest record of her career. Like a bunch of rowdy grandkids, White and a crew of friends (most of whom would converge a year later as The Raconteurs) lent a sly, gritty feel to Lynn’s 13 mostly-autobiographical tracks—Van Lear Rose was her 70th release overall, but it was only the second time she’d written or co-written all of her songs. Her seasoned, tremulous voice paired perfectly with White’s electric guitar warble, pulling off mournful country crooners and all-out rock numbers with equal grit and spunk. She hasn’t released anything since, but it almost doesn’t matter. Rachael Maddux

Christian Music News November 10th,2009

Headlines

Sufjan Stevens has recently stated that his endeavor to make an album about every state in the USA (all 50 of them) was a joke, and that instead he has been focusing on other projects (like The BQE). In related news, Sufjan‘s Illinoise album was named the top record of the decade by Paste Magazine. Pedro The Lion‘s Control made # 36, and Over The Rhine‘s Ohio came in at #26.

The Michael Gungor Band has changed their name to simply Gungor in the hopes of taking a new direction with the band’s music and overall persona.

Mae had their van and trailer stolen from them in Philadelphia. See The Light had their van broken into. Anberlin‘s trailure was robbed while they were sitting on their bus! If you are reading this right now, and you think that it would be cool to rip off a traveling band, remind yourself that these guys live on the road. They give up family, friends, comfort, and finance to travel across the globe an entertain people. Stealing from them is almost like stealing from a homeless person….

Blood & Ink Records have signed Divide The Sea to their roster. Their new album, Man, will be hitting stores in early 2010.

Videos

Below is the new video from Harp & Lyre for their song “Insight To Failure”

This is the video for “Live Like We’re Dying” by American Idol winner Kris Allen

The nest one is from Manchester Orchestra with their song “Shake It Out”

We get some hip-hop in here with the first video from Gallery Drive, and their song “Psycho”

This is the video for “Family Business” by the newly reformed Oceana (although I think this video was shot with the older line-up)

Album Info (more in the Release Dates page)

Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for NEWWORLDSON‘s upcoming February 9th, 2010 self-titled release.
newworldson
1. You Set The Rhythm
2. Listen To The Lord
3. Commander
4. Total Eclipse
5. In Your Arms
6. There Is A Way
7. O Lament
8. Rocky Road
9. Weary
10. That’s Exactly (How I Like It)
11. Do You Believe In Love?
12. Bun Dem (medely)

Here is the artwork and tracklisting from Fair‘s upcoming Disappearing World album which will also hit stores February 9th, 2010.
fair disappearing world
1. Disappearing World
2. Wayside
3. Walking In My Sleep
4. One Last Time
5. Take Some Risks
6. The Escape Artist
7. It’s Doubtful
8. The Worst Of Your Wear (feat. Aaron Marsh of Copeland)
9. Great Divide
10. Anymore

Christian Music News August 18th 2009

Below is the new, self produced music video from pop rock band Philmont for their song “Back Down”

Below is the new-er artwork for Thrice‘s physical release of their new album Beggars, which will hit stores September 15th, 2009.
thrice-beggars-new1

Copeland recently appeared in a live session for Daytrotter.com. Listen to Copeland on Daytrotter.

Metalcore giants Gwen Stacy have signed with Solid State Records.

Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for Abandon Kansas‘ upcoming release, entitled We’re All Going Somewhere EP, which will see a September 8th, 2009 release date.
abandon-kansas-were-all-going-somewher
1. The Harder They Fall
2. I Wonder If It’s Me
3. Make Believe
4. We’re All Going Somewhere
5. Months and Years
6. Close Your Eyes

Continuing the artist shuffle they are doing over at Tooth & Nail Records, screamo rock band Write This Down has signed with the label. Congrats to all involved.

Matt Morginsky ( also known as Mojo of The OC Supertones) has partnered up with Croatian ska band October Light to form ……Mojo & October Light. They will be releasing an album in the very near future.

Don Clark (guitar) and Ethan Luck (drums) of Demon Hunter have both announced their departure from the band. Ethan will now be the full time drummer for Relient K.

Progressive metal band The Beneath has decided to call it a day. Bummer, they were really good…

Below is the new music video from John Reuben with his song “Jamboree”.

The Becoming is now holding auditions for a new drummer before they start hitting the road hard come this Fall. Eyeliner required….

Brooke Waggoner dropped a little update, including some details concerning a new album coming out within the year.  Read Brooke Waggoner update.

Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for Fee‘s October 6th, 2009 release, Hope Rising.
fee-hope-rising1
1. Rise And Sing
2. Greatly To Be Praised
3. Glory To God Forever
4. Everything Falls
5. God Is Alive
6. Hands Of The Healer
7. Arms That Hold The Universe
8. Promised Land
9. We Crown You
10. Your Love
11. Send Me Out

Below is the new music video from recent Tooth & Nail singee Sent By Ravens, with their song “Trailer Vs. Tornado”.

A little video interview with Bradley Hathaway was conducted and posted over at Relevant Magazine. Watch Bradley Hathaway interview.

Flyleaf‘s first new album in close to five years, entitled Memento Mori, will hit the general market on October 27th, 2009.

Below is the artwork and tracklisting for David Bazan‘s (Pedro The Lion) new album, entitled Curse These Branches, which will become available September 1rst, 2009.
david-bazan-curse-these-branches
01 Hard To Be
02 Bless This Mess
03 Please, Baby, Please
04 Curse Your Branches
05 Harmless Sparks
06 When We Fell
07 Lost My Shape
08 Bearing Witness
09 Heavy Breath
10 In Stitches

Below is the new music video from Paramore, with their song “Ignorance”:

Essential Songs: Big Trucks by Pedro The Lion

essential-christian-song-big-trucks-by-pedro-the-lion

Big Trucks by Pedro The Lion Pedro the Lion - It's Hard to Find a Friend - Big Trucks

An early favorite from the seminal, controversial, influential Christian alternative band Pedro The Lion. A simple story of empathy and patience, Big Trucks is told through a conversation between a father and son.  Big Trucks is a good example of the plain talk lyrics, simple melodies and challenging messages that make the music of Pedro The Lion and David Bazan so compelling.

Big Trucks
David Bazan

dad, dad, why did you let that man push you around like that
you should’ve beat him down – down to the ground – down to the ground for that
he says, “son, you’re still young and you always jump the gun”
there are real people in the big, big trucks
that you flip off when they get in your way
you get so hacked, that you pay no mind to the great big sign that says oversized load
do you really think they can go as fast, as you in your 87 trans am
they know you’re in a terrible rush but they’re going just as fast, as fast as they can
dad, dad, i really don’t understand what driving big trucks has to do with that man
you should’ve taught him a lesson about being rude about talking to you with such an attitude
son you’re still youngand you always jump the gun
you get so hacked, that you pay no mind to the great big sign that says oversized load
do you really think they can go as fast, as you in your 87 trans am
they know you’re in a terrible rush but they’re going just as fast, as fast as they can