O Come, O Come Emmanuel

I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite Christmas song, but O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is way up there. A close second is Silent Night, which my three-year-old calls Silent Goodnight and sings along with me many nights. Then again, I’m a terrible Christmas carol fanatic. I’m the guy who starts listening to them after…

Little Match Girl Passion.

What I like most about the An die Musik performance space in Baltimore is the low stage, which to me represents the basic spirit of the place. It’s no more than two feet high, and it extends wall-to-wall across the full forty-or-so foot width of the yellow room. There’s no curtain, for this stage is…

Ludwig und Yeezy.

I’m at my desk listening to the new Kanye West album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’m not going to argue with the pop critic consensus: it’s good. When the staff of the music review website Pitchfork named rap duo Outkast’s “B.O.B.” the best track of the last decade, they praised the song for its…

Bloodbuzz Ohio

I was remiss in my last music post. Several readers pointed out that The National’s Bloodbuzz Ohio is an excellent tune and should have been included. Well here it is: Some great lyrics in this one. I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees. And if you missed it, this now-aging but still-worth-the-read…

Wednesday jukebox – The National

Why wait for Friday night to do a music post? I say let the jukebox play whenever you put another dime in it, baby. Anyways, I’ve been almost obsessively listening to The National lately. I realize they’ve been around for a while, but I’m hopelessly unhip so I’ve only just stumbled on them. Here are…

Friday Night Jukebox – Lissie

I haven’t bought Lissie’s album yet, but I’m going to do it soon. She’s got a ton of promise; specifically, a voice like a damn rocket. I know these videos have been floating around for a while, but the League has never claimed to be a cutting-edge music blog. Enjoy. She does nice cover songs…

Hurting the musicians.

If you like music, this is really important. The architecture of online music distribution has been amazing for the consumer. With iTunes or Pandora or eMusic, the savvy listener can get just about whatever she wants whenever she wants it, and for cheap. Of course, the problem of piracy was killing off the record labels,…

Essential Albums of the 1980s

Noted Creed apologist Joe Carter has assembled a list of the 80s’ essential but-not-too-obvious albums.  I missed out on the decade, but I’ll go ahead and nominate The Replacements’ back catalog, The Cure’s “Disintegration,” The Pogues’ “Rum, Sodomy and the Lash,” and maybe a Tom Waits album or two.

All the good band names are taken

Which probably explains why the new ones keep getting longer and longer. As far as ridiculously long musical monikers go, my favorites are “I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness” and the delightfully gothic-sounding “And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead.”

The Top Ten Covers of All Time

A  blizzard-induced Internet outage and various snow-related activities forced the cover selection committee (read: me) to delay its final decision over the weekend. Now, however, we’re back on track. Thanks to everyone for their excellent submissions – I ended up wading through nearly 100 songs to come up with the finalists (the master list is…

How robots replaced amateur artists.

James Matthew Wilson, an editor at Front Porch Republic, has posted the first four sections of an essay called “Art and Beauty against the Politicized Aesthetic,” and the fifth and final section is on its way. Though he’s posted excerpts for discussion at FPR, the full text is at First Principles (parts one, two, three,…

Friday Night Jukebox

The first time I heard Elliot Smith was watching the Oscars – or rather, when I watched Good Will Hunting, but I didn’t pay much attention then.  When I saw this performance though I was extremely impressed.  It followed a number of big flashy numbers – Celine Dion I think, and others.  Lots of production.…

Pandora Conundrum

I long ago gave up buying or even downloading music in favor of streaming it for free on Pandora – a free online radio station that does a pretty impressive job of tuning its stations to your own tastes.  The mechanism it uses to do this is a simple thumbs up/thumbs down on each song.

Friday Night Jukebox, DIY Edition

As a fellow part-time hipster, I found a lot to like in William Brafford’s meditation on DIY indie rock and localism: Here’s the application to politics. DIY never sought to replace the major labels; it just did without them whenever possible. It was in part technology that made DIY possible, especially cheaper home recording equipment,…

Indie rock, DIY, localism.

E.D. wrote, “The idealism of the paleoconservative cause is simply too burdened by the idealism of its vision.” To which I offer—not necessarily as a rebuttal—three letters: DIY. As punks and hardcore kids in the 80s demonstrated, sometimes the best thing to do in the face of a massive system you want no part of…

another dime in the jukebox baby…

So since Scott’s Friday Night Jukebox was less ambitious than he intended, and since the video he included has had embedding “disabled by request” I present you with an encore.  Now, during my late high-school and throughout my college years one of the bands I listened to a great deal – probably too much –…