April 5, 2012

Easter tunes

I couldn't resist posting some of the highlights from my special Easter-themed radio show, which aired yesterday afternoon. If you've ever tuned in you won't be surprised that I've interpreted the Easter theme somewhat loosely, but, rest assured, there is some kind of logic at work here.

I started by pairing two songs about kingship. Together, I think, they produced an interesting tension. The first was a relatively straightforward folk-song from the Constantines' album 2009 album, Kensington Heights, called "New King." It's about the birth of a child (Webb wrote it about his friends having a kid), but the messianic tone of this song is pretty hard to miss.

Along with this, I played a track called "King Eternal" from TV on the Radio's debut album, Desperate Youth and Bloodthirsty Babes. Where the first track is about the promise of new beginnings, TVOTR's track is decidedly dark and apocalyptic.

Next up, the title track from Patti Smith's 1978 album Easter was too obvious to pass up. I was aware that it existed, but, before yesterday's show, I hadn't listened to it all the way through. It's a pretty stunning song, and I was quite impressed with the spoken word portion at the end.

After Smith's plodding Easter anthem, the tone picked up with an epic jam from 1989. From The Stone Roses' self-titled masterpiece, here's a track called "I am the Resurrection."

The last two highlights are more recent. The first, is from Blackout Beach, one of many projects for the brilliant Carey Mercer (best known for his work with Frog Eyes and Swan Lake). Released last year, his album's title (F*ck Death) might be a bit of a problem for some listeners, but I think it's a rather appropriate sentiment for Easter, and John Donne would probably agree.

Unfortunately I can't find a video for the last song I played. It was a discovered in the CJSR music library with the help of our trusty volunteer coordinator, and once I had the disc in my hands, I felt as though I'd been given a gift from above: something so strange, it would work perfectly with my show. Easterween is a concept record about Easter that was just released a few weeks ago. The project is a collaboration between two seasoned musicians, John Southworth and Andrew Downing. "Easterween," the album closer, is a hilarious mix of klezmer-folk and metaphsyical hoo-ha, making it perhaps the most fitting end to my show that I could have asked for.

If I actually had any listeners yesterday afternoon, I'm guessing they were pretty confused.

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