Music to start the week off right

NPR has some great music and great musical performances. If you’ve seen any of their Tiny Desk Concerts, you already know how good they are (and may have already seen the videos below), but if you haven’t, you should check them out. Thanks to my friend (and Hail the Titans merch guy extraordinaire) Taylor Bohannan for reminding me of these performances.

Here’s the Tallest Man on Earth:

The Avett Brothers:

Local Natives:

And speaking of Local Natives, they have a new album coming out in January. The first single has been released. It’s good:

Mixing politics and religion – a question for the religious among you

Yes, I’m bringing up and mixing together the two most taboo subjects that are never to be spoken about in mixed company. The thing is, I have a question, an honest question, and I would like to hear honest responses from multiple viewpoints.

First, I’ll put my position right out in the open: I am not religious. I have many friends, close friends actually, who are. I love and respect them, but I do not share their religious beliefs.

So when it comes to politics, at least American politics and the upcoming election we have two weeks from today, the Facebook and Twitter posts have me thinking of something that seems to glaring.

The question I have is directed to the religious – mainly Christians, admittedly, as that is the dominant religion in my Facebook feed, but any other religious adherent reading this, or any atheist or agnostic that would like to respond, I’d love to hear your view as well.

How can you justify supporting a liar?

Now, I would like to go a bit deeper into that question, if you’ll allow.

We’ve had three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate in the final days of this election. I have seen many religious people posting things on Facebook such as “Obama just lied!” or “Romney told this many lies in 30 minutes!” And after each debate, fact-checkers come out and count up the lies on both sides.

So it seems to me that in either case, you, as a Christian, are choosing to support the candidate who tells 10 lies or the candidate who tells 30 lies.  But in the end, both have shown themselves to be dishonest.

What is striking to me, at least as an Alabama resident, is that periodically, our state legislature attempts to pass bills that would require the 10 Commandments to be posted on public property – schools, court houses, etc. And in this election, “10 Commandments Judge” Roy Moore is actually on the ballot, attempting to get back his job as Chief Justice after being removed for ethics violations – violating a federal judge’s order to remove a 10 Commandments monument.

Taking into account that one of those commandments says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” and we know “bearing false witness” to be lying, it leads me back to my original question: How can you justify supporting a liar?

(And I’ll go ahead and ask a follow-up question as I anticipate at least one person will bring up “voting for the lesser of two evils:” when did your Bible [or other holy books] ever justify voting for evil?)

Music and shows and makeup and stickers and ponies and

Actually, just the first two.

Hail the Titans is playing in Southside, AL (right outside of Gadsden) and Montgomery this weekend. Check out the “shows” page on our website for more info. Details for tonight’s show at Andy’s in Southside can be found here. Details for Saturday’s show at the Organic Hippie party at Capitol Oyster Bar can be found here.

New Orleans-based instrumental band I, Octopus is doing a week stint starting tonight in Tuscaloosa and ending next Saturday in St. Louis, MO. Tomorrow, they’ll join us at the Organic Hippie event, and Wednesday, they’ll hit the Radio Room in Greenville, SC.

And speaking of Greenville, SC and the Radio Room, Signs of Iris just released a new music video with live footage from that venue. See it below (and check out the awesome R_Garcia shirt that Cassie is wearing in the live footage.)

Holy new releases, Batman!

There is a lot of new music to talk about this month. So here’s an incomplete run down of stuff you might want to check out.

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First, I’ll start with a band I had the pleasure of experiencing this past Saturday at Bottletree in Birmingham: Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I’m not even sure how many people were on stage at any given time – two guitarists, two bassists, two percussionists, a violinist, and in the back of the room was a projectionist with multiple reel projectors. I may have missed one; I’m not sure. They played Bottletree, playing a mix of old and new, and when I say “new,” I mean stuff off the new album they were selling, but which has an official release date of Oct. 16. The album – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! – is great (and of course, you can hear it many places online, including on the Guardian’s website.)

Today, Bad Books released a new album, titled II. This is the band that includes Andy Hull from Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine. You can hear the album on Spotify.

Ben Gibbard, the front man for Death Cab for Cutie, has a new solo album coming out this month. You can hear all of Former Lives on YouTube.

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead has a new album on the way. Lost Songs, which from what I’ve read contains all new songs… They just release a new music video for the song “Catatonic.” See it here.

If you’re a Coheed and Cambria fan, you probably already know that they released their newest album, The Afterman, today.

And Chelsea Wolfe, whose performance I caught a couple of months ago when she toured with Russian Circles and Marriages, has a new album coming out as well. You can hear Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs here.

Music I think you should hear, vol. 6

I’ll start out with some friends from Greenville, SC – Signs of Iris. They released a new song recently, titled “From you.” Hear it below:

Also, I just found out that Damascus, a really good band from New Jersey that we met on tour, has their EP on Spotify. It’s title “Of Whom I Always Think.” Here is the Spotify link. You can also hear them on Bandcamp.

In an email from Deep Elm records, they announced that all of their releases have been marked down to $5 for the rest of 2012. That’s 200 available albums, including releases by band such as Moonlit Sailor, Dorena, Athletics (another NJ band, I found out recently), The Appleseed Cast and more.

In other news, Godspeed! You Black Emperor have announced a new album, their first in a decade, which is very exciting as they’re playing at Bottletree in Birmingham this Saturday.

And in a non-music category, I found this blog post humorous. Enjoy.