Thursday, October 04, 2007

Top 5?

Apparently I don't blog anymore, but alas, Hofbauer has issued the challenge on Xanga via The Vis, and I cannot resist.

The challenge? Top 5 musical artists. Before I start my list, I must mention that this is a very immediate list. A year ago or five years ago, the list would have been completely different, but for now, this is it:

1. Sufjan Stevens - I love it all. I occasionally get lost in the music, and don't even realize it's playing. It's as if it becomes a part of my breathing as I listen and my heart is elevated in a way I cannot describe. The more I listen, the more layers of meaning I seem to discern in the lyrical and musical content. I know I'm overstating it, but I love Sufjan. On a side note, my love for a particular Sufjan song was redeemed even further by it's being played by the Mars Hill worship team as Marcie and I served communion to one another in community with the church.

2. Radiohead - They write impossibly great melodies, yet defy convention consistently. Never boring, and amazingly, I never sense that the music is disembodied. Thom Yorke's is an honest, sometimes prophetic voice which has been part of my musical vocabulary since I can remember really loving music. They wrote Fake Plastic Trees and Paranoid Android, both pretty much perfect songs, yet so very different.

3. Wilco - Thanks to the Vis for challenging me to engage Wilco beneath the surface of my limited exposure. Since digging deep into Being There and the Mermaid Avenue sessions in addition to their self evidently genius four prior albums, I cannot help but love them. Right now, I probably listen to them more than any other band, and I keep wanting more. I love their capacity for genre-bending and their outright dominant musicianship. When I saw them live a few months ago, I was convinced that I was witnessing one of the greatest American rock bands of all time in their prime.

4. The White Stripes - Two people, two instruments, seemingly limitless possibility. I love that Jack and Meg have pretty much deconstructed blues rock and put it back together in such a minimalist fashion. It's sometimes abrasive, occasionally tender, even hilarious, and always brilliant. I also LOVE the fact that they never have a set list for their live shows. Hopefully I will one day get to witness it.

5. The Decemberists - I believe it was Stephen Colbert who called them "hyper literate prog-rock." As Josh Overbay once said, "I feel smarter when I listen to the Decemberists." There is depth to their songwriting that keeps their songs from growing old with repeated listens. Each album is great in its own right, and The Tain is one of the best pieces of music I've ever heard. I'll never comprehend the Decemberists, and that's alright with me.

Two others who almost made my list are Bob Dylan and Anathallo, and I excluded them for the exact opposite reasons. Dylan's catalog of music is so large that I have not come even close to listening to it all, let alone digesting it. As I continue to chip away at it, he climbs up the list, but I can't quite say he's in my top 5 yet. Anathallo is not on the list because they are so very early in their career. Floating World is in my top 5 albums of all time, and their previous EP was genius as well, and as they continue to develop and record, I have no doubt that they will climb into the top five, but again, not yet.

That was fun.

Goodnight, everyone. Thanks for your hospitality, your love and your pants.

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At 9:21 PM EDT , Blogger chris ridgeway said...

I'm stopping by your blog, and realizing that you and I being friends isn't probably an option, because you just listed Sufjan Stevens as your favorite music entity. He's sorta a man crush of mine (as awkwardly worded as that is).

At 6:21 PM EDT , Blogger Tim said...

Have you been cut off from blogging? Ouch. I know the feeling!

At 1:45 AM EDT , Blogger Tim said...

I picked up your profile by clicking on "ministry" in my profile. You popped up on the first page. You might like my

I thought you looked like a cool guy who had some similar interests.


At 10:59 AM EDT , Blogger nightshiner said...

hey Andrew I don't think I've ever met you but I am trying to chase down a very old friend of mine and I saw you blogged about him (I THINK!) Josh Overbay was a friend of mine who lived in Chicago and attended Trinity Seminary at the time. I was interning at the Vineyard church in Evanston, IL and I was wondering if this was the same Josh Overbay I knew back then.

Sorry to bother you but I hope you'll be able to help!

(also a pastor in the UK)

At 2:10 PM EDT , Blogger Tall Pants said...

Yes Jon, I believe we're talking about the same Josh Overbay. Head over to to check out his current course of life...filmmaking. I believer he has an email address there as well.

Thanks for getting in contact! I think we possibly did meet as well...did you go with a group of us to the Woodfield Mall? To buy a winter coat, etc?

Anyway, God's blessings on your ministry!

Grace and Peace,


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