This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Greg Graffin

When people who know what it means hear the name Greg Graffin, the first thing that (rightfully) comes to mind is "hey, that's the dude that sings for Bad Religion!" Graffin has rightfully earned his place in music history as the voice behind one of the best American groups of all time. His operatic vocal style is part of what seperates Bad Religion from the rest of the pack. Of all the punk singers, he's one of the few that can actually sing. The first time I saw Bad Religion live (with my then girlfriend Jenny), I was blown away by his commanding presence and compelling voice.

He's done solo work before. He chronicled his divorce under the monker of American Lesion, the first time he really showed his stylistic range. Since then, home recordings of various folk standards like "Tom Dooley" and "Virginia's Bloody Soil" have surfaced, and Graffin has never made a secret that his introduction to music was his family's down-home hootenannies.

On his new record, Cold as the Clay, Graffin goes for broke. Recording mostly with 3/4 of the Weakerthans (everyone but John Samson), he isn't afraid to show off his folk roots. It's a mostly kickass record, one of the best of the year. Pairing Graffin's unique voice with a piano and mandolin was definitely a good idea. This is way better than indie rock jerkoff shit like Animal Collective. (If you listen to Animal Collective, you are officially an indie rock lemming with tin ears and no soul.) Basically, Graffin is a better introduction to folk music than milquetoast pussies like Sufjan Stevens, so have at it. I'll meet you by the Phil Ochs record.


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