New Musics

I’ve been listening to a couple of new bands lately that I’d like to bring to your attention.  They’re so good that I want to let you know about them in the hopes that you’d do the same for me.  You’d do that, right?
First on the list is a band called 311 (three-eleven).  A few people might say “You’re just now hearing about this band?” to which I would reply to a few people “well, yeah… I guess my mom was wrong when she told me that I was cool.”  I was listening to a radio station that recently swapped formats to alternative rock, which would be my primary music choice.  I’m driving the Jeep and hearing something I like, so I hit the ol’ Shazzam app on my iPhone and have it take a listen, to which it correctly responded in properly identifying the band 311.
Just as an aside, the whole Shazzam thing is pretty fantastic, mostly because it actually works.  After listening to the song for a good 30 seconds, it suggests with outstanding accuracy what song you’re probably listening to.  It feels so Star-Trekian, in that you wave an electronic box in front of something and it cures what ails you.  I am often ailed by not knowing what song is playing.  Thanks, Star Trek.  Dr. McCoy, I’m looking at you, here.
I have also been listening to the “Son of God mass” by James Whitbourn as produced by Robert Tear.  You won’t hear this on any alt rock stations, since it’s exactly what it sounds like — Catholic.  Being a Worship Pastor/Music Director at a Free Methodist church means that I need to listen to lots of music to infuse into our services.  I’m thinking of using stuff from this modern mass — it mixes old lyrics with modern music.  I just need to find a Soprano Sax player who isn’t Kenny G.  Nothing against Kenny, but come on — I don’t need him breaking into the Wedding mix during the service.  Who knows what would happen.  Wait.  Maybe that would be interesting.  I’ll think about it.
Last but certainly not least is the band The Bad Plus, an acid-jazz-funk combo made up of a drum kit, bass and snarky piano.  I say “snarky” because the person playing it likes to work in songs by David Bowie while combining Motown music from the 60’s, yet it all sounds classical.  I dig that.
I’m working on the class I’m team-teaching with someone this Fall on Radio and Audio stuff.  The textbook has an article within that talks about the fact that people get their new music from radio, still, which brings about hope for a guy like me who also works in radio.  iPods and (sigh) Zune players are cool, but someone has to hear something for the first time to like it.  I am realizing that people still get new music from radio, which may mean that it’s not quite as “on the way out” as some have suggested.
Plus, if you live by an AM transmitter, you can hear Paul Harvey in your fillings.  Honestly — who doesn’t want that?