Tuesday, August 3, 2004

A Little Kick-Ass Beauty Before We Die

I just received the new Over the Rhine live album, Changes Come, and I can't stop playing it. This self described "Christ-haunted" band has a large cult following and is one of my favorites currently making music. They'll probably never be sold in my Christian bookstore because they're on a secular label (Virgin Backporch), they don't say, "Jesus loves you" in every song, and they play in bars. That's a shame because I think it's beautiful music.

Changes Come was recorded live during their Fall 2003 tour to promote their critically acclaimed album Ohio. Seeing Over the Rhine in concert is always a highlight of my life, and this album comes the closest to capturing the feelings of those concerts. After I saw them last fall, I wrote in my journal, "Seeing Over the Rhine play is like going out for a couple of beers and a smoke with your best friend. You spend the night talking about everything and nothing at the same time. And for that moment, in that bar, on that corner, life makes sense." (I believe now would be an appropriate time to quote the musical Rent, "That's poetic; that's pathetic.")

But seriously, those of you who are fans know what my melodramatic prose are attempting to say. In a world where sub-par singers like Ashlee Simpson sell 398,000 albums in their debut week, bands like Over the Rhine are a message from God reminding us that the entire music industry has not gone to hell.

You can only order Changes Come through the band's website, where you can also pick up Ohio or other Over the Rhine projects (Good Dog, Bad Dog is another personal favorite).


ike said...

Did you know that Linford's brother Myron was a Family Christian Bookstore manager during the early 90s? Not sure if he is still, but he tried to get the chain's sole music buyer to get FCS to stock Good Dog Bad Dog, but of course it never made it to the shelves.

Ben said...

I hadn't heard that. I met our music buyer the other day, and I told him about Over the Rhine. First he stared at me with a blank stare. He finally admitted he had no idea who I was talking about. I told him the record label info, but he said if they didn't go through one of our major distributors, then we would not be carrying them. It's too bad the better artists always seem to hit brick walls when it comes to wider distribution.

ike said...

I was able to special order Sam Phillips, Innocence Mission and OTR's Patience through Spring Arbor Warehouse during the early 90s. They sat on the shelves probably for a year, but then Leigh Nash and husband visited our store one day and she bought all copies.

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