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Friday, August 07, 2015

The Miscellaneous -- Moth and Rust

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I could easily regret my first college go-round. I majored in my hobby, came out with no intention of finding employment in that field, and have struggled to settle on any sort of career ever since I graduated. It's been 11 years now, but I am to the point in life that I don't regret it. Majoring in my hobby was a blast, and to go with it, I got to co-host Soulglow, KLSU's Christian Rock Show, for two years with two of my best friends in the world, and then for another subsequent year with this hot chick I've been seeing now for almost a decade. Soulglow was regarded well enough on campus to be featured in several newspaper articles, was reported to me by a student media statistician to average an amount of listeners that still seems to me to have had to have been a vast exaggeration, and was broadcast from a studio with sexy mood lighting. As for our musical content, I think every week we played the best two consecutive hours of alternative music one could hear in the Greater Baton Rouge area. I'm biased, though, because those two hours were broken up by the bloviations of yours truly. I mean, I performed a weekly comedic segment where I gave purported advice from the television program, Macgyver, and created an entire fake 23-season backstory for the show, which was empowered by the simple fact that I HAVE actually seen all 139 episodes from Macgyver's actual seven-season run multiple times. But I'm not here to talk to you about how Macgyver disarmed a bomb by singing "It's a Small World After All" backward in perfect pitch, while immersing the timing device in a half-used bottle of Selsun Blue, but about the music Soulglow played.
Soulglow, during its eight year run, was blessed to have occurred smack in the middle of an artistic peak in the Christian music industry, when countless indie labels released incredible albums by bands no major label would ever be cool enough to sign, along with inexplicably awesome bands supported by major labels, as well. Christian music, especially Christian rock music, has historically been derided for simply aping whatever is currently popular and doing a piss-poor job of imitating it (see South Park, "Christian Rock Hard"). However, I will posit that in the late 90's and early 00's, much of the underground Christian rock scene's output far exceeded the creativity and enjoyability of its secular counterpart. I also believe I can easily back my argument by comparing the lineup of Christian rock music's (now sadly defunct) flagship summer music festival, Cornerstone, with that of Lollapalooza's between 1998 and 2005. This argument will be quite easy to make--Lollapalooza was only able to drum up enough interest in that seven year-span to put on one festival. Lollapalooza couldn't sell enough tickets to even put their festival on, while Cornerstone witnessed its strongest attendance figures ever...because the best rock bands of that era were at their festival. As much fun as I'm having rambling, I guess I should mention The Miscellaneous, as this is their review.
The Miscellaneous were an alternative rock band, composed mostly of Swedes, but with an American or two tossed in for good measure. They were one of countless bands whose CD's you could have grabbed at random from Soulglow's bulky CD binders, and been impressed by. The band featured alternating male and female vocals, and perfectly toed the line between experimenting (the industrial beats of "Bug," the garage-rock guitar of the minute-and-a-half "Always Everything," the spacey ambiance of "Silverfish") and just straight up delivering the driving alternative rock goods you were looking for, particularly on the surprisingly current-titled "C. Thru U."

The thing of it is, in say, the fall of 2002, I most likely undervalued this and countless other bands' albums because they were all so very good that I just assumed I'd always be awash in great bands and great songs. Flash-forward to 2015 and there is no Christian rock industry, let alone Christian rock underground, and every label that sent us countless amounts of incredibly awesome (and for us as DJ's, incredibly free) music is either currently defunct, or a shell of its former self. All that to say, if you find something awesome, appreciate it, especially if it's not music, because good music is timeless, and I can throw on and jam out to The Miscellaneous any time I want. That cute girl sitting across from you in the DJ booth, though? If you don't go after her now, you may never get another chance! Don't let the other guy take her away! And you can buy The Miscellaneous' Moth and Rust from Amazon for A PENNY or stream it on Youtube for free. Act now!

1999 Gray Dot Records
1. Bug 4:12
2. Always Everything 1:35
3. See This 4:55
4. Surround Her 3:33
5. 1929 3:47
6. Empty 4:33
7. Crumbs 5:43
8. Silverfish 3:34
9. C. Thru U. 3:14
10. Ghost 5:45

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