Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday is for new finds: The Long Surrender

The Long Surrender
Over the Rhine

If you've read this blog at all, you probably already know that Over the Rhine is a favorite, thus disqualifying the band itself to be considered the "new" in new finds.  Also, I never really intended these Friday posts to be solely about music.  It's just what's catching my attention these days, I guess.

However, with a release date of February 8, 2011, this is indeed a new find and I haven't been able to stop playing the music since I purchased a pre-release download right after Christmas.  Figuring I'm a day late in posting this anyway and so many fine, articulate people have already written about the album, I'm going to bullet-list this post.

Here we go, top 10 reasons I am loving The Long Surrender:

1.  Even though Karin and Linford Detweiler have been making records for like twenty  years, they chose to make this album with money donated by their fans.  A real "work of the people", if you will.  (by the way, my friend Brett is one the donors -- way to go, Brett!)

2.  Every song smokes.  I'm told this has something to with the collaboration of Joe Henry as co-writer and producers.

3.  Once again, OtR writes both brokenness and hope in exquisite music -- occasionally sassy, often sweet, but never, ever sappy.

4.  I heard the song Only God Can Save Us Now just after a perspective-transforming Christmas-caroling visit with my kids at a local nursing home.  From the very first words, I knew this song was inspired in similar surroundings and I was grateful to Karin and Linford from writing from a true an concrete place, not just abstract sentiment, about the tragedy of dying in old, often manic, bodies.

Margie struck Geneva with her baby doll
Barb knocked off the medcart comin' down the hall
Bob leads the congregation when he sings
How Now Brown Cow
Only God can save us now

Jean says Fuzzy wuzzy fuzzy wuzzy was a bear
Miss Cleve sings Hallelujah from the choir in her chair
Behind his busy apron Raymond's naked standing proud
Only God can save us now

Who will save me
From myself
In the night?

When my time has come and it may be comin' soon
Don't mind me if you come to find me howlin' at the moon
I'll need a busy apron and half-sedated crowd
Only God can save us now

A baby doll some chocolates and flowers made of silk
A clean room with a window and some Prozac in warm milk
And sneak us in some whiskey 'cause it's  prob'ly not allowed
Only God can save us now

5.  You can see the story behind this song as well as the answers to many other thoughtful questions in this interview.

6.  Another good review at Awaiting the Flood

7.  An extended interview on making the album at the band's website.  Every interview I've ever read with this duo is not only an  opportunity to understand their specific work in more depth, but also the disciplines of both art and faith in general.

8.  I heard the song All My Favorite People during a season of disillusionment with my church community.

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

Some prayers are better left unspoken
I just wanna hold you
And let the rest go

All my friends are part saint and part sinner
We lean on each other
Try to rise above

We’re not afraid to admit we’re all still beginners
We’re all late bloomers
When it comes to love

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers
Step forward
You can stay right here

You don’t have to go
Is each wound you’ve received
Just a burdensome gift?
It gets so hard to lift
Yourself up off the ground

But the poet says, We must praise the mutilated world
We’re all workin’ the graveyard shift
You might as well sing along

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

(As for) your tender heart—
This world’s gonna rip it wide open
It ain’t gonna be pretty
But you’re not alone

‘Cause all my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

9.  After listening to the album with me in the office one day my friend Margaret-the-musician described some of the sound as " a little bit juke joint".  And I said, I know. I'm really a honky-tonk woman at heart.  This was news to her.

10.  Over the Rhine is playing the Highline Ballroom in NYC at the end of March.  I'm turning 40 in March.  It makes the perfect birthday gift.

What new-found glories have you discovered lately?  I'm opening up the link-sharing on Fridays for all of your great finds.

Bloggers, use the Simply Linked function below to share the link from your post with us.  I'd be honored if you included a link back to me on your blog.  Not a blogger? Share with us through the comment feature!  Neither of these work for you?  I also accept carrier pigeons.

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