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Radio Free MP3: Jen Olive, Solex vs. Cristina Martinez & Jon Spencer, and Right The Stars

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"Wire Wire" – Jen Olive
From the album Warm Robot
Click here to listen to the MP3.

I come from the conservative religious traditions of the Church of Christ. If you are not familiar with this particular brand of Christianity one of the ways we stand out from the rest is with the singing of a capella music, that is without the use of instruments. I've found that this, generally speaking, makes the members of the Church of Christ to be much better singers than many of our denominational counterparts. When there are no loud guitars, drums, and organs to drown out the singing, you learn to harmonize pretty quickly. Truly there are some wonderful singers in the group, and I have witnessed not only "joyful sounds" but some spectacularly beautiful ones too.

However, because of the more conservative nature of the church, the songs they choose to sing tend to be more traditional, and well, kind of boring. We're there to praise God after all, not enjoy ourselves.

If I was in charge I'd get us singing songs like "Wire Wire." The lyrics are secular, and it certainly uses instruments, so I'd have to make some changes, but the way the voices blend together is just gorgeous, and the way the songs moves up and down like a roller-coaster is both adventurous and fun. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun in church.

That's not to say you non-religious folks can't enjoy this song, for again the song itself isn't religious at all, but it reminds me of what church singing ought to be: interesting, spiritual, inspiring and filled with joy.

Jen Olive just signed to Andy Partridge's Ape House label. The new album, Warm Robot hits record shelves this Spring. Until then you can check out her website and Myspace page.

"Galaxy Man" – Solex vs. Cristina Martinez & Jon Spencer
From the album Amsterdam Throwdown, King Street Showdown!
Click here to listen to the MP3.

If "Wire Wire" is how I'd like my religion to sound, then "Galaxy Man" has got to be the soundtrack to my next party. Filled with wild beats, infectious rhythms and more dreamy exultations of "baby baby" than my couch on Saturday night, this trio has created a raucous sound that screams for such a good time, you'll never remember it the next day.

John Spencer is indeed the guy behind the John Spencer Blues Explosion and he's teamed up with his life partner (and charismatic leader of Boss Hog) Christina Martinez and Dutch electronica maestro Solex to create a unique, explosive, booty shaking new album. Amsterdam Throwdown, King Street Showdown! comes out May 18. Until then check them out on Myspace.

"We Got It All" – Right The Stars
From the album Right The Stars
Click here to listen to the MP3.

You know how periodically you'll receive in an e-mail forward, or perhaps on Facebook those little quizzes with questions like "which do you prefer: the beach or the mountains?" Even though I have done very little hiking in my life, I always answer the mountains. For I really rather hate the beach. It is too hot, the sand bores itself into every conceivable crevice (and even a few inconceivable ones) and there's really nothing to do. Whenever I'm forced to go to the beach I always wind up baked, irritable, and bored out of my mind.

This summer, Right the Stars might just change my attitude. "We Got it All" is the perfect beach song. Its bouncy, fun and full of sun. In fact I'm thinking of making a movie just so I can include the song in it as a montage featuring beach volleyball, rad surfers, and lots of pretty chicks in bikinis. If it becomes a huge hit (and it certainly should) I won't mind hearing it 18 kajillion times on the radio, its the kind of song you can't grow tired of.

Right the Stars was created by Wisconsin's Rich Jacques. Their music has been featured on TV shows and movies as One Tree Hill, the Breakup and the upcoming Brendan Frasier flick Furry Vengeance. Here's their website and Myspace page.

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