Thursday, January 18, 2007

Late Night Brew | Cold War Kids

If you haven't already read the article regarding the backlash of the Cold War Kids as being dubbed a "Christian band" and for attending Biola University, or as the article puts it "Bible Institute of Los Angeles". And of course all this came as a result from P-folk. How fitting, a pitchfork stabbing at the kids with the question of faith.
We here at ADD will continue to support bands like Cold War Kids, and bands that are categorized as "Christian bands" by P-Folk. Because as P-Folk may have alot of influence, but guess what, we believe music is a relative thing. And if you like it, support it...and if you don't, you don't have to. It's as plain and simple as that. It's always nice to read reviews, but guess what, if you didn't already know this, to my young audience out there, P-folk ain't the main source of all reviews. Dammit, this has become a text heavy entry...movin' right along.

Excerpt from the article:

Rock fans seem to view religion as a hindrance to deep, creative thought, as if some a Christian musician sits in a studio and thinks, Gosh, would Jesus approve of this lyric? I'd better lose it. Moreover, religion goes against the rebellious, hedonistic and godless spirit that makes rock 'n' roll so appealing. The fact that the genre was birthed out of gospel, negro spirituals and the blues doesn't seem to matter. We want the power of the chord, not the Lord.

There's also the poor track record of musicians who find religion. No matter your generation, you've probably witnessed at least one amazing artist fall off the map in search of some god. Whether it was Cat Stevens finding Allah, Prince discovering Jehovah or Lauryn Hill worshipping some jackass who claims to be the Messiah--the one thing they have in common is that while they may have saved their souls, they damned their music. Lucky for Bob Dylan, he found God, then lost him again two albums later.

But why is it that Cold War Kids are criticized when other artists--most notably Sufjan Stevens, Kanye West and the Danielson Famile--are critically adored despite their flagrant imbibing of Jesus Juice? It's simple, really: Those artists wear their spirituality like a fish sticker on the bumper of a mini-van. U2's religion didn't block their path to superstardom, but they were extremely open about their Catholic faith. After a while, people got over it and just focused on the music.

But Cold War Kids are more ambivalent about their ties to the world's most famous carpenter. While Willett does sing that he's "begging Jesus to cleanse my mind" in "Don't Let Your Love Grow Away from Me," he also says "my demons took up the whole church pew" and asserts that "all my words won�t save me this time." In "Sermons vs. The Gospel," he asks for mercy before suggesting that he and God may not be on the same page. The effect is that Cold War Kids sound less like devout followers and more like tainted characters grappling with their place in the cosmos.

This makes the rock press uneasy. The rock press doesn't like to imagine that a middle ground exists when it comes to religion. Having failed to clearly report their religious "baggage" to the customs officers of popular culture, Cold War Kids are almost viewed as missionary spies who've infiltrated the largely agnostic world of rock 'n' roll. Rock writers view them as fakes--hiding their religion in order to "make it" in a secular scene--and think it's their duty to "out" the band. And, dubious or not, outlets like Pitchfork, which has a reputation of approaching topics such as religion from an us-versus-them standpoint, will go out of their way to brand the Kids as Jesus freaks.

Call it a witch-hunt in reverse.

"You want people to get what you're doing," Willett says. "But in a weird way, the negative attention is attention, and hopefully people will dig a little deeper and realize that article or review is way off."

But how far off?

(courtesy of San Diego Beat, by Seth combs)

Read the full article here.

Cold War Kids are currently in residence for the month of January on a bi-coastal gig- LA and NY.
January 19th- Silverlake Lounge, LA
January 24th- Mercury Lounge, NY
January 26th- Spaceland, LA

mp3: Cold War Kids- "Heavy Boots"


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