Christians & Lions

If you were to strip the music from the songs of some awfully fine lyricists like Bob Dylan or Conner Oberst, you would likely be a little perplexed by what you’re hearing. Indeed, the few attempts there have been to give Dylan’s lyrics a more literal interpretation on stage and on the big screen have been so disastrous that it can make one lose respect for the incoherent old bastard. Fortunately, when such lyricists set their thoughts to a simple melody, what they say doesn’t have to be open for the simplest of interpretations. So even though you can easily find out why Sam Potrykus named his band Christians & Lions, or you can dissect the big-brained, big-hearted meanderings of songs like “Gimme Diction,” you can just as easily get lost not in what the words mean, but in the way they rise from the music like smoke from an agitated candle, creating a deductive harmony you can ponder or simply take on your own terms.

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Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground

The first minute of “Hey Mamma” pays major homage to the Beatles of a certain era you can probably guess by looking at the photo. After the first minute, as Hunter S. Thompson might say, it gets a little strange. But strange is good, and Kay Kay manages to toss around strings, percussion, and even what sounds like a player piano to spritely effect. The songs on the band’s MySpace page are equally confounding yet somehow appealing to the ears. Kay Kay will be coughing up a cassette-only EP soon, so pick it up and, hop in your 10-year-old Subaru and crank it until you can’t hear the engine noise.

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