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Steve Taylor - new music in 2011

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Yep. He announced it on Facebook.

So many birthday greetings - I just finished reading them all, and I'm dizzy with gratitude. I can never adequately say thanks, but I can promise this:

New music in 2011.

Really.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Link to our thread on Steve Taylor. See also our threads on his films The Second Chance (2006) and Blue Like Jazz (2011?). Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Posted · Report post

Wow! I'm surprised, considering he's in the thick of making Blue Like Jazz. I'm trying to imagine what Steve Taylor music circa 2011 would sound like.

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Posted · Report post

Yep. He announced it on Facebook.

New music in 2011.

Really.

Wow.

Am I the only person who thinks he left just when we needed him most? And when the music was starting to get really good?

Glad to see there is facebook page, I got something to do when we get home from church tonight...

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Am I the only person who thinks he left just when we needed him most? And when the music was starting to get really good?

Did anybody else hear Sean Connery's voice when reading that line?

"You left just when you were becoming interesting."

Edited by Overstreet

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Ward in SC wrote:

: Am I the only person who thinks he left just when we needed him most? And when the music was starting to get really good?

Which departure are you referring to? In '90, he left CCM for a secular gig. In '93, he left the secular gig for a CCM comeback. And he hasn't released a new album since Liver -- a concert album -- in '95.

The interesting thing about Taylor is that, as good as his music was, he never seemed as interested in it as he was in his lyrics. And I don't mean that in the typical evangelical "the music is just a delivery vehicle for the message" kind of way; I just mean that Taylor's primary strength was that of a lyricist, and as far as the music was concerned, he was evidently quite happy to change with the times: witness the two versions of 'On the Fritz', one released in the New Wave '80s and the other released in the Grunge '90s.

So it's anybody's guess what a new album from Taylor would sound like MUSICALLY at this point.

BTW, I was rearranging some stuff in the bedroom the other day and came across my 'I Predict 1990' and 'Squinternational Tour' T-shirts. Gadzooks, how long has it been since I fit in either of those.

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The interesting thing about Taylor is that, as good as his music was, he never seemed as interested in it as he was in his lyrics. And I don't mean that in the typical evangelical "the music is just a delivery vehicle for the message" kind of way; I just mean that Taylor's primary strength was that of a lyricist, and as far as the music was concerned, he was evidently quite happy to change with the times: witness the two versions of 'On the Fritz', one released in the New Wave '80s and the other released in the Grunge '90s.

Right. Yet Squint represented his most successful attempt to keep both plates spinning and as far as I'm concerned, contained stronger compositions than Chagall Guevara or certainly any of his earlier solo stuff. In that regard it was a real milestone for him and I think he knew it at the time.

I'm with Ward on this one-- Steve Taylor bailed on his studio efforts at the worst possible time. Squint is an enduring piece of music and quite possibly the best CCM album of its time. I mean really... in 1993, nothing else sounded remotely that polished or fully-developed, in the christian "rock" cosmos. It had cool tunes, the staple funny Taylor lyrics, some wonderful session work and an aesthetic that was decidedly unlike anything else on the market. I went back and listened to it recently and was surprised at how fresh most of it sounds to this day. I would also add, it had a stunning little stop-motion music video (Cash Cow)

I'm not sure anyone's really interested anymore in a new Steve Taylor project. Times have changed. Loyal fans are in their 40's and 50's now. Steve himself is a bit of a dinosaur. Just like any older dude/family man, the edge is gone... he's Alt-CCM's version of Steven Curtis Chapman... Ya know, "grounded", balanced and still very evangelical. Meh.

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I'm with Ward on this one-- Steve Taylor bailed on his studio efforts at the worst possible time. Squint is an enduring piece of music and quite possibly the best CCM album of its time. I mean really... in 1993, nothing else sounded remotely that polished or fully-developed, in the christian "rock" cosmos. It had cool tunes, the staple funny Taylor lyrics, some wonderful session work and an aesthetic that was decidedly unlike anything else on the market. I went back and listened to it recently and was surprised at how fresh most of it sounds to this day.

What struck about the album in 1993 is that it was consciously a CCM album, which is quite different in scope from what most of my other favorites at the time (Adam Again, 77's, etc.) were creating. I doubt I would hear the distinction as much if I heard the album for the first time now, but at the time it was slightly jarring, particularly following Chagall Guevara.

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I'm not sure anyone's really interested anymore in a new Steve Taylor project. Times have changed. Loyal fans are in their 40's and 50's now. Steve himself is a bit of a dinosaur. Just like any older dude/family man, the edge is gone... he's Alt-CCM's version of Steven Curtis Chapman... Ya know, "grounded", balanced and still very evangelical. Meh.

I don't know or care that much about whatever edge Steve might bring to the proceedings. But I'll be happy to listen to what he has to say. I don't buy into the notion that rock 'n roll is necessarily a young person's game, though, so I may be an atypical fan. For me, Steve's greatest gift has always been his ability to poke gentle fun at the Church, particularly the evangelical Church. The Taylors, Steve and Terry, pretty much cornered the market in that regard, and no one has done it better since. But Steve's never been a particularly edgy guy, unless corny puns about steeple chases and Jesus being for losers are considered edgy. But I think he's sung a lot of truth in his time, and he's usually done it in a fairly witty way, so I'll be paying attention to what he does in the future.

One of my favorite concert memories was seeing Steve perform at Mount Vernon Nazarene College in the early '90s. You couldn't dance at MVNC. It was of the devil. But you could pogo. It was pretty amusing.

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... but at the time it was slightly jarring, particularly following Chagall Guevara.

For sure. I was blown away when it first came out and recall being ecstatic about the future of CCM. Of course, in hindsight, Squint provided a bit of false hope to young christian musicians out there. The reality was, Steve had a much larger budget for his album than any of his alt-ccm peers, a cadre of skilled session players and was a more clever, evangelical wordsmith than most of us would ever be. There were some valiant attempts by other mainstream rock n' roll ccm-ers after this-- most notably DC Talk's Jesus Freak-- but Squint was the place the water broke and rolled back.

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But Steve's never been a particularly edgy guy, unless corny puns about steeple chases and Jesus being for losers are considered edgy.
See that's the thing; they were at the time, at least in the church. And maybe that's the critical distinction.

I remember the fights with youth group leaders and ministry-folk well-- all rigid turds who had removed the part of the brain capable of comprehending sarcasm. I recall a vicious battle over "Since I gave up hope i feel a lot better..." (From I Predict) and the Loser line from Squint which was regarded as offensive and sacrilegious in some of the circles i traveled.

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Which departure are you referring to? In '90, he left CCM for a secular gig. In '93, he left the secular gig for a CCM comeback. And he hasn't released a new album since Liver -- a concert album -- in '95.

I was referring particularly to Squint (nice catch, Greg). Lyrically and musically it just did it for me; where with most of his other stuff I found myself "appreciating" it on one level or another, but usually not all levels at once.

And corny it may be, but I can't listen to "Finish Line" without my eyes raining.

Also, Squint was the first record (aside from maybe Chagall Guevera) that gave evidence to his claims that The Clash were the second-most important thing that had ever happened to him.

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But Steve's never been a particularly edgy guy, unless corny puns about steeple chases and Jesus being for losers are considered edgy.

I remember the fights with youth group leaders and ministry-folk well-- all rigid turds who had removed the part of the brain capable of comprehending sarcasm. I recall a vicious battle over "Since I gave up hope i feel a lot better..." (From I Predict) and the Loser line from Squint which was regarded as offensive and sacrilegious in some of the circles i traveled.

I remember wanting my (then future) brother-in-law to hear some Steve Taylor. He is a voice major, church band leader, sometimes songwriter and sometimes youth pastor. And I wanted to broaden the horizons of his musical appreciation so I played the above mentioned "Finish Line."

His only comment: "Pull up your socks?!?"

Growing up in the Southern Baptist church I realize I should not be surprised by such literalism. That didn't make it any less depressing.

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I remember wanting my (then future) brother-in-law to hear some Steve Taylor. He is a voice major, church band leader, sometimes songwriter and sometimes youth pastor. And I wanted to broaden the horizons of his musical appreciation so I played the above mentioned "Finish Line."

His only comment: "Pull up your socks?!?"

Growing up in the Southern Baptist church I realize I should not be surprised by such literalism. That didn't make it any less depressing.

Heh. Yes... There was a lot of explaining that accompanied owning this CD back then.

There was also the Robert Tilton line in "Cash Cow", which in 1993 was the type of thing referred to in many circles as "touching God's annointed". It's one thing to blast religious hypocrisy in a general sense, but he threw the offenders name out and aligned him with Satan which is a practice that is probably regarded-- even to this day-- as unbecoming of a "Christ-follower".

Also...I recall at least one discussion about the "communist flag" in the CD jacket graphic :lol:

Yes, Steve was brave and edgy, given the times and the genre he represented. I've read interviews with him over the past few years and seems like an incredibly nice dude. He also seems to have that middle-aged "balanced perspective" thing going, which is a great attribute for a youth pastor to have and a rather lousy one for someone playing rock n' roll.

I'd still listen to anything the guy performed on, regardless of genre, but that's prolly 20+ years of CCM nostalgia talking.

Edited by Greg P

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Heh. Yes... There was a lot of explaining that accompanied owning this CD back then.

I am sure this is true. But I was given this album as a gift when I was 15 and it struck me at the time as extremely CCM compared to (what I referred to then as) the Christian bands I liked. This is not necessarily a complaint.

Even though my perspective has changed light years from those days, I can still hear the difference between someone like Gene Eugene pushing up against CCM from the inside out versus Taylor's embrace coming back from the outside in.

There are merits to both approaches.

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As dated as it sounds, I far prefer I Predict 1990 to Squint.

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As dated as it sounds, I far prefer I Predict 1990 to Squint.

Me too. Love 'em both, but I Predict 1990 is the King Kong of Steve Taylor albums. "Jim Morrison's Grave" is a landmark, and I still can't believe it was included on an album from a Christian music label.

Edited by Overstreet

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Overstreet wrote:

: "Jim Morrison's Grave" is a landmark, and I still can't believe it was included on an album from a Christian music label.

Really? Why? "While the music covers like an evening mist / Like a watch still ticking on a dead man's wrist" seems like precisely the sort of attitude the evangelical subculture would want to encourage re: secular music.

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Overstreet wrote:

: "Jim Morrison's Grave" is a landmark, and I still can't believe it was included on an album from a Christian music label.

Really? Why? "While the music covers like an evening mist / Like a watch still ticking on a dead man's wrist" seems like precisely the sort of attitude the evangelical subculture would want to encourage re: secular music.

Probably because it promotes a positive (or, at the very least, conflicted) view of a drug-addled, lascivious pop star. Steve actually has a higher view of Jim Morrison than I do. But when I apply his thinking to, say, John Lennon, who suffered from the same faults, and who was a better artist (IMO, of course), I greatly appreciate what he's saying.

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Overstreet wrote:

: "Jim Morrison's Grave" is a landmark, and I still can't believe it was included on an album from a Christian music label.

Really? Why? "While the music covers like an evening mist / Like a watch still ticking on a dead man's wrist" seems like precisely the sort of attitude the evangelical subculture would want to encourage re: secular music.

Probably because it promotes a positive (or, at the very least, conflicted) view of a drug-addled, lascivious pop star. Steve actually has a higher view of Jim Morrison than I do. But when I apply his thinking to, say, John Lennon, who suffered from the same faults, and who was a better artist (IMO, of course), I greatly appreciate what he's saying.

Yeah, I think Jim Morrison's Grave is equal parts admiration and cautionary tale, which definitely makes it "edgy" from a CCM perspective. Plus there's the little ditty about abortion clinic bombing, the anti 80s-capitalism screed that is "What is the Measure of Your Success?" and the album cover that looks like a Tarot card. Dang, I need to dig out this album and listen right now.

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I did note in the previous Steve Taylor thread that most of his studio catalog is on iTunes. On The Fritz is now complete; I Predict 1990, the 2-disc best-of Now The Truth Can Be Told*, and the eponymous Chagall Guevara are also available.

If you'd like the Apple DRM-less MP3 versions, Amazon has only five albums to date, plus the Chagall Guevara album. They do not have On The Fritz or Now The Truth Can Be Told.

*All the material on Now The Truth is remastered, so it's up to you if to choose to purchase it. There are four tracks on the compilation that are not available on any other MP3 release:

We Don't Need No Colour Code (Live)

You Don't Owe Me Nothing (Live)

Winter Wonderland (from the 1988 Sparrow Records' Christmas compilation)

Dream In Black and White (Previously Unreleased Demo)

Shark Sandwich (Demo samples of "Guilty by Association", "Good Girl", and "Whatever Happened To Sin?")

Additionally, there are some songs that are B-sides/one-offs on OOP releases from other companies - Sock Heaven has the best discography to date.

Edited by Clint M

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Posted · Report post

Not sure where the best place to put this was... Apparently Daniel Johnston's (yes, that Daniel Johnston) niece has made a documentary, Steve Taylor is Not Dead, that is debuting this Saturday in Nashville at Lipscomb University.

Man, I wish I lived in Nashville.

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Yeah, sure, but any updates on the new music?

(Hm. Steve's Facebook update promised "new music in 2011." It didn't promise "new Steve Taylor music." So I guess he's covered, one way or the other. ;)

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Not sure where the best place to put this was... Apparently Daniel Johnston's (yes, that Daniel Johnston) niece has made a documentary, Steve Taylor is Not Dead, that is debuting this Saturday in Nashville at Lipscomb University.

Man, I wish I lived in Nashville.

The press release also has a link to this web site, which has lots of interesting interview segments, etc. Every time I hear the story of how Word Records and the Nashville machine threw Squint under the bus, my blood boils.

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Speaking with Steve this morning, I learned that his new album project isn't dead. It was almost entirely recorded, but it was then interrupted by the Blue Like Jazz Kickstarter project, which quickly took over. He's looking forward to going back and finishing it. It features Steve on vocals, Peter Furler on drums, Jimmy Abegg on guitar, and John Mark Painter on bass

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