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I caught these guys in concert last night, the first time since I'd seen them at Cornerstone a couple of years ago. A very intense performance, all around. I've been listening to their latest, Catch For Us The Foxes, quite a bit lately, and it struck me as something some folks on here might like. If nothing else, they're probably one of the best things to happen to Tooth & Nail Records in a very long time.

Musically, it's very chaotic post-punk stuff. At times, I'm reminded of ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, at other times, a more punk-influenced Arcade Fire perhaps, with maybe a smattering of classic Cure and U2, and some middle-eastern textures thrown in for good measure. Lyrically, it's much more than your run of the mill emo stuff. At times, the lyrics get a little flowery, but there are moments where they get quite shocking in their honesty in depicting struggles with lust, doubt, depression, etc.

My reviews of their two albums can be found here.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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As someone who listened to Tooth and Nail religiously (exclusivly) for almost two years circa 1997 I found it surprisingly easy to cut the label from my diet. It was a wonderful feeling to one day realize I didn't have to listen to "Christian" music exclusivly and could finally break out those darned secular cds I was hiding.

This led me to have a large backlash against all things Tooth & Nail, which is too bad because some of the stuff I was listening to I still think is pretty good (Pedro, Danielson, Strongarm, Zao, Roadside Monument, MxPx, 90 lb. Wuss, Starflyer, Velour 100). I was mostly ashamed that I ever listened to anything from the label and pretended I never did. That being said, I chose to ignore the label for a solid four years.

Nevertheless, for reasons unbeknownst to me I've warmed a bit towards all things Tooth & Nail. While I haven't heard anything that could match the quality of Danielson (save Starflyer) mewithoutyou has caught my attention. It definitly isn't the derivative pop-punk stuff the label has been cranking out, thats for sure. I haven't bought anything, but have heard good things about them and the couple songs I have heard were pretty good. I think your description Opus is right on, based off what I've heard.

I too would be interested in knowing if they were actually worth picking up. Maybe I could rekindle a relationship with T&N. Or at least begin an on again off again relationship based solely on my terms.

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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I too would be interested in knowing if they were actually worth picking up.  Maybe I could rekindle a relationship with T&N.  Or at least begin an on again off again relationship based solely on my terms.

I suspect the latter would be the wiser move. Like you, I was a major Tooth & Nail afficionado back in the day, when the label was releasing stuff from a relatively eclectic roster - Starflyer 59, Joy Electric, Velour100, Driver Eight, Havalina, Crux, etc. And like you, I had a bit of a backlash against the label once all of the MxPx clones started dominating the roster. IMHO, the only T&N artists worth paying attention to these days are Starflyer 59 (their latest album is one of the best things they've done in years), Joy Electric (probably the most consistent artist in the label's history), mewithoutYou, and that's about it. Granted, I haven't heard everything the label has put out lately, but the other stuff I've heard sounds like your pretty typical post-emo pop.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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I just posted my review of the concert I went to, as well as some photos.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Their youthful passion is inspiring*. I picked up CFUTF after hearing repeated spins on KEXP. I can't listen to it too often for the same reason I don't listen to MBV's Loveless all the way through very often -- I know it's good, but it's a little grating after 6 songs.

(*The singer's sweat stains are less so.)

Count me among those who though T&N could do no wrong from roughly 1995-1998. I was sadly mistaken.

FAVORITE Tooth and Nail bands:

LUXURY - holy sweet CRAP, they were/are amazing. I can't believe I haven't got the All Things Bright and Beautiful record. The songs on the internet blow my mind.

Starflyer - giant duh. I'm pretty amazed they've stayed there for 10 years!

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FAVORITE Tooth and Nail bands:

LUXURY - holy sweet CRAP, they were/are amazing. I can't believe I haven't got the All Things Bright and Beautiful record. The songs on the internet blow my mind.

Starflyer - giant duh. I'm pretty amazed they've stayed there for 10 years!

Well, let me give you a gentle nudge toward All Things Bright and Beautiful. Love and Affection is a superb album. I like Luxury, but Lee Bozeman really takes it up another notch here. He's written a thematic album about lust and the counterfeits of love, which sounds like it could be dreadfully earnest, but really isn't. But it is clear-eyed and honest. It's also quite creative musically, and scarcely derivative of anybody. And the one place it is derivative (the last song, "The Wedding Feast of the Lamb") he pulls off the best Radiohead (circa The Bends and OK Computer) imitation I've ever heard. I bet you'd like it.

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Well, let me give you a gentle nudge toward All Things Bright and Beautiful.  Love and Affection is a superb album.  I like Luxury, but Lee Bozeman really takes it up another notch here.  He's written a thematic album about lust and the counterfeits of love, which sounds like it could be dreadfully earnest, but really isn't.  But it is clear-eyed and honest.  It's also quite creative musically, and scarcely derivative of anybody.  And the one place it is derivative (the last song, "The Wedding Feast of the Lamb") he pulls off the best Radiohead (circa The Bends and OK Computer) imitation I've ever heard.  I bet you'd like it.

I've been meaning to give All Things Bright And Beautiful another go. I heard a track on a compilation several years ago that didn't do much for me at all. But since then, people have been raving non-stop about Bozeman's work. Heck, the fact that Namelessnumberheadman serves as his backing band in concert is reason enough to get me intrigued again.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Well this topic is certainly spiralling all over the place. I'm also glad to know that I'm not the only one who was sucked into the T&N vortex. Makes me slightly less embarrassed. Did I really think Crux was good? The Supertones? Did I really think Ghoti Hook's songs about bananas and vomit was cool? Did I really feel that that the Jesuscentric lyrics made it all worthwhile? I guess so. The sad part was, back in the day (and I imagine it is true to today) they marketed their stuff to Christian kids with the tag of "If you like (fill in the name of satan-living band) then you'll love (fill in the name of some band who likes Jesus alot)". I kind of wished I just listened to the satan-loving band who was being aped.

I completly forgot about Luxury. I had their first album (the name fails me) and was taken in by the Bends-era Radiohead vibe. I used to listen to it alot. It was my study music. Good stuff. I might have to check out their later stuff. I enjoy picking up new material from bands that have fallen off my radar. Nostalgia and great music, what could be better?

Another curious release from that era was Frodus. Overall, what I have heard from their catalog is pretty strong, if you enjoy screamo songs about nothing. Their cover of Devo's "Explosions" is pretty smokin'.

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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The sad part was, back in the day (and I imagine it is true to today) they marketed their stuff to Christian kids with the tag of "If you like (fill in the name of satan-living band) then you'll love (fill in the name of some band who likes Jesus alot)".  I kind of wished I just listened to the satan-loving band who was being aped.

Heh, I remember those charts. Sometimes, the comparisons were halfway decent, but most of the time they were so way off as to be laughable.

I completly forgot about Luxury.  I had their first album (the name fails me) and was taken in by the Bends-era Radiohead vibe.  I used to listen to it alot.  It was my study music.  Good stuff.  I might have to check out their later stuff.  I enjoy picking up new material from bands that have fallen off my radar.  Nostalgia and great music, what could be better?

That would be Amazing And Thank You. I've still got it somewhere. Also, their second album, The Latest & The Greatest, was pretty solid, IIRC.

Another curious release from that era was Frodus.  Overall, what I have heard from their catalog is pretty strong, if you enjoy screamo songs about nothing.  Their cover of Devo's "Explosions" is pretty smokin'.

I never got too much into Frodus, but I loved Roadside Monument. 8 Hours Away From Being A Man is one of the best things T&N ever released. I was fortunate enough to see them play twice at Cornerstone over the years, once playing a mini set before Stavesacre and the other during their shortlived reunion, and both sets were blistering.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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was taken in by the Bends-era Radiohead vibe

I never got Radiohead from that album. Maybe their later records (BTW they're recording again - www.leebozeman.com), but not that one. For some reason I equate Luxury to a latter-day Smiths, if they discovered 90's style alterna-distortion.

You have nothing to be ashamed of for liking T&N. For a lot of us, it was the only place we could go. I'm actually glad I could listen to MxPx and Ghoti Hook -- it's still as good as any pop punk that was coming out at that time, and I think I needed the "Jesus-centric" lyrics at the time. (By the way, some of the lyrics on MxPx's second album make me surprised it was ever carried in Christian bookstores - "democracy ain't real" ... "Americanism/Nationalism/Bow-to-the-Flagism" etc.) If it weren't for tooth and nail bands, I would never have eventually started listening to My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Wire, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and a lot of other bands.

I better stop before I start writing about how Five Iron Frenzy was the best thing that ever happened to Christian rock music. But they were.

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You have nothing to be ashamed of for liking T&N. For a lot of us, it was the only place we could go. I'm actually glad I could listen to MxPx and Ghoti Hook -- it's still as good as any pop punk that was coming out at that time, and I think I needed the "Jesus-centric" lyrics at the time. (By the way, some of the lyrics on MxPx's second album make me surprised it was ever carried in Christian bookstores - "democracy ain't real" ... "Americanism/Nationalism/Bow-to-the-Flagism" etc.)  If it weren't for tooth and nail bands, I would never have eventually started listening to My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Wire, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and a lot of other bands.

Amen to all that. Sure, it's easy to look back on some of the CDs I picked up and wonder just what in the heck I was thinking... but back then, they were absolutely essential for me. And many of them still hold up - Starflyer's first couple of discs blow me away, as do Joy Electric's. T&N has put out some really, really good music over the years... it's just too bad that they've become so generic in recent years. But that doesn't tarnish the good stuff they put out, or at least it shouldn't.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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I never got too much into Frodus, but I loved Roadside Monument. 8 Hours Away From Being A Man is one of the best things T&N ever released. I was fortunate enough to see them play twice at Cornerstone over the years, once playing a mini set before Stavesacre and the other during their shortlived reunion, and both sets were blistering.

Amen to that. Living in the northwest I was able to watch Roadside alot. I rember a house show when they go so violent they knocked over both vocal mikes, one of my friends picked up the pick and finished the song. It was about the coolest thing I had ever seen.

was taken in by the Bends-era Radiohead vibe

I never got Radiohead from that album. Maybe their later records (BTW they're recording again - www.leebozeman.com), but not that one. For some reason I equate Luxury to a latter-day Smiths, if they discovered 90's style alterna-distortion.

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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  • 1 year later...

mewithoutYou have a new album, Brother, Sister, coming out September 26, 2006. I don't know much else, but Jeremy Enigk supposedly sings on a few songs. A song can be heard on their MySpace page, and

of their appearance on the Main Stage at this year's Cornerstone Festival.

They'll be playing in Omaha next week with The Psalters, whom I haven't seen in years.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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As someone who was a music geek far before he was a Christian, mewithoutYou was a very pleasant surprise. They were the first Christian band I fell in love with after becoming a Christian.

Have fun at the show, I hear it doesn't get much better.

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Have fun at the show, I hear it doesn't get much better.

I've seen them several times, and they've always been great: raw, passionate, crazy, chaotic, and louder than loud -- everything you could ever want from a live show. :)

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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What sort of venue do they play in Ohama? Over here (Baton Rouge), they always play the all-ages "hardcore" (term used very loosely) venue which is about as far from LSU as one can get and still be in BR limits. Not exactly ideal location for a band that SHOULD be playing to an older audience.

Btw, I've only listened to Luxury's most recent record, but I found the annotated liner notes to be more interesting than the music itself. While they're certainly not slouches, the music never struck me as being anything particularly powerful.

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What sort of venue do they play in Ohama? Over here (Baton Rouge), they always play the all-ages "hardcore" (term used very loosely) venue which is about as far from LSU as one can get and still be in BR limits. Not exactly ideal location for a band that SHOULD be playing to an older audience.

Most shows of the "indie" variety end up at the venerable Sokol Underground... which is basically a bar and a big open space in the basement of a glorified gymnasium. The concrete floor isn't exactly the most comfortable, and the sound almost always sucks, but I've seen some great shows there.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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The concrete floor isn't exactly the most comfortable, and the sound almost always sucks, but I've seen some great shows there.

Sounds like pretty much every indie bar I've ever been to. Worked in a place like that in New Orleans and, despite not being air conditioned in the muggiest city in America (we had to rent AC units for big shows), the awful concrete, etc., I was more upset about its demise than any of my other old haunts.

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  • 1 month later...

Finally picked up a copy of Brother, Sister yesterday, and it's a perfect encapsulation of everything that's both good and bad about mewithoutYou's sound. It's chaotic, sprawling, overwrought, and pretentious, which makes the music both exciting and passionate but also... well... chaotic, sprawling, overwrought, and pretentious.

I haven't had time to make my way through all of the lyrics, but there are times where Aaron Weiss' poetic lyrics get away from him, and he tries to cram too many images into a single line ("You were a song I couldn't sing/Caught like a bear by the bees with its hand in the hive/Who complains of the pain of the sting/When I'm lucky I got out alive"). But there are some truly poignant and stirring thoughts that emerge as well ("Open wide my door, my Lord/To whatever makes me love You more").

But even when his lyrics get a bit too precocious, that's just when the band decides to tear things up, with erupting solos, spastic rhythms, and walls of feedback and distortion. I'm afraid to freak out too much when those Edge-like guitars mesh with Franz Ferdinand's rhythms on "A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains"'s outro, or when those same guitars scream high overhead on "Nice & Blue, Pt. 2", lest my co-workers get too concerned.

Right now, I think I like Catch For Us The Foxes more, but I always find mewithoutYou's ambition and fervor moving, especially when you compare them to so many of their peers in the emo/indie-rock crowd.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 3 weeks later...

FWIW, I just posted my review of Brother, Sister.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 8 months later...

696687879_07167040ea_m.jpg

Who's this and what's he doing?

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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Well, that's actually Aaron Weiss' of mewithoutYou at this years Cornerstone getting HIS next meal. Apparently, this is how these guys eat all the time. They eat the good leftovers that people throw out. A week before Cornerstone, they were in Detroit and my son told that they were doing the same thing there as well. Seriously. He just jumped from garbage can to garbage can like a professional. Here in this pic he has a half bag of chips (that he got from that barrel) and box of cereal.

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

myspace-animation-codes121.gif

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