Music at Mars Hill: Beach House and the Myth of Memory

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Last week, I wrote about myths -- specifically, the ones that Josh Tillman has created about life with his band Father John Misty. His are the desperate kind of myths that a person creates for himself once the meaningless pursuits of fame and rock 'n' roll fade. But there are plenty of other myths bands explore -- for example, take the new record … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Father John Misty and the Myths He's Written

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Drummer Josh Tillman had always been the sarcastic and slightly crude member of the otherwise seemingly serious and heavenly indie folk group Fleet Foxes. So when I heard Tillman was finally leaving the band to focus on his own solo material as as songwriter and singer, I was curious to see how much of the band's wide-eyed worldview would stay … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: The Followers, Josh White, and Musical Division in the Church

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.The Church has a long history of being divided by the music we use in our services. There's no question about that.Sometimes it's stylistic, such as around the year 900 when church singers had controversially started embellishing unison chants with harmonizations and tropes. Other times it's been more about social conventions and liturgical … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Does Tupac's Hologram Honor the Past?

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.It seems that the Digital Domain Media Group and Dr. Dre definitely accomplished their goal with their little stunt at Coachella -- the proof being that I still want to talk about it a week later. In case you hadn't heard, a "hologram" of Tupac was created to perform alongside rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg this year at Coachella. It had people s … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: A Day in the Life of Big K.R.I.T.

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Big K.R.I.T. is a southern rapper whom I have a lot of respect for. He's been putting out free mixtape after free mixtape, and the excellent 4eva N a Day is his newest. The album walks us through a life in the day of K.R.I.T.—his thoughts from his first moments of morning consciousness to when he puts his head down to find rest at night. Each so … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Spotify and the Culmination of a Century of Commercial Music

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Spotify has been in business here in the United States since summer 2011. With nine months of legal music streaming under our belts, what do we have to say about this radical new way of listening to music? Are Spotify and other music streaming services just another passing trend in music listening? Is it a democratization of music or is it a … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Who Are the Tastemakers Today?

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.There is a lot of talk these days about how digital media and social networking is changing the music industry. Streaming services like Spotify are taking the center stage in terms of mass music distribution, and the result is that music is being made and listened to differently. However, defining who the tastemakers are in our emerging  online c … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: The Shins Offer a Renewed Sense of Optimism

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Most thought this album would never come out. It's been five years since Wincing the Night Away and frontman James Mercer had repeatedly reinforced those doubts in interviews. However, now we've got Port of Morrow, the band's fourth studio album. Musically, it sounds very much like The Shins. Simple songs, acoustic guitars, and Mercer's unique … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: A Little Perfume Genius to Prime Your Empathy

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.I don't easily give into artists who throw pity parties for themselves. As my music listening expands with new music, this cynical side of me -- the one that has grown tired of Conor Oberst lookalikes -- has been showing its face more often. To some extent, I think it's totally normal to get this way. After all, if I were to get emotional at every … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: A Response to an Open Letter to Praise Bands

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.I had planned a different topic for my column this week, but when I stumbled upon an Elsewhere post here on CaPC from Professor James Smith of Calvin College, I felt it was necessary to respond in some fashion. The post is titled "An Open Letter To Praise Bands" and was featured on Gospel Coalition. It lays out three criticisms about modern worship … [Read more...]


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