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Matt Fink :
10 article(s)

Matt Fink is a Pittsburgh-based journalist who is a frequent contributor to music magazines Paste and Under the Radar. Over the past six years he has interviewed artists ranging from Yoko Ono and Beck to Franz Ferdinand and the White Stripes.
August 17th, 2010
She toured with Elvis in the 50s and is now recording a new album with Jack White -- the Queen of Rockabilly discusses music, faith and getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Nearly 60 years after its birth, rock and roll remains American music’s most successful illegitimate offspring, with everyone from Bo Diddley and Little Richard to Bill Haley and Ike Turner having stepped forward to position themselves in the delivery room and no one really knowing who deserves to sign the birth certificate. Rock’s mother has never been much disputed, however. That distinction belongs to Wanda Jackson, the “Queen of Rockabilly” who came roaring out of Oklahoma in 1956 as a big-voiced teenager and quickly learned to throw elbows with the boys who were just starting to build rock and roll into a worldwide phenomenon. Though she never reached the level of success of…

April 15th, 2010
The former Pedro the Lion leader talks about reactions to recent work and his current take on faith and his role as an artist

Last week, we published a piece by Matt Fink about former Pedro the Lion leader David Bazan’s career and latest album. After a four-year hiatus following struggles with alcoholism and his faith — including being kicked off the main stage of a major Christian music festival — Bazan returned in 2009 with a new autobiographical and starkly agnostic album.
In the following interview, Fink talks with Bazan about his return to the Cornerstone Festival last summer, the latest album, the reactions to recent work, and his current take on faith and his role as an artist.

Busted Halo: I saw that you went back and played Cornerstone this year. What was that like?
David Bazan:… It was actually great. I had said

April 8th, 2010
Former Pedro the Lion frontman's Curse Your Branches

In the spring of 2007, I was asked as an alumnus of Geneva College (a small Reformed Presbyterian liberal arts college 30 minutes northwest of Pittsburgh, PA) to attend a few planning sessions for that semester’s annual music event. Knowing Geneva’s conservative stance on nearly every theological or cultural issue, from the prohibition of instruments in their church services to the ban on all dancing (save square dancing) on campus, the challenge was selecting an artist who would be edgy enough to attract the interest of the students while being safe enough not to draw the ire of the school’s administration. Half-jokingly, I suggested that David Bazan might be an interesting choice for…

September 11th, 2009
The legendary artist who influenced generations of musicians talks about God and country (music)

One of country music’s great survivors, Charlie Louvin has a career that reads like a Southern gothic novel. He grew up singing sacred harp music — a harmonically complex form of Southern congregational music — with his brother Ira, and the duo would help lay the foundation for the country-rock movement with their close harmonies and stark tales of faith, family, and death. Among their early fans were a young Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Both would later open for the brothers, and carry their influence around the world.
The Louvin Brothers’ story was soon shrouded in the same kind of tragedy that hung around the corners of their songs when, after years of alcoholism and erratic behavior, Ira…

May 17th, 2009
Daniel Smith on his numerous musical projects, former bandmate Sufjan Stevens and being a Christian artist who doesn’t connect with Christian culture

Though he’d never want to take credit for it, the extent to which there is a Christian presence in indie rock — a scene generally suspicious of and cynical toward expressions of faith — is largely due to the presence of Daniel Smith. More than any other artist in the post-punk era, he has redefined what it means to camp out at the idiosyncratic crossroads of faith and art. On the avant-garde edges of both cultures, his series of visionary albums have proved he is beholden to neither. With Trying Hartz, a two-disc retrospective spanning the first ten years of his career, Smith offers one-stop shopping for the curious and confounded.
With 1994′s A Prayer for Every Hour…, a series of songs designed to accompany

February 17th, 2009
Legendary lead vocalist from The Staple Singers on Dr. King, Barack Obama and being wrapped up in the Lord's arms

Lost among the hoopla of the Inauguration of Barack Obama — among the celebrity sightings, the musical guests, and the soaring rhetoric — was the conspicuous absence of one civil rights icon. Where was Mavis Staples, the woman whose soulful baritone led the legendary Staple Singers? With her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples and her siblings, Mavis had marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, and had provided the musical rallying cry for the movement that paved the way for Obama’s election. She had performed at the inaugurations of Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton, too, so she knew the routine. She was even from Chicago, same as the new President. But as the afternoon wore on, it became apparent…

April 27th, 2007
Busted Halo talks conversion, pride, and holistic faith with the leader of indie rock's would-be revolutionaries.

Hang around the Christian music festival circuit for very long, and you’ll invariably hear about mewithoutYou‘s Aaron Weiss. Everyone has a story. Some have seen him walking around the festival grounds, picking half-eaten sandwiches out of the garbage and finishing them. Others talk about how he and his friends live in a commune in Philadelphia, sharing their possessions and profits from the band to live a life similar to those in the early church. Most who’ve met him say you haven’t felt a real hug until you’ve experienced his bone-cracking embrace. Everyone swears there’s something different about him, something beyond guitar riffs and record sales.
But standing…

January 19th, 2007
BustedHalo discusses life in the spotlight with the most high-profile Christian band in the post-hardcore rock scene.

Though self-identified Christian bands have been slowly breaking down the distinctions between the music that appears on the mainstream music charts and the albums that are normally trapped in the Christian music ghetto, the morning of June 20, 2006 marked a watershed moment with the release of Underoath’s Define the Great Line. One week and 98,000 copies later, they occupied the #2 album slot on the Billboard Top 200 chart. If Christian bands were supposed to only sell records to the converted, someone forgot to tell the legion of kids across the country that went to their local music store and plopped down $18 for Underoath’s latest assessment of the contemporary Christian life.
This was Underoath—a…

September 14th, 2006
Busted Halo discusses the Christian music industry and the culture that birthed it with music journalist and author of Body Piercing Saved My Life, Andrew Beaujon.

Though much has changed in recent years to allow openly Christian musicians to move out of the Christian rock ghetto, it is still rare to come across a self-respecting music fan who would take the genre seriously, let alone admit to actually liking some of it. But in the pages of his entertaining and enlightening study of the Christian music industry entitled Body Piercing Saved My Life, Andrew Beaujon—contributing writer for Spin who also writes for the Washington Post and Salon—reveals this much maligned corner of the music industry to be far less monolithic (and less uniformly lame) than many outsiders realize.
Tracing the growth of the Christian music industry through the recovering hippies…

June 2nd, 2006
Busted Halo discusses faith's place in art and the public market with one of America's most adventurous singer-songwriters.

In the world of popular music there is perhaps no genre that is more suspicious of Christian faith than indie rock. Having grown out the late 70s punk movement that rejected most traditional ideologies in favor of unfettered personal expression, the independent music scene remains (at least philosophically) defined by its skepticism for mainstream culture and its outsider status in the world of corporate music conglomerates.
Quite possibly the first self-identified Christian to make significant inroads to the usually hostile scene, Sufjan Stevens has earned listeners through his meticulously crafted compositions and pointedly descriptive narratives. The ornately arranged, quasi orchestral folk-pop…

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