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Prayers For Atheists IN STORES NOW! Streaming EP, reviews
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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 621
Location: http://askthedead.bandcamp.com
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http://www.aversion.com/bands/reviews.cfm?f_id=4165

Last July, Jared Paul was among the protesters at the Republican National Convention outside Minneapolis, and, like a lot of folks down there, ended up face-down on the ground with a member of a riot squad clamping his hands behind his back. Hauled off to jail, he was slapped with a count of felony riot, which was then trimmed down to a misdemeanor charge with advice from a public defender to cop the plea, take a fall and avoid the hassle of a fair trial. The hassle. The hassle!

He took on the hassle -- and the expense, much of which Strange Famous helped raise -- and fought the law. And he won. Justice prevailed over hassle. The American court system proves itself. Or something like that.

Paul wasn't about to go down quietly. Joining with Alan Hague, he set his story to a Rage Against The Machine meld of punk fury, metallic guitar licks and lyrics half spat, half sung. Prayers for Atheists, from protest and arrest with shrieking guitars and a sound that easily slots in next to Rage and Flobots ("Psalm to St. Paul"), imprisonment with a decidedly hip-hop flavored, mostly a cappella track ("Lots Wife") and eventual vindication and triumph ("Wrong Horse"). Led by career activist Paul's ability to go beyond rabble-rousing to prodding the issues Prayers for Atheists is a heck of a promising start for an indie hip-hop/punk hybrid outfit.

More than a self-congratulatory tale of Paul's ordeal, a cautionary tale of authority gone haywire or the righteous triumph of the just over the oppressor, Prayers for Atheists indirectly raises some much stickier and troubling questions. Mostly, they revolve around the dangers when free speech and authority collide, and the potentially insurmountable expense and life-twisting hassles an out-of-state trial brings. Justice is supposed to be blind, and in the Paul's case it prevailed, but what about the dozens of other protesters who buckled under economic and real-life pressures? What about all the instances when First Amendment rights to a peaceful protest were trampled asunder by riot-squad boots when nobody was there to fight back? This is their story too, and Prayers for Atheists single-handedly pays tribute to all the fallen soldiers of the truth. Paul might have won his battle, but the fact that he had to fight it -- and so many in his situation simply couldn't afford to -- is nasty side of American justice that peeks out between the cracks everywhere on this EP.

- Matt Schild

*Also posted at http://rnc08report.org/archive/1061.shtml

Photobucket
Post Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:53 pm
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the mean
Certified O.G.


Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Posts: 6497
Location: philly/sacto/kauai/ohio
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This picture makes me miss Sacto. Especially midtown.

Post Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:59 pm
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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 621
Location: http://askthedead.bandcamp.com
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5 points to anyone who can provide us with an accurate translation of the following review from Sweden's Lukinzine. I've found a few free online translations that have proved to be pretty hilarious, but I'd like to hear what they really had to say about the CD (they gave it 8 out of 10 stars):

http://www.lukinzine.se/

"Bolag/Distributör: Strange Famous
Utgivningsår: 2009
Format: CD
Betyg: 8/10

Prayers For Atheists är ett politiskt laddat knippe med en historia att berätta. Jared Paul som står bakom mikrofonen och textförfattandet blev arresterad under en RNC-protest 2008, vilket har fungerat som inspiration för låtskriveriet. Det är med andra ord en genuin ilska som flyter runt i de välplacerade ordattackerna, och samtidigt som det inte är klichéaktigt är det inte heller något som kommer att gå någon över huvudet.

Musikmässigt går det inte att bortse från Rage Against the Machine-influenserna, men om RATM blandade metal och hip-hop så kör Prayers For Atheists mer en blandning av hip-hop och 80-talsinspirerad hardcorepunk. En del spår är till och med renodlade hardcorelåtar, som t.ex. Tom DeLay som är ett mittenfinger eller två till den amerikanska politikern med samma namn. Till skillnad från många andra band som vi kan kalla för post-RATM, så fungerar det här riktigt bra och bandet leverar en stark debut-EP. Jared Paul som har en bakgrund som poet och spoken word-artist lyckas ofta väva ihop intressanta texter och hans röst understryker varje stavelse på ett sätt så att man tar åt sig dem direkt. Lyssna bara på jämlikhetstorpeden Patriarchy presents (men in control) som tillsammans med Bike song och Wrong horse står för skivans bästa låtar. Kolla upp Prayers For Athesits redan idag, så kan du vara en av dem som säger att du var med från från första plattan när de väl har slagit stort."[/url]
Post Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:35 pm
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Jared Paul



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 3720
Location: www.PrayersForAtheists.org
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the mean wrote:
This picture makes me miss Sacto. Especially midtown.




Aquifer is our fam-fam for real now! They're a young group with great lyrics and all of them play instruments. Exactly what I'd hope for from folks who grew up on Anticon, SFR, and RSE taking their first real shot at live band Hip Hop. Definitely got my eye on them as they continue to progress and develop. And on top of all that, they're an almost unbelievably nice, humble, and honest group of people. We're already lining up some west coast stuff with them for this Winter!

www.Myspace.com/AquiferMusic

Boom!
Post Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:16 pm
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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 621
Location: http://askthedead.bandcamp.com
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A flattering review from the Hex Records blog:

http://hanginghex.blogspot.com/

"PRAYERS FOR ATHEISTS, s/t

I’m not exactly sure how I can describe this without putting off some people because the people who tend to read this blog are probably music elitists. I know this because I’m a music snob myself. So should it come as a surprise that I’m totally blown away by a rap-rock record? Yeah, I said it. Prayers For Atheists is the punk band fronted by slam poet extrordinaire and Strange Famous Records Collective (Sage Francis) shadow walker Jared Paul. Here, Jared’s exceptional vocal delivery concerning public protests, resulting arrests, eventual victories, patriarchy, bike riding, and eco-awareness collide with music that runs from vitriolic one-minute Bad Brains-styled punk dirges (“Tom Delay”) to meaty head-bobbing rockers (“Bike Song”). The obvious comparison is to Rage Against the Machine and it’s safe to say that Prayers For Atheists legitimately holds up both lyrically and musically with that group, as opposed to simply being a cheap imitation made for frat initiation parties. Personally, I can chime in from a historical perspective as I witnessed the marriage of rap and rock in it’s most successful experiments, from Run DMC (“King Of Rock”), to Public Enemy/ Slayer (“She Watch Channel Zero”), Public Enemy/ Anthrax, and up to Rage Against the Machine. Prayers For Atheists gets it. They understand how to make these sorts of connections and they don’t even need a DJ to do it. They approach the style from the basement show perspective and drive a message home that may tread familiar social justice topics, but in such a way that is both clever and poetic at once. These are definitely uplifting victory anthems delivered by a group with a lot of passion. I suggest checking it out for yourself. (Strange Famous Records, www.strangefamousrecords.com)"[/url]
Post Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:38 pm
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Jared Paul



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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Location: www.PrayersForAtheists.org
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We tip our hats to ye, Hanging Hex. Not bad at all...
Post Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:45 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21596
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that's a damn good review
Post Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:11 pm
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mattrego



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1415
Location: RI-CA-FL
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I found a review for you guys in the Newport Mercury, a RI free publication in the same vain as the Phoenix. The guy gave you a 4 out of 5 stars.

‘PRAYERS FOR ATHEISTS’ (EP)
PRAYERS FOR ATHEISTS Strange Famous Records
H H H H H
With a great opening like “Psalm for St. Paul,” you’d hope that there’d be more than just eight tracks to this punk/hip-hop album. Its driving beat and great pace perfectly blend Jared Paul’s hip-hop vocals with the punk backdrop of Alan Hague’s hard guitar, drums and screeching vocals, telling of the Providence duo’s court victory after an arrest at the Republican Convention last year, an event to which this EP is dedicated. Also commendable here is “Lot’s Wife,” a spoken-word poem with brutal and striking images (“Umbilical thorns twisting around the Trinity’s lost sibling”). The weaker tracks are the droning, sluggish filler “Coathanger 18” and “Tom Delay,” which comes off as a frenzied shouting contest to test the band’s anger gauge. “Prayers” still offers a couple of others that are still quality (“Bike Song” and “Rows of Steel”), all of which delivers what one would expect from a debut album: some good, some not so good, but hopes for a full-length. A punkin’ good time.


http://newportmercury.ri.newsmemory.com/

Goto arts and page A12.
Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:53 am
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Jared Paul



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 3720
Location: www.PrayersForAtheists.org
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Sage Francis wrote:
that's a damn good review


Agreed papi. We met this wild ass kid out in Portland (I think?) who talked our ear off after the set. He was all about the show and bought a cd, and allll about SFR. He told us about how disappointed he was when members of Rage Against the Machine got back together with Chris Cornell as the front person. He was soooo sincere when he said, "If Zach couldn't front the band anymore, who better than Sage? I mean really... who writes better political rap songs... who's really right there doing shit for causes in real life... who has the energy to step up and really handle something as powerful as that band? SAGE. They're soooo fucking dumb man... Sage would've kept them great for another 10 years..."

We agreed of course. You would've done a much better job than Chris fucking Cornell. ( :


*We told him he should email you his thoughts. Did some crazy kid write you a 4 page email about that recently?
Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:39 pm
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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 621
Location: http://askthedead.bandcamp.com
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Sage Against the Machine?
Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:38 pm
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Jared Paul



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 3720
Location: www.PrayersForAtheists.org
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That dude! For sure. Where was he from again?
Post Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:12 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
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Not to hijack but that Aquifer group is amazing! Excellent recommendation.
Post Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:59 pm
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Jared Paul



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 3720
Location: www.PrayersForAtheists.org
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Captiv8 wrote:
Not to hijack but that Aquifer group is amazing! Excellent recommendation.


Na man, not at all. That's my fam fam right there. Great great bunch of people. It's crazy for me because Francis gave me Anticon, RSE, and Def Jux when I was in my last teen year/early 20's. I might not have found that stuff without him... and it's so wild for me to now meet and tour with young cat who GREW UP ON that stuff. Aquifer is a young group with a great attitude and a whole shit load of the right influences.
Post Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:12 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
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Jared Paul wrote:
Captiv8 wrote:
Not to hijack but that Aquifer group is amazing! Excellent recommendation.


Na man, not at all. That's my fam fam right there. Great great bunch of people. It's crazy for me because Francis gave me Anticon, RSE, and Def Jux when I was in my last teen year/early 20's. I might not have found that stuff without him... and it's so wild for me to now meet and tour with young cat who GREW UP ON that stuff. Aquifer is a young group with a great attitude and a whole shit load of the right influences.


The cyclical nature of recommendations and coming up. It's gotta be crazy to experience something like that first hand, on the road while you're doing your thing.
Post Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:00 pm
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