Monday, July 03, 2006

Song of the Week 6/30/06

Soul Asylum - "Stand Up and Be Strong"

Multiple times in the history of the Reynolds Top 20 (and this blog) I’ve written about my love for Soul Asylum. Monday the band added yet another chapter to the glorious history I’ve experienced with their music over the past 17 years.

The band was booked to play at a event at the Hard Rock Cafe for Free FM, the talk radio successor to the former Howard Stern station K-Rock. Everything about this event made me have flashback to my own radio days--and why I quit. Some of the highlights included: interns who didn't know what they were doing; a contest where male listeners had to sing Aerosmith songs with a dildo in their mouth; and a homemade bikini contest.


The topper of all of this was when the host of the shindig, "The Radio Chick," came out and basically asked her fans to not boo Soul Asylum when they went on. Yeah, that's how great this crowd was--and it didn't faze the band one bit. When Dave Pirner sang the line "All is well here in hell" (from The Silver Lining's "All Is Well") and then proceeded to point at the crowd in a very subtle way, I knew that they didn't give a fuck. They just wanted to play for themselves. Pirner and Dan Murphy rocked with wild abandon, while drummer Michael Bland hit the drums as if they had personally offended him. To perform a show this great with a crowd that could care less (and thinned as their hour-long set went on) was just a testament to the greatness of this band.

Then something funny happened when they broke into "Stand Up and Be Strong," the first single from The Silver Lining. I swear, people started listening. Something about this anthem (perhaps the first positive song Pirner has ever written) hooked a few folks standing around me. Their heads started bobbing, and I'm pretty sure I saw someone else pump their fist. And it's hard not to be hooked by this song. The studio version is one of the band's best songs post-Grave Dancer's Union, but live it takes on this huge life of its own. Just before the last chorus, the band stops so it's just Pirner and his guitar. He then sings "Stand up and be...stand up and beeeee," and then the rest of the band kicks back in, and it's perhaps one of the most life-affirming, fist-pumping, fuck you everyone that has screwed me over the years moments in music.


Seriously--it's that great of a moment. The band is going to be on Leno July 10th doing this song, and I suggest you watch it and prepare for the chills to run down your spine when they get to that part.

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