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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

MP3 of the Day: Welcome Wagon

Posted By on Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 12:01 PM

click to enlarge welcome_wagon_smaller.jpg

(Photo by Emily Haselschwerdt)

Religious songs usually give me the heebie-jeebies. I like to keep doctrines about God out of my pop songs, with the exception of, say, the Jason Pierces out there (who just can't seem to write a song without asking for help from Jesus Christ). New York duo Welcome Wagon is a married pair that is indeed religious-- he's a Presbyterian pastor (the Rev. Vito Aiuto) who works out genres from folk to funk with his wife Monique (as well as a "particleboard parlor guitar and a plastic glockenspiel"). I've only heard one song off the Wagon so far, and it seemed more uplifting than downtalking. That's due in large part to the couple's pal Sufjan Stevens, who helped with details like recording and instrumentation. The result, at least on this track, "Sold! to the Nice Rich Man," builds in a typical Stevens way, blossoming into rounds from a chorus and horn section that get downright festive towards the end. The band's cutely-titled debut, Welcome to the Welcome Wagon, comes out in December (and is said to pay homage to pop culture through songs that range from the sacred to '70s classics), but you can hear the song about the rich man right here. -- Jennifer Maerz

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Ian S. Port


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