Jesus, etc.

When Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy took the stage at Calvin College last Thursday, it wasn’t a new experience for those of us who live and work here: Wilco, along with other bands of its ilk, has performed here in the past. But for many in the audience who don’t attend Calvin, the evening was anything but ordinary. As if seeing their alt-country anti-hero at a Christian college weren’t bizarre enough, Calvin had the gall to plop Tweedy down in the middle of its chapel—organ, choir loft, and all.

The Tweedy show, and the response it generated from mainstream Wilco fans, was a wake-up call for me that confusion about what we’re trying to do at Calvin isn’t unique to evangelicals. Sure, we field angry phone calls from denominational donors upset with the occasional Indigo Girls concert or screening of Fahrenheit 9/11. But following Tweedy’s show, I was also reminded that regular, music-loving folks have little understanding of Christian, music-loving folks.

This realization hit home when I was perusing a prominent Wilco fan site, Via Chicago, a few days after the show.

Read the rest of this article at *catapult magazine...


At 11/22/2005 12:36 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Bravo, Kate. You & me, we write about the same stuff, only you do it better than I do. Reading your pieces always edifies and challenges me!

At 11/26/2005 3:37 PM, Blogger Holy Moly! said...

Nice article! I think chapels and sanctuaries are some of the best places to have indie rock shows, if you're working in an idiom where the extra reverb doesn't mess stuff up. The acoustics tend to create this chorus effect which emphasizes certain high harmonics, which either due to a socialized response to sacred music or just because of how our brains are wired, can trigger feelings of transcendence. Another plus is that even non-religious people don't feel comfortable talking in a church building; everyone ends up listening more attentively. Plus they're usually all-ages with no alcohol served, which always makes for a better show; so much better than a rock club.


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