Thursday, May 24, 2007

Peaceful Tennis anyone?

Tennis - a game played between either 1 player (singles) or two teams of two players (doubles) in which players use a stringed racquet to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court.

Mennonites - a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after and influenced by the teachings and tradition of Menno Simons (1496-1561: see painting to the left of him with his favorite racquet). As one of the historic peace churches, Mennonites are committed to nonviolence, nonviolent resistance / reconciliation, and pacifism.

Tennis and the Mennonites - a group of musical pacifists who play a sport which involves racquets, felt covered balls, and short tennis skirts (my personal favorite part of the game), all while belting out tunes.

OK, so maybe I'm making up that last definition and I have no clue where Tennis and the Mennonites got their name, but it sure is one that you could come up with some wacky theories for. And speaking of Wacky, here's a picture of them:

Regardless of name interpretations and Vegas show-girl connections, the band released their first full length release, Quilt Noise, at the end of last year, and I've been jamming to it for the last few weeks. It's an apt title for the album; it contains 18 tracks that were produced using 3 different studios, 3 different producers, and 7 band members. Almost instantly upon listening, comparisons to Bright Eyes came to mind, as Jerstin Crosby's voice bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Conor Oberst's - not to say that sums up the album by any means though. The album primarily relies on an acoustic guitar feel and playfulness that reminds me a lot of the Violent Femmes as well - not to say that THAT sums up the album either! With 18 tracks put down on tape with so many variables, the album really does have a wide range of sounds to it. In fact, it was hard to narrow down which songs to share with you, as no matter which I picked, to really get a solid aural grasp on T & the M, you need to listen to the entire album. That being said, enjoy the following, and then buy the whole scha-bang

Tennis and The Mennonites - Wicked Man : Quilt Noise

Tennis and The Mennonites - Bianca : Quilt Noise

Visit their label Breakfast Mascot Records and become their friend on MySpace.


Violent Femmes - Lies : Add It Up (1981-1993)

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