Well, it’s not necessarily a NEW idea, but it’s still a pretty novel concept. I recall early tweer-than-fuck Belle & Sebastian holding concerts in churches, and I think Arcade Fire decided to do some of their Neon Bible shows in church too (obvious much?).
As of recently though, many bands have made the move to use churches as recording spaces rather than venues. The aforementioned Neon Bible, and B&S’s Lazy Line Painter Jane EP were both recorded exclusively in churches — both to great effect. Off the top of my head, I The Decemberists also recording Picaresque in a church as well.
(L) Low plays cathedral, (R) Belle & Sebastian flier
Anyway, this is a LONG way to get around mentioning that I just saw Cleveland’s The Muttering Retreats play at South Union Artsyesterday (interview with T.M.A.’s Tim Thornton to be posted soon). Aside from S.U.A. being the first German-language school ever built in Chicago, it also operated as the Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church before South Union Arts took over the space… the highlight of the cathedral is a GIANT NEON CRUCIFIX… more creepy than the one from Se7en. Jealous much, Arcade Fire? You shoulda played here.
(L) South Union Arts in Chicago, (R) Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible cover art
So yeah, Indie Rock in a church is an interesting experience. Which is now why I have to mention that both Jenny Lewis and “slowcore” legends Low, will be playing what Oh My Rockness is referring to as “Epiphany” in September. Epiphany is, indeed, Epiphany Episcopal Church on 201 South Ashland.
(L) Epiphany, (R) Jenny Lewis