Guest Spots: Sole picks the West’s five greatest myths

Since leaving longtime label Anticon, indie rapper Sole has released The Pyre — a collaboration with artist Ravi Zupa — as well as a free mixtape of his signature rhymes over radio-hit beats from the likes of Rick Ross and Kanye West, titled Nuclear Winter: Vol. 1. In addition, Sole and the Skyrider Band has been working with the label Fake Four. Inc and just finished a US tour with IDM artist Egadz.

Sole (a.k.a. Tim Holland) took a few minutes out of his busy tour schedule to pen a piece on the greatest myths in Western civilization. On the list, just in time for the holidays, is a new perspective on the story and significance of Santa Claus.

Five Western Myths
by Tim Holland, a.k.a. Sole

1. Santa Claus

The modern Santa gets his roots from Sinter Klaas, the Dutch father of Christmas. Sinter Klass, with the help of his ‘”Zwarte Pieten,” a.k.a. enslaved “black devils,” brought gifts to children. He moved his residence to the North Pole, where he seemingly swapped out the Moors for Inuits. Today this myth lies at the center of our entire economy and arguably our way of life.

My biggest problem with Santa is that it teaches children that something comes out of nothing, and it gives them an early and tangible affirmation of the supernatural. Even during periods of relative prosperity, it’s not uncommon for an American parent to take a second job around the holidays simply to perpetuate this myth. Maybe history laughs last, as yesterday’s “Moors” are replaced the world over by today’s work force.

The Dismemberment Plan

Guest Spots: The Dismemberment Plan’s top Gladys Knight songs

The Dismemberment Plan: “Academy Award (Cex Remix)” (A People’s History of the Dismemberment Plan, DeSoto, 10/6/03)

The Dismemberment Plan: “Academy Award (Cex Remix)”

Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan is a huge Gladys Knight fan. Though his band’s dance-punk sound doesn’t overtly reflect Knight’s timeless recordings with The Pips, some influences are a bit more subtle. Below, Morrison shares five of his favorite Gladys Knight songs. And in case you were wondering, yes, The Dismemberment Plan is back together. The band is set to tour the US in support of Barsuk’s upcoming vinyl re-release (1/11/11) of the 1999 album Emergency & I.

Gladys Knight

1. “Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)”

Such a great description of shared heartbreak, shared failure at love. I always loved songs that never placed blame when things went wrong. Kind of a companion song to “It’s Too Late” by Carole King. But in this song, the narrator is still in the mix, still not quite giving up. It usually makes me tear up — takes me back to a few situations in my life, I admit.