Why we love Venus

Because of, among other things, this 5 star review of Of Great and Mortal Men.  Thanks, VenusZine!  Tasty quotes from our songs about Van Buren, Jackson, Washington, GHW Bush, and GW Bush too.


New curricula

One of the aspects of this project that we continue to be very excited about is the possibilities that it can be used in education.  To that end, we’ve been writing curriculum (in between teaching classes and doing our other non-education day jobs).  Here are some new “reading questions” for James Madison and Andrew Jackson:

I’ve also done a few edits to George Washington’s reading questions as well.  More to come!  If any teachers want to get involved in the curriculum-writing process, please don’t hesitate to contact Christian Kiefer at xian@christiankiefer.com or Mark Latta at mark@standardrecording.com.  We could sure use your help!

Meanwhile, click over to the “for teachers” link on the right for more curricula as it is developed.

Published in: on August 15, 2008 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

07) Jackson

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

07 Jackson (Benevolence)

by Christian Kiefer — 2006-02-08 @ 03:03am (EST) — Alt/Indie, Folk, Rock

Andrew Jackson was a bad man, to say the least. How he made it onto our currency is a mystery I will probably take to my grave. Responsible for some of the most reprehensible acts of official policy against Native Americans, Jackson can be squarely credited for the decimation of (in particular) the Seminole, Creek, and Cherokee.

Of course, it’s not like Andrew Jackson was alone in his general sentiment that the Indians needed to be removed to reservation lands. It was a much lauded feeling at the time that such an act would “benefit” the Native population. Fuckers. If Andrew Jackson wasn’t dead I’d kick his pale ass.

In any case, I suspect that my little banjo riff thing rings too much of that Led Zeppelin song. It’s not something I noticed until I was actually singing over it. Anyway, it’s just a riff and can be changed. The rest of the song remains the same. (Har har.)


  1. Sean Brown | 2006-02-08 @ 03:46am (EST)I like it quite a bit. It has a nice sound to it.
  2. CageyHouse | 2006-02-08 @ 08:10am (EST)That banjo really hits the mournful soul.
  3. jeff pitcher | 2006-02-08 @ 12:19pm (EST)good title. i LOVE the harmonies, and the banjo melody is great. just great.
  4. Ben J. | 2006-02-08 @ 06:44pm (EST)The lyric is superb, and damn your harmonies are tight! I like the vibe on this too…
  5. mike skliar | 2006-02-12 @ 02:21am (EST)great banjo riff (sounds more neil young then zepplin to me) , great harmonies, I like this alot!
Published in: on May 13, 2008 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment