Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
these days of Christian-comprised bands influencing music made by the rest
of the world, isn't it about time for someone to issue a Breakfast With
Amy box set? Preferrably with the unreleased video documentary The Sound
Of One Hand Snacking (haven't seen it myself, but if anyone could score
me a copy...).
How worrying should it be when acts signed to contemporary Christian and soul gospel labels perform, or lead praise & worship (a kind of performance in itself, yes?) , on TV at churches led by pastors who espouse theological/doctrinal heresy, or at least scriptural fatuousness? Should we question said artists' level of spiritual discernment, or just wonder how much they got paid?
Am I the only one who finds it insulting when CCM artists put their tour dates and message boards on the paid membership portions of their websites?
Why don't some white Christian guys know enough not to rap?
It's been a while since Bryan Duncan embarrassed himself in a video looking like the long lost (clueless, too) brother of Flavor Flav and D-Boy Rodriguez (whose actual sister, M.C. Ge Gee, once expressed her late sibling's displeasure at such inauthentic idiocy to me in an interview), but the memory still pains me. Ditto for Steven Curtis Chapman's too cute (read:insufferable) duet with then-D.C. Talk'er Toby McKeehan.
But the Euromericans who should know better than to try to rhytmically rhyme without a song in their voice have reared up again on Christian radio. That is, on stations where the music directors wouldn't know a member of The Cross Movement or GRITS if one bit him/her in the backside.
There's no beef to be had with Matt Kearney. Dude seems genuine in his meshing of adult alt folkie and hip-hop influences, and he writes from a greather depth of soul and intellect than the majority of people in his position in the business of musical ministry.
But Matthew West?! That he raps about his salvation at a Billy Graham rally and subsequent backsliding-and recommitment is no excuse. Especially since he's done work that hasn't bitten big rocks.
As he has elsewhere on our public airwaves in the past with a song about halleluia-spouting cartoon characters specifically and overall innocuousness generally, Chris Rice takes the cake..and proceeds to render it inedible. Believe it or not, there was a time when Rice didn't blow chunks. But how long ago that seems.
If it's any consolation to these rhyming fools, there are rappers who should work on their singing, too. And at least one of them rappers is white.
Why does it seem that every new female aritst signed to a Christian market label isn't (or doesn't look) old enough to vote?
How can it be that I can hear Sufjan Stevens, Mavis Staples, Half-Handed Cloud, Buddy Miller, Julie Miller, Damien Jurado, 16 Horsepower, Danielson Familie, Starflyer 59, Robert Randolph and other godly musicians willing to breach new vistas within their respective genres on the left-leaning, largely anti-God, community-sponsored FM 50-odd miles to the south of me, while the "Christian hit radio" station 90-some miles to the north of me has a hit parade headed by the earnest, if achingly banal, Kutlass?
Will believers as a demographic bloc be as catered and merchandised to by those shilling The Chronicles Of Narnia:The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe as we were drummed over the collective head by the P.R. flacks representing The Passion Of he Christ?
If there must be any tie-in albums with Narnia, here's my list of acts who should be considered for such a compilation...
*Narnia (duh), *Brother Danielson (guy dresses up as a tree;seems appropriate, yes?), *Eisley (those kids must have been influenced by C.S. Lewis), *The Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus (are they still together?), * Madison Greene (the Caucasian ethno-hippie quotient shouldn't be hogged by RAIJ), *Joy Electric (Ronnie Martin may well have written a eighth book in the series as fan fiction...if the Eisley siblings haven't), *Solomon Jabby (lions probably ilke dub reggae), *Skindred (lions probably also like reggae-rock led by dreadlocked Welshmen), *Moya Brennan featuring Enya (get two Clannad sisters together for a new age-ish Celtic "event" single), *Buddy Jewell (if only for his feline facial hair), *Jump 5 (it's a Disney movie;it's practically a law that they be there), *Jeff Johnson (with vocals, please), *Sara Groves with Kendall Payne (someone might as well have a Christian radio hit out of all the hype;how about two redheads?), *Sandy Patti (the closest she'll get to Broadway since Le Voyage...or her album with Kathy Troccoli), *Soul-Junk (performing a rare instrumental)
Is it me, or has Saviour Machine received more attention among non-Christian goth rockers than non-Christian prog rockers, and why doesn't that make sense if that's the case? They're pretty prog by my ears.
Who's the more fun band of sloppy, punky, Christocentric, serio-goofs:the late Lust Comtrol or the current Knights Of The New Crusade? Or has Happy Little Day got them both trumped? Hmmm...
Where are the Christian opera librettists and/or interior designers, televised or otherwise?
Is the percentage of Bible trivia questions on Street Smarts commensurate with what would be considered common knowledge in the U.S.? And am I the only one happy that host Frank Nicotero's fascination with Playboy centerfold models looks to have ended?
At a natural & organic foods supermarket to pick up some blue corn chips for my church's annual picnic, I seemed to see a preponderance of, for lack of a better word, heathen products. Packaging that presupposes and purports new age and otherwise metaphysical hooey abounded. Amid the assault, there were the presumably godly After The Fall juices, Ezekiel 4:9 breads and cereals (based on the recipe in that scripture;I can vouch for the breads' tastiness) and the Garden of Eatin' chips I bought for my congregation's shindig, but my crunchy blue corn morsels weren't that big a hit at the picnic.
On the BBC Radio One message board dedicated to her breast cancer recovery, might yours truly have been the only one to tell Kylie Minogue that someone's praying for her? Here's hoping that however much of the Law and Gospel she heard her visit to her native country's country's Hillsong Church a while ago sinks in to turn her around.
Speaking of female singers whose voices and visages I enjoy, anybody out there know whether Anastacia has come to the Lord? Her new album (yet to come out here;she's sells more records in much of the rest of the world) has singing a duet with P.O.D.'s Sonny Sandoval, so here's hoping.
Funnier than any of the soul gospel circuit comedians I've heard (possible exception:Jonathan Slocumb) is the minute or two of Reverend Trimble's "church announcements" on Doug Banks' syndicated weekend top 20 r&b countdown show. It's a broad spoof on the secularization and idiosyncrasies of church life, always topped off by groan-worthy hilarious puns comprising the titles of the features showing at each Sunday's "children's film festival."
Why hasn't a compilation CD of these killer vignettes been released to retail? Or, better yet, adapted by Tyler Perry or one of his gospel playtwright peers? With the right approach, a stage or film Trimble piece has to be funnier than Diary of a Mad Black Woman, right?