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Rake's Thinking Again? More Thoughts...

Were the members of Kutless listening to Tony Goldmark's Creed-spoofing Dr. Demento hit from a couple years back, "Teeth Clenched," before they whupped up "Strong Tower"? I can't seem to think of the latter without the former coming to mind. 
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 Anybody else out there heard the snippet of Grits' "Here We Go" on one of VH1's numerous specials on celebrities' bad behavior? Honestly, I just had it on my idiot box before the station's seriously funny Best Week Ever started. One hopes that Coffee and Bonafide were paid well for the use of their tune in such a context.
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Is it me, or are Rory and  Wendy Alec of The Rory & Wendy Show not as far removed in a lot of ways from TBN's Paul and Jan Crouch than the former's hipper approach may lead one to believe? And couldn't Rory stand a haircut and Wendy have her locks in one color? Methinks so on both accounts. 
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Does Eddie DeGarmo have another rock opera-or whatever Hero was supposed to be-after said project's less than overwhelming reception by a public less conversant with the conventions of its general market predecessors such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Tommy than DeGarmo himself must be?

And if DeGarmo has another one in him, will it be less kitsch than Hero was?
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Don't you wish you could see my bobble head of Mississippi Mass Choir's 71 years-young soloist Mosie Burks on the occasion of Malaco Records' release of her first solo longplayer? It may be the coolest piece of mail I've received all year! 
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Am I a nut to think that Little Richard should record at least one more gospel album before he goes to rock'n'roll heaven (or, Lord forbid, its opposite)?
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The DJ hosting the CCM Weekend 22 radio countdown show doesn't sound  like someone going by the name of J. Gonzo, does he? Shouldn't the guy sound, well, more gonzo? That, or maybe a bit more excitable, anyway.
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Now that Adrian Rogers has died, will his preaching&teaching radio and TV shows be rerun in apparent perpetuity, like J. Vernon McGee's Through The Bible series? Just wondering, as Rogers was one of few trustworthy voice on the only even remotely Protestant station on my town's cable system.
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Who sent me a promotional copy of the DVD set of The Polar Express? 
To anyone who honestly believes that the aforementioned movie's set to become a perennial holiday classic: this is a free enough country for you to believe that!
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If there must be Christian market movies, how about a few musicals good as Chicago or  Singin' In The Rain? Godspell  is fine, but it's been a while, yes?
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Why, in response to the popularity of "blue collar comedy," has there been no popular resurgence of the folksy, generally apolitical storytelling humor proffered by Grady Nutt, Jerry Clower and Wendy Bagwell? Note that all those guys are dead and that Andy Griffith is likelier to act in a Matlock reunion or record another album of gospel standards before he gives the world another gently ribbing laughriot like "What It Was Was Football."
I'm telling y'all, Capitol and Sparrow Records could make a decent profit with reissues of Griffith's comedy albums, or at least a well-compiled anthology.
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Further on the subject of Christian-made comedy, why does it seem that the otherwise genuinely hilarious Brad Stine is set on being as much of a polar opposite of Bill Maher, who can still be a hoot when he's not being a reactionary leftist apologist, as humanly possible? Stine's latest, Tolerate This! (Right Minded/Word/Warner Brothers) has plenty to commend it, but his schtick still sometimes seems like a demographically precise blowdart to the tibia of the choir he believes the Hollyweird mainstream isn't preaching to. 
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What music, skits and stand-up might Dr. Demento not play on his radio show were he to become a Christian? Count me a fan who'd like to find out.
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Least Sensible Radio Segue?:Going from Skillet's imploring "Savior" to AC/DC's swaggeringly resigned "Highway To Hell," starting at The Staples Singers' brilliantly hopeful and going from there to The Commodores' brilliantly horny "Brick House" (though following with Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" seemed to split the difference), or following Miranda Lambert's nihilistically country-punky (and catchy as anything) "Kerosene" with Brooks & Dunn's devotionally thoughtful "Believe."    I've heard em all.
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Is it me, or was whatever buzz generated by the 2005 albums by Carman and Crystal Lewis registerable in the negative? Weren't those two among the kinds of acts that would get big endcap displays in Christian shops not too long ago?
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If it hasn't been yet, wouldn't Bruce Cockburn's "Wondering Where The Lions Are" be an apt cover for a reggae band? The original already sounds like a folkie experimenting with the genre. Christafari, methinks I hear your biggest-ever hit (with general market potential) calling!
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Am I just not listening at the right time, or has none of Andy Pratt's material, even pre-conversion, getting played on classic rock radio where it'd fit like a charm? 
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Maybe it would have been too out there an idea at the time of its mid-'80s release, but am  I the only person who's ever hankered for a dub mix of DeGarmo & Key's "666"? Doesn't its synthline practically beg for one? Oh, yeah.
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On a similarly rhythmic and borderline nostalgic note as the above query, when will Sandy Patty ever fulfill her God-given potential as a dance music diva? If it's been a good enough angle for Point Of Grace to work, you know La Sandy could throw down! 
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Remember when I almost wrote off Josh "Long Black Train" Turner's future country chart prospects? That now, I'm glad to say, looks to have been a premature prediction. 
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Since I'm already backtracking, it looks as if Natasha Bedingfield may only be in the current James Bond video game, not movie. But wouldn't it be peachy were she in both?
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To ask a question for which I might have to eat crow again for not having looked at their website before I ask it, will Selah ever find a permanent female singer? 
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All else being equal, would an album based on psalms as translated in, say, the New American Standard Bible sound as good or better than one based on psalms paraphrased in The Message? Maybe better, I'd like to think so.
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Doesn't Israel & New Breed's Alive In South Africa have one of the niftiest front CD inserts, what with the way you can see Israel Houghton's face or that of a lion depending upon how you're looking at it? Two questions, though: will there ever be some kind of trademark showdown between Houghton's choir and the brother-sister rap duo who've been calling themselves New Breed for probably about as long as that choir's been around, and when will Houghton accompany his ample musical talent with more solidly doctrinal lyrics? Granted, their tendency toward vacuity's one of my bigger beefs with much current praise and worship music overall, but it hurts me to hear someone so artistically adventurous be sometimes so textually fluffy.That, however, isn't to say that I'm not itching to see him and his troupe in concert. 
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Could it have been Bobby Pinson's undoing to have pushed a gospel-lyriced single from his debut album after the sage "Don't Ask Me How I Know" landed him in top 20 country airplay earlier this year? He's no longer signed with RCA Nashville, anyway. Here's hoping he makes out at least as well as his brother in twang and the Lord, the aforementioned Josh Turner, has thus far.

Pinson put on one rollicking set when I saw him open for the waycool Gary Allan (who I'm hoping is letting the Lord help him with his wife's suicide; his latest album is a harrowed, stunning response to it) at a fair last summer. Liked how Pinson's pregnant wife sang background for her husband, too!
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Has anybody else out there caught the spoof on Comedy Central'sThe Showbiz Show that David Spade made about the marketing firm hired to get Christians to see The Passion Of The Christ and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe? Though perhaps too crudely stated for some (a movie about the marketing team would be entitled Get Rich On Christ Dyin'), the Saturday Night Live alum made a good point. That he got in a swipe at 50 Cent's cinematic debut doubled the funny.
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Isn't now as good a time as any for some enterprising indie label to issue a CD anthology of '80s godly, confrontational proto-extreme metalurgists The Warning? Wouldn't it be refreshing to see titles blunt as Repent Or Die, A Virgin In The Midst Of Whores  and Cut The Crap (Garabage gets cut if your retailer's more reserved) on the local Bible emporium's shelves? Such tuneage made for sing-alongs among my Christian friends back when. 
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And remember how The Warning almost got a deal with Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles Records? The same cool thing looks to be happening for Rake Thoughts poster-guys for audaciously proclaimed faith, Knights Of The New Crusade. Wearing a bucket on your head and sininging about how Jesus is the only way to heaven over a glorious din that makes The Mummies sound like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, all for a label owned by notoriously anti-Christian Dead Kennedys' ex-singer? That's crossover!

I have no trouble with Dolly Parton inviting Cat Stevens-sorry, Yusef Islam-onto her version of his "Peace Train" for her recent covers album. The tune comports well enough with many faiths (Stevens'/Islam's Mohammadism not being the first one that comes to my mind, but whatever). But how did she decide upon remaking John Lennon's "Imagine"?! No heaven, huh, Dolly? And what do the Southern gospel folks whom she allowed to build a museum at her theme park think about such seemingly misguided song selection?
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How many books about leadership can John Maxwell write and not repeat himself?  He must have by now, right?
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Shouldn't Kirk Franklin stay away from rapping as he has learned to do with singing? And did he have to have a go at the former while interpolating a Tears For Fears song?
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Whatever has become of The Revolutionary Army Of The Infant Jesus? And would someone PLEASE reissue their complete catalog on CD domestically?  
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Wouldn't normally bring up John Lennon twice in one column, but has anyone else ever realized just how great his and Yoko Ono's "Merry Christmas (War Is Over)" would sound remade as a polka? 'Tis the season to go oom pah, yes?
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Kim Alexis has done plenty good by putting her Chrstianity into action on behalf of some good causes, but who in her camp decided that the former supermodel needed the embarrassment of displaying her utter tone deafness on VH1's But Can They Sing?? To paraphrase Joel McHale of E!'s The Soup (if I'm not getting my hosts of snarky entertainment wrap-up shows confused), the question shouldn't be whether Alexis and her competitors could sing, but whether they should. 
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On the subject of shows specializing in entertainment-related snarkiness, isn't it about time The Wittenburg Door revived the "Godstuff" segments that so wonderfully added to Comedy Central'sThe Daily Show, only this time as a series unto itself? At least four figures who have risen in media prominence since the segment last ran in '99 come to my mind as subjects deserving  of the dry asides of John Bloom (the original host) or whomever his replacement would be.
Hey Door Keepers, I'm available!
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Anybody else out there catch The Onion's recent year-end endorsement of Sufjan Stevens and namechecking of Reliant K and Underoath as Christian acts making quality music? 
My only bone to pick with the funny paper with the seriously good arts & entertainment coverage?:Jars Of Clay aren't that bad. Confused as to what direction they should take musically sometimes, yes, but not bad. The big O's assessment of Creed, however, is of the same mind as mine.
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Have I not paid sufficient attention to the right press releases, or has none of the Christianized American Idol rip-offs--the one hosted by Mark Lowry comes most prominently to mind--made much of a splash neither in- nor outside the evangelighetto?
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Who else out there is stoked as I for the upcoming Daniel Smith/Brother Danielson/Danielson Familie documentary? Just how high will it elevate the profile of my favorite falsetto-singing guy who dresses up like a tree and his nurse-costumed clan? And how great an art house or festival triple feature would it make with the recent doc's about Jandek and The Might Be Giants?
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Just how criminal is it that there was no radio single from John Davis's first post-Superdrag solo album big enough to be heard on any of the Christian stations around me? And here's hoping the owner of one of my favorite record shop to which I gave my advance copy of it has gotten something out of it, too. 
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How is it that I've heard the latest Sawyer Brown single on Christian radio before I did on any general market country stations, but haven't received any Christian press buzz on it? As for said single, "They Don't Understand," in its endearing wimpiness (a longtime strong suit of SB's) and Gospel presentation, it's better than a body might have a right to expect.
  
Jamie Lee Rake, 
Your Questioner of the (Sub-)Cultural Status Quo
                               
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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