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Rake's Thinking Again? More Thoughts...

Do you think Jesus Christ appreciated the thanks from Three 6 Mafia in their acceptance speech for an Oscar for a song about how hard it is to be a pimp? 

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How anticlimactic was it that the apprehended suspects in the recent Alabama church burnings turning out to be idiots with no agenda beside  dim sense of what makes a good prank? Considering that those apprehended weren't Satanist death metal fans, incensed Muslims or other determined conspirators, maybe that lack of drama is a good thing, huh?

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Speaking of incensed Muslims, is an image of Jesus kicking a puppy the best/worst a Wisconsin artist could muster in her imaging of the Lord in her exhibition of cartoons responding to the Danish depictions of Muhammed that have set off riots worldwide? Come on! He blighted a fig tree, so putting His foot to a pooch is comparatively small 'taters, yes? Count it as more proof again that you can't top the King of kings. By the way, other images in the exhibit in question include Moses doing his taxes and Buddha grilling bratwursts. Count me amused.

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Doesn't the biggest pop hit by those upstanding Presbyterian guys in The Statler Brothers,"Flowers On The Wall," sound like it could have been recorded by The Kinks in the in 1966 or '67? Listen to "Flowers" and "Well Respected Man" back-to-back, and get back to me.   And why is it that the only LP's by the Statlers I can find from their Columbia Records years (during which time they recorded "Flowers") are of their gospel material and not, say, the album including "You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith, Too"? I've long thought of the Statlers as a Southern gospel quartet who went country, but to hear more of their lighter side before their '70s-'80s hit streak would be cool, too.      

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Who else wishes D-Boy Rodriguez had left behind the kind of bonanza of unreleased material that 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. did?   That D was probably too busy with street ministry to develop a studio tan before his assassination is the upside of that dearth of unissued tracks;the downside, of course, is that of what he did leave behind, too much of it remains marred by typically anemic Christian market production values of the time that didn't enliven D's rapping at all. How about a remix album highlighting improved versions of those weaker tracks? 

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What would Derek Webb look like with hair on his pate and contact lenses instead of glasses? 

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Does Greg Long have it in him to sing anything lyrically subtle, much less subtilely? I have a mental soundtrack of him tackling Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" and not "getting" it. Still, he was fun time when I hung backstage with him before a show he played at a Christian school in my town. And maybe he could get his larynx around some Lightfoot, Richard Thompson, Nick Drake, Randy Newman, Leonard Cohen or other less declamatory (and non-believing, I admit) writers' work better than I'm imagining. 

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Doctrinal issues with him aside (plenty), doesn't Rob Bell come off as just a bit of a whiner in some of those Nooma videos?

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Were more Christian rappers to recycle their genre's past in the same way Sean "Diddy" Combs has with Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five or LL Cool J and Jennifer Lopez are currently doing with Afrika Bambaataa And The Soul Sonic Force, would that mean Michael Peace and Tru 4 U would still be collecting royalties?  Oh, dear...

If, however, Peace could come back with the quality as his StarSong Records' work (at least that first album), he could teach some young pups on the mic' a thing or three. 

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Ever seen those trading card sets of early blues, country and jazz recording artists that famed underground cartoonist R. Crumb drew up for Dennis Kitchen's comics company? They're great for quick history lessons and evocative depictions of Ameircan musical innovators, I'm tellin' ya'll.

 Wouldn't Christian cartoonist Dennis Preston be great at whipping up a some cards of early Jesus hippie musicians and other trailblazers of pre-1980 CCM? If you've seen Preston's work, especially what he's done for Hidden Vision Records, don't tell me that  I'm not onto something.
   My nominees for subjects of those cards, in no real order:Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Randy Matthews, The 2nd Chapter of Acts, Keith Green, Andrae Crouch, Wilson McKinley, U.S. Apple Corps, Earthen Vessel, Mark Heard, Agape (the band behind Victims Of Tradition, among others), The All Saved Freak Band, Honeytree, Whitsuntide Easter, The Water Into Wine Band, Phil Keaggy (separate card for Glass Harp?), The Exkursions (separate card for Mike Johnson?), John Ylvisaker, Concrete Rubber Band, Pat Terry, Daniel Amos, Marj Snyder, Earthen Vessel, After The Fire, Love Song, Garth Hewitt, The Sheep, The Holy Ghost Reception Company #9 (coolest band name ever?), Jeremy Spencer, Resurrection Band, Fraction, Last Call Of Shiloh, Mylon Lefevre, Mustard Seed Faith (the one on Maranatha! Records), and  Petra. 
That should more or less equal the 36 entries in Crumb's sets. But where to sell such cards?

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Doesn't it look like the director of the video for Brad Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going"  swiped the storyboard for the clip to MercyMe's greatest hit, "I Can Only Imagine"? There must be other ways to visually express a longing for heaven apart from holding up pictures of loved ones already up there, even if that conceit helps to mask the absence of Paisley's duet partner, Dolly Parton, anywhere in the vid.

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If you keep up with that scene, wouldn't you agree that Vickie Winans is the most aggressively self-promoting and mystique-creating diva in soul gospel nowadays? And her makeover in the past few years? Oy vey! Just let it be said that girlfriend was not in her physical prime when I saw her a few years ago in a pre-Stellar Awards ceremony. She was, however, funnier than much of what I've heard pass for gospel comedy. 

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Doesn't that Bebo Norman/Rich Mullins duet on the latest Wow Worship  compilation prove that it's not only borderline creepy to do among CCM singers what has been done with parent & offspring duets in the general market, such as those by Hank Willians, Sr. and Hank Williams, Jr. and the half-posthumous pairing of  Nat "King" Cole and daughter Natalie (who, since I've heard she's a believer, would do well to record a good gospel album sooner than later), but that the living and dead halves of that pair don't have markedly dissimilar voices? 
   And apart from its chorus (which my pastor, as may have yours, has cribbed to a PowerPoint slide as "Oh God, You Are My God"-oh, brother), is "Sometimes By Step" really that great a congregational praise&worship piece?

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Were there ever to be another punk exploitation movie akin to The Ramones' way fun Rock N Roll High School, need there be any argument that Relient K would be in the short list to star in it? Anybody have Roger Corman's number to see if he's free to direct it? 
 

Jamie Lee Rake, 
Your Questioner of the (Sub-)Cultural Status Quo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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