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Rake Thoughts

Could THE OAK RIDGE BOYS' remake of The White Stripes' "Seven Nations Army" be the craziest thing a Southern gospel-turned-country act has ever recorded? If it's an effort to give the Boys the kind of hipster credentials JOHNNY CASH achieved under Rick Rubin's production helm, it just may work. It's crazy, but crazily good, too. 


If there could be an extreme metal tribute album to ABBA some years back (and yes, there was), how about the same kind of artistic homage honoring KEITH GREEN? Singing one of his songs in church recently had me thinking it's a good idea. Green is one of the few Christian market acts thanked by MORTIFICATION leader STEVE ROWE in the liner notes to his band's latest album, so I may not be the only one for whom the aforementioned compilation idea makes sense. 


How kooky is it that TIM CONWAY is not only the name of the veteran of The Carol Burnett Show who also acted as master of ceremonies for one of those Thou Shalt Laugh videos, but also the moniker of the pastor of Grace Community Church in San Antonio whose website,, is mighty cool? 


Say, why didn't anybody correct me when I said Jeremiah is the singer of the libidinous "Birthday Sex" when his name is really Jeremih? If it's because you all don't care, that's probably a good thing.


Wasn't it refreshingly biblical the way in which staff at Cross Movement Records handled the recent unfortunate events of former CROSS MOVEMENT rapper AMBASSADOR's recent marital indiscretions? If you're unfamiliar, please look it up yourself because I'm not in a mood to repeat bad news.   Anyway, it's encouraging to see that a Christian market record company can act like a ministry that exercises spiritual discipline on those it signs, even if it's one of the people who founded the label.


On to more infamously dysfunctional matrimony, for how much longer might the Christian bookstore where I saw a season's worth of Jon & Kate Plus Eight keep it on the shelf now that the GOSSELINS have called their marriage quits (as, apparently, their Pentecostal Christianity has receded far enough into their TV show's subtext as to be nigh invisible)? 

Let it be noted that I ask the question above without ever having watched the Gosselins' show and might not even care enough to ask had I not seen the aforementioned DVD set at the Christian bookshop in question (which didn't rid itself of its Charlotte Church CDs after it was  revealed that she'd been living with her beau out of wedlock either) and read about the show and its titular couple nigh daily on


Since the extent of my interest in MILEY CYRUS so far lies in her music and the degree to which she gives witness to her professed Christianity amid the extraordinary level of fame she's accrued, I've never watched her in an entire episode of Hannah Montana (meant to see the movie; haven't yet), could any of you reading this tell me the difference between the Howdown Throwdown and Ice Cream Freeze dances she sings about? It might come in handy for me to know should I see her in concert again this fall.

And speaking of her again, might my review of her latest Hannah Montana TV soundtrack been a tad premature in sensing she's cleaning up her act some in light of her tres sensual __Elle Magazine__  cover shoot?   


Not because he was once the most famous man in the world, nor because you might've liked some of his music, nor even because it would give Christianity some kind of worldly imprimatur, don't you hope that the talk ANDRAE and SANDRA CROUCH had with Michael Jackson not very long before he died gave him pause to repent and embrace Christ in salvation because he was another guy who needed real love, forgiveness and purity just like the rest of us?


If you enjoy OLETA ADAMS' voice as I do, but you aren't crazy about adult R & B bordering on smooth jazz like I'm not, aren't you disappointed that you can't like Adams' latest longplayer, __Let's Stay Here__ (E1), like I wish I could feel it, too? Gal could stand to either see her '90s non-Christmas gospel album , __Come Walk With Me__, reissued and/or record another. Soul gospel could use more lustrous altos like hers. Perhaps adult R & B/smooth jazz crossover could, too, but if she wants to take that tack again, the arrangements could stand to be a touch more sprightly. 


Why am I perhaps more OK when England's CrossRhythms Radio embraces a Christian act working in the general market, such as JORDIN SPARKS and her current and not really Christian-secific hit "Battlefield," than I am sometimes when U.S. Christian radio gloms onto Christ-identifying artists working out of the commercial evangelighetto, though Lord knows I likely have trouble with some of what each radio entity may take to heart as part & parcel to Christian lifestyle & culture. I'm not an America-hater, but maybe Old Blimey's cooler in ways that makes that country's validation more impressive? Just wondering (about myself, but wondering all the same!).  


Per some record company press releases I've received, how redundant is it for some CCM singers to be noted as worshipers as part of their professional description? If you're Christian and recording for a Christian market label, doesn't worshiping come with the territory?


Now that LMFAO, of "I'm In Miami" infamy, has already broached it, how soon will it be before a Christian act uses Internet slang for a name? How about we all hope it's never?


Why has BRUCE COCKBURN's "People See Through You" been on my mind recently regarding President Obama when I know he meant it to be about Preident Reagan? And why have Cockburn's lyrics aged better than his mid-'80s new wave posturings? And why don't Canadaian such as he and Neil Young sing about their own government more often?  

 Jamie Rake 


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