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There is a cool Facebook group that readers of this blog may want to check out. It’s called, “The 90s Christian Music Recovery Group” and it’s a group/online Facebook forum with a bunch of fans of 90s Christian bands. I highly recommend it since some of the other message boards have either gone offline or are no longer relevant. Just so you know you may need an invite, but maybe they will let you in if you e-mail them.

I’m afraid I’ve neglected this blog for quite some time now. I thought maybe it would be interesting to get some feedback from readers like yourself. So please leave a comment on this post and let me know how you found the blog and which bands you’re interested in that are mentioned on this blog along with any other useful thoughts or suggestions for this blog.

They announced it a few weeks ago and I think everyone who has gone there is a little sad, myself included. Cornerstone was such a heart of the Christian music scene and in a lot of ways for me was a symbol of what it meant to be a Christian in junior high, high school and college. It was also a great place for Christian music that wasn’t part of the CCM mainstream, whether that was the older bands such as LSU, the Choir, Daniel Amos, etc. or the newer Tooth and Nail bands. I think it will be truly missed because it was such a great part of the summer and there were so many good times there. So thank you JPUSA, the bands, the chaperones in the church vans and all the other people that made it a memorable experience. The festival may be ending, but the memories will live on.

DeGarmo & Key had its cheesier moments, but as far as being sincere and being about the Gospel message there aren’t bands like D&K anymore. The video was one of the first Christian music videos to be on MTV. Ironically, it was censored because of violence. Dana Key, the singer of DeGarmo and Key died last year, but like the frontman the music lives on.

Recently I saw The Imposter, which is a Christian film featuring Kevin Max, formerly of DC Talk. It tells the story of a singer of a Christian band who is not a Christian and is addicted to drugs. He has a wife who wants nothing to do with him and a brother-in-law who hates him, who is ironically a worship leader.

The movie did have a made-for-TV type feel to it. The acting and production were about the same as a lot of the other Christian movies with a little bit of cheesy musical interlude during dramatic scenes. I think where it went wrong was the script. Kevin Max’s character is so absolutely unlikeable I couldn’t find it in myself to cheer for the guy. I also feel like this movie and Steve Taylor’s “The Second Chance” are really like the Nashville people trying to tell a certain story to have some sort of commentary about their industry. Personally, I also don’t like movies where the actors lip sync to music or the actors are musicians.

With Christian movies there is always that urge to resolve the problems by the film’s end when in reality some problems never wrap up that neatly and progress comes very slowly. While the Imposter resists that temptation for Kevin Max’s wife to take him back in the end, it doesn’t leave the audience with a good sense of closure.

I think the goal of Christian movies is pretty noble, but if the script is not rock solid it’s going to be really hard to get that message across properly. In my opinion, in some cases the Christian music on the soundtrack seems to be more important than the actual story. While I do feel like a properly placed song can really benefit a movie, I think there is a danger if the music is overshadowing the film.

In the end it all gets back to writing because a typical Christian movie is not going to emphasize sex, drugs, gore, violence or in many cases special effects. Christians are often portrayed as a stereotype in movie such as Saved! As much praise as Hollywood gets for making movies it has rarely ever portrayed Christians as real people with real problems. I think Christian movies will be better received when they portray faith in a way that mirrors reality.

This is from Dec. 6, 2008 at the University of Illinois.

Set list:
A Good Living
I Win
EP Nights
Minor Keys
The Big Idea
I Drive A Lot
Easy Street
The Frontman
No New Kinda Story

Something funny that Rich Mullins once said was that he didn’t listen to Christian radio because there was an absence of good breakup songs. It is a little unfortunate that Christian singers sometimes have those songs where it’s unclear if the “you” is God or the singer’s girlfriend. Christians have a tough time with love songs too sometimes. Seems ironic though when a Spin Magazine writer visited Cornerstone and referred to worship music as “Jesus is my girlfriend” music.

It is unfortunate that what is presented as Contemporary Christian Music doesn’t cover the full extent of who we are as people. It’s also true there is a time and place for everything. Of course singing Brown Eyed Girl at church is probably not going to go over real well.

The reason why Christians should write love songs for their girlfriends or spouses is because you have Song of Solomon in the Bible. Not to mention that God instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Not only that but Christians are referred to as the Bride of Christ. Which could be misunderstood incredibly today, but really means that Christ’s love for us is so much greater than our love for our spouses.

I think the type of love song that a Christian artist might write is different from “Since You’ve Been Gone” or “Hot N Cold”. It’s probably best not to suggest anything that could be interpreted as immoral.

A song like “Kiss Me” by Sixpence is playful and innocent, but it was never going to be nominated for a Dove Award. The New Testament says repeatedly to greet one another with a holy kiss. Now obviously the context was different, but the lyrics were “Kiss me down by the broken tree house” and not anything overly sensual.

I don’t really know what the answer is in terms of getting Christians to write better breakup songs. But I do think that there should be less ambiguity about whether a song is about the Lord or your significant other. I think people should give up on the top 40 when they’re down because there is no true hope found in those songs. The Bible actually has better breakup songs, many of them written by God. Just read the book of Hosea. But the difference between God’s breakup songs and the world’s breakup songs is that God’s have the hope of a restored relationship.

I had a Whitecross autographed photo that I took a picture of and put on Flickr. I noticed that my picture made this guy’s video. It’s at about the 20 second point. The music is set to my favorite Whitecross song “You’re Mine”. It was from the original self-titled album. I got the autographed photo in 1987 or 1988 when the band was just starting out. Oh, the memories.

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year on this blog. I admit I haven’t been updating it much as of late. I’ve been trolling around at my favorite Christian rock message boards:, Decapolis, the Vagrant Cafe, SF59 fans and the Joy Electric board.

I was contemplating this the other day and I came to the conclusion that the majority of my favorite music is already recorded. I know the music people are obsessed with pushing the new albums, but I still love the old albums.

With each passing year more bands call it quits. Bands like Cool Hand Luke and Delirious? are hanging it up. David Bazan and Starflyer 59 are basically solo acts these days and a lot of other bands I covered years ago broke up a while back. It’s not that there aren’t currently touring bands I’m interested in seeing, but I’ve already seen most of my favorites. In the last year it was a blast to get live video and audio recordings from a ton of different shows.

So I’m not sure if I’ll continue blogging in the next year. I enjoy writing, but I also enjoy being part of a discussion and I don’t know if that happens much here. It takes a lot of effort to update a blog and I’m not sure if I have what it takes to keep going. But I encourage all of you to check out what’s on this blog because it isn’t tied to a specific period of time other than the past.

A long time ago I had a Poor Old Lu VHS tape called “Sit and Stare”. It came out around the time of the band’s album “Sin”. I was looking for it for a long time online and then it popped up on YouTube and on Vimeo. Gotta love the Poor Old Lu.

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