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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

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It’s another Starflyer driving video. I have a bunch of them on YouTube where I record my driving, speed it up and add Starflyer to the video. The first one I did was “I Drive A Lot” with a small Kodak camera. Apparently, it’s the 2nd most popular Starflyer video on YouTube. Now I use a Canon ZR800. Someday when I get rich I’ll make HD videos.

I was thinking about the Christian music scene that I grew up with and what exists today, and I came to the conclusion that most of my favorite music is in the past. I’m not saying there aren’t great bands out there now or new music that will be enjoyable, but most of my favorite music has been out for several years.  (Do a test yourself. Sit down with a pen and paper and try to think of how many of your favorite albums were released within the last year.)

The Christian scene I grew up with is mostly non-existent. True Tunes closed, the Heart and Soul Cafe doesn’t do shows that I know of and the ska scene is mostly dead. I went into a Family Bookstore the other day and asked if they had a “Christian Happenings” Magazine and they looked at me like I was from another planet. I also feel old every time I look at the Cornerstone lineup and I don’t know who most of the bands are. Thankfully the North Central College Union has saved a good part of the scene for me.

I get nostalgic thinking about bands like MxPx, Starflyer, the Huntingtons, Five Iron Frenzy and Poor Old Lu. It was a time where there were tons of cool bands and every band that Tooth and Nail signed was awesome, even the hardcore bands like Strongarm.

It seems to me that the Christian industry has become more polarized with bands either totally playing Christian venues or not playing Christian venues at all, which means it’s CCM or the bar. Sure I understand that a lot of Christian musicians are not youth pastors, but historically speaking bands in the Christian market have talked a lot during shows (i.e. Keith Green, Steven Curtis Chapman, etc…). The essence of their music was the message before the music.

I know that Christian stigma exists and that bands want to be taken seriously by non-Christians—probably mostly for their egos or record sales. But I just wonder why some bands have such a hard time talking about God. It seems like either Jesus is the product the band is selling or he has no place on the stage. I know that talking about God on a stage is awkward, but we shouldn’t ever have to feel like we’re ashamed of his name.

So I realize that I can’t go back in time, but I still like to listen to the old albums and reflect on a time when we weren’t looking at the death of the CD or the corporate ownership of human expression. Maybe there are bands that don’t tour any more, but I can still listen to their music and I can still watch them perform live thanks to YouTube and you can too.

Starflyer 59’s “The Brightest of the Head” from Dial M was featured on NBC’s Chuck. Last season The Brothers Martin was featured on the pilot of Chuck. The creator of the OC is also behind Chuck and has used music in his shows extensively. I’m just waiting for them to use “Fell in Love at 22”.

This is a clip from the Starflyer show at the U of I.

Mobile post sent by truetunes using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

A clip from a show on Dec. 6 at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Mobile post sent by truetunes using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

A clip from a show on Dec. 6 at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Mobile post sent by truetunes using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

A clip from a show on Dec. 6 at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Mobile post sent by truetunes using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

A clip from a show on Dec. 6 at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

I run a YouTube page dedicated to Starflyer 59 and Joy Electric. Recently I received a video from someone on the Starflyer message board and I’ve posted a couple of the songs online. It’s funny to see Jason Martin on the acoustic taking requests from the audience and telling them they’re offbeat with their clapping. It’s nice to see since there is no official Starflyer DVD.