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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.

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.

It’s funny that I saw the band live shortly before this video was filmed. My first show at True Tunes was an MxPx show with Blenderhead. Ah, those were the days. At least YouTube let’s me go back in time any time I turn on the computer.

This is a clip of JJT on the radio in Chicagoland. John has been a big part of the Christian music scene in Chicago and is now part of the Nashville scene. Go to http://johnjthompson.com/ to find out more about John.

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This is a trailer for a documentary about Christian rock. The documentary takes a different approach than “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?” by not only exploring the phenomenon of Christian rock, but also including clips from TV shows about Christian rock and discussing people who are against Christian rock. It is yet to be released, but from the trailer it appears to have interviews with key people involved with the Christian music scene such as John J. Thompson (founder of the True Tunes record store), Doug Van Pelt (founder of HM Magazine, Phil Keaggy, Michael Sweet, POD, MxPx, Bono and many others. The trailer is from 2007 and I heard the makers of Bleed into One are dealing with some funding issues, so I am eagerly waiting and hoping this will be out before 2009.

The Blah Blah included an entry about rare Stavesacre MP3s and True Tunes yesterday. If you haven’t been over to the Blah Blah you should check it out at http://theblahblah.wordpress.com. The site features a wide variety of Christian indie music and offers free MP3s. I’m proud to say the site has been an inspiration for the True Tunes blog and I hope all of you will check it out.