Archive for the ‘Rock’ Category

Lincoln Brewster, Salvation is Here
March 21, 2011

This week I bring you Lincoln Brewster’s version of Salvation is Here.  After reading the posts underneath this video on Youtube I am honestly suprised.  Apparently, there are people out there who don’t think this is a viable worship song.  Their main argument seems to be that it is Lincoln on display and not God.  I happen to have a couple of thoughts on that.

First, who gave Lincoln his talent and put it on his heart to pursue it?

Second, why does Christian music have to be lame to be God-honoring?  Surely as Christians we have reason to pursue excellence more than other artists because we do not do so for ourselves.

Third, what is the purpose of the music video?  Are you really capable of being in an honest state of worship while watching a music video on Youtube?  No, probably you have eight tabs open linking you into your facebook, email, blog and whatever else you are on the internet to do.  Face it, the internet is a good tool, but as a medium, is really weak at being a tool for worship.  That’s what corporate worship, prayer and scripture are for.  We live in a world that thrives on entertainment and some element of the video has to be entertaining for it to achieve its purpose as a video.

Finally, who is the video reaching with its words.  If you want sweet hymnal style music, go find it, there is plenty out there.  But chances are this song is a great bridge for our secular friends who also happen to be guitar snobs.  Your basic Steve Vai or Stevie Ray Vaughn fan is not going to care for most worship music because the artist cannot play guitar like that.  Yet, here is an honest, talented, Christian artist who can.

Chances are if you thought this song puts Lincoln on display over the internet, you would be just as upset sitting in his worship service.  So, really evaluate, is his music selfish?  Or is it a fantastic way to bridge the musical gap to our unsaved guitarist fans?

Flatfoot 56, Brotherhood
January 24, 2011

There has been more than one moment where I thought to myself that I would just make this a Flatfoot 56 fan blog.  Well, I won’t, but I still love this band!  Enjoy the energy, the driving punk beat and don’t forget to shout, “Oi, oi!”

Vota, Hard to Believe
January 17, 2011

Super busy trying to finish the Sing it Out E.P. so it is  a short post this week!

This week is yet another video that makes me smile.  I love the way this is shot and the great use of color and repetition.  Plus, I just dig the song’s groove.  Peace.

The Afters, Never Going Back to Okay
January 10, 2011

So I realize that the Afters are a radio friendly band.  They can crank out the top 40 hits with the best of them.  It is nice to see though that they can still have a little fun.  This music video is here simply because it makes me smile.  There is plenty to look at and everyone involved has a high level of energy that is both uplifting and liberating.  Who wants moody emo music all the time?  Not me.  Enjoy!  And because I haven’t said it yet, Happy 2011.  May the Lord make himself famous in your life this year.

Family Force 5, Radiator
January 3, 2011

Family Force 5 has been the topic of controversy amongst plenty.  In trying to innovate, they have been demonized by many for not fitting cleanly into one genre or another.  You know what I say to that?  Big deal!  I like this song, and with the exception of some over the top costumes in the video for Love Addict, I enjoy this band.  Here it is, if you haven’t already heard it, Radiator, by Family Force 5.  Kick it this Monday!

Flatfoot 56, City on a Hill
December 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!  Yeah, I’m 28 today and honestly,  I never could have guessed that I am where I am today.  A beautiful wife almost married 7 years, one amazing son and a daughter on the way.  I’ve had 14 jobs (not kidding) since college and I fell as though I’ve tried to keep life interesting.  Well, let’s be honest, it’s been interesting whether I’ve tried to make it that way or not.  That is neither here nor there, so on with the music!

Today I indulge in one of my all time favorite Celtic punk bands, Flatfoot 56.  I highly recommend them for anyone who likes fun music with plenty of surprises.  Mandolins, bagpipes, accordions and whatever else it seems they can find is added into a very fun and enjoyable punk band.  I personally like the album “Jungle of the Midwest Sea” the best, but anything they do is good.  I cannot wait to purchase their new album with the iTunes gift cards I got for my birthday (thanks Jonathan!)

If you had to listen to one song, because like me you are strapped for time, I suggest “City on a Hill.”  It pretty much sums them up for me.  I might also add that they do a fun and possibly irreverent version of Amazing Grace that was a crowd favorite at Shoutfest several years back.  I had the opportunity to see them on a small side stage and have had that brief forty-five minutes implanted firmly in my mind since.

“City on a Hill” in addition to being a riot and causing me to drive way too fast also reminds me of a precious passage of scripture.  In the greatest sermon of all time, The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7), Jesus lays out the life of the Christian.  I recommend these chapters for in depth study.  I was led to memorize this in high school and it has been a frequent guide in my life since.  We are to be light in a desperately dark world.  We are supposed to stand out, like a city on a hill.  It is a great image.  I can still remember driving home to San Antonio while I was in college.  Coming into town on 281 in the dark, there seems to be nothing except the distant glow of the city.  Then, you pass over one hill and see all those lights.  It always made me feel great after eight hours of driving stick with no cruise control.

The song is a strongly worded rebuke to Christians who don’t live like Christians.  You are supposed to be light, but is there a “blackout in effect”?  I’ll end on the question the song asks, “Will you make your decision are you chaff or are you wheat? /

Will you rise or will you fall, will you stand or will you crawl?  /

Will you be the ones He’s called you to be or turn away and run,  /

I say No / No more on the fence”

Jars of Clay, Work
December 20, 2010

First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Lori!  My beautiful, smart and talented wife, you mean so much to me.  Now, on with the video…

Introduction:

There is something alluring to me about music videos that are composed of a single shot.  I’m not sure why, but I appreciate all the forethought, the practice and the level of creativity it takes to get there.  And while OK Go seems to have the monopoly on the best single shot music videos in the secular world, the Christian music realm has its own to offer.

Creativity:

Work, is an interesting, driving song.  The interest of the song, its dynamics, pushes the video along.  The colors are nice and the lighting is dramatic.  Plus, there is this weird object in the bottom right corner of the shot.  In a short while you realize that water is pouring in on the band.  Yes, they are in a tank, slowly filling over the length of the song.  Kudos of technical achievement for getting their tank glass clean enough to shoot the whole band through.  I also tip my hat to the guys for finding the perfect amount of water to let in so that it is neck/chin high by the end of the song.  It may develop slowly, but the concept is very fun to watch play out.  Also, the video actually has something to do with the lyrics of the song.  “I have no fear of drowning / It’s the breathing that’s taking all this work.”

Post script:  I also think this is the best look that their front man, Dan Haseltine, has ever had.  He seriously reminds me of Severus Snape from the Harry Potter Movies.  I dunno, somehow it works.

Switchfoot, Oh! Gravity
December 13, 2010

Introduction:

Besides having one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen, Switchfoot knows how to make a good music video as well.  Soaring off their success of Beautiful Letdown, the band quickly released Nothing is Sound and Oh! Gravity.  To be honest both albums came so fast that I couldn’t keep up.  Yeah, being broke can be a bummer sometimes.  Anyway, thank goodness for Youtube and being the vehicle for me to listen to this song.  It drives, it kicks, it rocks, it sounds like Switchfoot.  There are some little musical treats in there but the video they cut is mesmerizing.

Layers of Work:

I need to do some more research to find out who directed/animated this video.  Super triple thumbs up.  There are, no-kidding, like one hundred separate drawings in this video.  Everything moves.  The band was shot on a green screen and then surrounded by an artist’s creative imagination.  The drawings interact with the band and there is layer after layer of live footage mixed with animation.  The motion of all the graphics fits the pace and feel of the song and so I can appreciate it all the more.  In artistic terms there is fine use of contour drawing, high levels of contrast, a limited color palette (red, black and white) and a complete disregard for any kind of consistent perspective.  Artsy, and Rock and Roll, love it!