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Jesus has inspired more bad music than anyone else in history
October 17, 2005 7:02 AM   Subscribe

Jesus has inspired more bad music than anyone else in history [Windows Media File | Mirror #1 | Mirror #2] Mark Fox, the man who swallowed Lil' Markie, live in Miami.
WFMU's "Beware of the Blog" compiles more of the Lil' Markie oeuvre, curated by Otis Fodder.
posted by jenleigh (64 comments total)

 
hmmm... needs a ventriloquist doll...
posted by cusack at 7:08 AM on October 17, 2005


So true.

To be fair, though, he's inspired a lot of good music too. You know...Handel and whatnot.
posted by danb at 7:08 AM on October 17, 2005


To be fair, though, he's inspired a lot of good music too. You know...Handel and whatnot.

And Mahalia Jackson, Washington Phillips, a lot of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, van Morrison and Maria Muldaur, Sacred Harp Singing...

Judging Christian Music by Little Markie is like juding rock and roll by "The Monster Mash."
posted by jonmc at 7:11 AM on October 17, 2005


To be fair, though, he's inspired a lot of good music too. You know...Handel and whatnot.
posted by danb at 9:08 AM CST on October 17


Very true.

How about the premise: "Jesus has inspired more music than anyone else in history." Thus, there will be a lot of good and a lot of bad.

Love has inspired more music than Jesus, I would wager. And like Jesus and every other bell-curve distribution, there are very good ones and very bad ones.

on preview: what jonmc said.
posted by dios at 7:14 AM on October 17, 2005


I'd wager that this is so bad as to completely balance out the entirety of Handel's Messiah.
posted by The White Hat at 7:18 AM on October 17, 2005


I've always thought Led Zeppelin inspired the most bad music, but then, I don't think about Jesus very often.
posted by item at 7:32 AM on October 17, 2005


Jesus has inspired more bad music than anyone else in history

Judging Christian Music by Little Markie is like juding rock and roll by "The Monster Mash."


FWIW, the line is probably best not taken seriously -- it's a throwaway caption from CollegeHumor.
posted by jenleigh at 7:33 AM on October 17, 2005


I've always thought Led Zeppelin inspired the most bad music,

Actually The Cure did, but it's a tight race.
posted by jonmc at 7:34 AM on October 17, 2005


Love has inspired more bad music than any other emotion in history, that's for goddamn sure.
posted by Bugbread at 7:42 AM on October 17, 2005


Well, if you want to get serious 'bout it, then the frontrunner would definitely be the Beatles. I disagree with the Cure being up there, and not just because I like them and don't like Zeppelin.
posted by item at 7:43 AM on October 17, 2005


Well all three have inspired their share, and as you know, I like Zep and don't like the Cure. And in both cases, I think it's because the bad imitators imitated the superficial aspects of the sound rather than trying to emulate the artistic approach.

As for the Beatles, you're probably right, mainly because they were very good at something that looks easy but is deceptively difficult-writing pop songs.
posted by jonmc at 7:48 AM on October 17, 2005


I would throw the Grateful Dead onto that list as well. They have inspired a countless number of "jam bands" which are nothing more than college friends who get together and can't write a song to save their life, so they just "jam."

And that fucker who invented techno. It was probably some computer running an algorithm or something that got interpreted as music, but whoever started that and inspired that music repetitive noise has done little good for this world.
posted by dios at 7:56 AM on October 17, 2005


dios : "And that fucker who invented techno. It was probably some computer running an algorithm or something that got interpreted as music, but whoever started that and inspired that music repetitive noise has done little good for this world."

As a big techno fan, I'm going to have to...agree with you. Whoever started techno was the Jesus, the emotion love, and the Beatles wrapped into one: It resulted in some GREAT music, but insane amounts of HORRIBLE music.

The problem isn't that the person who invented techno invented a bad genre of music. It's that he invented a genre with some absolute gems and an amazing amount of turds.
posted by Bugbread at 8:00 AM on October 17, 2005


I thought Satan had inspired more bad music-certainly more bad hairstyles.

"The first Velvet Underground record was probably the most influential rock record of all time. It only sold 1000 copies, but everyone who bought it started a band." -Brian Eno /paraphrase
posted by OmieWise at 8:01 AM on October 17, 2005


It's that he invented a genre with some absolute gems and an amazing amount of turds.

That, I'd agree with (although if you tell anyone I admitted it, I'll deny it). You could pretty much say the same about just about any genre or subgenre of popular music from jazz-fusion to hairmetal to Contemporary Christian. There's nuggets buried everywhere.
posted by jonmc at 8:02 AM on October 17, 2005


Execpt in Contemporary Christian. No nuggets there.
posted by item at 8:05 AM on October 17, 2005


Tell everyone: jonmc ADMITS THAT THERE ARE "TECHNO GEMS."
posted by OmieWise at 8:08 AM on October 17, 2005


Execpt in Contemporary Christian. No nuggets there.

Actually, this album I entered data on at work by Bart Millard is actually really good, believe it or not.

Tell everyone: jonmc ADMITS THAT THERE ARE "TECHNO GEMS."

A man can grow, omie.
posted by jonmc at 8:12 AM on October 17, 2005


So would it be safe to say that LiveJournal has inspired more bad writing than anything else in history?
posted by Mikey-San at 8:24 AM on October 17, 2005


If you haven't heard "Diary of an Unborn Child" (second link, down), you haven't lived yet. Make sure you hear it through the end.
posted by fungible at 8:25 AM on October 17, 2005


Nit:

"Techno" is a subset of electronica.

Techno : Electronica :: Punk : Rock

. . . picked.

I'm sorry. I really am. I'll go put my head down now.
posted by Mikey-San at 8:26 AM on October 17, 2005


So would it be safe to say that LiveJournal has inspired more bad writing than anything else in history?

Yes.


Yes it would.
posted by jenleigh at 8:30 AM on October 17, 2005


Maybe techno is the most easily abused genre of music?
posted by alumshubby at 8:37 AM on October 17, 2005


Maybe techno is the most easily abused genre of music?

Ha HA! Try rap.

And thank you, Mikey, I was about to jump in with that. In my opinion, there is loads more shitty house music, and equal amounts of shitty trance, than there is shitty techno, although admittedly there is plenty of all to go around. The point is they are all sub-sets of electronic music - Obligatory Ishkur Link. As someone who can enjoy techno, please don't lump it in with that other crap.
posted by ChasFile at 8:52 AM on October 17, 2005


Mikey-San : "Nit:

"'Techno' is a subset of electronica."


Nit:

"Techno" became a subset of "electronica" because "techno" used to be both the genre (electronic music), and the subgenre (a specific type of electronic music). Some folks in English speaking countries decided it was too damn confusing (much like some people are confused by the fact that "Coke", in Texas, refers both the the set of all sweet fizzy beverages, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Mr. Pibb, and a specific sweet fizzy beverage, namely Coca-Cola), and renamed the genre "techno" to "electronica". And there was much rejoicing, but not everyone got the memo, and unfortunately words are defined by their usage, so depending on your particular circles, the words "electronica" or "techno" may be used interchangeably. Plus, to make things worse, in some areas "electronica" is used to refer to old-skool "electro", so Techno is the main genre, and among its sub-genres are "Techno" and "Electronica".

Vocabulary is a bitch, especially when terms are new or in flux.
posted by Bugbread at 8:57 AM on October 17, 2005


Oh, and that "founder" of [capital 'T'] Techno is "The Belleville Three": Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin 'Reese' Saunderson.
posted by basicchannel at 9:31 AM on October 17, 2005


Love has inspired more bad music than any other emotion in history, that's for goddamn sure.

I'd have to disagree. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: adolescent angst.
posted by namespan at 9:34 AM on October 17, 2005


If it weren't for techno my spin instructor wouldn't know what to play. Actually, I take that back-80's music by popular demand. I leave it to you which scenario is better.
posted by konolia at 9:40 AM on October 17, 2005


Namespan: I figured that adolescent angst would be a popular contender, but the way I figure it: adolescent angst in music didn't get popular until the 60's, didn't get big until maybe the 70's, and didn't get really big until maybe the 80's. Lets give a margin of error of a decade, and you still get that angst has produced a big amount of bad music for the last 45 years. Bad love songs have existed for at least a century.

That, and adolescent angst almost always results in bad lyrics, but only results in bad music maybe 75% of the time. Love almost always results in bad lyrics, and results in bad music about 95% of the time.
posted by Bugbread at 9:48 AM on October 17, 2005


As someone terribly affected by "Diary of an Unborn Baby" seeing Lil Markie's real face (and body shape, and vocal switching) has done much more damage to my adulthood than seeing Dr Claw's face did to my childhood.
posted by Peter H at 9:52 AM on October 17, 2005


However, I will praise you.
posted by Peter H at 9:52 AM on October 17, 2005


Bad love songs have existed for at least a century.

Most of the things written for solo voice with lute accompaniment prove that bad love songs have existed for at least five centuries.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:58 AM on October 17, 2005


I was just guessing conservatively.
posted by Bugbread at 10:03 AM on October 17, 2005


This link is precisely why it's been necessary for the Ipod to support video.
posted by Peter H at 10:10 AM on October 17, 2005


Jesus music is just alright with me.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:13 AM on October 17, 2005


Everything that's good will inspire imitations/tributes, most of which will be bad, because most art is bad. I don't see how one can justify these claims about which band spawned more bad music than another.

As for Jesus music, I think Bach more than makes up for all the Creeds and Lil Markies of the world. One could almost say that Bach, through his infinite love and genius, made it possible for all of mankind to create shitty music in the name of God without tipping the scales in the other direction. Sort of a new musical covenant, if you will.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:35 AM on October 17, 2005


ludwig_van : "I don't see how one can justify these claims about which band spawned more bad music than another."

Of course not. You died in 1827, you don't have access to the same database that I do.
posted by Bugbread at 10:41 AM on October 17, 2005



Actually, this album I entered data on at work by Bart Millard is actually really good, believe it or not.


I'll have to take yr word on that, jonmc. I've grown enough in my life to understand and accept people's need for religion and use of it in spirituals, gospels, etc., but I still draw the line at contemporary christian.

And I work part-time at an obnoxiously 'cool' NYC music store, so i know what the fuck I'm talking about. Right?
Right?
Hello?


posted by item at 10:42 AM on October 17, 2005


I work at a music database company in Manhattan, full-time! Ante up, muthafucka!

Actually, although he is a "contemporary" artist, that album is very traditional sounding and even has "scared steel" virtuouso Robert Randolph on a few tracks.
posted by jonmc at 10:45 AM on October 17, 2005


A superb Jesus-inspired song:

THis Beautiful Mess - Clean

Brought to you by a strong atheist.
posted by Mach3avelli at 10:46 AM on October 17, 2005


This box set is a masterpiece, too. One of my greatest pleasures in life is getting sloppy drunk and listening to old gospel music.
posted by jonmc at 10:57 AM on October 17, 2005


Dion (Dimucci, not Celine) put out some gospel albums in the eighties that were amazing. Some contemporary ska and punk xtian music aint bad (the supertones). But most blows.
posted by vronsky at 11:27 AM on October 17, 2005


Dion (Dimucci, not Celine) put out some gospel albums in the eighties that were amazing.

"King Of The New York Streets," was an astounding song from one of them. It has all the swagger of the old hits.
posted by jonmc at 11:40 AM on October 17, 2005


The problem isn't so much that Jesus has inspired more bad music than anybody else; it is that you can write absolutely dreadful songs about Jesus and almost be assured radio airplay on a Christian station.

I live and work with fans of Christian music. They really could care less about the musical quality of song - the lyrical content of the song is all that matters. Indeed, it doesn't matter if the lyrical content is awful, provided that it sends the "Jesus is good" message.

That being said, there seem to be some Christian bands that actually play some decent music. As near as I can tell from the radio station that my coworkers prefer, these songs are given no greater airplay than some truly atrocious melodies and lyrics.

My friends and I have been writing a Christian song about Christians escaping a blood soaked landscape over a poorly developed road called "When the red river is flowing, take the brown dirt road instead." We figure it will be a massive Christian radio hit and we can have a good chuckle about our sophomoric dirty joke. My point is, provided we sounded earnest enough, that song would get played.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:43 AM on October 17, 2005


Holy shit. That's fucked up.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:18 PM on October 17, 2005


The problem is less what music Jesus inspires and more what music the highly dysfunctional evangelical subculture, which has embraced all the worst elements of market capitalism as its only regulatory mechanism, inspires. The evangelicals make bad music because their version of Christianity is based on all the shallower, most tangenital parts of the religion, while ignoring the meat of it -- hence they end up with shallow, empty music.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:32 PM on October 17, 2005


eustacescrubb : "The evangelicals make bad music because their version of Christianity is based on all the shallower, most tangenital parts of the religion, while ignoring the meat of it -- hence they end up with shallow, empty music."

I dunno. My take on it was always twofold:
- There are fewer musicians making Christian music, so there's less culling of good from bad.
- A lot of Christians make music because they have a very strong interest in God, and only a mild interest in music, while a lot of non-Christians make music because they have a very strong interest in music.

Of course, that fails to take into account all the non-Christians who make music because they have a very strong interest in chicks. I need to work over my equations some more.
posted by Bugbread at 1:25 PM on October 17, 2005


Now I know why they hate us.
posted by piscatorius at 2:52 PM on October 17, 2005


So would it be safe to say that LiveJournal has inspired more bad writing than anything else in history?

No, that would be Star Trek. Livejournal was merely the tool used to spread the evil.
posted by emjaybee at 2:53 PM on October 17, 2005


It would be so much better (where better = worse) if the video started in the middle, so we hapless viewers might think we were hearing Mark Fox' real voice.
posted by adamrice at 3:03 PM on October 17, 2005


No Doobie Bros. fans I guess.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:10 PM on October 17, 2005


The Doobie Brothers are an example of a band that made some good music that occasionally had some Christian themes. U2 also has made some good music with Christian themes (ex.. Vertigo with its "Your love is teaching me how to kneel" refrain). There is an important distinction between good music that happens to be about Christ and bad music that would be bad even if it wasn't about Christ.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:25 PM on October 17, 2005


Best. Post. Evar.
posted by Joeforking at 3:27 PM on October 17, 2005


Peoples' penii have inspired the worst guitar solos in music history.

Also, The Danielson Famile is the best crypto-christian neofolk band I have ever heard (and the only one).*

*Except for maybe Sufjan Stevens
posted by Falconetti at 5:02 PM on October 17, 2005


Seriously, Bob Dylan's overtly christian music was utter crap. Slow Train Coming? Sheesh. His music which was adopted by christians, Blowin' in the Wind for comes to mind, was not really christian but rather about the hippie peace and love movement. Dylan has re-identified himself often, but has neither captured his earlier success nor had the quality of his early Beat/Hippie days as a poet. Musically he has always been quite boring, and when his poetry his weak, the music fails to support him.
posted by Eekacat at 5:14 PM on October 17, 2005


Does "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull count as a Christian album? Because it's pretty good.
posted by Bugbread at 5:17 PM on October 17, 2005


Seriously, Bob Dylan's overtly christian music was utter crap.

"Gotta Serve Somebody," "Every Grain Of Sand," are not utter crap, my freind. And if you think Dylan was "musically boring," I can only assume that you've never listened to either Highway 61 Revisited or his work with The Band. May the ghosts of Mike Bloomfield, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel haunt you.
posted by jonmc at 6:17 PM on October 17, 2005


Seriously, Bob Dylan's overtly christian music was utter crap.

I'm with you to a point, but there are some gems from that period -- it's not a total loss.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:23 PM on October 17, 2005


The problem isn't so much that Jesus has inspired more bad music than anybody else; it is that you can write absolutely dreadful songs about Jesus and almost be assured radio airplay on a Christian station. I live and work with fans of Christian music. They really could care less about the musical quality of song - the lyrical content of the song is all that matters. Indeed, it doesn't matter if the lyrical content is awful, provided that it sends the "Jesus is good" message.

Well said. It's the substitution of valuing the content/message for actual aesthetic judgment and skill that produces the problem.
posted by weston at 7:07 PM on October 17, 2005


Otis Fodder was Otis F. Odder, or so I recall, when he did Friendly Persuasion on Antenna Internet Radio, the internet station on which I did drylongso.

He's been a member here since August 26, 2002.
posted by y2karl at 9:06 PM on October 17, 2005


He needs to be in a diaper, holding a rattle as big as a snow shovel.
posted by squirrel at 10:43 PM on October 17, 2005


I saw that an' I was skurred.
posted by deusdiabolus at 2:04 AM on October 18, 2005


I live and work with fans of Christian music. They really could care less about the musical quality of song - the lyrical content of the song is all that matters.

Most amusing thing I've read on mefi in a while, thanks. You are correct to a point, and love is blind.

Meanwhile however, I submit the soundtrack and backstory of 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou?' for further consideration.
posted by scheptech at 11:38 AM on October 18, 2005


Thank you scheptech, i am about as atheistic as you can get, but i've always found gospel and blues, the style of which is very represented in Oh Brother, to be a great source of pleasure. This really rings true to the above statements that good music is good music regardless of it's connection to jesus.
posted by quin at 8:01 PM on October 18, 2005


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