Musical Context via YouTube
September 4, 2006 2:59 PM   Subscribe

This was the music of my childhood, along with massive infusions of Psalty the Singing Songbook and the Donut Man. During adolescence, my musical range expanded only slightly to include nashville country, teen pop, and the odd intersections between the two. YouTube has been an invaluable resource for expanding my previously limited horizons, from the productions which marked Michael Jackson's rise and fall to the birth and growing pains of the west coast rap scene. My favorite Youtube musical discovery thus far, however, is this pseudo-impromptu live rendition of Arthur's Theme.
posted by The Confessor (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
My first FPP.

I was attempting to do a *good* YouTube-filter with this one; a well-researched post more substantive than the usual single-link OMG! WATCH THIS!

posted by The Confessor at 3:05 PM on September 4, 2006


Ray Boltz? Carman? Ewwwww. No 77's? Steve Taylor? Mark Heard? Rich Mullins?

If Christianity could only be preached through contemporary Christian music, there would be zero Christians in the world.

Hmm. Maybe that's how the Vast Anti-Christian Conspiracy (a registered trademark of Focus On The Family) could bring down the American church -- flood the airwaves with Ray Boltz.
posted by dw at 3:11 PM on September 4, 2006


Man, I had almost totally forgotten about that michal jackson as a panther crap. thanks for bringing that back into the front of my mind. Anyone have any mind bleach? And don't EVEN get me started on my fundie upbringing...
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 3:20 PM on September 4, 2006


Whew. Mine, too. I grew up with that stuff. And people wonder why I listened to nothing but the Bad Brains my entire senior year of high school. It's amazing to look back on it now, and to note that Christian Contemporary Music is unique in its ignorance of its own past. Not that I blame it. But dw reminds us that there was interesting stuff to be found for those yearning youngsters like me who searched.

Rich Mullins, for one, was a hell of a guy. He got his start writing crappy pop for Amy Grant, but some of the guys who did that turned out to be pretty good (Michael Card was another) in a very earnest, Christ-folk kind of way. I got to meet Rich once a few years before he died when he toured through my tiny little Colorado town, and we had a pretty good conversation about music. Broader, anyway, than I had expected.

And Steve Taylor: well, it's still astounding that a guy like that ever made it in 'Christian' circles. Witness, for example, his video for "I blew up the clinic real good," which (apparently, I guess) lampoons idiots who resort to violence in fighting abortion. He was slightly more conscious than anybody else working within that whole CCM thing seems to be, although I haven't look at any of it since high school, and it seems a lot more, erm, stilted than it did back then.

Nice post.
posted by koeselitz at 3:33 PM on September 4, 2006


And Steve Taylor: well, it's still astounding that a guy like that ever made it in 'Christian' circles. Witness, for example, his video for "I blew up the clinic real good," which (apparently, I guess) lampoons idiots who resort to violence in fighting abortion.
Heh. In the liner notes of his best-of retrospective, he commented on that song in particular. "Many people on both sides of the abortion debate have compelling and important things to say. This is not one of them." He seems to regard that video in particular as a ham-fisted attempt to satirize that didn't manage to hit the mark.

I always had a soft spot for 'Jesus is for Losers,' which came during an era of rah-rah-rah theological cheerleading.

Man. Looking back at some of the older entries in my collection, I remember how much different the landscape of Christian music was in the late 80s and early 90s. The Choir, The Prayer Chain, Fleming and John, and others like them were doing some genuinely great music. There was still a lot of CCM dreck but the labels hadn't realized how profitable the sub-genre could be, and were mostly marketing Adult Contemporary Praise, or Petra clones.
posted by verb at 3:47 PM on September 4, 2006


omg it's P-salty the whining song book. i remember that crying little bitch.

he would show up at play grounds and cry till little kids would come over and ask him what was wrong. then he would cry about how nobody gave a rats ass about jesus or P-salty's song list. nice first post, and oh btw *in whiny metafilter blue ball voice* your not supposed to say "this is your first post" at least thats what they told me. but seriously nice post.
posted by nola at 3:54 PM on September 4, 2006


dw:

I searched for, but couldn't find, YouTube videos by Steven Curtis Chapman, who I consider a slightly less treacley artist than Boltz (who still had some good moments) and *shudder* Carmen.

Unfortunately, I knew Rich Mullins only from his compositions which became popular worship songs: Awesome God and Step by Step.

koeselitz:

Prompted by the fourth link in your post, I did a bit of digging regarding Taylor's On the Fritz. Some quick research confirmed that it could not have been inspired by the Michael English affair, which it predated by nearly a decade... but that his response to the affair was sadly sadly predictable.

And thus ends any possibility that I'll look beyond the overwrought 80's production for the lyrics and message beneath.
posted by The Confessor at 4:41 PM on September 4, 2006


I heard "Awesome God" sung by a bunch of kids at a first communion this spring, and I assumed it was some tripe written by the parish youth minister. I had no idea it was a real song until just now. I mean really - "When He rolls up His sleeves, He ain't just putting on the ritz" - what does that even MEAN? Does God even have sleeves? And what does Falco have to do with this?
posted by Biblio at 5:11 PM on September 4, 2006


Biblio - God has nothing to do with Falco, but EVERYTHING to do with Taco!
posted by sluggo at 5:30 PM on September 4, 2006


". I mean really - "When He rolls up His sleeves, He ain't just putting on the ritz" - what does that even MEAN? Does God even have sleeves?"

Well, what would YOU rhyme with "fists"? (Does God even have fists?)
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 5:36 PM on September 4, 2006


Witness, for example, his video for "I blew up the clinic real good,"

I'd never seen that before now. Huh. You wonder why people were throwing a fit about that. And "I Want Your Sex" came out in the same month, IIRC. He never stood a chance.

I searched for, but couldn't find, YouTube videos by Steven Curtis Chapman, who I consider a slightly less treacley artist than Boltz (who still had some good moments) and *shudder* Carmen.

Yeah, SCC was survivable. I consider Carmen to be the Meatloaf of Christian music, only Meatloaf had talent.

The Choir, The Prayer Chain, Fleming and John,

They were all good, the Choir especially. And Lifesavers Underground, possibly the closest thing CCM had to Neutral Milk Hotel (and predated them by a decade).

I heard "Awesome God" sung by a bunch of kids at a first communion this spring, and I assumed it was some tripe written by the parish youth minister. I had no idea it was a real song until just now. I mean really - "When He rolls up His sleeves, He ain't just putting on the ritz" - what does that even MEAN? Does God even have sleeves? And what does Falco have to do with this?

If you're going to mock early Mullins, at least get the Eurotrash artist right -- TACO did "Puttin' On The Ritz," FALCO did "Rock Me Amadeus."

And later Mullins is better.

I haven't bought a Christian album (except to replace my copy of Sticks and Stones this decade. And I'm still in the church. The music they're running out there right now is crappy pop with pseudo-Christian lyrics. Huh. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
posted by dw at 5:41 PM on September 4, 2006


My favorite Youtube musical discovery thus far, however, is this pseudo-impromptu live rendition of Arthur's Theme.

And in all this, I haven't said: This is fkn brilliant.
posted by dw at 5:43 PM on September 4, 2006


Arthur's theme was indeed brilliant. However, that stuff that you posted wasn't country, Confessor.

This is country.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:58 PM on September 4, 2006


While I can't find internet confirmation anymore, I'm pretty certain Ray Boltz did the soundtrack to Troll 2.
posted by pokermonk at 7:11 PM on September 4, 2006


Psalty the Singing Songbook. Man, I hated it when my parents put that crap on.

And Steve Taylor: well, it's still astounding that a guy like that ever made it in 'Christian' circles.

Bah. Steve Taylor was no revolutionary. Witness, for example, these fallacy-ridden homophobic lyrics from "Whatever Happened To Sin":

When the closets are empty
and the clinics are full
and your eyes have been blinded
by society's wool
when the streets erupt
in your own backyard
you'll be on your knees praying for the National Guard


Or the celebrated song "Meltdown" which was just songified judgementalism, in which he condemns various celebrities to hell based on his knowledge of their lives.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:26 PM on September 4, 2006


In 8th grade at Lutheran School, I was in a Psalty musical. Specifically this one. Like being a 13 year old girl wasn't hell enough.
posted by pieoverdone at 7:30 PM on September 4, 2006


My dad was psalty in our church's production of whatever that crap is. Ugh. Bad memories.
posted by glenwood at 7:45 AM on September 5, 2006


oh and don't forget those goddamned "creek bank kids".
posted by glenwood at 7:49 AM on September 5, 2006


I was in that "Down By The Creek Bank" thing when I was about 5 - I spent the entire musical trying to get a stuffed frog out of the fake creek on the platform. Then left to wander around for a bit and try to strike up conversations with other kids who were singing at the time. I was a bit oblivious.
posted by muddylemon at 10:39 AM on September 5, 2006


Good heavens ... I, too, grew up on all this stuff.

I can't stand most of it now, so I'm not clicking on any links. But I still like me some Randy Stonehill every once in a while. 'Cause he was, y'know, good. IMHO, that is.

"Big Ideas!
in a shrinking world."
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:25 PM on September 5, 2006


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