Okay, so Amy Grant is a bit insecure on her first album 1977's Amy Grant, with the song I Know Better Now. Written by an angst-filled 17 year old who is couching her insecurity within her faith in Jesus, it's only one in a long line of songs Amy has written and/or recorded that show true struggle with being human in a difficult world. [more inside]
The past week was Weird 90's week at Stereogum, and they explored some of the strangest musical moments and trends of the decade. Highlights inside. [more inside]
Contemporary Christian Music in the ‘70s was almost nothing but trite SoCal Jesus People pablum praise music and lame lite rock. And right there was Daniel Amos, which started as a folk group, then switched to Eagles-like country rock. That all changed in 1978 when they recorded Horrendous Disc, but thanks to issues with Larry Norman's Solid Rock label it was in limbo till 1981. It came out a week before one of their best albums, Alarma, which was challenging listening back then. Trouser Press said of them, “The ground zero of Christian alternative rock is Orange County's Daniel Amos (band name courtesy of the Bible's table of contents page). Nearly every underground Christian band was inspired by or in some way connected with them. [more inside]
God Gave Rock and Roll To You. With more than 7 million records sold, four Grammy Awards, ten Dove Awards and an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame - the first rock band ever to be so honored - Petra (wiki) is widely considered the father of Christian rock. [more inside]
What was the name of that band that played the school assembly hall in 8th grade? Free Fare. [more inside]
Christian metalcore band Confide uses a Postal Service cover as a clever tactic to promote their god-awful music. [more inside]
The New Creation was born in 1970 when Chris Towers, an unknown guitarist from Vancouver, decided to form a Christian rock group with his mother Lorna as lead singer and their neighbor Janet Tiessen on drums. Scared by reports of the hippie excesses of the Manson/Altamont era, Lorna Towers wrote doom-laden, apocalyptic lyrics for the New Creation's aptly titled album, Troubled. The band was unpolished, yet somehow captured a unique lo-fi sound comparable to a hybrid of the Velvet Underground and the Shaggs. The group might be totally forgotten today, if an aging hippie record dealer named Ty Scammel hadn't rescued a copy from a $1 bargain bin, leading to the album's rediscovery by collectors of Christian rock and outsider music. [more inside]
Steven Thomas Erlewine prosecutes Sufjan Stevens A solid indictment of both Stevens and Indie Pop, from AMG's Whole Note series. Hopefully, the Arcade Fire get theirs next.
Double Read This: Revolution! The Epsilon Rising seeks the BEST DRUMMER EVER! They should be 1)AWESOME; 2)TOTALLY INTO US; 3) ETHNIC (but if not, that's cool, man) 4) POT SMOKERS... At least they like Hawkwind.