Thank God for Rock
April 3, 2010 8:39 PM   Subscribe

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.

Their career as Christian rockstars spanned 33 years, from the early days of Jesus Music in the early seventies to contemporary worship music and everything in between.

A Guide to Petra.


They were the first Christian rock band to perform at Farm Aid.

Douglas Sands runs the Petra Web Ring (warning: auto start midi cover of Petra song).

Here's Too Many Petra Photos.

One member page - Petraspective - includes an extensive list of the fan's memorabilia collection, as well as a detailed want list.

Bonus: Petra-Get On Your Knees and Fight Like a Man with Scripture and Ronin Warriors footage.
posted by Lutoslawski (110 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Christ, they're horrible.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 8:53 PM on April 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


Stryper had more talent in their little finger...
posted by Jimbob at 8:55 PM on April 3, 2010


I still have a cassette of Beat The System somewhere.
posted by mds35 at 9:00 PM on April 3, 2010


Oh, dear.

Well, I had the same trajectory with each song... I laughed for a minute and then I turned it off. I hope this isn't your favorite band!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:01 PM on April 3, 2010


Beat the System.
posted by mds35 at 9:02 PM on April 3, 2010


"Upon this rock I will bland a church."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:02 PM on April 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Wow. I remember them. And I remember Beat The System, too.

*starts to mumble: 'Red is the color of the blood that flowed...'*
posted by koeselitz at 9:02 PM on April 3, 2010






If you want Christian rock, then look no further than Black Sabbath's Master of Reality. Start with this. Then move on to Trouble. Smoke tons of weed and Jesus will reveal himself. d00d
posted by NoMich at 9:08 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


"You people aren't making Christianity better. You're just making rock n' roll worse!" -- Hank Hill
posted by Sailormom at 9:08 PM on April 3, 2010 [27 favorites]


Look, guys, it's like this: rock music is evil. Demonic. Awful stuff. Please, Jesus-dudes, leave it to the pros.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:10 PM on April 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Why can't Christian rock--ANY OF IT--be even one-tenth as cool as this?
posted by applemeat at 9:12 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


And of course this Sabbath tune from Master of Reality.
posted by NoMich at 9:12 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


God gave rock and roll to you.
posted by Splunge at 9:15 PM on April 3, 2010


I thought I knew this song from somewhere:

Kiss - God Gave Rock and Role To You II
posted by furtive at 9:16 PM on April 3, 2010


Well, there's always Demon Hunter.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:17 PM on April 3, 2010


I had no idea that God Gave Rock & Roll to You was a Petra cover. My first exposure to the song was Kiss' version from Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Say what you will with Petra's musicianship, but that song is full of WIN when performed by band that knows what they're doing (and has access to best studios & engineers, etc).
posted by KingEdRa at 9:19 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


AAACK! Forgot to preview!
posted by KingEdRa at 9:20 PM on April 3, 2010


Thesis: Whenever a persecuted minority becomes the persecuting majority their tunes start to suck.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:21 PM on April 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


They told me all music with a beat was of the devil, but I didn't listen to them. Petra was a gateway band for me. Soon I needed something edgier and I started experimenting with Altar Boys and Pat Nobody. Before you know it I was skipping church to sleep off the hangovers I earned from staying out late at the all-ages shows, and spending all of my tithing money on rare bootlegs and imports of records by satanic rock groups.













...and I never looked back.










So, thanks Greg X. Volz!
posted by mds35 at 9:24 PM on April 3, 2010


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "Well, there's always Demon Hunter. "

Cool song. So you're into Satanism?
posted by Splunge at 9:27 PM on April 3, 2010


Why can't Christian rock--ANY OF IT--be even one-tenth as cool as this?

Quote Mrs. flt: "Because he's f**kin' high"
posted by filthy light thief at 9:29 PM on April 3, 2010


For the longest time, I used to get Petra and Pantera mixed up.

It was frequently embarrassing.
posted by Cyrano at 9:29 PM on April 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


My kids tell me Demon Hunter is a Christian band. *shrugs shoulders*
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:33 PM on April 3, 2010


Man, I wish I could find decent links to Ramsey Shick. Chick is totally obscure and totally awesome. She only has one tune up on itunes...years ago a friend loaned me a cd of her band -it was a live performance-her style is not normally one I seek out but she made Janice Joplin sound like an American Idol wannabe.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:35 PM on April 3, 2010


For those of you who don't click the Pat Nobody link above, let me cite the chorus, because it is simply a golden example of lolxian punk.

I've had nails through my hands and my feet
and I hung from a tree like a piece of meat

...for you

posted by mds35 at 9:37 PM on April 3, 2010


I submit for your enjoyment: Carman's Who's in the House?, the greatest Christian pop song of all time. The video features Carman as a middle-aged real estate manager doing funky moves while wearing massive shiny purple shorts. PURE GOLD.
posted by hot soup girl at 9:37 PM on April 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


much earlier, and much cooler

i always thought that petra was a fairly lame imitation of styx with a christian bent - and i don't really like styx

the rez band were much better
posted by pyramid termite at 9:40 PM on April 3, 2010


I saw them in 83 man, at Benny Hinn's church in Florida. I would have been 6 at the time, WOOOOOOOO! ROCK AND ROLL MOTHERFUCKER!!!11!

Man this brings back so many memories I've tried so hard to kill, with drugs, and booze, and sex with women. I have two, count 'em, two Petra LPs from back in the day, and let me tell you those guys could mimic rock and roll like nobody's business (ever notice the sin in business before). If you grew up in a social bubble, Petra was, like, God man. Only not really God, but you know what I mean.

And what about Mike Warnke? He was the funniest. Until he took his bullshit to far and got caught lying about being an X Satanist.

Then come the teen years, gental reader. You're a Charismatic Christian youth, but you have a hunger for incorporating art into you life that doesn't involve "Precious Moments" prints or the cynicism and dark heartedness of Jack Chick. How about The Choir, or the 77s? You can be in this world but not of it, in very very specific ways that allow you a sense of individualism with out giving up your bronze age myths. Everybody gets a car, you get a car!

I'm gonna go look for those records.
posted by nola at 9:42 PM on April 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


All kidding aside, this thread is making me nostalgic. Thanks, Lutoslawski!
posted by mds35 at 9:49 PM on April 3, 2010


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "My kids tell me Demon Hunter is a Christian band. *shrugs shoulders*"

You didn't answer my question, though.
posted by Splunge at 9:49 PM on April 3, 2010


I worked as a gospel DJ in a former life, so I think I can recall some other early Christian rockers, though the ones I was fond of came from more of the folk/protest movement.

I think Larry Norman is earlier. About the same time that Petra was just forming, Barry McGuire converted to Christianity and began recording and the 2nd Chapter of Acts formed from his backup singers. Producer Michael Omartian also recorded solo Christian rock album. (Trivia note: Comedian Steve Martin claims to have lost his cherry to Stormie Sherk, later to become Michael's wife Stormie Omartian.)

Wikipedia has a list from that era that includes rock, pop, and gospel folkies.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:49 PM on April 3, 2010


Christian rock blows monkey chunks.
posted by bwg at 9:51 PM on April 3, 2010


We had some local Christian Rock talent in D/FW.
posted by mds35 at 9:51 PM on April 3, 2010


My uh... first concert was, I believe, Petra. Yeah.
Then it was. Carman. Trust me, you'd WISH you only had Petra. Carman is like a really really bad version of Ray Stevens. Or something.

Thankfully I found Vengeance Rising, Believer and Crucified and then to Fluffy and Plague of Ethyls and Breakfast with Amy. But *shudder*.

Speaking of Vengeance Rising, you should read about Roger Martinez the lead singer who converted into a staunch anti-theist.

But mostly, he's a pathetic douchebag. Still, it's fun to read.

wiki has more info, too :P
posted by symbioid at 9:55 PM on April 3, 2010


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "Well, there's always Demon Hunter. "

Cool song. So you're into Satanism?


Right. Just like how because I listen to Wagner I must be a Nazi.
posted by rodgerd at 9:55 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think we can all agree that this is the best Christian song of all time.
posted by empath at 9:55 PM on April 3, 2010


Splunge, anyone around Mefi for longer than two weeks already knows the answer to that one.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:56 PM on April 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


This may be one of the greatest scenes in movie history. And as far as I'm concerned, this is the real music video for the KISS version of the song linked above (due in part to an epic guitar intro by Steve Vai, awwww yeahhhhhhhh).

Aside: I just played BrĂ¼tal Legend for the first time today. It's been a good day for rock.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:57 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Petra's "This Means War" was the first rock music I ever purchased: I was uncertain, because it sounded very "hard," but Amy Grant had really felt a little 'meh' and I was willing to try something bold. Something risky. I listened to it on borrowed vinyl but bought on cassette, assuming that I'd want it for, you know, hanging around music with my walkman and stuff.

Petra was my first rock concert, too. John Schlitt screaming Bon Jovi Wannabee style, and the entire band milling around on a stage whose centerpiece was a twenty-foot sword. Representing, you know. Truth! It wasn't phallic at all. Not even when Josh McDowell came on stage and talked about how True Love Waits, and told the story of a girl who was pressured into having sex and then got gonorrhea.

And then they sang again, around a giant fake sword.
posted by verb at 10:01 PM on April 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


This may be one of the greatest scenes in movie history.

Was that Pam Grier?
posted by empath at 10:03 PM on April 3, 2010


Indeed it was Pam Grier. I mean George Carlin.

If anybody's interested, I just came across this IMDb thread with a link to an MP3 of the movie version of the song (the one with the Steve Vai intro). Some fan cleaned it up nice, removing all the sound effects that were dubbed over it in the movie. It's a version that was never released on any albums. I love the internet.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:18 PM on April 3, 2010


Oh, and those saying there is no good xian metal/rock whatever. Here's some youtube links to my aforementioned bands:

believer - sanity obscure
believer - dust to dust
vengeance rising - white throne
crucified - guy in a suit and the pope (classic anti-televangelist and anti-pope/anti-wealth track) "Preacher,
crucified - one demon to another (it's like a chick tract in thrash form!)
tourniquet - psychosurgery
tourniquet - stereotaxic atrocities (Yes, a Christian Anti-Vivisectionist song)

(*gary lenaire (wiki page) from tourniquet, also appears to have become an atheist)

circle of dust/brainchild - deviate (this shit is some excellent industrial-metal)

And the best xian industrial group ever:
argyle park - leave me alone
argyle park - violent

plague of ethyls (didn't have this, but it's the only one I can find on youtube -- but it gives an idea of the sound.

fluffy discography I would kill (not really) for a copy of the first 3 albums. Damn. ESPECIALLY FLUFFY LUVS YOU!
interview w/chris colbert of fluffy/breakfast with amy

Anyways, that's my picks, i'm just sad I can't share fluffy with you, cuz goddamn that was some good shit. And Tollhouse Waltz by Breakfast w/Amy was kickass.
posted by symbioid at 10:25 PM on April 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


(this shit is some excellent industrial-metal)

How can you tell? Honest question, I can't tell the difference between good industrial-metal and the sounds goats make when you debud them.
posted by nola at 10:37 PM on April 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Then it was. Carman.

*shudders*
posted by pyramid termite at 10:38 PM on April 3, 2010


I had like three of those early 80s Petra records as people tried to head off my headlong charge into secular music.

That stuff had sort of an Uncanny Valley sort of thing going on. It was stunningly close to real Rock music, but just enough not to be glaringly different.

But I have a weird sort of nostalgia thing for it, anyway.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 10:39 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


True confession time -- I loved the Greg X Volz era of Petra. Saw them in concert, oh, I dunno... 5 times? Something like that. Back then I was very involved with the Jesus, and Petra's (then) mix of soft-ish rock and altar call message totally got me. I still have all their early stuff on vinyl, and even break it out now and then, although usually the Jesus part gets too thick for me pretty quickly.

Then I saw Resurrection Band, and Greg Volz left Petra, and there was no looking back. (Glen Kaiser being a hot bearded bear type didn't hurt, either.)

And then I finally got over the Jesus thing. Triggered by my sexuality crisis in my early 20s.

I've lived a tangled life.
posted by hippybear at 10:40 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


petra just can't touch this - make sure you stay for the killer guitar solo
posted by pyramid termite at 10:45 PM on April 3, 2010


In high school I was in a Christian hardcore band. We listened to stuff like this...
Each of those could be considered the musical children of petra. Then the grandchildren would be these guys ...
posted by Raqin at 10:48 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]




I submit for your enjoyment: Carman's Who's in the House? , the greatest Christian pop song of all time.

Carmen was one of my first 'rock' concerts. I saw the "The Standard" tour - at the Mark in Quad Cities, Iowa. Whoa.

Man this brings back so many memories I've tried so hard to kill, with drugs, and booze, and sex with women.

That's a bit too familiar.

A cassette of "Unseen Power" will always have a strange but permanent place in my life.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:51 PM on April 3, 2010


Demon Hunter is a "Christian metalcore" band, like Underoath, As I Lay Dying, The Agony Scene and presumably many other bands that have evil names but profess Christianity (Norma Jean and The Devil Wears Prada being that scene's notable exceptions).
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:52 PM on April 3, 2010


That bonus link just strengthens my assumption that there is an anime tribute video for every band and genre.
posted by Kimothy at 10:54 PM on April 3, 2010


Petra was indeed at the forefront of CCM at the time, as was the late Keith Green (whose tunes became Christian standards still sung in churches all over). In the 80s, I gravitated towards the quality songwriters and more RnB-jazz-rock artists like Russ Taff (and here), Roby Duke and especially Seawind, (Here with Al Jarreau) These and others contained many pro studio musicians who went on to much other 'secular' studio work (Jerry Hey and the "Seawind Horns"were almost as busy as the Tower of Power guys were, and keyboardist Larry Williams did lots of stuff for Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, Quincy Jones, etc.) and used many studio professionals like John Pattitucci (Chick Corea), Greg Phillinganes, the Christian keyboardist Michael Omartian (who did a number of Steely Dan tracks) et al.

There are plenty more rock examples like Creed, Reliant K, those two Dylan albums and some U2 stuff --but some have been mentioned here . So BitterOldPunk's remark saying "Please, Jesus-dudes, leave it to the pros" is demonstrably false, Many of the CCM musicians were as good as they come, if not better.

Happy Easter, y'all.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:02 PM on April 3, 2010


Meanwhile - Growing up all my older sister listened to was Petra, White Heart, Stryper, and Liaison. (I'm probably forgetting some, but eh...)

All of this stuff sounded crazy to my younger brother and me (we were much younger than her) and we would blast it in the car or when my parents weren't home and dance around like crazies. Kind of fun memories, so I guess my judgment could be clouded as to the quality of music.

Then again, if people can enjoy it that much, who's to say it's bad? Awesome rock? Maybe not. But not really bad music.
posted by Kimothy at 11:06 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Addendum: I wasn't saying Creed or U2 are Christian artists per se, but they're mentioned since band members have stated such beliefs. And who knows where Dylan fits into all this anymore. Thanks.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:08 PM on April 3, 2010


Wild Stallyns ripped off a band named after an ancient Semitic trade capital?

Also, Creed is not lending credence to the "good christian rock" argument.
posted by cmoj at 11:09 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Happy Easter, y'all.

Nothing quite says "Christian humility" like assuming everyone else shares your particular beliefs, ya'll.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:15 PM on April 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, I should mention some of the Christian artists (or albums) I do still listen to, even in my state of apostasy.

Russ Taff -- Russ Taff: It's a great rock album about the struggles of relationships, and has a kick-ass cover of "I Still Believe" (written by The Call, made famous in The Lost Boys by some shirtless guy with a saxophone)

Leslie Phillips -- The Turning: Songs of faith and doubt, with brilliant T Bone Burnett production. Leslie changed her name to Sam Phillips later (no relation to the other Sam Phillips) and did some equally amazing albums outside of Christian music.

Steve Taylor -- I Believe 1990: The album that ruined his career, or pretty much. Controversial "tarot card" (not!) cover, controversial first single (about an ice cream man who is blowing up abortion clinics in order to preserve his future customer base), a lot of honest exploration of deep questions of faith in the context of living in a modern world. Plus a healthy dose of post-modern irony.

Michael W. Smith -- The Big Picture and i 2 (eye): There really wasn't a better songwriter in late 1980s Christian rock than MWS. The Big Picture has production that is easily a decade ahead of its time (and it sounds BRILLIANT on CD where you can really hear the layers of sound), and i 2 (eye) gets a bit Jesus-y for me at times but still has simply brilliant songcrafting nearly all the way through. I'm more likely to listen to The Big Picture without skipping tracks.

Amy Grant -- Lead Me On: It's just so, so good. On CD it has "bonus tracks" which fit into the album flow and truly were never meant to be left off, obviously. She's pretty stellar throughout her career, but if I had to choose just one album by her, this would be it. (Age To Age is a close second, but it's a bit Jesus-y at times.) This is really more an album of songs written by someone from a Christian-moralist perspective than "Christian Music", per se.

I seem to have quite a few others which I haven't gotten rid of over the years (many of them on cassette -- that wonderful format of the 80s), but these are the ones which actually are part of my music library which I listen to. They're all pretty great, and none of them really require full-on Jesus-tude in order to appreciate them.

BTW, Greg X Volz did a cover of Aerosmith's Dream On on his first solo album, and it's a take on the song which truly kicks ass. Brings out a dimension in the lyric which was never there before, and it's one of my all-time favorite cover versions of anything, anytime.
posted by hippybear at 11:32 PM on April 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, so wishing a "Happy Easter" is not showing "humility" and is "assuming people share your beliefs"? That's just plain silly. Where did you get that from? Obama just did the same thing in his video message. It's been said for thousands of years.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:32 PM on April 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just tweaking ya, chief. Enjoy your holiday.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:33 PM on April 3, 2010


jonmc must be asleep, so I'll just point out for him that God Gave Rock and Roll To You was not a Petra original. (It was originally by Argent).
posted by yhbc at 11:34 PM on April 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hippybear! Wow. Except for one thing ... , that is my story! My Dad owned and operated a Christian Bookstore, and I, well, I worked there. A lot. And listened to and sold a lot of those albums. A personal concert favourite was The DeGarmo & Key Band (esp. "Straight On"). And Daniel Amos's "Horrendous Disk" was pretty sweet as a "concept" album. But when metal was required Rez Band was it - D.M.Z! Military Man. I could sin and be saved at the same time. SHEEEITTT!
posted by kneecapped at 11:38 PM on April 3, 2010


kneecapped: holy shit! I saw Rez Band on their DMZ tour!!! in a tiny club in El Paso, TX, and it completely changed my life. Turned me on to rock concerts, stirred my loins (Glen Kaiser... growf!), and broke me out of my Petra / Sandi Patti / Keith Green mold forever.

I should have mentioned, Mommy Don't Love Daddy Anymore by Resurrection Band is a BRILLIANT album that I haven't listened to in FAR TOO LONG.

Oh, and the two Swirling Eddies albums that I have -- Let's Spin and Outdoor Elvis. They also ended up in my library and don't generally get skipped. (Since you brought up Daniel Amos, and he was a driving force behind Swirling Eddies.)

(I also had a crush on the bearded half of Degarmo & Key... *sigh* my Jesus years were spent in pent-up denial-filled homosexual lust.)
posted by hippybear at 11:43 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Christian rock is like conservative humor.
posted by telstar at 11:57 PM on April 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wild Stallyns ripped off a band named after an ancient Semitic trade capital?

(you need some more y's in that band name)

No. God Gave Rock & Roll To You is not originally by Petra.
posted by straight at 12:18 AM on April 4, 2010


(no curses for you yhbc, my fault for spending too much time listening to all these links and not enough time previewing)
posted by straight at 12:22 AM on April 4, 2010


hippybear, if you can find the Swirling Eddies Zoom Daddy, it's even better.
posted by straight at 12:25 AM on April 4, 2010


I can't top the awesome 80's cheese of that Beat the System Video or Carman's Who's in the House, but this performance of White Heart's "God Made Convertables" has a pretty sweet intro where they explain that when the wind's flowin' through your hair, you just know that "the world was not created by Charles Darwin!" Zing!
posted by straight at 12:32 AM on April 4, 2010


Pretty god damn sure "God Gave Rock and Roll to You" was originally written by Argent (inc. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons), covered by Petra, then covered (or is it a cover when you wrote it?) by KISS for the disciples Bill and Ted in their greatest adventure.

KISS covering Petra. Please.. Happy Easter!
posted by cavalier at 12:57 AM on April 4, 2010


Good lord. How in god's name would one come to the insane conclusion that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were in Argent? They're not even from the same continent! Sorry, cavalier, but no.

Argent was (who were named rather uncreatively) formed by Rod Argent in the wake of the breakup of the magnificent Zombies.
posted by koeselitz at 1:23 AM on April 4, 2010


was / not was, whatever
posted by koeselitz at 1:26 AM on April 4, 2010


CheeseDigestsAll: I think Larry Norman is earlier.

And so much better.
posted by Kattullus at 1:44 AM on April 4, 2010


Didn't the Swirling Eddies do an album of all mocking parodies of Amy Grant and the like?

Ah yes, here it is. I remember listening to it and being amazed that it was being sold in Christian stores - clearly the reaction they were going for.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:46 AM on April 4, 2010


St. Alia of the Bunnies: Man, I wish I could find decent links to Ramsey Shick. Chick is totally obscure and totally awesome. She only has one tune up on itunes...years ago a friend loaned me a cd of her band -it was a live performance-her style is not normally one I seek out but she made Janice Joplin sound like an American Idol wannabe.

Would this happen to be the artist in question? I must respectfully disagree with you about Janis Joplin, but I really dig the two songs she has up there, and I'm about as far from a fan of Christian music as you can get (or a Christian, for that matter). She has some real talent there. I could even see myself listening to her on purpose, which is not something I've felt about any Christian acts since I was in middle school.

She doesn't seem to be great at the whole internet/computers thing, though. Two of the songs listed on her myspace aren't actually there, she got the link to her own website wrong, and only three of the links on her soundbytes page actually play any music. She looks like a total hippie/earthchild, though, so maybe it's understandable.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 2:17 AM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


My right eardrum burst while at a concert of Degarmo & Key. In hindsight, wish I had sacrificed my hearing for something a little better. (It healed, but with some scarring.)

What might not be clear is how controversial these bands were within the Xian fold back then. Petra band members were scheduled to do a Q&A at my Christian High School in the late 80's, but the school had to cancel when numerous parents threatened to pull their children out.

Hippybear, oh man oh man. Leslie Phillips' "The Turning" was the soundtrack of my own "turning" and will always get to me. ("...And I almost made you happy") I was a huge Steve Taylor fanboy, and I still respect him for waking me up, keeping me from becoming yet another clone. And his song about the bombing of an abortion clinic was breathtaking in it's daring: I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good.

(Swirling Eddies, 77s, Prayer Chain, The Violet Burning ... Had no ideas so many videos from this long-forgotten period of my life were now on YouTube. Guess I know how I'll be celebrating Easter this year!)
posted by wanderingstan at 3:00 AM on April 4, 2010


Ever heard/seen classical musicians trying to play jazz? Same problem with God-botherers trying to play music that is, in essence, an admixture of sex, aggression, blood, sweat and tears. It ain't ever gonna work. However, the unintentional comic value of the attempts make it well worth the effort in my view...... Oh, and Argent's best track was this one. No question.
posted by MajorDundee at 3:09 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


>> Happy Easter, y'all.
>
> Nothing quite says "Christian humility" like assuming everyone else shares
> your particular beliefs, ya'll.
> posted by joe lisboa at 2:15 AM on April 4 [1 favorite +] [!]

Hey, yeah. Guy at work who celebrates Kwanzaa wished me "Happy Kwanzaa", and I'm all "Fuck you and your assumptions, dude." NOT. Jewish neighbor wishes me "Happy Hannukah" as we pass on the sidewalk, and I'm thinking "Creep just assumes everybody's Jewish, just like that." NOT.

Anybody anywhere, in whose personal culture today or any day is a day of celebration, and who is therefore happy, and who hopes I'm happy too? Somehow I just don't see any pernicious assumptions in that, and it does actually make me happy instead of treading on my engorged "It's all about me" lobe.

Happy Eostre, joe. Please be reassured that my saying so doesn't imply in the least that I assume you'll be performing bloody bunny sacrifices to the Goddess later on today like me.
posted by jfuller at 5:07 AM on April 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


When you dis Christian rock, you dis the Bad Brains. either that or ride with Hitler I'm not completely sure
posted by jtron at 5:19 AM on April 4, 2010


PETRA! You gotta stand with the one who brung ya. (I think).

I saw these guys at Jesusfest 91 (or 90 maybe) in Vancouver, Washington with DC Talk in their rap phase. That fest was huge! I was 12 at the time, and have de-jesusified since then, but I still have this image in my head of a long curly-blond mulletted dude in front of me clad in matching denim jacket and jeans in his rock stance, with one arm around his girl and his other hand pumping to the beat for the ENTIRE petra set (the relevant album had windmills on the cover?)

This was when some of the tougher jesus freaks introduced me to CRUCIFIED. Killer xhardcorex, with such awesome singalong breakdown refrains such "CLOSE YOUR EYES! RELEASE YOUR MIND!" We did an air guitar version of the song for some competition at the festival, complete with smoke bombs for added effect, but we lost to someone karaoke'ing Michael W. Smith (I think).

Sorry for all the "I think"s, it was in a different life, many years ago
posted by molecicco at 5:21 AM on April 4, 2010


That was also where I got my One Bad Pig "Wine Flew" tape. That was some shameful shit.
posted by molecicco at 5:23 AM on April 4, 2010


So I suddenly remembered that not all Christian Rock sucks. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you Doom Metal's very own Place of Skulls. What always impressed me about these guys was how big their following OUTSIDE of Christian Rock was-- as a matter of fact, I'm willing to bet it's probably larger than it is within Christian Rock fandom.

Also, here's their GREAT cover of The Animals "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"

This is the rockinest Easter EVER! "Jesus, FUCK YEAH!" \m/
posted by KingEdRa at 5:51 AM on April 4, 2010


What about Pat Boone, and Little Richard is a preacher? Petra? What a joke.
posted by caddis at 6:00 AM on April 4, 2010


Oh, and Argent's best track was [Hold Your Head Up]. No question.

Ah, that song. I loved it. From my former 12 year old self to Argent: thanks, guys. Grade 8 was just a little more tolerable with that song to hold on to.

The rest of this thread is, for me, like reading Bizarro World Rolling Stone or something. I've never heard of any of these bands, and barely heard of the genre itself.
posted by jokeefe at 6:33 AM on April 4, 2010


And his song about the bombing of an abortion clinic was breathtaking in it's daring: I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good.

Okay, what the fuck did I just watch?
posted by jokeefe at 6:57 AM on April 4, 2010


thank you symboid!

here's that crucified track that we air-guitared to back in the day. killer double-kick work, shredding guitar riff, and some heavy breakdowns. The Crucified - Mindbender.
posted by molecicco at 7:38 AM on April 4, 2010


I highly recommend the book Body Piercing Saved My Life. It's all about Christian Rock and was written by Andrew Beaujon of the non-christian and totally amazing band Eggs. It covers the movement from Larry Norman and the 70s to the 00s with Danielson and Pedro the Lion (and a bunch of names I can't remember).
posted by sleepy pete at 8:03 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, I know the bassist for the newly reformed Believer. Elton is a cool dude.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 8:28 AM on April 4, 2010


Eat a Peep and chill the fuck out, jfuller. But you're right, comparing Christianity and Kwanzaa is a totally valid comparison to make when talking about cultural hegemony. Dur....
posted by joe lisboa at 9:43 AM on April 4, 2010


Easter and Kwanzaa, what the fuck ever
posted by joe lisboa at 9:44 AM on April 4, 2010


I guess I should chill the fuck out, since I evidently misread your reply, jfuller. But if it makes you feel any better, I'll still be sacrificing bunnies later.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:47 AM on April 4, 2010


I HOPE THAT JOE LISBOA HAS A WONDERFUL APRIL 4.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:52 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Um, I typed that before I read your last comment. Okay, everyone's happy now.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:53 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Swirling Eddies, 77s, Prayer Chain, The Violet Burning ...

I'd forgotten about The Violet Burning! I used to hang out with their bass player. He was one of those guys that liked to make fun of people a lot, and you could never quite tell if he was laughing with you or laughing at you, which I've noticed is actually a pretty common (though not at all universal) trait among Christian underground music scenesters.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:54 AM on April 4, 2010


Let us not forget that Petra spent nearly ten years imitating Boston album covers. No shame.

Also, I agree that Rez band was actually kind of good in the context of Christian rock of the day. Glenn Kaiser had a fantastic Lemmy/Bob Seger metal voice. I only knew them through their blue cassette tapes but they were kind of a revelation to someone only previously exposed to Petra. Then I probably heard Van Halen and it was all over. The good thing about such blatantly imitative Christian rock is that if you grow up in an environment that is heavily censored for "secular" material it makes it much easier to hide real rock and roll records. After a while the square adults couldn't tell them apart. They needed Bob Larson to break down which was which.

I have many Christian rock stories to tell but they are mostly depressing rather than funny.
posted by well_balanced at 10:01 AM on April 4, 2010


Lust Control
posted by nomisxid at 10:09 AM on April 4, 2010


Oh man.... so, way back in my youth, late 1990s, I was attending a church camp somewhere in south Florida. This camp was run by the guy who invented the HobieCat. He was apparently, at the time, spending a lot of time teaching people in Africa how to build and run fish farms as a benevolence project. At this camp in Florida, we were working to transform this defunct Baptist college campus into a fish farm school, where he would teach his crews how to teach others to build and run these fish farms.

Anyway... every night, of course, we had a little song/sermon thing after supper. The last night featured a concert by this guy from Petra, Greg X. Volz. He got up on stage in full 80s garb and long flowing hair and proceeded to run around the auditorium jumping up on tables, chairs, etc. and giving karate kicks and yelping "Whooo!" like Ric Flair. At one point, I shit you not, he encouraged the crowd to form a... conga line. There were like 400 kids in the room. Maybe 20 did this at first.... then, suddenly, a large section stormed to the front of the conga line... and began heading out the door... at which point, the auditorium cleared as everyone else hopped on the end of the line and went right out the door.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 10:42 AM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I saw Believer in a church basement back in the late 80s and while the band destroyed I have to say the born again kids had the weakest circle pit ever.
posted by The Straightener at 11:36 AM on April 4, 2010


I agree that Rez band was actually kind of good in the context of Christian rock of the day.

Another thing I really respect about Rez Band is that they really lived the talk. The corporation which they were / are a part of (Jesus People USA) owned an old hotel in Chicago which they used to tend to the poor, and most of the band's profits were directed back into that ministry. I think that they even lived at the hotel helping with the overall mission when they weren't out on the road. It's that kind of walking-the-walk behavior which I look toward to help differentiate between people who really believe in Jesus and his words and Xianists.
posted by hippybear at 12:40 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


King's X used to be stocked in Christian bookstores, until Doug Pinnick came out of the closet, after which they were kicked to the secular curb
posted by squeakyfromme at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had been a fan of the 77s for a year or two before I knew they were a christian band.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:28 PM on April 4, 2010


I submit for your enjoyment: Carman's Who's in the House?,

WHAT
THE
FUCK
WAS
THAT?

Palate cleanser.
posted by MikeMc at 3:01 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


What a nostalgia trip back to hell. In the mid '80s Petra's lead singer managed to be erotic and all jazzed for Jeezus at the same time--just what a born-again twenty-something closet case needed. For a while they helped me to more fully and spiritually embrace my utter denial of the queer I actually was. So yeah I guess they served a purpose for me.
posted by whoretense at 4:41 PM on April 4, 2010


The worst part of it all is that I've now been reminded of the period when KISS performed without make-up. I shall now proceed to forget that again, ASAP.
posted by oddman at 5:01 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, some great links in here. But someone forgot LSU and Mike Knott. Still a staple in my diet.
posted by tomplus2 at 5:42 PM on April 4, 2010


Another thing I really respect about Rez Band is that they really lived the talk. 'Tis true. My younger brother spent a few months volunteering at JPUSA (Chicago). They were the real deal. And, to be fair, "real deal" Christians are all round good folks (as long as they don't tell me that their real deal has to be my real deal - which just about goes for any religious POV).
posted by kneecapped at 5:49 PM on April 4, 2010


Captain Cardanthian!: "Would this happen to be the artist in question? I must respectfully disagree with you about Janis Joplin, but I really dig the two songs she has up there, and I'm about as far from a fan of Christian music as you can get (or a Christian, for that matter)."

She is good. Reminds me of Amanda Marshall's voide, actually.
posted by Decimask at 6:10 PM on April 4, 2010


Okay, everyone's happy hoppy now.

FTFY?
posted by joe lisboa at 7:47 PM on April 4, 2010


(I got my Ramsie Shick cd in the mail today. This thread gave me the kick in the butt to go ahead and order it. Best thing Mefi has ever done for me!)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:41 PM on April 19, 2010


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