Sunday, April 27, 2003

"You don't really know a man until you eat forty pounds of salt with him."

-Russian proverb

"You said, 'Now shalt thou see what I will do," [Much Afraid] answered, and then, looking at him reproachfully, added, "But I never dreamed you would do anything like this. Lead me to an impassable precipice up which nothing can go but deer and goats, when I'm no more like a deer or a goat than is a jellyfish. It's too--It's too---" She fumbled for words, and then burst out laughing, "Why it's too preposterously absurd! It's crazy! Whatever will you do next?"

The Shepherd laughed too. "I love doing preposterous things," he replied. "Why I don't know anything more exhilarating and delightful than turning weakness into strength, and fear into faith, and that which has been marred into perfection. If there is one thing more than another which I should enjoy doing at this moment it is turning a jellyfish into a mountain goat."

-Hannah Hurnard, Hind's Feet on High Places

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Check out the link to the left of my jetcast station broadcast from my computer. My music collection may be a bit eclectic, but maybe you'll enjoy it anyway.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Giving pop radio a lift

INO RECORDS
MercyMe has gone from upstart act to Christian industry favorite, notching nominations for tomorrow's 2003 Dove Awards in the best artist, best group and pop/contemporary album categories.

By PETER COOPER
Staff Writer

Christian band MercyMe notches Dove nominations, DJ praise

It is not a likely allegiance, this teaming of Big Gay Steven and Christian
pop group MercyMe.

Yet Steven — an on-air personality on Dallas, Texas' Christina, Britney and
Justin-heavy Wild 100.3 FM — has helped MercyMe's heaven-pondering I Can
Only Imagine to a place in the lower reaches of the pop/adult contemporary
singles charts, even though the song has only been released to about 30 pop
stations.

''Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel?'' sings MercyMe's Bart
Millard. ''Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of you be still?''

Nothing strange about the thought, or about the song, which won two best
song prizes at last year's Dove Awards and earned Millard notice as the
Dove's songwriter of the year. In less than two years since the August 2001
release of its debut album, MercyMe has gone from upstart act to Christian
industry favorite, notching nominations for Thursday's 2003 Dove Awards in
the best artist, best group and pop/contemporary album categories.

Yeah, but Christian bands with overtly Christian songs don't normally cross
over to pop radio. And, anyway, how does Big Gay Steven enter the picture?

''Wild 100.3 is a station that normally plays Eminem and things like that,''
Millard said. ''But somebody phoned in a request for I Can Only Imagine, and
these morning DJs, The Fitz and Big Gay Steven, played the song almost as a
sarcastic reply. As soon as they put it on, they got a bunch of phone calls
from people who liked it, and after two spins it was, like, the No. 1 song
in Dallas. They finally retired it from the request show and put it in
regular rotation.''

The group, based in Dallas and including members Millard, Nathan Cochran,
Jim Bryson, Robby Shaffer and Mike Scheuchzer, was eventually interviewed on
the air.

''One guy said, 'Why in the world is this connecting?' I said, 'Everybody's
lost somebody, and everybody wonders what's next and hopes for the best in
people.' All this song is asking is, 'What's going to happen when I leave
this place? How am I going to respond when I finally see God?' '' Millard
said.

''The Big Gay Steven guy came up to me after the interview and said, 'I've
lost several friends from AIDS. I lose sleep at night, hoping that somehow
my friends that have died are Christians. I hope they're in a better place.'
''

More important than the on-air personalities' feelings about the song was
the reaction from listeners.

''The response was overwhelming,'' Steven said in a telephone interview.
''It's a great song, and about four out of every five callers liked the song
and asked us to keep playing it.''

Millard is both a musician and a minister at Highland Terrace Baptist Church
outside of Dallas. He's aware that some in his church and in the broader
Christian music community might frown on an association with the likes of
Steven and with the likes of pop radio. Christian musicians often speak of
songs as being ''vertical,'' meaning ''dealing with God and with the
spiritual life.'' Modern pop radio is decidedly horizontal.

''Christ was an everyday example to people,'' Millard said. ''He was in the
church with the hookers and the thieves. I don't think it's a coincidence
that we've gone to war and this song is getting out there to people. I'm
hoping this song ministers to people. Sometimes, we in the church sit on our
pedestal and say to people, 'When you get it right, come see me.' But my
grandfather told me, 'You don't clean up before you get in the shower.' ''

After the response from Wild 100.3's listener responses, Curb Records
decided to promote the song to other pop and adult contemporary stations. I
Can Only Imagine, which has long run its course on Christian radio, will be
mailed to every adult contemporary and Top 40 market by April 14. It's
already been added to many playlists, including 107.5 The River in
Nashville, and it currently sits at No. 50 on the R&R chart.

On the ''New Music Challenge'' at WWST in Knoxville, I Can Only Imagine won
five nights in a row, as listeners placed it above songs by Good Charlotte,
Busta Rhymes, B2K and others.

Millard isn't expecting that I Can Only Imagine's new pop life will lift the
group to Dove victories over longtime favorites like Michael W. Smith,
Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day, but he's happy those outside the
Christian industry are hearing his song.

''If it doesn't work on pop radio, it really doesn't change what we do,'' he
said. ''This is an important thing in our ministry, but it's not the
end-all. We'll minister, no matter how big the congregation. We told Curb
Records, 'Don't make us write another pop hit to follow this up, because
honesty is what got us here.'

''Anytime you can be who you are and it works, that's the best way to be.''

(Source unknown...this was emailed to me)

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

The Blue Man Group (which you may know from their Intel commercials) have their own music video now. If you understand what it is about, please let me know. It was lost on me. However, I did like the little whippy thing. I want one now. At least they got Dave Matthews to sing for them.

Sing Along

Thursday, April 03, 2003

As you may have noticed, I've done a design change. Post your comments to the right. Tomorrow morning I am going to take pics around campus and those will show up on the right as well.

Yes, I am procrastinating on my theology paper.....

I finally got my Derek Webb cd! It's amazing! I am still contemplating on it. Will listen to it at work a few times this afternoon.

Now Shane can't taunt me anymore. Well, at least not about that. However, I got the limited edition LP, which is maybe why it took longer than his, and so...HA! ;)

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

This rocks!

Grassroots Music :: Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs Of Bob Dylan