Saturday, April 19, 2008

Does Christian Rock Suck?

Daniel Rodish, author of Rapture Ready, has emersed himself inside the world of Christian popculture. In doing so, he's found hope for Christian rock. I don't often listen to Christian rock, unless you count U2, however my brother-in-law, Todd, can always be counted on for solid recommendations. Coincidentally, many of the bands Todd recommneds can be found on Rodish's top 10 New York Times playlist. I especially enjoy Over the Rhine (we own about six of their CDs). Becky and I alse met at a Sixpence None the Richer concert at Northestern College (this was before they released "Kiss"). A great local band called Flood opened for them.

The embedded video below is a debate, "Does Christian Rock Suck?" from Rodish's blog. One discussion point: Does Christian rock have to come from the crotch? It is interesting.

Debate: Does Christian Rock Suck? from Daniel Radosh on Vimeo.


Todd Wold said...

I will post more when I have time, but some things to think about:

First, there is no Christian Rock anymore. There is only rock music marketed to Christians. How much it sucks is correlated with how much the overall market sucks. Derek, you are proof that the younger generations no longer differentiate the music the way I did--they listen to what they like.

Plus, 80 percent of the music on the NYT list would be considered indie music written by Christians. Their faith informs their work, but the whole concept of them being "Christian Rock" is a fundamental misunderstanding of indie music.

Christian Rock, as I now define it, really exists after 1975 and died out in the 90s as labels were bought up by the big 4 and the idea of music as outreach ministry began to loose its appeal or viability. This has been aided by the Worship music explosion, splitting apart a lot of the CCM artists toward more specific church music.

Today there are very few if any "Christian Rock" bands that actually try to do ministry the way it was done in the 80s and 90s. I can only think of Steiger International's No Long Music in that category now--and maybe some of the other more radical activist types I've seen at C-Stone--but very small scale and outside of the music industry complex.

In terms of suckage level of music from the CCM era, good stuff was rare, but wonderful. Part of what I was into was finding the diamonds amid piles of crap. It was challenging, but also a source of pride (good and bad I guess). So I have high regard for: TVB, 77s, Adam Again, The Choir, etc. for contributing what they did to my musical life.

There's also a fun bit of nostalgia associated with the CCM of old--stuff so bad its good. Especially concerning guilty pleasures like Stryper.

More later

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Flood mention.

Former Flooder