Forever and Ever Amen Alright

By: Brad Shoup

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Posted 07/25/2005 - 07:58:25 AM by tomk87:
 Absolutely superb article. If I'd been armed with this when I went to school with a load of American missionary kids, I might just have changed their minds a little. Amen!
Posted 07/25/2005 - 09:31:09 AM by wmdavidson:
 Absolutely fascinating article. Thanks.
Posted 07/25/2005 - 12:14:31 PM by bebopkid:
 what's funny is i just purchased an old favorite christian album of mine that was frequently in my boom box as a kid, Caedmon's Call. great article.
Posted 07/25/2005 - 01:06:04 PM by bendsinister:
 Very great article, very similar to my experience. Cadmon's Call was one of my favorites back in the day, along with the immmaculate synth work of Joy Electric. Burlap to Cashmere was a brief love of mine. The music that bridged the indie-CCM gap for me was Sunny Day Real Estate, at first, rocking me with great indie volume and christian sensibility. Now I go to Gwar shows. Who figured?!
Posted 07/25/2005 - 01:26:33 PM by bassman08:
 I never really got into CCM (probably because we Catholics find it incredibly cheesy and kind of redundant). But I can relate to this article in that I never actually got into good music until pretty much the same time as you did, namely when I was 16 and in my sophomore year of high school. Up until then it was, again, my parent's music collection (which actually still serves me well, my dad got me really into Dylan and the Band) and the radio. I find it funny how our musical tastes change, I don't think that 4 years ago when I was just starting my sophomore year I would ever have imagined myself listening to some crazy band called Joy Division or actually enjoying music of the (GASP!) Sex Pistols. Great article.
Posted 07/25/2005 - 04:06:49 PM by cosmokane31:
 a great personal history - very interesting how you grew to explore your personal beliefs through music that ostensibly didn't reinforce them. i'm not sure how ccm is defined, but there's a label out there, facedown, that's putting out christian hardcore/metal that's as musically vital (ie, skilled, brutal, and dark) as anything out there. and, interestingly enough, it's not marketed as christian at all.
Posted 07/25/2005 - 05:20:19 PM by marvelous:
 i agree...great article. like many of you i can identify with so much of what was written, but no mention of THE PRAYER CHAIN or CIRCLE OF DUST or DIGHAYZOOSE??? to continue in this sentimental ccm vein, check out Feb. 3rd's post on my blog:
Posted 07/25/2005 - 06:08:54 PM by bebopkid:
 the list could go on. i remeber attending the Agape fest and saw Third Day, Newsboys, Sixpence, and Out of Edan. i even recall having a christian rap album by Raskull and a tape of Gospel Gangsta's in '95.
Posted 07/25/2005 - 06:22:41 PM by moofman:
 Thoroughly enjoyable article, that is. Had some wonderful, however embarrassing, memories dredged up by it.
Posted 07/25/2005 - 07:23:22 PM by Xopchipili:
 Good stuff. Makes me a little jealous, actually -- theres's terribly little listenable Jewish music out there, what little there is is almost exclusively adult-contemporary singer-songwriterly stuff (or else traditional music, or klezmer and such). It's cool that you Christians have such wide range of stuff out there, enough that there could be something satisfying for everyone.
Posted 07/25/2005 - 11:20:38 PM by downloadsofist:
 FYI - SPIN Senior Contributor Andrew Beaujon is writing a book about CCN for Da Capo.
Posted 07/26/2005 - 09:04:17 AM by DomPassantino:
 The sole thing this article lacks is the point made that "There's Gotta Be More To Life" by Stacie Orrico is the best single of the decade so far.
Posted 07/26/2005 - 09:24:37 AM by TheBrad:

Omission speaks voumes.

love, Brad

p.s. Amen.
Posted 07/26/2005 - 02:33:20 PM by badhaircut:
 Great article. From mind-boggling-mediocrity to misunderstood genius, from corporate CCM to indie rock and beyond, your personal narrative seems as much about musical discovery as it is about self-discovery and coming to see the world in a new light as adolescence slowly passes away. It's a wierd world that a lot of pop culture vultures and scholars think they "get" and can explain, but having been a part of it, I can say that your account is more authentic, more funny, and more true than most I've read. You can be a believer and operate outside the lines of CCM? I wish you'd been around to tell me that 8 years ago.
Posted 07/26/2005 - 03:04:17 PM by TheBrad:
 bebopkid - Yeah, the self-titled Caedmon's Call was a welcome companion. "Center Aisle" was the first song, I think, I had heard that dealt with suicide. And I owned two Grapetree hip-hop comps as well as a Rubadub solo album. Egad. bendsinister - I bought B2C full-price at Higher Ground because of the press they were getting and the fact that they were on Steve Taylor's label, but they left me tepid. bassman08 - my girlfriend is Catholic; she can't stand the worship in my non-denom church. She's a hymn girl, and I dig that. marvelous - i'm looking at my Dighayzooze live CD now. I bought it for four bucks and never listened past the first song b/c of distractions. Xopchipili - That's a good point. I wonder if it's a sheer numbers thing or if it speaks to a difering set of values and assumptions about worship (cf. bassman08's Catholic disdain of CCM). I tried looking for Mormon rock bands online once, but had very little success outside of Low, who aren't exactly on the two-year trek right now. badhaircut - thanks.
Posted 07/26/2005 - 05:42:00 PM by Liarbythefire:
 The next for the indie/hipster re-evaluation - '80s/'90s Cotemporary Christian Music? First, it was synth-pop, then country, then who knows. I don't see why Michael W. Smith or Carman (cheesiest stuff ever, but so bad it's good) isn't/wasn't included.
Posted 07/26/2005 - 06:48:19 PM by TooTall:
 So it turns out I no longer need to write my life story in music. This was brilliant. Thank you. But, just cuz I can, a couple personal touches to add. First, let's preach just a little more about the Choir - "Free Flying Soul" is a great record. Let's say a couple words about trying to convert the alt-rock kids with Third Day ("You Make Me Mad" and "Alien" were both jams, lest we forget) and the hip-hop kids with T-Bone (umm, the one song that rips off Bone Thugs and the one that sounded like Master P Lite). And, even though I've since moved on to the godless atheistic life I now lead (that's probably a little sarcastic but who can tell), I still consider the first two Caedmon's Call records and the second Common Children disc among my personal faves. Hell, I'll even fight for early Switchfoot (when they were wannabe punk, not wannabe Fuel). The stuff runs deep.
Posted 07/27/2005 - 09:19:19 AM by TheBrad:
 Liarbythefire- Easy. Never listened to those two. Except for MWS's cover of Rich Mullins' "I See You" on the Exodus comp. Wonderful stuff.
Posted 07/27/2005 - 11:29:29 AM by bebopkid:
 TheBrad - you mean to tell me that you never heard Carman's R.I.O.T. (righteous invasion of truth)? i saw it on WOW's dvd comp for 1997. im sure you can tell by the song name that it was a very intertaining video. TooTall - i agree with the switchfoot comment. "edge of my seat" on Legend of Chin was a great song.
Posted 07/27/2005 - 11:44:59 AM by MeJane:
 it's a shame he was never told about starflyer. we can only hope he finds the gateway to silver... or at this point, "old."
Posted 07/27/2005 - 12:04:46 PM by TheBrad:
 I'm splitting hairs, bebopkid. My best friend dumped four Carman CDs on me in 1997; I heard them once and tossed 'em. "R.I.O.T." does sound depressingly familiar. And MeJane might find it interesting that I gave my copy of the Fell in Love at 22 EP to a friend in high school cos I didn't care for it. I bought Leave Here a Stranger much later and kinda regret the giveaway.
Posted 07/27/2005 - 02:13:09 PM by emptycylinder:
 Seriously, what a good article. Thanks for this. Also I'm glad someone finally mentioned the early Starflyer, which, even now, years later, still finds it's way into my listening rotation. One of the things I think that is nice about your experience is that it never seemed like you felt guilty as your music tastes grew beyond CCM. I must admit that there were times that I felt like a "bad" Christian because I refused to burn or give away my secular music. Ultimately, it was bands like Starflyer 59, Morella's Forest, Velour 100, LSU and Black Eyed Sceva that allowed me to coexisit in the worlds of Christian Music and Alternative Music. They enabled me to keep my faith foremost but helped me accept and embrace the glories of music - regardless of what the original intentions behind the songs were.
Posted 07/29/2005 - 11:34:10 AM by bebopkid:
 TheBrad - don't get me wrong, i tossed the Carman CD my mother bought me back then as well. it is just more of a funny song than anything else. Now that i think about it there is a Stylus writer that gave me the Driver 8 album, "Watermelon", back in '98 as a birthday present accompanied by three Goosebumb books wrapped in a brown paper bag.
Posted 03/31/2006 - 04:09:45 PM by daphima:
 that Driver Eight CD is one of the few Christian CDs from back in the day that I still listen to occasionally.
Also, I think shame/guilt/embarrassment is a big part of having Christian music as your starting point, or at least it has been for me. I wonder if those of us who are not currently believers feel this more than the ones who are.