Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Wishlist: Dance

Taking a look ahead to 2012 in a genre most in the industry fear to tread. The most feared word in the Christian Dictionary (Actually, I think it has been deleted from most editions). The word is D-A-N-C-E. Yes Dance. As in Dance Music. Techno and Electronica included. I went to a Christian College in the Northeast. The top two sins were Dancing and going to the Movies. "Christian Dance" involves moving up and down and somewhat side to side without your feet actually coming unglued from the floor. Don't get me started on Christian Interpretive Dance. I think that's an Olympic sport. It's called Rhythmic Gymnastics-Ribbons.

I expect some new blood to show up in this category in 2012, mostly because some of the entrants have been on such a tear. It's not that they couldn't. Especially with techno, all you need is a synth and a recording device and you're off to the races.

It has been Two years since Stephen Petree came out with Weakness Makes You Beautiful, which was among the inaugural Dance nominees. While the album was good, it was also somewhat derivative, and it wasn't among my favorites. Besides, I was more of a fan of his Brother Chad Petree, who along with Jeremy Dawson formed Techno Group Cloud2Ground. Now that is on a wish list. But why not, we had reunion summer this year. Anyway, I think a return to the studio by Petree would be appreciated.

Also appreciated, but highly unlikely, would be another release by Beckah Shae. Life came out in 2010 and Destiny (A Perfect 5 Emerald Album) followed this year. It would be tough to think that something as epic as Destiny could be reached so quickly, so my prediction for ms. Shea would be a much deserved year off to recharge the batteries. Besides, she needs the energy to carry all the statuettes she will be hauling off at the Doves (Yeah, Right).

Another Christian "Dance Queen" that I do think will make a return in 2012 is Charmaine. She started out as backup Singer to Rebecca St. James before releasing a debut album "All about Jesus", way back in 2002. Completely reinventing herself for her Sophomore Release, Love Reality, which came out in 2010 along with the Radio Hit "Tokyo". I think most of the Christian Dance Fans are looking for a re-appearance this year.

I know they are looking for Group 1 Crew. The Dance Group (Some call them Hip Hop) took the inaugural PVA in Dance in 2010 and were silent this year. Now they say this band recently dropped a member and is now a duo, with Just Manwell Reyes and Blanca Reyes Callahan making up the Band (Pablo Villatoro being the one who left). They were a part of 2010's For Those Who Wait Tour and while I remember three people in G1C, only Manwell and Blanca did the singing. There was a drummer to provide a beat. But that was in 2010, and they say that Pablo left this year. So you can see why I am slightly confused. Either way, count me in on being one of those who would like to see another G1C release in 2012.

A Few final notes. Though she recently put out an EP, I think Dance/Pop/Rock artist Kerrie Roberts should be putting out a second full length release this year. Just a prediction. Since I am going out on a limb anyway, I think that Press Play will be taking the year off, with World Anthem having to suffice. And of course, though Queens Club made the nominees in 2010, they disbanded this year. They were a promising young band. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, December 26, 2011

2012: A Nightbeat Wishlist

It's the last week of December. Soon 2011 will be history. While the Platinum Vinyl Award first round judging is under way and my best of 2011 is already out, there is still much one can hope for. We at The Night Beat are quite optimistic about the new year. Sure, there is the opportunity to fix things in November, but I happen to be speaking musically at the moment. 2012 marks the three year anniversary of the Platinum Vinyl Awards. The Pool of eligible entries has increased each year, and the early entries for the third award period seem to point toward the best year ever.

Though a few bands may be able to put out a new release every year (and mostly they are in the techno/dance genre), an every other year release schedule is more the norm. With that in mind, I am using the 1st PVA (2010) as my guide in this wish list. As always, I will progess by genre.

Children's Music

Except for Veggie Tales, this is really a hit or miss category. However, 2010 had 2 entries and 2011 (in progress) has 5. I am holding out hope for 7 full eligible entries in 2012.


Folk/Folk Rock Music

On to folk music, another genre which is quickly gaining steam. Five entries in 2010 became nine this year. I am looking for a big jump in this category in 2012.

During her "Christian Era", Jennifer Knapp put out three studio albums in fairly short succession (1997, 2000, 2001), and then, except for a live album which was released in 2006, she dropped out of sight. She emerged from "retirement" in 2010 with her first studio release in NINE YEARS, entitled Letting Go. There was no evidence of rust with this release. While  the title may have referred to her break with the Christian Music Industry, astute CCM fans found nothing objectionable in the lyrics (Note to Christians: The word HELL is all over the Bible). Though ignored by the industry, she was not ignored at The Night Beat. Letting Go split the Inaugural Platinum Vinyl Award Best Folk/Folk Rock album with the more traditional Carolina Story.

As to the aforementioned Carolina Story. When The River Met the Sea was a breakout album for Husband Wife duo Ben and Emily Roberts. With songs such as "Long Way South" and "The Apple. This undiscovered gem cruised to a split category win. 2011 has them back at work again with their sophomore CD entitled simply Home. Upon first listen it is more Country than Folk. I will see if I can make room for it in the entries for the Third PVA's.

One more entrant to comment on. Andrew Peterson, the CCM industry answer to Paul Simon, was a strong contender in 2010 with Counting Stars. In 2011 he is making another strong statement with the live album Above these City Lights. Will he reappear in 2012 with a new studio release? I think so.

That will finish my first 2012 look ahead. Until next time. I am Awaiting Your Reply

Happy Boxing Day from The Night Beat

To all my Canadian, Australian, UK, and possibly other Commonwealth countries I wish all of you a very happy boxing day. I was in Montreal a number of years back before Christmas, and though there were Christmas trees and decorations galore, EVERY SIGN was pre-boxing day sale. (There was also the gorgeous Eaton Center/RCMP Girls, but that is another story.) I know it is a big thing.

This year in the USA it is Gov't Christmas Day (can't lose a day off so we need a four day weekend). I assume it's the same in Canada, so I was wondering how our north of the border friends handle the two holiday collision. I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas. Night Beat Style

Christmas isn't really Christmas until you've heard Linus. Now I love Linus Van Pelt, and you can never go wrong with simply reading the Gospel of Luke, but there is more to the story. When politicians blather on about the Christmas story being about homelessness, you know there is a lot of ignorance out there. In the meantime, enjoy the clip

In the Spirit of Joe Friday, and with respect to Harry Morgan (Bill Gannon)--Just the facts. Mary and Joseph were not homeless. They had a home, it was in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. They had come to Bethlehem for the Census Bureau and a meeting with the IRS. "That all the world should be taxed". Because Joseph was a procrastinator he didn't consult with Travelocity beforehand, and as a result, when they got there, "there was no room at the inn." No Vacancy means No Vacancy, it doesn't mean that he didn't have money. He was there to pay taxes after all. A good hearted innkeeper most likely volunteered use of the stable. (As and aside, the Christmas Song "No Room" is wrong "There's no room...no room to lay your head, If you were wealthy we might find you a bed, but there's no room in here for you". The Bible is plain, No Room, not no room but if. And Apologetix is wrong to with their Eagles parody "Hotel Can't Afford Ya". The stable was all there was, and it was probably on the down low and off the books. I doubt a rental agreement was drawn up.


The best part, which should appeal to all us Tea partiers and fellow conservatives, The three wise men brought gold (money) and Frankincense and Myrrh, both valuable spices/perfumes that could be sold for more gold. Money answers all things. One aside on that. To all the Christmas Card makers out there, I am sorry to burst your bubble, but the wise men arrived approximately two years after Jesus was born, not at the same time. Actually the cards are wrong regardless, because most of them have the Shepherds there as well, and even the Catholics/Orthodox have a twelve day space between the two events. But back to the Wise Men. There were probably more than three, plus servants and other attendants. Whether Kings, Magicians or Astrologers, they had Klout (not the website) in their nation. There were only three types of gifts. There were probably tons of each. And best of all, since Joseph had already seen the IRS agent, this new infusion of Cash was Tax free. There was no being able to go back seven years for an audit back then. Oh for the good old days. Plenty of money for a Palace on the Nile. Hey you didn't think they just brought Jesus one gold coin. Most likely it was bags upon bags. Money fit for a king, from a king. For reference, check out 1 Kings 10:10 for a gift to Solomon. If not for his whole life, at least for his youth things were most likely very good. Jesus was most likely from an Upper-Middle Class Business owner family in the Construction business.

Some would say that both events had to happen at the same time. That once the Shepherds announced the birth Herod would have been on the warpath. But remember, Shepherds announced his birth. From what I can gather from the Bible a lot of cultures simply looked down on Shepherds. I doubt Herod believed them. Now the Magi. He believed them. God Was a good Father, he made sure his Son was provided for in Royal Style. No scrimping here. To the OWS, a newsflash, Jesus, and his disciples, were in the 1%, or pretty close to it.

The rest of the Story.


Merry Christmas to all from The Night Beat.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Night Beat Christmas, Part Two

Continuing with the Christmas Music Video Playlist. No Christmas Should be without these artists. I will begin with my favorites. Mannheim Steamroller. This is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

Now we progress to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Another band that has put their stamp on the Christmas Music industry. First up is Christmas Canon. It's the classic edition with the children's choir. Simply Awesome. Unfortunately Atlantic Records will only give the link to the videos and have disabled the embed, so I give you the links to both Christmas Canon and Christmas Eve in Sarajevo. Enjoy them as I have. I will be able to pass on one TSO Video. The Rock version of Christmas Canon. Enjoy

If all of you thought you couldn't Rock out to Classical Music, or if your parents made you take up the violin or cello, there is always hope. You could all turn out like the Annie Moses Band. This is God Rest You Merry Gentlemen. Rock On.

We conclude our non-traditional Christmas Video Show with Denver and The Mile High Orchestra. Grab your fedora. Grab your partner. One, two, three, swing

As the late Steve Jobs said, One More Thing. I couldn't let the opportunity pass to share the Lovely Barlow Sisters of Barlowgirl and "Hallelujah Light Has Come." That concludes our show. We will return with regular post in the new year. But maybe I will pull out a few more of these in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" We shall see. Until next time I am Awaiting Your Reply. Merry Christmas to all from The Night Beat.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Revealed: The 2011 Platinum Vinyl Awards Judges Panel

And this is the first time the judges will be hearing about it. If they were reading this blog in the first part. Which I doubt they were. Let me go back a little.

The 2010 Platinum Vinyl Awards were a labor of love. Though the award was, and still is, virtual, the labor was real. For most of the categories, the initial entry pool is immense. Remember, the goal is to reduce each category down to Seven final nominees. A quick look at the task at hand.
  • Children's Music: 5 entries
  • Folk/Folk Rock Music: 9 entries
  • Dance Music: 19 entries
  • Gospel Music: 23 entries
  • Alternative Music: 22 entries
  • Modern Worship Music: 37 entries
  • Inspirational Music: 7 Entries
  • Pop Music: 47 entries
  • Hip Hop/Rap Music: 20 entries
  • Hard Rock Music: 24 entries
  • Rock Music: 32 entries
I thought I could use some help this time around in reducing the pool of entries, but realistically, I knew that the odds of getting any help from "the big boys" were about the same as that of a snowball in hades. So, I did the next best thing. I scoured the websites for the end of the year 10 best lists. At least during the period of January-September 2011 the selections coincide. Of course I will have to do October-December 2010 on my own. In the spirit of giving honor where honor is due, here are the lists I consulted.
  • New Release Tuesday: Kevin Davis (There are supposed to be three articles from these guys, but they are on holiday right now.)
  • Gospel Music Channel: It was a group effort for these guys, here is the list.
  • Jesusfreakhideout: This site did a group list as well as a list for each member, but they put it on one page. Check it out here.
  • Christian Music Zine: Everybody got their own turn on this site, though they are listed separately. Here is the master navigation list.
  • Jay's Musik Blog
Ladies and Gentlemen (and clueless judges up to now) I give you the 2011 PVA Judging panel. Until next time I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Night Beat Christmas, Part One

The Christmas Season is officially here, and in honor of that, I think it proper to spend a few posts sharing some wonderful Christmas Videos. Of course what would Christmas be without Mannheim and TSO, but we shall wait for those in due course.

We will begin with a home video version of Jingle Bells by two lovely ladies from New Mexico by the name of Poema.


Next up we shall rock out with the Almost and The Little Drummer Boy
Time to get a little animated. Animation that is. Here is the Sleigh Ride Video from the slightly demented Relient K
Forget What I said about Relient K. I think someone spiked Tenth Avenue North's eggnog. This is a Totally Demented version of Deck the Halls
I think that is enough for one post. We shall continue with the Night Beat Christmas Video Show throughout the week as I find them. A Merry Christmas To All and A Blessed 2012 from The Night Beat.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Platinum Vinyl Update

I am scouring the blogs and websites in order to make my work on the PVA's a bit more easy. This year I will be perusing the "Best Albums of the Year" announcements of the other CCM sites and using them to help narrow down the list of eligible entries. Currently only New Release Tuesday and Christian Music Zine are putting something out, but I think that will soon change. Of course some of these guys do indie stuff, and I have never even heard of them. See You All Next week. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Night Beat Best Albums of 2011

This isn't a Ten Best List, if only because I came up with thirteen entries. No, I'm not giving up on the Platinum Vinyl Awards. Most of the albums on this list are among the nominees for the PVA's (I say most because the PVA's extend Oct 1, 2010-Sept 30, 2011 and this is straight up Jan 1-December X, 2011 - Yes, I'm cheating a bit, but not as much as the others. I am sure regular readers of The Night Beat will figure out number one before I get to it.

Just Missing the Top 10

  • 13 - Stryper - The Covering
  • 12 - Thousand Foot Krutch - Welcome to The Masquerade, Fan Edition
  • 11 - Chevelle - Hats off to The Bull

The Top 10 Albums of 2011

  • 10 - Red - Until We Have Faces - The third release by the Masters of Melodic Metal prove that this band has reached that upper echelon of "Super Group", where you can turn out a Grammy Nominee in your sleep. I had heard a few tunes from their debut, enough to be impressed and want to hear more. Innocence and Instinct knocked my socks off. That was a Career Defining CD, and not many bands can put out two of them in their career. As I said in my review
    The album is an almost non stop adrenaline rush. Wisely though there are two rest stops. Red has always been know for awesome ballads and here there are two. Not Alone, which is the string heavy sixth track, could almost be interpreted as a modern worship song, but it doesn't quite fit that mold. It really is a plea from Father God for the Prodigal to return, no matter what he has done, that God still loves them

      9 - The Rocket Summer - Bryce Avery: His Instruments, Your Voices - This is the Way Live Albums were meant to be. Audience Participation was excellent, perhaps we even had rabid fans. Though the recording was helped by a small venue, all live recordings, except this one, suffer from "Dead Air" whenever they want you to hear the audience sing along. Sometimes they even drown out Bryce. That is quite an accomplishment.
  •   8 - Denver & The Mile High Orchestra - Groovy - On their first Children's Album, Denver and the band simply cut loose. The energy is contagious and you can feel that they are having as much fun as the children who are the target audience of this album. Grab Your Fedora and Swing along with your kids.
  •   7 - Jackie Evancho - Dream With Me - One of four Possible CROSS/over artists on the list (The other three being The Civil Wars, Switchfoot and Evanescence). Children's voices aren't supposed to sound this good. I'm not much of a fan of Opera, but this girl puts Sandi Patti To shame.
  •   6 - Mandisa - What if We Were Real - The American Idol misses again. Mandisa was one of CCMs Many signings of AI castoffs, and her early work had me scratching my head at their decision. (She was no Chris Sligh, but there was plenty of room for improvement. What if We Were Real is What we were looking for. This is a gospel/dance album that is sure to compete with Beckah Shae for the Platinum Vinyl Award
  •   5 - The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow - The first 5 Emerald ratings awarded this year, and it's a folk album. There really isn't much more that can be said from my perspective.
  •   4 - Various - Music Inspired by The Story - I can count on one finger the number of times a"Various Artists" album would make a 10 Best List, but that would be before this one came out. Top Notch Artists, Production Par Excellence, and a soundtrack worthy of Cecil B. DeMille himself are brought together in this exquisite package.
  •   3 - Switchfoot - Vice Verses - No Dark Horse in this music race. A Show still wins you some good money at the track. A lot of CCM Ten Best lists this year have this album number 1. While we at the night beat are somewhat less impressed, even we have it in the top 3.
  •   2 - Beckah Shae - Destiny - Come on Give Us Good Music. If the rest of the industry doesn't want to, Beckah Shae has no problem picking up the slack. For the squeamish CCM fan, be warned. This is UN-apologetically a DANCE Album, however it is combined with the same epic composition and strings, and Beckah's both haunting and soaring vocals. While I had the same feeling listening to Music Inspired By The Story, the fact that this comes from ONE ARTIST and not many is testament enough to its higher rating.


The Number One Album of 2011




I say again, was this the worst kept secret. Every regular reader must know by now what a big Amy Lee fan this blogger is, and it's much earned. Most bands, after a six year hiatus would be quite a bit rusty with their return. There was no rust evident here. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Grammy Nominee in the cards for Amy for this album. (Fat Chance on a Dove). In the three albums they have produced (for a moment I am ignoring the Live Album, only going with the studio albums) of course Fallen is far and away Number one, but Evanescence (Self Titled) I consider a strong number two, pushing The Open Door to third place. I have my Top 10 Cross Linked to the original reviews, so check them out as well to get my initial opinions. If you think I snubbed your band, mention it in the comments. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, December 12, 2011

How many bureaucrat's does it take to change a lightbulb?

Sorry, I don't know the punchline on that one, though I'm sure it's more than one, especially if it's a Curly Fry. You need an entire hazmat team for that one. If you check out my profile on Twitter you will see that I refer to myself as a Lincoln/Reagan Republican. That is a clue that I am no RINO (Try Collins/Snow Republican, or McCain/Graham Republican). As it stands I am convinced that the answer to any problem is Let the Private Sector do it. That includes EVERYTHING.

A case in point. A new project has been underway here in town for about three months. It has oodles of Government Names attached to a sign and is funded by a HUD Grant. It is a parking lot. Before the project it was: A PARKING LOT. All they needed to do was repave and add lights. Three months and counting. Your tax dollars at work.

To a business, and there are several that abut this municipal parking lot, time is money. One of the businesses offered to pay for the lot themselves, but the town, always looking out for the little guy, said, no need, we'll handle it. Did I mention that it's three months and counting? If this was a private lot. It would have been done in a day. Two tops. As I said, time is money.

The previous rant has been brought to you by The Night Beat. And the slowdown in the CCM recording industry. Of course I have been checking out things as I find them. I was quite impressed with Chevelle's latest Hats off to the Bull. I think I can safely give it 5 Emeralds. Thanks for staying with me. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Economics 101: A Night Beat Report

This Summer we got the Left's answer to the Tea Party. Not surprisingly, Occupy Wall Street was everything that they accused the Tea Party of, and much much more. If you really wanted to put a face on it, this perfectly represented OWS.

So it wasn't really a big surprise when we found out that The American Nazi Party endorsed The Occupy Movement. Funny, that never happened with the Tea Party. But then again that was the National SOCIALIST Workers Party that ran rampant across Europe in WWII, so nobody should have been surprised. Plus with OWS ignorant of all things financial in general and disavowed by Lech Walesa himself, nobody should have been surprised at the Reports of pimping, Rape, and general mayhem and destruction of private property, and public property as well. Even MLK's niece disavowed the group. So with all apologies to Shakespeare, it is appropriate that the final verdict on OWS is that it is "Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing." If you really want to know who is responsible for the financial sub prime collapse, look no farther then the Democratic Party. I suggest you check out Reckless Endangerment for more informative reading.

So, since I seemed to have graduated from the Public School system while I still had the opportunity to get an education, I thought it my duty to pass on some personal as well as corporate Economics 101. For Example, you may not know that
  • If you get an "Income Tax Refund" you did not, in fact, pay any income tax. All you did was let the government hold on to it for a year, misuse it, and return it to you without a penny of interest. That made you a doofus. Of course I learned this when you could get 3% interest on a Now Account at just about any bank. With Current Rates at 0.05% it's a toss up whether or not you're a doofus these days. You want a return? Any Return? Stocks are it. Or perhaps gold, but that seems to have a heavy entry price these days.
  • If you buy anything on time (mortgage, car loan), you do not actually own the product until you make the final payment. Until then whoever financed the purchase actually owns the product and has the right to repossess. They hold the "pink slip" or title. Of course, even with a house that is owned in full, you could still lose it when the GOVERNMENT seizes it for nonpayment of property taxes, but I'm sure the "rational" folks at OWS have no problem with that.
How about a little Business Economics, for example:
  • The purpose of a corporation, or any business, is to make money for its owners. In the accounting scheme of things, employee salaries are listed among the liabilities, not among the assets. It is a cost to them. An employee's value to the Corporation is only in relation to the part they play in the Corporations success. Truth hurts, I know, but a business does not exist to hire people. People are hired because they are needed to make the business succeed. Liberals have this backward all the time.
  • In a publicly traded corporation, the OWNER is NOT the CEO. The OWNER IS THE STOCKHOLDER. Sorry for shouting, but you've got to shout above the OWS Drivel these days. So when Chrysler or GM was bailed out but Stockholders were not compensated but Unions were enriched and empowered, the Owners, which were every American that had the stock in a mutual fund, were screwed. Again, truth hurts.
  • Of course my pet point, which I make over and over again. CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE. Legally they have to be. Only Individual Humans can be held liable for anything under law. Inanimate objects or animals cannot. (Case in point, if you get bit by a dog remember next time, sue the dog, not the owner, after all the dog bit you. See how that goes.) Of course, though they bluster, this will never change. If corporations lost person status you would have to prove intent to harm among the individuals of the company. A much more impossible task, and the personal injury law industry would collapse, forcing lawyers everywhere to seek honest employment, or at least a Government Job.
So, that's basically part one. I have some comments regarding a so-called "Christian" Minister's op-ed (he was an Unitarian Universalist. They believe they cannot admit one way is the only way. Hence they cannot be CHRISTIAN, since Jesus said "I AM THE WAY....NO MAN cometh to the father BUT BY ME." Kind of self explanatory why they can't be Christian if they won't agree with THE CHRIST.) I am sure I opened up a hornets nest with this one, but I couldn't be silent anymore. Until next time. I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Night Beat Rewind: November 2011

The Final Night Beat Rewind for the Year is upon us. There are only 3 releases scheduled for December, so this should be it.

As always we begin with the albums that didn't make the cut.

Missing The Grade: November 2011

  • Chris August - No Far Away (Christmas Deluxe Edition) 3.5 Emeralds
  • Susan Boyle -  Someone to Watch over Me 3.5 Emeralds
  • Adam Cappa - The Rescue EP 3.5 Emeralds
  • Elevation Worship - For the Honor 3.75 Emeralds
  • Newsboys - God's Not Dead 3.75 Emeralds
  • B. Reith - How the Story Ends 3.75 Emeralds
  • Saving Grace - The King is Coming 3.75 Emeralds
  • Shake The Nation - Colliding Grace 3.75 Emeralds
  • Elizabeth South - Do it afraid 3.75 Emeralds
  • Chris Tomlin - How Great is our God 3.75 Emeralds
  • Various - Maranatha Music: Heart of Worship, Vol 2 3.75 Emeralds
  • Various - Christian Workout Playlist, Slow Paced 3.75 Emeralds
  • Various - Christian Workout Playlist, Medium Paced 3.75 Emeralds
A few comments. Susan Boyle hit the music world by storm and has consistently produced good music. But, as is usually the case, even Consistent doesn't have to be spectacular, and this one didn't wow me. Two Albums did wow me this time around the one

Perfect Platinum

  • William McDowell - Arise 5 Emeralds
  • Wolves at the Gate - We are the Ones 5 Emeralds
And of course there are a lot of albums that were eligible for the Platinum Vinyl Award nominating process but weren't perfect.

Semi-Precious Metals

  • As I Lay Dying - Decas 4.25 Emeralds
  • Caleb - To The Ends of the World 4.25 Emeralds
  • Eleventyseven - Sugarfist 4.5 Emeralds
  • Gateway Worship - Great Great God EP 4.25 Emeralds
  • Sarah Hart - This Winter's Eve 4.5 Emeralds
  • In the Midst of Lions - Shadows 4.25 Emeralds
  • Shai Linne - The Attributes of God 4.25 Emeralds
  • John Mark McMillan - Economy 4 Emeralds
  • Leigh Nash - Hymns and Sacred Songs 4.5 Emeralds
  • Rel Paul - Spoiler Alert  4.25 Emeralds
  • A Plea for Purging - The Life and Death of A Plea for Purging 4.25 Emeralds
  • Righteous Vendetta - Lawless  4.5 Emeralds
  • Run Kid Run - Patterns 4.5 Emeralds
  • Satellites & Sirens - Frequency 4.75 Emeralds
  • Seventh Day Slumber - The Anthem of Angels 4.5 Emeralds
  • Michael W. Smith - Glory 4.75 Emeralds
  • Various - Christian Workout Playlist, Fast Paced 4.25 Emeralds
  • Various - Gospel's Best Praise 4.5 Emeralds
  • Various - Holy Hip Hop, Vol 12 4.25 Emeralds
  • Victory World Music - Shake Heaven 4.25 Emeralds
  • Wavorly - The EP 4.25 Emeralds
  • The Wrecking - My Window to Heaven 4 Emeralds
That will do it for this time around. Night Beat Rewind will return in February of 2012 with a wrapup of all the January releases. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Frosty Got Flattened By a Mannheim Steamroller

The third edition of Night Beat Noel is upon us, and I think I'm going to try having just four this year. Sort of like Quarterly Nominations for the PVA's four has a nice symmetry to it. Plus I think I would go nuts if I had to do anymore.

I thought I would mix things up a little bit by making a few recommendations of a Night Beat Approved Christmas Celebration. Now I've been known to enjoy "traditional" Christmas Carols done in the "Traditional" Way, up to a point. Too much tradition and I go into scrooge mode. No, I do my best with non-traditional "holiday" music. If you do to, then I think you have some of these artists on your iPod already.
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra - One of two Christmas Supergroups out there (the other has the initials M.S.) Christmas/Sarajevo 12/24 You'll understand completely. Christmas Eve and Other Stories or The Christmas Attic should get you started.
  • Mannheim Steamroller - Chip Davis and Company are the undisputed "Kings" of the Christmas Music season. (Well, except for Jesus of course, but he is "King of Kings", so I guess that M.S. is one of the under-Kings). Even though I thought they stumbled with their Christmas Symphony, for the most part these guys are Platinum. Pat a Pan, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Rock), Hark the Herald Angels Sing, even Rudolph shines with them. A must have in any collection. If the local radio stations would just play TSO and MS non-stop all December, things would be cool.
  • Denver & The Mile High Orchestra - Timeless Christmas - If you like your Christmas Music with a touch of Al Capone or Speakeasies, then Denver is for you. Just kidding on the Capone, but seriously, Big Band Swing Christmas. Frosty the Blues Man is worth it alone. Ladies, I highly recommend This Christmas All I need is You.
  • Barlowgirl - Home for Christmas: Guys, this one is for us. One of CCM's top FFR (That's Female Fronted Rock) bands ditches the electric guitar for some absolutely heavenly three part harmonies. Yes, I know, Jesus is the reason for the season, but these ladies are melt the snow HOT. Hearing Alyssa sing "I'll be home for Christmas" you really wish for it.
  • Kathy Troccoli - Christmas Songs: Another one for us guys. KT was just starting out when your favorite blogger was spinning vinyl, and while she could always break the gages when she hit the high notes, this album makes the most of her sultry voice. This is the sensei. Barlow girl went the torch song route as well, but KT is the Flamethrower to their match. Listen to Christmas time is here and admit it, you're thinking "Charlie Who?"
  • Annie Moses Band - This Glorious Christmas: Parents remember, you may be able to make your kids take violin, cello and harp lessons, but they'll still find a way TO ROCK. And when dad plays a mean Jazz/Honky-Tonk piano, you get the AMB. If you love Mannheim Steamroller. This is what Chip Davis was trying for but failed with Christmas Symphony. It's mostly instrumental.
  • Vince Guaraldi - A Charlie Brown Christmas A must have, and not just because of the TV Special. Jazz up your Christmas. Okay, how about this for a Christmas Playlist. TSO, Mannheim, Denver, Annie Moses and Vince.
  • Rivertribe - Christmas Three words. Christmas. Australia. Didgeridoo. Enough Said. Not really. These Aussies mix the Didgeridoo with Trance and Pop. You will never hear Christmas Music like this anywhere. Give it a shot. You won't be disappointed. Except for some guest vocals, it's all instrumental.
Now, for the second part of my post. This one is long, but I think it is necessary. We also have some entries this year. KT was in my previous post.
  • Jason Bare - Have You Heard EP 3.75 Emeralds
  • Jim Hitchcock - Coast Highway Christmas 3.5 Emeralds
  • Hillsong - Born is The King 4 Emeralds
  • David Ian - Vintage Christmas 4.5 Emeralds
  • Jadon Lavik - Christmas 3.75 Emeralds
  • Hawk Nelson - Christmas 4.5 Emeralds
  • Our Hearts Hero - Love is Breathing 4.5 Emeralds
  • Smalltown Poets - Christmas 4.25 Emeralds
  • Various Artists - Rockin Around The Christmas Tree 4.5 Emeralds This one needs a little more said about it. A lot of albums have this title. It was released on the First of November and has music by Anberlin, August Burns Red, Ivoryline, Demon Hunter and others.
That does it for now. I think I can finish up the rest of the Christmas Releases in one more post since December seems to be quiet. I won't have to have an Epiphany Edition. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Musings

Now that Black Friday has passed, both yours truly and the voters in my poll agree that it is now O.K. to start with the Christmas Music. And it is Christmas Music,People. Like most bastions of Liberalism and Political Correctness, my town has a "Tree Lighting". And what kind of tree might that be? It's not even a blah "Holiday Tree" lighting. It's just a tree lighting. I think that is usually done with matches and may need a permit.

It definitely is an anti-Christian bent. I mean, nobody insists that Muslims be "tolerant" by putting a Star of David in their Ramadan displays (Are there Ramadan displays?, Doesn't Ramadan involve fasting? I digress.) Tolerance used to mean "I let you do your thing and you let me do my thing and if we never talk we can't fight, so all is cool." Now, at least when a liberal is talking, tolerance means "Undying Love and acceptance of me, and nothing for you, after all, I'm wonderful and you are a hateful S.O.B." or something like that. So You wish me a happy holidays all you want, I will wish you a Merry Christmas. Of course if you really want diversity we can go HannaRamaQwanzMas on you. I don't want that, and I don't think you do either. One further thought. If you're Jewish, I have no problem wishing you a Happy Hanukkah, and I hope you don't have a problem wishing me a Merry Christmas. That's supposed to be the fun of it. We're all supposed to be able to enjoy our holidays without being offended that someone else has a different holiday. You know that first amendment, it was meant to make sure there wasn't a State Religion, not as a hammer to bash others beliefs.

On to music matters. New Release Tuesday is taking an extended Christmas break, so one of my full album sources is out until January 10 (That's even better than Government Work). With a reduction in new material, I am thinking of going back over a few older releases and catching up on Rewind and a few other thoughts like I did with Small Business Saturday. Of course the Christmas releases keep coming in so I will have a few more Christmas editions coming.

Thanks for staying with me all through the season and beyond. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beware of Small Business Saturday

Today I am compelled to pass on news regarding a diabolical plot by the multinational corporations to control the world. Now this information has been provided to me by the peaceful folk at Occupy Wall Street, so we can be assured of its reliability.

Like all diabolical plots, this one has an innocent name. It's called Small Business Saturday. It has an equally innocent slogan "When we all shop small, it will be HUGE!" I have found numerous examples to show just how huge.

  • In 1902 Real Estate Agent George D. Dayton opens Dayton's Dry Goods, a small retail store on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, MN
  • In 1962 Sam & Helen Walton open a discount retail store in Rogers, AR. Unable to find investors for their one little store, they are forced to put up 95% of the money on their own.
  • In 1965 Leonard Riggio establishes Student Book Exchange in Greenwich Village. The small bookstore is devoted to providing low cost textbooks to college students. 
  • In 1971 English Teacher Jerry Baldwin, History Teacher Zev Siegl, and Writer Gordon Bowker start a small coffee shop at 2000 Western Avenue in Seattle, WA
  • In 1976, in a garage in CA., two hippie kids build a computer circuit board with a fruity name. It has a CPU of 1MHz, 8kb of Ram, and 1kb of VRam, and sells for the beastly sum of $666.66
  • In 1978, 25 year old college dropout John Mackey and 21year old Rene Lawson Handy borrow $45,000 from family and friends and open Safer Way, a small natural foods store in Austin, TX
Now these are all small businesses, the backbone of America, and deserve our support. You would think so, and people did support them, and look what happened. They turned into the monsters Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks and Apple, responsible for destroying main streets across this land.

 What about the last example? That is the worst of all, for only three years later, when they only had 19 employees, Gaia herself, in her infinite wisdom, attempted to wipe this great evil out by unleashing the worst flood in Austin in 70 years. Without insurance, Mackey and Handy, with nearly a half million dollars worth of damage, would have closed, except that neighbors and customers volunteered to help them clean up the store, and vendors and creditors gave them time to pay their obligations. This allowed them to reopen after only 28 days, and they became Whole Foods Market, responsible for shutting down small natural food markets everywhere.

I think it is obvious. I implore you, Do Not Support Small Business. It WILL Grow.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving From Night Beat HQ

As you enjoy family, food, football and faith. Not necessarily in that order, just remember this. We celebrate a day in October 1621 When the Pilgrims (not the dour Puritan, these were real Elizabethan Englishmen) gave thanks, first to God, and then to the Wampanoags for their survival of the first year. Massasoit arrived with 90 of his tribemates plus 5 dressed deer and a dozen wild turkeys. There were also gun and arrow shooting contests in which both Wampanoag and Pilgrim participated. Plus foot races and wrestling contests. It lasted three days. And it paved the way for a treaty between the two which lasted for forty years. The Pilgrims were people of their word, unlike some of their descendants. So, if you see news items of protests against Thanksgiving, just remember, as is usually the case of anything in the MSM, it doesn't stand up to the facts of history. HAPPY THANKSGIVING everybody.

 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Night Beat Noel: The Second Coming of Christmas Music

The Second Christmas Edition is upon us. As we said the last time, the ratings are for reference only because we have no Christmas Music category at the PVA's.
  • Deborah Bradley - Tis The Season 3.5 Emeralds
  • FFH - One Silent Night 4 Emeralds
  • Keith and Kristyn Getty - An Irish Christmas 4.75 Emeralds
  • Kathy Troccoli - Christmas Songs 4.75 Emeralds
  • Kids Choir - Songs Kids Really Love: 17 Christmas Songs 4.25 Emeralds
  • Various - The Best Christmas Carol Album in the World...Ever 3.5 Emeralds
  • Various - Great Worship Songs: A Moments Peace Christmas 4.5 Emeralds
  • Various - Great Worship Songs for Christmas, Volume 12 3.75 Emeralds
  • Various - Maranatha Christmas: Christmas Classics 4 Emeralds
  • Various - Maranatha Christmas: Songs for the Season 4 Emeralds
  • Vineyard UK Worship - Christmas from the Vineyard 4.25 Emeralds
I'm deciding to do this in bite sized bits for my own sanity. So, until later in the month or maybe even early December, we will put the Christmas Edition Under Wraps as it were. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Bask in the Glory

I Love Instrumental Music. I Hate Instrumental Music. Really, it's one of those dilemma's that St. Paul Had. In Philippians Look it Up (Philippians 1:21-25). Maybe I exaggerate slightly. The reason I have this love/hate relationship with instrumental music is that most of it is so darn relaxing that one is likely toooo Oh sorry, I must have dozed off there. Let's just say don't play this on a long nighttime drive. If you're home and want to chill, this is perfect.

Instrumental music, when it is done right, can be very mood affective. Otherwise it's just background noise.

I once did a presentation in College (a long time ago, we used slides) and used Phil Keaggy's The Wind and The Wheat as my soundtrack. I just let it play. If you've never heard the album, download it, get the CD. It is a must have for any music lover.

Michael W. Smith is like that. When he first appeared on the scene in the '80's he was known already for his Synthesizer/Keyboard skills. The Whole Pop Star thing came later. When Wonder came out last year I was elated. Not because I am a huge Smitty fan. I'm not. I only have Project and Project 2 on vinyl. I was elated because this was the Smitty I liked, the Composer in all his Teshian goodness. Most of the tracks were worthy of a soundtrack.

Glory is fifty minutes worthy of an Epic Movie like The Lord of The Rings Trilogy or The Ten Commandments. It's like a Christmas full of Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra and not a Grandma Got Run over in sight.

This review is a bit light, but in one sense so is an instrumental album. It's hard to say "So and so can't sing worth beans on this album when they're not singing. So let's do it this way. If you're at home and you want to Crank up the stereo and relax with symphonic excellence, well this album is 4.75 Emeralds of greatness. If you want Smitty Pop, it's only worth about 3.75 Emeralds

That should do it for this post. So far it was my toughest to write. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Night Beat Rewind: October 2011

The first edition of Night Beat Rewind for the 3rd Platinum Vinyl Awards Eligibility Year is now upon us. My how things fly by. At least it seems like it here. Either that or I just get distracted a lot. Once again I will now split things into three categories.

October 2011: Missing The Mark

  • Marc Chopinsky - Israel's Hope 3.5 Emeralds
  • Mark Harris - Stronger in the Broken Places 3.75 Emeralds
  • Immortal Souls - IV: Requiem for the Art of Death 3.75 Emeralds
  • Robin Mark - Fly: Live From Ireland 3.75 Emeralds
  • No Other Name - The Other Side 3.75 Emeralds
  • The Waiting Kind - The Waiting Kind 3.75 Emeralds
Please, hold the jokes. I used this title last month as well. It just happens we have three "Marks" this time around (one a last name). And no other name, no it's a coincidence as well. It just so happens that all four failed to wow me enough to give them 4 Emeralds or over. Next time, guys. Moving on.

October 2011: Perfect Platinum

  • Evanescence - Evanescence 5 Emeralds
  • Thousand Foot Krutch - Welcome to the Masquerade Fan Edition 5 Emeralds
No big surprise here. TFK is always solid, and the recent Masquerade version once again rises to the top. An as to "What you want", what could any rocker want more than "The Return of Amy Lee."

October 2011: Imperfect Platinum

  • Casting Crowns - Come to the Well 4.5 Emeralds
  • The City Harmonic - I Have a Dream 4.5 Emeralds
  • Close Your Eyes - Empty Hands and Heavy Hearts 4.25 Emeralds
  • Code - Beautiful Time 4.5 Emeralds
  • Deas Vail - Deas Vail 4.25 Emeralds
  • Keith Elgin - Keith Elgin 4.5 Emeralds
  • Emery - 10 Years 4.5 Emeralds
  • Family Force 5 - III 4.25 Emeralds
  • Future of Forestry - Future of Forestry 4.75 Emeralds
  • Sara Groves - Invisible Empires 4.75 Emeralds
  • JJ Heller - Deeper 4.75 Emeralds
  • Lights - Siberia 4.75 Emeralds
  • Pavilion Towers Worship -Crisis Worship 4.25 Emeralds
  • Kerrie Roberts - Once Upon a Time 4.25 Emerald
At last. Done With October. Not that it was bad, just that as things have gone recently, I had gotten a bit backed up. I didn't get through September until the middle of October and I thought that October would be Joining November sometime around Christmas. It's good to get back on top of things. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Night Beat Reverse Survivor Edition

What is Reverse Survivor You ask? Well, have you ever been asked something on the lines of "If you were ever stranded on a desert island, what music would you like to have with you". Of course, that would entail having a lifetime supply of batteries for your CD player, or access to electricity for your PC or Mac to charge your ipod, so how deserted could it be. Of course logic never comes into these questions.

Reverse survivor flips the question over. "What Albums (or songs) that you own (or used to) would you like to strand on a desert Island, never to be heard from again. I know, it's cruel, but don't tell me you haven't thought about it at one time or another. At least about "Grandma got...." at Christmastime.

I would nominate three albums to get us started. All in the CCM industry of course. The Debut self-titled albums by Skillet and Zoe Girl. And also the release The Anatomy of Broken by Chris Sligh, which I called The Anatomy of Boredom. In my opinion these are almost unlistenable, except in an MST3K kind of way.

Now this should get the idea rolling. Granted, my experience is in the CCM arena, and that's not everyone's cup of Joe. We're talking about music CRITICISM folks. No form should be above ridicule. IMHO I would put anything from country or So Go here, but that would be too easy. Specifics please, unless you really do mean "anything by..."

Now this is fun, so try to keep it civil. But, as they say, "All's fair in love and war". And music. Now, from time to time I try to keep up my posts with the 100 Greatest Christian Albums Ever. So Check back from time to time as I listen to the albums and make my verdicts. (The Ranking was done by CCM Magazine about 10 years ago). The entire series of posts is cross-linked, so all I have to do is give you the first.

That's about all for now. I will return with more PVA related posts as well as Music Reviews. I thought we could take a break for something fun for a while. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

God's Not Dead

That's the title of the Newsboys recent worship album, but I guess that was only chosen becuse "The Covering" was already taken (by Stryper). Of the Dozen Songs on the Album, 33% of them are covers (Your Love Never Fails, Mighty to Save, Forever Reign, and Revelation Song)


Now I'm nitpicking here, but what is it with Newsboys and Hillsong, especially Mighty to Save. On the original Born Again album it appeared. Then on the miracles edition it appeared twice, one of them a remix by Family Force Five. Now it's on GND. That's four times on three albums. Other CCM reviewers feel that MTS has been "covered to death" as it is. Perhaps Hillsong should voluntarily retire the song.

On to the album. Despite the Covers, the album shines. Newsboys are back to their pop sound with album. I kind of liked the DC Talk sound on Born Again. Part of My problem with the album is that, it could have been done by anyone. The covers sound almost like the original. Okay, since Kari Jobe doesn't sound anything like Michael Tait, but other than that. Part of what made the original Mighty To Save cover (which is on here) is the screaming guitars, which is not on the Hillsong version.

I'm a rocker, and Skillet Worship is my favorite worship album out there. Beside MTS, all that gets my blood pumping is I am Second to None. It's not enough for me. They should have ratcheted it up.

I'm Sorry. God's Not Dead, but this album is on life support. My final rating 3.75 Emeralds. There are going to be so many good albums coming out in the next eleven months. It's not worthy of a PVA. That hurt, just to say. Next time guys. Until next time I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And on the Seventh Day, God Rocked

Don't let the title fool you. The Anthem of Angels, the latest release by Seventh Day Slumber, is not a Christmas Album. If it was however, that probably wouldn't surprise many SDS fans. The album will drop on November 15, and the title hints of the Angel Choir of Luke 2. However the album marks SDS return to Rock/Alternative scene for the first time since 2007. That was when Finally Awake came out. Take Everything was a worship release and came out in 2009. We'll start with the track list.
  1. Wasted Life
  2. Love Came Down
  3. One Mistake
  4. Addicted to My Pain
  5. Never Too Far Gone
  6. Pieces
  7. Crash
  8. Back where I Began
  9. Knows my name
  10. My Life
  11. How He Loves
Sometimes songs get covered to death, and I'm beginning to think that is happening with the David Crowder Band song How He Loves. They even have some guy named John Mark McMillan saying he wrote it. (Yes, I know JMM did write it, but once someone's version becomes "the version" in a persons mind, no amount of reasoning is going to sway them.)

Pop Quiz: Who wrote God of Wonders? What about Build Us Back? Answer in the comments, and I'll reveal the answers in a future post.

Seventh Day Slumber is a Product of King Midas (Brandon Ebel) Tooth and Nail Empire (signed to the BEC Recordings label). I have always considered them a "counseling band", that their songs relate to the pains felt by the young people of today. Whether it is that they are beyond God's forgiveness (One Mistake), or that they are too deep in Sin (Addicted to My Pain, Never too far gone). There is a nice blend of soft and hard. A little quieter than Finally Awake, but still good.

I am giving Anthem of Angels by Seventh Day Slumber a final rating of 4.5 Emeralds. The third season of the Platinum Vinyl Awards is getting off to a fast start. Stay with the Night Beat as the Winter Heats Up with more than Christmas Releases. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Platinum Sneak Peak: Children's Music

It's November, the green leaves have fallen from the trees. (We never had foliage season this year. Between an unusually cold spring and summer combined with Irene and the Hallowsnow event, the leaves were stripped before they turned. One thing has gone according to schedule, and that is that the possible entries for the 2nd Platinum Vinyl Awards have all come in and the process of whittling them down has begun. This years entry pool was much better than last year. However, some entries still lag. Last year the Children's Music genre only had two total entries and Folk Music had only five, and we try to have seven final nominees. This year Folk has Nine entries and Children's five. Both may be final with no further cut downs.

In that spirit I am giving a special:

Platinum Sneak Peak

Today I will be posting the Five Children's Music Nominees. Don't worry, you wont have to memorize them. We'll reveal them again once we have the Final Ceremony. Basically my thoughts on this category are, songs for a young-un audience that will not drive an adult bonkers with repeated listening.

Children's Music

  • Denver and The Mile High Orchestra - Groovy
  • K5 - K5 Kids Sing the Songs of Toby Mac
  • Maranatha Kids - Top 25 kids Praise Songs
  • Veggie Tales (feat Moriah Peters) - Songs for a Princess
  • Worship Together Kids - From the Inside Out
This will be the list I announce when the "Awards" are handed out, most likely in April of 2012. Previous Emerald Ratings are erased and we start from scratch, but in the interest of full disclosure I will reveal that both Denver and K5 received full 5 Emerald Ratings from me. That is all I will say. Feel free to comment with your votes, though I may open things up officially to a fan voting process next year. If you think my keen eye missed an eligible entry, please use the comments to tell me. Until next time I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Heating It Up: Platinum Vinyl Awards 4th Quarter Nominees - Rock

We finally come to the end of the genre based nominees for this quarter with Rock. Again, we were well represented. Eleven entries for this one too.

Platinum Vinyl Awards 4th Quarter Nominees

Like I Said, nearly a dozen entries. This is good. Even though it makes my job a lot more difficult, I like it when the genre's are well represented.

Rock

  • Ashes Remain - What I've Become
  • For King and Country - For King and Country EP (D)
  • Icon For Hire - Scripted
  • Manic Drive - Epic
  • Maylene & The Sons of Disaster - IV
  • Needtobreathe - The Reckoning
  • Rapture Ruckus - Open Your Eyes
  • Rush of Fools - We Once Were
  • Switchfoot - Vice Verses (5)
  • Heather Williams - This Time Around (5)
We had Two Perfect 5's this time around with Switchfoot and Heather Williams. Now that things are finished it's time to put every entry in the pool and start whittling them down. I know I am only in my second year but I'm already thinking of mixing things up, maybe making up a fan survey to see who you think makes the grade. But that can wait. Please feel free to make your thoughts known in the comments. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Heating It Up: Platinum Vinyl Awards 4th Quarter Nominees - Hard Rock

Hard Rock, Metal, Metal-core, Thrash. The Devil Wears Prada. You get the idea. This is the hard stuff, cranked up to a billion. These are the best of the Summer.

Platinum Vinyl Awards 4th Quarter Nominees

This quarter we had eleven nominees in this genre. This is a very good showing. I will have to some serious slashing in this genre this year. Fans will be crushed.

Hard Rock

  • Call to Preserve - Validation
  • The Devil Wears Prada - Dead Throne
  • The Great Commission - Heavy Worship
  • Hands - Give Me Rest
  • Haste The Day - Haste The Day vs Haste The Day (Live)
  • Nothing Til Blood - When Lambs Become Lions
  • Oh Sleeper - Children of Fire
  • A Past Unknown - To Those Perishing
  • Phinehas - The God Machine
  • Your Chance to Die - Suscitatio Somnus
That's a lot of entries. A lot of tough choices. I know my friend Melissa will be crushed if Dead Throne doesn't make it, but I think it has a lot in its favor. The links go to my reviews of the albums. Only Rock to Go. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Heating It Up: Platinum Vinyl Awards 4th Quarter Nominees - Hip Hop/Rap

We're Back. Things got a little crazy with the Hallowsnow Event. Amazing how nineteenth century the electrical grid is around here. Continuing with the 4th Quarter Nominees, we move onto Hip Hop and Rap. As usual, this is a pretty well represented genre.

Platinum Vinyl Awards 4th Quarter Nominees

The Fourth Quarter of Hip Hop gave us Eight Nominees. Since the genre will be eventually be whittled down to seven, this is what we call a good showing. Without further ado we present.

Hip Hop & Rap

  • Ambassador - Stop the Funeral
  • Benjah - The Break Up (D)
  • Braille - Native Lungs
  • DA T.R.U.T.H. - The Whole Truth
  • Lecrae - Rehab (Deluxe Edition)
  • Rapture Ruckus - Open Your Eyes
  • Thi'sl - Beautiful Monster
  • Various Artists - Holy Hip Hop, Volume 11
Only Two Genre's are yet to be revealed, Hard Rock and Rock. It's good to get back into the swing of things. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back up To Speed

The Power is back everywhere. It will take a few days but I shall be up to speed soon. We still have more to announce for the Fourth Quarter and there are new releases and Christmas Releases to come. Stay tuned. Plus I am going to attempt to create my novel on the side, and I may yet squeeze into NaNoWriMo.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Update

Hallowsnow Strikes Again. The Saturday October 29 Snowstorm dumped only about 3 inches of snow, even though the weather reports were predicting 26 inches. However, even though my personal abode remained unscathed and power loss free, the nearby town suffered 80% Power Loss. Since I am currently relying on that Towns library for unfettered internet access, we are somewhat hamstrung. I am hoping to be up to full speed soon. Of course, I am not the only one to be inconvenienced. The Local Trick Or Treating has been postponed to November 4. At least they are getting it in before the clock change.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Any Day Centered On Candy Can't Be Bad

Happy Halloween From The Night Beat. There, I've said it. That should cost me a few conservative readers. I know the accepted Conservative Christian doctrine is that Halloween is a day cleverly devised to teach our youngsters Devil Worship, Witchcraft and Ritualistic Serial Killing Techniques. GIVE IT A REST! It's all about the Candy.

I was celebrating Halloween from a very early age. I'm told that my first costume was as Jerry The Mouse (Tom & Jerry). It was homemade. I don't remember. I do remember being Little Stinker (a skunk, also homemade, with a wire coat hanger used to keep up the tail). I'm sure there would be some sort of OSHA regulations against such things nowadays.

Yesterday (That would be Friday the 28th. I'm doing this post in advance), the town I live in had a main street merchant trick or treating walk. I saw a lot of kids going into and coming out of business establishments in search of CANDY. There was nothing disturbing about the scene, except that the parents seemed to try to hit ALL the establishments, not just the ones that had originally signed up. Seeing kids go into an auto parts store and a liquor store was a little disturbing. Exactly what kind of treat were the parents expecting. Chocolate Schnapps, Candy Oil Filters? I digress.

If your town has had Trick or Treating already, I hope it was good. If it's tonight, I wish you much success. Kids, Hide Your Stash Quick. Your Parents need your help.

Any day centered around candy can't be bad. That hits just about all of them. Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Check, Check, Check, Check and Check. Happy Candy Hunting from The Night Beat.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Heating It Up: Platinum Vinyl Awards 4th Quarter Nominees- Pop

We come to Pop Music. Now this is an overloaded category if there ever was one. Just about everything, if it is not obviously Rock & Roll, could be categorized as Pop Music. If you use a true definition, as popular music, then just about anything people like fit here. For sanity's sake, of course, I use the more restrictive, non rock definition.

Platinum Vinyl Awards 4th Quarter Nominees

So Basically, the definition is, if it's not Rock (loud), but still bouncy, it's Pop. But if it's too bouncy, it's dance, and if there are heavy use of Synthesizers, it's not only dance but Techno. You Can see how this can get confusing.

Pop Music

  • Jessa Anderson - Not Myself Anymore
  • Big Daddy Weave - The Ultimate Collection
  • Steven Curtis Chapman - Re: Creation
  • Jason Gray - A Way to See In the Dark
  • Shaun Groves - Third World Symphony
  • Matt Hammitt - Every Falling Tear
  • Mat Kearney - Young Love
  • Dara Maclean - You Got My Attention
  • Matt Maher - The Love In Between
  • Jon McLaughlin - Forever If Ever
  • Manic Drive - Epic
  • Geoff Moore - Saying Grace
  • Ginny Owens - Get In I'm Driving
  • Andrew Peterson - Above These City Lights (Live)
  • Robert Pierre - I'm All In
  • V.Rose - V.Rose
  • Selah - Hope For the Broken World
Eight down and only three to go. Whew. Stay with me as I complete the fourth quarter roll out of the initial nomination pool of the Platinum Vinyl Awards. As always. I am Awaiting Your Reply.