Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hello World

When I started The WENC Night Beat Blog way back in July (has it been six months already?) I had hopes that my words would be reached worldwide. I am pleased to say that that is now the case, at least in a limited sense. So I say HELLO WORLD.

If it weren't for all of you readers I would simply be doing a diary. A blogger is nothing without readers. So I will attempt to convey my thanks with this post. If I miss your country, please don't be offended. I just haven't caught the up to the minute stats. The rankings were compiled last night. Oh, and by the way, the United States is by far and away the biggest readership, but this is for my International fans only.

So, The Top 10 Nations That Read The WENC Night Beat.
  • #10- A Three Way Tie Between China, Hungary, and Slovenia (Koszonom szepen and Najlepsa hvala) Not even going to try on the Chinese
  • #9  - Latvia (Paldies)
  • #8  - France (merci beaucoup)
  • #7  - Netherlands (Dank u zeer)
  • #6  - Germany (Vielen Dank)
  • #5  - Poland (Dziekuje)
  • #4  - Sweden (Tak sa mycket)
  • #3  - Canada (Thank You Very Much and merci beaucoup)
  • #2  - Russia (Spasiba)
And the Number One International Night Beat Fan Nation is
  • #1 - Denmark (Mange Tak)
Yeah, it surprised me too, but the stats are there. We're still growing here but I think nearly 150 views from Denmark is something to be pretty proud of. They are pretty secure at the top, by over 100 over Russia. Now before you get any ideas, I want to thank iGoogle Translation, Yahoo Babelfish and Omniglot for the translation help. I'm pretty much English Only, but If we talk slow, I may be able to have a passable conversation in French due to 2 years of High School French.

Once again, Thank You Very Much for your continued patronage. I hope you are blessed and informed. The next time I do a post like this I hope I can testify to a whole lot more nations. Maybe even a veritable Parade of Nations, like in the Olympic Games.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Change in the Atmosphere

Come Home, the first full length release from Pop-Rock/Modern Worship band Luminate, is also the first album of 2011 to get consideration for the next Platinum Vinyl Awards. The 12 Songs are mostly vertical oriented, and thus qualifies as a modern worship release. As opposed to Leaving Eden by Brandon Heath, it doesn't take multiple listens to figure out what they are trying to say. I don't mean understand the words, I mean the message. The message is clear and simple, and their are no cringe-worthy doctrinal statements.

The title cut is a Plea to the Prodigal, and the pleading of the father really comes through in the chorus
I know you've been running, looking for something, but you're looking in a place you don't belong. It's never too late, you can't outrun grace. No, mercy doesn't care what you've done. So come home.
Hope is Rising gives voice to the universal desire of man to be free, whether free from physical bonds or the bonds of sin.
Every prison has a door, every captive can be free. Every sinner has a hope, now hope is rising up in me.
Atmosphere is an infectious worship song that echoes Moses cry "Show me your Glory"
You've opened up my eyes to your Glory Lord, I've tasted and I've seen, and I want more. I stand here amazed, I fall upon your Grace, I've tasted and I've seen, and I want more.
My personal favorite after several listens, is Destiny, the next to the last track. Part of its appeal is that it sounds like it should be a Denver & The Mile High Orchestra Jazz/Big Band tune. Some say Delirious, but I beg to differ.

My initial rating for Come Home was 4 Emeralds out of a possible 5, but I am bumping that rating to 4.5 Emeralds, placing it in the hopper of contenders for next years PVA's. I want more indeed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

And The Nominees Are: Dance

We move along in the nominations for the Platinum Vinyl Award Best Album to the Dance genre, which also includes the Techno or Electronica genres.

The Nominees for the First Platinum Vinyl Awards for the Category of Best Dance Album are:
Still to be announced, Best Album Nominees for Hip Hop & Rap, Kids, and Modern Worship, and much much more.

Monday, January 24, 2011

And The Nominees Are: Alternative

We continue with the nominations for the First Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards with the Alternative Genre.

The Nominees for the First Platinum Vinyl Awards for the Category of Best Alternative Album are:
Still to come, Best Album nominees for Hip Hop & Rap, Dance, Modern Worship, Kids, and much more, so keep it locked here as the First Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards continue. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And The Nominees Are: Gospel/R&B

The nominations for the First Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards continues with Gospel and R&B. First a note of explanation. In the Christian Music world Gospel can mean many things, but there are two main meanings. First is Southern Gospel which in the Night Beat Encyclopedia of Music is defined as People who can't sing or dance accompanied by people who can't play music. No, on this Blog, Gospel can refer to only Urban Gospel, the only real gospel music there is. That being said...

The nominees for the First Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards for the category of Best Gospel or R&B Album are:
Still to be announced are the nominees for Hip Hop & Rap, Modern Worship, Alternative, and Kids Best Album, and much much more. So keep it locked here for exclusive coverage of the First Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And The Nominees Are: Rock

Continuing the rollout of the Nominations for the 2010 Platinum Vinyl Awards. We move on to Rock.

And the Nominees for the First Platinum Vinyl Awards for the Category of Best Rock Album are.
Many more nominations yet to be revealed as the First Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards gets under way.

As Long as I'm Here...

I might as well review this CD. A new year is upon us and the new releases are starting to trickle out. The first out of the gate, so to speak, is Brandon Heath's latest Leaving Eden. After a few listens I'll just say, somebody had to go first, and like the Olympic Figure Skating competition, it is an almost foregone conclusion that the first out will not win the Gold Medal. In the Night Beat galaxy, the Gold Medal is the 2011 Platinum Vinyl Award for Pop.

Let me start out by saying that Leaving Eden isn't a bad album. For an example of a bad album, see last years post The Anatomy of Boredom. Leaving Eden is a pretty good album, but pretty good isn't good enough.

Things went bad right of the bat for me. Leaving Eden, the title cut and opening track, struck me as a pretty depressing number, sort of one of those great "The World has gone to Crap, get me out of here Jesus" songs of the faith. I think he decided to write a song that included just about every bad thing he could think of and then wrote it (neighbor forgot her own name, Salvation Army robbed to name a few examples). As to the title. It seems to me that Eden is here and Heaven once again is Home. Eden was relatively perfect, except for the serpent, and Present Earth is nowhere near Eden, East or otherwhere. A better title would be Back To Eden or something like that.

After the downer of an opening track, things pick up for a while with Your Love and The Light in Me. The latter of these is in the vein of the Lazy Christian songs that want God to do everything for them, with lines like "keep me from going dim" and "keep me close to you". The bible tells us to "Stir ourselves up in the most holy faith".  Some things we are supposed to do for ourselves. The somewhat cryptic Only Water is a head scratcher for me, and I am still trying to figure out what the water is. If it is referring to the "Washing of Water by The Word of God" then I'm sorry, it is not ONLY WATER. I don't think it means the Cana Miracle, because that wasn't mentioned until the last seconds of the song. The fifth track is called Stolen, and though beautiful, all references to "a thief in the night" in the New Testament refer how to the unprepared will be caught. The bible refers to "The Thief" as the Devil, not Jesus. As much as it offends Christian sensibilities, Jesus will let a person walk away, and though the Holy Spirit will convict, he will not steal you back. He will wait for you to return where you will find Him where you left Him.

It's Alright and Now More than Ever are two songs about heaven as home, and how all things will be better once we are there. While that will be true, it will only be for a short 7 year vacation, though some did get an extended stay. Sorry folks, when the Bible says "The World" it doesn't mean "The Earth". The Earth is our home, so much so that in Eternity, God sets his home among men and not our home among God. It is a big distinction. He is coming back to a new Earth.

Finally, I'm going to nitpick. Two songs, Leaving Eden and Only Water have the dreaded "Death Pause" in them. I don't know what happens now with automated radio stations, but in the DJ era, when we detected a pause of over 3 seconds, we figured the song was over and cross faded into another cut. In this case no one would ever hear the last portion of the song. For another example of this I would suggest Hello Sunshine by Barlowgirl on their Love and War CD. To all the artists out there, for the remaining DJ's mental health, I say, in warmest Christian love, knock it off. If you want to fade in and out, do it quickly.

If it were Only Music (sorry, I couldn't resist), I would give this album 5 Emeralds, because it is Gorgeously orchestrated. Unfortunately, there are lyrics, and in CCM, the words are equal to the beat, if not more important. For me, the lyrics on Leaving Eden knock off two full Emeralds. I give it 3. A good, but not great album. I know I am in the minority, and the 2011 Best Male Vocalist is in the bag already as well as best pop or inspirational artist, but so be it. I will be Leaving this CD on the shelf.

Monday, January 17, 2011

And The Nominees Are: Hard Rock

Continuing with our rollout of the final nominees for the 2010 Platinum Vinyl Awards, we move on to Hard Rock, including metal, hardcore, industrial, and metalcore.

The nominees for the First Platinum Vinyl Awards for the Category of Best Hard Rock Album are:
There is still much to be revealed, so keep it locked here for exclusive coverage of the Platinum Vinyl Awards

Sunday, January 16, 2011

And The Nominees Are: Pop

When there are sufficient entries to warrant, the number of possible nominees shall be reduced until a final group of Seven (7) Nominees shall be obtained. In cases where the eligible releases for the year shall be less than Seven, the category shall consist of the releases in their entirety.

The nominees for the First Platinum Vinyl Award in the Category of Best Pop Album are:
There are many more Categories to be announced, so keep The WENC Night Beat bookmarked as the entire list of nominees are revealed. Please feel free to use the comments to vote for who you think should win or to tell me who you think deserved a nomination that I may have snubbed. I am doing this on my own, so I do not think I have caught all the releases. While I will not promise to extend the list of nominees, If I agree with your selection I will include it in an honorable mention post after the Awards. All I ask is that you follow these simple rules:
  • Eligibility: October 1, 2009-September 30, 2010
  • Content: Christian or Generally Regarded As Christian (GRAC) [ex. Creed, Evanescence, U2]
  • Best of albums are allowed but not Specialty/Holiday or Various/Multiple artists
  • The Apocalyptica Exception: A group provides instrumentals only and relies on guest vocals
Adherence to these ground rules will result in a better experience for all.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

And The Nominees Are: Folk/Folk Rock

The cutdown begins on the nominees for the Platinum Vinyl Awards in most of the Major Categories, but some categories never had many qualified entries. I'm going to get those out of the way first.

The Nominees for the First Platinum Vinyl Awards for the Category of Best Folk or Folk Rock Album
There is much still to be revealed as the 2010 Platinum Vinyl Awards begin.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Waiting for the Verizatt iPhone

This week Verizon Wireless formally announced what is probably Apple Computer's worst kept secret, that the next carrier for the iPhone would be Verizon. Predictably, the media coverage of the event has fallen on the usual talking points. First up were the Apple Haters. The report usually went Apple Choosing Verizon for the iPhone is a good move, but it is too little too late, and soon google and Android will rule the world aah ha ha (Evil Genius laugh added by me). Next up were either the Apple Lovers or, conversely, the AT&T Haters. The report went sort of like this A Stroke of Genius by Steve Jobs. Every smart phone sold in the world will be a Verizon iPhone by February 11 and by the end of the month of February AT&T will be a distant memory as it disappears from the world as quickly as the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Winter Melodies: Platinum Vinyl Awards 1rst Quarter- Hard Rock, Alternative and Hip Hop

We wrap up the first quarter of the Second Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards with a mega post encompassing the Hard Rock, Hip Hop/Rap, and Alternative genres.  We begin with Alternative.
We now move to the Hard Rock Genre. This is a genre of convenience. While it could be said Rock is Rock, it seems best to ferret out the harder stuff to keep the numbers manageable.
We conclude our first quarter contender list with Hip Hop and Rap
(D) Debut release

The First Quarter nominations are now concluded, the Second Begins Now. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Winter Melodies: Platinum Vinyl Awards 1rst Quarter- Modern Worship

The first quarter nominations for the Second Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards continue with the Modern Worship genre, which also produced a fair amount of entries. The contenders are:
Three Genre's remain, Alternative, Hard Rock and Hip Hop/Rap. The first of the New Years releases come out next week, and the race for the Second Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards will begin in earnest.

The Winter Melodies: Platinum Vinyl Awards 1rst Quarter- Rock

Despite the onslaught of Christmas Music this Quarter, the Rock Genre had quite a few entries, though most were in October and November.  Without further ado, the nominees for Rock for the Second Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards
(D): Indicates either a Debut Release, a Major Label Debut or in rare cases, when they gained significant public attention.  Qualify for Best New Artist Award.

I can already hear the Critics whining "Where's Jars of Clay?" No, I didn't forget them. See my earlier post on Pop, Folk, and Techno.  The Shelter is not a Rock album.  Most of the tracks are undeniably Folk or Folk Rock. Sorry to all those looking for a Jars vs Third Day Showdown. Not going to happen here.

Still to come, entries for Hard Rock, Modern Worship, Alternative and Hip Hop.  All here on The Night Beat, your exclusive home of the Platinum Vinyl Awards

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Best of the Rest: Platinum Vinyl Award 4th Quarter 2009

In keeping with my decision to readjust the Platinum Vinyl Awards from a strict calendar year release to one from October 1-September 30, wedged between the Grammy and Dove Award schedules, I have reached back to October 2009 for nominees.  Since the final quarter of every year is pretty lean, crowded primarily with Christmas Music releases, I have decided to cram all the nominees into a single post, though still separated by Genre.

First up this time: Gospel and R&B
The Nominees in Hard Rock
The Nominees in Rock
The Nominees in Pop
The Nominees in Dance/Electronica/Techno
The Nominees in Alternative
The Nominees in Modern Worship
This quarter provided no worthy entries for Rap/Hip Hop, but the calendar provided plenty of entries as the year went on. Stay tuned to The Night Beat for the cutdown to the final nominees, and then the winners of the First Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards.

The Winter Melodies: Platinum Vinyl Awards 1st Quarter- Pop/Folk Rock/Techno

A New Year has begun.  The final list of the First Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards will be released in the coming weeks and months.  Soon the nominations will be trimmed and the real business of the first annual Platinum Vinyl Awards can begin.  Time stops for no one, however, not even for something as momentous as the Inaugural PVA's.  So, we must commence with the nominations from the final quarter of 2010, which now are the First Quarter Releases for the Second Annual PVA's, which will occur sometime in 2012. We begin this time with the Pop Genre.
We'll do double duty this post by including the Folk/Folk Rock Genre
We'll do triple duty with Dance/Electronica/Techno
Still to come, the first selections for Rock, Hard Rock, Modern Worship, Alternative, and Hip Hop. Only Gospel will not be featured in the initial quarter.  Things will pick up soon for them.