Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sonic Awakening: 3rd Qtr Nominees - Rock

We end our rollout of the third quarter 2012 releases that are eligible for Platinum Vinyl Award consideration with Rock. Ten entries made the cut this quarter, and that would be more than enough on its own. As always, this one will have a lot of whittling down to do

Rock Music

That's a lot of entries, and if you would like to help The Night Beat, click the titles to go to Amazon and purchase. We are an Amazon Associate, and your purchase will help support this blog. If you want to read my original full reviews, click on the band names.

That concludes the 3rd Quarter Rollout. We now continue with the final quarter of eligibility. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Video Monday: Zombie Time

Welcome to the latest edition of Music Video Monday. We are racing through the third quarter videos and will soon be caught up. I might actually get to do the 4th Quarter in the 4th Quarter. Now THAT would be an accomplishment.

Due to the number of available videos in each category we are combining the Pop and Dance genres this time around. In honor of a few of my Triberr friends, namely Shannon Mayer and Frederick Lee Brooke, I have decided to begin with the Music Video for Family Force Five entitled Zombie.

We will sandwich the Dance videos with a pair of pop videos. First up we have the relationship misadventures of Rocky Loves Emily with Secrets Don't Make Friends, which seems to confirm my friend Shannon when she says "Women are Crazy". (Her words, not mine).

Staying with a relationship theme, we will go to the Gorgeous Holly Spears (just because I favor Brunettes doesn't mean I don't notice a good looking Blonde. I'm still a guy). Holly wants someone to Watch Over Me. (Personally I think she should have plenty of applicants).

We close with The Washington Projects. Normally found in the Hip Hop and Rap circles, they recently made a Remix album entitled Space Time Continuum, and remixes are pretty much all about Dance. Here they exhort us to redeem the Time.

That concludes this edition of Music Video Monday. Next week we will be moving on to Hip Hop. Until next we meet, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sonic Awakening: 3rd Qtr - Hard Rock & Metal

We're down to the final two. Next up are the entries for Hard Rock and Metal. Remember, these bands and artists haven't won anything yet. They have merely been admitted into the initial eligibility pool for the 2012 Platinum Vinyl Awards, which will be the third annual ceremony. Without further ado:

Hard Rock & Metal

One more to go. Before we wrap things up, I want to remind you to enter my first ever giveaway for a copy of Heather Williams This Time Around. You can enter either on my Facebook Page or on the original blog post. With under one hundred entries right now, and nine days to go, your odds are terrific. So enter today and get all your possible entries. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, July 27, 2012

In Praise of the Megasong

Nobody writes long songs anymore, at least not from my experience. Oh sure, there are pockets out there, but it usually is just the Modern Worship or Gospel Genres. At least they write songs that clock in over 5 minutes. That doesn't have to be the case. Since I go to churches that are big on the Modern Worship/Hillsong style, I have found it amazing that Churches have not capitalized on their ability to distort the time-space continuum. Seriously, how is it possible that you can take a four line chorus and make it last for a half hour while at the same time making it seem like twelve hours. It's the sanctified version of the song that does not end. (The sanctified Song That Does Not End would have to be Psalm 119. At 176 Verses long, a comfortable paced read takes approximately 30 minutes. Singing it as intended, even with modern music, probably longer.

That's not the type of song I'm talking about. The songs I'm talking about are over six minutes long, some are twice that, but the experience is such that you would think it's only two or three minutes in length. The six minute bar is intentional, for it surpasses the 5:55 run time of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Of course, nothing against Queen, but I prefer my Bohemian Rhapsody to come from high class sources. Bohemian Rhapsody is the bar. My first list of songs not only exceed that bar, they smash it. In reverse order of length.

  • #10 - Sudden Death, Servant, World of Sand, 1981 (8:18) - Doing a top ten list, this one winds up the shortest. It stands as a megasong on its own, though it is also part of a two song "rock opera"
  • #9 - Trilogy, Iona, Iona, 1991 (8:34) - This is where it all begins. This Progressive Rock/Celtic band from the UK almost can't make a song under 5 minutes. This is from their eponymous debut, though not their longest or best.
  • #8 - Songs of Ascent Pt. 2, Iona, Open Sky, 2000 (9:06)
  • #7 - Bird of Heaven, Iona, Beyond These Shores, 1993 (9:09)
  • #6 - Castlerigg, Iona, Open Sky, 2000 (9:25)
  • #5 - Woven Cord, Iona, Open Sky, 2000 (9:28)
  • #4 - Boomerang feat Tracy Truells, Cloud 2 Ground, The Gate, 2000 (11:18) - Wow, a song not by Iona made the list. This Trance/Techno band by Chad Petree and Jeremy Dawson is great.
  • #3 - Encircling, Iona, Journey Into the Morn, 1995 (11:38)

  • #2 - Matthew-The Man, Iona, The Book of Kells, 1992 (11:54)
  • #1 - Sodom, Jerusalem, Warrior, 1981 (12:33)
I have praised Sodom many many times before, so I wont say anything this time. If you take away the Iona songs, not only is the list only three songs long, but two of the songs are written in 1981. See what I mean, nobody does it anymore.

I'm going to do a cheat here. In the era of mp3 files, there are certain songs that would be megasongs if they were not split into two. The songs may have been intentionally recorded as two songs, but they either, because of theme or the fact that they have barely a millisecond of space between them. Here are three two part megasongs.

  • #3 - Destroy/Savior, Worth Dying For, Love Riot (6:31)
  • #2 - Tourniquet/Imaginary, Evanescence, Fallen (8:55)
  • #1 - Sudden Death/Come Jesus Come, Servant, World of Sand (11:55) Sudden Death and its companion song Come Jesus Come were billed as a two song "rock opera". It was written in honor of a death by auto accident of members of the Servant Community.
This has been a special edition of Flashback Friday. If you know of a mega song that you love, please share it with me by commenting. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sonic Awakening: 3rd Qtr Nominees - Dance

We are continuing with our announcing of Third Quarter releases which crossed the initial bar of admission to the pool of Platinum Vinyl Award contenders. This time we move onto the Dance genre. Five releases mad the initial cut this quarter.
Both The Washington Projects and The Letter Black normally wouldn't be found in this genre. Their usual home is Hip Hop and Rock, respectively. However the remix is particular to Techno, and if one is done correctly, will turn anything into a dance album. (There is one exception - Switchfoot - Vice Re-Verses - why?)

Hard Rock and Rock are the only two genres remaining. Then we can get on with the new stuff. Click on the links to go to Amazon and buy from them. You will get some great music and support The Night Beat at the same time. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sonic Awakening: 3rd Qtr Nominees - Pop

Before I begin with the task at hand, a welcome and a little gloating. The Night Beat began (apart from a now deleted 4th of July Post) on July 8, 2010. Though I knew that I wasn't the only fish in the sea, I didn't know who they were at first. One of the first competitors I discovered was Jays Muzik Blog. Well, he started just before me and I Survived Him! So to all of Jays readers, I hope you will choose to make the WENC Night Beat your new home.

Continuing our announcing of the 3rd Quarter 2012 releases (for PVA Eligibility, that 3rd Quarter is April - June 2012). We move on to the Pop Music Genre. While the genre as a whole has been very well represented, not so much this quarter. There were only five entries this quarter. Considering that I will narrow things down to Seven nominees at the end, five sounds pretty good. However, considering the Pop Pool is now thirty strong, that means that the first two quarters contributed twenty-five, so that puts things in perspective.

Pop Music

Only three more to go. To all the new readers coming from Jay, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter. And while you're here, don't forget to enter my This Time Around Giveaway for a copy of Heather Williams perfect album of the same name. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sonic Awakening: 3rd Qtr Nominees - Alternative

Continuing once again with our rollout of the PVA eligible releases for the 3rd Quarter. We move from Gospel to Alternative. This was also pretty well represented.


12 Stones is a solid group, now going independent. They welcomed Evanescence into the Wind-Up fold and became the 1-2 Christian Band duo at Wind Up. Though Evanescence is more mainstream, both have deep spiritual themes.

We are almost through with the rollout, only four more remain. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Music Video Monday: Infected

Welcome once again to the latest edition of Music Video Monday, where we share the best music videos in CCM.

We have come now to the Alternative genre, which is well represented both in albums and videos.

We will begin with Newworldson, a group which defies pigeonholing. This is Learning To Be The Light from Rebel Transmission.

From the new to the established. The Choir, one of the pioneers of Christian Alternative, has been on a tear recently, with three albums in three years. This is a live performance of Cross That River from their latest release The Loudest Sound Ever Heard.

The next two videos represent the true meaning of "Alternative". Technically both of them would be considered Modern Worship, but listen to them and tell me if you think that they sound like any MW band you know of. First up is Lovelite and Brother Sister from In three persons.

For our second MW/Alt crossover, we have Bellarive and Taste of Eternity from The Heartbeat.

We close with a lyric video from 12 Stones. This is Infected from Beneath The Scars.

This was a little longer than the usual MVM post, but no less enjoyable. Until the next edition of Music Video Monday, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Flashback Friday: The Turning of CCM

If you were here from the start of this blog, or at least from the first Platinum Vinyl Awards, you found out about the Fallen Award. The Fallen Award was named for the debut album by Evanescence. Soon after the CD was released an interview with the band surfaced in Entertainment Weekly in which they swore. Quell Horror! (Hey, I have to make High School French work for me). Evanescence CD's disappeared from Christian Bookstore shelves faster than you could say witch hunt. Evanescence was the most famous, but it certainly wasn't the last (Jennifer Knapp and possibly P.O.D.). It also wasn't the first.

While I can't be absolutely certain about such things (It can be awfully hard, if not impossible, to track down EVERY friendly fire incident), it is probably true that the first witch hunt of the modern era was Sam Phillips, who in the early 1980's as a rising Christian pop star, recorded under the name of Leslie Phillips.

Leslie Ann Phillips (born January 28, 1962) released five albums in the Christian Market: Beyond Saturday Night (1983), Dancing With Danger (1984), Black and White In A Grey World (1985), The Turning (1987) and Recollection (1987), which was a best of album. We'll start with Heart of Hearts from her debut album.
Leslie Phillips "Crime" was to criticize the Christian Music Industry. While she was marketed as the Christian Cindy Lauper, in a long tradition that there must be a "Christian Alternative" to every secular genre or artist. Phillips didn't want to be squeezed into the mold and left the fold, going from Myrrh Records to Virgin Records. This is a youtube audio of Strength of My Life from Dancing With Danger (duet with Russ Taff of The Imperials) I figure I should close with a "Now" video. Suffice itself to say that Leslie's life as "Sam" has been longer than "Leslie". Since assuming the moniker with The Indescribable Wow (1989). she has recorded eight studio albums and five digital EP's. And there have been a few brave Christians out there. From time to time my local Christian Concert Promoter has advertised a Sam Phillips appearance at a Boston area club. This is Holding On To The Earth from The Indescribable Wow.

So a special Night Beat round of applause to all those trailblazers who proved that Christians could make music that crossed the Sacred/Mainstream Divide. Sorry you had to dodge some arrows while doing it. I guess an honorary Fallen Award to Sam Phillips is in order. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sonic Awakening: 3rd Qtr Nominees - Gospel

We Continue our revelations of the early nominee pool for the 2012 Platinum Vinyl Awards. Another well represented genre this quarter, and every quarter, is Gospel/R&B. Now as I gain new readers every day via our Inaugural Giveaway, I feel I should explain that the fact that these albums are in the pool does not guarantee that they will win an award. There is still the voting process. But just like they say you can't win if you don't enter, if you don't make the initial pool, you can not win an award. This is the first hurdle.

Without further ado, the 3rd Quarter initial nominations for

Gospel/R&B Music

Now I have one caveat, and that is that both the Israel and New Breed releases, while qualifying on content, are re-issues, and this year that has produced a new curve for me. There are a lot of re-issues, and I have to decide whether to include them. One more time, I encourage you to enter the giveaway either on this blog or at My Facebook Page (click on the giveaway tab). And while your at it, get extra entries by liking the page or following me on twitter. Until the next time I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Night Beat: This Time Around

Extra, Extra, stop the presses. The Night Beat is entering the world of giveaways. Our inaugural giveaway is a copy of Heather Williams This Time Around. I gave the album a five Emerald Rating. It is a perfect album, though sadly, it did not win an Elpy. I have one copy to give away, and I am going make it a Rafflecopter giveaway . I would put Heather on My Chicks Who Rock List. No delicate vocals here, this girl can belt out a song. Right now I am only going to put out one additional restriction and that will be U.S. and Canada only. This is the first one, and I won't break the bank on shipping. The Sweepstakes will begin on Midnight Wednesday. That Means Tues/Wed EST. It will continue until the 4th of August. I don't know, I just thought it was fitting to time it to end with Soulfest.

Thanks for staying with The Night Beat and let the giveaways begin. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply (and your entries).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Music Video Monday: Wonderful

Welcome to Music Video Monday, where we show the top Music Videos in the CCM World. We are now in the midst of the third quarter releases, which just ended last month. It feels good to be caught up, so to speak.

This time around we have a surprise, Modern Worship Videos. We just don't get many of them. Both MW and Gospel usually don't do videos.

We begin with Desperation Band from New Zealand. Their new album Center of It All has a woman doing this cool Middle Eastern sounding yell. The Song is called Our God is Coming. Unfortunately I couldn't find a video for that, but this is Wonderful.

We move on to Bluetree. The band is part of our latest "invasion" in Christian Music. Like Rend Collective, they hail from Northern Ireland. This is Jesus Healer from Kingdom

I think we shall stay with the Mother Country and her former colonies. We began with New Zealand and moved over to Northern Ireland. We shall now take on the band most responsible for merging Rock Music with Worship. Sorry Australia, it's not Hillsong. It's Delirious? from Britain. This quarter The Cutting Edge Years was released. This is a Video of History Makers to honor it..

That is a fitting way to end this edition of Music Video Monday. I really miss Martin and Company. They really need to rethink retirement. Until Next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Flawed Gem: P.O.D.'s Murdered Love

Sometimes things happen in music which test your consistency. A few months ago I reviewed Thrift Store Jesus by Heath McNease. My less than stellar review of the album even provoked a reaction by Mr. McNease. One of the problems I had with the album was his use of "Freaking", which is the Christian Euphemisms for the other F-Word. I had other problems, which he addressed, but I was disturbed by the use of the word nonetheless. I was not however, offended, which he kept alleging.

I'm not what would consider puritanical. I couldn't be, I'm not a liberal. My problem with the F-Word these days is not because it's offensive or profane. The shock value has long since passed. Today it is just sloppy English. In my opinion there are many other words which can replace it.

This brings me to Murdered Love by Christian Hard Band P.O.D. (The initials stand for Payable on Death). In what seems like a long tradition of Controversy in Christian Music, the album has recently taken the brass ring it would seem. First was the cover. I see a mushroom cloud in the background. In the foreground is either two aliens, one dead (X on the eyes) or humans in gas masks/chemical suits. Either way, I don't see what about the cover almost got them a Parental Advisory label.

The Big Problem with the album is the final song on the album, at least on the General Market edition. The title of the song is I Am, and it contains the F-Word multiple times, though in a muted/bleeped fashion in all you can make out if "fk" on sound. In order for the album to be sold in Christian Bookstores, the song was dropped in a "Christian Release". Personally, I'm not sure what to make of special releases for certain ears. I have yet to see a Parental Advisory on Evanescence, and at the same time I can't remember when I didn't see one on a Katy Perry album. My point is that both started out as "Christian Artists" (Perry recorded as Katy Hudson), and while I still consider Evanescence "Christian" by my taste, Amy Lee proves you can have a successful crossover appeal and never have to make the RIAA nervous. I think it only fair for you to get to experience two of the non controversial tracks (10 of 11). Courtesy of Soundcloud is Eyez and Lost In Forever Higher is destined to get repeat airplay on Christian and Mainstream Radio. Even though Eyez was originally the song released for distribution, that would be rock. The harmonies on Higher are amazing. Personally, this is their best since Satellite.

If you're even remotely knowledgeable about P.O.D., you know this isn't your Happy Happy Band. They deal with the tough situations in life in blatant language. Nobody ever said they were easy to listen to. My final rating 4.5 Emeralds. You could say P.O.D. is back, but it is a solid album, but not their best. I also would recommend you buy the original version. If you are of delicate sensibilities, maybe P.O.D. isn't your style anyway. Until next time, feel free to comment, for I am always Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flashback Friday: 30 Years of Power

More Power To Ya, when you're standing on His Word, when You're trusting with your whole heard in the message you have heard
More Power To Ya, when we're all in one accord. They that wait upon The Lord, they shall renew, they shall renew their strength
The music world is a fickle world. It makes no difference whether the music is mainstream or Christian, longevity is not the norm. Ten years from now most of the hot music of today will be on the "where are they now" pile. By 2042? It takes an exceptional band to defy current trends and actually create a following. To paraphrase the great Steve Jobs "people don't know what to listen to until we play it."

Petra is THE BAND that shattered the mold. On July 3 Star Song Records released the 30th Anniversary of More Power To Ya. More astounding than that, the band is still active and touring, in two different configurations. There is Petra a four piece outfit consisting of Bob Hartman, John Schlitt, Greg Bailey and Cristian Borneo, who is listen as guest drummer on the Band Website. There is also Classic Petra, which is a five piece outfit which consists of Bob Hartman, Mark Kelly, John Lawry, Greg X. Volz and Louie Weaver. For more information on the band in all their various lineups, I would encourage you to read my original Flashback Friday post on the band.

What is more amazing than the fact that the band has a 30th Anniversary Album out this year, is that isn't its first album. Come and Join Us is the bands Sophomore release, and it is quietly celebrating 35 YEARS. In 2014 the eponymous debut will celebrate 40 YEARS. I fully expect Petra to be around to support it.

More Power To Ya was the midway point of Volz's first tenure with Petra, and it set the bands final "sound" as the Christian answer to Journey or Foreigner. For a Christian Teen in Public High School in 1982, the words of the album put spiritual steel in me, and a lot of other teens. The album was released at the height of the "Backward Masking" crusade, where hidden messages from Satan could be found by playing the vinyl record backward on the turntable. The advent of the Cassette Tape, CD, and iPod frustrated the demonic horde, as the messages can only be discovered on vinyl. The most famous of these messages was "Turn Me On Dead Man", which could be found by playing The Beatles "Number Nine" backward. Petra decided to have fun with the crusade by putting a 3 second gibberish at the beginning of Judas Kiss. When played backward on vinyl it said "What are you looking for the Devil for, when you ought to be looking for the Lord?"

Never afraid to turn their songwriting on a complacent and at times hypocritical church, Petra followed that song with Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows. From the opening bars of Mercy Drops, it was obvious that the organized church would be scandalized.

V1. Another sleepy Sunday, safe within the walls. Outside a dying world in desperation calls. But now one hears their cries, or knows what they're about. The doors are locked within, or is it from without.
C. Looking through rose colored stained glass windows. Never allowing the world to come in. Seeing no evil and feeling no pain. Making the Light as it comes from within so dim...So Dim.
V2. Out on your doorstep lay masses in decay. Ignore them long enough maybe they'll go away. When you have so much you think you have so much to lose. You think you have no lack, but you're really destitute.
(Words and Music my Bob Hartman)
CCM Magazine wrote that "no group before or since could put a Bible study to music like Petra." I agree with the sentiment, but not with their ranking of it as #98 out of the 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music. I would put it at around #65 for impact.

Spiritually insightful lyrics, tight harmonies, and guitars and keyboards par excellence. More Power To Ya is an album that spans the generation gap. Based on its personal impact I would love to give it 5 Emeralds, but more objectively, a rating of 4.5 Emeralds is more on target both for the original and the 30th Anniversary Edition.

Finally, since this is a re-issue and not an original recording, I am unsure whether to include it in the Platinum Vinyl Award pool with the new releases. It would be an interesting experiment to see how it fares against bands whose members weren't even born yet when this album came out. What do you think? I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sonic Awakening: 3rd Qtr Nominees - Modern Worship

Continuing with the announcement of the Spring Releases which crossed the initial bar to qualify for the pool of entries eligible for the Platinum Vinyl Awards. This of course only means they get to be judged, but if you don't make the pool, you can't win.

We move on to the Modern Worship genre. No one who is remotely knowledgeable about Christian Music should be surprised that this pool is an extremely large one. It seems these days that just about every Church has produced a worship album, and those that haven't yet are probably in the studio as I write. Most are good, and some are great. It is my job to weed out the great from the good.

Modern Worship

  • Bluetree - Kingdom
  • Delirious - The Cutting Edge Years
  • Deluge - Swell
  • Desperation Band - Center of it All
  • Maranatha - Top 25 Praise Series Classics
  • Christy Nockels - Into The Glorious
  • Planetshakers - Heal Our Land
  • Travis Ryan - Fearless
  • Stuart Townend - The Ultimate Collection
  • Phil Wickham - Singalong 2
All of these albums were above par, rising above the typical Hillsong Copy. The live album by Phil Wickham is also outstanding in the audience participation, though his voice did crack on the high notes a few to many times.

Three down, eleven to go. Stay with me as the results are revealed. Also stay with me tomorrow as we have a special Flashback Friday as I review the 30th Anniversary Re-Issue of More Power To Ya. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sonic Awakening: 3rd Qtr Nominees - AC/Inspirational

Continuing our revelation of the nominees to the initial pool of Platinum Vinyl Award contenders for the Third Quarter of 2012. Yes that was torturous, but it's the truth. All this does is admit you to contention. You still have to survive initial voting to get to the Seven Final Nominees (the only exception to the rule is if you get a Perfect 5 rating. Those go straight through to the final seven).

This time we go with a new and growing category. Adult Contemporary/Inspirational started last year as simply Inspirational, and it seems a nice home for those albums that aren't pop or rock enough, as well as those that aren't exactly worship either. This category did very well this quarter.

Adult Contemporary/Inspirational

  • Fike -The Moment We've Been Waiting For
  • Amy Grant - Rock of Ages: Hymns of Faith
  • Lara Landon - Overcome
  • Natalie LaRue - Even Now
  • Dan Macaulay - From You For You
  • Moriah Peters - I Choose Jesus
  • BeBe Winans - America America
There are a few caveats to this list that may prevent them from going on. Amy Grant is a reissue of an album, not a current album. There are a bunch of them this year and I'm not sure how to treat them yet. BeBe Winans is definitely inspiring, but it is also a special 4th of July Music album, and since I don't award Christmas Music, I'm wondering how to treat this one. Feel free to chime in by commenting. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sonic Awakening: 3rd Qtr 2012 Nominees - Children's Folk Rap

We begin the process, as we do each quarter, of revealing, by category or genre, those releases that I believe are worthy of going into the Platinum Vinyl Award Pool. Some of the genres aren't as prolific as others, and, as is the case, we combine them into one post. We begin with one such post. This time we will combine the Children's Music, Folk/Folk Rock, and Rap/Hip-Hop genres, which, this quarter, had 2, 1, and 3 entrants, respectively.

Children's Music

  • Martha's Trouble - A Little Heart Like You
  • Various - Faith, Hope and Lullabies: Sing Me to Sleep
Not much here. Martha's Trouble made the inaugural Platinum Vinyl Awards in Folk/Folk Rock and other categories for Anchor Tattoo. This is a different direction from them.

Folk/Folk Rock

  • The Vespers - The Fourth Wall
While there weren't any real entries to pick from, one is all it takes, and this one was a doozy. This one should go far this year. Not predicting Barton Hollow style success, but it should do well.

Rap/Hip Hop

  • KJ-52 - Dangerous
  • Manafest - Fighter
  • Trip Lee - The Good Life
Three solid releases from three established artists. I was only a little disappointed that there wasn't a solid new artist in this category. One more quarter to find one. By the way, check out my review of The Fourth Wall by clicking on the link. And don't forget to Like The Nightbeat on Facebook. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Music Video Monday: Will You Love Me

Welcome back everybody. I hope you all enjoyed your long fourth of July break. (Yes, I know the 4th was on a Wednesday and that supposedly trashed all the 4th of July Weekend plans, but we must remember our Government Bureaucrats. They Made it work.)

As I said last week, we begin with the third quarter videos this week. If you've been following me for any length of time, you know I'm not a big fan of Country Music or Southern Gospel. However, if you can push it to Folk or Folk Rock, I will go for it. You have to like good banjo picking talent.

We begin with one of those talents. The Vespers, two brothers and two sisters with some great writing and some awesome bluegrass style rock. I believe the two sisters are Morgan Cryar's kids but don't quote me on that, though their names are Callie and Phoebe Cryar. We begin with the music video for Will You Love Me, from their recently released album The Fourth Wall.

One more from The Vespers. This is Close My Eyes, done live at the Music City Roots Festival.

We must move on, and we move on quickly, because there really aren't that many videos out yet for these new releases. One of my favorite female singers these days happens to be Lara Landon. When I heard her debut Beloved a few years ago, WOW. The girl has pipes. She is the prototypical Torch singer. Noisetrade says her voice "smolders". Trust me it ignites. Still looking for that DDMHO/Lara Landon Speakeasy Tour. This is The River.

I'm torn on the concept of Lyric Videos, which are kind of like the follow the bouncing ball songs on old movie shorts. I think this one merits. Straight from the Veggie Tales patch, here is Vanna Banana (sorry, Moriah Peters) and I Choose Jesus.

That seems like a good way to end a post. We usually fly through the early genres (Nothing for Children's Music, only a few for folk, and Landon and Peters are AC/Inspirational). For further information on the Vespers and Lara Landon, click on the links to my original reviews. Also, for news that doesn't make the blog, be sure to like The Night Beat on Facebook.Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Flashback Friday: Swedish Metal

No this isn't a post extolling the virtues of Saab and Volvo. This is still a Flashback Friday video post. Music is still the subject. No, I'm not kidding. You know, there is more to music and Sweden than ABBA. Actually, Sweden played a part in Christian Heavy Metal history.

Jerusalem was founded way back in 1975 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Its founder and lead singer was (or actually, is) Ulf Christiansson. Rock always was Second to Jerusalem, Evangelism was at the forefront. They were always proud to be In His Majesty's Service.

The first two albums were simply called Volume 1 and Volume 2. Their Breakout, and the album that launched their first tour of America, was Warrior in 1982. For DJ's like me, the most famous song on warrior was Sodom. Now, don't get your fur ruffled. It was about the moral condition of the entire world now and how "It seems like we've got lots in common, we've evolved in a very strange way. It seems like we've come full circle, Sodom in the world today. This is the complete audio. It's over twelve minutes of Metal Heaven. Jerusalem, like Rez here in the States, never shirked from Social Commentary, and sometimes their music was eerily prophetic. On their album Dancing On The Head of the Serpent, which featured a Snake crushed under a boot, an image to controversial for Swedish Christians, was a song called We're Going to Take Europe, and invoking that "The Walls of Europe are going to fall, by the power of God. As a Word of Faith adherent (Name it and Claim it for you haters), from 1988 to 1991 the word went out, and then the Walls Fell, by the Power Of God. They released an album (in Swedish) called SHE in 2010.
Jerusalem wasn't the only Swedish Metal Band. Leviticus came from Skovde, Bjornn Stiggson was the founder. Most of their albums were in Swedish, but The Strongest Power was released to the United States. While it's not surprising when Christians find songs in the Bible, they usually stick to the Psalms, the official song book. Leviticus took on a more obscure source. Judges, and the song of Deborah and Barak. Leviticus didn't have the staying power of Jerusalem. They disbanded in 1990, but they, along with Jerusalem, paved the way for the Success of Christian Rock in Europe. Delirious, Savior Machine, Iona, they all probably wouldn't have made headway without their Scandinavian brethren taking the original slings and arrows. I mean, when you think of European music, you think of Classical, not Heavy Metal. There probably wouldn't be a Frizon Festival. And the rock tradition continues to this day. Blindside is a post hardcore band that hails from Tumba, Sweden. I will close with a video from their 2004 album (it's the first one I found). This is All of Us That concludes this edition of Flashback Friday. There will be a special Flashback Friday next week. In honor of the 30th Anniversary of Petra's More Power To Ya, I will be doing a review of the album next Friday. Until my next post, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Night Beat Rewind: June 2012

July is just getting underway and already I have completed rating the June Releases. I love it when things are going my way. It's time for the June Rewind, a quick hits column where I pick the perfect, the not so perfect, but still contending, and those that miss Platinum Vinyl Consideration. As always, we begin with those releases which

Missed The Mark

There were a few of those this month. You can't only mention those you think are worthy of a Platinum Vinyl Award and still maintain credibility. The also rans
As I state in each Rewind post, these aren't necessarily bad albums (since my minimum bar is 4 Emeralds, absolutely not. These just missed being under Platinum Vinyl Consideration by a hair. Try 3 Emeralds and below for ones to avoid. Don't worry. I'll let you know about those. In the meantime, there occasionally pass our desk those releases which are

Pure Platinum

And there was one this month, sort of. I say sort of because it was a best of release, and that is sort of fudging it. You already have tons of material to sort through. You should be able to pick a 5 Emerald release from it. Especially when you, like Petra, have 5 decades of work to go through. They did limit themselves to their most memorable decade though.
As is the case every month, most of the releases are neither perfect platinum or non-contenders. Though that is probably because I really don't want to give a bad review, the fact is that most releases are simply.

Semi-Precious Metal

A few notes on this final list. Amy Grant isn't new, while it is good, it is a re-issue. The original album came out back in 2005. Israel Houghton is also a re-issue, his is from 2001. And of course BeBe Winans is a 4th of July Patriotic release. I may still stick it in in Inspirational, but it's final status is yet to be determined.

That does it for June. Hooray. Good thing things start to get quiet on the release front as the Summer months heat up. It's festival time. Get out to Cornerstone before it ends. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.