Thursday, August 30, 2012

The People's Choice

Labor Day is almost here, and that means that Summer is Unofficially Over. While the season won't change until  later in September, Fall is just around the corner.

Next Friday will mark the return of Flashback Friday, and our first post will be on the Metal band Bride. The week after that will be death metal band Saint, and then I have chosen to switch things up a bit.

I have run out of ideas for the column, at least in its present Chronological Order. I have come up with a solution, and that is to organize things thematically rather than chronologically. I have come up with ideas in three themed categories:
  1. The Commonwealth of CCM - I have a number of entries from the British Commonwealth (UK, Australia and New Zealand) Right now there are seven of them.
  2. The Industrial Revolution - These are Industrial, Techno Synthpop Bands, Right now I have six of them on tap.
  3. A Real Alternative - Alternative Bands. Right now there are 9 potential bands that can make a list here.
This is where I want you to come in. My question to you. Would you like me to go through each category one by one or would you like me to alternate one category each week. Let me know in the comments. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply

Monday, August 27, 2012

Music Video Monday: Moment to Moment

Welcome to the latest edition of Music Video Monday. Since I am continually getting new readers care of Facebook, I think it is only proper that I should continue with my introduction every week. Music Video Monday is where I share the best in Christian Music Videos on the web. Think of it as my way to resurrect the original MTV.

We have come to the Rock Genre for the 3rd Quarter Releases of 2012. Due to the abundance of videos out there, (there were 10), I am once again splitting this into two weeks, and part two will be out on Labor Day. Todays edition will be somewhat more sedate than next. We'll leave the hard stuff for the holidays.

We begin with Big Daddy Weave, one of those bands that I had somewhat forgotten about. This is Redeemed off of their album Love Come To Life.

We move on to our next band, the Rock/Worship band Deluge. This is a live performance of Your Joy from their release Swell.

Continuing with Rock/Worship, this is The Hurt and The Healer, the song from the album of the same name by legend Mercy Me.

We conclude with the harder stuff, a preview to next week. We Begin with a band originally called Magnified Plaid. Thankfully it got shortened to MxPx. This is Far Away from Plans Within Plans.

And we conclude with Sibling Punkers Children 18:3 and Moment to Moment from their latest release On the Run.

That concludes this edition of Music Video Monday. We will be having an MVM post on Labor Day, and we will finish up the Rock genre with videos from The Rocket Summer, Thousand Foot Krutch, Willet, Write This Down, and Classic Petra. Until then, or my next post, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Siren Song

There are some bands that just know how to make a good album. Skillet happens to be one of the bands that I would put on the list. At least with their current string of six albums, which just so happens to coincide with Korey Cooper taking over running the band (If you see them in concert, you can see that just about everything runs like clockwork off her MacBook Pro). While some critics criticize them for a certain sameness to their albums, the truth is they have found their zone and they are happy. As long as they remain in that zone, the band can survive just about any change and put out a great album.

Another group that has found its niche is Orange County, California Based (no, not that one) Project 86. A long time member of the Tooth and Nail family, the band is now independent. I came into this bands orbit pretty late, really only with Rival Factions (2007). Really. Evil: A Chorus of Resistance had me hooked. And the cover. You needed either a red or blue filter to make everything out. It was very different.

Every group that's been around a while will put out at least one best of album, and 2010 was Project 86's year, but they took a different spin on the typical best of album by doing both a Best Of and a Live Album in one CD, and the result was the Platinum Vinyl Award Winning Best Live Album 15. Live. (2010). If you have never listened to Project 86 or if you are already a fan, this is a must have album. You can catch my quick review of the album by clicking on the link.

Now comes Wait for the Siren, and though I'm not sure if this refers to the mythical songstresses or the wailing siren of emergency vehicles. Either way, this album is a resounding advertisement of what can come of Kickstarter campaigns. This is a tight album, and one I've had on repeat all this week. Once, Fall, Goliath, Fall starts, there is no rest. This is one of my perfect picks for a long overnight road trip. You will not fall asleep.

The album has it all: Growls, String like arrangements, celtic pipes (yes, Celtic Pipes. Think Iona Metal. It works.) This Album draws you in. And you wont have any trouble listening to the lyrics either. They are clear as crystal. Curse You P86 for making it impossible to pick a favorite song. I just want them all. And the hypnotic drums. But of course stuff like Ghosts of Easter Rising and the Title Cut with those pipes. No argument. This is a 5 Emerald Perfect Album. Don't wait for the Siren, buy now. Until next time. I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Music Video Monday: Je Suis Fini

Very rarely do we stretch out a genre over two weeks, but such will be the case for the Two rock genres. Both Hard Rock and Rock just had too many videos to squeeze into a single post.

We begin with The Overseer, and Amend, from their June release, We Search, We Dig.

Our second video is from To Speak of Wolves and their new release, Find Your Worth, Come Home. This is Je Suis Fini which means "I am Dead".
We Conclude the Heavy Metal genre with War of Ages, which released Return to Life this past quarter. Prepare yourself for this one folks, the Music is not all that's heavy. This is Silent Night, and it ain't no Christmas Song. That concludes this edition of Music Video Monday, as well as the heavy metal videos for the 3rd Quarter. I would encourage all of you, if these videos of The Overseer , To Speak of Wolves, and War of Ages have piqued your interest, to click on the links and purchase through Amazon, and support The Night Beat at the same time. Next week we move on to Rock, and until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Burning Like The Midnight Sun

I'm going back into the archives on this one, Folks. There aren't many times that I will reach back two years to do a review, but this is a special case.

First a little backstory. Soon after this blog was started I decided to come up with my own Music Awards, which I entitled the Platinum Vinyl Awards. We are now in the process of winding up the eligibility for our THIRD YEAR. And since the reach of this blog continues to grow, it wont be long before I dethrone the Doves (Waa-ha-ha).

Burning Like The Midnight Sun wreaked havok on the judging at the Inaugural Award Ceremony. It caused a split award, and there were two alternative winners, Vessels by Ivoryline shared the honors. It's release in 2010 marked the end of a five year hiatus by the band. Their previous release had been 2005's O How The Mighty Have Fallen.

The band starts right off with the title cut, somewhat unconventional in the biz, but of course, there is nothing conventional about The Choir in the first place. (By the way, I did a totally unscientific and random survey from my CD Collection. Of 10 Albums Picked at Random which had a Title Cut, the average was track 4 for the location of a title cut. You have to love the words of this song, however, which in a way is a defiant, anti-retirement song.
I'm not goin' down behind the mountain, I'm Never gonna fade away. I'm burnin' like the midnight sun. I'm not gonna sink into the ocean. Baby I'm here to stay. I'm burning' like the midnight sun. Burnin' like the midnight sun. I'm not going down.
Here's the song, via soundcloud
Of course the trademark of all songs by The Choir is what I call melodic guitar. Derri Daugherty plays his guitar with such a high key that you "hear" the guitar, where it usually just blends in to the music with other bands. It is a truly ethereal experience.

In addition to the title cut, the Daugherty and company tackle topics as diverse as Lost Love (That Melancholy Ghost), The TSA (Mr. Chandler), Death (A Friend So Kind), Christian Love (The Word Inside The Word and It Should Have Been Obvious) and a haunting ballad on Growing Up, done with little more than a pounding Piano and triangle, entitled Say Goodbye to Neverland.

There seems to be a need to issue a warning for everything, and there is somewhat of a need here. Though there is no language parental advisory, as this is a Christian Band, these guys are not ashamed to admit that they enjoy a fine cigar from time to time. For example, in Mr. Chandler, which recounts a ticketing snafu at an airport, they recount that after their ordeal, they "fired up four smokey treats". Also, in a Friend So Kind, their view of heaven is that their friend is "Forever smoking fine cigars at the table of the Lord". Not your average Christian View, and I like it.

When it originally came out I was unable to preview the entire album and so I passed it along on the basis of 30 second bites. Now that I have it I am not ashamed to say that this was worthy of winning, and should be given a 5 Emerald Rating for 2010. It is a must have album in your collection if you are a fan of real alternative music. As always, I hope you will click through the links and buy through Amazon and support The Night Beat at the same time.

If you read my recent announcement, you know that Flashback Friday will be on hiatus for August. I will return with the column after the Labor Day Holiday. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Music Video Monday: My Destiny

Welcome to the latest edition of Music Video Monday, where we bring you the latest and greatest in Christian Music Videos. We're at the 3rd Quarter Releases for Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, and we've got a whopping six videos in this category. While this post has been in the making these bands have been in the studio. What this means to you is more metal. Two Music Video Monday posts will be needed in order not to overload you in one post.

We begin with a video that I shared when it originally came out. It's from the band with the coolest name in Rock. Demon Hunter. I mean, you can't say the name without doing it in a deep bass growl. As opposed to the band with the wimpiest name, the Southern Gospel Quartet Eek, a devil.( just kidding). This is My Destiny from their April release True Defiance.

Next up is For Today, which released Immortal over the Memorial Day holiday. This is the music video for Fearless.

A little bit of a departure for our final band Haste The Day broke up after their best release ever Attack of The Wolf King. However, they just released a best of release, giving me the opportunity to post a video of the band. This is Blue 42, a live video from their final show on March 11, 2011 in Indianapolis, IN

Next Music Video Monday we will continue in the Metal Vein with videos from The Overseer, To Speak of Wolves, and War of Ages. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Vacation, Sort of

Things at The WENC Night Beat are slowing down just as the temperature is rising. Our first giveaway just concluded, and though I am joining with Like A Bump On A Blog in promoting the Ultimate Summer Giveaway, I am not a major player in that.

One of Summers victims has been Flashback Friday. We began with the seventies back in the Winter and all the low hanging fruit has already been picked. In order to do research on some of the bands I will be suspending that column until after Labor Day.

Since I still have plenty of Music Video Monday supplies, that will stay on schedule, and I may finally be able to fit in some detailed album reviews, which have suffered lately. The hiatus will also allow me to get in a little time working on my novel, which has also suffered a little.

To those just jumping in now, bear with me, I don't intent for this to be a ghost town for a month. I should be able to maintain 2 to 3 posts a week.

Until next time, I will be doing research to bring you more editions of Flashback Friday.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Night Beat Rewind: July 2012

To all my new readers and fans coming from various places including online sweepstakes, I welcome you to the latest edition of Night Beat Rewind.A little later than I would like, but at least it's within the first ten days. As readership continues to grow, this introductory note becomes more and more important.

Night Beat Rewind is my monthly quick hits rating column for the releases of the Previous Month (the August column is for the July releases, how could it be otherwise since August is in Progress). I split the releases into three categories:
  1. Those Releases which failed to make the initial bar for consideration in the annual Platinum Vinyl Awards.
  2. Those Releases GUARANTEED to make the final 7 nominees vying for PVA consideration by virtue of being awarded a PERFECT 5 EMERALD RATING
  3. The rest of the releases which met the minimum threshold of 4 Emeralds to be included in the PVA Judging Pool.
Now a word regarding category one. As I say every time, this is award worthy releases I am talking about. However, as regarding enjoyable listening is considered, unless those that missed the mark were under 3 Emeralds, you shouldn't be concerned about wasting your money on a bad album. With that being said, we begin with those albums which

Missed The Mark

As you can tell by the rating of 3.75 Emeralds these releases just missed the mark. You can be secure knowing that these four are all solid albums, just not award worthy.

This month none of the releases blew me away, so NONE of the releases fell into the second category. There were no PURE PLATINUM releases.

Semi-Precious Metal

That concludes this edition of Rewind. You can click on the links and purchase from Amazon. When you do, you will support The Night Beat at the same time. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back To School With The Night Beat

I have just completed the first ever giveaway on The WENC Night Beat (Congratulations Katie Roch from Wisconsin, your prize was shipped this morning and will be in your hands shortly), and I thought, why stop now.

So, I am teaming up with one of my Triberr associates, Amberr Meadows from Like A Bump On A Blog. This is her Ultimate Summer Giveaway. Looking over the prize list, even I'd like to win.

First prize is $225 into your Paypal Account. Now that's a prize worthy of your efforts. Second prize is an iPod Touch, a $10 Amazon Card, and a 4 pack of artistic blank greeting cards Now it's all dependent on the model of the iPod, but second prize could be worth more than the first, at least money wise.

I checked with the esteemed Night Beat Legal Team of Youppa, Snoopa and Cow. (Hey, it's got to be a step up from Dewey, Cheatem and Howe) and they informed me that all the Night Beat can be considered is an interested party. Sponsors of the Ultimate Summer Giveaway include:
Since it's Amber's Contest and rules, she would like to remind you that to be considered to win the prize, you must do ALL the steps on the rafflecopter. So do it. Now, on to the form

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's all for today. I will be back with my usual music related post soon. Until then, go and enter.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Music Video Monday: They Like Me

No, this isn't a post on Sally Field. This is the latest edition of Music Video Monday, where we share the best Music Videos in CCM. We've been playing catch up since we started it this year. However, I think we're almost there. Today we do Hip Hop and Rap for the Third Quarter, and we've got two more third quarter posts to go. Since the fourth quarter ends in September (September 30 to be exact), we will definitely be in the fourth quarter when it ends.

First up is KJ-52 (pronounced five-two). He released Dangerous back in April, and the first official music video from the CD is entitled They Like Me (feat. Lecrae).

April also marked a release from Hip Hop Legend Trip Lee. If you don't have it already, go get a copy of Between Two Worlds (click on the title, buy through Amazon, and help support The Night Beat while you are at it). This is an extremely powerful video again featuring Lecrae. This video teams with Voice of The Martyrs to support Persecuted Christians around the world.

We close with Manafest. We also conclude a All April Music Video Monday. Manafest released Fighter in April. This is the video for the title cut.

That concludes this edition of Music Video Monday. Next week we move onto the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal videos. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Final Time Around

This is the last This Time Around Giveaway until the announcement. The Giveaway ends at midnight, so enter now and as they say in Montreal bon chance.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The End Is Near

For the first ever This Time Around Giveaway It ends tomorrow and the entries are going nicely. I will be picking the winner and notifying him or her early next week. In the meantime enjoy your weekend, especially if you are at Soulfest (ends today) or Kingdom Bound (begins tomorrow). Watch your email box and this blog for the results.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Flashback Friday: Who Will You Follow

Is a band cool if your parents like it? Usually that question only pops up when a young person discovers a classic band like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or something like that on iTunes and thinks the music is cool, then they find out that their parents listened to them when they were young. Reality check. Can anything my parents liked be cool?

The subject of this Flashback Friday post was a little different. As I went on from High School to college I was introduced to new things (no, not that). Musically, I mean. Once in college a friend of mine introduced me to Heavy Metal, and I was hooked. Now to a Christian heavy metal meant Stryper, Barren Cross, Rez and some others.

Whitecross was a rare breed among the bands of the time. Not only did it consist of hard driving metal, it was paired with Crystal Clear Lyrical Content. So much so that my dad asked for a copy. He thought the lyrics were spot on. I will always remember that about my dad.

They burst onto the rock scene with their eponymous debut in 1987 and one of their first hits was "Who Will You Follow?" They Pulled no punches. Sorry Billy Graham, but this an amped up altar call par excellence. Here is a video for Who will You Follow done in Germany, the audio isn't great, but they put the lyrics for you to read. It's fun to see these guys with short hair.

Rex Carroll was their guitarist from the outset until he and Lead Vocalist Scott Wenzel split in 1994. Unveiled, Equilibrium and Flytrap, one release a year from 1994-96 were done without Carroll, and the sound is much different. Happily, though they took a brief hiatus from 1996-2000 they reformed and brought Carroll back in 2005, and they have been quietly touring. Here is a video of a Carroll guitar solo including the song Nagasaki.

Rumor has it that they may make a new CD but I can't find anything regarding that. Since the Information came from Wikipedia, I take it with a grain of salt, but I hope it's true.Eight albums and one EP in the course of 9 years. It was an impressive work record and now that they have had a well deserved rest, I hope they are back. The rock scene could use them. Check out their body of work on Amazon and help support The Night Beat at the same time. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.