Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday: Taking it Worldwide

Dictionaries are completely useless things. Case in point, I turned to Webster to help define our latest band, and it wasn't in there. I decided to break the name into its constituent parts and try that way, and this is what I got.
  • Audio: adj. of or relating to sound or its reproduction and especially high-fidelity reproduction
  • Adrenaline: noun. Epinephrine (Okay, so that was useless. What's epinephrine?)
  • Epinephrine: noun a colorless crystalline feebly basic sympathomimetic hormone C9H13NO3 that is the principal blood-pressure raising hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla and is used medicinally especially as a heart stimulant, a vasoconstrictor in controlling hemorrhages of the skin, and a muscle relaxant in bronchial asthma —called also adrenaline
ZZZZZZZZZZZ. Oh, Sorry, dozed off there for a second. Like I said, completely worthless. Never let a dictionary do what you should do for yourself. Ladies and Gentlemen, Audio Adrenaline.

You've got to love a band whose name means, basically, Loud Music. Formed in 1986 as A-180, the original lineup was Mark Stuart, Barry Blair, Will McGinnis, David Stuart and Phil Vaughan, who all went to Kentucky Christian University. By 1991 they had gotten the attention of Toby MacKeehan (TobyMac) of DC Talk and Signed to Forefront Records.

I came to the attention of the band in 1992, they were the warm up act for DC Talk on their Free at Last Tour and came to Worcester Memorial Auditorium (no longer in existence). I proudly consider myself an Adrenaline Junkie (the bands term for their fans). The Classic Audio A lineup was:
  • Mark Stuart: Vocals, Guitar
  • Will McGinness: Vocals, Bass
  • Bob Herdman: Guitars, Keys
  • Ben Cissell: Drums
  • Tyler Burkum: Guitars
They produced eight studio albums in their first go round
Some of the songs had a sort of demented humor to them. Take DC-10, one of their early songs, which I discovered on Underdog.

"A 747 Fell out of heaven, crashed through the roof of a 7-11
You're working on a slurpee, things get hazy
reach for a twinkie, now you're pushing up daisies
Do you know where you're gonna go."
Who knew that they would survive Hostess?
Audio Adrenaline is one more example among many of one of my musical facts of life. If you want to have a great soft ballad, have a hard rock band write it. Rock bands know how to slow it down very nicely. On the other hand AC and soft bands seem silly when they try to rock it out. Pierced, Leaving Ninety Nine, Hands and Feet, Good Life. All of these are excellent ballads by Audio Adrenaline. They also did one of the best versions ever of It is well with my soul (a duet with Jennifer Knapp). How that song turned into a morose funeral song I'll never know. It always made me wonder "Is it well with your soul?" I give you one of my favorite Audio Adrenaline ballads, Ocean Floor.

Mark Stuarts voice shot to you know where, the band broke up in 2007, but that is not the end of the story. The band recently reformed with only McGinniss among the original members. The new Audio A is filled out with Dave Ghazarian of Superchick, Jared Byers of Bleach and, at Lead Vocal, Kevin Max of DC Talk. Now I love Kevin, but I'm not sure he's the right fit for this band. You saw some of Audio A, but this is Kevin Max. You decide.

We shall see how things turn out for the new Audio Adrenaline. I myself am eagerly awaiting the new album.

I hope that you enjoyed this look at one of the great Alternative Rock bands of Christian Music. We have completed another rotation. Next Friday we return to The Commonwealth of CCM and the land down under as we cover Rebecca St. James. Tomorrow we return to the Christmas Parade. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Bells of Mannheim

Continuing with our Christmas Parade. We are beginning the parade with my must have bands during the Holiday Season. We Come to a band which has been synonymous with Christmas, and rightly so. Mannheim Steamroller embodies the season for a lot of us, with its fusion of electronica, classical music, and renaissance music. For me, I could listen to them all the time. Still, it's best not to overdue anything. Moderation is the key, which is why I mix in Annie Moses Band, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and others. This is the Carol of the Bells.

Flashback Friday is Tomorrow. The Christmas Parade resumes on Saturday. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Annie Get Your Christmas Music Here

The Night Beat Christmas Music Parade continues. I'm starting things off with my favorites, the music I would definitely put into an all the time rotation. To Keep ME interested.

Annie Moses Band is one of those. Who new violins could rock the mistletoe. If this can't get you in the Christmas Spirit, Nothing Will.

Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Night Beat Christmas Parade

Music Video Parade to be precise. Since things are slowing to a crawl in the new release department, probably until the new year rolls around, I think it is time to shake things up again. I have Flashback Friday material, but not MVM. I will switch to Holiday Mode and do a Christmas Music Video or Youtube Audio each day through the season, excepting Friday.

I think it is appropriate to begin the parade with one of my favorites, Trans Siberian Orchestra. This is the Music Video for Christmas Canon. Why not start out at the top.

Look for more tomorrow. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Music Video Monday: Matt and Toby Edition

We'll, we have a special Music Video Monday. What could be considered the single edition. Nobody has been making videos lately, so I have run out. I found ONE. This is Matt and Toby, the new side project from Emery Members Toby Morrell and Matt Carter. Their Self Titled debut came out last week, and it's a little pop, a little alternative, a little worship. It's a fairly unique album in that respect. This is the Music Video for Life of The Party.

Hopefully next week I can get back into the rhythm, or else I shall move to Christmas Music. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Night Beat Classic: Beware of Small Business Saturday

(The Following Post was published Last Year as I discovered Small Business Saturday. The Post is Satire. Shop at the Business You Want to Shop At. Even Wal-Mart was originally a Small Business. Are you angry when your Children Become Adults? Properly nourished businesses will grow. Enjoy)

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.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Flashback Friday: Cooking Something Up

Among the top tier of Christian Rock, and definitely Christian Industrial, very few have survived as much change as Skillet. Begun in 1996 as a trio (Skillet Trio, sounds like something at Denny's), the band was originally a side project to three bands which no longer exist. The original lineup consisted of:
  • John Cooper: Vocals, Bass, Piano (fmr Lead Singer of Seraph)
  • Trey McClurkin: Drums, Vocals
  • Ken Steorts: Guitars, Vocals, Guitar Synths (fmr Guitarist Urgent Cry)
The bands eponymous debut made my list of albums I want to Strand on a Desert Island. But what a difference two years can make. Though the lineup was unchanged, Hey You, I Love Your Soul (1998) showed that a vast improvement had been made. Still, no one would predict that the band would be anything more than a pretty good band.

Three years old and the first change occurred. The trio became a quartet. Ken Steorts left to found the Visible Music School (responsible for creating the band Luminate among others). The new lineup was:
  • John Cooper: Vocals, Bass, Loops, Keyboards, Guitars
  • Korey Cooper: (John's Wife) Keyboards, Loops, Sampling, Programming (fmr lead of the band Alkeme)
  • Kevin Haaland: Guitar
  • Trey McClurkin: Drums
This lineup didn't last very long. McClurkin soon left and, after Invincible (2000), was replaced by Korey's Alkeme drummer Lori Peters. One note on Invincible. The album featured the band superimposed upon a skyscraper, and a song entitled "Earth Invasion" which contained the lyrics "Changing History, when the colliding comes, where will you run. Come with us if you want to live." Since this came out just months before 9/11, I think they were strangely prophetic. One thing Invincible was noted for was two awesome "duets" between Korey and John, Will You Be There (Falling Down) and Come My Way. I would love to see an entire album of those duets.

The lineup of The Coopers, Peters and Haaland recorded a live worship album which will go on the Night Beats list of the Best Albums ever. I went to Christian Bookstores a lot at the time, and this was the only album which I remember forgetting to advance through the songs quickly. I went from song one, to two, to three, to four, before getting a little embarrassed. Needless to say I bought the CD. If you believe, like me, that "it ain't worship until your ears bleed", then this album is for you. Plus the extended "worship jams" (like the 5 minute Angels Fall Down jam).

Beginning with Collide (2003), the now firmly established Hard Rock/Industrial band began a practice of turning the title track on a CD into a signature piece, complete with massive orchestration and the like. More change occurred after Comatose when Peters left to be replaced by (now) gorgeous redhead Jen Ledger from Great Britain, the bands first reach out into the international talent pool. Haaland was replaced by Ben Kasica in 2001 and left to be replaced by current guitarist Seth Morrison. Comatose (2006) has a record three "love songs", which somehow mean a lot more to me now than when I originally bought the album.

Awake (2009) was the last time they were in the studio, but word is we may soon see something in the next year.

For A band which has thrived on change, even going so far as to have an Upright Bass and Violin in its lineup, the sky is the limit. And though they are now entering their forties, John and Korey still look like they're about twenty, so I don't forsee the band going away any time soon. And neither will The Night Beat, though we must take a bit of time off for Thanksgiving. Until we next meet, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving From the Night Beat

I was going to let this Thanksgiving Day Pass without a post, but then I read my friend Andy-Roo's  post on Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving. Granted, it is one of the weakest of the TV Shows (Christmas was the Best, Then Halloween, Then Easter), but since it was mentioned. Here it is

Wouldn't want anyone to miss out. Happy Thanksgiving Day from The Night Beat..

Monday, November 19, 2012

Music Video Monday: Second Helpings

Welcome back to Music Video Monday. Today we have something a little different. Usually I try to share the latest in Christian Music Videos, but today we will be going back over some ground that has already been covered. Some of these artists had their album released back in the First Quarter (October-December 2011) and they just released a music video for another song. Here at MVM we tie the videos to their original album release, we do not put the video in the quarter in which the video was posted.

We begin with the sibling group from Minnesota Children 18:3, originally we shared the Music Video for Moment to Moment. They recently put out another Music Video from their album On the Run. This is We'll Never Say Goodbye.

New Tooth and Nail Rockers Nine Lashes take on the Alien Invasion in their latest video from their debut World We View. This is Get Back.

A bit more recent of a video. Lecrae released Gravity toward the end of the 4th Quarter of this just completed entry period and had released one video at the time Lord Have Mercy feat Tedashii. We featured it at the time. He has released another video featuring Mali Music. This is Tell The World.

One More from the First Quarter of this past year. Lights came out with Siberia this year and we have already featured Toes and Banner. This is Timing is everything.

That concludes this edition of Music Video Monday. We will return after Thanksgiving with hopefully an all new video edition. Until that time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday: Read All About It

"I come from a land down under..." The Commonwealth of CCM continues, and we move from Great Britain to Australia. Right now we will only be stopping for a short while on the continent, but we may return if I find more artists. Right now I am doing my best to exclude Hillsong Church from the list.

Our first bunch of Aussies can claim ties to Elvis (at least in a roundabout way). Newsboys hail from Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia, and have been around since the 80's. Originally called The News. Upon making the jump to the States they ran into a problem, there was a band called Huey Lewis and The News. So Newsboys it was.

From the start there was always Peter Furler. He started out on drums and eventually, after the departure of John James after Take Me to Your Leader (1986), he assumed both Lead Vocal and second drum duties. Duncan Phillips came on as drummer, and during every concert (at least during festival season), the Newsboys had a tilted rotating dual drum set in which Furler and Phillips had a dueling drum solo. It was awesome.

Due to the changes at Lead Vocal, like Petra, Newsboys can be divided into era's

The John James Era
  • Read All About It (1988)
  • Hell is for Wimps (1990)
  • Boys Will Be Boyz (1991)
  • Not Ashamed (1992)
  • Going Public (1994)
  • Take Me To Your Leader (1996)
The last three albums of the John James era were also notable in that they featured the Production and songwriting talents of Clone Prince Steve Taylor. His somewhat? demented form of humor can be seen on songs like Take Me To Your Leader, Reality, and others. Shine from going Public shows a hint of Taylor's insanity.

The Peter Furler Era
  • Step Up to the Microphone (1998)
  • Love, Liberty, Disco (1999)
  • Thrive (2002)
  • Adoration: The Worship Album (2003)
  • Devotion (2004)
  • Go (2006)
  • In The Hands of God (2009)
Furler left to spend time with his family, and that is where we find our Elvis connection. Peter Furler married Summer LeFevre, the daughter of Mylon LeFevre, and Mylon wrote a song 'Without Him" that was recorded on Elvis Album How Great Thou Art. One of the videos from this era would be Entertaining Angels from Step up to the Microphone.

The Michael Tait Era
  • Born Again (2010)
  • God's Not Dead (2011)
  • Live In Concert: God's Not Dead (2012)
After Furler's departure the band turned to former DC Talk singer Michael Tait. Of course this move effectively put do death all hopes of a DC Talk reunion. (A second nail in the coffin came when Kevin Max was hired by Audio Adrenaline). The sophomore album in the Tait era was God's Not Dead, and the official music video for that is below.

Outside of Hillsong Church, Newsboys are the most successful group in Australia. Inside of Hillsong Church of course, it is Hillsong. On Black Friday we will cover the group that, outside of Petra and the Newsboys, has thrived by change, and that is Skillet. Until our next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Miracles on The Third Day

Yes you can expect a Miracle [+digital booklet] . Southern Rock fans everywhere held their collective breaths a while back when they heard that Third Day Frontman Mac Powell was releasing a solo album. With the recent breakup of a number of bands, it is no wonder. When we heard the album would be a country album, a few of us were doubly concerned.

Well we can all breathe now. Not only did the self titled country release impress us here at Night Beat HQ, it did it by realizing it was best not to stray too far from Third Day.

Third Day has matured a lot over the years, and I should know. I have been on board since the bands second album, Conspiracy No. 5 (1997). When I heard them for the first time during the inaugural Inside Out Soulfest (1998) at Loon Mountain, I immediately was drawn to the Bass Heavy, Plodding Rock Sound reminiscent of 70's Bands. While that has mellowed a bit, the band rocks out just fine.

Miracle hits you like a bomb, to quote the opening cut. Personally, I think it is better than the previous release, Move. A little less country, a little more Adult Contemporary.

Of course one of the trademarks of any Third Day is the worship, and on this album the worship is covered by Your Love is Like A River, You are my everything, and Morning Has Broken. There is one music video out, and that is for I need a Miracle.

I have one complaint about this album, and that is that the opening cut is the hardest cut on the album, and the next hardest is The Victory (track 8) and then Times Running Out On Me. The rest of the album is pretty AC friendly. Because of that I'm only giving Miracle [+digital booklet] 4.75 Emeralds. It could have been a perfect album if it had a few more rock numbers. Still, it should be well primed to make the final pool in the 4th PVA's. Click on the links to buy the album and support The Night Beat at the same time. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Night Beat Rewind: October 2012

Welcome to the regularly scheduled edition of Night Beat Rewind. We kind of got a little sidetracked this month because of an over abundance of Christmas Music. That, combined with a whopping 47 entries of the non seasonal variety, makes for quite a long post. I am sure that I  will be testing you readers, but bear with me. Actually, most of them will be at the end, so stay with me.

As always, we begin with those releases which I say are:

Missing The Mark

Now since I get new readers every day, I will remind you that these releases aren't bad. Most are Okay as I would put it. It's just that I demand WOW to make the Platinum Vinyl Awards and these don't do it for me.

Perfect Platinum

I decided to put the ABR Christmas album here as well due to its Platinum Status, but it will be the only crossover between the lists. Of the Four, Gungor Really surprised, seeing that I am usually underwhelmed by the studio albums, but this live one, WOW.

Semi-Precious Metal

That concludes the October 2012 Wrap. The 4th Annual Platinum Vinyl Awards eligibility year is now underway. Keep it tuned here for all of the exclusive coverage. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.