Monday, October 28, 2013

Music Video Monday: It's What We Crave

Welcome back to our regularly scheduled Music Video Monday. We're loaded for bear here at MVM so let's get right to it. We're going to go with Audio Adrenaline once again to kick things off. This is Kings and Queens.

Staying with the royalty things, sometimes there is no better motivation for things than doing them For King and Country. This is Hope is What We Crave.

Simon and Garfunkel may have wanted to be an Island, but Michael Gungor said, who needs a stinking Island. I Am Mountain.

Finally, we conclude with Ghost Ship, to spread a little Halloween Joy, and, Mediator.

That concludes this regularly scheduled Music Video Monday. This weeks weekend edition will contain videos from Paramore, The Almost and others. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, October 25, 2013

MVM Weekend Edition: Drifting

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Music Video Friday. Seeing that there isn't much material for a Flashback Friday, it's a day just like any other. Since I have an abundance of Music Videos to share, I thought it would be best if I added another day to the video rotation. This way I can get you into and out of the weekend with some great videos.

We begin with the newly reconstituted Audio Adrenaline. Mark Stuart is long gone, and fans of the original were skeptical to say the least when we heard that the band was reforming with Kevin Max in the lead. Audio A was a rock band, and Kevin didn't have a rock voice. He was into shimmering ballads. Lucky for us the band recognized it as well, so they retooled themselves as alternative to meet the challenge, and the result, Pure Platinum. This is Believer Next up we have something different. Instead of a Music Video, Jonathan Thulin (pronounced Too-lean) is the alternative half of the Thulin brothers (David is Electronic Dance Music). When it comes to Music Video's however, Jonathan's last name might as well be DeMille. These are cinematic masterpieces. Oh, as they say Bombs Away. Our third band is Hearts of Saints. Their latest release is For All of Us. Alt worship at its best. This is Merciful God Our last entrant isn't new, but definitely new to Alternative. From her pop rock beginnings to the queen of the dance floor (either a mortal or a venial sin depending on the denomination), her latest album Need You Now is making heat in the Alternative market. This is Drifting That does it for the inaugural edition of Music Video Friday. Monday we return to our original rotation with More Audio Adrenaline, as well as Gungor and others. Until next time. I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Help, I need somebody

Help, not just anybody.... The Beatles had it right (The Kings of Rock and Roll usually did). Don't try to argue with me on this one. America has no royalty, so they can have no king. Therefore Elvis cannot be the King. He may or may not be the best, but that is an entirely different argument.

If you would like to be among the few, the proud, the #NightBeatniks, I would like you to connect with me. Now, if you are familiar with Christian Music, that is a plus, but is not essential to the task at hand. I am more concerned with the music at the PVA's. First Round Voting will progress in various stages, to narrow down the entries into a final list of nominees.
The schedule will progress as follows:
  • Phase 1: Album Genres
  • Phase 2: Song Genres
  • Phase 3: Video Genres
  • Phase 4: General Field
  • Phase 5: Album, Song, and Video of The Year
I have applied the first cut to the album genres in an attempt to drain the pool somewhat. The minimum bar, instead of 4 Emeralds, is currently set at 4.75. While that narrows a lot of genres, surprisingly not all. After the cut the following genres still need a lot of help.
  • Rap: 15 entries
  • Modern Worship: 24 entries
  • Alternative: 33 entries 
  • Pop: 16 Entries
  • Hard Rock: 13 entries
  • Rock: 13 entries
The goal is 7 entries for each genre. I have no objection to blowing up the categories to as many as 10, but that's it. There will be no 21 nominee category like this years Dove Award Song of The Year. That's all you need to know right now.  So if you want to be involved, contact me, and  I will provide you with a list of that genre's pool entries. You don't have to have any of these albums, that's what Amazon and iTunes are for. Plus, as full album streams or songs are available, I am posting them on my Soundcloud Profile.

Think it over, and if you think you've got what it takes to be a judge, I'll be Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Heat Advisory: The 2013 Fourth Quarter - Rock

We have come to the end. The Final Category in the 4th Quarter Platinum Vinyl Award Pool is that of Rock, by far the glory genre. It was kind of a quiet quarter for rock, with only six entries. This category has a lot of work to it, so 6 is pretty atypical. Still, there was plenty of heat this time around.

Rock Music

It's kind of fitting that we wrap things up in October. Decyfer Down rocked down the house with Scarecrow (kind of fitting for the Halloween season) and even took on one of the scariest things out there the Westboro Baptist Church. Everfound is a new band which expands the Commonwealth of CCM to Russia. And though it left you wanting more, how many groups around today will ever be able to boast 40 years of success.

That finishes the 4th Quarter of 2013. The pool is now closed. The 5th Platinum Vinyl Awards Year begins. Until next time I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Heat Advisory: The 2013 Fourth Quarter - Hard Rock

We are down to the final two genres as we wrap up the fourth quarter. This is where the Heat Advisory really takes off.  We begin with the Heat Turned Up to High. Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. Let's get to the music.

Hard Rock/Metal

One point of mention. Yes, there are two editions of Love and Death. Only one will most likely make it to the finals. No point in giving anyone an unfair advantage.

There's only one more to go, and that's Rock. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Music Video Monday - Loved

Welcome Back to Music Video Monday. On this Dove Award Telecast Monday we're going to begin something new, for time constraints. This week, in addition to Music Video Monday, we will begin Music Video Friday. If I don't do this I will be doing past releases way into 2014 and still try to showcase the new stuff.

We begin this week with JJ Heller and a video which is sure to be Loved.
Next up is a new band, Bridgecity, and It's all because.
We go back to college, The University of Mobile to be precise. They want you to know that Our God is Faithful.
We conclude with another newbie, The Neverclaim. This is One Truth, One Life.
That's it for this exclusive Monday edition of Music Video Monday. On the debut edition of Music Video Friday, we will have videos by Audio Adrenaline, Jonathan Thulin, Hearts of Saints, and Plumb. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Heat Advisory: The 2013 Fourth Quarter - Rap

The rollout of the 4th Quarter Pool Eligible Entries is just about over. There are only three more to go. We begin with Rap, and its sibling Hip-Hop. A respectable, if not large, showing was put up in this genre. 6 entries to be precise.

Hip-Hop and Rap

One special comment. King Kulture is a Themed Album. A Variety of Christian Hip-Hop Artists gather together to help stop the sex-trade industry. I'm giving it an extra link because proceeds from the album go to support the fight. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Heat Advisory: The 2013 Fourth Quarter - Pop

Down to the Final Four. Sometimes it does seem like March Madness around here. Of Course, our final four is where the heat is, so to speak. We begin today with Pop, and the other three are Hip Hop, Hard Rock and Rock. Pop music had a very good quarter. 11 entries and a mix of new sounds and old.

Pop Music

  • Love and The Outcome - Love & The Outcome
  • Dara Maclean - Wanted
  • Mandisa - Overcomer
  • Newsboys - Restart
  • 1 Girl Nation - 1 Girl Nation
  • Shine Bright Baby - Dreamers
  • The Sonflowerz - Love Walked In
  • Ryan Stevenson - Holding Nothing Back
  • Tammy Trent - Sunny Days
  • Tricia - Radiate
  • Christa Wells - Feed Your Soul
A few comments are in order. I've had somewhat of a hot-cold relationship with Newsboys lately. Luckily things are swinging back to hot.  I really liked Michael Tait's debut (Born Again), but was less than impressed with the Follow Up (God's Not Dead). However, like Gungor, while the studio album failed to impress, the Live Concert Album was a winner. Restart has gone dance pop and I think it suits the new lineup to a T.
The Same with Tammy Trent. I was thinking her music had passed me by. Kind of Like How I grew out of my Amy Grant Phase. However, I think it was just the latest albums that failed to impress. The Dance-Pop style of Sunny Days really suits her voice.
Three to go. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Heat Advisory: The 2013 Fourth Quarter - Gospel

We continue our 4th Quarter Pool Eligible Releases with Gospel, which includes the more mainstream friendly R & B. Usually that goes without mention, but this quarter one of the 7 entries is R & B.


Only four more genres to go. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Heat Advisory: The 2013 Fourth Quarter - Alternative

Alternative Rock is next. This genre is tied with Pop this quarter for second place with 11 entries. Modern Worship took the title with 16.

There was one perfect album in the mix this time around. Cloverton was just about the definition of what Alternative should be. All that was lacking was a photo and a dictionary. Coincidentally, of course, they are first on the list.

Alternative Music

  • Cloverton - Patterns
  • Crave - Crave
  • The Digital Age - Evening Morning
  • Falling Up - Hours
  • Falling Up - Midnight on Earthship
  • Gungor - I am Mountain
  • Jars of Clay - Inland
  • Nations - Nations
  • Seabird - Troubled Days 
  • Search The City - Flight
  • Derek Webb - I was wrong, I'm Sorry, and I Love You.
I loved Gungor this time. Not perfect, mind you, but really loved. I say that because a lot of reviews criticize it for being too "new age" and "Not a Worship Album". Of course, for someone who loves New Age Music (yoo-hoo Mannheim Steamroller), I said, "you say it like it's a bad thing."

A few more to go. To all the entrants of the Great WENC Night Beat 3rd Birthday Giveaway, thank you. If you were a winner, your prize was shipped. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Heat Advisory: The 2013 Fourth Quarter - Modern Worship

This was "The Big One" this quarter, with 16 entries. Because of that I don't usually put up links because the formatting puts a lot of white squares which look ugly when it posts. Without further ado:

Modern Worship

  • Audrey Assad - Fortunate Fall
  • Bethel Music - Tides
  • Bridgecity - Bridgecity
  • Seth Condrey - Keeps on Changing
  • Cornerstone Sanctuary Choir - Glorify
  • Keith and Kristyn Getty - Live at the Gospel Coalition
  • Matt Gilman - Awaken Love
  • Hillsong Live - Glorious Ruins
  • Jimmy Needham - The Hymn Sessions, Volume 1
  • The Neverclaim - The Neverclaim
  • New Life Worship - Strong God
  • One: A Worship Collective - We Believe: Live
  • Dustin Smith - Rushing Waters
  • Skyler & Kim Walker Smith - Home
  • Kathy Troccoli - Worshipsongs: Tis So Sweet
  • Phil Wickham - The Ascension 
Yes, Audrey Assad was just listed as Adult Contemporary/Inspirational. It's a toss up if the album is AC or Modern Worship, so I gave it to both pools. I'm generous that way.

One further item of note. Sometimes between multiple labels or digital and hard copy, certain releases get listed twice. Rest assired it will only have one listing if it gets to the finals. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Heat Advisory: The 2013 Fourth Quarter - Adult Contemporary

Continuing our announcement of  the pool eligible entries for the Fourth Quarter of 2013. We begin with our single genre posts, and we begin our musical journey with Adult Contemporary, or easy listening, if you prefer. This is the stuff that finds its way into most of the radio stations piped into public establishments. We had one perfect 5 in this grouping, that of Audrey Assad, usually more of a pop mainstay.

Adult Contemporary/Inspirational

Sometimes I feel guilty with these double dip allowances for deluxe editions and the like. Matthew West had Into the Light released last year. This is the same album with a live DVD packaged with it. 

Sometimes I think that all the good album titles are already taken. Case in point. The Title of The City Harmonics latest release is the same as the second release by Audrey Assad.

Four genre's down already. Things are heating up. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Music Video Monday:Between the Raindrops

Welcome to the Columbus Day edition of Music Video Monday. We here at The Night Beat are proud to celebrate Columbus Day, not Fall Day (sounds like a personal injury attorney's wet dream) or any such pablum. If you don't want to celebrate a holiday, that's fine. Take it off the schedule and make it a work day. A snowball has a better chance of surviving you know where than a paid day off has of being dropped.

Now, on to the videos. We begin with Lifehouse, one of those GRAC bands we love here at The Night Beat. From their new release Almeria, this is Between The Raindrops (ft. Natasha Bedingfield).
Next up we have The Digital Age, a new band made up of most of the former members of David Crowder Band. Their latest release Evening:Morning is worship with trance electronica. It's quite an experience. This is Believe.
A new to The Night Beat band is next. Green River Ordinance mixes a bit of everything, Rock, AC, Country, Folk, and does it well. This is Heart of Me.
Finally, though we call this Music Video Monday, this next video qualifies Triple M, as in Music Movie Monday. Jonathan Thulin (Pronounced Too-Lean), the Alternative half of the Thulin Brothers. His brother David does Electronic Dance Music. From The White Room, this is the 10 minute Movie experience, Dead Come To Life. 
That does it for this edition of Music Video Monday. Next week we will take a break from Alternative to showcase a few odds and ends from other categories that we missed due to space considerations. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Heat Advisory: The 2013 Fourth Quarter - Dancing Folk

The Fourth Quarter of 2013 is complete, at least as far as The Platinum Vinyl Awards are concerned. The beginning of October closes one year and begins another, and the turning of the leaves also turns a page for those wishing to nab an Elpy. Wait til next years awards.

We begin our recap with at least one genre which didn't have enough entries to make a single post. This quarter is no exception. While one genre, Children's Music, didn't have any entries this quarter, and only two entries all year, making it either a candidate for extinction this year or the subject of the first ever PVA coin flip, Dance and Folk Music had only a handful of entries.

We begin with Folk and Folk Rock, which has, among its 3 entries this month, two Perfect 5's. The list:

Folk/Folk Rock

The Civil Wars is definitely the front runner, Haun could surprise, because Jazz in CCM is rare, and got classified as folk. Who knows. 

As you know by now, Dance got split into two last year, and this year may get split into three, due to the abundance of remix albums.



The Digital Age is made of members of the former David Crowder Band and is doing worship with an electronic trance twist. Hardie Avenue has a few releases under its belt already, but is among the bands new to The Night Beat.

We're off and running as we wrap up the Fourth Quarter. Stick with me. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Night Beat Rewind: September 2013

The End is Here. The end of the 4th Platinum Vinyl Awards Eligibility Year. For those new to The Night Beat, the Platinum Vinyl Awards Eligibility Year runs from October 1 to September 30 inclusive. With the end of September the Pool is Closed. Well, sort of. A new pool opens October 1 and new entrants start to fill it.

First, though, we must say goodbye to the old before we say hello to the new. One little extra to take care of for the next few months. Christmas Music. Not to be too much of a scrooge, but Christmas in July is just a marketing campaign. It's not to be taken seriously. With the first Christmas releases happening in SEPTEMBER, it is time to put our foot down. No releases until November 1. Is that too much to ask.

Christmas Music (Non-Eligible)

The highest rated Christmas releases had one thing in common. Jazz. These releases went the Jazz Christmas route, with Denver and The Mile High Orchestra sound. That's always a winner in my book. The problem with Gospel Christmas, not enough Gospel in it. Was kind of Modern Worship flat sounding.

I guess that provides a good segue to our first official grouping, those entries which

Missed The Mark

  • Bread of Stone - The Real Life 3.75 Emeralds
  • Darrell Evans - Awesome God is He 3.75 Emeralds
  • For King and Country - Hope is What We Crave: Live 3.75 Emeralds
  • David Glenn - Relentless 3.75 Emeralds
  • Sara Groves - The Collection 3.75 Emeralds
  • Hillsong United - Oceans EP 3.75 Emeralds
  • KIDD - Murder My Flesh 3.75 Emeralds
  • Jonny Lang - Fight For My Soul 3.75 Emeralds
  • Leaders - Indomitable 3.75 Emeralds
  • Patrick Levis - Extravagant God 3.75 Emeralds
  • New Hope Oahu - Hope is Alive 3.75 Emeralds
  • Switchfoot - Fading West EP 3.75 Emeralds
  • UM Worship - Our God is Faithful: Live Worship from the University of Mobile 3.75 Emeralds
All these entries are very good, just not award worthy. One does stand out for special notice, however. It is a rare talent to make an album set in Hawaii that sounds like it was recorded in Kansas City. Or Sydney, Australia. I'm not asking for Don Ho, but a little local flavor would be appreciated.

Pure Platinum

  • Cloverton - Patterns 5 Emeralds

    Semi-Precious Metal   

  • Bethel Music - Tides 4.75 Emeralds
  • The City Harmonic - Heart 4.50 Emeralds
  • Andrae Crouch - Live in Los Angeles 4.50 Emeralds
  • The Devil Wears Prada - 8:18 4.75 Emeralds
  • Keith and Kristyn Getty - Live at the Gospel Coalition 4.75 Emeralds
  • Gungor - I Am Mountain4.75 Emeralds
  • Deitrick Haddon - RED (Restoring Everything Damaged) 4.75 Emeralds
  • Hardie Avenue - Party at the End of the World 4.50 Emeralds
  • David Huntsinger - Autumn Daydreams 4.75 Emeralds
  • Donald Lawrence - Best For Last 4.50 Emeralds
  • Love and Death - Between Here and Lost Expanded Edition 4.75 Emeralds
  • Dara Maclean - Wanted 4.75 Emeralds
  • Derek Minor - Minorville 4.75 Emeralds
  • Jimmy Needham - The Hymn Sessions, Volume 1 4.50 Emeralds
  • The Neverclaim - The Neverclaim 4.75 Emeralds 
  • Newsboys - Restart 4.75 Emeralds
  • Matt Papa - Look and Live 4.50 Emeralds
  • Ernest Pugh - The W.I.N. (Worship In Nassau) Experience 4.50 Emeralds
  • Matt Redman - Your Grace Finds Me: Live 4.50 Emeralds
  • Search The City - Flight 4.50 Emeralds
  • 7eventh Time Down - Just Say Jesus 4.50 Emeralds
  • Dustin Smith - Rushing Waters 4.50 Emeralds
  • The Sonflowerz - Love Walked In 4.75 Emeralds
  • Ryan Stevenson - Holding nothing Back EP 4.75 Emeralds
  • Various Artists - WoW 2014 4.50 Emeralds
  • Derek Webb - I Was Wrong, I'm Sorry, and I Love You 4.50 Emeralds
  • Phil Wickham - The Ascension 4.50 Emeralds
That concludes the 2013 Night Beat Rewind. October starts a whole new year of eligibility. Things are already proceeding at a quick pace. If you would like to join up with The Night Beat on a trial basis as a judge in next years Platinum Vinyl Awards, look for a post in the near future which will spell out the need. In the meantime, keep it tuned here and, as always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Music Video Monday: Unstable

Welcome back to an all new Music Video Monday. We begin the Alternative videos today. First up is one of the kings of the genre, Anberlin. From their new release, Vital, rated a perfect 5 Emeralds, this is Unstable.

Staying with the relationship theme, this is Further Seems Forever singing about a girl who is So Cold.

We switch gears a bit with Minneapolis band Hyland and Beauty in the Broken.

Now that the giveaway is over, we're going with four videos a week if we can. We conclude this week with Emery side Project Matt and Toby and  Prodigal Sons and Daughters.

That concludes this edition of Music Video Monday. We will not be taking Columbus Day off. We will be here. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Are You a Superchick or just a Barlow Girl?

How do you know they aren't one and the same? Have you ever seen them in the same room at the same time?

Welcome to a special edition of Flashback Friday. In the grand scheme of things, we're barely out of the driveway on this trip down Memory Lane. It really comes down to Two Bands linked by a Single Song.

While acting as a Sparrow Rep during the 2001 Inside Out Soul Festival at Loon Mountain, New Hampshire, my biggest responsibility was pushing new artists. One of those was a self-styled "garage band" by the name of Superchick (sometimes also spelled Superchic[k]). Sisters Melissa and Tricia Brock were picked out of an audience by Max Hsu (I believe it was at a House of Wires Concert). Their first concert was with Audio Adrenaline, the original edition, back in 1999. Rebels with a cause, their first two albums (Karaoke Superstars and Last One Picked) featured shout outs to Police Departments for making them aware of noise regulations.

Nicknamed "Cheerleader Rock" by us here at The Night Beat for Tricia's early shtick of singing through a megaphone, the band gave us fourteen years of encouragement and a band recommendation of their own. 

We met these sisters, Barlow's their last name. Ordinary girls they don't live in the fast lane. They don't rate with the guys that score, cause they don't flaunt what the boys want more.
The song was Barlow Girls, the group Barlowgirl. The sisters in question? Alyssa, Becca and Lauren Barlow. Superchick managed to heighten interest, but the sisters flew under the CCM radar screen for three years, but then when you're this good, you are Never Alone.
I heard the song on my local Christian Radio station. It was pretty hard for the stuff they liked to play, at least that early in the day. Still, that voice. When I found out that this was Barlowgirl, the sisters in the Superchick song, well, I was a fan.

Two Chick Rock Bands competing for the same fans. It was an eye candy match made in heaven. Sadly, dreams like those don't seem to stick around forever. For two bands linked together in history, perhaps it is fitting that they departed together as well. Barlow Girl was first. Maybe I should have seen it, but the deceptively titled Our Journey...So Far , a best set that was beyond perfection, was really, our journey, over. Their official statement was that while seeking God for direction for a new album, they got nothing. Perhaps it was just God trying to say, "whatever you do is fine with me", but they interpreted it as "time to hang it up". 

The writing was on the wall for Superchick when Tricia got married. Sorry, but it's true. Since the woman is the one who has the child, it is usually impossible to tour and have children at the same time. For a solo artist, it's usually not a problem, but a band isn't going to go on hiatus for months at a time. So by 2012 with a family in the making, the possibility of Superchick breaking up was becoming more and more of a reality, because, face it, unlike other bands, Superchick was never going to get a lead singer to replace Tricia.

Fans of Superchick don't have to mourn to hard. Radiate is pop rock enough and maintains the Superchick Snark we all know and love. It will have to do. Hey, if a band can get guys to say they are a "Superchick", they must have done something right. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.