Friday, November 29, 2013

MVM Weekend Edition: Goin Home

Welcome to the Black Friday edition of Music Video Monday. I hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving Day.

We begin Rap today. (Christmas Rap? Sorry, couldn't resist). This is a big one and will go on for a while. We begin with +andy mineo  and AYO.

Mr. Del is next, with a hip hop cover of Corey Hart's Sunglasses.
A couple of new artists are next. First up is Still Trill Christians who remind us that until the ring is on her finger there better be No Sex.
Our last rap group is Whosoever South. They are truly in a class by themselves. This is Goin Home.
Don't overdose on Tryptophan  over the weekend. We'll be back with more Rap Videos on Monday. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Music Video Monday: I Was Wrong

Our regular scheduled Music Video Monday is another housecleaning post. Picking up those orphan videos from various genres and assembling them into one entertaining post. We begin with Modern Worship, and the band Bridgecity. This is Forgiven.
Moving on to Alternative. Derek Webb, formerly of Caedmon's Call, now President of Noisetrade. This is the title track to his new album, I was wrong, I'm Sorry, and I Love You. I can think of at least one person I would say that to, but I would say I Apologize instead. To the video.

We conclude housekeeping with The City Harmonic and A City on A Hill. 
Rap and Hip hop begin on Black Friday. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, November 22, 2013

MVM Weekend Edition: On This Mountain

Housecleaning time again at Music Video Monday. As I progress through the genres sometimes a few orphans are left behind that are two few to handle without mixing. These posts mix and match those few into a post.

We begin with The Civil Wars, the true definition of a Folk Supergroup. This is the lyric video from From This Valley.

We go from folk to alternative, and more from Paramore. This is Now.

And we conclude with Modern Worship. This is Bethel Music who is Chasing You.

Monday we will have more housekeeping. Until then I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Don't Want Your Sugar and Spice

Now, we throw away the script. Two Summers ago we here at Night Beat were drawn in by the Siren Song of a Rock And Roll Mermaid. Ariel (Pronounced R-E-L), the Pink Haired Lead Vocalist of Decatur, Illinois based Icon For Hire. One of the Top Tier FFR Bands out there, Icon For Hire's major label Debut rocketed to fan favorite by copying Skillet, not a bad thing to do.

For their encore they threw away the script, gained some new fans, and lost some old ones. Since I have been a fan from the start count me among the "old" , but not among the lost.

Listening to Icon for Hire (self-titled) is an either love it or hate it matter. The haters say that IFH went pop to gain a bigger fan base. Actually they went rapcore. Yes, the subtitle could be Ariel Raps. And the rapcore that they chose to emulate was Earthsuit. Check out Kaleidoscope Superior and then this album. See if you catch the similarities. Hint: It's in the abrupt cold start of the rap segments, which echo Paul Meany.

Speaking of Meany, one could say Icon For Hire has taken a meaner streak. While they may have added some pop sensibilities, there is no Sugar and Spice.

"Sorry about your parents, they sound like mean people, your daddy sounds like a jerk" (from Sorry About Your Parents)
"Our culture does nothing for me. The American Dream mainstream just bores me." (from Pop Culture)
"You can bury my body in the backyard, when you're not looking I will dig myself up." (from Rock and Roll Thugs)
You get the idea. Far from being a depressed and angry album, like Evanescence it taps into darker emotions and still conveys hope and healing.

"I'll be the mess, you be the medicine. I'll play the mess, you play the medicine. Why don't you fix me. I can't help myself" (from Fix me)
The sound of Icon for Hire is totally unlike Amy and Evanescence, however. Still, Ariel's voice on the ballads is Heavenly. She should do more of them.

I'm hooked. I liked the debut, Scripted , but this time they pulled out all the stops. Perfect 5's come in many forms. This one is a simply addictive album that there is no immunity for. I'm not a critic or cynic. 5 Emeralds. I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dissecting The Doves

I Think I shall finally do my annual wrap-up of the Dove Awards, though it seems that things have been reduced to the ridiculous on their own due to the 18 month eligibility year in order to switch from an April to an October Award. All that was fixed was the placement of the award, nothing else.

The +Dove Awards have always seemed to me to have been a popularity contest, more than any of them. Even the +Grammy Awards, when they had a Christian Category worth mentioning, which they don't anymore, had a better finger on the pulse of what people listened to. I used to call the Dove's the Amy and Smitty Show. Since they aren't really in the public eye anymore on a regular basis, that has abated.

Unfortunately, the process of block voting, as it were, has not changed. This year the favorites were Matt Redman and +Toby Mac. Both of them had perfect nominations. Now while I am accusing nothing, I am just saying that the Doves seems to be prone to sloppy voting practices. It's almost as if we say, this year we are going to give the award to X and, regardless of how the album actually is, they win. Now I usually expect such shenanigans from the Emmy Awards. Those are usually fraught with winners whose "turn" had come. Usually in a crappy movie, though, and for a less than stellar performance. But I digress. In this case Eye On It was far from Toby's best, plus it came out over a year ago. It was for the previously awarded PVA's and it didn't win. Same with Redman. He won awards for his song 10,000 Reasons, which came off an album from July 2011. It should have been dropped from contention due to age.

In addition to Redman's 5/5 Night and Toby Mac going 4/4, there were also a number of categories where the Song winner was from the album winner. Now I may have done that as well, but to my knowledge there is no rule that that must be the case. It was a hat trick at the Dove's, because it happened in Contemporary Gospel, Traditional Gospel, and Hip Hop.

One more gripe and I'm done. Demon Hunter's album True Defiance was one of my best albums of 2012 (#8), and all the Dove's liked about it was the Album Cover. Glad you recognized something about it guys, but it should have been nominated for much more.

The Awards came out back in October, and it's now November. It's an old, possibly irrelevant post. And I'm fine with it. If it's good enough for the Dove's then it should be good enough for all. Just Kidding. Here's hoping the next Dove's improves. Until then you always have the +The WENC Night Beat and the +We Love Christian Music Awards, which, despite adding a Southern Gospel and Country category this year, has a much superior field of nominees. I guess you can learn something from us young ones. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Music Video Monday: Whatever

Welcome back to the regular weekly edition of Music Video Monday, where we play the best Christian Music Videos on the Web. In short, we do what MTV used to when they were cool.

Today we finish up with electronica, and then we have a few more housecleaning posts before moving on to the next genre, which will be rap and hip hop.

We begin with another video from Twenty-One Pilots. This one is called Holding On To You.

V. Rose is next. Between solo albums she is the favorite female vocalist for the rapper Flame. This is Battery.
Allistair is next. The electronic band composed of Zander. Yes, it doesn't get any easier. I guess it's just best to throw your hands in the air and scream WHTVR.

Finally, closing out the genre, we Take You to Har Megiddo (yes, that is the name of Armageddon). This is the Solar System Remix.
Friday and Monday are a few housecleaning posts of various genres. Our next full genre post will be on November 29 after Thanksgiving when Rap Videos begin with Still Trill Christians, among others. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply

Friday, November 15, 2013

MVM Weekend Edition: Guns for Hands

Welcome Back to the new Weekend Edition of Music Video Monday. This weekend we move into the Electronic Arena. Personally, it is one of my very favorites. It was one of God's greatest blessings to man when Mr. Robert Moog created the synthesizer.

We Begin with Pas Neos, and The Joy Set Before Me from their recent album Who Do You Say that I am. This is a live performance at One Thing2012

The Capital Kings are next, with You'll Never Be Alone.

Britt Nicole is pretty good as pop artists go, but on the dance floor, this girl is Gold.

And we wrap things up with Twenty-One Pilots, which makes it pretty difficult to fly a plane, but it is even more difficult when you have Guns For Hands.

That's it for the weekend edition. We continue in the Electronic Arena on Monday, when we shall have Videos from V.Rose and Har Megiddo among others. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.    

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Night Beat Rewind: October 2013

October is finally in the bag, release wise. It's time to do the monthly rewind. We begin the Platinum Vinyl Award Eligibility year with a doozy. Talk about candy store. There were a whopping eight Perfect 5's. One was a push from last year. Since the album was announced in the previous year but finally ceased to be vaporware in October. And then there was the Christmas releases, which aren't eligible for an award but have to be counted. There will be no links at first for this post, for obvious reasons.

Christmas Music (Non-Eligible)

  • Paul Baloche - Christmas Worship 3.75 Emeralds
  • Dave Barnes - A December to Remember 4.75 Emeralds
  • Jonathan Butler - Merry Christmas To You 4.75 Emeralds
  • For King and Country - Into the Silent Night 4.75 Emeralds
  • Brandon Heath - Christmas Is Here 4.50 Emeralds
  • North Point Music - North Point Christmas: Let There Be Light 3.75 Emeralds
  • Phillips, Craig and Dean - Hope For All The World 4.50 Emeralds
  • The Robertsons - Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas 5 Emeralds
  • Marvin Sapp - Christmas Card 4.75 Emeralds
 Though I'm not a fan of Country, the Duck Dynasty group had me smiling. It's hard to top a duck call version of Deck The Halls. On to the releases which

Missed The Mark

  • Keith Elgin - Our Hope Live 3.75 Emeralds
  • The Exchange - The Exchange 3.75 Emeralds
  • The Fold - Morning Past 3.75 Emeralds
  • Natalie Grant - Hurricane (Deluxe) 3.75 Emeralds
  • Gurl Code - Gurl Code 3.75 Emeralds
  • City Harbor - Come However You Are 3.75 Emeralds
  • One:nine - North Flew South For The Winter 3.50 Emeralds
  • Lynda Randle - Ageless Hymns 3.50 Emeralds
  • Sivion - Group Therapy 3.50 Emeralds
  • Austin Stone - King of Love 3.75 Emeralds
  • Various - Holy Hip Hop, Volume 17 3.75 Emeralds
  • Various - Jam The Hype, Volume 1 3.75 Emeralds
  • Various - Just As I Am 3.50 Emeralds
  • Michelle Williams -Do You Know 3.75 Emeralds
Most of these albums just missed being pool eligible, so they are not bad albums. We move from the not in to those albums which are deemed to be 

Pure Platinum

  • All The Bright Lights - The Wind and the Waves 5 Emeralds
  • Anberlin - Devotion Vital Special Edition 5 Emeralds
  • Beautiful Eulogy - Instruments of Mercy 5 Emeralds
  • Downhere - Love & History: The Best of Downhere 5 Emeralds
  • Icon For Hire - Icon For Hire 5 Emeralds
  • Robbie Seay Band - Psalms EP, Volume 1 5 Emeralds
  • Martin Smith - God's Great Dance Floor, Step 2 5 Emeralds
  • Aaron Sprinkle - Water and Guns 5 Emeralds 
All The Bright Lights is the holdover. Anberlin is a special edition including a live second disc, and Downhere is a best of, which won't make the finals, because we don't have a best of Category. 

Finally we go to those releases in the middle, or ones we deem

Semi-Precious Metal

  • Bride - Incorruptible 4.50 Emeralds
  • Canon - Mad Haven 4.50 Emeralds
  • Steven Curtis Chapman - The Glorious Unfolding 4.50 Emeralds
  • Family Force 5 - Reanimated 4.75 Emeralds
  • Flame - Royal Flush 4.50 Emeralds
  • Gateway Worship - Women of Faith Presents: Gateway Worship 4.75 Emeralds
  • Hillsong Young and Free - We Are Young and Free 4.50 Emeralds
  • Dustin Kensrue - The Water & The Blood 4.75 Emeralds
  • Thousand Foot Krutch - Made In Canada: The 1998-2010 Collection 4.50 Emeralds
  • Bryan Popin - You Can Make It 4.50 Emeralds
  • Press Play - #LITO 4.75 Emeralds
  • Righteous Vendetta - The Fire Inside 4.75 Emeralds
  • Royal Tailor - Royal Tailor 4.50 Emeralds
  • Sainthood Reps - Headswell 4.50 Emeralds
  • Laura Story - God of Every Story 4.50 Emeralds
  • Superchick RE:Collections 4.50 Emeralds
  • Jon Thurlow - Stand In Awe 4.75 Emeralds
  • Chris Tomlin - Burning Lights: Deluxe Tour Edition 4.75 Emeralds
  • Various Artists - My Hope: Songs Inspired By The Message and Mission of Billy Graham 4.50 Emeralds
  • Vertical Church - The Rock Won't Move 4.50 Emeralds
  • WARR Acres - Hope Will Rise 4.75 Emeralds
  • Wolves at the Gate - Back To School 4.50 Emeralds 
That finishes off the month of October. Things are getting off to a roaring start here in the 5th Platinum Vinyl Award Eligibility Year. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Music Video Monday: Wanted

Welcome Back to Music Video Monday, and Happy Veterans Day everyone. On This Day in 1918 the Armistice which led the groundwork for World War II was signed (sorry, Ended World War I, but we know the truth). End of history lesson, on to the videos.

We are closing out pop music on this Monday. Friday we move on to the Electronic Genres. We begin our video tour with another video by Love and The Outcome. This is City of God.
Next Up we have a wonderful British-American Sister Duo known as The Sonflowerz. This is the video for the title cut, Love Walked In.
No Sophomore Slump for our next artist. I knew it when I heard her debut, but it seems the industry is a little behind, as usual. Simply put, Dara Maclean is Wanted.
We end our pop tour with Ryan Stevenson, who says that he is Holding Nothing Back.
That finishes off pop. Friday we begin Dance and Electronica. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

No More Hell To Pay

1986 was a milestone year in Christian Music. At least if you were a headbanger. It was the year that a bunch of long haired freaks dethroned one of Pop Music's favorite singers, at least for a moment. The most sung youth ballad in history was, for a while, replaced by some Sweet Music.

Robert Sweet, Michael Sweet, Timothy Gaines, Oz Fox. We know them as Stryper. The name hails from the Bible. Isaiah 53:5 to be exact (by His Stripes we are healed). The album was called To Hell With The Devil , and the original cover featuring four long haired angels casting the devil into Hell caused quite a stir among the CCM Industry at large and was replaced by a black triangle logo with the name underneath. Most notable, at least for me, was that the ballad Honestly actually supplanted Friends by Michael W. Smith. Plus the album went platinum. Rare for a Christian Album at any time. In the 80's, and to a heavy metal band.

Fast Forward 27 years. Stryper is still among us, a feat in itself. Of course they did take somewhat of a sabbatical from 1991 to 1999. Still, when they reunited they did it with all the original members.

No More Hell to Pay , the third original album from the reunited band, is the sequel to THWTD in more ways than one. First, counting The Yellow and Black Attack EP, it is the
third album in sequence, not counting best of's and covers. Then there is another angel themed album cover. And finally, there is a Hell themed title.

That's pretty much where the similarities between the two end. This is by far the loudest and strongest Stryper album to date. The One, which is the only ballad on the album, is not what you would expect, honestly. It is still good. The anthems are where the band has always shone, and it is no different here. The Guitar Work by The Wizard of OZ is to be envied by any guitarist short of Phil Keaggy and Robert Sweet can still hit the high notes. Last Year I gave their students, Canadians Blessed By A Broken Heart, a Five Emerald Rating. I can do no less for the teachers here. The title cut alone is worth the albums, with typical tight three part harmonies. But then there is Revelation.

I'm, I'm, I'm, Coming like a thief at night. And You, you, you, you're out of time so make it right. There, There, There, will be no more apologies. Cause, my, my, my, my wrath will spread like a disease.
There's a Revelation, it's coming after you. Without hesitation, it's gonna bring the truth.
5 Emeralds. I can really do no less for No More Hell to Pay . The only Hell to pay will be if you don't get this album. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, November 8, 2013

MVM Weekend Edition: Live With Abandon

Welcome back to the Weekend Edition of Music Video Monday. I have decided to bookend the weekends with Music Videos to help you kick off the Weekend, and keep you from the Monday Blues.

We Start, or RESTART, with Newsboys, who encourage us to Live With Abandon.
I've really enjoyed this restart. Going into Synthpop was a very good move. It suits Michael Tait "To a T".

Next up is new group Love and The Outcome, reminding us, no matter what we are going through, we can trust our God, for He is With Us.
Another song from Jason Castro. This is Rise To You.
We finish the Weekend Edition with Christa Wells, one half of More Than Rubies. This is Shine.
That concludes another weekend edition of Music Video Monday. See You Monday for our regularly scheduled MVM. We're here on Veterans Day too. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The WENC Night Beat: Print Edition

While I am spinning my wheels with my Great American Novel, so to speak, I have decided to try my hand in the non fiction market. There are many post out there in the blogosphere about turning your blog into a book, and a few sites to help you do it for a fee. I've got to do it the cheapest way possible.

The working title is In Pursuit of Pure Platinum Perfection, and it could just as well be my memoir.  It is, however, the Night Beat in book form, and when it's done you can have my musical life in a nice package for easy reference. And it's got that alliterative title going for it.

I'm using google docs for the book, and all seems to be going well. Once I am done writing it I will most likely offer it for sale on my blog. If one of the ebook publishers makes hard copies I would most likely want to offer that option as well.

That does it for this post. Just wanted to update you on some of the things going on at The WENC Night Beat. You can follow my blog at bloglovin or check me out on Facebook or Google Plus

You can also check me out on Twitter, but, It's a combo personal page, so you'll find a lot of stuff on there not necessarily Night Beat related. I still would encourage a follow, though.

I'm on Chapter One of the book, but Chapters are kind of free, more like part one. Look for it soon. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Music Video Monday: Life is Beautiful

Welcome back to our regularly scheduled Music Video Monday. We have left Alternative Land and have moved on to Pop. 

We begin our video tour with Jason Castro, who reminds us that whatever problem you face, it's only a mountain.

Next up is The Afters, reminding us that Life is Beautiful.

Hawk Nelson is next, with Words.

And finally, a newbie. The Debut of Pop/Dance artist 1 Girl Nation and While We're Young.

That completes this edition of Music Video Monday. Tune in Friday for our weekend edition with Videos from Newsboys, among others. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Friday, November 1, 2013

MVM Weekend Edition: More, More, Paramore.

Welcome to the second edition of Music Video Friday. We've made this concession to the abundance of music videos out there by the bands. I have neglected this up to now, but you can always vote for your best video of the week on the comments and I will tally them in the future to compile the nominees for the Video Awards.

We begin with Paramore, who released a self titled album earlier this year.  This is Still Into You.
Next up we want to Abandon Kansas. It's all about You+Me+The Radio.
Almost doesn't count except in Horseshoes and Hand grenades. And Alternative Music. This is The Almost, and I'm Down.
Finally we have one of the more oddly named bands in Christian Music. This is VOTA. From their latest release this is God of The Universe.
We turn to Pop on Monday, with videos from Hawk Nelson and The Afters among others. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.