Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Drive To Five: Anybody Out There?

We left off our recap of #PlatVnyl2 with the GRAC, and with the revelation that there was no Fallen Awards given out that year, there being no "scandal" in the industry. The Crossover potential of CCM was very strong with Jackie Evancho and The Civil Wars getting Album of The Year nominations in the inaugural year for that category.

In a first of sorts (as it has yet to be repeated), a multiple artist compilation, Music Inspired by The Story, was both a Perfect Album and nominated for Album of The Year. Folk Music struck platinum that year as Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars took home Album of The Year. The duo would make their return to the podium for #PlatVnyl4, but that is for another time.

The Folk/Folk Rock Split would last for a second year as The Civil Wars, in addition to winning Album of The Year, also took home Traditional Folk Album of The Year. The Folk Rock Album of The Year was won by Comeback Group Burlap To Cashmere, who first burst onto the scene with their debut Anybody Out There? way back in 1998. Burning Bright caused them to burn out and they left the scene until 2011, when they took home not only Folk Rock Album of The Year but beat out fellow nominee Miss Angie for Comeback Artist of The Year. That category doubled in size as well, going from 1 to 2 nominees.

When we next return we will move on to the Class of 2011, as I call the New Artists for the Year. It was a big class with a lot of staying power. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Drive To Five: Turning One With Two

As a one year old should be larger than a newborn infant, so the first year anniversary of the Platinum Vinyl Awards should be bigger and better than the inaugural awards. And so it was. The total number of awards exploded from 20 to 30 (okay, a minor explosion). The growth came from the addition of the Song of The Year Awards, as well as the creation of the Adult Contemporary/Inspirational Genre, which was split off from Pop Music.

In a related move, the award process was assisted with the creation of the Emerald Rating System, which awarded anything from 0 (nothing has ever been this bad) to 5 Emeralds, which is considered a "Perfect" album. Calendar year 2011 (of which 9 months were in #PlatVnyl2) produced 18 perfect albums, a number which has increased each year, owing either to an increased quality of music in CCM, or the fact that I am a push-over. As of this time 2014 has had over 40 perfect albums. Over twice the original list.

The GRAC/Clean Secular/Crossover section of The PVA's exploded in the second year with entries from The Civil Wars, Jackie Evancho, Blessid Union of Souls and Switchfoot. Fortunately none of these artists fell afoul of the industry, so there was no Fallen Award handed out in the second year.

All in all the field was very promising as we entered the second awards. As we continue through the week we shall see get into the meat of the second awards. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Drive to Five: Rise of The Fallen

Welcome Back to our continuing coverage of the first four Platinum Vinyl Awards as we make our way to #PlatVnyl5, which is sure to be a milestone at +The WENC Night Beat . From the start way back in 2010 we always had a broader view than most as to what constituted Christian Music. Back in the early days of Christian Rock we clung to anyone who remotely sounded spiritual, so among the selections played at WENC was some guys from Ireland called U2 and another band by the name of Mister Mister.

As the industry got bigger, it got a little too big for its britches. It soon started deciding, Walter Martin Like, on the spiritual bona-fides of artists. If an artist got a bit too critical of the industry and saying things like "I'm a Musician Who is a Christian, not a Christian Musician", well, we just couldn't have impudence like that in the industry, so they were Kicked Out Of the Kingdom. The first one I remember was Leslie Phillips, who left the Black and White In a Gray World CCM industry and recorded as Sam Phillips.

Our first K.O.O.K. of the Platinum Vinyl Awards was The Knappster herself, Jennifer Knapp. She came out and was kicked out, but she won a Fallen Award and Folk Rock Album of The Year. Nominations were also given out to crossover artists Evolett, though that wasn't enough to keep them around. And we also had the Clean Secular Rock/Cello artists Apocalyptica make an appearance.

That concludes our look back at our inaugural Platinum Vinyl Awards. When we return we will go on to #PlatVnyl2. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Drive To Five: The Class of 2010

Welcome back to our look back to the first four Platinum Vinyl Awards as we begin the road to #PlatVnyl5. Today we will look at the Class of 2010 interpreted however you want to.  It was the year of The New, The Dying, and The Establishment. Debut artists came up winners in Modern Worship and Pop with wins by Rend Collective Experiment and Poema respectively. Debut artists receiving nominations included the two winners as well as Forever Jones, The Washington Projects, VaShawn Mitchell, Evolett, The Letter Black, Audrey Assad, Me In Motion, Kerrie Roberts and Heather Williams. The Class of 2010 did not have an easy road, and of the 11 newbies 4 of them (The Washington Projects, Evolett, Me In Motion and Audrey Assad) are no longer with us musically, with Assad leaving the industry completely, unable to reconcile faith and pop music.

The newbies weren't the only ones to say goodbye. 2010 was the swan song for several artists. Delirious was the only official breakup. (When you're nominated for your farewell show, it is pretty obvious). Though Addison Road broke up soon afterward. Caedmon's Call has not been heard from in years and Group 1 Crew, though still technically intact, has lost two of its three original members so it is very hard to say it hasn't broken up.

There is a pecking order in Christian Music, and it reaches even to The Night Beat. New Artist of The Year , the class of 2010 had to wait their turn in most cases. Jennifer Knapp, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, even industry favorite Michael W. Smith won in the inaugural award. We shall see how the rest fare.

In our next post we will discuss the Crossovers, The Kooks, and the Grac. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Drive To Five: The Pursuit of Platinum

Here at the Headquarters of the Platinum Vinyl Awards we are racing toward our 6th Awards. But just like they say about not looking past an opponent, we must not forget about the fifth awards this Spring. Still, as we prepare for the Fifth, I feel it is an appropriate time to look back at our humble beginnings.

The inaugural awards had 10 genre based awards and another 10 general field awards. It was a five hour blogathon. Growth was natural. Even before the ceremony we had to split Rock Album of The Year into Rock and Metal.

The original concept was for the Platinum Vinyl Awards to be a best of the year award with a Calendar Year eligibility period. The idea was soon scrapped and a October 1 - September 30 eligibility year instituted. We also set the perfect number of nominees per category at 7. Considering that only two genres (Folk/Folk Rock and Children's Music) fell short of the number it was a good choice. Those two genres were still awarded, however.

It goes without saying that the inaugural award would be full of "firsts", yet not all of them were welcome. Two of the album awards resulted in ties, a result as distasteful to this blogger as the neck ware, yet sometimes just as necessary. The first tie occurred in the folk music genre. You would think that a clear winner could be picked among only five nominees, but such was not the case. In a field consisting of Andrew Peterson, Sandra McCracken, Caedmon's Call, Jennifer Knapp and Carolina Story, it deadlocked at two finalists. Since each artist represented one half of the genre, so to speak, the solution was to split the baby. Carolina Story took home Traditional Folk Album of The Year for When The River Met The Sea and Jennifer Knapp took home Folk Rock Album of The Year for Letting Go.

A more traditional tie occurred with Alternative Album of The Year. No Solomon like wisdom needed here, we simply gave our two awards. Genre Creators The Choir, Burning Like The Midnight Sun after over twenty years, for sounding truly alternative, and Ivoryline with the more corporate sound, for Vessels.

We will continue our look back at the inaugural award with our next post. Until then I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Night Beat Rewind: November 2014

November is over. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day. Though the industry has given me a few week break on the release schedule. That doesn't mean there is nothing to do, however. 

The end of November means a new edition of Night Beat Rewind, our second for #PlatVnyl6. It is the Christmas Music Season, so a lot of the releases are ineligible this time of year (15 entries this month), but I still give them a rating. Wouldn't want any of my friends to get stuck with an album full of grandma got run over by a reindeer.

Christmas Music (Non-Eligible)

  • 7eventh Time Down - A Christmas Wish List 4.75 Emeralds
  • Cloverton - We Sing Joy 4.75 Emeralds
  • Everfound - Resolution: Christmas EP 4.25 Emeralds
  • Shaun Groves - Christmas, Vol 1 4.50 Emeralds
  • House of Heroes - Hark! The House of Heroes Sing 4.75 Emeralds
  • The Modern Post - Lowborn King 4.75 Emeralds
  • Rend Collective Experiment - Campfire Christmas, Vol 1 5 Emeralds
  • Solid State Records Christmas - Midnight Clear 4.75 Emeralds
  • Smalltown Poets - Christmas Time Again 5 Emeralds
  • Temple Veil - One Star 3.75 Emeralds
  • Various Artists - Christmas Goes Gospel: Tis The Season 4.50 Emeralds
  • Various Artists - This is Christmas 4.50 Emeralds
  • Visible Music College Presents - A Visible Christmas, Vol 3  4.75 Emeralds
  • Kim Walker-Smith - When Christmas Comes 4.50
From the Christmas Music to Singles (songs that is), I am still working out how the song ratings will work, but there are enough releases to merit this section, so here goes.

The Singles Scene

  • Jason Bare - Christmas All The Time 4.50 Emeralds
  • Capital Kings - In The Wild 4.75 Emeralds
  • Mr. Del - When Men Worship on Dat 4.50 Emeralds
  • Family Force 5 - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 4.50 Emeralds
  • Ellie Holcomb - Hope Is Alive (Christmas) 4.50 Emeralds
  • Mat Kearney - Heartbeat 4.50 Emeralds
  • Aaron Ray - Beautiful ft Z.G. 4.75 Emeralds
  • Matthew West - A Christmas To Believe In 5 Emeralds
Now we go on to our regularly scheduled edition of rewind. We begin our album coverage with those albums that didn't make the cut for the awards. Maybe it is the season but there was only one, so I am going to mention it here instead of in List Format. Phillips, Craig and Dean did not impress with Above It All, and I gave it the maximum rating of 3.75 Emeralds. It just seemed like they mailed it in.

The next group surely didn't mail it in. This is the cream of the crop.

Pure Platinum Perfection

I don't usually give Best of collections perfect ratings, but this one from TFK was simply awesome. Ultimate is an understatement. Most of them are in the middle, however.

Semi-Precious Metal

  • Abandon - Love Prevails 4.75 Emeralds
  • Christ For The Nations Worship - Kingdom (Deluxe Edition) 4.50 Emeralds
  • Citizens and Saints - Join the Triumph 4.75 Emeralds
  • Copeland - Ixora 4.75 Emeralds
  • Day One Worship - From The Dust (Live) 4.50 Emeralds
  • The Digital Age - Rehearsals Vol. 2 4.50 Emeralds
  • Elevation Worship - Wake Up The Wonder [+video] 4.75 Emeralds
  • Brooke Fraser - Wake Up The Wonder [+video] 4.75 Emeralds
  • Ta Randa Green - Stronger 4.50 Emeralds
  • Group 1 Crew - #Stronger 4.50 Emeralds
  • Fred Hammond - I Will Trust 4.50 Emeralds
  • Hardie Avenue - Hardie Avenue 4.50 Emeralds
  • Japhia Life - The Profit 4.75 Emeralds
  • Jericho - Road 2 Redemption 4.50 Emeralds
  • Kutless - The Ultimate Collection 4.75 Emeralds
  • Toby Mac - Eye'M All Mixed Up 4.75 Emeralds
  • Andrea McCaffrey - The Push and Pull EP 4.75 Emeralds
  • VaShawn Mitchell - Unstoppable (Live) 4.50 Emeralds
  • J Moss - Grown Folks Gospel - 4.75 Emeralds
  • Newsboys - Hallelujah For The Cross 4.75 Emeralds
  • Reschad Oliver - Pharaoh 4.50 Emeralds
  • Ginny Owens - I Know A Secret 4.75 Emeralds
  • Passion - The Essential Collection (Live) 4.50 Emeralds
  • P.O.D. - The So Cal Sessions 4.75 Emeralds
  • Jackie Hill Perry - The Art of Joy 4.75 Emeralds
  • Andrew Peterson - After All These Years 4.50 Emeralds
  • Jessica Reedy - Transparent 4.75 Emeralds
  • Shuree - Be The Change EP 4.75 Emeralds
  • Silent Planet - The Night God Slept 4.50 Emeralds
  • Nathan Tasker - Man on a Wire 4.75 Emeralds
  • Various Artists - Come Alive: Live From The Centric Worship Retreat 4.50 Emeralds
That does it for November. You all know the drill. I am forgoing links for the moment to get out the post. I am so behind it is not even funny. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.