Friday, August 28, 2015

The 2015 Dove Awards Nominations; Album of The Year

The Album Awards for the 2015 Dove Awards are down to the genre based awards. Yes, that is the bulk of the awards, but not giving honor to the album which rose above it all cross-genre seems a major oversight. Country, Southern Gospel, and Bluegrass aren't represented at the Platinum Vinyl Awards and wont be discussed. One small exception. Bluegrass has revitalized Contemporary Christian Music as hard as that may be to believe. Folk Rock and Rock and roll have The Vespers and Hip Hop has Whosoever South. There is a strong bluegrass influence in both.

One other quick note, I think the GMA needs to clean its closets out, so to speak, unless they are intentionally messing with me. Since I don't believe they even know I exist, I am going with the former. Most of the entries are in the #PlatVnyl6 pool so I can't comment without tipping my hand. A good amount of entries are in the already awarded #PlatVnyl5 pool, but a number of them are from #PlatVnyl4. It's time for the oldies to be let go. On to the albums

Worship Music corresponds to the Modern Worship Album of The Year with us. Three nominees (We Will Not Be Shaken, Bethel Music; Love Ran Red, Chris Tomlin; and Even So Come by Passion Conference) are in the #PlatVnyl6 pool. Based on results from 2013 and 2014 I will say that the winner should be one of these three. I know, that's an awful big limb I'm going out on. I said I don't want to show my cards. Red has been known to draw attention, though. Just shaking things up. The two nominees from #PlatVnyl5 (All Sons and Daughters (Self-Titled); and No Other Name, Hillsong Worship) took different paths. ASD was one of the final nominees in Folk/Folk Rock, and Hillsong Missed The Mark needed to gain the initial pool.

Pop Music (Pop/Contemporary in Dovespeak) has 6 entries, 4 of them in the current #PlatVnyl6 pool. (Tomlin; How Can It Be, Lauren Daigle; Saints and Sinners, Matt Maher; and Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship by Third Day). As much as I love Lauren Daigle's Powerful Voice, I don't think they will reward the newbie. I would either pick Tomlin as part of a multiple category win or #PlatVnyl5 pool entrant For King and COUNTRY.

Rock Music is a whole lot easier to pick. Of the 5 nominees four of them are from #PlatVnyl5 (Lowborn, Anberlin; Attack, Disciple; Fight The Silence, For Today; and Oxygen: Inhale, TFK). While I would be thrilled if the sole #PlatVnyl6 nominee, Red's Of Beauty and Rage won, I think the public sentiment in this horse race is for Disciple to win.

I'll just make a few predictions to shake things up in the other categories, since in a lot of them I didn't have any of the Dove nominees in my pool. Inspirational Album we'll go with Phillips, Craig and Dean's Above It All; Rock Contemporary to Colton Dixon's Anchor; Rap with Anomaly by Lecrae; Traditional Gospel with Any Given Sunday by Charles Jenkins; and Kierra Sheard's Graceland for Contemporary Gospel Album. Next time we will discuss the Song Awards. Until Then, I am Awaiting Your Reply. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back: The 2015 Dove Awards Nominations

If you've followed this blog for any length of time you know that I have been highly critical of the "Industry Awards" (Grammy and Dove). In fact it is because of them that I created the Platinum Vinyl Awards back when I started. We are just wrapping up the nominations process for year 6 by the way. Still, if I hope to maintain any sense of professionalism, I have to keep watch on the competition.

Well it is that time once again as the new Fall Dove Awards has issued its nomination list, and my feelings are quite mixed. They have finally expanded their knowledge base of Christian Artists to include some fairly popular bands. In one case, however, the band has broken up. I guess better late than never.

Of course some moves leave you scratching your head. They got rid of Album of The Year but kept Song of The Year. Now I know writing a song isn't easy (If it was I would have written one) but an Album is a collection of at least 10 songs, so Album of The Year is therefore more of an honor.

On the other hand, they went from two artist of the year awards (Artist and New Artist, which is standard) to FIVE, with the genre based Gospel, Southern Gospel, and Contemporary Christian Artist thrown in as well. Why not do it for all the genres? Because even the GMA knows that to do that would be to turn the Doves into a joke. Hey, at least they got rid of that ridiculous "Performance of The Year" category. Best Concert? That's what I thought it meant.

I will be going through the Album, Song and other awards when they overlap with mine and make my choices when I can. Since a lot of the nominees are also in the #PlatVnyl6 pool I can't say too much about it without tipping my hand. Very Sneaky GMA. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Fast Forward to Forever Giveaway

It's finally here. The first giveaway of the year. We operate on a shoestring here at Night Beat HQ, so we have to work at restocking the prize closet. We finally have done so, and I have got some real doozies for you, if I do say so myself. We have four winners from #PlatVnyl5 including the Album of The Year. Let's take a look at the Prizes.

The rom-com line is "You Had Me at Hello". In the music world that translates into "Discovered by Kirk Franklin". The Pure Platinum emanating from the Gospel Genre doesn't come from Wall Street but The Walls Group. A family band consisting of four siblings Darrell, Rhea, Paco, and Ahjah (That's Brother, Sister, Brother, Sister, in descending order of age). Their sophomore release is called Fast Forward, though you wont want to do that to their album. They open with the question "If I talk about Jesus, can I get some love on the radio" Give it a listen and you will be screaming out YES, YES, YES.

Scandinavia has been doing its best to contribute to the Christian Music scene for quite a while, at least since Jerusalem began to Rock out in Sweden in 1975. Yeah, I know, Evie, but I'm trying to forget that. Lately we have a lot of Scandinavian Influence with David and Jonathan Thulin, Blindside, and Even Icon For Hire. Yeah, a whole lot more than ABBA came from there. Icon For Hire is a domestic band, but lead singer Ariel (pronounced R-E-L) was born in Sweden. Icon For Hire started as an independent rock band from Decatur,  Illinois before being discovered by Midas (aka
Brandon Ebel of Tooth and Nail Records). Their Scripted debut had overtones of Skillet and other bands and took the rock world by storm.They played warped tour. And their self titled sophomore release won best Rock Album. They took an even harder louder turn this time around and it paid off big time.

Nothing is harder than Metal, and for those of us in a certain age group Metal Means Melodic Metal, none of that thrash growls for us. Harmonies rule. And when it comes to Heavy Metal Harmony, there is only one name on the top - STRYPER. The album that propelled them to the top of the list was called To Hell With The Devil. The title alone sent shivers down the spine of Christian College Administrators. It was a stand alone album for almost three decades. Until 2013, when No More Hell To Pay came out. It was a fitting completion to the first album and I thought of it that way. But they upped their game once again and are going for the Trilogy. Fallen comes out this Fall (no pun intended).  As to the title, I almost want to say "from your mouth to God's ear". The last Christian album entitled Fallen went multi-platinum and shot its Artists to Rock Stardom. Of course they also got kicked out of the kingdom for their promotional efforts. One out of two ain't bad, though. NMHTP picked up the Platinum Vinyl Award for Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album of The Year.

And now we come to the big release. Album of The Year. This year the award went to the Modern Worship genre, which was a big surprise. Some albums just wont be denied, however. Majestic (Live) by Kari Jobe was one of those albums. It is one of the rare worship albums that make you feel like you've been transported directly to the throne. The song and video for Forever really moves you. It cleaned up at the Awards. Modern Worship Song, Video, and Album, and Album of The Year among others. As opposed to the other albums in the sweepstakes, the winner here will get the Deluxe Edition, which includes several videos, including Forever.

I have gone on long, but this is the best Sweepstakes I have put together, and it is fitting for the 5 year Anniversary of The Platinum Vinyl Awards. Just Enter below. You Wont be disappointed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Night Beat Rewind: July 2015

We are in the final stretch. Two months to go until the entry pool for #PlatVnyl6 is officially closed. It's a total coincidence that the PVA pool closes at the same time as most city swimming pools. We have a full complement this month. We begin with the songs released during the month, or as we call it

The Singles Scene

  • EMYE - Jesus Pieces 3.75 Emeralds
  • Pastor John Littlejohn - Dear Hater 3.50 Emeralds
  • Stryper - Yahweh 5 Emeralds
The first two songs on the list happen to be rap, but that isn't why they got such a low rating. They just really arent't up to par. Just like our first bunch of albums, which are deemed to be.

Missing The Mark

  • For All Eternity - Metanoia 3.75 Emeralds
  • Various Artists - Top 10 Praise Songs (Green) 3.75 Emeralds
  • We Came As Romans - We Came As Romans 3.75 Emeralds
Three releases which missed the mark are pretty low, but good. The next group is a bit troubling, however.

Pure Platinum Perfection

  • Anberlin - Cities: Live In New York 5 Emeralds
  • Bethel Music - Without Words: Synesthesia 5 Emeralds
  • Flame - Forward 5 Emeralds
  • Thousand Foot Krutch - 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection 5 Emeralds
  • Kevin Max - Broken Temples (Deluxe Edition) 5 Emeralds
  • Uche Agu - The Glory Experience (Live In Houston) 5 Emeralds
Six entries here is a bit troubling, yet with the entries spread among 4 or more genres, all may not be lost yet. As always, our last grouping is our largest, what we call

Semi-Precious Metal

  • Kristene DiMarco - Mighty 4.50 Emeralds
  • Jon Foreman - The Wonderlands: Shadows 4.75 Emeralds
  • Israel and New Breed - Covered: Alive In Asia 4.75 Emeralds
  • Tim Hughes - Pocketful of Faith 4.75 Emeralds
  • Laura Kaczor - Restore Me 4.50 Emeralds
  • Memphis May Fire - Unconditional (Deluxe) 4.75 Emeralds
  • The Neverclaim - The Joy  4.75 Emeralds
  • Owl City - Mobile Orchestra 4.50 Emeralds
  • Poema - Pretty Speeches EP 4.75 Emeralds
  • Saint Esprit - Saint Esprit 4.75 Emeralds
  • Karen Clark - Sheard - Destined To Win 4.75 Emeralds
  • Shinebright - Only You 4.50 Emeralds
  • Switchfoot - 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection 4.50 Emeralds
  • Amber Nelon Thompson - Just Sing 4.75 Emeralds
  • Various Artists - SOAR (Spirit Empowered Worship) 4.75 Emeralds
  • Josh Wilson - That Was Then, This Is Now 4.75 Emeralds
That does it. I was a little surprised that Switchfoot didn't rate higher, because you should be able to mail in a perfect 5 with a best of album, but the selection didn't do it for me. I am forgoing links once again. I have to go way back and do them. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Spring Tunes Up: The 2015 3rd Quarter - Modern Worship

This is it folks, the final post for the third quarter wrap. We had a whopping 18 entries for this one folks. Of course, this is the winner almost every quarter. Personally, I think that it is a bloated category that could be pared down quite a bit, but everyone wants to make a worship album. Let's get with it.

Modern Worship

  • Daniel Bashta - For Every Curse
  • Canyon Worship - Canyon
  • Elim Sound - Elim 100
  • Mia Feldes - Ashes
  • House of Peace - Into The Great Unknown
  • Jesus Culture - This Is Jesus Culture
  • Derek Johnson - Real Love
  • Chris McClarney - Everything and Nothing Less (Live)
  • Matt McCoy - Alive and Free
  • John Mark and Sarah McMillan - You Are The Avalanche
  • Andy Needham Band - Love Is The Song
  • Christy Nockels - Let It Be Jesus
  • Northwest Collective - Rejoice: Live From Seattle
  • Onething Live - Shout Your Name
  • Planetshakers - Outback Worship Sessions
  • Matt Redman - Unbroken Praise
  • Bryan and Katie Torwalt - Kingdom Come
  • Various - Top 25 Modern Worship Songs
That does it for the third quarter, and we are now one month into the Final Quarter. It's almost time for #PlatVnyl6. Wow. I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Spring Tunes Up: The 2015 3rd Quarter - Pop

The final of our trio is Pop Music. We still have one genre to go, and it is the biggie for the quarter.

Pop Music

  • Blanca - Blanca
  • David Dunn - Crystal Clear
  • Lexi Elisha - Drowning In Love
  • Chad Evans - Before and After
  • Jimmy Needham - Vice and Virtue
  • Morgan Harper Nichols - Morgan Harper Nichols
  • Plumb - Exhale 
  • Populis - EP
  • Gracie Schram - I Am Me
  • Jonathan Singh - City Love Music
Lexi Elisha is an up an comer that seems to bounce around the genres, and Plumb is settling in quite nicely into the pop arena. And Blanca is set up for a promising post Group 1 Crew career. Only one more to go. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Spring Tunes Up: The 2015 3rd Quarter - Alternative

The second of our three Perfect 10 Lists goes to Alternative. It was a very good quarter for the genre. And we have a mix of new and old. On to the list

Alternative Rock

  • Abandon Kansas - Alligator
  • Anberlin - Never Take Friendship Personal: Live In New York City
  • Jon Foreman - The Wonderlands: Sunlight
  • Foreverlin - Still After
  • Ghost Ship - Costly
  • Jonathan David and Melissa Helger - On The Shores
  • Kings Kaleidoscope - Becoming Who We Are (Instrumental)
  • Kings Kaleidoscope - Live In Focus EP
  • Lifehouse - Out of The Wasteland
  • 21 Pilots - Blurryface
Last time I discussed a name change for Children 18:3 as opposed to a breakup. They could also go the Anberlin Route. Re releasing all their albums in a live concert format could hold of the fans until they choose to reunite. Of course they were a bit more prolific. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Spring Tunes Up: The 2015 3rd Quarter - Rock

I really have to be more careful with my math. I announce things and then I find out I've miss-added. Counting to 10 stuff. So rock actually had ten entries, as did alternative and pop. That is this trio, and I've finally got it. Since I have teased Rock twice I think I will begin with it. You've got to put out eventually.

Rock Music

  • Attalus - Into The Sea
  • Children 18:3 - Come In
  • Emery - You Were Never Alone
  • Fireflight - Innova
  • Dustin Kensrue - Carry The Fire
  • Kutless - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kutless
  • Needtobreathe - Live From The Woods
  • People of The Earth - We Are People of The Earth
  • Pioneer - Passive Aggression Part  1
  • See The Rise - Exposures
Fireflight has embraced a new sound for Innova and I like it, though from the buzz on the internet I am in the minority. Children 18:3 saved the best for last, though a lot of us hope that they reconsider their breakup. If it's the children part of the name, why not go the Shinebright route and go with a namechange. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.