Love is the Movement

 Uncategorized
Oct 082003
 
Authors: Chris Hess

For some, the mention of Christian music may evoke the sounds of

worship songs laced with cheesy synthesizers and over-polished

guitar solos. For others, ancient hymns sung from the pews of a

giant stone church with stained glass windows may come to mind.

Still, what most followers of the music world may or may not

realize is that for the past few years, a movement has been brewing

underground. Christian artists have been breaking through the

stereotypes of religious music and boiling over into the secular

world and mainstream success, all without compromising their values

or their faith.

What began in 1995 with the success of Jars of Clay and punk

rockers MxPx, (both groups received heavy play on mainstream radio

and MTV), has culminated in recent years with the emergence of

groups such as P.O.D. and Evanescence. The movement, however, does

not stop there. While the argument can be made that any Christian

song can be turned into a love song by substituting the word baby

for the word Jesus, here are several groups that are rising in the

ranks of the musical world simply because they rock.

For All The Drifters

Hailing from Nashville, Tenn., this group plays rock music that

mixes the melodic styling of Incubus with a sound all their own.

Shortly after forming at Greenville College, For All The Drifters

captured the attention of the flourishing Midwest music scene with

their passionate live performances and the release of its first LP

in 2001. The band entered the studio in September to record its

second EP, which will be released independently.

“We have a very strong vision of what For All The Drifters is,”

said Chad Howat on the band’s Web Site. “Until we find a record

company that has the ability to cultivate that with us, we will

continue to do so on our own. The integrity of our art is very

important to us.”

While the band is in the studio, free song downloads are

available on MP3.com.

Pigeon John

For years, underground hip-hop has been the place to go for the

best beats and dopest MCs.

With the release of his second solo album “Pigeon John is Dating

Your Sister” and the hit single “Life Goes On,” featuring

underground legend Abstract Rude, Pigeon John has garnered praise

from “Spin” magazine and is climbing the college hip-hop charts

according to “CMJ Magazine,” sitting comfortably at number 28.

After the release of “Pigeon John is Dating Your Sister” in

August to mom and pop stores around the country, Sony picked up the

album and will release it to major chains nationwide on Oct. 21.

Pigeon John will also be hitting the road this fall with the

CaliComm tour featuring The Grouch and Eligh, Lyrics Born, Abstract

Rude and Ugly Duckling. The tour will make a stop at the Aggie

Theater on Nov. 19. He’s just tryin’ to excel while driving his

Tercel.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

After exploding from the churches of New Jersey and onto the

jam-band scene two years ago, steel guitar prodigy Robert Randolph

and his Family Band have caused crowds across the country to groove

uncontrollably with a blend of old gospel tunes and funky

originals.

The band’s list of appearances includes stints at both Bonnaroo

festivals, opening slots for The Dave Matthews Band and Ben Harper,

a place in the line up of this past summer’s Sprite Liquid Mix Tour

along the sides of The Roots and O.A.R., not to mention a stop this

summer at Fort Collins’ own Mishawaka Amphitheater.

With the release of their first studio album, “Unclassified,”

the diverse musical influences from the church and musical peers

(Randolph was part of super group The Word), shine through.

Randolph wants to speak to people through music. He wants to tell

them to love each other and always give words of encouragement.

“I try to show a positive lifestyle to people that don’t know

anything about Christianity,” said Randolph in an interview with

“Grassroots Music Magazine.” “I try and show them through songs

that are soul refreshing.”

Switchfoot

The San Diego based pop-punkers have had a steady rise to fame

over the past seven years, receiving a Grammy nomination, winning

several Dove awards, and being featured in the New Faces section of

the latest issue of “Rolling Stone.”

The band’s rise to fame has been largely due to the fact that it

was never interested in straight up preaching the Gospel through

its music, but simply combining old-fashioned rock star appeal with

their spiritual side, and seeing what happens.

What happened was a rise to the top, heavy rotation of their hit

single “Meant To Live” on radio stations across the country, and a

sold-out tour following the release of their fourth album “The

Beautiful Letdown.”

“That song and this album are about the few things in life I can

really trust,” said lead singer and guitarist Jon Foreman in an

interview with “Rolling Stone.” “Everything eventually fails me,

but when I look at the sunset or the stars, I’m reminded what it’s

like to be alive.”

Switchfoot have hit the road once again and will be stopping in

Colorado Springs on Nov. 3 for a show at 32 Bleu. Check out

www.switchfoot.com for more details.

 

 

 

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