The state of CCM

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yeshead 777
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The state of CCM

Post by yeshead 777 » Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:25 pm

I'm sure this will stir a lot of comments and emotions seeing as a lot of us still listen to or grew up listening to some sort of CCM. IMO the percentage of quality CCM music is low, butthere is some really good stuff out there. And then there's the whole issue of what makes music CC anyway? What prompted this was me taking two of my gitrls to see Bethany Dillon last night in Knoxville. She is a 17 year-old CCM artist-singer/songwriter/guitarist who not only writes all of her own material(except for one Amy Grant cover-Lead Me On), but plays guitar fairly well and has a muturity about her(esp. in her lyrics)way past her years. It gave me some encouragement-knowing there is a glimmer of hope amongst all of the cookie-cutter CCM out there. I also got an old 2nd Chapter of Acts CD(The Roar of Love-based on Narnia), and the Petra-Farewell CD this past week which brought back alot of old memories, and I have to admit to being a big Third Day fan. I think there is such a need for substantial music that sends this message whatever its label is. And it is out there-even in PROG!!!!-you just have to look hard sometimes. Comments?
Art can "make people feel what's true rather than telling them".[Dan Haseltine,Jars of Clay].

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Post by Bnielsen » Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:24 pm

Steve has some great feelings on this, by the way.

But yeah, a lot of CCM is cuttie cutter commercialized crap.

BUT, it still takes fortitude to stand out as a 'Christian' artist.
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Post by Bogatyr » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:42 am

Sometimes the truly artistic in the CCM field get noticed, despite the best efforts of the industry at large. Your mention of Bethany Dillon reminded me of Sarah Masen when she came on the scene some years ago. She was 20 when her debut came out, and it still stands as one of my all time favorite albums. Hugely influenced by Victoria Williams, and even covers her song "Love". The production is stellar, as were all of the discs that came out on Charlie Peacock's ill-fated re:think label. At that point, early/mid-nineties, there were a bunch of startup CCM labels that showed great promise in releasing new, adventurous music that wasn't beholden to the sway of the dictates of Nashville. Sadly, only Tooth and Nail seems to have survived - and Brendan Ebel's business practices (which are typical of the music industry in general) are responsible, not necessarily because of the quality of his stable. But these days, Tooth and Nail/Solid State are practically indistinguishable from the rest of the stuff churned out of the Christian loud scene - 99% of everything sounds exactly the same. It's the independent artists like GH that keep hope alive. Everyone else eventually gets assimilated into the Borg.
Last edited by Bogatyr on Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:07 pm

Susie and Bethany's brother Matt has a band that just signed with Rocket Town. He seems to know that it is all a game and was willing to play it.
We wish him well all the same.
8)
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Post by EIwing » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:55 pm

Aww, Steve, I was really wishing for more from you on this! Anyhow, I was holding back on mentioning Matt (my brother) and his band getting signed until you said something. Oh well.

The Turning, as they're called, will begin getting air time March 17th. If you get Way-FM (and you tolerate it), call and request them. Their CD will be released June 6th, 2006. When I can find their website (aren't I a bad sister?) I will post it.
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:22 pm

EIwing wrote:Aww, Steve, I was really wishing for more from you on this! Anyhow, I was holding back on mentioning Matt (my brother) and his band getting signed until you said something. Oh well.

.
Okay then, http://www.reclaimthemusic.com
This oughta get me in deep trouble!
8)
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by Reepicheep » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:35 pm

I've actually talked to the folks at Rocketown and visited their office a few years ago. They were really real and really sincere and talked to me and took my demo and replied, unlike the majority of Christian labels out there. I respect many of the musicians signed with them, so congrats to Matt!! I hope it all works out for him! Rocketown is among the 3 or so labels that I trust:)

As bad as the majority of CCM is, I am surprised that people so easily throw everyone out with the bathwater.
There are many many musicians signed and unsigned who are part of the "industry" who I deeply respect. Here are just a few:

Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn (Her husband)
Andrew Peterson

(all three of these folks have emailed me back whenever I have written and asked for advice, and have been honest about themselves, and their experiences with me. They have also taken the time to listen to my music, write back about it)

Also:

Derek Webb
Sarah Groves
Sandra McCracken

I feel so strongly about all of these artists that I think EVERYONE needs to give them a listen.
Derek Webb particularly has amazing and sometimes offensive (in a good way) lyrics that need to be heard.

Most of these guys are on small labels, but Stephen Curtis Chapman (who is obviously a big name, on a major label) also is known to be the "real deal" so to speak. My friends who adopted a baby from China have talked with him, and actually recieved a grant from his foundation to help with their adoption. He runs a program designed to help people adopt from China, as he has adopted a few children himself.

It's not all that bad! You just have to look, and refuse to believe that it is all like what you hear on the radio, or else you'll miss out on some pretty amazing people, and music.
Buster:"Sister is my new mother, Mother..."

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Post by Reepicheep » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:41 pm

And by the way, I forgot to add that most Christian music DOES annoy me, not to mention the politics involved.
I cant stomach Christian radio. So that is why I am especially fired up to share the artists I have found with others, because they are such a rarity!!
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:07 pm

I don't think CCM is emo enough for me. ;) :lol:

In all seriousness, I have a very poor ability to distinguish what is truly musical and as opposed to what is a poorly done imitation, I only know what I like and what I hate. And to be frank, I pretty much hate the whole style of almost all Christian music. Musical or not, original, manufactured, or written by aliens. :-p So... yeah....

*note* I do like Skillet, though, or at least some of their songs. Cooper's voice is way to grating to take for long, and the lack of musical depth also wears thin for most of the songs, but there are some that won't grow old for a very long time...
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Post by yeshead 777 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:32 pm

I have only skimmed over Steve's article so far so it is not fair for me to comment fully on it. I do know that while I agree with a lot of it, I also agree very strongly with Reepicheep's comments about throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And you also have to remember that the majority(I dare say)of music listeners want pablum-whether it be secular or sacred. Unfortunately, those like us are the minority-those that really search for substance and true musicality. I know that this sounds like pragmatism(and it is)-but if the artist is not consciously dumbing down their music, and it is reaching masses, and is entertaining, yet also uplifting and God honoring-then who are we to judge it as wrong? Yes, some record company is making money of off it-but that is on their' conscience, not the sincere CCM artist-which I agree is rare-but there are those out there! More on this later,David.
Art can "make people feel what's true rather than telling them".[Dan Haseltine,Jars of Clay].

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Post by EIwing » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:13 pm

http://www.myspace.com/theturning : Matt's website. Rocketown has been watching the band for over a year now. I think it's funny that record companies have been vying for the Turning's signatures for contracts. Rocketown was probably the most sincere and the band, as a whole, liked the management of that particular company over all the others, because they are a sincere company with a geniune interest in the bands the sign.

I'm with Steve on reclaim the music. And I also agree that majority of the industry is a crock, but there are a few genuine believers out there that aren't out to make money, but to spread their heart's passion - Christ. I know that, although my brother is very 'industry' minded, his heart is in the right place, as are his bandmates.

So kudos to those out there that are in it for the right reasons. :D
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Post by Rumpska » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:21 pm

Reepicheep wrote: I cant stomach Christian radio.


My carpool driver used to always listen to Public Radio... I had no problem with that. Now it's KTIS- the Christian radio station. Ohohoooooo man.... I can't stand that. And every day I have one of those songs I hate stuck in my head until the next morning when it's a different song.


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Thank you for joining Joe with his pessimistic story fo the day.
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Post by Reepicheep » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:44 pm

Public Radio is waaaaaaaaay better than Christian radio.
The NPR station in Chattanooga was much better than the station out here, believe it or not. We miss it.
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Post by yeshead 777 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:55 pm

My wife and oldest girls love the local Christian radio station here. In fact, they volunteer there some, and we will be volunteering at the annual festival(J-Fest) this year (the only way we can all afford to go)-which has one of Flo's and Bethany's fav's(I believe)Caedmon's Call on the bill. Obviously my musical tastes and my wife and kids' vary widely-and always will probably, but I respect their choices, and I know that their heart is in the right place. And from what I can tell-they're good, sincere people at j103. I too-cannot listen to Christian radio very long, but then I can't listen to ANY radio very long. I have NEVER been a radio person. 99% of what I listen to will never be played on the radio(except Satellite), or for that fact be sold in a local retail store-I have to order just about all of mine on-line. But I will always respect artists-whether they label themselves CCM or not, who share their faith unashamedly thru their music and have enough integrity not to compromise that message, and have enough talent-hopefully to make a living at it!!!
Art can "make people feel what's true rather than telling them".[Dan Haseltine,Jars of Clay].

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Post by MayorOfLongview » Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:34 am

Two items of interest on CCM.
1. That Chattanooga local station (J-103) tried to get me to send them paying bands (from our studio) to join their contest last year. The prize for the winner was a recording package - at another studio! :shock: Also, the DJs threw Eric Parker's album in the trash on more than one occasion, even after being instructed to play it by the station president. :x (Seems the Nashville cabal wouldn't like an indie being played. Where's Christ in that scenario?)

2. Rocket Town - they actually send me requests for donations about twice a year. I'm sure they're sincere, but why are they asking me for money? They should sell good music and run their business like the rest of us. 8)

There's two. I got more :) :D
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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