The state of CCM

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Bogatyr
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Post by Bogatyr » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:10 am

That's IT! No Dove Award for you, Mister!
Wheee!

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Post by MayorOfLongview » Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:49 am

Bogatyr wrote:That's IT! No Dove Award for you, Mister!
LOL!! I think its pretty safe to say that GH will never be nominated. How many members of the GMA would be willing to read a 19,000 word poem and sift through 3,000 words of lyrics to determine the "Christianity" of our latest allegory? Plus, I've already managed to burn a few bridges with the new Lords and High-Priests of C-Prog. Don't get me started!
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 » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:32 pm

I'm so proud of my fav's:

http://www.myspace.com/squarepegalliance

From their site:

"The Square Peg Alliance is a group of singer/songwriters who really like each other. We have all been doing music on our own but have decided to join forces like the wonder twins - except there are 13 of us instead of 2. There is no guy in a suit putting all of us together. We really just believe in each other's art and want to support it.
We don't write music so we can be the next big thing (or if we do, it hasn't worked for us). We believe that there are folks out there who like music even if it isn't played every three minutes on the radio, even if it isn't on a big label, even if it isn't accompanied by a music video, even if the shows aren't flashy or even if the records don't go platinum (or gold, or silver, or aluminum foil, etc.).
That is why we are the Square Peg Alliance. Thirteen artists who might not fit perfectly into the traditional mold of the music business, but have found a home with each other."
Buster:"Sister is my new mother, Mother..."

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Post by Bogatyr » Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:50 pm

MayorOfLongview wrote:Don't get me started!
8)
I shouldn't have started either, bro. I used to be a CCM DJ before I decided to leave it and focus on prog. There were a lot of factors that led up to my decision, not the least of which was the increased insistance of style over substance with every batch of new releases. Not naming names, but there was one CD in particular that was labeled "alternative" simply because the artist wore Buddy Holly glasses and Doc Martens. Once the Nashville image consultants got to Petra and gave them the trendy "alternative" makeover, I decided I couldn't shovel that manure anymore.

I'm reminded of the whole Bollywood scene in India, and even the Dubai city skyline. Outwardly, they are quite beautiful. Dubai has got some of the world's most impressive buildings, bar none. The movie stars in India are so carefully groomed to have the perfect look that one would almost mistake them for our own celebrities. The striking difference with both of these entities is that there is no "there" there.

The oil barons of the United Arab Emirates seek to imitate the USA's prosperity by putting up these enormous monuments to their wealth, apparently thinking it will give them more international clout and respect. But peel the onion just a little bit, and it's obvious there is no moral or ethical underpinning in that society at all. Everything is based on oil money. There is nothing in that land that hasn't been purchased from somewhere else. They are a huge house of cards.

The Bollywood celebrities are so much more overtly vain and shallow than anything we see in our tabloids or "news" shows on TV. In interview after interview, the focus is on what kind of clothing, jewelry, or any other possession this person has. It's as if to say the clothes not only make the man, but those things make him elite and special. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, indeed. Living paper dolls.

This is what they get from Western culture, and desire the sizzle on the steak. The steak? Eh, who cares about that? We just want what we can see. They mistake the symbols of greatness, or the results that come from greatness, for greatness itself. In their envy, they are blind to this simple truth. Nashvegas is a Siamese cousin.

In WWII, there was an island in the South Pacific that the Marines liberated from the Japanese. In short order, an airstrip was constructed and a control tower was erected for the use of transport and supply planes. Day in and day out the airplanes came delivering goods, and the island natives got blessed by what was brought in. Neighboring islanders noticed what was happening and set out to build their own airstrips and control towers (made of bamboo), seeking to get the airplanes to drop goodies out of the sky for them as well. Didn't work. There was no "there" there. Why would any self respecting Christian allow himself to become enchanted by the allure of a simple prop made of bamboo? Where is wisdom?

Now I'm promoting secular music, which to some of my brethren is a sign of backsliding and compromise. I don't see it that way at all, but that's a discussion for a different day. At least I'm playing music that speaks to me, which is much more than I could say before.
Last edited by Bogatyr on Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:18 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Wheee!

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Post by Reepicheep » Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:00 pm

Bogatyr wrote: Now I'm promoting secular music, which to some of my brethren is a sign of backsliding and compromise.
Hardly. Not to me, anyway.
In fact, the pastor of my church has said (even from the pulpit) that he doesn't listen to Christian Music (or most of it anyway). He and his wife (who is a jazz singer, locally) prefer um, "secular".

I gotta tell you, it is very refreshing after going to churches where christian radio was played at every event.
Buster:"Sister is my new mother, Mother..."

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Post by MayorOfLongview » Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:34 pm

Well said!
The following "Oath" by yours truly was put before the cprog email lists and there was much debate and murmering, though general agreement by all that it was a good thing. At the same time, the Dove Award for C-prog petition started up. Well over 100 c-proggers signed up for the recognition from Nashville, only one took my Oath. From the one group of people on earth that should know better - so I wonder if there is any real hope!

Please read on...(spread it around on the internet, to friends, to churches, to myspace.com, etc if you like )

What you are about to read is presented by Reclaim The Music (reclaimthemusic.com) with the intent that it will cause you to cherish, protect and hold dear the gifts that God has given you as artists. It is designed to free your creativity from worldly concerns, and to cause the music created by Christians to reach higher levels of artistry. When that happens, it is our belief that Christian music will offer something unique and wonderful to the world, something truly born of a desire to please God.

It is our position that an industry and a mindset generated by that industry has placed itself between many Christian artists and their freedom to create inspired works of art. They insist that Christian music merely imitate secular music in the belief that profits will be generated. Profit (while no bad thing) has become their main concern. God’s church and the world are the recipients of the watered-down, trend-driven music that results from this mindset.

Reclaim The Music is calling on all Christian artists to sever their ties with this industry, and to rethink their approach to Christian art and its creation and dissemination to the world. We provide The Oath to facilitate real and immediate change within the hearts of Christian artists.

It is an oath, simply stated – an oath that no discerning Christian artist will fail to take. When you take the oath, remember, it is between you and God and therefore becomes your sacred commitment to Him. Most of you will be able to take The Oath with no lingering doubts, and with no personal sacrifice needed. Others will be tempted to put it aside due to professional ambition. If you prioritize professional ambition over your commitment to God, then read no further.



The Oath

For Musicians, Singers And Songwriters Who Adhere To The Christian Faith



I acknowledge that my creative spark, my musical talent and my inspiration come as a gift and a calling from the Great Creator who seeks to redeem man through his son, Jesus Christ. Receiving this gift, I accept the responsibilities that come with it, and in using this gift, I will allow no man, nor woman, nor worldly enterprise to come between that gift and the one who gave it to me.

For the purposes of advancing my Christian music or my Christian songwriting career, or to enhance my position as a Christian musician, I will make no bond, enter into no agreement, contractual or otherwise, with any man or woman, nor any entity of business or commerce that will in any way restrict my creativity or has been shown through their actions to restrict the creativity of others, nor with those who promise me creative control of my art, but with cunning language and crafty counsel attempt to manipulate me into self-imposed creative restrictions.

I will write no song that is to be called Christian or later be known as a Christian work, be it a hymn, a song of praise and worship, or music to edify or entertain the body of Christ, without first considering the goals of Heaven and making those goals my own, while renouncing at once my own perception of what will make that song acceptable, popular or commercially profitable, and using no prescribed format dictated by radio, television, record label or other worldly entity whose goals are not likewise the goals of Heaven – trusting only in God for inspiration, wisdom and artistic direction,

May the true songs of God and of his people be sung forevermore.





Reclaim The Music is a growing organization whose main goal is to unleash the creativity of Christian artists. So, we should get to know you – right? Click here to register for our site and receive news and updates.

Please email the oath to those you know who are involved in Christian music. We want every Christian artist around the world to join this movement, and to recommit themselves to pursue their creativity free of the mindset generated by the music industry – Christian or otherwise.

Christian music no longer need emulate secular music, but can once again emerge as serious art at a time when the world needs it most.

This is an exciting time - a real musical revolution is underway! You have just become an important part of it.
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 Bnielsen » Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:06 pm

completely and totally awesome.

The guantlet has been thrown down, and I hope artists and the companies involved agree to this higher calling,
Brian Nielsen
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:37 am

My 'Oath' seems like a real thread-killer to me! :lol:

Here's an interesting article though...

http://localnewsleader.com/jackson/stor ... &id=152983

A band sues to keep from being called "Christian"...
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 johnc » Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:11 am

MayorOfLongview wrote:My 'Oath' seems like a real thread-killer to me! :lol:
Nah. It is so profound that we were simply left speechless. :lol:
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:11 am

Jars Of Clay speak of CCM "monster" on their website.


http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/ ... /14488/p1/
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 SuperTed » Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:22 pm

FWIW I find the whole concept of CCM stifling and lacking in imagination. It's like saying you can be a builder but you can only build churches or a carpenter but only if you make church pews and altar rails!

For example, one of the things that makes me somewhat uncomfortable about an artist like Neal Morse these days is the constant overt, almost extravagant, nature of his feelings about Christ. Everything's "praise the Lord" and get those hands in the air! It gets to the point, as with anyone who (and perhaps this isn't the right word) obsesses about a subject - be it a hobby, a vocation or a calling - that the message they're trying to convey is shut out by all the histrionics.

I'd like to think that the Creator Of The Universe (tm) :lol: put brains in our skulls to do a little bit more than walk around in some beatific haze praising the Name. Who's going to empty my garbage cans for a start?!

I like the Glass Hammer (and others) approach in this regard. Allegory and other writings that take - and show - inspiration from spiritual sources are much more to my taste. If you have an entire universe of the sacred and the profane why restrict and label yourself?

Man: Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! etc....

God: That's nice my child, but your sink's backed up and it's spilling dirty water all over the kitchen floor!

Man: Thank you Lord for this gift of Holy Dirty Water! Thy will be done!

God: You think he'd call a plumber...they never listen

Jesus: Don't talk to me! Last time I tried it wasn't pretty!

God: Never mind Son! Coming over for dinner tonight?

Jesus: No thanks Dad, I'm going round to Satan's place. Me and Pete are going to glue his car locks again.

God: Kids! Who'd have 'em (sigh)
Last edited by SuperTed on Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by FredProgGH » Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:20 pm

Hehe :D
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Post by yeshead 777 » Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:22 pm

I honestly think that society,corporations,etc. put labels on art most of the time-not the artist themselves. I personally have been a fan of Neal Morse's since the SB "V" album. I admired him for his passion, songwriting,and musicianship before He became a Christian. He is a very passionate performer, and he takes whatever is going on inside him and forms his art from that. I think his three solo CD's have been brutually honest and conveyed what God was personally doing in his life at that time, or what God was teaching him thru his word. I go thru moods where I like his approach more than others, and times when I like GH's or Salem Hill's approach. I honestly don't see how you can label his music as "Put your hands in the air" or "Praise Him" all the time music. "?" is certainly not that-it is a painstakingly in-depth exploration of the old testament temple of God in relation to God living inside of us as a temple-and putting somewhat of a personal twist on it. It is only as overt as the Bible itself I guess. I know as well as anyone that Neal's music isn't for everyone-but it is a FAR CRY(IMO)from 95% of what is labeled CCM. It dissapoints me as much for those to dismiss his music because of its overt Christian message, as it does for those who dismiss GH's music beacause of it's mythical/medievel/fantasy message. I think if you were to ask Neal He'd agree with Steve's oath and is setting out to accomplish the same goals. There is room in the musical landscape for many different approaches-isn't there? Peace,David.
Art can "make people feel what's true rather than telling them".[Dan Haseltine,Jars of Clay].

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Post by SuperTed » Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:36 am

I knew I shouldn't have dipped my toe in this one! :lol:

David, I have to concede that my missive above does seem to link Neal Morse with CCM more than I intended. Not actually being a Christian, I have an outsider's view of all these things. I have an idea of what CCM is but it's probably wide of the mark.

As for Neal himself, I've got all Spock's Beard's albums and all three "solo" CDs and the Testimony DVD. Hell, I flew to London for a TA tour! Personally I was very impressed with Testimony - it did exactly what it said on the label! He told his story and left it to the listener to take from it what they will and fair play to him for that. However, and again speaking entirely for myself, I still feel uncomfortable at times watching him and reading interviews. At one point on the DVD, backstage, everyone's got their hands in the air and I thought Neal was going to burst into tears! Well, all except poor old Milke Portnoy, who looked about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit :P

Again, I'm speaking as an outsider in this regard and perhaps that's the issue for me. It's as if I'm in a club on a guest pass - sure, you can hang out but you're not one of us. Do you see what I'm getting at?

Also, three solo albums - three religious albums. At least GH throw in the odd evil horse to break up the dragons (I'm kidding!)
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Post by yeshead 777 » Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:55 am

Thanks for you're reply Ted-I DO see you're what you're getting at and where you're coming from-and I do understand you're earlier remarks much better now. That's what I love about this forum as opposed to Progressiveears-you don't have to worry about disagreements turning into hateful tirades! You really are a NM fan! That's what is so unique about him-the music seems to overide the spiritual content-to some anyway. And personally I think his solo music is as good or better than most SB-esp. Testimony. Being a Christian I have to admit that I was overjoyed when I learned about his Christianity-I thought finally someone who can combine the true artisty of great prog and the Christian faith. Well-honestly it is an almost impossible task-and you're sure not going to please everyone-on both sides of the fence. IMO He's done a good a job as anyone. Thanks again for you're clarification. Peace,David.
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