Joel

Sects, Love, and Rock & Roll

51 posts in this topic

The Kindlings Muse podcast, featuring Joel and three other people (including myself).

The podcast was a lot of fun, but you didn't take the obsessive interconnectedness tangents quite far enough. John Mark Painter worked with Sixpence None The Richer (i.e. Joel's favorite band) on their self-titled 1997 album, which was produced by none other than Steve Taylor.

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Tyler wrote:

: The podcast was a lot of fun, but you didn't take the obsessive interconnectedness tangents quite far enough. John Mark Painter worked with Sixpence None The Richer (i.e. Joel's favorite band) on their self-titled 1997 album, which was produced by none other than Steve Taylor.

I wasn't aware of Painter's involvement in that album, but yeah, it did occur to me afterwards that in all this talk of Christian artists "going secular" -- including my reference to Taylor's brief thing with Chagall Guevara -- I could have drawn the connection between Taylor and Sixpence on that album (which, like it or not, did spawn a massive worldwide hit on secular radio).

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SEATTLE TOMORROW NIGHT!

This is the last reading I'm doing this year, and maybe the last one for a very long time.

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Wish I could be there, Joel. It's a shame it's happening the same night as Anne's poetry reading. I hope you'll forgive my bias. ;)

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you didn't take the obsessive interconnectedness tangents quite far enough.

This is rarely, rarely said of me.

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I loved the book. Joel has a distinct amusing voice. As a member of the Petra/Stryper generation of Christian rock, I appreciated the opportunity to experience the viewpoint of the post-Stryper Chrindie Tooth and Nail generation. It never ceases to amaze me that there are young Christians today who have no clue who Carman, Sandi Patti, or One Bad Pig are. That gives me a kind of hope.

Edited by Crow

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I loved the book. Joel has a distinct amusing voice. As a member of the Petra/Stryper generation of Christian rock, I appreciated the opportunity to experience the viewpoint of the post-Stryper Chrindie Tooth and Nail generation. It never ceases to amaze me that there are young Christians today who have no clue who Carman, Sandi Patti, or One Bad Pig are. That gives me a kind of hope.

Crow, thank you so much, for real. It means a lot to me.

By the way for those in Vancouver metro, I will be at the New Bohemian (on West Broadway) at their "Telling Tales" event March 21 at 8 pm. (Think "The Moth" -- true stories told live without notes.)

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Christianity Today has an excerpt today. Originally titled "Christian Rock: An Incomplete, Partial, Biased, and Pretty Much Accurate History."

Link here?

For some reason I can't post a link...trying again

www.christianitytoday.com/ct/music/commentaries/2011/christianrock.html

Edited by Joel

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The American Conservative, of all things, has responded to Joel's "history of Christian rock":

This is all true, but I think Hartse is still understating the level to which Christianity influenced rock and roll in the 1960s and ’70s. For instance, Tommy James and the Shondells were rocketed to fame primarily by sexual songs like “Hanky Panky,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Mony Mony,” and “Crimson and Clover,” but their later hit “Sweet Cherry Wine” was a protest against the Vietnam War with the claim that “Only God has the right/to decide who’s to live and die.” After the band broke up, Tommy James embarked on a solo career, and his second album was entitled Christian of the World and dealt heavily with religious themes.

Other musicians of the era that featured Christian themes in their work include Jackson Browne,Van Morrison, and (of course) Bob Dylan, but the most explicit (and most unexpected) was Black Sabbath, the original heavy metal band fronted by Ozzy Osbourne. The legendary rock critic Lester Bangs made the same observation in a 1972 article when he wrote that Sabbath was “probably the first truly Catholic rock group, or the first group to completely immerse themselves in the Fall and Redemption: the traditional Christian dualism which asserts that if you don’t walk in the light of the Lord then Satan is certainly pulling your strings, and a bad end can be expected, is even imminent.”

Incidentally, Joel, some friends of mine who are much more steeped in the history of CCM than I have pointed out that People's album was titled I Love You, not Love, and that there is some debate as to whether the "Jesus" title was ever seriously considered or was just one of those stories that Larry Norman made up after the fact. (I believe the documentary Fallen Angel gets into this.) For whatever that's worth.

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Yeah, I thought it was an interesting article -- and pretty accurate too. It caused me to download the Tommy James record "Christian of the World" which is pretty rad.

I forget where I got that info about Larry Norman. I have a suspicion it was an old version of his wikipedia page. This is why I wrote a memoir instead of a real history of Christian rock.

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If anyone is interested, I've been keeping track of reviews here. A new one came out recently, calling the book "edgy." I guess I could see that?

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Hey, I just did an interview on a radio show in Connecticut. They were doing a feature on Christian metal and did a short conversation with me. My bit is from about 34 to 45 minutes through http://www.yourpublicmedia.org/node/18136

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And we're back! I'm doing a reading at Seattle Pacific University at the end of February! It'll be a joint reading with Jeff Keuss, author of Your Neighbor's Hymnal: What Popular Music Teaches Us About Faith, Hope, & Love. Details coming ASAP... it will be a Thursday night, either Feb 21 or 28.

Would love to see any Seattlites who are interested!

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Update:

Thursday, Feb. 21:

"God and Guitars: A Forum on Christians Engaging With Popular Music," Featuring readings from Joel Heng Hartse (SPU alum, author of Sects, Love, and Rock & Roll) and Dr. Jeff Keuss (SPU Professor of Theology, author of Your Neighbor's Hymnal)

Seattle Pacific University, Demary Hall 150, 7 pm

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/543331165690840/?fref=ts

Edited by Joel

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Doing a reading in Portland, OR on March 27, with musical guests Danny Seim (Menomena), Todd Fadel (Agents of Future, among many others), Johnny Bertram (SYNTHAR, Johnny Bertram & the Golden Bicycles): https://www.facebook.com/events/1374445282825720/

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Joel,

 

I just wanted to let you know that I just finished your book (flew through it in about 2 sessions of reading.) I loved it. I thought it was generous and gracious to an industry toward which cynicism and mockery are often the default stance. Your experiences in the relationship between faith and music and the crazy cultural context in which those developed are so close to my own it's a bit scary. Thanks for writing this book

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Thank you! "...so close to my own it's a bit scary" is what I like to hear! These comments make the distressingly low sales worth it. I also loved the email I got which said "seriously, I got like 90% of your references." It warms the heart to know there are that many people out there who care about Poor Old Lu...

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Joel, spurred by the recent discussion I bought the book this week and finished it in two nights as well. Loads of fun.

 

Part of what I enjoyed the most was that my experience was extremely similar but by being just slightly older, I went nuts for a completely different set of bands (the groups comprising the Lost Dogs and anything on Blonde Vinyl) and then tuned out everything that came after.

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Awesome! Now let's just get everyone else who has ever registered for A&F to buy a copy and I might actually get up over the $20 hump so they'll finally cut me a check!

 

Seriously though, thanks very much for reading the book. It is funny how we latch on to things and not others -- Blonde Vinyl was never on my radar, nor could get into much of anything done after about 2003.

 

I do love the two Lost Dogs records I have though!

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Spamvertisement: I'll be shipping some cheap copies of my book in the US this week. If you're still on the fence about buying it, now is your chance - $15 including shipping. (This is a good deal and I will probably barely break even!)  Order it here: tinyurl.com/SLRRorder

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I signed a contract to write another book for this publisher. It's going to be about how and why people write about music, which turns out to be the same reason people engage in any meaning-making activity, which is a kind of indomitable faith in the ultimate intelligibility of meaning itself. Although this book sounds kind of impossible to write, I am hoping it will come out in early 2017.

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