Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Good" Christian music

Happy internet jaunt when I should have been finishing my overdue paper.
It started off with a blog post by Paul Angone on Christians claiming musicians as "one of us," a tongue in cheek look at some common self-deceptive behaviors among young Christians. Great discussion in the comments, which led me to this fascinating blog post by Michael Gungor likening the Christian music industry to "zombie propaganda." He makes a lot of really good points, especially about drinking. Funny how a Christian will feel nothing morally wrong with one beer among non-believer friends, but put them with brothers and they're suddenly a teetotaler.

Last night, a newlywed couple I adore but don't see very often came to Bible Study. They taught me a few great new tunes to old hymns and new hymns that could pass for old ones, next thing we know we were talking about the Welcome Wagon and exchanging band names to check out. Ryan said "I'm always on the lookout for good Christian music." A telling remark. Me too.

Here's a list for my readers of favorite "good Christian music."
Defined as good music, performed by true Christians, as far as I can tell. Not vouching for any of these in terms of theological soundness, but I will  vouch for their musical integrity.

Long-time favorites:
DC Talk - the original Christian rock crossover band.
Half-handed Cloud - adorably kiddish indie pop with profound Biblical symbolism.
Danielson Famile - Avante-garde indie rock with a sweet spirituality & humor.
Psalters - wild punk-gypsy-middle eastern music with pointed spiritual-political themes.
Sufjan Stevens - gorgeous & very real folk-indie you have to listen to for a while before you realize this guy's a believer. He does a lot of great hymn covers.
Eisley - ok their music isn't Christian but it's adorable and beautiful and not profane.
Welcome Wagon - friends of Sufjan. Folk-indie with a sweetly spiritual authenticity. Like to write new tunes to classic hymns.

On my radar, need to buy an album:
Jars of Clay
Caedmon's Call
Owl City

Brand new recommendations (haven't looked into these yet):
Sandra McCracken
Derek Webb
Carolina Broadcaster
Paper Tongues


  1. I have Caedmon's Call and Derek Webb. They came to Converse in concert, remember? Derek Webb's a little radical. (I love it.) I'm pretty sure I've made you listen to him before.

  2. I knew I'd heard his name somewhere before. Yes, I loved that cd you lent me. Need to buy it. Still regretting missing that concert. In case you didn't know Sandra McCracken is his wife.


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