Amazon MP3 $5 Black Friday Sale

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Amazon MP3 is having a huge sale of $5 digital albums this whole week. I waded through the 545 some odd albums and came up with this list of digital albums for sale from the artists we cover. There is a lot of good stuff on here, including a lot of albums that came out just this year. $5 isn’t bad either, considering a LOT of the albums are closer to ten songs than five, so its almost like paying 50 cents a song. Let me know if I missed anyone, here is the list:

Christian Music Artists For Sale on Amazon MP3

Owl City Ocean Eyes (buy now)
Red-Innocence & Instinct (buy now)
Kutless It Is Well (buy now)
Johnny Cash The Best Of Sun Years ( buy now)
Mae (m)orning (buy now)
Relient K Mmhmm (buy now)
U2 No Line On The Horizon (buy now)
Fee Hope Rising (buy now)
Flyleaf Momento Mori: Amazon MP3 Special Edition (buy now)
Sara Groves Fireflies & Songs (buy now)
Britt Nicole The Lost Get Found (buy now)
Decyfer Down Crash (buy now)
Addison Road Addison Road (buy now)
Jason UptonOn The Rim Of The Visible World (buy now)
David Crowder BandAll I Can Say (buy now)
33MilesOne Life (buy now)
Jonny DiazMore Beautiful Than You (buy now)
DiscipleSouthern Hospitality (buy now)
Big Daddy WeaveWhat Life Would Be Like (buy now)
Phil Stacy - Into The Light (buy now)
Jeremy CampBeyond Measure (buy now)
tobyMacWelcome To Diverse City (buy now)
Building 429Building 429 (buy now)
Kierra SheardKiki’s Mixtape (buy now)
Phil Wickham-Heaven & Earthbuy now)
Leeland-Love Is On The Move (buy now)
Sidewalk Prophets-These Simple Truths (buy now)
Matt Maher-Alive Again (buy now)
Pillar-Confessions (buy now)
Thi’sl-Chronicles Of An X-Hustler (buy now)
Christy NockelsLife Light Upbuy now)
Misty EdwardsRelentless (buy now)
Jordin SparksBattlefield (buy now)
LifehouseNo Name Face (buy now)
Meredith AndrewsThe Invitation (buy now)
Remedy DriveDaylight Is Coming (buy now)
Laura StoryGreat God Who Saves (buy now)
116 CliqueAmped (buy now)
Covenant Worship With David & Nicole Binion – Heaven On Earth (buy now)

Voices Of The Underground Pt.8

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Several weeks ago One21 Music posed fifteen questions to a number of music artists in the Christian music scene, ranging from the light-hearted to the deeply spiritual. We received many responses, some very helpful, and some…. not so much. Some of the answers were short and sweet, some were extensive and eloquent. Many expressed frustrations with the current landscape of the music industry, while others were hopeful for a future of uncertainty. We heard from guys who had been performing for years, and bands that are just now starting to get their names heard. From indie rock to hip-hop, from hardcore to worship, the Christian music scene spoke back to us. Realize that these answers are by the people making the music that you are listening to, and these are un-edited and real. The opinions expressed don’t always reflect ours, but we aren’t perfect, right?

Need to catch up?

Read Pt.1: What Do You Love About Music?
Read Pt.2: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Albums/CDs?
Read Pt.3: What Is The Best Thing About Making Music?
Read Pt.4: What Is Your Opinion Of The Music Industry?
Read Pt.5: What Impact Has The Digital Age Of Music Had On The Industry?
Read Pt.6: Who Is Jesus Christ To You?
Read Pt.7: What Is Christian Music?

This week we asked our artists what their opinion of the Christian music industry was. Before you read them, let me emphasize again that these are their opinions, and not always ours.  There are a lot of artists that are happy with the way the industry has grown over the last ten years, but their are many that aren’t. You may read some things in this installment that seem very negative, but let me assure you that these guys know what they are talking about, and this is their inside view on what is happening. I also want to take a minute and say that when many of our artists were talking about this subject, they were not talking about Christian music, but the industry that drives the majority of what you see in Christian book stores and what is on the radio.  There is a difference. I have done my best to display a balanced and fair depiction of the industry from the artist’s view, but sometimes maybe a cry for change just needs to be heard.

What is your opinion of the Christian music industry?

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                           Mahogany Jones
I think that there is good and bad. There are people with pure motives to minister the gospel to people who need to understand the importance of a relationship with Christ, and there are people who use their gift as a means not to promote the gospel but themselves, and I feel that if we aren’t careful to ask God to keep us humble that we may be in for a rude awakening.

dewey Dewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)                           Dewey Lybecker
I feel like the Christian music industry is beginning to come into a place that’s its needed to be in for a while. I think that a lot of Christian music was kind of cheap. It was a bunch of people that just regurgitated everyone else’s songs but added a different hook or something that made it “cool/ hip” again. It wasn’t very original, and because of this it wasn’t very respected by other
musicians. I think where it’s headed is the opposite of that, with bands like Switchfoot, MuteMath, Underoath, P.O.D., The Fray, One Republic… they’re showing the world that Christian music isn’t as lame as a lot of people think it is.

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)       Hyland
I think the Christian music industry is doing a terrible job of staying current. They are banking on bands that offer travel cards with no annual fee, and that are tried and true (Newsboys, Third Day) and aren’t taking chances on new original talent, only on what has already worked in the secular scene. Where are the Audio Adrenalines and the DC Talks of THIS generation???!!! Everyone in the industry is worried about their bottom dollar instead of realizing taking a chance on originality will pay off ten-fold.

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
Honestly, it stinks that it has come down to a business plan, labels, and it stinks that it actually is an “industry”. I feel like Christians should be at the head of the line creating the best art the world has ever seen. It should just be known that we are Christians based on what we stand for and how we live. It’s weird to me that it has become it’s own separate industry.

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)          Brooke Waggoner
It’s a shame that it’s so divided and set apart from other genres and in other ways, it’s not set apart at all.. it’s really like any other industry – they tapped into a market, create products to fit that demographic, and package it accordingly. It’s difficult to find genuine amongst alot of this, but it does exist!

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
Since we’re all trying to survive in a broken industry people are starting to fight against their morals to stay afloat. As a band we’ve been ripped off, lied to, and stepped on a lot. Unfortunately, the Christian music industry has been the worst about that to us. I hate to say it, but the snakes are in the Christian music industry. That said there are also a lot of awesome people in the Christian music industry that have done wonders for us. It’s no different than the secular side I guess. They’re just selling to Christians.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)               Echocast
I think that a lot of artists are jaded towards the Christian music industry because they might have felt slighted at some point in the business end… But, a lot of people forget that that the music business is still a “business”…

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)
Amy Courts
Honestly? Having come and gone from a number of major Christian label opportunities and seen the ins and outs of their operations, I see the Christian Music Industry much like Jesus saw the sale of goods in the temple: an exploitation of righteousness and holiness for the sake of making money, and a tyrannical dictatorship regarding what defines “Christianity” in melodic terms.

christopherthegoodnighthorizenChristopher(vocalist for Harvest Earth Records metal band The Goodnight Horizon)
The Goodnight Horizon
They spend to much time catering to those who already know Jesus. Open the door, plant the seeds. Stop hiding.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)
Endeverance
I think the “Christian Music” industry sometimes is worse than the Mainstream industry because there is no grace in “Christian Music” I mean if your sin gets out and you’re in the “Christian Music” industry sometimes you get ex-communicated…I mean we are all humans we all sin and fail…Why does it mean when you’re a so called “Christian Artist” you can’t fail…And I think that’s horrible if anything you would think they would be more understanding. But I mean it does have good things like promoting music that has a meaning behind it…

curtisblackhighvally Curtis(mandolist/singer for Centricity Records country band High Valley) High Valley
I think it’s sad that Christian music has to be so “commercial” and surface in order to have success. I like deep songs that may possibly offend someone or really challenge them rather than telling someone that God loves them and knows there name over and over again. These are good messages but hearing it over and over again won’t change anyone’s life if they have heard that message a thousand times before. I think that Christian music good have deeper and more powerful messages. A band that I believe does an awesome job is Downhere. Lyrically the best Christian band I have ever heard.

divulgencecamCameron(guitarist/vocalist for Bombworks Records metal band Divulgence)
Its almost as though Christians have the mindset that since they are playing for God they get to slack off on their song writing. I can turn on the local Christian radio station and hear 5 songs that sound the same in about an hour. It shouldn’t be that way. If you are writing for the King of kings you should give it all you got and don’t take the easy way out by doing some overused chord progression.

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
Sadly, I find the name is often one of the only differences between it (Christin music industry) and the secular music industry.

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)                              Dominic Balli
It’s the same as the mainstream one. At the top, there’s still a dude that is just really all about one thing. Money. That’s the industry, not the artists. There’s some artist with wonderfully pure hearts out there. A bunch of them. And there’s some labels that are the same. But as far as most of the “big” Christian labels. It’s all the same.

I think Dominic best summed it up, “it’s all the same”. That seems to be the pervailing theme throughout all the answers this week. Christ called us to be different, so why is it not?

Next week we are talking about the importance of the Christian music scene, so check back with us next week!

3 New Christians on American Idol- Watch Tonight

American Idol Season 8′s Hollywood Week resumes tonight.  We continue our quest to find Christian music artists among the contestants.  Last week we highlighted Danny Gokey.  Today we add three more contestants,  Matt Giraud, Kristen McNamara and Kris Allen, to that list of Christian musicians competing for Season 8′s title.  Watch tonight and cheer them on.

Matt Giraud, 23, is the dueling piano player and singer/songwriter from Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He grew up in Ypsilanti, MI where he played drums for his local church.  He and friend Gerry Mattei received minor success with his award in “DOWNBEAT” magazine for the song “First Impression”.   In 2006, Matt released a Christian R&B cd titled Mind, Body, Soul. CD Baby described it as.. “10 tracks that portray issues of the mind, music for the body, and a message for the soul.” The mp3 of the cd is available on CD Baby.  In 2003, he released his first Christian R&B cd titled “Perspective”.  This note was on CD Baby’s message board for that cd…

“My 12-year old nephew is now having peer pressure about what kind of music to listen to.  His parents are having a real struggle keeping him on the right path. When I heard Matt playing the piano in the hotel we began to talk.  He told me he is a Christian musician and played some of his songs for me.  I knew then I would buy a CD for my nephew.  Even if he doesn’t share it with his peers, the music with a message also has a hip beat he should enjoy.”    

Yep, Kris Allen, 23 is a singer/songwriter from Little Rock, Arkansas who is also a Business Major at the University of Central Arkansas.  Kris debuted his self released cd Brand New Shoes in 2007.  A self taught musician, Kris plays the guitar, piano, viola and ukulele.  Kris leads worship at New Life Church in Conway, AR and on campus with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries.  He has shared his musical gifts and his faith on mission trips to Spain, Morocco, Thailand, Burma, Mozambique and South Africa.

 

 Matt and Kris Allen were part of White Chocolate that performed the rapping, beatboxing version of “I Want You Back” during American Idol’s Season 8 Hollywood Week. 

The third new America Idol we discovered is Kristen Mcnamara, 23, a singer/songwriter who grew up on the top of a mountain in Northern California.  Kristen was the crying girl in Hollywood Week’s  Team Compromise.  She certainly displayed her willingness to turn the other cheek while being berated by the chick with red weave.  At 16, she landed a job singing for the San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants and then, at 17, she moved to Branson, MO to sing and dance two shows daily six days a week.  A year later in 2004, she moved to Nashville, TN to pursue a serious music career. She was a previous Star Search and Nashville Star contestant.

 In 2006, Kristen created an organization called “L.A.U.G.H.” (Love. All. Unconditionally. Giving Hope.)  According to the website for L.A.U.G.H. ..”Kristen grew up going to Church every Sunday, learning God’s love. Kristen has spent endless time with veterans, children, homeless, and many others in need of something simple, happiness. Kristen has been a counselor teaching children about Jesus Christ since she was 13 years of age. Learning and understanding religion can scare people at times, so she wanted take her faith in God and love all people through him.”

So now there are four Christian artists  competing on Season 8 of American Idol.  Tonight, these Christian artists have their best chance so far to show their talent as they perform individually before the final judging.  Watch them tonight!

If you know any of these guys to be Christian artists, please let me know by commenting below with some background:

  • Alexis Grace
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Ann Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Arianna Ayesha Afsar
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailes
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Joanna Pacitti
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Junot Joyner
  • Kai Kalama
  • Kendall Beard
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Kris Allen
  • Lil Rounds
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Matt Giraud
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Mishavonna Henson
  • Rick Brady
  • Scott MacIntyre
  • Stephen Fowler
  • Stevie Wright
  • Taylor Vaifanua
  • Tatiana Del Toro
  • Von Smith

American Idol Comes To The One 21

Yes,  we at One21music.com will cover American Idol’s Season 8.  However, we will take a little different slant.  We will identify and focus on American Idol contestants of faith.  While American Idol’s Hollywood theater of torture airs next week, we will research the candidates to find those who profess their faith in Christ and then we will follow their progress throughout Season 8.

The Season 8 audtition shows ended last night and they were the usual cornucopia of train wrecks and tear-jerkers, spiced with some talent and humor.  American Idol is a decidely secular endeavor.  It feels that the judges punish contestants who choose to demonstrate their faith through their song selections.  On the surface, Idol  stifles creativity and undervalues sensitivity, two qualities of the great music we try to promote at One21music.

So why would One21music jump into covering the plastic, secular process we will see in American Idol’s Season 8?  Is there anything less underground, less Post Modern, less organically Christian than American Idol?  There are really three reasons Idol matters to us at One21music and why maybe you should give it a chance:

  • American Idol is a fascinating view into the process of developing music stars.
  • American Idol is television the entire family can enjoy together.
  • There have been a number of Idol contestants who are Christian music artists.

We live in Austin, Texas; a city teeming with talented musicians.  Many of these music artists appear to be much more talented than most pop music faves such as Britney Spears,  J-Lo or Kenny Chesney.  If superior talent is not enough, then what does it take for America to embrace your music?  I think American Idol offers some insight into that process.  In Idol’s Season 7 we saw interesting talents like Brooke White and Jason Castro wither under the pressure of unrelenting, high stakes performing.  We saw Syesha Mercado’s unwavering will and self confidence enable her to survive other, more heralded talents.  We saw the mature musical diversity of David Cook prevail over the powerful singing talent that was David Archuleta.  American Idol is not about who gets to sing that horrible song to close the season.  Idol is about watching these talented musicians endure, mature and grow through the Idol’s condensed process for grooming a music pop star.  Okay, dog?

I was a late comer to American Idol.  Quite frankly, I was a music snob who looked down my nose at the show until I saw Jennifer Hudson’s crushing performance in Dreamgirls.  Knowing that her talent did not win motivated me to investigate this curious show.  Before then, I joked that all of my friends who encouraged me to watch Idol were the parents of pre-teen girls.  In the middle of Idol’s Season Six a friend, whose music tastes I highly respect, and father of four said to me, “American Idol is one of the only television shows my 3 year-old,12 year old and I can enjoy together as a family.  You know how families used to sit together and watch television as a family?”  It is true.  American Idol is understandable and entertaining to very young kids and interesting and enjoyable to adults.

Over the last two years, we have seen the Top 12 Finalists include no less than seven music artists who openly profess their faith.  Phill Stacey, Lakisha Jones and Chris Sligh have all  recorded Christian/Gospel music.  Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks openly express their faith.  We are waiting to hear from Jason Castro and Chikezie from Season 7 .

Which brings us to American Idol Season 8 and One21music.  We intend to highlight the Christian music artists competing and we need your help.  Fox and 19 TV do not provide much information about the contestants going to Hollywood and we expect their biographical data for the 36 finalists to be sketchy regarding their faith.

Through researching a number of blogs I have identified some of the contestants we should consider favorites:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Alexis Grace
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Ann Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Arianna Ayesha Afsar
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailes
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Joanna Pacitti
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Junot Joyner
  • Kai Kalama
  • Kendall Beard
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Kris Allen
  • Lil Rounds
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Matt Giraud
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Mishavonna Henson

Here is how you can help.   If you know any of these Idol contestants to be professing believers, please send me a comment to let me know.  Whatever you can tell me about them will be greatly appreciated.  Hopefuly ths list will contain a fair number of the contestants moving to the audience voting rounds.  Once we know the true list we will adjust and research the others.

Join me when the program goes live on February 17th and we will cheer on these Christian music artists together.