One21 Live Blogs American Idol Season 9

American Idol Season 9launched into full gear this week with Hollywood Week.  We saw some incredible individaul performances by Christian music artists Michael Lynche and Didi Benami on Tuesday night.

We saw real American Idol Season 9 drama on Wednesday night when we experienced Group night performances.  We also saw some more great performances by Christian music artists Michael Lynche, Didi Benami, Ashley Rodriguez, Michelle Delamor and Jermaine Sellers. Unfortunately, we also lost one of our early favorite Christian music artists, Ben Honeycutt when he was eliminated after the group performance.  I did not see anything as good as last year’s group performances but the drama was not as intense either. Finally, I am a little frustrated that we have not seen one performance by my favorite Christian music artist of American Idol Season 9, Alex Nestor. She is an amazing artist who has alreadt made a record as good as any American Idol artist.

Everyone log in on Wednesday night as One21music live blogs the American Idol Season 9chair epsiode.  Let’s find out who is in the American Idol Season 9 Top 24 together.

We have not seen much of the performers this year so it is a little early to start picking favorites, but three performers have shined in Hollywood week so far.  Christian music artist Michael Lynchebrings an intimidating presence but an old school soul vibe.  Son of the gangbangers Andy Garcia has the Kris Allen ability to turn any song into a new revelation.  Katie Stevens, granddaughter of Portuguese grandmother with Alzheimer’s, is a wonderful singer who could bring the girls back inot power after the last two years.

We still need your help in finding all of the Christian music artists on American Idol Season 9. If you know anything about these artists’ faith background, please share.

Aaron Kelly
Haeley Vaughn
Janelle Wheeler
Alex lambert
Paige Miles
Casey James
Katy Stevens
Andrew Garcia
Jose Munoz

Don’t forget to join us on Wednesday night for the live blog of American Idol Season 9 chair episode.

Christian Artists To Know: Sleeping Giant


Sleeping Giant
Genre: Hardcore
Styles: Metalcore, Tuff Guy, Mosh
Location: Redlands, CA
Label: Facedown Records
Christian Label: Yes
Category: The Message whats this?

In the 1990s, a term began to circulate through the hardcore community.  The term was in contrast to everything the world of heavy music had tried to put forth before it. It was a new movement, by a special group of bands who saw the music they loved as a means to express the faith that lived inside their hearts. The term was “spirit-filled hardcore”, and for most of the late 90s, the movement ruled the world of heavy underground music.   The bands talked about hard spiritual matters, witnessed to the crowds, and put as much emotion and energy in to the music they created that could be mustered.  Over the last few years, many of the spirit-filled hardcore has been lost to mediocrity, apathy, and longevity. Then, in 2007, an album called Dread Champions Of The Last Days issued in a new era of honest, brutal music made by Christians who were not afraid. Spirit-filled hardcore is back, and the leader of the pack is Sleeping Giant.

Sleeping Giant‘s music is a culmination of the most brutal elements of heavy music. They borrow from traditional hardcore, heavy metal, and even a bit of rapcore to round things out.  The music’s uncomplicated nature lends to its call-response song structure, written for the purpose of fan sing-alongs and expression through movement.  If you want brutal and high-energy, Sleeping Giant are your band. They excel at trimming the fat, giving listeners all the good breakdowns and menacing riffs, with none of the annoying filler.

The true element of Sleeping Giant is the lyrics, and the ministry that comes with those words. That’s right, I said ministry. The band has said from day one the sole focus of their band and their music is to reach non-believers and inspire Christians to get moving. Even their name has a purpose behind it:

We are called Sleeping Giant because Christians in the world today are just
that, in the world. And they need to wake up! They are sleeping giants of
war in this world over-run by apathy, by people who do not see the enormity of
their worth and don’t realize they live their lives day by day forsaking love, and a just
and amazing God who deserves it all.
“- taken from the band’s Artist page on Facedown Records.

To most people, Sleeping Giant is just another hardcore band, but for many, and especially the crowd in the video below, they are so much more:

That is a powerful video for a band that play loud, abrasive music. We cant talk about Sleeping Giant without showing the other side, the side that gets those fans in front of the band. Sleeping Giant‘s shows are notorious for insane crowd interaction, high octane stage presnse, and most of all, brutal truth. Not many of these songs speak this truth than their anthem against legalism, “Blame It On The Holy Rollers” (featuring Brook from Impending Doom)

Sleeping Giant is such a unique band in their scene. I am not saying that there are not lots of Christian hardcore bands out there, but Sleeping Giant attacks their music and their ministry with an energy I rarely see anymore. They are one of the most well respected bands in the Christian underground today, and with new album hitting the streets this summer, the leaders of the new spirit-filled hardcore movement are poised to light a fire in the hearts of believers worldwide. God bless Sleeping Giant.

You can get Sleeping Giant‘s music digitally on Sleeping Giant and AmazonMP3

You can also buy the band’s CDs on Amazon:
Dread Champions of the Last Days

Voices Of The Underground Pt.4


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?

This week we start to brave more serious territory.  In the last ten years, we have seen a dramatic turn in the music industry as a whole. With the birth of companies like Napster, iTunes, and a rise in interest for more independently made music, the whole model of how business works concerning music has been spun on its head. The music industry, be it the Christian market or mainstream, is no longer what it used to be. We asked out artists what they thought, and their answers were….well, see for yourself:

What is your opinion of the music industry today? What has changed? What NEEDS to change?

johanna fellow Johanna Miller (keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow) Fellow
The music industry doesn’t always make sense to me. My band (Fellow) has played with so many talented musicians that work hard but they don’t ever make it to the next level they’re striving for. Then you see bands that have “made it” and they don’t even realize how blessed they really are for being given that opportunity.
I wish there was a better way for artists to do what they’re called to do without having to work three jobs and then be expected to perform for free because it’s a ministry.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                      Amy Courts
I think the music industry, in general, is in the midst of both its worst and best times. Major Labels are fighting to survive, and the Machine is breaking, and yet they still control so much of the radio waves and distribution outlets. Add to that the “American Idol” culture which can make anyone, talented or not, a worldwide superstar overnight (and giving them a piece of the pie earned by artists who’ve spent years working hard to get what’s been arbitrarily given away), and you’ve got a pretty ugly business market that doesn’t favor the bottom-rungers at all. In that way, it’s discouraging, because it’s back-breaking to try and fight a way through to make this lifestyle sustainable. But on the other hand, with the advent of internet technology and online forums and free web communities and download outlets, it’s never been easier for independent artists to build a fan base, tour the world, produce and sell merchandise, and remain totally independent and in control of their art. We don’t have to sell our souls to get somewhere anymore.

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)            Hyland
I think the biggest thing right now is that CDs are still the main medium used to listen to music. It’s a 10 year old product!!! When CDs came out we were still watching movies on VHS. Now we’re not only pushing beyond DVDs we’re well into Blu-Ray. My point being is that to keep music competitive in this market, we need something new. A high-def way to listen to music would be a good start. And also getting people away from the mindset of ‘i just want LOTS of music’ instead of caring about what music they have is something that needs to change.

inhaleexhalejohninveryback John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale Exhale) Inhale Exhale
I think the music business is the worse business to get into. With Myspace, music has open doors for some very good bands, has closed the door on some, and has created a pedestal for some terrible bands with no talent. Music has also become a trend in it’s self. It’s now a fashion statement. Some people don’t care about what they are listening to, they just care how someone looks. I think integrity has left the scene. It’s sad.

runkidrundavidoneinhat David (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run) Run Kid Run
I think it has gotten better of late… bands are way more independent and can easily make an impact without a label. Which I thing is a good thing.

dirt DIRT (underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
I have too many opinions about this to express here. But in my travels and experience, the Secular Music Industry needs to wake up and stop peddling smut into our minds and hearts (people are dying, literally, from the foul messages) and the Christian Music Industry needs to stand up and support the front line musicians trying to spread Good News (stop letting the world steal our creative idea’s and call it their own).

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
It’s in a unique state. Everything has changed, and the industry is scrambling to catch up with it.
The next change needs to be the death of Clear Channel. An industry without them is something I would love to see!

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                          Chris Taylor
Not sure, people want music and they’re getting it, seems pretty solid now in that regard. People are getting so much so quick and so cheap. Not sure that kinda model is good for any people group. Savoring is good once in a while.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)             Endeverance
My opinion on the music industry is that it has lost its genuine quality…I mean you look now it’s all about the popstar and not about being the artist, it’s about selling records and not making amazing art…I mean you look at American Idol all the other stupid Idol competitions, and my personal opinion is that they have ruined the music industry…Yes great musicians and artists have come from these places but the way winning is advertised on these shows is that it is all about being a star. And I just look back and see like Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles, and it wasn’t about being a star it was about writing what you had on your mind and making the best music possible…And what needs to change is that the record companies have to quit prostituting all the artist’s and their music…I mean just get behind an artist and let them write a great song…Not maybe a hit song but a song that can strike a chord with the people and not just another useless pop song…

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
In short, the industry has really gotten itself in quite a bind. I do believe however, that we are on the upswing and things will be getting better soon. Digital music, Myspace, Purevolume, and illegal downloading have changed the music industry drastically. People need to buy more stinkin’ records!!!

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)                 Brooke Waggoner
Honestly, this question keeps getting tossed around so much, I think it’s time to adjust, adapt, and do the best you can. I think the changes are fairly obvious (people don’t buy as much music anymore because it’s information overload now. Too much to sift through) So, this in turn makes bands/artists get more creative which is kind of cool in my opinion…

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
The music industry is dying and musicians are essentially fighting to survive amidst the corpses. No one buys anything except for merch and tickets. Even then, if you aren’t signed you won’t have to exposure to sell thousands of tickets, but labels are signing less and less because they’re slowly consolidating. It’s a real catch 22. What needs to and will happens I believe is a brilliant person will come along and restructure how this whole industry works, and that is what will save it and aid it in growing.

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute) Poorly Built Parachute
Here is what I believe, unless a big-wig record label is ready to offer you real money, a salary, not bull crap, then stay independent. I think it’s retarded that bands sign over the rights to their music forever merely on a gamble that they might make a dollar here and there. A lot of labels look for ways to screw bands. I’d rather stay indie and keep music on the DL rather than sell my soul and end up in debt to a label.

echocastbandwb8David ( singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)                   Echocast
I think the music industry is hurting today… Labels don’t develop artists anymore, they try to push out that one radio single and then let the artist die… Downloading has killed record sales and high fuel prices have hurt touring bands that don’t have huge label support…

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                                      Mahogany Jones
So much about the music industry has changed. It used to be where labels believed in backing and putting out good music and supporting great musicians and artist, but now so much of the music industry is a machine that’s centered on making money, no matter if the music that’s being released is exploiting a generation. What’s new about the industry that’s kind of cool is that because of the digital age, a lot of great musicians can independent of a record label deliver their music to the people minus the filter of the Industry. What needs to change… sigh, it’s not necessarily the industry but the people that need to change. If consumers took more of an active role in deeming what they considered worthy of consumption, it may help in dictating what gets released.

Christian Artists To Know: As Cities Burn


As Cities Burn
Genre: Rock
Styles: Screamo, Progressive, Post-hardcore
Location: Mandeville, LA
Label: Solid State/Tooth & Nail Records
Christian label: No
Category: The Message whats this?

The world of underground rock and hardcore can be a roller coaster for most artists.  With fickle but devoted fans, little to no money, and an ongoing pressure to be relevant and innovative, most bands crumble under the pressure.  It is some where in the middle of never giving up and innovation that we find a band that knows this all to well,  As Cities Burn.

Their first release, Son, I loved You At Your Darkest, was a breathe of fresh air for many hard music fans. Instead of slick production and overdone song-writing, As Cities Burn decided to keep their sound raw and open.  With songs that twist and turn through feelings of remorse, redemption, and searching, As Cities Burn in one album single handily brought the intelligence back to heavy music.  Their lyrics were deep, openly talking about their faith in a way that both believers and the world could understand. Not only celebrating the love of Christ, but also exploring the struggles that all believers experience here on Earth. While the music was loud and heavy, it sounded more progressive and emotional than that scene had seen in a long time. The songs were unpredictable, most times throwing mellower, melodic parts in places that seemed strange, and bursts of heavy raw emotion would erupt like fireworks from those softer areas. Midway through 2006, As Cities Burn had secured a spot in peoples hearts as the leaders of their own brand of art-rock and hardcore.

It was at this time that the band announced that they were going to be breaking up.

I usually don’t like to give big histories in these posts, but understanding that this band not only looked extinction in the face and came back, but also changed their sound in a way that they were able to once again blow people away without losing their core spirit, is nothing short of incredible.  Due to the out cry from fans, As Cities Burn decided to continue on with a few changes.  The most obvious was the replacement of vocalist and frontman TJ Bonett with younger brother Cody. The other was the embrace of a new sound, more focused on melody than hardcore. Somehow, without anybody knowing, As Cities Burn had become a progressive rock band.  The greatest thing is that it doesn’t matter.  The newer sound is just as emotionally driven and honest, allowing you to get lost in a sea of pleading vocals and gritty guitars.  Cody’s heart-breaking lyrics lend themselves to As Cities Burn‘s sound, and the evolution of the band was well received by fans and critics alike.

The band still plays the music that made them a household name (well some households at least), and they are able to seamlessly blend the newer material in with old. Their shows are still full of energy and expression, and the fans have never left their side.

To showcase the two sides and sounds of the bands, I wanted to share two videos. The first is a live video taped at Cornerstone Festival in 2006. It features the original crew including CJ.  This is the song “Love At Our Throats”

The second video marks the band’s triumphant return with the song “Empires”. With more focus on melody, the band never lost their core sound, and were able to take what people had loved so much about them while still creating something new.

As Cities Burns have done a lot in their short time as a band (in one form or another).  Most bands do not survive official break ups and the loss of a frontman. Most bands also don’t get some many fans begging them to come back that the have no choice but to figure out a way. With Cody at the helm, the band will continue to change the perception of the band and the music that comes from the underground Christian world.  I will say that if you didn’t like the first video, or heard As Cities Burn in their first version, please give them another try with Cody.  With As Cities Burns, you are the one truly missing out.

You can buy As Cities Burns music digitally on As Cities Burn and Amazon

You can also get their CDs on Amazon:

Son, I Loved You at Your Darkest

Come Now Sleep

Hell or High Water (released on 4/21/09)

Free MP3 Album Download:FFTGU Comp Vol.2

fighting from the ground up vol 2

Fighting From The Ground Up Vol.2

So there is this great website called They talk about a whole bunch of great underground Christian music. Every now and again, they also put together some killer compilations. When I say killer, I mean by sheer number of bands it will crush you. There is over 50 songs to love here!  Some rock, some punk, some mellow, some hardcore, some unknown and known bands make the cut.  A little something for every one. Don’t beleive me, here is the track listing:

Click on the link below, save the .ZIP file to your computer, EXTRACT ALL FILES, and then enjoy the ride!

Download Fighting From The Ground Up Vol.2

Ian’s SXSW 09 Wrap-Up


It is the Monday after the Saturday we finished covering SXSW 09 and all the Christian performers playing the fest.  I’m pretty sore from walking around so much, crouching for pictures, and pushing through crowds.  The strain was worth it though, we saw some great music, met some cool people, and were able to re focus and hone in on what we wanted The One21 to become.

We have been reporting all week from SXSW, but I thought it would be cool to go back through some of the great shows we saw and post some bigger pics.

The first show we saw ended up being one of the best. Anathallo played the Paste Magazine party at around noon on the first day of music, and it really sat the tone.  Big, soaring choruses, a ton of people on stage, and a whole bunch of instruments made their show a joyful explosion of energy and fun.


Anathallo play hand bells at the Paste Magazine party at SXSW 09

Anathallo on piano at the Paste Magazine Party at SXSW 09

Anathallo on piano at the Paste Magazine Party at SXSW 09

Anathallo singing their heart out at the SXSW 09 Paste Party

Anathallo singing their heart out at the SXSW 09 Paste Party

The chaos of Anathallo at the SXSW09 Paste Magazine Party

The chaos of Anathallo at the SXSW09 Paste Magazine Party

Here is a video of that great show

Remember, you can always get Anathallo‘s music on Amazon and Anathallo

The next night we got see the lovely and talented Brooke Waggoner do her thing.  We were also fortunate enough to interview her before the show, so you can look out for that in the coming weeks.  She played with no percussion of any sort; it was just her voice, her piano, a cello, two violinists, and a friend singing back up vocals. Her music was soft and intricate, but the crowd that was there for her never wavered. For 45 minutes, she captivated the audience with her unique blend of indie style piano pop.  Brooke is a truly talented artist, and you never doubted it for a second watching her play.

Brooke Waggoner gives some joy at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner gives some joy at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner killing those piano keys at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner killing those piano keys at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner's string section making beautiful noise at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner's string section making beautiful noise at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner sings to us at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner sings to us at SXSW 09

Want to hear what I’m talking about? You can pick up Brooke Waggoner‘s music at Amazon and on Brooke Waggoner

The next morning we got to meet and watch the guys from hip-hop duo Rootbeer (aka Flynn Adam and Pigeon John) tear the stage up earlier in the day.  Their music is a lot of fun, and their show was high energy, giving them an appeal that you don’t find in a lot of today’s tuff guy rap scene.  The boys jumped and danced around the stage for a good twenty minutes, joked with the crowd, and told some stories.  I have said this about them before, but these dudes just put a smile on your face, you cant help but love them.  People were walking in off the street the entire set, and by the end of the show, the place was packed.

Rootbeer(Flynn Adam & Pigeon John) jumpin like chimpanzee at SXSW 09

Rootbeer(Flynn Adam & Pigeon John) jumpin like chimpanzee at SXSW 09

Pigeon John workin it out at SXSW 09

Pigeon John workin it out at SXSW 09

Flynn Adam doing his thing at SXSW 09

Flynn Adam doing his thing at SXSW 09

Rootbeer(Flynn Adam & Pigeon John) dancing for the crowd at SXSW 09

Rootbeer(Flynn Adam & Pigeon John) dancing for the crowd at SXSW 09

You can get Rootbeer‘s debut EP on Amazon and Rootbeer

That same night, Chuck and I made our way over to a little club called Spiro’s to catch a band we had been really excited about all year, Wovenhand.  Outside the door, Wovenhand‘s leader David Eugene Edwards was chatting up some friends and relaxing.  The man that was standing out side though was not the man that took his place on the stool right in front of me barely 20 minutes later. The man in front of me was a force, and voice of an angry and vengeful God that would some day come back to earth and take back what was His. For almost an hour, Wovenhand made my jaw drop to the flow in a scary display of power, passion, and revelation.  While their music was dark, I felt God’s presence over the show in the same way I had felt while watching mewithoutYou for the first time and Jason Upton several years before. If Jason‘s music is the heart of God, and mewithoutYou‘s is the mouth, then Wovenhand‘s music is the fist. The fist that swings the axe.

Wovenhand sings to the crowd at SXSW 09

Wovenhand sings to the crowd at SXSW 09

Wovenhand makes the crowd see at SXSW 09

Wovenhand makes the crowd see at SXSW 09

Wovenhand keeps it heavy at SXSW 09

Wovenhand keeps it heavy at SXSW 09

The chaos of Wovenhand at SXSW 09

The chaos of Wovenhand at SXSW 09

Here is video from the actual show. I am kneeling right in front of Edwards if you can spot me

You can purchase Wovenhand‘s incredible music at Amazon and Wovenhand

Now, these were just some of my favorite’s that we covered. I saw some great stuff from Dignan, Seabird, Paper Route, Anberlin, Kaboose, Bosque Brown, and Braille.  The feeling that overwhelmed me at the end of SXSW is that there is a lot of great music out there. In this age of digital music and online CD stores, there is so much opportunity for discovery and experimentation when it comes to the music we listen to.  For me though, it gives me hope that there is a ton of great music, better than most, being made by artists who want to express thier faith in Christ, be it directly or indirectly.  When I became a believer over ten years ago, the perception was that Christians just didnt have the good bands or songs. After SXSW 09 though, I know that it not true, and in reality Christians are making some of the most original and satisfing music out there. For a music lover, it will sound like great music, for believers, it will sound like new way to express the God that lives inside of us.

Weekly Christian Music News

So if you have been on the site this week, you know that Chuck and I have been hitting SXSW in Austin pretty hard this week. I hope we have been able to keep you going with all the regular stuff we do on the site along with a whole bunch of new content directed at SXSW.  Luckily for me, the news this week has been a bit slow, and thats good because I have not gotten to work on it like I normally do.  Next week will be a new week, and all of the stuff you love about us will return in full force. We have one more day (after this one) of SXSW, so pray for us that our energy stays up, and the music stays fun.

Anyway, here are your links to all the stuff going on in the Christian music scene this week. Let me know if I missed anything….

The Chariot are on tour. View The Chariot tour dates.

You can buy The Chariot‘s music on The Chariot

Everyday Sunday was involved in a pretty bad car accident. Read about Everyday Sunday’s car accident.rice

You can get Everyday Sunday‘s music on Everyday Sunday

Thrice updated their studio blog with details about their writing songs for a new album. Read Thrice update.

Thrice‘s music is available through Thrice did an in depth interview with the metal band Theocarcy. Read Theocracy interview.

You can buys Theocracy’s music on Theocracy

Former Sunny Day Real Estate frontman Jeremy Enigk made a track from his upcoming album available on Pitchfork Media this week.  Listen to new Jeremy Enigk song.

You can find the rest of Jeremy Enigk‘s music on Jeremy Enigk

Randy Travis uploaded videos form his Jay Leno appearance s this week. Watch Randy Travis on Jay Leno.

Randy Travis‘s music can be purchased through Randy Travis

Hip-hop duo Cook & Uno posted their latest video blog from the studio this week. Watch Cook & Uno video blog.

The duo’s music can be found on CookBook & UNO Mas

Southern metalcore kids The Tug Fork River Band‘s latest CD was reviewed over at this week. Read The Tug Fork River Band CD review.

Thousand Foot Krutch side project FM Static posted a trailer for thier upcoming album, Dear Diary, this week. Watch FM Static album trailer.

You can buy FM Static’s music on FM Static

Endeavor The Sea‘s drummer, Bryce, has decided to leave the band. Read Endeavor The Sea’s update.

Free MP3 Album Download:Love,Everday Joe’s Vol.2


Another oldie but a goodie…this hit the web around Christmas. So there are two Christmas songs. Don’t let that throw you off though, this is a great mix of indie-folk, and progressive pop that is interesting and eclectic. The Aaron Espe and Bradley Hathaway songs are amazing.  This mix was put together by Everyday Joe’s Coffee House in Colorado.  I could tell you all about this download, but instead, here is what the good people at Everyday Joes had to say:

“Love, Everyday Joe’s – Volume 2:…and a child will lead them is our gift to you, our community…a free CD for you to download and enjoy. It’s our way of saying thanks and Merry Christmas (told ya). 20 of our favorite musicians have been kind enough to donate songs to the compilation for your listening pleasure.

They are:
Sleeping At Last, Katie Herzig, Paean, Bradley Hathaway, Aaron Strumpel, Lifeboat Etiquette, Andrea Ball, Brooke Waggoner, Baily Stauffer, Dan Craig, Rob Drabkin, Jessica Sonner, Eva Holbrook, Aaron Espe, Stephen Delopoulos, Trace Bundy, The Autumn Film, The Dowry, The Riflemen, and The Blackthorn Project”

Sounds good, right?  Click on the link below, save the .ZIP file to your computer, EXTRACT ALL FILES, and enjoy!

Download Love, Everyday Joe’s – Volume 2:…and a child will lead them compilation

American Idol Season 8 Michael Jackson Songs

I mentioned in my American Idol Season 8 power rankings, the Top 13 are singing the songs of Michael Jackson in the first round of the Season 8 Finals.  I am troubled.   Must we glorify a man who is suspected of these acts?  I don’t know.  What do you think?

Sorry to be such a downer.  American Idol is suppose to make us happy right?  Let’s be happy.  Let’s talk music.  I have no idea what songs the Top 13 will select but I have suggestions.

We are covering the Christian music artists competing on Season 8 of American Idol. This is what I think they will perform.

  • Kris Allen should use his interpretive skills on to perform “Will You Be There”.
  • “You Rock My World” has exactly the thumping rhythm and lyrical connect that Lil Rounds would devour.
  • Scott MacIntyre should use his piano skills to give us a new take on “Heal The World”
  • Matt Giraud should take the chance of repeating “I Want You Back” from Hollywood Week.  If he could keep the vibe while adapting the song to a solo performance he could rock the house.
  • In my power rankings article I said Danny Gokey needs to move beyond inspirational ballads, but not this week.  “You Are Not Alone” is exactly the right song for Danny this week.
  • Michael Sarver will need to stretch this week and I think the best shot he has is to sing “Never Can Say Goodbye”.

The rest of the American Idol contestants should sing these Michael Jackson songs:

  • Anoop Desai should rock “Beat It”
  • Meagan Crokery will need to make a lot of changes to “The Way You Make Me Feel” but I think this song has her vibe.
  • Jorge Nunez should take on the slow ballad “She’s Out of My Life”.
  • Allison Iraheta should belt the surprisingly bluesy “Who’s Lovin’ You”.
  • There is no question the “Dirty Diana” gives Adam Lambert the platform for his theatrics.
  • Jasmine’s best chance is to go with the ballad “Got To Be There”
  • Can Alexis Grace wrap her pipes around “Leave Me Alone”.  I would like to see her try.

Join us tonight as we live blog the show and  see what happens!

Remember you can get all of the performances by clicking through to Itunes icon below.  They should start making the American Idol full song recordings available.  As soon as we find out, we will make them available to you.

Apple iTunes

Christian Artists To Know: Underoath

Genre: Metal
Styles: metalcore, screamo, post-hardcore
Location: Tampa, FL
Label: Solid State/Tooth & Nail
Christian label: yes
Category: The Message whats this?

There are not many bands out there that define a genre. For many bands in the hard to grasp music style that combines heavy guitars, rock beats, and both screaming and clean vocals, it is hard to describe the sound of the music to other people.  For the last several years, however, most fans will just say “They sound like Underoath”.  The six-piece screamo band out of Tampa were not the first to play this type of music, but for the last five or six years, Underoath has been the leader of their scene.

The band formed in 1998, before (now only original) band member, Aaron Gillespie, could drive.  In the beginning, he and original frontman Dallas Taylor (now frontman for Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster), envisioned their group as a black metal band. However, after many line-up changes, growing musical abilities and tastes, Underoath settled on the sound that would make their career with their 2000 release, The Changing OF Times.  At their core, Underoath was, and still is a metal band. The music is heavy, the vocals (for the most part) are screamed, and songs are aggressive. However, the 2002 release saw new tweaks to the sound, such as clean vocals and more of a rock progression, along with a strong electronic element added by new member Christopher Dudley.  The fan reaction was mixed, but Underoath had blazed new ground, and The Changing Of Times brought on a new era of heavy music.

By 2003, Taylor had departed, and he was replaced by long time friend Spencer Chamberlain. With a new, more focused attitude, Underoath released They’re Only Chasing Safety in 2004. The album polarized the band’s sound, making the heavy parts more brutal, but also exploring Gillespie’s melodic ability more often. The CD would be Underoath‘s best received album yet, selling almost 100,000 copies in its first week. Since that time, the band has released two more CDs (Define The Great Line, Lost In The Sound Of Seperation), a live CD/DVD and has been the headliner for the Van’s Warped Tour and The Taste Of Chaos tours. Despite their success, the band has always taken their music seriously, and with every album has tried to draw more and more out of the genre that they helped create.

At the forefront of everything the band has achieved, Underoath has always been very open with their faith.  Every song has dealt with some level of the member’s walk with Christ, and the band has never been afraid to talk about their beliefs.  Yet again, Underoath were innovators in their scene, paving the way for bands like Emery, Norma Jean, and As I Lay Dying to both maintain their musical heaviness, but also be open about their relationship’s with Christ.  Both Gillespie and Chamberlain have both said that their faith is the only reason the band exists, and will fuel the music until the end of Underoath‘s run.

Here is the band doing what they do best, performing “Writing On The Walls” live in 07

and here is their latest video “Desperate Times, Desperate Measures”

Underoath might just be the most prominent Christian band out there. They have been able to cross over every obstacle that has been put in front of them, and the band just continues to grow.  I can’t express to you how important these guys are. They have done so much for Christian music, and heavy music, in the mainstream eye, that there is just no telling where these guys will go next.

Find Underoath’s music digitally on Underoath

You can also get their CDs on Amazon: The Changing of Times(2002), They’re Only Chasing Safety(2004), Define the Great Line (2006), Survive, Kaleidoscope(2008), Lost in the Sound of Separation(2008)