One 21 Music Interviews Lauryn Peacock

There may be a new music force rising from the alt music laboratory of Daniel Smith (Danielson). Christian musician Lauryn Peacock released her first cd Keep It Simple; Let the Sun Come Out last Friday and the clips we heard are pretty phenomenal.  This swirling, piano-driven set of songs dig deep into living on this planet, as a believer and as a human being. The cd was co-produced by Daniel Smith and features Michael Weiss, Rick Mazzotta and Greg Jehanian of mewithoutYou, Dennison Witmer and Jonni Greth.

Lauryn Peacock

Since 1996, Lauryn Peacock been going to school off and on, playing more and more music, working in cafes, restaurants, being an administrative assistant, a tutor, guitar teacher, artist-in-residence – just living and working in Madison, Chicago, and Philadelphia. She had her first solo show on the staff stage for the Old Town School of Folk Music at the Chicago Folk and Roots Festival in what must have been the summer of 2007. In the Summer of 2008, she was driving around, playing a few shows (arts festivals and other venues), traveling with her eyes open for a place to land that was a change of pace and a good fit. Lauryn Peacock ended up feeling the most connected tp Philadelphia and engaging with a faith community that included some of the guys from mewithoutYou. She hopped on their tour bus once just to come along and hang out for a weekend tour and ended up playing keys for them for a few months on east coast shows that culminated in the record release show for It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright.

Interview With Christian Musician Lauryn Peacock

One21: Lauryn Peacock is new onto the scene. Tell us how about your journey to Keep It Simple:Let The Sun Come Out.
Lauryn Peacock: One of my most formative and inspiring experiences that really got me hooked on playing pop and rock music was a strange opportunity that arose where I got to do some piano work with Jeff Tweedy ( Wilco) two years in a row for these living room concerts for charity (must have been January of 2007 and 2008).  It’s funny, besides that experience, I can’t in this moment remember how I started playing live with people.  Those Tweedy concerts might have been some of the first times – I had played piano since I was three, taking a 12 year break at one point, and wrote my first song in 1998 – the year I taught myself to play guitar – but really, being around the community at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and being a part of those Tweedy concerts really birthed in me a desire to keep exploring music and playing live.  Around that time, I started playing with other people, Jonni Greth being one of them, along with a few punk and rock bands… I also started writing a lot of songs.

This new cd is a culmination of everything I’ve written above – the experiences, the places, the bands: ones I’ve listened to, performed with, songs I’ve listened to, everything I’ve been absorbing – especially for the last five, maybe ten, years – all of that is in these songs, and I am excited for how it all came together; the process has been incredible, along with the people who contributed to it musically.  I also had never officially met Daniel Smith before I had the opportunity to work with him; it was a serendipitous ‘accident’ that we were able to co-produce this album together.  I had planned on cutting the album at another studio, but went with him, on recommendation, when scheduling wasn’t working out there.  His studio is at his family’s home in New Jersey and just a really great place to cut an album.  I’m not sure what to say except that I can’t picture this whole experience being anything other than exactly how it was, down to all the details and even every note we recorded in that studio.  I approached this project with much intentionality, and Daniel definitely was right there in the process with me.

One21:When we first met your were performing under the terrific name Pauw. Why the change?
Lauryn Peacock:The project has gone through some changes since we last spoke – good ones.  I am now releasing the album under my own name, which was actually a little foreign to me, being used to the name Pauw, but I can see that it was a great idea and appropriate, given that I write all the material, most all of the arrangements, and am the band’s most constant member (though I’ve been playing consistently with a great group of people here in Philly).  I still call that band Pauw, which is Flemish for Peacock.

Background on Pauw: a composer friend of mine who also lived at an Artist Studios building that I lived in in Chicago told me, over coffee on the roof deck one morning with roof that we just got fixed by professionals you can find here, that the word ‘Pauw’ was Flemish for Peacock and that he thought he needed to tell me that it would be a great stage name for me.  I really liked the idea and used it for several years, as I was just starting to play out.  It was a great fit for a while, and I still love that I can use it for the band.  I was the musician/artist in residence at a monastic community in another neighborhood in Chicago during that time, and they hardly called me Lauryn at all, they called me Pauw, which was strange for me at first, but something I got used to, so there’s a lot of history in that name.

I feel I’ve made a transition in my life and with my music and the name change marks that.  While not everything I sing is autobiographical by any means, the emotions of the songs are tied very directly to my life and experience.  I feel that honesty and bravery are important in the art we present, in being willing to say the risky things and stand behind them.  I felt this is tied to stepping out and using my own name, especially in regard this this new record.  I went with the change at the nudging of some friends, but I was already asking the question for a reason.  This record needed to not be released under a band name, but under my own.  It was a very personal process for me and I feel it changed me from the inside out, in many ways, or at least gave me a brand new perspective on what I do.  The recording of this record was the first time I really gave myself permission to do what I loved and to throw everything I had into doing it.  I’ve never felt so satisfied in the process of doing something as I did recording and co-producing this album; it made me feel like I was inching closer to something I could only call vocation.

One21:How would you describe your sound? What artists influenced you?
Lauryn Peacock:I have spent a lot of time listening to a lot of 60s songwriters: the Zombies, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, and I hope to capture some of their style even in the slightest, but really most of the influence of other artists has been subconscious, or at least not intentional.  I have listened to a good bit of Indie music in general, also: Gillian Welch, Damien Jurado, and Jeff Tweedy, the Velvet Underground, Nico.  People recently have told me they hear Regina Spektor or some Joanna Newsom in the sound.

One21:Have we heard you on any other recordings or is this your first time out in the digital world of music?
Lauryn Peacock:This is nearly my first time!  I sing with Jonni Greth on the 7 inch split he did with Bill Tucker, entitled Little Jesus, which we did in October of 2007.

One21:Tell us about the record.
Lauryn Peacock:The motivation for the record is that it was simply time.  Time to put it down and get it out there.  The right people came along to help me do it (some really good friends) and it just felt like the right time.  I don’t feel the record has an overall theme, but there is much imagery related to the sunshine, kind of as a marker of universal human experience in time.  I would say that most of the songs deal with the emotional landscape we all experience in one way or another during our time on earth.   I tried to authentically capture my experience and what I see in the lives of others.  “Divorce” for example is a fictional song, but contains sentiments and moods which I think most of us have felt as some time or another.  “I’ll Be Wearing Gray” is a lullaby I wrote about two lovers meeting in death, but also as an allegory or conversational prayer, more being sung over me than me singing it.  The outtro to “Between the Sunshine”, when it talks about the Still Point, is a T.S. Eliot reference from his poem ‘Burnt Norton’ and is an idea that I have used in my poetry for many years.  Eliot’s Still Point is a Christ allegory, the axis on which the world or the universe spins, a place out of time.  The lyric in my song goes ‘Driving shiftless forward through the still point, stuck between the sunshine and a song.’

I chose the title ‘Keep It Simple Let the Sun Come Out’ as the title for the record because it is the positive side of the mirror of the emotions covered on the album – I wanted the focus to be there, as there are plenty of melancholy moments, lyrically and musically. ” Monument”, the last song on the album also has a line  ‘And I know that I’ve never been forgotten and the sunshine is no different this time’ – It was important to me to end on that note.  I actually wrote that song in the process of recording, as an outtro to the album, just marking the new season on which I felt myself embarking.  I say many things through the course of the songs on the record, cover a lot of my human experience and what I observe in the world.  That last track is my way of (hopefully) bringing focus back where it should be, while still remaining open and raw about what experiencing life on earth is like, to me.

One21:It is pretty impressive to have your debut produced by  Daniel Smith and to have Jonni Greth and the guys from mewithoutYou play on the record.  How did you assemble this cast of music heavyweights?
Lauryn Peacock:Haha.  Most of them were my friends.  And they believed in me, and the songs, and for that I am eternally grateful. They also happen to be some of my favorite players.

I actually was scheduled at another studio (a friend of Daniel’s) who ran into some scheduling difficulties and offered to introduce me to Daniel.  So really I met Daniel by accident, through a set of circumstances over which I had very little control.  And even that was a huge blessing.  I had so much fun putting all this together with him and being able to lean on his expertise and all the experience he has.  Plus he’s just fun to work with.  And artistically it was just what the album needed.  It would have been great either way, but this was truly special, the way it worked out!

One21:What are your expectations for Keep It Simple;Let The Sun Come Out?
Lauryn Peacock:I don’t really have expectations.  I try to be really careful about that.  But I do have a hope: that if people could benefit from this music being in the world, that they would find it.  I find some comfort, myself, in some of these songs (the reason some of them came to be in the first place), and I know a few others do too, so if the music can be a benefit in that way, then I feel like I’ve done something that matters.

One21 : Do you have plans to tour? When and what will the show look like?
Lauryn Peacock:I definitely have plans to tour.  I’d love to go now!  But I am finishing a master’s degree at UPenn.  I may be able to start touring in the Spring, but no specific plans yet.  I go back and forth about what the show would look like. I could see it being really simple: me, a background vocalist  and maybe a drummer.  I also think about how fun it would be to have enough people to realize the full sound on the record.  I especially love the cello parts we came up with.  It’s fun both ways – I love doing house shows and presenting the songs in a simpler form, and I love the big shows where we can really make waves with the music.

One21:What is the best thing about making music?
Lauryn Peacock:I just love it.  Pure and simple.  I can’t explain how I feel about it, especially playing the piano, it’s just a part of me.  Guitar too, and I think I need to sing.  It’s just something, like dancing, that I have to do.  So, the best thing is the music itself, especially working with others and seeing things come together, or collaborating to find new arrangements and sounds.

One21:How does your faith influence you musically and lyrically?
Lauryn Peacock:My faith influences my life, so it is infused in everything.  I let myself live it honestly.  I am in constant conversation with God, and I think God is not afraid of my being human, so I consider it all holy, every bit of struggle, my walking out what life on earth was meant to be – and God has everything to do with that.  I hope my lyrics reflect that accurately.  And the music comes from a deep place in me.  That also has everything to do with my life with God.

One21:How do you think the general public and the mainstream music industry view faith based music?
Lauryn Peacock:Honestly, I try not to think about it.  Or maybe I don’t really know what faith-based music means.  I think about certain artists I know, who are “mainstream” who get away with highly Christian lyrics in their music:  I say they “get away with it”, because I used to think mainstream music left little room for faith.  Now I think it is quite the opposite.  I think what people want is something authentic, especially my generation.  We want something real.  If it’s not real, we can tell, so if you are singing about faith in a real way, most people don’t really think twice, they just feel affected by the reality of the experience being shared.  If I am talking authentically about my experience in the world, something is going to resonate with people, people who are conscious of having faith or not.  I don’t concern myself about being in a category or how another category would respond to me.  I see us all in one category of art (hopefully authentic art).

One21:What responsibility do you think you have, as an artist/performer, to your listeners?
Lauryn Peacock:To share something authentic, something of value.  I owe to them that I be honest to myself and what I really want to make.  I have faith that that then translates into something that may be of use in a more universal sense.  I also have a responsibility to be me.

One21:What is your best memory of your career so far?
Lauryn Peacock:I would say playing keys for mewithoutYous record release show at the Trocadero in Philadelphia for their last album It’s All Crazy, It’s All False, It’s All a Dream, It’s All Right or having a strange opportunity, two years in a row, to play piano for Jeff Tweedy for these living room concerts for charity he did near Chicago.  I hope to add one more favorite experience: my own record release show I have coming up this Friday (10/28) in Philadelphia.  It’s not about big names, just being able to play on music I really care about.

One21:What do you love about music?
Lauryn Peacock:I love melodies.  I love the way they communicate without words, how it all communicates without words.  I also just love to play it.

One21:What is your favorite song?
Lauryn Peacock:This year: ‘Love Minus Zero / No Limit’ by Bob Dylan, and ‘Care of Cell 44′ by the Zombies

One21:What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Lauryn Peacock: Gillian Welch, joined by David Rawlings on guitar of course, at Union Transfer in Philadelphia.  Both of them have their own unique, and equally powerful musical genius about them.

One21:What is one thing people don’t understand about your music?
Lauryn Peacock:Let’s wait and see,  Ha.  I’m not sure.  They can take it as they like.  But maybe it might not be obvious that everything that sounds happy might not be happy and everything that sounds sad might not be sad.

Go now to buy Keep It Simple; Let the Sun Come Out . It is a terrific recording that will definitely make it onto our “Best of 2011″ list.

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SXSW 2010 Saturday- Brrrrrrr!

Amazing what 24 hours, 40 degrees and 30 mph north winds will do.  On Friday night there were easily 50,000 music fans strolling the streets of Austin’s music district.  After a surprise cold front (it was hard enough keeping up with an overload of music greatness and my NCAA bracket, much less the weather) the crowds on Saturday night dropped to 1500.  The clubs were still busy but the streets were quiet.

Swimming With Dolphins

That did not stop us from continuing our quest to experience great music performed at SXSW 2010 by Christians.  After spending the afternoon shivering in the streets, just missing the artists I wanted to see, we got the evening off to a dance party start with Swimming With Dolphins.  This electro-pop band is tall, nice looking Austin Tofte joined on tour by a live drummer.  Austin worked multiple keyboards, an iBook  and sang and danced his way into the psyche of a nice sized crowd at world famous Emo’s.  Swimming With Dolphins‘ bright, poppy electronic sound turned heavy halfway through the set when Tofte reached deep into his synths for some bone rattling bass.  The college aged crowd could no longer resist at that point and carved out a space to dance.  Swimming With Dolphins turned up the geek quotient when they closed with the song “Jasques Cousteau’, dedicated to the world’s most famous marine biologist.

Next, I ran the block and a half to see hard rock band I AM EMPIRE. This five piece band dressed in full rock costume (black boots, black jeans and black tshirts) and delivered on the look. From the first drumbeat to the final feedback I AM EMPIRE rock the joint hard.  The lead singer screamed and wailed, the guitarists raged  and the drummer pounded his drums as if they had stolen something from him.  Through it all they rocked lyrics like “My God won’t forsake me, My sweet Jesus saves me every time I fail”.  I AM EMPIRE is like if AC/DC and Bon Jovi had a baby who gave his life to Christ.

The next day we drug our tired bodies out of bed, headed to Stubbs for the Gospel brunch.  We were treated to some awesome Texas barbecue and TexMex and were blessed to be in the the presence of the legendary gospel group Bells of Joy.  This 64 year-old group (that’s right, the group is 64 years old) is in just about every hall of fame you can be in.  The Bells of Joy delivered on their name as they performed a raucous set of joyful Gospel music punctuated by slick dancing, tasty solos and the Word.  As I set there, I realized that from a musical perspective groups like the Bells of Joy made SXSW possible.  Without these groups that brought gospel out of the Church and into the streets there would have been no Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis or Little Richard.  Without those guys there would have been no Beatles or Stones.  Without groups like Bells of Joy, SXSW would be Clay Aiken singing show tunes.  Thank you Bells of Joy.

Bells of Joy

As we wrap up SXSW 2010, we were excited by the be-bop electronica of Son Lux (a must-see if he comes to your town), awed by the artistry of Danielson and Jennifer Knapp and happy to have discovered some new favs, Ben+Vesper and Ortolan.

SXSW- Jennifer Knapp, Danielson and More

A great start to South by Southwest today.  This global music industry conference is held every March in Austin, Texas Danielson Shoesand features more than 10,000 music acts over five days.  We are featuring as many of the Christian acts playing the conference as we can manage to see.

Today we started the evening in the sanctuary of one Austin’s downtown churches.  This is a cool place t0  see music.  The setting is beautiful, with dark woods and stained glass, and the acoustics are unbelievable.

Even better, I was able to see the great Jennifer Knapp in the middle of her tour back onto the music scene after a seven year journey to find her muse.  Am I glad she found it.  This was a mesmeriszing performance by an exceptional artist.   She mostly played songs from her tremendous new album “Letting Go” which comes to you on May 11th.  This was an acoustic set but you can tell Jennifer Knapp likes to rock.  She started by asking the crowd “Do you want to vibe out or do you want me to rock your face off.”  Jennifer Knapp weaved a powerful, nuanced voice and her guitar mastery into a hypnotic set of songs that left the audience stunned and enthralled.  At one point she commented that the crowd did not seem to care that her guitar was out of tune.  They did not care, they were too busy soaking up the soulful tunes she was delivering.

Next I ran to the Beauty Bar to catch the Asthmatic Kitty/Sounds Familyre showcase.  I went to see three bands I had never seen live and I was not disappointed.

Ben and VesperFirst up were Christian indie music masters Ben + Vesper.  First of all, Ben is married to Vesper.  Was the band jut called Ben before? Their set featured shot looping harmonies, crystal clear vocals, driving rhythms and, in some songs middle period Beatles song structures.  Ben + Vesper‘s songs stop suddenly.  At times I felt they were leading into crescendo dynamics when they suddenly ended the song.  It was bracing, not in a bad way, and it did catch your attention.  Ben + Vesper deliver a full sound with two guitars, keyboards and a trumpet on top of a hard driving rhythm section.  The band’s most distinctive performance trait was their group singing which featured powerful, loud harmonies sung over and over.  This was a striking dynamic to a performance by talented, visionary musicians.

After that I moved to the outside stage to catch a new band I had not even heard of until this week.  Daniel Smith‘s newest protege’s are a four girl group called Ortolan.  These are four fresh faced, small town hipsters who performed a set of quirky indie pop songs.  Great harmonies with atonal ellements and constantly shifting rythms make this group compelling to hear.  Though they claim a lead vocalist many of their songs feature dual lead vocals between the guitarist and keyboard player.  At times they seemed surprised the SXSW crowed genually liked their music.

DanielsonAll of that was a prelude to the much anticipated set by indie icon Danielson.  As soon as Ortolan finished their set, the crowd surges forward and the club filled.  Danielson master mind, Daniel Smith, enlisted the help of four memebers of Ben+Vesper and Ortolan’s lead singer to complete DanielsonDaniel Smith’s vision for Danielson is visual as well as sonic.  All of the band dressed in custom, hand-made uniforms, right down to the shoes (see above).  While the visuals of Danielson may be quirky and the vocal style off beat, make no mistake that this is complex, precise, layered music constructed to challenge us listeners.  And even though Daniel Smith sometimes sings in a high pitched chanting voice do not underestimate him as a performer.  The sweat runnig down his face after two songs, even though it was a cool Austin evening, and his intense trembling performance left no doubt that Daniel Smith is a serious visionary and Danielson is his vision.

That is it for Day One.  Check back with us tomorrow as we try to catch-up with Americana superstar Buddy Miller and electro-pop super hero Lights, among others.

Danielson/Ben + Vesper Tour Announced

Starting in March, indie icons Danielson and Ben + Vesper will hit the road together on a month long tour. Danielson doesnt tour much anymore (and I don’t think Ben + Vesper have in quite some time) so this is a great opportunity to check them out. Dates can be found below:

03/07/10-Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie – Ortolan ‘Time On A String’ CD Release Party!
03/08/10-Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory – Ben + Vesper ‘LuvInIdleness’ EP Release Party!
03/10/10-Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
03/11/10-Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
03/12/10-Athens, GA @ 40 Watt
03/13/10-Orlando, FL @ Stardust
03/15/10-Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder
03/17/10-Austin, TX @ Beauty Bar – SXSW!
03/19/10-Denton, TX @ Hailey’s
03/20/10-Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone

Christian Music Artist Tops Paste’s Best of Decade List

Paste magazine just released their list of 50 greatest albums of the decade on their website. Five recordings made by Christian music artists made the list.

We were excited that iconic indie artist Sufjan Stevens was number one on the list with Come On Feel the Illinoise (notice Paste did not get the name correct)  and alternative rock’s darling Pedro The Lion made the list with Control.  The rock cred of Jack White garnered the attention of Paste writers so that country legend Loretta Lynn made the list with Van Lear Rose.  The best movie soundtrack of the decade ‘O Brother Where Are Thou? made the list but why do we include it here?  Well, the soundtrack was the brainchild of Christian music artist and famed producer T Bone Burnett.

Finally, we were shocked and thrilled that one of our favorite cds of the decade, Over The Rhine‘s Ohio made the list. We did not think anyone had noticed the greatness of this folk, rock, jazz, pop masterpiece.

Of course we think the list excluded these masterpieces:

But worry not we are working on our list of essential recordings by Christian Music Artists.

In the meantime, here is what Paste had to say about these great records.

1. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois [Asthmatic Kitty] (2005) Amazon

Sufjan Stevens IllinoiseIn 2005, when Sufjan Stevens released Illinois, the second album in his planned 50-state project, American pride was at a record low—especially among young people. The death toll in Iraq was steadily climbing, and Abu Ghraib was fresh on our minds. Meanwhile, Stevens was beginning to seem brilliant enough to fulfill his ambitious plan. His music pushed boundaries between pop and classical, and the emotional weight of his lyrics grounded his feather-light voice. There was a distinct peculiarity about Illinois and Stevens himself, who gave his songs titles like “To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament.” Critics embraced the mystery and declared the album a masterpiece. Stevens and his band, The Illinoisemakers, wore cheerleading costumes onstage to promote the record, and once its success took them to larger venues, Stevens switched to giant, colorful bird wings. His band was a spectacle, their performances magical. Thousands of fans gathered in theaters across the country to behold this winged creature and rally behind his songs about America’s heartland. It was a new, weird kind of patriotism.

26. Over the Rhine: Ohio (2004) Amazon

Over The Rhine OhioIn the liner notes accompanying Over the Rhine’s gloriously self-indulgent double-disc, Ohio, co-founder Linford Detweiler, writes, “We grew up in small coal mining towns in the Ohio Valley, listening to music that could have only been unearthed in America: Southern Gospel, Country Western and Rock ’n’ Roll. This music fertilized the soil of our early lives. We sit down at the upright piano these days with dirt under our fingernails.” And I suppose that’s what I love about this album. The songs feel gritty and real, unpolished and perfect. Just like people. All the artifice (both musical and emotional) has been carefully dismantled, traditional instruments—upright piano, pedal steel, acoustic guitars—have been dusted off, arrangements have been simplified, windows into souls have been propped open a bit wider. In stark contrast, Karin Bergquist’s voice has never felt as undressed and painfully honest as it does in these songs, as if she’s opened her gut and tugged the melodies out like a breach baby. This process is partly masochistic, partly exhibitionist, entirely self-consuming: but such is true art. Ohio, is more than simply a dense, rich, vulnerable collection of songs; it’s a dirt road companion on that difficult journey inward, upward. Homeward. Jason Killingsworth

34. Various artists: O Brother Where Art Thou? [Mercury] (2001) Amazon

T Bone Burnett O'Brother Where Art ThouThis old-timey country album and most unlikely hit may have signaled the last gasp of alternative country. On the bright side, it suggested that those alt-country values (rough-hewn vocals, acoustic instrumentation, a palpable connection to American roots music) had busted out of the sub-genre ghetto and crossed over into the mainstream. After all, the album did win the Grammy for Album of the Year. Some of our favorite female vocalists—one-named artists like Emmylou and Gillian—got much-deserved exposure thanks to this collection, which scored a freewheeling Coen Bros movie and did nothing but good for all concerned. Nick Marino

36. Pedro The Lion: Control [Jade Tree] (2002) Control

Pedro The Lion Control

David Bazan’s Seattle indie rock is well played, and his voice is perfectly restrained, but his most unique gift lies in storytelling—vivid images and a thoughtful perspective create a deep, dark feeling of sadness. In-depth descriptions of extramarital affairs appear throughout Control, a characteristically bold move for the former Christian singer/songwriter. The music is heavier, too—this time around, electric guitars dare to match the lyrical intensity. Kate Kiefer

48. Loretta Lynn: Van Lear Rose [Interscope] (2004) Amazon
Loretta Lynn Van Lear RoseIn 2004, 69-year-old Loretta Lynn released her thirty-seventh solo studio album. It could have been a sad affair, the desperate yawp of a legendary Nashville madam teetering into an aged cliché of herself, but with the help of rock ‘n’ roll upstart Jack White, Lynn made the greatest record of her career. Like a bunch of rowdy grandkids, White and a crew of friends (most of whom would converge a year later as The Raconteurs) lent a sly, gritty feel to Lynn’s 13 mostly-autobiographical tracks—Van Lear Rose was her 70th release overall, but it was only the second time she’d written or co-written all of her songs. Her seasoned, tremulous voice paired perfectly with White’s electric guitar warble, pulling off mournful country crooners and all-out rock numbers with equal grit and spunk. She hasn’t released anything since, but it almost doesn’t matter. Rachael Maddux

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Send Christian Music Artists to ACL

Austin City Limits Music Festival is one of the top rock music festivals in the world. When you stroll the fields of Austin’s Zilker Parks every fall you meet music fans who have flown in from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and Africa to experience the three days of beautiful weather, great Austin food and some of the best hip rock, indie, hip/hop, country and electronic music in the world.

Austin City Limits Music Festival has featured Al Green and Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire and Pearl Jam, Bjork and Wilco and Coldplay. However, Christian music artists are usually under-represented at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. All major music and entertainment media attend and report from the festival.  This year, Mute Math, Billy Joe Shaver and a few local gospel groups were the only Christian artists we saw on the Austin City Limits Music Festival line-up. Mute Math received rave reviews and many are predicting a headline spot for them in the near future.

We have an opportunity to change that. Austin City Limits Music Festival promoter, C3, has sent a note to ask fans to suggest bands to book at the 2010 Austin City Limits Music Festival. We need your help in creating a good sample of music made by Christians that would catch the eye of hip music fans local and national media.

Each of us can only suggest five bands. We ask you to go to the site below and list the following bands for Austin City Limits to book in 2010:

Austin City Limits Music Festival- Be a Booking Agent

These bands represent a broad range of styes, from mewithoutyou‘s post-hardcore neo-folk talk music, to Buddy Miller‘s Americana, to Danielson‘s experimental Indie music to, Over The Rhine‘s jazz driven folk pop to Wovenhand‘s gothic folk hard rock revival meetings.

There are many, many bands that deserve to be on the list so you can go to our Music A to Z page and find your own.  However, if you join us in this concentrated effort to promote the artists we may have chance of pushing a few through.  But, whatever you do, go quickly.  Our opportunity to book Christian music artists at Austin City Limits Music Festival ends on Tuesday, November 17, 2009.

Christian Music News Sept.15th, 2009


Sixpence None The Richer have signed with Credential Records, and are saying they will release their debut album through the label in early 2010.

Derek Webb landed on the Billboard Top 200 at #66 with his latest release Stockholm Syndrome. Congrats Mr. Webb…

Vicky Beeching has signed with Integrity Music, and will be releasing a new EP through the label in October of 2009, along with a new full length in early 2010.

Pioneering Christ-centered ska band The Insyderz have announced that they are reforming and gearing up to play once again….

Pop rock band Thalon has broken up. All the members have moved on to careers and other pursuits.

Our Proclamation has also decided to call it quits. Bummer, they were one of our Voices of The Underground last season.

All the guys over at Sounds Familyre (The record label for Danielson, Wovenhand, and many other amazing artists) has launched a new label called Great Comfort Records

The Atlantic (ezine) has posted a pretty epic article about mewithoutYou. Read mewithoutYou article.


Both Skillet and Jaymes Reunion have new videos. But I cant embed them to help both bands promote themselves. So I am telling you about them instead…

Album News:

Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for Fireflight’s digital only acoustic EP entitled Unbroken and Unplugged, which will become available October 6th, 2009
fireflight unbroken and unplugged ep
1. Stand Up
2. Brand New Day
3. Forever
4. Unbreakable
5. You Decide

Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for Sufjan Stevens upcoming release, entitled The BQE, which will be available October 20th, 2009
the bqe sufjan stevens
01. Prelude on the Esplanade
02. Introductory Fanfare for the Hooper Heroes
03. Movement I: In the Countenance of Kings
04. Movement II: Sleeping Invader
05. Interlude I: Dream Sequence in Subi Circumnavagination
06. Movement III: Linear Tableau with Intersecting Surprise
07. Movement IV: Traffic Shock
08. Movement V: Self-Organizing Emergent Patterns
09. Interlude II: Subi Power Waltz
10. Interlude III: Invisible Accidents
11. Movement VI: Isorhythmic Night Dance with Interchanges
12. Movement VII (Finale): The Emperor of Centrifuge

Weekly Update 8/21/09

Hello to all the amazing people who read our site, we love you. Really, your participation in this website makes everything worth it.  Every time you visit, it counts as only good stuff for us as a group.  So, thank you….

If you will remember, a few months back, we announced that we were going to tone things down a little bit on the site.  At the time, we were putting up three posts a day, beginning to build our artist database, and trying to manage our emerging “ezine” persona.  In all honesty, we never intended to use The One21 as a magazine-type website. Our original idea for this blog was to simply communicate our passion and try to begin to introduce the world to a larger perspective of “Christian music”in modern culture.

Well, God, as He always does, has His own plans for things, and seven months in to our existence we were doing interviews,  reporting on news, and in general acting like more of a magazine.

However, the true intention of this site, The One21 Music, was to build a tool that could fully introduce the people to the vast body of music made by believers. So, in May, we officially began to build our artists database. We started strong, found out we weren’t doing it right, started over, added a few features, went back and added those features to the existing profiles, went back and edited, and then once again began to add new artists, and here we are.

Confused? Dont worry, all of that was my long way of saying that we are now 260 artists strong in our database, and every week we are adding on average 6-10 new entries.  The profiles span over 10 genres, 3 categories, and over 120 styles (sub-genres).  We are doing our best to make sure that any fan, of any type of music will have a place on this website.  You can go see our progress by clicking on the “Artist Search” tab up at the top of this page, or you can click here.
Also, if there is particular artist you want to check out, you can get to them quickly by typing in name) into the address bar on your browser (so an example would be city).  If you dont get anything, it most likely means we have not gotten that particular artist into the system yet, but don’t fret because we are working on it.

Alright, with so much going on, Chuck and I thought it would be a good idea to start giving you guys weekly rundowns on what is happening here on the site.  So at the end of the week, we will recap what we have been writing about on the blog, in the database, and what is happening in our company.  Our hope is that not only will you stay up to date to what is happening on the blog, and what new artists you may want to check out, but also that you would get to know us as people and as a company. So, here we go, this our first real update so I hope you enjoy:

General Site Updates:

-First of all, you may notice that we have a new banner. The old one was cool and everything, but as we turn the corner on this website, we wanted to go with something a bit “cleaner” looking. Plus, I (Ian) was really tired of looking at myself every time I looked at the site (yes, if you remember the guy in the banner, that was a big ‘ol profile of me, myself, and I).

-We launched our “Album Release” page this week. this page contains dates, titles, and album artwork(when available) for all the upcoming CDs from Christian artists. It will be updated often, and in future “update” posts I will keep you up to date on what we have added to the page. Go check out all the upcoming releases here.

-We got rid of our “Music Artists” and “Christian Labels” tabs. With the database, we don’t need the “Artist” tab, although you may see a newer, more accessible version of it pop up in the near future. All the information from the “Christian Labels” can now be found in our “Links” page. You can click on the “Links” tab at the top of the page or just click here


Blog/Article Updates:

-New Releases-The big release this week came from MuteMath, but Manic Drive and Take It Back! also released somke new stuff this week.
-Music News- new videos from John Reuben, Paramore, and Philmont, along with new album info for Abandon Kansas, and a lot of bands leaving their labels and others getting signed.
-Free Download- a new little DJ album from hip-hop artist Playdough. Very strange, but hard to pass up for free.
-Voices Of The Underground2 Pt.1- Begin a new “season” of our round table interview series by asking Thousand Foot Krutch, White Collar Sideshow, Gileah Taylor, and many others what they love about music.

Artist Database Updates:

-Chuck has moved around some genre definitions to best suite our Praise & Worship, and Gospel fans.

Profiles added:
Owl City
Mindy Smith
Adrienne Young
Iris Dement
Son Lux
Buddy Miller
Bodies Of Water
The Welcome Wagon
Sufjan Stevens
Josh Garrels
Preson Phillips
Gileah Taylor (Gileah & The Ghost Train)
Love Begotten
Bradley Hathaway

Also, this weekend we will be holding a meeting to try and figure out a possible One21 Fest here in Austin, Texas. If you are reading this and have some ideas, please speak up. Until next week, God bless, and have a great weekend.

Christian Music Is Not A Genre, It Is A Movement