SXSW 2011 Days Three & Four: Too Many People

SXSW is always a little bittersweet for me. On one hand I always have a blast being down in the heart of Austin in the midst of a million people, hanging out with friends, and experiencing music that I wouldnt get to on a normal basis. On the other, its just exhasting to participate in the festival. There is alot of walking, not alot of places to sit, and since we cover a very specific group of artists, it takes some major preparation to be in the right place at the right time. In addition to this, I am actually working another job all week, a Spring Break day camp at a local YMCA. Despite all that, I have seen some really great stuff over the last few days, and in the middle of a great song it seems I am always able to forget how tired my feet are a thank God Im standing in the room Im in. I am blessed.

Day 3: The Civil Wars, Appleseed Cast & Shad

I actually didn’t get to see The Civil Wars or Appleseed Cast. Here is why: THERE ARE A TON OF PEOPLE AT SXSW! As the week goes on, many of the industry people and bands begin to populate the showcases in the audiance. I think I saw Doug Van pelt from HM Magazine almost everyday; Brooke Fraser was in line in front of me for The Civil Wars. On top of that, there are the thousands of people attending SXSW that are just average joes. All this to say i didnt get to see The Civil Wars because Im dumb and left the ballroom at the Driskel to get some air and then couldnt get back in. It was a small room (capacity was 120) and it was packed 2 hours before the folk duo’s set. There wasnt a line when I left, but a mega one when I returned. Strike out!

Shad at SXSW 2011

I DID get to see SHAD though, which I was really happy about. I actually learned about SHAD two years ago at SXSW when his record label handed me a sampler CD of his music and told me he was a believer. I have been a fan ever since, and his latest album, TSOL, was at the top of our Hip-Hop album of the year list.

The thing about SHAD live is that the dude never stops smiling. He was grinning ear to ear from the moment he walked out to sound check till the moment he disappeared into the back after his set. He was a super happy guy and it rubbed off onto the crowd…..mainly because he spent most of his show out in the crowd. The first two songs were spent bouncing around in the middle of the audience and handing the mic to people who knew the words. SHAD freestyled for us, played several of the songs form TSOL, and put on one of the most entertaining hip-hop shows I have ever seen. this ended up being my only show for the day, but yet I left that night feeling satisfied.

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Shad SXSW 2011 blur

The Appleseed Cast show was also full by the time we got there, we listened to a couple of songs (which were great) sitting outside the window and decided to call it a night.

Day 4: The Almost and Emery

Another kind of epic journey occurred on Saturday when my wife was actually able to attend some of the festival with me. We got there early to attend Flatstock, and then made the trek across downtown to catch the hip-hop show at the Carver Museum. This is the same showcase where we interviewed Kaboose, Tre9, and Lecrae two years ago, held at the same location. At least according to SXSW. When we got there, we walked in on a panel, which was cool enough, but by the time we realized we were in the wrong place it was all over. You see, the music was happening on 51st street, and we were on 18th. We had the right location, but apparently the oganizers had decided to move the music without telling anyone. So we missed Tedashii and Pro.

We wne t back downtown for a bit and actually wandered onto a free show that Vans was putting on outside of EMOs. Low and behold, The Almost were rocking the stage as we walked up! We were able to catch a good portion of the set, and man can Aaron Gillespie sing! That dude’s voice is super strong live, and the band had the crowd eating out their hand. They closed their set with a more up tempo version of Tom Petty’s “Free-Falling”, and everybody was there wanting more.

Luckily for me I caught the band again at the Tooth & Nail Showcase, so I was able to get more!
The Almost SXSW 2011 Tooth and Nail Showcase
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emery sxsw 2011
After The Almost came Emery, and the crowd was buzzing for the re-tooled screamo band to tear the place down.  Emery got things going quickly with several tracks off their upcoming “heavier” album, We Do What We Want, and remarkably most of the crowd already knew the words.

To answer the lingering question: Yes, Emery‘s new stuff is alot heavier than past efforts, but the important thing to note is that they blend it well with their older, more melody driven material, so you get a well balanced, interesting show. Heck, half-way through the set they pulled out acoustic guitars and sang some stripped down versions of their older songs to the crowd.

By the way, the crowd was not only standing in close quarters inside the club, but also right outside this huge window the club has right behind the stage. Emery showed their fans that they came first by setting up the drummer facing these people on the street so that everybody could feel like they were part of the show.
emery sxsw 2011 outside crowd

That was it for me. The end of SXSW was kind of strange in that i dont feel like I was able to see alot of music as in past years, and yet I feel like some of the artists we cover (The Civil Wars, SHAD, The Almost, The Rocketboys) were some of the biggest names floating around the festival. See, just because you are open about your faith doesnt mean that you will be a failure in this industry, it just means that you have something to say. On to Cornerstone we go!

The One21 Essential 100 Pt.14

essential100 copy

The One21 Essential 100 is a collection of albums that represent the best in creativity, innovation, and originality in music. This is not a “best of” list, nor is it influenced by album sales, or even popularity. Our attempt with this series is to highlight the gems, those rare albums that push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking; both musical and philosophically. In our opinion, the music highlighted in this series is the “good stuff”.

Simply what this is going to be is a list of 100 albums from Christian music artists that we think you should own. Like our website, most genres will be represented, and some of the albums will be from as far back as the 60s, to as current as 2009. Each week we will post five albums, in no real order, with descriptions, album artwork, and places to buy the music.

Check out Pt.1
Check out Pt.2
Check out Pt.3
Check out Pt.4
Check out Pt.5
Check out Pt.6
Check out Pt.7
Check out Pt.8
Check out Pt. 9
Check out Pt.10
Check out Pt.11
Check out Pt.12
Check out Pt.13

Thrice - The Alchemy Index 3 and 4Thrice - The Alchemy Index  1 and 2
Thrice - The Alchemy Index  1 and 2Thrice - The Alchemy Index 3 and 4
The Alchemy Index Vols. 1-4
Thrice

2007-2008
Buy these albums: (Vol 1-2) Amazon, iTunes; (Vol 3-4) Amazon, iTunes
Before I can gush on this album, I feel like I need to explain the concept. In 2005, the post-hardcore powerhouse known as Thrice announced that they were leaving their cushy major label record deal to strike it as an independent band once again. This came as quite a shock to their fans, considering they had released two monumental albums on during that time, and many were wary of the apparent step backwards. Was this the end of Thrice? Could they survive on their own?

In 2007 the band answered with a resounding yes, and monster collection songs now known as The Alchemy Index. The concept is this: The Alchemy Index is actually four, 6-song EPs, each one designated as a elemental force, and the music of the individual EP corresponds with the element. Confused? Think of it this way, the Fire EP is Thrice at their most familiar: heavy, loud, and abrasive. The Earth EP is Thrice embracing their folk influences, and the Water EP is atmospheric electronic music.

For most bands, this ambitious of a project would bury the key song writers, and would either require help from a producer or end up with the band never really fulfilling the original intent of the EPs. Thrice not only excelled on each style of music they choose, but every aspect of The Alchemy Index is Thrice, as they self-produced AND self-recorded the WHOLE thing. They didn’t create parodies of their favorite genres of music, they digested them, and made them their own. Each EP has so many gorgeous songs, simple displays of Thrice’s ability as a band, and then when you listen to them back to back, you can’t ignore that all of the different elements work as A WHOLE as well.

This is what true creative control sounds like.

Find me another band that undertook this kind of project, completed it, self produced and self recorded it, and THEN made four gems out of the EPs…..go ahead…..find me the band…..
Highlights: The Messenger, The Whaler, Broken Lungs, Come All You Weary

Larry Norman-Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer The Anthology
Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer: The Anthology
Larry Norman

2008
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
I struggled with putting an anthology as an essential recording, but it was such a revelation for me that I must include it. I had missed Larry Norman altogether. I had heard of Larry Norman as the father of Christian rock music and I had heard his songs on tribute albums, but I had never heard Larry Norman until Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer.

This music is as edgy and compelling as anything by Dylan, Lennon or Young. We did not hear of Larry Norman’s greatness because his answer was not to drop out, sit-in or riot. Larry Norman admonished us all to follow. His message to America in the 60’s and 70’s was to simply follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Neither the counter culture nor the establishment wanted to hear that impossibly simple admonishment, so Dylan is revered and Larry Norman is underground.
Highlights: The Great American Novel, Reader’s Digest, Without Love, You Ain’t Nothing (Righteous Rocker), Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music?

Moby - Everything Is Wrong
Everything Is Wrong
Moby

1995
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
For those of us who were listening in 1995, this was the breakthrough. This is when electronic become more than sound and dance music. Moby likes for us to dance and he wants to be the DJ guiding us around the dance floor, but on Everything Is Wrong he used our exuberance against us. He got us going with driving house beats only to change styles and beats so quickly that he made us stop and listen. Then Moby expresses his bewildered and desperate view of modern life by periodically yanking away the escape of blind, danceable ecstasy, using that discontinuity to express the eyes-wide-open ruminations of a furious idealist.

The desperate industrial plea of “All That I Need Is To Be Loved” rips back the cover right from the beginning. “All That I need is to be loved, can’t you take that out of me, all I want is to be near you, of my God how can I love thee” is shouted over a grinding industrial sound board. You can dance to this, but you must stop and listen first. “God Moving Over The Face of The Water” is one of the most beautiful seven minutes of instrumental music of the past 50 years. The ambient masterpiece “When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die” breaks your heart with deeply longing lyrics matched with crushingly sad music. The remix companion Everything Is Wrong Mixed and Re-mixed adds to the fun with multiple arrangements of these great songs.
Highlights: Feeling So Real , All That I Need Is To Be Loved, God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters

Ramsie Shiek personally there
Personally There
Ramie Shik

1998
Buy this album: Amazon
Ramsie Shick’s voice is a force of nature, capable of touching tenderness and wild, unruly abandon. In another’s hands it could be Grace Slick, Joan Osborne, Patti Smith, or Melissa Etheridge, but this is something all on her own. She delivers the songs of Personally There with a pleading, almost manic fervor that draws you into the lyrics. Ramsie Shick has something to tell us and we want to listen.

Ramsie Shick’s dense, passionate lyrics are like the ramblings of a stream of consciousness preacher/poet – and maybe they are – but coupled with the music of her mind, the touch of her fingers on her guitar, and her muscular, competent band, they are transformed into living, breathing pieces of art and ministry. The sound is modern yet the tone is ancient or maybe timeless. It is almost as if an unpublished prophet has returned to deliver first hand insight into God’s word.
Highlights: Broken Down, Unashamed, Testify

Kaboose-Excuse Me
Excuse Me
Kaboose

2008
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
The modern face of hip-hop is a sad one. We have seen a truly creative and viable artform has become a machine that celebrates mediocrity and debauchery. Emcees willing to talk about ANYTHING that means anything has become a rarity, and when it does happen, most artists lose site that their music supposed to also entertain. In 2008, creative, meaningful hip-hop proved that it was still alive and well with Kaboose’s Excuse Me.

The balance of fun and earnest is evident in every track. Kaboose is aware that even if you have something good to say, you still have to make sound good. On some tracks, he talks about his past, on some he addresses his culture (Kaboose is half Native American), but it is Kaboose‘s faith that shines like a spotlight on every track. You can tell he is a man, with flaws and faults of his own, that is desperately trying to live for God, and be a light to all around him.

Let us not forget for one minute here that Kaboose is also a PHENOMENAL emcee. He would seriously be able to rival Eminem, RedCloud, and Kayne as a word smith, and he is flawless on his delivery. This is truly one of those guys that would succeed in the mainstream rap game, if that was what he desired. Fortunately, Kaboose will never be part of that machine, but he will always let his faith dictate his art. Excuse Me is a must have for anybody who wants to know what hip-hop is all about.
Highlights: Goin’ Outta Control, Build It Up, Be First, Intercontinental Grand Dragon

Free Download:DJ Promote-Lights Up, Eyes On

LightsUpEyesOn

We are going to keep the Christmas music thing going with the addition of DJ Promote‘s Lights Up, Eyes On EP. At its core, this album is a cool little Hip-Hop inspired Holiday mix. Fun songs with some happy rap lyrics, remixes of holiday songs, and in general a cool little addition to you Christmas music collection. Things get kind of interesting with the track “Commercialism Theme Music” when DJ Promote provides the background music to a really awesome sermon concerning the true meaning of the season. On every track Promote brings the focus back to Christ, which is unfortunately very rare when this music comes up.

I think you guys will really like this, and this will be the last one for a few weeks. Im gonna take a small break during the next week or so, things are a little crazy on my end. Enjoy the download!

For fans of: Lecrae, Kaboose, tobyMac, Maj

Download DJ Promote-Lights Up, Eyes On EP

Free MP3 Download:Micheal Mannasseh-Mikestands

micheal-mannasseh-mikestands-reissue

This is actually kind of old. Michael Manasseh is a graphic designer, photographer, producer, and pretty awesome hip-hop artist. Mikestands features an array of interesting samples, honest lyrics, and a variation of styles that makes the entire album fresh from track one to the end.  This awesome offering is what believers should be doing with the genre of underground hip-hop. Heartfelt, intelligent, and interesting.

For fans of: Aesop Rock, Busdriver, Kaboose

Click on the link below, save the .ZIP file to your computer, EXTRACT ALL FILES, then share with friends.

Download Michael Manasseh-Mikestands

Christian Music News For July 14th 2009

Below is the artwork and tracklisting for Needtobreathe‘s upcoming CD The Outsiders:
needtobreathe-the-outsiders
1. Garden
2. Girl Named Tennessee
3. Hurricane
4. Lay ‘Em Down
5. Let Us Love
6. Prisoner
7. Something Beautiful
8. Stones
9. The Outsiders
10. These Hard Times
11. Through Smoke
12. Valley Of Tomorrow
13. What You’ve Done To Me
14. Won’t Turn Back

Kutless now has a new video for their song “To Know That You’re Alive”, watch it below:

So Phil, the vocalist for the sadly now defunct youth crew/hardcore band The Red Baron has revived his hip-hop project called Wonder?. Check out Wonder?’s music on his Myspace.

A new song from the album Beggars, Thrice‘s upcoming release, will be featured in the latest song pack for theGuitar Hero video game. I wish I played video games…

An interview with Andrew Schwab of Project 86 made its way onto Indie Vision Music this week. Read Project 86 interview.

Hip-hop newcomer Explicit has a new video for his song “Jesus Rocks”. He is representing Christ…and Texas, so watch the video:

Our boy (morse) has finally broken his silence with a little update. Basically, he is really busy. Read (morse) update.

According to a letter issued by hip-hop label Syntax Records (Braille, Kaboose, ect.), hip-hop artist RedCloud has been suspended by the label for “substance abuse”. Read the full statement concerning RedCloud.

Recording news:

  • As I Lay Dying will be taking the next few months off from touring to begin work on their next album. Finally…
  • According to news reports/twitter posts, Eisley is well into recording their third full length. Expect an early 2010 late 2009 release date.
  • BEC Recordings hip-hop artist Manafest is apparently working on two new albums, a straight hip-hop CD and a more rock inspired one. They will both most likely see a 2010 release date.
  • Relient K are eyeing a Oct. 6th release date for their new CD, entitled Forget And Not Slow Down.
  • Solid State Records metal band The Famine are tracking new material as we speak, stay tuned for more.

The(ONE)21 Music’s Best Albums Of 2008:Retrospective

We do indeed understand that it has been a long time since we should have posted our favorite albums of 2008. Sometimes though, hindsight makes you love certain CDs you hadn’t really listened to in a while. So we though it would be fitting, as how we are almost half way through 2009, to suggest and recommend our favorite CDs from 2008 made by Christian artists.  Feel free to tell us if you love the list or hate it, and we would love to hear your lists as well. These are not in order (besides for our favorite across the board), and they are not ranked in any other way.

The(ONE)21 Music’s best Christian music albums for 2008

Album of the year:

bodies-of-water-a-certain-feeling
Bodies of Water- A Certain Feeling Bodies of Water - A Certain Feeling
Deeply creative, lyrically dense, and unwaveringly beautiful. Bodies Of Water do more in their all to short sophomore album than most bands can in 15 songs. This is indie music at it’s finest.
For fans of: Anathallo, Polyphonic Spree, The Arcade Fire.
Category: The Light (whats this?)

Best of the rest:

advent-remove-the-earth
Advent- Remove the Earth Advent - Remove the Earth
Brutal, heavy, and unlike anything being done in the heavy music scene today. Advent take cues from the days of spirit-filled hardcore days with in your face lyrics, and waves of fuzzy distorted goodness. Bringing back the true sound of metalcore.
For fans of: Converge, Strongarm, Focused
Category: The Message (whats this?)

anathallo-canopy-glow
Anathallo- Canopy Glow
Anathallo - Canopy Glow
Intricate, progressive, and a collection of songs that improve an already good thing. Anathallo present their first real critical sucess with a profound maturity and skill that most bands two times their senior have yet to grasp. Canopy finds a brilliant band coming into their own, once again.
For fans of: Arcade Fire, mewithoutYou, Danielson
Category: The Light (whats this?)

becoming-the-archetype-dichotomy
Becoming The Archetype- Dichotomy Becoming the Archetype - Dichotomy
Intelligent, diverse, extreme metal played from a heart changed by Christ. Dichotomy resides as the best metal album no one talked about. A true classic in metal brutality.
For fans of: Living Sacrifice, Lamb Of God, Believer
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

brian-lee-his-orchestra-vol-1
Brian Lee & His Orchestra- Vol.1
Mellow, heartfelt, and a unique take on worship infused folk music. Vol.1 was one our first free downloads on this website, and Brian Lee & His Orchestra remain one of the best new bands flying their Christ flag in the folk/indie scene. An album to change your heart to.
For fans of: Pedro The Lion, Bon Iver, M.Ward
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

cool-hand-luke-the-sleeping-house
Cool Hand Luke- The Sleeping House Cool Hand Luke - The Sleeping House
Entrancing, heart-breaking, and the return of a great band in indie rock. Where Cool Hand Luke‘s last effort saw them experimenting in many different sounds, The Sleeping House sees the indie veterans achieving heavy atmosphere by simply playing progressive rock music. A diamond in their already stunning career.
For fans of: Sleeping At Last, The Fray, Sunny Day Real Estate
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

doug-burr-the-shawl
Doug Burr- The Shawl Doug Burr - The Shawl
Honest, simple, and masterful. Doug Burr‘s worship album (of sorts) brings one back to the true heart of singing before God, and The Shawl has the power to bring you to your knees and lighten your heart all at the same time. An album willing to be imperfect achieves quite the opposite.
For fans of: Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Iron & Wine
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

brooke-fraser-albertine
Brooke Fraser- Albertine Brooke Fraser - Albertine
Sweet, heartfelt, and able to put a good face on the pop genre again. Brooke Fraser walks an incredible line of teetering into the pop/contemporary Christian genre, but never does, and the result is an intelligent, soulful collection of songs that are easy to listen to but never easy to hear.
For fans of: Sara Barreilles, Jewel, Ingrid Michealson
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

hannah-atkins-falling
Hannah Atkins- Falling Hannah Atkins - Falling
Creative, quirky, and so intricate, you wont believe one person is making this music. An electro-pop gem with multi-layered vocal tracks, pounding beats, and a little bit of folk thrown in for good measure. A new face for a new genre: electro-folk.
For fans of: Imogean Heap, The Postal Service, Headphones
Category: The Light (whats this?)

josh-garrels-jacaranda
Josh Garrels- Jacaranda Josh Garrels - Jacaranda
Heartfelt, unique, and unlike anything out in the air right now. The pure songwriting ability in this young man is gorgeously displayed in his second full-length album, a hard look into the heart of those who seek God’s face. A truly blessed man offers up another amazing display of talent.
For fans of: Sublime, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

kaboose-excuse-me
Kaboose- Excuse Me Kaboose - Excuse Me
Funny, deep, and the perfect mixture of intelligent content and fun hip-hop. Excuse Me is a great collection of songs by an emcee who is not only committed to being light in the world for God, but being a truly thoughtful underground artist with songs that could rival the mainstream any day. Underground hip-hop with a lot of heart.
For fans of: Atmosphere, Dilated People, RedCloud
Category: The Message (whats this?)

la-dispute-somewhere-at-the-bottom-of-the-river-between-vega-and-altair
La Dispute- Somewhere at the Bottom of The River Between Vega & Altair La Dispute - Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair
Intense, chaotic, and what post-hardcore should have always been. La Dispute come out of nowhere with a classic album that combines their energy, mind, and passion on every note of every song. One of the best bands in heavy music’s latest masterpiece.
For fans of: At The Drive-In, mewithoutYou, These Arms Are Snakes
Category: The Light (whats this?)

lecrae-rebel
Lecrae- Rebel Lecrae - Rebel
Hard, truthful, and unrelenting. One of the biggest sounding hip-hop albums in recent history, Lecrae pulls no punches as spits truth in a world where he could easily stand up against MTV’s finest. The new prince of hip-hop has revealed himself.
For fans of: 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, The Ambassador
Category: The Message (whats this?)

mychildren-mybride-unbreakable
MyChildren MyBride- Unbreakable MyChildren MyBride - Unbreakable
Mosh-inducing, brutal, and a whole lotta fun. Behind the walls of well executed breaksdowns and crew vocals, we discover moshcore’s new superstars, a band who grab your attention form note one and will not let you go for a second. Mosh metal that cannot be duplicated.
For fans of: Acacia Strain, Darkest Hour, August Burns Red
Category: The Message (whats this?)

the-welcome-wagon-wlecome-to-the-welcome-wagon
The Welcome Wagon- Welcome To The Welcome Wagon The Welcome Wagon - Welcome to the Welcome Wagon
Simple, playful, and deeply meaningful. In the midst of over-produced praise and worship and pop CCM singles, this stripped down, delicate album sinks into the definition of “sacred music”, bringing some modern musical nuances to bridge the gap between the old and the new, and finds a new place of worship that sounds like what fresh air smells like. Truly lovely.
For fans of: Sufjan Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens
Category: The Spiritual (whats this?)

brooke-waggoner-heal-for-the-honey
Brooke Waggoner- Heal for the Honey Brooke Waggoner - Heal for the Honey
Near-flawless, deeply thoughtful, and evidence that of what a true artist can create when artistic freedom reigns. This is the type of album that makes you wonder what happened to the rest of the music industry, because Brooke Waggoner is an artist who deserves to heard, and heard by as many people as possible. Music that makes your day seem better, and makes you want to play and sing your heart out.
For fans of: Anathallo, Tori Amos, Sia
Category: The Light (whats this?)

thrice-the_alchemy_index_3and4
Thrice- Alchemy Index, Vol. 3 & 4: Air and Earth Thrice - The Alchemy Index, Vol. 3 & 4: Air & Earth
Skillful, engaging, and proof that Thrice might be the best rock band in music today. Two volumes of the Alchemy Index that display Thrice‘s power over the atmospheric rock and folk genres, containing some the band’s best music, but also a triumph for them as songwriters conquering new aspects of their music. Thrice‘s finest hour.
For fans of: The Myriad, Damien Rice, Radiohead
Category: The Message (whats this?)

wovenhand-ten-stones
Wovenhand- Ten Stones Wovenhand - Ten Stones
Dark, apocalyptic folk from the mind of man with one foot in the heavens, and one being used to step on the devil’s head. Ten Stones continues the reign of David Eugene Edwards (Wovenhand) as the warning voice to a generation in need of a Savior. There is nothing like this album.
For fans of: Nick Cave, 16 Horsepower, Johnny Cash
Category: The Message (whats this?)

deastro-keepers
Deastro- Keeper’s Deastro - Keepers
A sprawling tour de force of synth pop, progressive rock and electro folk Deastro’s keeper’s takes through a transcendent journey filled with wonder and awe.  The most awe inspiring aspect of Keeper’s is that it is a one man show from the writing, to performing, to producing and mixing.  Keeper’s is simply a beautiful listen from beginning to end.
For fans of: Postal Service, Crystal Castles, LCD Soundsystem
Category: The Light (whats this?)

underoath-lost-in-the-sound-of-seperation
Underoath- Lost in the Sound of SeparationUnderoath - Lost In the Sound of Separation
Diverse, epic, and evidence that Underoath are the kings of the screamo scene they helped create. This time around, the band went for the unknown, diving farther into experimental rock, electronica, and even beefing up the more aggressive side of their sound. True experiential brilliance.
For fans of: Fear Before The March of Flames, The Refused, Gallows
Category: The Message (whats this?)

eMusic Is The Coolest

One of the biggest surprises since we have started One21music is the lack of interest our readers have shown in eMusic.
Download 25 FREE songs at eMusic.com!
This was the first ad we put on our site. We thought people would flock to get 25 free songs. No one has explored the trial subscription, so I thought I would give you a testimonial from an excited subscriber. But first let me explain eMusic.

eMusic is the #1 site for independent music, with a library of over 4,500,000 MP3s.  eMusic sets itself apart from other well-known subscription music services (such as Napster and Rhapsody) because eMusic customers truly own the music they download.  The files available for download are in the MP3 format, making them fully compatible with all digital music players, and free from digital rights management software restrictions such as expiration dates, or copying or CD burning limitations. eMusic’s MP3′s play on any portable music player (including the iPod and Zune), can be downloaded to unlimited computers as well as burned to CD.

Here is how it works.  You can subscribe to download  25 to 100 songs each month based on the subscription level you buy.  The base subscription is 25 songs ($11.99 per month), then grows in 25 song increments (50 songs for $14.99, 75 songs for 19.99, 100 songs for $24.99).  eMusic offers about 25 different plans bu these are the most popular.

I have been a subscriber for over a year and my co-founder has been a subscriber for about nine months.  We love, l-o-v-e, eMusic.  Ian maintains a list of over 100 CDs and uses up his subscription on the first day it is available.  I like to save my downloads to use over the month.  Today is May 8th and I have already downloaded 65 of my 100 songs, so I am not such a good saver.

These downloads are just like buying the CD’s or downloading songs from iTunes, except they are cheaper and you own them.  If you really like music, or if your CD store is the electronics section at WalMart or if you are just cheap; eMusic is for you.  I downloaded , on their release date, the highly acclaimed new CD from Beirut for @$2.75, the EP from Bon Iver for $1.00 and M.Ward’snew one for $3.50.  Beat those prices WalMart and iTunes.

But more than convienence and thrift, eMusic has great services to help you find music you will love.  You can browse by genre, editors’ picks, new music, free tracks, advance releases, members ratings and any combination of those categories.  eMusic has music journalists writing artist and genre features and reviews.

Finally, eMusic has an extensive collection of songs and CDs from artists we have profiled on One21music. See the list below.

I encourage you to at least give eMusic a try.
Download 25 FREE songs at eMusic.com!

By the way, eMusicalso has a similar service for ebooks if you like to listen to ebooks
Heard any good Audiobooks lately? Get one free!

One21Christian Music Artists on eMusic

Jason Upton
Danielson
August Burns
Iris Dement
The Ambassador
Josh Garrels
Thrice
Cold War Kids
Fiction Family
Enter The Worship Circle
Anathallo
Bodies of Water
Cool Hand Luke
Kirk Franklin
Brooke Waggoner
Wovenhand
Buddy Miller
Underoath
Nicole C Mullen
Pigeon John
Bosque Brown
Paper Route
The Welcome Wagon
Kate Miner
Bradley Hathaway
Jeremy Egnik
Mute Math
Bill Mallonee/Vigilantes of Love
Brooke Fraser
Kaboose
Lecrae
Rootbeer

The One21 Interviews Tre9

tre9

PT. 1

Pt. 2

Tre9 is this amazing dude out of Houston TX. He is a hip-hop artist, promoter, manager,and founder of both Much Luvv Records, and DASOUTH.com. At SXSW, he was responsible for the event that brought Kaboose, Braille, and Lecrae to Austin. We were lucky to get a few minutes with him. This is one of those interviews were I didn’t have to ask a lot of questions, Tre9 is a passionate dude!  In the midst of his excitement, he talks about some really serious issues in the Christian music scene, and in fact his interview in part inspired a new way for us at The One21 to approach the music we are putting on this site (read The Many Facets Of Christian Music). Even if you arn’t into hip-hop, I’m sure you will love this interview.

This is Tre9‘s video for his song “Rise To The Top”

You can buy Tre9‘s music digitally on Tre9 and Amazon MP3

You can also buy his CDs on Amazon:
Marooned
The Farmer

The Many Facets Of Christian Music

Ever since we started The One21, we have been learning a lot. From the vast amount of  new talent we come across, to the trends in music and entertainment we have been able to identify, this company has allowed us to learn new things daily about the world of music we love so much.  We have tried to share those trends with you, and explore what the digital age of music has done for the underground music movement. We have attempted to expand the knowledge of the music out there being made by believers.  We have tried endlessly on this site to change the perception of what most people think when they hear the term “Christian music”, and bring you a whole new world of music that exists outside of the mainstream Christian industry.

It is in that last idea that we have run into the most trouble.  We feel that this website and the database of music we are building is our calling, our ministry to you, the person reading this.  We feel that we have a responsibility to give you as much information about the artists we talk about so that you can make the most informed decision on what music you allow in to your life and those around you. On the other hand, we also feel that we have a responsibility to artists we talk about. We don’t want to force any artist to label themselves as something they don’t want to labeled as.  The choices that an artists make in their career are their own, and it be irresponsible for us to (forcefully) change those decisions ( we REALLY want Kate Minor to come back to music, and I REALLY want Damien Rice to become a believer).  So how do we talk to people about music that is made by believers without forcing those artists to be pigeon-holed into a scene they want to exist outside of.

This struggle was put center stage recently as we attended SXSW. A band that we have featured on this site (I’m not going to tell you who it is, don’t ask), had a very strong reaction to us wanting to interview them and talk about it on the site. They told Chuck “well we are Christians, but we defiantly don’t make Christian music”, and were still debating this issue when I walked past them ten minutes later. Some of the members seemed upset that since we were a site that covered Christian music, that talking to us would change the perception of their band in the general public. However, all the research we had done on the band not only revealed that they were believers, but the majority of their lyrics centered around the dark picture the church paints of Christ versus what He truly is. We felt a little awkward because in a way we had tried to make them something they didn’t want to be, which is their call, not ours. The outcome is that they didn’t talk to us, even when Chuck attended their show a few nights later.

Later that same week, Chuck presented our pastor with a signed copy of a CD, from one of the hip-hop artists we interviewed, for his ten year old son who is really into hip-hop at the moment.  Our pastor thanked Chuck, but said that he needed to listen to it before his son could have it.  That seemed strange to me for a moment, but then he explained that another Christian hip-hop artist had frequently used the word “hell” (in the correct context by the way), a word that shocked and offended his young children who had been told NOT to say that word. It occurred to me that a lot of people can’t just listen to ANY artist who says that they are a Christian, even with ideologies that match up, subject matter is still an issue.

So on one side, we have believers who are making music, but do not want to be part of the Christian music world, and on the other side, we have people who need help with finding the right artist that helps them live their faith.  On the one hand we know of a lot of Christian artist who hardly ever talk directly about their faith in their music, and on the other we have a responsibility to present music that lines up with the ideologies that exist in Christianity. The dichotomy bothered me all week until we met with Tre9, a Houston hip-hop artist and founder of DaSouth.com, who spoke in our interview with him about hip hop artists being relevant to the audience that they are trying to reach.

79975“You’ve got to know as an artist who you are going to target your message to. Obviously if you want to disciple Christians then you need to make music relevant to them. Which would be music: quoting scriptures, having heavy spiritual content; but if you want to reach people that don’t have church knowledge and maybe don’t even read their Bible then you need to bring it down to their level. So, that may require you to do music that shares your life story more often, and maybe closes with the fact that you found fulfillment in Christ, but you’re not so heavily focused on making sure you get a scripture in there. Throw a Jesus here; throw a God, a Holy Spirit there. Throw the word redemption. You know sanctification; these words that the world doesn’t understand. You want to make music that is relevant to where they are at mentally and even spiritually.

When I say relevant, you’ve got groups like P.O.D. who are way into the world, but are making relevant music to their audience, and look at them, they are global. They have penetrated a market that they couldn’t penetrate when they were labeled a Christian artist. I think that’s good. A lot of people think they are sell outs because they don’t preach the gospel in their music, but for me I feel that this world needs Godly principles, they need the Bible interpenetrated in today’s language so that it’s relevant. So, if P.O.D. makes a song about ‘I feel so alive’, but they don’t say it’s because of Jesus; I think that person will eventually become a follower of P.O.D.; listening to their music, going to their website, researching and finding out “Hey, these guys are Christians. So that’s what they mean by ‘I feel so alive’.” So they don’t have to put it into a song for me. Now, a lot of people would disagree with that but, we need wholesome music. We need songs that deal with drugs, and the dangers of drugs; songs that deal with abstinence. These songs don’t have to say anything about God.  God is in that, God wants people to live an abstinent life, God wants people to avoid drugs. So, I’m ok with making music that is relevant to that market or that particular group of people. Going into public schools we can’t do Christian music, especially during school hours. You can’t just go in there preaching about Jesus. So, if you are going to make music relevant to a school; if it’s an elementary school, then you need to write some stuff elementary level. Junior high, High school…so that’s what I mean by relevant.”

I was blown away. This was a concept that had always been in the back of my mind, but I had never heard put into words.  I also realized that this line of thinking could be applied to all music, not just the world of hip-hop.  As I thought about it more, I became aware that this was how the whole scope of the Christian music scene fit together, even the artists that wanted to exists outside the borders of what is traditionally thought of as Christian music.  This is how we can talk about really good music that is being made by believers, but not really overtly spiritually, and then turn around and talk about worship music in the same breathe.  It is because in “Christian music” there are different forms of it, but all of them are written from a world-view of Christ.

In the end, I propose that all music, written from a foundation of hope and faith, that God can use to touch people’s hearts, can be divided into three categories:

The Spiritual- this is music that is made by believers, and is mainly intended for believers.  This music uses language and subjects that believers understand, and is made mainly for the purpose of worship, education, and encouragement. This music will use a lot of direct Biblical scripture, or discuss the literal concepts within the Bible. The gospel message is OBVIOUS to anyone. This music is meant to celebrate and discuss God and His teachings. This is were the majority of worship music will exist, as well as artist who talk about heavy Biblical truths.
Examples:
The Ambassador
Becoming The Archetype
Third Day
Derek Webb
Jason Upton
Shane and Shane
Enter The Worship Circle
Toby Mac
For Today
Dirt

The Message- the music in this category is evangelical in nature. It is made by believers for everyone. While it deals with strong Biblical truths, the music is made to appeal to both believers and non-believers alike.  The messages are meant to talk about address the need for Christ and the struggles that people go through before the come to know Him, and the relationship that exists afterward. Sometimes the message is obvious, sometimes it isn’t.  Most artists talk about their faith not only through their lyrics, but also from the stages that they play from (be it a church or a bar stage). This category is a musical response to the great commission.
Examples:
Switchfoot
Lecrae
August Burns Red
P.O.D.
SuperChick
Kaboose
A Plea For Purging
mewithoutYou
Project 86
Joy Whitlock

The Light- this is the category that collects all the Christians who are out their making music, but are not necessarily talking about anything that is directly Biblical. This is just music made by believers. Most of the time, the songs have a indirect message pertaining to the artists faith. The artists in this category are not trying to speak to their beliefs, but are simply trying to make music , and their faith shines through from time to time.  The artists in this category most times exist completely outside of the Christian music radar, some of them you will know, but most you have never heard of. What is important to note is that while the music in this category is not overtly faith-based, it is music that is written from a heart changed by Christ, and can be used as a catalyst  people’s life.
Examples:
Rootbeer
Anathallo
Brooke Waggoner
Paramore
Bob Dylan
Cold War Kids
Thrice
Danielson
Bodies Of Water
Buddy Miller

On our site, we are going to begin using these categories to define our artists better. You will begin to see them on our “Christian Artists To Know”, and as we build our database of artists, the categories will also be incorporated.

The idea behind these categories to allow all the many ways that music is made by believers to be viewed as a unified music scene. For the artists that sing honestly about thier life  and for the worship leader in the church, God uses all this music to touch people’s hearts.

The One21 Interviews Kaboose

kaboose2

Kaboose is a hip-hop artist on Syntax Records. His latest album, Excuse Me, was released last year and is the highest selling album for the label. He deserves it, his songs are diverse and creative, dealing with serious subjects but never losing his caring and intelligent personality in the midst of serious hand-banging hip-hop party tracks. Despite his success, the Native American emcee is a humble and warm character, full of excitement and passion. He took the stage on our last day at SXSW 09, and sat down to talk to us afterwords.  In the video above Kaboose gives some incite on how he got started, what he loves about his job, and just shares his heart. Enjoy!

Here is the video for Kaboose‘s favorite track off of Excuse Me, “Goin’ Outta Control”

As always you can get Kaboose‘s music digitally on Kaboose
You can also buy his CDs on Amazon:
Innersection
Excuse Me