New Releases For May 10th, 2011

anthem lights self titled
Anthem Lights
Anthem Lights

Reunion Records
Pop Rock
Buy now: Amazon

Beth Williams-You Can Be Loved The EP
You Can Be Loved: The EP
Beth Williams

N Season Records
Buy now: Amazon MP3

building 429 listen to the sound
Listen To The Sound
Building 429

Essential Records
Buy now: Amazon MP3

manchester orchestra simple math
Simple Math
Manchester Orchestra

Favorite Gentleman Recordings
Indie Rock
Buy now: Amazon MP3

sons and daughters Brokenness Aside EP Vol 1
Brokenness Aside EP Vol 1
Sons & Daughters

Integrity Records
Folk Worship
Buy now: Amazon MP3

Free Download: Marksmen-Sister Of Mine

Marksmen-Sister of Mine

Some of the best albums this year have been released for free so far, and Marksmen‘s Sister Of Mine is defiantly one of them. It is raw, intelligent rock album that is as catchy as it is creative, and lyrically it will move you and sting you at the same time. Marksmen are a new powerhouse that have quietly come out of nowhere.

If you are a fan of Manchester Orchestra, David Bazan, The Rocketboys, or Abandon Kansas, you will more than likely dig these guys. Marksmen could hang with all those artists, but their music is in no way a parody or copy of their peer’s work. They have crafted their own sound in Sister Of Mine, and this is the album that will have you talking about this band for years to come.

Full song previews in the widget. Tip these guys and enjoy the download:

Cornerstone 2010 Schedule: Ian

So in about 3 weeks, The ONE21 is headed out to Cornerstone Festival 2010. There are hundreds of bands and performers sweating it out from around 11AM to close to 2 in the morning every day. It can be very overwhelming to to take in everything that Cornerstone has to offer, and the sad fact is that you are almost guaranteed to miss a lot.

Well, we are here to help!

With the help of a nifty new website called, the four of us attending have been able to begin planning out our Cornerstone experience. Below, I am going to list a few highlights from every day of the festival. Hopefully this will help you plan your week out a little better if you are attending.

Check out my full schedule, and maybe come say hi. I will be the guy with the giant red beard and shaved head. Its kinda hard to miss me. I will have free stickers and buttons for ya!

MONDAY: typically a slow day, but there are a ton of generator shows going on, and you can get very up close and personal with the performers. Also be on the lookout for “surprise” shows. I saw Blindside play a show on the lawn back in 2003. Keep your eyes open!
Love Begotten 3:00PM- Raging Storm/Sancrosanct Stage: the band puts on a wild stage show and seemlessly blend it with a heavy dose of profound ministry.  They were also one of our “Voices Of the Underground”

A Hope For Home 7:30PM- Solace Stage: These guys are one of the more promising bands to come out of the post-hardcore/rock scene in the last few years. They were also one of our “Voices Of The Underground”.

Take It Back! 10:30PM- Solace Stage- This will be my first time seeing the posi-hardcore band that have been blasting through my speakers all year. If you want to see earnest punk/hardcore, you need to be at this show!

Tuesday: The unofficial 1st day of the fest. In past years, Tooth & Nail have run this particular day, but the economy has forced the label to step back. Once again, this may seem like a slow day, but there is still alot going on
Fire From The Gods/Let The Dead 12:00PM/12:45PM- Legacy Stage: These two bands are actually friends of mine from right here in Austin, Texas. Come a behold the next great Texas metal/hardcore superstars!

The Ember Days 9:00 PM- Solace Stage: I am really excited to get to experience the progressive worship of The Ember Days. The band recently relocated to the States from New Zealand, and are working on some new material which hopefully will make it into their set at Cornerstone. They were also one of our “Voices Of The Underground”

Flatfoot 56 10:00PM- Legacy Stage: While everybody else is at Switchfoot on the main stage, I will be getting a rowdy dose of celtic punk with the legendary Flatfoot 56. Once again, this will be the first time seeing these guys despite the fact that I have been a fan for a very long time!

Wednesday: This will be the first official day of Cornerstone Festival 2010, with all the seminars, Bible studies, and events beginning along with the music and the Main stage running all day. The festival gets kind of….crazy from here on out. This will be one of my longest days
So Long Forgotten 12:45- Solace Stage: I have heard that So Long Forgotten‘s live shows are nothing short of amazing, so this will be an amazing way to start my day off. The band’s latest album, The Things We Can See and The Things We Cannot was on our best of the year list from 2009.

Bradley Hathaway 3:15PM- Main Stage: If you dont see Mr. Hathaway at Cornerstone, you havent truely done Cornerstone right. Nuff said!  Bradley also had one of our best albums form 2009.

Levi The Poet 4:00PM-Solace Stage: Levi The Poet is a gifted spoken word artist who’s performances range from quiet recital to wild thrashings as he covers everything from the love of God, self doubt, and pornography addiction. Also, I will finally be able to pick up his CD!

Listener 6:00PM- Jesus Village: THIS IS ONE OF MY MUST SEES! I promise you that this will be one of the best live shows you have ever seen!

mewithoutYou 7:00PM- Main Stage: Once again, if you dont see mewithoutYou at Cornerstone Festival, you havent done Cornerstone right. Nuff said…..again.  Once again, the band’s latest CD was one of the best from 2009.

Sleeping Giant 10:50PM- Underground Stage: This “hardcore” band is known to create an atmosphere of worship that most churches miss by miles. People have given their lives to Christ, been healed, and rebuked demons at these guys shows. At clubs. This is Cornerstone! Of course there will be moshing too, but thats how Sleeping Giant does it! Did I forget to mention that this is a 2 hour show? Well, it is…..

The Chariot 12AM- Encore Stage: If you happen to leave Sleeping Giant early, or are able to still walk afterwards, go catch the last 30 or minutes of The Chariot. Their live show is nothing short of insane!  they also had one of our best albums from 2009 along with being one of our “Voices of The Underground”

Thursday Day two of the festival in full swing slows things down a little for me, but Thursday is possiably my most diverse day.
John Reuben 3:15PM- Main Stage: Regrettably, there isn’t a whole lot of hip-hop at Cornerstone this year, so I am going to be sure and not miss one of my all time favorites. Hey John, if you happen to read this, play “Doin’”, I will lose my mind over that song!

Brooke Waggoner 4:15PM- Gallery Stage: THIS IS A MUST SEE! We met Brooke Waggoner in 2009 at SXSW, and her live show made me a life long fan. If anything, you need to see this girl play piano, it will blow you away.  She was also featured in the original series of “Voices of The Underground”.

Hands 7:30PM- Underground Stage: i have already told the entire staff that Hands is the band I am most excited to see this year. They combine prog metal with worship music, and they never come around Austin. This will most likely be the highlight of my week.  They also had one of our best albums from 2009.

The Farewell Drifters 8:35PM- Gallery Stage: Sue me, I love folk/bluegrass music. The Farewell Drifters are one of the better bands today doing it. Therefore, I will be there.

For Today 10:35- Underground Stage: Like Sleeping Giant the night before, For Today bring a worshipful experience that just happens to be in the for of metal/hardcore. These guys speak truth, and this is one of those shows that can really have an impact.

Friday By this point most of yall will be getting tired, but dont snooze just yet because some great stuff is yet to be seen.
Timbre 2:05PM- Gallery Stage: What a great way to get things going with some soothing progressive harp music. Yep, I said harp….

Dignan 6:00PM- Gallery Stage: Once again, we met Dignan at SXSW in 2009 and were intimidately taken away with their dark , progressive indie rock. Haven’t had a chance to catch them again, so this will be a treat for sure.  They also released one of our best albums from 2009.

Paper Route 7:15PM- Gallery Stage: Would you like a little electronic dance music with your rock? Of course you would.  They also had one of our best albums from 2009.

Children 18:3 9:00PM- Underground Stage: This is possibly the best pop-punk band in the music scene today. we saw them at Red letter Rock Fest last year, and I am not going to miss this show.

Eisley 10:00PM- Gallery Stage: Ironically, the last time Chuck and I saw Eisley (known as Moss Eisley then) was the FIRST time we attended Cornerstone Fest in 2002. Some of the members were in their early teens, and they apologized after every song. Most of them are married now, and we have fallen in love with their music over and over again since. This will be a great reunion.

White Collar Sideshow 12AM- Underground Stage: I will end my day with a performance that has the ability to cut to the core of any person struggling with themselves. Besides the fact that the members of White Collar Sideshow are some of the coolest people ever, but their show will make you take a deep look within, and let change fill you up.

Saturday Last day, keep your head up, you are almost there.
Starting at about 1PM, The Legacy Stage is going to have a mini Hip-Hop showcase featuring some amazing talent including Odd Thomas, Propoganda, and Theory Hazit. If you are a fan of Hip-Hop, this would be a great place to hang out on Saturday.

O’Brother 6:00PM- Gallery Stage: I saw these guys with Manchester Orchestra, and I don’t think I’m stretching too much to say that they blew the crowd away. They are the heaviest indie rock band I have ever hear, and I am ready for round two.

August Burns Red 7:00PM- Main Stage: ABR is kind of another one of those bands that if you haven’t seen them at Cornerstone, then you haven’t really seen them. It is not too much to say that they owned Cornerstone 07 like nobodies business.

Seabird 10:00PM- Gallery Stage: My Cornerstone experience will end with the power pop/rock of Seabird. I saw them at SXSW, and now that I know their music a little better I know this will be the perfect closer to my week.

Thats about it, but certainly not my entire plan for the week. Go check my full schedule to see all the other shows I am going to try and hit. See you there!

The One21 Essential 100 Pt.12

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

Kelly Jones Parks Do Not Fear
Do Not Fear
Kelly Jones Parks

Buy this album: iTunes
Kelly Jones Parks‘ 2001 debut Do Not Fear is a masterpiece, almost a diary of a young woman struggling with the fear and excitement of coming to maturity in the transition from high school with family and college on her own. The opening track “Right Hand” focuses on the comfort of Christ’s presence in Park‘s life as she explores the freedom of her new life. “The One” should be required listening for all teen girls and young women as Kelly Jones Parks shares the wonder of finding the One she has waited for God to bring to her. “Scarborough House” celebrates the discovery of new friendship and the importance of sisterhood in college. The triumph of Do Not Fear is “Isaiah 43 (You Are Mine)” which is Kelly Jones Parks‘ celebration of God’s love for us. We defy you to listen to all 4:21 minutes of this song without praying gratitude and praises.
Highlights: Isaiah 43 (You Are Mine), The One, Scarborough House

Manchester Orchestra- Mean Everything To Nothing
Mean Everything To Nothing
Manchester Orchestra

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
When you are able to marry both catchiness and intelligence, then you created something very special. Manchester Orchestra have done just that with equal parts gritty garage rock, and angry post-hardcore combined to result in a cohesive group of songs that not only build on each other, but also communicate a vast range of emotion and mood. Much of the album feels like the best of 90s era grunge mixed in with the best of modern progressive indie rock.

Many songs deal with the frustration of wanting more out of everyday life than the status quo, while others try to reconcile love for a person who does not deserve it. Lyrically, it can range from the baffling to the profound, but every word, every note is performed with a rising sense of tension, and sometimes all out pain. It is the post card of a band no longer young men, but not quite grown either.

The depth as to which these songs are written is amazing as well, the layers each song presents only give power to the emotions being expressed. Every song has something that you didn’t hear the first time (or the second), and Mean Everything To Nothing will keep you coming back. In plain English, this is a phenomenal album.
Highlights: The River, Everything To Nothing, Shake It Out

Vigilantes Of Love - Slow Dark Train
Slow Dark Train
Vigilantes Of Love

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Vigilantes of Love blended blues, gospel, folk-rock and country-rock. Formed in 1990 in Athens, Georgia, the group consisted of chief songwriter Bill Mallonee on vocals and acoustic guitars, Newton Carter on electric guitars and backing vocals, David LaBruyere on bass, and Travis Aaron McNabb on drums and percussion. Vigilantes of Love began as an acoustic duo, with just Mallonee and an accordionist; after releasing two independent albums as a duo, Mallonee added some other Athens-area local band veterans to go electric.

Bill Mallonee and Vigilantes of Love deliver crushingly good music written from a Believer’s view of faith and hope. But it is not a belief packaged by today’s Church. It is a belief built on the scars of life and redemption. The band does their best to turn this to their advantage by cranking out Southern post-punk garage rock songs of despair held in check only by day-to-day faith in God. They mostly succeed, and the album is full of excellent hooks, in addition to Bill Mallonee‘s typically inspired lyrical genius: “I was drowning in/complancy’s cheap perfume/yeah, licking my wounds…” is one of many indellible verses.

Bill Mallonee has called Slow Dark Train his “testament to despair,” and it fits. The opening triumverate–”Locust Years,” “Tokyo Rose,” “Black Crow”–is about is hard and angry as VOL is ever likely to be. When the record isn’t raging against corrupt record labels, false friends, and human nature itself, it finds Mallonee weeping in a motel room over his own fallenness and inability to follow the truth.
Highlights: Locust Years, All The Mercy We Have Found, Judas Skin

the call reconciled
The Call

Highlights: Amazon, iTunes
Call were one of the great bands of the 80’s with smart musicians, a passionate singer, great songs, an “original” sound, intelligent and thought provoking spiritually-themed lyrics. Some critics place The Call in a group with REM and U2 and they were darlings of music icons like Peter Gabriel and Robbie Robertson. The Call‘s music is characterized by driving rhythm, deep and subtle lyrics and a texture unlike anyone else out there. The Call sucked you into their world, with a driving danceable beat and intelligent lyrics that were easy to sing along to. The band’s musical interplay is tight, and Michael Been’s lyrics & transcendent lead vocals are passionate with a capital P.

In 1986, The Call released what is without a doubt their masterpiece, Reconciled. It is one of the greatest, most passionate rock albums ever made. Reconciled, more than any other captures the anthemic essence of The Call’s mission…great rock and roll with a reason. The Call delivers one emotional, powerhouse rocker after another, such as the dramatic “Everywhere I Go,” the triumphant “I Still Believe,” “Blood Red,” “Oklahoma,” “Sanctuary,” and the closing “Even Now.” Michael Been’s voice is the absolute glue. Deep,rich and gutsy his treatment of the lyric puts this album in a class by itself. And, for the coup de grace, Reconciled features guest performances by such The Call fans as Peter Gabriel and Simple Minds‘ Jim Kerr on backing vocals, and Robbie Robertson on guitar. Outstanding music from start to finish, Reconciled is a magnificent album from a magnificent band. Many of the songs feel fresh 20 years later…a couple are beginning to sound like “classics.” This just might be one of the top 10 most perfect albums of the 80′s.
Highlights: Everywhere I Go, I Still Believe, Sanctuary

Washington Phillips - The Key To The Kingdom
The Key To The Kingdom
Washington Phillips

Highlights: Amazon, iTunes
How does a set of raw, simple early gospel tunes make onto this list of underground Christian music? It is really good. Washington Phillips was a street preacher, street musician and gospel pioneer. Phillips’ laid the foundation for 20th century gospel music influencing modern music influnecers Sister Rosetta Thorpe, Sam Cooke and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

The Keys to The Kingdom features Phillip’s sincere, plaintive vocals accompanied by some rare fretless zither-like instrument that is a cousin to the auto harp. The quite sincerity and humility of these songs haunt you for days after hearing them. Songs from The Keys to The Kingdom have been covered by everyone from Ry Cooder to Phish and were featured in the movie “Elizabethtown.”

Washington Phillips had a short but amazing recording career. He recorded these 16 tracks between 1927 and 1929 and never recorded again. It is some of the most gentle, beautiful, passionate spiritual music I have ever heard.
Highlights: Denomination Blues Pt. One, Denomination Blues Pt. Two, I Am Born to Preach the Gospel, Paul and Silas In Jail

Manchester Orchestra Live On Jimmy Kimmel Video

Manchester Orchestra 09

Below is the rocking performance of “In My Teeth” by Manchester Orchestra which appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Live Show last week. Its a great song and a great performance, I think we can agree that the crowd must have been on sedatives or something….

The One21 Best Of 2009 Pt.2

2009 is almost over, and in the world of music, that means one thing, Best Of lists! At One21, we wanted to wait a little bit to post ours; because to me posting a “Best Of” list before Thanksgiving is kinda like nominating Avatar for Best Drama the week before it is screened for critics.

Wait, yea, that happened….

Anyways, we consider these albums to be the cream of what was released this year. we aren’t going to do a count down though, so in no particular order, here are the last 12 albums that made 2009 great:

Album of the year

manchester orchestra mean everything to nothing
Mean Everything To Nothing
Manchester Orchestra

Why we picked it: When you are able to marry both catchiness and intelligence, then you created something very special. Manchester Orchestra have done just that with equal parts gritty garage rock, progressive indie, and angry post-hardcore combined to result in a cohesive group of songs that not only build on each other, but also communicate a vast range of emotion and mood. Every song has something that you didn’t hear the first time (or the second), and Mean Everything To Nothing will keep you coming back. In plain English, this is a phenomenal album.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Best of the rest

michelle_shocked soul of my soul
Soul Of My Soul
Michelle Shocked
Why we picked it:
Another tour de force featuring musical styles and sharp lyrics, Soul of My Soul is another Michelle Shocked masterpiece. She employs many musical styles from folk to reggae to rock to gospel on this fifth album since she converted to Christianity. Joy, sadness and anger permeate this record about relationships, her faith and the world we face. Another brilliant offering from one of rock’s most respected artists.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

fiction family
Fiction Family
Fiction Family

Why we picked it: This side project from Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman and Nickel Creek guitarist Sean Watkins sounds like anything but. Beautiful clear melodies, strong production and mostly acoustic instrumentation enable the songs soar. Hopefully, not a one time side project, Fiction Family could challenge Wilco for the title as top purveyor of middle period Beatles style music.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

To Tell The Story Kelly Parks
To Tell The Story
Kelly Parks
Why we picked it:
One of the Christian scene’s truly great underground artists, Kelly (Jones) Parks returned in 2009 after a 7 year absence from the recording studio. To Tell The Story was worth it. Bouncy songs delivered in Parks crystal clear will have you embarrassing yourself in traffic as you sing along with her direct lyrics about our faith, out joy and our challenges.

melinda doolittle coming back to you
Coming Back To You
Melinda Doolittle

Why we picked it: If you like your soul music circa 1969; strong, direct without embellishment; then welcome home. This former American Idol third place finisher has delivered the best, least effected, record ever by any AI contestant. She has the pipes so she does not try to impress with histrionics, which is great. That allows us to enjoy these songs about faith and relationships without needing to push aside auto tuners or annoying vocal runs. A fantastic soul record.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

cas metah guest room
Guest Room
Cas Metah

Why we picked it: If there are any emcees reading this right now, I want to ask you to do something this year; listen to Guest Room and take notes. Every track on this album is quality, each one lending something to the others: there are enough fun, chill songs to balance out the more serious, darker tracks. On top of that Cas Metah is a great emcee, and on top of that he has attracted an amazing line up to guest on each song (hence why it is called Guest Room). All of this and you got some really interesting beats to make it all come together. This is what hip-hop should be; Christian, Underground, East or West Coast, whatever. Like I said, take notes…
Buy: Amazon MP3, iTunes

paper route absence
Paper Route

Why we picked it: Paper Route continues to amaze with a striking blend of electronic indie rock music. Layer upon layer of sounds create a collage of music and soundscapes for the love songs of joy and pain. “Are We All Forgotten” is one of the most beautiful songs of 2009.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Awake O' Sleeper- Lisa Heinrichs
Awake O’ Sleeper
Lisa Heinrichs

Why we picked it: This little known, in the States, folk, country singer from Canada delivered a marvelous debut album in 2009. Lisa Heinrichs has a striking, clear voice, a sense of humor and a sense of purpose. Her combination of faith based songs and political statements will make you think and dance, all at the same time.
Buy:Amazon MP3, iTunes

josh garrels lost animals
Lost Animals
Josh Garrels
Why we picked it:
Another treasure chest of beatbox, stream of consciousness theology from our favorite hippie troubadour. Listening to Garrels you will surely dance. You will also pull out your Bible, pray and contemplate your theology and your relationship with God. You will have a good time at it all.
Buy: iTunes

advent naked and cold
Naked And Cold

Why we picked it: Advent IS spirit-filled hardcore. Naked And Cold IS Advent. There simply isn’t anybody doing this particular brand of abrasive metal-core anymore, and I’m starting to think that it may be because it might kill lesser men. Not Advent though, this is the type of music played to start revolutions and break down walls. Unlike their Black Flag predecessors, Advent is trying to start a revolution of the heart, a re-emergence of people proud to call Christ their Savior, and willing to die for His name. Some people might call that a revival, and I think that’s what Naked And Cold might be all about.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Cheaters & Thieves

Why we picked it: Put Cheaters & Thieves in a mix tomorrow with any of the big names in rock today, and I guarantee that you ears will perk up every time one of the tracks shuffles in. There is something very dark and painful happening here, and there are many times you actually feel like you are witnessing vocalist Andy trying to sing away his demons. Slow, trudging progressions allow this album to breathe the way it should; it’s as if they went any faster the songs might shatter. This is the kind of music that sticks with you long after you stop listening, and Dignan might be the best at it.
Buy: Amazon MP3, iTunes

bosque brown baby
Bosque Brown

Why we picked it: Now for something completely different than anything you have heard in the Christian or secular scene this year. Mara Lee Miller, the heart and soul and voice of Bosque Brown, sounds as if Tom Waits and Patsy Cline had a child gave her a collection of Kris Kristofferen and Joy Division records and left in a trailer in the desert. This record is a haunting mix of minimalist, indie folk, classic country. We have been mesmerized all year.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright mewithoutyou
It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright

Why we picked it: Perhaps one of the more debated albums of the year, the latest installment in the mewithoutYou saga sees the band fully embrace their indie folk influences. All the aggression from past albums is replaced with a joyful celebration of instruments and voices. We are getting to see a different side of a band that has always marched to their own drum. The ironic part is that in the age of Sufjan Stevens, Panda Bear, and The Avett Brothers, this may be mewithoutYou‘s trendiest album yet. Funnier still is that this album may be one of the best in that era.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

The One21 Best Of 2009 Pt.1

2009 is almost over, and in the world of music, that means one thing, Best Of lists! At One21, we wanted to wait a little bit to post ours; because to me posting a “Best Of” list before Thanksgiving is kinda like nominating Avatar for Best Drama the week before it is screened for critics.

Wait, yea, that happened….

This list is simply our celebration of the amazing music that came out in 2009. We understand that many may disagree with us on the albums we picked (or didn’t pick), but we completely believe that this is the best of what came out this year. In 6 months we will do a retrospective list for 2009, so it will be interesting to see what makes it onto that list. Feel free to leave your thoughts…

In no real particular order, here are the first 12 albums that made 2009 great:

Album of the year

manchester orchestra mean everything to nothing
Mean Everything To Nothing
Manchester Orchestra

Why we picked it: When you are able to marry both catchiness and intelligence, then you created something very special. Manchester Orchestra have done just that with equal parts gritty garage rock, progressive indie, and angry post-hardcore combined to result in a cohesive group of songs that not only build on each other, but also communicate a vast range of emotion and mood. Every song has something that you didn’t hear the first time (or the second), and Mean Everything To Nothing will keep you coming back. In plain English, this is a phenomenal album.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Best of the rest

thrice beggars

Why we picked it: Coming off their incredibly diverse and profound Alchemy Index project, Thrice once again has proved that they may be the American band of this generation. Once again, Dustin Kensrue and the boys dug deep and came out with a collection of soulful, passionate songs that play to all their strengths. Every member of the band shines bright on Beggars, so there is a lot of radiating going on. With another album full of gems under their belt, Thrice pushes on and continues to remind us what true rock looks like.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

a mouth full of dust bradley hathaway
A Mouth Full Of Dust
Bradley Hathaway

Why we picked it: This may be the most joyfully depressing album you will ever listen to. Channeling Bob Dylan, mewithoutYou, and Daniel Jonhston, the one time poet in Bradley Hathaway fully bloomed into a indie folk genius with A Mouth Full of Dust. Deeply personal, every song attempts to create the sound of Bradley’s emotional state, ranging from sweetly content to painfully chaotic. Never relying on over-musicianship, A Mouth Full Of Dust is simple enough to be called folk or lo-fi, but has so many twists and turns you won’t know how to describe it when the last note rings out. You will be a little out of breath though.
Buy:Amazon MP3

the red baron my first love
My First Love
The Red Baron
Why we picked it:
The hardcore movement was supposed to be about having heart, and The Red Baron have plenty to pass around. Every track on this blistering, fast paced album just kicks you in the chest, and at the same time is able to hit an emotional chord. The term “blood, sweat, and tears” may have been coined a band like this, the music is an all-encompassing mesh of ticked off punk and old school hardcore. On top of that, the lyrics are more theologically honest than most worship songs, making My First Love the perfect (and I mean perfect) Christ-centered hardcore album.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

ok bear jeremy enigk
OK Bear
Jeremy Enigk

Why we picked it: Enigk‘s work has been legendary for almost a decade and a half now (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft), and OK Bear seems to be a return to more simple times. Not to say that Jeremy Enigk‘s work is by any means simplistic now, but in terms of an album, this seems to be the first time his solo work has been able to focus his genius. The songs have a more straight forward feel to them (similar to Sunny Day), but somehow Enigk is able to make the simplest of structures somehow very unique. Drenching every song with his deep, introspective lyrics, and then letting his soulful and painful vocal style do the rest of the work, OK Bear is the album that every underground band wishes they could write.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

my brightest diamond shark remixes vol 2 son lux
Shark Remixes Vol.2:Son Lux
My Brightest Diamond

Why we picked it: In 2008, solo songstress Shara Worden, under her moniker My Brightest Diamond, released her latest dark pop masterpiece, A Thousand Sharks Teeth. In 2009, she allowed several electronic artist to remix the album, resulting in several interesting volumes of The Shark Remixes. The most profound of all these was the collaboration with trip-hop genius Son Lux, who took My Brightest Diamond‘s sound and twisted it into something very different. In addition to Shara’s uniquely operatic vocals, distorted jazz horns, fuzzy base lines, and creepy backing effects made Son Lux and My Brightest Diamond‘s collaboration a match made in dark electronic heaven.
Buy: Amazon MP3, iTunes

pink limousine rootbeer
Pink Limousine EP

Why we picked it: Want to have some good clean fun? The boys in Rootbeer got ya covered. The latest collaboration between LA Symphony alum Flynn Adam, and Pigeon John has proved you can have a lot of fun being better than most everybody in the hip-hop club scene. Each song is created to get the party started, and is chalked full of Flynn and John‘s unique sense of humor (heck, we have been hearing about this pink limo since the very first LA Symphony single). I dare you to listen to this EP and not be a little happier afterward. Go ahead….try. See? Not possible…
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Wars And Rumors Of Wars
The Chariot

Why we picked it: There is simply not any band quite like The Chariot. They combine noise rock with metalcore, chaos with genius, and some how always come up with music that is easily better than 90% of the music put out in the metal/hardcore scene. On their last album, we saw The Chariot go experimental; on Wars And Rumors of Wars, we see them light everything on fire. Then they throw firecrackers at it. Vocalist Josh Scogin’s lyrics are top notch; the crazy parts are crazier, the heavy parts are heavier, the experimental parts are more….well you get the picture. The Chariot is on a rampage, and Wars And Rumors Of Wars is the warning siren.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

derek webb stockholm syndrome
Stockholm Syndrome
Derek Webb

Why we picked it: Out of all the albums that came out this year in the Christian music scene, this may have been the most talked about by far. Once again sparking controversy with the song “What Matters More”, Derek Webb once again reinvented himself in both his lyrics, and in musical style. No longer content with folk music supplying the background to his messages, Webb instead harnessed a Thom Yorke-esque electronic sound with incredible results. With so much of today’s music being released with no real meaning or depth, Derek Webb was able to pave new trails for artistic musicians, be the music sacred or secular. Is this album and it’s messages for everybody? No. Is Stockholm Syndrome important? Without hesitation, yes.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

ascend the hill
Ascend The Hill
Ascend The Hill
Why we picked it:
Ascend The Hill should be the new benchmark for worship music. Deeply theological, heart-breakingly honest, and unrelenting; Ascend The Hill is able to capture their passion for the Lord on their self-titled debut. This is the kind of music that God can use to knock down walls, to change lives, and renew hearts. Ascend The Hill‘s music isn’t a gimmick, a routine, or a performance. It is an expression of a heart truly and completely in love with God.
Buy: iTunes

hands creator

Why we picked it: Hands hit the music scene this year like a freight train. Their ability to weave together the brutal nature of progressive metal and earnest Christian theology could have so easily turned into a cheap parody. Thankfully for us, it didn’t, because Hands approached their music like a lion tearing apart its meal. Every song has layer upon layer of creativity and aggression, while at all times acting as a 10 song prayer. If the music was acoustic, this would be some really deep Christ centered folk/worship; if the lyrics weren’t about Christ, then these guys would be one of the most brutal progressive bands on the planet. Creator is neither, and it is both. Creator is a totally unique album from beginning to end, one we will be talking about for a long time.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

So Long Forgotten the things we can see and the things we cannot
The Things We Can See & The Things We Cannot
So Long Forgotten
Why we picked it:
So Long Forgotten is yet another band testing the limits of the term progressive rock. Strange tempo changes, tons of stark guitar sounds, horns, and the cathartic lyrical style make this one you need to listen a few times before you truly grasp what is going on. What is going on is that Things We Can See And The Things We Cannot is a powerhouse of an album that is sure to satisfy an underground rock fan. The honesty in the lyrics make this a stand out on its own, but every song evolves in a singular way so that the listener will be left with something truly profound and beautiful with every track.

maylene and the sons of disaster III
Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster

Why we picked it: The kings of southern metal-core proudly display why they were the first and they may be the last. All the grit and rawness from previous albums are here, but III just kicks it up 10 notches. No holds a bar rock guitar solos, banjos, monster ballads amidst the scream vocals, and of course plenty of metal pound at you track after track. This is the CD you will listen to when all your windows are down, and you are driving just a little too fast down the highway. Can’t wait for IV.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

check back tomorrow to see the rest of our list!!

Christian Music News December 8th,2009


Just about every artist we cover on here seems to be coming out with some sort of Christmas song or album. There are too many to list, go out and check you favorite artist to see what they have to offer….

Owl City‘s latest release, Ocean Eyes, has hit Gold status with over 500,000 units sold. Good job man.. post an interview with Flyleaf this week concerning the recording and writing process of their latest record. Read Flyleaf interview. In other Fyleaf media news, Shockhound recently posted a four song live set from the band on their website including the songs “Again” and “Beautiful Bride” along with vocalist Lacey getting JACKED in the face by a swinging bass guitar….Watch Flyleaf performance.

Lights rocked a Daytrotter session recently. You can read the article, listen and download all the tracks. Check out Lights’ Daytrotter Session.

Believer, Impending Doom, House Of Heroes, Woe Of Tyrants,The Rose Hill, and Waking Lions are all in the studio working on new music for your listening pleasure.

Manchester Orchestra‘s van got robbed last week….what is up with people these days

Music Videos

Below is the new video from LA Symphony member CookBook with his song “Solid Gold”

A little Christmas cheer with The Almost and their version of “Little Drummer Boy”

Next up is the latest single from The Rocket Summer called “You Gotta Believe”

Lastly we have “Faith Is Fact” by LMNO

2010: My Fast From Secular Music

A lot has changed for me this year. In 2009, my wife and I moved to a new apartment, I started The One21 Music, my grandmother passed on, I met some great new friends, reconnected with some old ones, started a band, went to SXSW for the first time (really), grew my beard out (epic), did a ton of interviews, saw some amazing music, tried to buy a house and failed, and celebrated my 3rd year of marriage. There was a lot more, but those are some of big points for me. 2009 has been eventful to say the least.

The other night, my wife and I were sitting in our office on our separate computers, she’s a Mac, Im a PC (since I play more games with the help of sites like, and as usual, we were listening to music. Our usual routine is to listen to all the new music we have consumed and rate the songs as they play, so at least we know we have listened to every song in our library at least once. As we were listening to the latest batch of unlistened songs, she commented that I was listening to a lot more Christian music. Now, I have never really kept count, but she went on to say that I have also been listening to a lot more worship, contemporary, and deeply spiritual music since I have been writing for One21. I almost didn’t agree with her until I started putting together my “Best of 09″ list and compared it to last years. In 2008, my top 20 only contained three albums made by Christian artists; but in 2009, 13 of the albums are made by artists we cover on this website. It would seem that (like most times), my wife was right.

So what has changed? Was 2009 just an amazing year for Christ-centered music? Was it a really bad year for secular music? Was I only buying more music by believers because I was doing this website? To tell you the truth, I don’t know many of those answers, but I do know that I prefer most of the music on my list from 2009 over my list from 2008 (sorry Protest The Hero, Manchester Orchestra is awesome).

So it would seem that one of the things in my life that has changed the most is that I am not as interested in secular music as I used to be, and in fact despite a few shining stars this year (Brother Ali, St. Vincent), I’m rather bored with it. Most secular music for me lacks depth now. You see, the whole reason we started this site is because Chuck and I earnestly believe that some of the best music in the world is being made by Christians. Brothers and sisters who share our faith, and create art from a passionate heart changed by an all loving God. I really feel that my migration towards a steady diet of “Christian music” has been a positive one, and it stems out of my yearning to hear something real and innovative coming through my speakers.

So, I have decided to put our theory to practice: and for one year, in 2010; I, Ian Harvey am not going to purchase, download, or receive any secular music of any sort.

Now, I feel like I need to explain this a little so you understand a bit. First of all, in this 5th paragraph, I will tell you what I am NOT saying. This, self-imposed, fast from secular music does not mean that I am not going to LISTEN to any secular music. That is impossible, music is everywhere, and it should be. That would also mean that there would be a large portion of my music collection (14148 songs and counting; all legal baby!) that I would have to avoid like the plague. This would also mean that I wouldn’t be able to listen to music at work (my other job), and that isn’t going to happen either. If you think about it though, most people listen to the newest stuff they have in the library the most, so in all reality I wont be listening to a LOT of secular music, because all the NEW music I will be obtaining will be from Christian artists.

Let’s think about this from a logical point of view for a minute. We are in a recession, and times are hard. Read any paper, and you will see that people simply are not buying much anymore, because there isn’t much to buy things WITH. Music is one of my addictions, it is rare if a week goes by and I don’t obtain at least ONE new album, and most times it is more than that. While I don’t always BUY all the music I have in my computer (you know those free downloads we put up, I download them too; and I have become once a week visitor to, so that has been helping), but my resources are limited as well. So why wouldn’t I want to devote all those resources towards a group of artists that I believe are creating THE BEST product? If I really believe the stuff I have been writing about on this site, why wouldn’t I throw my full support at artists like Brooke Waggoner, Listener Project, So Long Forgotten, and The Chariot?

So this is what I am going to do. In 2010, all the NEW music that makes it into my library will be from artists who are Christ followers. I honestly feel that God is going to do something in me because of this, but I don’t know what quite yet. I feel like I have come a long way this year, so I’m going to keep running with it.

Here is the other thing, the WHOLE REASON I AM WRITING THIS BLOG: I want you to join me. I feel personally called to cleanse my palette (if you will) this year, and I also feel like there is somebody out there who feels the same. It’s not that the secular music we listen to is HORRIBLE (I’m gonna miss the new NIN record….just kidding), its just that we feel that God wants us to be encouraged by this, and to encourage the artists who share our faith to continue to keep doing what they are doing. It means that maybe you are going to have to wait on some music you want. It means that you are going to have to dig deeper into this music scene. You may even have to listen to some STYLES of music you have never really given a chance before. Maybe you will have to alter what you consider to be “Christian music”

But hey, at least you have a good website that can help you with some of that….

For some clarification on what I consider to be “Christian music”, please read the article The Many Facets of The Christian Music .

Please pray for me as I go through this next year, and maybe consider trying it out. I mean, I know we are not promised tomorrow, but it IS only a year commitment. Who knows though, maybe in 2011, you will be as let down by secular music as I am.

Christian Music News December 1rst,2009


Josh Olds (also known as Fatty) of the Family Force 5 fame is in an ICU with some serious liver problems after this weekend. Please pray that everything turns out well….

Brandtson have officially now broken up, despite the fact that they have not performed together in over a year.

You can watch a professionally recorded 5 song live set from Thrice over on Shockhound right now. So go do it…Watch Thrice perform live.

La Dispute got robbed in Michigan last week.

Mark Nicks (aka Cool Hand Luke) announced this week after saying earlier this year he would be done with music that fans could expect not only a lot more shows from him, but the possibility of TWO new albums in 2010. Yer wearin me out Mark….

Bluesy rock solo artist Maron said that she is knee deep into a second album which will see the light of day in 2010.

The band Advantage have broken up. Lead vocalist Shane is now in pop rock duo The Threats. Also in breaking up news, He Only Promised Everything, and Heroes Will Be Heroes have also called it a day.

You can watch a 3 song performance from Lights on Yahoo Music right now. So do it….Watch Lights perform.

Metal band Embracing Goodbye have signed on with Driven Music Group.

A stripped down performance from Manchester Orchestra can be seen over at right now. So once again, you should go watch it! Watch Manchester Orchestra perform.


Speaking of Thrice, here is the video for their song “In Exile”

yep, the video for “Must Be Santa” by Bob Dylan

Album Info (more in the Release Dates page)

Below is the album artwork and tracklisting for Greeley Estates January 26th, 2010 release, No Rain, No Rainbow.
greeley estates no rain no rainbow
1. Seven Hours
2. I Shot The Maid
4. Friends Are Friends For Never
5. They Won’t Stay Dead
6. Jealousy Breeds Killing Sprees
7.Lying Through Your Teeth Doesn’t Count As Flossing
8. Swim For Your Lives
9. You’ll Never Leave Vegas Alive
10. Wolves Make Great Actors
11. The Offer

This is the album artwork and tracklisting for Saving Grace‘s upcoming January 5th,2010 releases entitled Unbreakable
6PnlDigi_Web Template:Layout 1
1. End of Days (Intro)
2. Unbreakable
3. Bury Me in Jimenez
4. The Disgusting Maw
5. Pukelips
6. Where It Rains
7. The Eye of the Storm Part II (Interlude)
8. Oaxaca
9. All, But the Archer
10. The Listener
11. Bound by Blood
12. The Determined Drunk