I get a lot of weird feedback from friends when they discover I like Christian bands. Or perhaps I should say I get weird feedback when friends discover some of my favorite bands are Christians. It’s as if they (both Christians and non-believers alike) don’t think Christians are capable of making good music. They know I am passionate about music, so it’s like they believe I must be selling myself short by listening to subpar bands.
Perhaps it boils down to exposure. When all you know of christian rock is Stryper and Amy Grant, I can sympathize. I hate that stuff, too. But since I had the good fortune of discovering bands like Starflyer 59, Soul-Junk and Danielson in high school, my experience with Christian rock differs greatly from most. I would confidently put many of these bands’ albums up there with the best that indie rock had to offer in the 1990s.
This is not a treatise on the issue, nor do I set out to write about the theology of Christians and creativity. I just want folks to understand there is amazing music being made by (some) Christians, and it’s not just limited to Sufjan Stevens or Midlake. (And perhaps more importantly, there has been a lot of good Christian music made in the past thirty years. While most in the christian industry were content creating safe music for the evangelical churchgoers, bands like Daniel Amos and Lifesavers Underground actually challenged our ideas about Christian art in the 1980s.)
All that said, I start this week’s show* with Sonic Youth before getting to a super-obscure Christian band, Soul-Junk. It just kinda made sense for me that way. Enjoy.
- “Unmade Bed” – Sonic Youth (Sonic Nurse /Geffen / 2004)
- “Screaming Lobster” – Soul-Junk (1960 / Sounds Familyre / 2009)
- “Ill-M-I” – Soul-Junk (1956 / SaraBellum / 2000)
- “Cichli” – Autechre (Chiastic Slide / Warp / 1997)
*Remember that I’m taking next week off, preparing the next show, as I’m soliciting ideas for a theme. (Something I do every tenth episode.)