Christian Music on the Rocks

I've had an eventful few weeks and I feel like I've got a lot of processing to do and a few stories to tell, so I'm hoping that I can find a lot of time over the next few days to blog. I have a meeting all day tomorrow and Shayne flies in on Sunday, so that might be wishful thinking. We'll be touring the Seattle sights and hopefully going to the US Air Guitar nationals next door to my house, and going to see TOLSATD next door to my house.

In any case though, to begin filling you in on what I've been up to, as you may know our friend from New Zealand, Christie, was visiting for the last few weeks. Two Sundays ago another friend from New Zealand also happened to be in town, Brooke Fraser, who is the artist in the video above, so we all went to the show from which the clip was taken at a little club down from our house. Brooke isn't actually a friend, beyond Angel having said hi to her at the show. She is however a well-known artist in New Zealand, and apparently in the Christian world.

Being there, I realized that it was the first time I'd been to a "Christian concert" in years--since college, I would guess. The last time I went to a "Christian concert" in a secular club was when I saw P.O.D. at Bogart's in Cincinnati, I think in 2000. At the time I felt it was cool that Christians were in a bar, b/c it seemed like a good way to share the gospel. This time I felt like it was kind of a sneaky thing to do. Then I thought of it as redemptive, now I thought of it as kind of dishonest or something, and at least a little bit silly. The Christian rides in on the white horse with a siren song to save the hordes of drunken sinners. Problem is that only Seattle Pacific Christian College students showed up, along with other Christians sheepishly sipping our PBRs.

That's my cynical and unfair projection though. I'm not sure that Brooke was trying to convert anyone--she didn't talk like it--probably just trying to sell records and get her music out. She's an evangelical, but she's a NZ evangelical, which isn't quite the same thing as a US evangelical. They're more "She'll be right, mate", and we're more "If you don't save them, who will?" Whatever the case, I went in to the concert not wanting to like her. I'm not the sappy Christian music type anymore, after all. Now I'm obviously too cool for you because of my knowledge of obscure indie-music that you've never heard of, like everyone else in Seattle (and every other major white-liberal enclave). My taste in music shows that I'm gritty and tough, with a great sense of humor and a depth of understanding. Fact is though, Brooke kicked ass in the most wholesome of ways. I found myself enthralled against my will, as maybe you are too watching the video while you're reading this. Or maybe I just still like sappy music.


wes said…
Not that I think you shouldnt be, but you're being a bit harsh on the "christian musician in a bar" situation. The flip-side to that scenario is the "secular band in a church"...and where have I heard of that before? Maybe some place in Seattle sponsors that sort of activity.
So, her music isnt that inspiring, but she looks nice singing it. Though, I have difficulty taking seriously anyone who sings 90% with eyes closed.
Tim Mathis said…
Well, it's not exactly the flip side of the scenario, unless the 'secular' band in the church is there with at least some intention to de-convert the audience to a particular religious view--or perhaps damn their soul to hell. Or demonstrate their un-street-cred to other, less un-edgy secular bands.

It would be much better if we could just be honest and accept that playing shows is most fundamentally about money and fame, whether or not you close your eyes and sing with your hands in the air. Our old friend Mark Twain said (roughly) "Only a fool writes for anything but money", and only a fool flies around the world playing music for the sake of God or art.

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