David Pierce, director of Steiger International and No Longer Music is my guest today. You can interact with him in the comments section if you want to ask him anything. Great guy. Amazing ministry. From a barge in Amsterdam to the ends of the earth, taking its message of hope to "some of the darkest places imaginable, including closed Islamic countries, terrorist clubs, squatter villages, anarchy festivals, brothels, junkie joints, punk & goth music festivals, Satanist clubs and New Age gatherings."
David, it was great to have you at our roundtable in Germany. I have a video of you encouraging us all to be courageous and not wimpy. You are pretty hard core. Do you get accused of being rude?
Yes, unfortunately sometimes I have been accused of being rude. I think it’s because I am going deaf from being in so many clubs and so now I don't realize that I am shouting all the time. I also have the habit of spitting when I speak, which has also been a problem.
You end up in some dark places with your band. Tell us the hairiest experience you have had recently.
I could give many examples, but the most dramatic one that I can think of is when we played for the second time at a hard-core satanic club called the House of Satan in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In spite of the fact that you could taste the darkness when we went there the first time, we knew that Jesus wanted us to go back. The club was packed with a mixture of Gothic kids, Satanists and speed freaks. We played in a cellar that looked like a cave. The cement walls were all painted black and there was only one slow pulsating strobe light, which made you feel like you were on a bad acid trip.
Paul says in I Corinthians 2:1-5 that he preached Christ and Him crucified so that people will not be convinced by human wisdom but by God's power. I knew that it would be stupid to go in the House of Satan in my own power; I desperately need to see the power of God. That’s why we lift up the cross.
A lot of postmodern ministries and groups working with today's youth get criticized for not being confrontational enough. You seem to be out on the other spectrum with your hard hitting, full frontal evangelistic ministry. Is that because of the type of people God has called you to?
I don’t think so. I think everyone today is sick of hearing lies all day long and are desperate to hear the truth. Sadly, they are not hearing the truth because often those of us who know the truth remain silent. This seems especially true in the Christian music and art scene.
It seems that when Christians do enter the art scene, they only perform for other Christians. Those who do dare to go before a secular audience often hide their message by speaking in such an obscure code that only Christians recognize it. Or maybe they dare to speak, but they do it in a way that sounds like a bunch of slogans and clichés.
"All the younger artists signed to Christian labels within the last 10 years or less will struggle to understand where they fit—if they fit at all anymore."
"Another whole group of “ccm” era survivors will continue to move country music forward with great success"
"The Tooth & Nail tribe of artists will continue on. It’s about touring and live music. T&N had that right from the beginning—here’s a van and an atlas—see ya."
Bloggable memes from Charlie Peacock as he lays out the future of CCM. HT: Addison Road.
Flight of the Conchordsdebut album hits Number 3 in USA. Well done! As you know I grew a beard so that my friend Derek (who looks like Jemaine) and I could do a take off for YouTube. We actually didn't have time for that. Well we did but we were too lazy. Anyway, I shaved off my Bret Beard yesterday and have gone back to being myself. Pretty pathetic beard though.
If you have never experienced Kiwi culture at its finest, check it out. Their YouTube videos get millions of hits. HT: Steve Taylor
I never met Larry but my wife who grew up in California heard him many times. In fact, his song "I wish we'd all been ready", combined with that image of a lawn mower running without its operator in the movie "Thief in the Night", scared the hell out of her and led to her conversion to Christ in the late 70's. I don't think she would embrace that form of eschatology anymore but hey - we both owe Larry a big thank you when we get to the next life. Larry's website is LarryNorman.com
iTunes release of the single "Love's Not for Sale" by blues/jazz singer Helen J Hicks. Profits go towards fighting human trafficking. Last week I saw Helen perform a fantastic set at a London club where she released her excellent new album [buy it on Amazon] on herLoudMouthMusic label. I took some video of 'Love's Not for Sale'. Here it is.
Afterwards, Helen and James joined our group for dinner. Delightful couple. I told Helen she sounded a little like Nora Jones - hope that wasn't an insult.
Helen J Hicks, like every musician on the planet, is also on Myspace
Here is one of video producer Jason Rey's videos called Swang, which has achieved almost legendary status in the Houston hip-hop scene and is now a standard for other short hip-hop videos. One of the hip-hop artists, Hawk, died tragically from gunshot wounds shortly after this video was taken. Check it out and watch the cars SWANGING down the street. [Did i say that right, Jason?]
Jason Rey [de Leon] has been one of our Christmas guests. His favorite food at our feast, in case you were wondering, was the goose and chestnut/apple stuffing. Despite having his ass kicked by my 7 year old daughter Hannah in last night's karaoke competition, Jason managed to find his groove in one of the hip-hop songs and used his advantage to beat Abigail, who is a few years older than Hannah.
This is Hannah licking a lollipop after humiliating Jason (right) in the Jones's Christmas Karaoke competition, while Jessica plays with our kitten Charlie Chaplin.
I asked Jason about his video "Swang" and what that word means. I have nailed him down to a quasi definition:
Swang is a word given to the sync'd swerving down the street of a groups of "slabs" ie, late 70's/early 80's American big bodied cars. Think 1950's low-rider cruising making it into todays world.
- Rapper Z-Ro from Rap-A-Lot Records uses "swang" in at least one of his songs on Z-Ro vs the World.
- Swang on Wikipedia is not very helpful here, referring to a folk dance from Malwa but the ending sentence alludes to this new word:
"More recently elongated to "Swanging" in the verbal form for a more "hip" and "youthfull" use. For example "I was swanging allnight baby!""
- Swang on Urban Dictionaryoffers some helpful sentences that will help you talk like a native:
"look hear comes some hot whips they'r swang'n"
Green Day now have an official chat room as part of the new Idiot Club so you dont need to come here anymore to leave messages for Billie Joe. Its US$20 a year so join up when you save up enough. You get to see a preview of their new video which would be cool . . . IF I HAD 20 BIG ONES!!!!
And is that really Billie Joe commenting on my blog below? How do i know if henrypizza at aol dot com is his email address? But BJ is welcome to leave messages here if he wants . . . . and maybe send me an early copy of the new album so I can cover it [hint hint] . . . i'm sure having a deaf old fart with poor music taste like me say it rocks will make it a blockbuster. fur sure!
btw - I REALLY like the “SAINTS” video of Greenday with U2 last month at the Louisiana Superdome. - The Saints are Coming! have u seen it? totally rox!!!! U2 are a fav band of mine and i play their live stuff every Saturday round the house.
Keep going for a good youtube video of Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
Pleasantly surprised by the folk-rap-jazzy band Nizlopi. I met them at the pie stall and had a good chat with Luke, who promised to do song for me if I came along. Not that he needed more people - there was a massive swarm of bodies. But my curiosity was aroused, and my ego was wondering if i would get a Tallskinnykiwi song - which i did. And he did. Thanks Luke and John! I will now be your unswerving fan!
They have a similar sound to Ben and Robin of 100 Portraits. The best song was their Number One hit "The JCB song" which taps into those deep emotional memories every boy has with their dad. Touching.
I also liked when poet Alastair McIntyre [i mean McIntosh] joined the band and gave some hard hitting poetic words for young men to grow up and look to their Beloved.