Music That Doesn’t Suck!

When I heard Audrey Assad was covering Pink Floyd’s masterpiece Wish You Were Here, I thought no! One does not simply cover a legend! But I was being stupid. She rocks it, giving it a brand new depth of loneliness. Shoulda figured. The woman runs through vocal phrases like she’s breathing. Buy it immediately.

And hey, free music! Jars of Clay’s 2012 Spring Tour Sampler! And The Civil Wars, a live CD with their excellent track “Poison and Wine” which you should all hear! (I’m assuming, of course, that you’ve already snagged a copy of Josh Garrel’s “The Sea In Between,” which is still free, and contains the anthem for the coming persecutions — “Though they may surround me like lions/and crush me on all sides/I may fall but I will rise/not by my mind or my power or by the strength of swords/only through your love my Lord.”)

What else? Oh yes, get yourself the free album by Jenny & Tyler, Faint Not, which is Catholic beyond all belief (I’ve no idea if the married couple are Catholic themselves, of course.) There’s a beautiful rendition of Psalm 46 in it for you. And speaking of Catholic:

This one you absolutely must check out — Miguel and the Ocean Swell. They’ve put out an album called “With the Star of the Sea” and it’s chock full of Marian references. It’s got a great 90′s sound to it — The Shins meet The Manic Street Preachers and Oasis?

Also, Built to Spill’s Keep It Like A Secret anyone? Lemme know. I wanna hear what your favorite album of all time is, unless it’s by Casting Crowns.

Happy Palm Sunday! I’m off to a Byzantine Catholic Liturgy!

What We're Doing In Steubenville
Bettering Your Boring Christian Playlist: Jenny & Tyler
The Art of Dying
The Mode in Which We Go To Mass
  • David Leiberg

    Wow, ‘Keep It Like a Secret,’ is fantastic. One of my art studio-mates left a copy in our space and I spent many a undergraduate hours painting and listening to that. Love needs to be given to ‘Mike Mangione & The Union.’ They are incredible and have a nice animation video on YouTube for their song ‘Woman in Gown.’ Check it out:

  • Cheyloe

    My favorite album is Dust Bowl by Joe Bonamassa, in fact, his last three have been superb but this one was my favorite. Joe is a blues-rock giant who can play guitar like noooo other. He opened for BB King when he was 12. You guys should give him a listen, he’s still kinda the blues world’s best kept secret but he’s been getting a nice amount of attention here lately and I’m so happy. The man deserves it!

    • RM

      Just got tickets to see him in D.C. in November! He is truely a class act, can’t wait to see him! It’ll be at the Warner Theatre so it’ll be nice to get all dressed up in frenc h cuffs and a suit. I’m five rows back too!

  • Jason Kibler

    Free christian (protestant) music.

  • Elizabeth S

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Greg Keuter

    Favorite album is The Love In Between by Matt Maher. Probably because it is the latest album by Matt because I love his other albums as well.

  • Lauren G.

    The album “So Many Nights” by the Cat Empire is spectacular (if your music taste is slightly weird). The songs “Fishies”, “Til the Ocean Takes Us All”, and “Lonely Moon” are my favorites off the album.

    Also check out the band Five Iron Frenzy (I got no specific albums for ya, sorry), they have some pretty cool Christian messages (including a song about Mary, “One Girl Army” even though they’re not Catholic), but also some really hilarious silly songs peppered into their albums, several of them about pants.

    The album “Memento Mori” by Flyleaf. I love Flyleaf and will leave it at that.

    Finally the album “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank” by Modest Mouse. Every. Single. Song. Is. Great.

    And thanks for all the music suggestions, I’ve been looking for new stuff:)

    • Marcjohnpaul

      We Were Dead is one of my favorite albums of all time. I saw MM in concert an JAMMED with my friend to Spitting Venom…greatest band ever.

      • Lauren G.

        Dude Spitting Venom is the BEST.

        Let it

        • Marcjohnpaul

          The father of one of the MM guys goes to my home parish…

          • Lauren G.

            Lauren jealous. You have connections with Audrey and now MM…

            I had a study hall teacher that has a band, does that count?

      • Lauren G.
  • Kevin Stetter

    fyi, Josh Garrel is Catholic. I get the emails from noisetrade, but it’s not that often that i dL anything from them, unless i know it’s good already. heh.

    • Kateri

      I knew it! The more I listened to Garrels the more I became convinced of it. All through his music I can see themes of the Eucharist, communion of saints, confession/reconciliation, even the papacy “force fed instead of the most beautiful architecture of our long lost, forgotten origins: unseen fiber in the blood of my King and that old rock where we confessed our sins”.

    • Chip Hopr

      Are you sure? The only things I’ve read about his spirituality talked about house churches, nondenom-leanings, etc.

  • Practicing Mammal

    I know I have said this a couple of times, but I wouldn’t bother if I didn’t think your writing had so much value. But I truly think that you will look back on your writing and wish you had NOT been common and vulgar. Engaging the culture can and needs to be done with decorum. As always, you and your apostolate are in my prayers. PM

    • golden

      Marc writes exactly how he is – an 18 year old young man with an amazing gift. If he starts second guessing himself it will ruin the flow that runs through him. It is true that he might look back and wish he hadn’t said d*&%bag so often. We all look back on our youthful selves and wish we would have done things differently. Enjoy what you can and smile at his youthful indulgences.

    • Christine Falk Dalessio

      Using a common language is the most effective way to engage anyone. If you speak French to a German, he may pick up a word or phrase but never really connect. I for one find it amazingly refreshing, as do the young adults with whom I work, to find such an intelligent and courageous voice, willing to dialog while maintaining a unique sense of humor and staying faithful to himself. Keep it up, Marc. It’s no longer time for sugarcoating, or pious jargony mumbo-jumbo.
      (btw, I’m twice your age and not shocked at all, but then again, language doesn’t scare me…)

      • Practicing Mammal

        NEVER said the language scared me in any way. Just think Marc’s writing matters enough that he will look back on many things and think why did I say suck and douchebag so regularly? Common and rude are not the same thing at all. It is only the rude language I think he will, at some point, regret. Isn’t about piety or sugar coating. Totally appreciate all you have to say, Marc, really that is the point of why I am commenting at all.

        Because you are excellent at engaging the culture, because you have so much potential for such a young guy, because you aren’t afraid to address difficult issues, because the nature of what you are about has such a classic quality that it vulgar language doesn’t suit it, in my opinion.

        I hope you, at least, Marc, got what I was at here. Apparently a lot was read into my comment…as though I was suggesting that you tone down your opinion or something. Not at all. Just write for today AND twenty years from now. Blessings, PM

    • Rose

      This comment really confuses me. Are you complaining about colloquialisms such as “shoulda” or vulgarity? Unlike some of Marc’s other posts, I don’t see any vulgarity in this. Unless you count “suck” and “idiot,” I suppose.

      • Practicing Mammal

        Was not actually complaining at all! Made a suggestion about the classic nature of Marc’s writing…not about colloquialisms either. Just the sucks, idiots, douchebags and such like, that arise regularly.

  • Justin Schneider

    Absolutes by Barcelona! My favorite band.

  • A W

    You went to a Byzantine Palm Sunday Mass TOO?!

    Was it amazing? Was your diaphragm sore halfway through from chanting sacred praises while the bearded seminarians were only getting started?

    Best new Catholic artist on the market – imho – by far, Emma Fradd. Gotta represent for Canada. Check out her newly released first album Search Party.

    Yep, sister of Catholic Answers/The Porn Effect fame Matt Fradd. Can’t beat her testimony either… from atheist punk rock band to…. this – Kinda reminds me of a Catholic Tegan and Sara with Australian accents..

  • Montague

    SWITCHFOOT forever. Particularly Oh Gravity and Hello Hurricane.

  • Lita Ledesma

    Almost anything by the Mountain Goats. John Darnielle is a brilliant lyricist. Much of his writing touches on, if not focuses entirely on, God and Biblical themes. He’s been an indie favorite for decades, deservedly so. He has a whole album of songs named after Bible verses. His best work explores the sacred within the secular.

  • Bg4190

    I know you’ve already written about this but it can’t hurt to bring up David Crowder*Band’s “Give us Rest” ….a REQUIEM MASS. 11/10 stars. Also, The Welcome Wagon is a pretty awesome christian/folk/gospel duo-they’re married which I think is pretty cute. Oh, and Enter the Worship Circle.

  • Christine Falk Dalessio

    More great Catholic music (but not “Jesus music”)… Mike Mangione and the Union, Army of Me, and Colleen McCarron (Nixon).

  • Anna

    Relient K’s newer stuff… Five Score and Seven Years Ago and Forget and Not Slow down :D

  • Joseph SJ

    Gungor’s “Ghosts Upon the Earth” is amazingly Miltonic, and full of beauty.

    As well as The Brilliance. Don’t think they’re Catholic, but they seem to love Mary.

  • Kateri

    Nice selection there. Ditto on Josh Garrels and The Civil Wars. In the spirit that all things beautiful are also Catholic, I would add Ludovico Einaudi, even though his music isn’t placed in any Christian genre.

  • Maggie Dougher

    I just discovered an awesome SoCal band, The Humdrum Rebellion. Think Switchfoot meets Mae. The frontman, Garrett Olson, is Eastern Orthodox and it shows in his awesome lyrics.

  • Morgan

    Jenny & Tyler are not Catholic, but I agree…super awesome. My favorite track off that album is “As Long As Our Hearts Are Beating”. Saw them at a free benefit for YoungLife last year and they’re just as sweet as you would expect them to be :)

  • Vladhed

    Like AW, I have to plug Emma Fradd – and no that’s not a Canadian accent – she’s originally from Port Pirie AUS. Been listening to her CD daily, mixed with some stuff she recorded when she was part of Massive Worship.

  • David Casper

    I happen to know Jenny and Tyler, so I asked them if they’re Catholic. They said they’re not, but Tyler knows a good number of Catholics and has a great respect for the Church. A couple of their songs have been influenced by St. Augustine in particular, I believe.

    Also, I saw that in the comments someone suggested checking out Army of Me. Definitely grab their album Citizen, but also be aware that Army of Me has disbanded, with their lead singer/songwriter Vince Scheuerman going on to form a new band called River James, which is very much worth checking out:

    Also, I hate to be a self-promoting buffoon, but if you wouldn’t mind checking out my music at, I’d love to know what you think of it. God bless you, Marc!

  • Luke

    Joe Zambon is another great Catholic artist! He’s coming out with a new album soon too!

    • RM

      I know Joe. Met you guys when you came to Maryland over the summer! He’s awesome!

  • Adam

    Marc, I love your taste in music. You should check out Delta Spirit if you haven’t already. They have to be Catholic. Although they’ve gotten a little crazy…. And I’m not sure what is up with their latest album. So definitely check out their old stuff. And lemme tell you that ALL their music sucks once you hear them live. They put on a good show.

  • Rachel

    While searching for Advent music on iTunes, I came across Sojourn. While not Catholic, they make some amazing music. I love what they do with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” The album “Before The Throne” is also really good.

  • Christie

    Wait- what? Free, legal music? This may change my life as I know it. Thank you for sharing these great albums!

  • Anonymous

    Ok… I am really enjoying Audry Assad, and of course I LOVE David Crowder AND Matt Maher… but what did I miss in regards to Casting Crowns and why Marc doesn’t like their music?

  • Countcj

    Larry Norman …”Only Visiting”