Music at Mars Hill: The Emotional Contradictions Behind Strange Mercy

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.In a recent interview Ryan Reed from Paste Magazine did with Annie Clark of St. Vincent, Annie had this to say about the meaning behind her new album's title: The first song that I wrote for the record was the song ‘Strange Mercy,’ and once I had that line, in the context of that song, a ‘strange mercy’ is really wanting to protect someone, not givi … [Read more...]

Grace Notes: Jay Tholen, Mount Eerie

Grace Notes is a weekly exploration by Jason Morehead of signs of common grace in the music world. We hope to alert you to wonderful music, some of which will be spiritual in nature but all of which will be unique and worthy of your attention. Each week we will share brief reviews of albums worthy of your attention and maybe a video or two.Jay TholenI reviewed Jay Tholen's Mud Pies or Bread and Wine? several weeks ago, but Tholen's been a busy little bee in 2011. He's already released a new E … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Canon Blue's Rumspringa

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Rumspringa, which literally means "jumping around" or "running around", is a term used commonly in Amish and some Anabaptist communities to refer to the coming-of-age adolescence time in a young person's life. Canon Blue, the the orchestral pop solo project of Daniel James, recently released his sophomore album with that same title and seeks to be … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Auto-tuned Elevation Church

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world. This week I was reminded of the danger of confusing the rhetoric and style of the world with that of the Kingdom when I saw a YouTube video of the Elevation Church worship team singing “All Creatures of our God and King” through a vocoder and auto-tune.This video was released on the Elevation Worship site with the following stat … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Video Games, and Lana Del Rey's Vintage Music Stylings

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO1OV5B_JDw&feature=channel_video_titleFrom Pitchfork to MTV, the blogosphere has been erupting with praise for an artist named Lana Del Rey and her latest single, "Video Games". Lana Del Rey is the moniker, or alter ego, for the young, singer-songwriter Lizzy Grant and "Video Games" is the first and only single … [Read more...]

Grace Notes: Wild Beasts, Balam Acab

Grace Notes is a weekly exploration by Jason Morehead of signs of common grace in the music world. We hope to alert you to wonderful music, some of which will be spiritual in nature but all of which will be unique and worthy of your attention. Each week we will share brief reviews of albums worthy of your attention and maybe a video or two.Wild BeastsBased on song titles like "Deeper" and "Plaything", as well as lyrics such as "I wait until you're woozy/I won't know until you’re limp/I take y … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: The Joys of Community Music Listening

I've been interning at PasteMagazine.com for a couple weeks now down in Decatur, GA and one thing I've been turned on to is the wonders of community listening via turntable.fm. For so long, community listening was such a vital part of the music-listening experience. Whether it was sitting around a group of performers, the radio, or a record player, technology and the idea of experiencing music in the context of community have always had an interesting mutual relationship.For so long, … [Read more...]

Grace Notes: Jay Tholen, Either/Orwell

Grace Notes is a weekly exploration by Jason Morehead of signs of common grace in the music world. We hope to alert you to wonderful music, some of which will be spiritual in nature but all of which will be unique and worthy of your attention. Each week we will share brief reviews of albums worthy of your attention and maybe a video or two.Jay TholenJay Tholen, whose "chiptune gospel" album Control Me left me floored earlier this year, is back with a new full-length titled Mud Pies or Bread a … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Mat Kearney and the Struggle for Identity

Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Mat Kearney was born and raised in Eugene Oregon, which happens to be where I went to for college. In fact, when I began to become familiar with various Christian communities in Eugene, I would hear more and more about Mat Kearney and how his mother was a pastor at a church nearby and he even played solo shows in the basement of the college house I … [Read more...]

The Return of Rebecca Black and the Christian Response

Some called it a sign of the end of the world.Some called it the problem with America.Some just called it  "the worst song ever."One thing was for sure though, everyone had an opinion on 14-year-old Rebecca Black's first step into the world of music and viral videos earlier this year. At first, "Friday" seemed to be just another internet video sensation that would be here one day and (hopefully) gone the next. However, "Friday" became an easy target for mockery, raking in millions of views … [Read more...]


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