Music at Mars Hill: In Defense of Pop Music

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. This weekend I got the privilege of MCing, DJing, and running sound at my good friends' wedding. I have a long history of participating in weddings, starting when I played the piano for my first wedding at the age of 11. (I still can't believe they did that to me.) But ever since then, I've enjoyed being able to play piano at … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Picking Sides in the Putin vs. Pussy Riot Case

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. The idea of using music as a legitimate tool of protest or political resistance seems to have been abandoned in contemporary Western culture. When we think of music rebellion, we think of Dylan, Baez, and maybe The Clash—these were musicians that governments just did not like having around. However, in our emotionally detached 21st century … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Future of Forestry's Newest Shoots for the Stars

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. Future of Forestry has always been promising new direction for Christian music. Not that it was a new worship methodology or a bold new genre. It wasn't even that Future of Forestry was a pioneering new sound or lyrical style in Christian music. It was more of a promise that the band—more specifically, multi-instrumentalist Eric Owyoung—would … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Is Worship Just about Style Preferences?

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. This past week, I read an interesting article in one of Christianity Today's leadership journals called "Bieber Fever and the Worship Wars." The article talks about how the "worship wars" that churches have been engaged in have ultimately been fighting the wrong battles. Quoting research done about what "familiar, favorite music" does to our … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Why Frank Ocean's Rise to Fame Matters

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. No doubt you may have seen the name Frank Ocean in the past week or two going through your Twitter and Facebook feeds. But before we dive into why this 24-year-old singer-songwriter's quick rise to fame matters, let me set up the context. Fans have been anticipating Frank Ocean's solo career debut for quite some time. First there was his guest … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Songs from the Whirlwind

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. This week's post is by C. Ryan Knight, who writes CaPC's Not Fit for Dinner column. Ireland may very well have a different go-to acoustic-based musician for the international spotlight: Glen Hansard. It’s been almost six years since Ireland’s stormy but towering Damien Rice released a new album. Other than infrequent concerts and his … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: The Welcome Wagon's Precious Remedies of Healing and Reconciliation

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. The Welcome Wagon is a husband-wife duo whose rise to indie fame seems peculiar at first glance. Aside from their association with indie superstar Sufjan Stevens, there is very little about The Welcome Wagon that seems cool or hip. Frontman Vito Autio is the senior pastor of a Presbyterian church in Brooklyn and writes pretty off-handedly about … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: The Mars Hill Record Label and the Great Revolving Door

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. One thing that God has been teaching me recently is to get along with other well-intentioned people whose opinions differ from mine. Take Mark Driscoll, for example. I mean, honestly, the guy has said enough offensive things that I can't imagine ever having a desire to attend a Mars Hill–related church or event. But having never attended Mars … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Is Justin Bieber 'Safe' for Children?

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. An article went up yesterday that was being passed around various entertainment blogs and publications. It created a stir in both Christian and non-Christian circles for parents who are concerned about their children. The article spotlights a primary school's decision to replace the patriotic country song "God Bless the USA" with the Justin Bieber … [Read more...]


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