When Your Pop Idol Fails You

Minami minegishi2

Barack Obama. Tim Keller. Beyonce. The Pope. Tiger Woods. Batman. We love our heroes. It’s a natural human impulse for us to place our heroes on pedestals and our hopes in their hands.But eventually, without exception, our heroes let us down.In Japan, pop idol Minami Minegishi has disappointed her fans. The Atlantic reports: The official YouTube channel of AKB48, the most popular musical group in Japan today, usually hosts music video clips and other promotions. Yet around 10 p.m. on Ja … [Read more...]

Can ‘Unconventional’ Music Really Turn Your Kid Into A Delinquent?

punks

As they grow older, kids express independence in a number of ways, and embracing musical tastes that leave their elders perplexed and perhaps even a little scared is one of the most obvious methods. Musical rebellion is deeply ingrained in our culture, from such classic acts as The Beatles and Elvis Presley, to punk rock in the '70s and glam rock and heavy metal in the '80s, to rap and hip-hop in the '90s. Indeed, it seems like every generation does their best to find some form of music that … [Read more...]

The Cold and Broken ‘Hallelujah’ of the Evangelical Subculture

It’s not a secret that there is a lot of bad, bad art being made by Christians. Art that, like a senator’s campaign ad, disposes of quality and creativity to allow for an airtight theological agenda. And to be fair, this is not just a “Christian” problem. Turn on the radio and Lady Gaga and her really, really, really rich producers will tell you that you were “Born This Way”.But the sad trend that I see within American evangelicalism isn’t simply to make art that isn’t “good”, but the act of … [Read more...]

The Feedback Loop: Videogames and Other Grammy Nominations That Matter

journey

The Feedback Loop is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.Each February millions of Americans gather around their TVs to watch a music award ceremony that very few people take seriously anymore. It's not news either. The truth is that as the ceremony moves closer and closer in line with mainstream pop music, fewer people out there who do take music seriously have much at stake in the ceremony.But t … [Read more...]

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 weddings—especially fo … [Read more...]

The Minority Report: Why I Quit Listening to Christian Music

Every Tuesday in The Minority Report, Drew Dixon takes a look at trends in youth culture and offers some biblical wisdom for navigating them.The title of this article is not entirely fair. I listen to and sing lots of Christian music. Every Sunday morning, I count it a great blessing, to join with other Christians at my church in singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in praise of the Father. I also listen to plenty of music made by Christians in my free time. There was, however, a time in … [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 alway … [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: 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 Hi … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: mewithoutYou and Why We Should Tell More Stories

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 of my favorite things I get to do in this column is highlight Christian artists who have been able to defy the odds by creating music that is both unique and challenging. Unfortunately, from within the bubble of the Christian subculture, artists like these seem to be few and far between. But that's when we get to the band under spotlight this … [Read more...]


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