Music at Mars Hill: The Followers, Josh White, and Musical Division in the Church

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 Church has a long history of being divided by the music we use in our services. There's no question about that.Sometimes it's stylistic, such as around the year 900 when church singers had controversially started embellishing unison chants with harmonizations and tropes. Other times it's been more about social conventions and liturgical … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Does Tupac's Hologram Honor the Past?

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.It seems that the Digital Domain Media Group and Dr. Dre definitely accomplished their goal with their little stunt at Coachella -- the proof being that I still want to talk about it a week later. In case you hadn't heard, a "hologram" of Tupac was created to perform alongside rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg this year at Coachella. It had people s … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: A Day in the Life of Big K.R.I.T.

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.Big K.R.I.T. is a southern rapper whom I have a lot of respect for. He's been putting out free mixtape after free mixtape, and the excellent 4eva N a Day is his newest. The album walks us through a life in the day of K.R.I.T.—his thoughts from his first moments of morning consciousness to when he puts his head down to find rest at night. Each so … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Spotify and the Culmination of a Century of Commercial 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.Spotify has been in business here in the United States since summer 2011. With nine months of legal music streaming under our belts, what do we have to say about this radical new way of listening to music? Are Spotify and other music streaming services just another passing trend in music listening? Is it a democratization of music or is it a … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: A Little Perfume Genius to Prime Your Empathy

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.I don't easily give into artists who throw pity parties for themselves. As my music listening expands with new music, this cynical side of me -- the one that has grown tired of Conor Oberst lookalikes -- has been showing its face more often. To some extent, I think it's totally normal to get this way. After all, if I were to get emotional at every … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: A Response to an Open Letter to Praise Bands

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.I had planned a different topic for my column this week, but when I stumbled upon an Elsewhere post here on CaPC from Professor James Smith of Calvin College, I felt it was necessary to respond in some fashion. The post is titled "An Open Letter To Praise Bands" and was featured on Gospel Coalition. It lays out three criticisms about modern worship … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Is Nicki Minaj Possessed?

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.As is typical, the Grammy Award show this year had its fair share of ups and downs -- the ups including Adele's standout performance and Jennifer Hudson's tribute to Whitney Houston and the downs being just about everything else. However, what stood out as being particularly strange to me about this year's awards show was that issues of … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Lessons From Leonard Cohen

Like fellow celebrated songwriters Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen has always had a simple and poignant way of addressing spiritual themes in his music. His most famous song, "Hallelujah", manages to take the life of King David and make it sound like he's singing about his own. His new album, Old Ideas, continues with a lot of those personally narrated and spiritually dense themes, but they've all been filtered through Cohen's 77 years of age.Cohen's voice has been worn down to a … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Lana Del Rey, Rebecca Black, and Ethics

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.Lana Del Rey, aka Lizzy Grant, may have been the most talked-about music story in 2011. That is, outside another infamous young singer who fired up debate over ethics and music earlier in the year. And yes, I'm talking about Rebecca Black.The two don't often get put in the same sentence, but in my mind there is a real and serious connection going … [Read more...]

Music at Mars Hill: Most "Original" Score?

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.Although I haven't the knowledge or viewing experience to comment on the films up for consideration this year at the Oscars, after Trent Reznor's surprise victory last year, I had high expectations going into the award season this when it came to the music. Even though Best Original Score isn't exactly the most talked-about category, film scores … [Read more...]


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