Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Why God? Why?

I’ve been noticing this for a long time now… a couple of years. Maybe. But what’s the deal with contemporary Christian music?

You may hear it and not even notice what you’re listening to. I hear it in certain fast food joints. I hear it in family restaurants. Just last week I heard that stuff in the dentist’s office.

I have an ear for music and radio in general. I have for as long as I can remember. I tend to notice things immediately. While working at Peaches Music & Video back in the late 80s and early 90s, I learned how to ignore music that I don’t care for. But slowly over the years, that ability has slipped away like my 34 waist. I can’t help but notice the music that I don’t like and “today’s hot” country ranks right at the top.

But contemporary Christian has crept into the second spot.

I find it depressing, lifeless, derivative, and utterly boring. And the biggest offender on the radio dial is K-Love. Good grief, silence is more exciting listening.

True story… I worked at a station in Lexington, NC for almost 2 years. They fired the PD and morning team to let some salesman in a suit run it. It was not a good move. The guy has antiquated ideas like putting reverb on the voices of the jocks during breaks which confused the hell out of me during my first break. I had no warning. I’m hearing myself in the headphones and it caused me to be sluggish. I was trying to figure out what button had been pushed to cause such a horrid thing.

This guy was interesting to say the least… He also liked to micromanage. I would do a break and he would come into the studio saying, “Just turn down the (music) bed a skosh. It’s a little too hot.”

Next break I didn’t change a thing. For one, I’m wasn’t in my seventies and two my hearing was in excellent shape. I had the headphones on and I knew what I was doing. He came back into the studio and said, “That’s more like it. Sounded great. And remember… Light, tight, and bright.”

To give you a mental picture of the dude… Imagine a sleazy used car salesman with an assortment of colognes arranged on a bureau behind his desk … slick-backed hair dyed a darker color than natural gray… gold jewelry complete with a pinky ring. He looked like an elderly Eddie Munster in a suit wearing glasses and all the jewelry.

He ran the station into the ground. And sadly, it could have been more if only the owner had sense enough to hire someone competent.

One day, me and a coworker noticed something going on… A man was putting up a satellite dish. We were told that is had something to do with the Carolina Panther broadcasts or something sports related… The exact explanation escapes me now. But as soon as the ACC Basketball tournament wrapped up on Sunday afternoon, my phone was lighting up with text messages.

You guessed it, as did we before the switch was going to happen, the station flipped format. They went with K-Love. I can’t say that I blame the ownership since Jesus has deep pockets. It was a lot more profitable than being a commercial station after 2008 (radio hasn’t really rebounded since) and you can eliminate staff. Yay! Even more savings!

I got the call on Monday not to bother driving in from King, NC because I no longer had a job. It was expected and greatly appreciated. I was hoping they’d call to keep me from a 45 minute drive in and back home. I still like the people involved, but I’m still scratching my head over the idea of letting “Eddie Munster” run things.

But I digress…

I find contemporary Christian music very bland and boring. A lot of it sounds like praise, but it sounds like praise on Quaaludes. It’s all too white and boring. It definitely isn’t like black gospel music. There’s life, spirit, and FIRE in that genre.

For once I’d like the songs lyrics to match the mood and actually speak the truth…

“Jesus gave granny cancer because it was God’s will… We don’t have the answers or a cure in a pill… We must take comfort in knowing that God is in control… We’ll see her again on Heaven’s golden shores…”

“Lisa had an accident when Jesus took the wheel… he sent a drunk driver over the line and into her lane… Now she’s gone and it’s hard to comprehend… God’s will just can’t be explained…”

THAT’S how depressing contemporary Christian music sounds to me.

Now every week, I like to add albums into my Random Play Exploration Spotify playlist that make the top ten on the Top 200 Billboard Albums Chart. It keeps me current and gives me an idea what’s going on. But two recent chartings had me deleting songs within 30 seconds of a listen. The two artists were King and Country (just awful) and Lauren Daigle (which was even WORSE). I had no idea what genre they were. I was just giving them a chance. But damn! That was some depressing crap! I never even realized what genre they were because the songs were so bad that I had to purge them IMMEDIATELY.

Didn’t Stryper teach these people anything?

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