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Making My Friend Listen to Christian Rock
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Making My Friend Listen to Christian Rock

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A podcast where Kelly shows his friend John the Christian Rock he listened to from the 80s/90s.
17 Episodes
It’s here: The final piece of our Carman trilogy. In episode 16 we chat with our lovely, supporting, and baffled wives about Carman and his must-be-seen-to-be-believed music videos. Jen discusses her first time seeing Revival in the Land, and Corri discusses her experiences with church growing up. It sets the table for an episode on dungeons and dragons, hunky history teachers, demon bartenders, and alligator monsters. This one was a blast, and it confirmed the best way to properly digest the twisted and cynical mind of Carman: laugh at him. 
For our second offering of all things Carman this month, (the “son” in our holy trinity) we look at Carman’s Yo Kidz! (1992). On this album for kiddos, Carman—the 36-year-old man that you can’t believe isn’t 50—introduces us to Lawrence, a big, purple, rapping cat. Lawrence and his gang of cats are on a doomed path of sin and debauchery, and it’s up to Carman to set them straight, through song. It’s an album about homies, chillin’, saying “straight up,” and ding dongs. My sister Katie joins in on the fun as she shares her memories of listening to this cassette, going through stuff in my room, and how she thought Lawrence was the same cat from the Paula Abdul video.Fair warning: I f’ed up the audio and recorded through my laptop again. Doesn’t sound great! But you’ll get used to it, especially if you wanna hear our Carman impressions.
Carman: The Absolute Best

Carman: The Absolute Best


Did you ask for it? No! But you're GETTING it: Carman!In the spirit of his go-big-or-go-home theatrics, we are giving you THREE episodes on Carman this month. A holy trinity  if you will (or won't). Consider this first episode The Father.If you aren't familiar with him, there isn't really any good way to describe Carman in a paragraph. Part minister, part Elvis impersonator, part Broadway performer, part theater actor, and whole culture vulture, Carman entertained crowds with his charisma and astounding statistics on abortion, homosexuality, and gang violence. Fun for the whole family!John and I discuss his first (I think his first; I forgot to look that part up) greatest hits compilation, 1993's The Absolute Best. We look at his controversial message, his career up until 1993, and John's impression of him now after enjoying Mission 3:16 from the WOW 1998 Compilation. Truly, he was a man brave enough to say: Satan, kiss my BUTT.
This is the big one, folks. Heart in Motion is considered the biggest CCM crossover album of all time, and at over five million copies sold on the strength of 'Baby, Baby,' one of the most successful albums of 1991. We invited drag artist FLAMY GRANT on this episode to talk about it.Flamy opens up about her experiences and deep involvement in a strict, fundamentalist Evangelical church. She discusses her late blossom into the confident, queer drag artist that hosts and performs shows around San Diego. Flamy tells us how Amy Grant helped her through her adolescence and  why she is an unexpected icon in the queer community. Is Amy Grant (unironically) GOOD?!You can find out more about Flamy Grant, including her upcoming drag folk album, at the following links:www.flamygrant.comFlamy Grant InstagramFlamy Grant Twitter
Did you know what a butterfly kiss was before this song? Did you ever figure it out? Have you received them or given them out?In 1997, Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace) by Bob Carlisle went sicko mode in minivans across America. Carlisle cut his teeth with the band Allies in the 80s and enjoyed a modest CCM solo career in the early 90s. However, this song shot the 40-year-old Boltonesque  crooner into the national consciousness with a loving, soul-baring tribute to his daughter's innocence. The album knocked the SPICE GIRLS out of the number one spot in the summer of 1997.John and I discuss our memories of the song, and we delicately touch upon the obvious: Buttefly Kisses  is weird. Are the other songs like this on the album? Will John and I talk about them at all? How does it relate to the Evangelical messages surrounding the family at the time? And is Bob Carlisle the inspiration for the main character in the Michael Keaton movie Jack Frost?
Episode 11 - WOW 1998

Episode 11 - WOW 1998


(W)o(O)hoo (W)e're back! This week we are dusting the light snow off our winter brains to discuss the red-hot compilation album WOW 1998. 30 Christian Rock MEGA (and not quite) hits, not the least of which includes a spy-themed Eurodance track (Mission 3:16) by the infamous Carman (more on him in months to come!) We reflect on our thoughts about the 'cast so far, and John opens up a lil' more about some of his youth experiences in the church community. Then we get into the album and talk about how some of these REALLY sound like secular songs in 1998. We also discuss how it compares to the NOW That's What I Call Music 1998 album, and I reveal that I like Jars of Clay more than Tonic.This one's a little formless and rougher around the edges cuz the convo was just fun and, well, we both have toddlers in our downtime. So, sometimes this is the best you're gonna get! 
It's guest time! You don't want to miss this episode, as John Cullen (comedian from the podcasts Blocked Party and The P.O.D. Kast) stops by for a really fun discussion about a really un-fun band. Kelly got so excited that he forgot that he is also the producer on this show, so bear with the recording at times!Audio Adrenaline were never going to be as big as Jesus. Kelly and the Johns discuss why: they're really bad! John Cullen tells us a great story about how the hell he's heard of Audio Adrenaline in the first place, discusses the overlap between Christian Rock and Nu Metal, and explains his experiences working as a volunteer at a Christian kids' camp.Links:Blocked Party: PODKast: Cullen comedy:
This one's a toughie, but in a different way. Michael W. Smith was probably the most important CCM artist in Kelly's house growing up. If you're thinking he wanted to be him...that'd be strange. But you'd be right!Kelly and John discuss their general enjoyment for the songs on his 1990 album, Go West Young Man. But there's a lot going on here. MWS might be...a dum dum? With that hair, who gives a shit?! On this episode's John Joins the Fan Club, John discusses some surprising evidence regarding Smith's ties to the occult...or is he just an Alan Parsons Project super fan?Listen now and find out how many times John and Kelly say "that's interesting" to each other!  Links to articles referenced in the episode:Christian Rock Exposed: W. Smith: Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
Calling all Gomers!Third Day had a long, successful career in Christian music throughout the 90s and into the 2010s. After listening to the album John and Kelly try to understand: how?!Both are a bit underwhelmed by the band's second album in 1997. It has the sound of  a bargain bin post-grunge act but the melodies got lost somewhere in the shuffle. Kelly discusses his breaking point with Christian music through the transformative sounds of Limp Bizkit, and John shares some surprising news: He's been accepted into the Third Day Facebook fan club. If you're new to the podcast - thanks for listening! Be sure to follow us on IG and Twitter:Instagram:
Before we leave Steven Curtis Chapman behind for a long, long while, we had to take a quick chat about the have-to-hear-it-to-believe-it duet with Toby Mac,  "Got to B Tru."
This was a toughie. Our boy Stevie C Chapman is one of the most celebrated Christian Rock artists, with a career spanning almost 35 years and over 10 million albums sold. So where to start? In this episode, we take a look at his sixth album "Heaven in the Real World," released in 1994. Kelly remembers it as a staple in the minivan from that time. John remembers nothing about it, because he had never heard SCC until this podcast.Strap in friends, there's not much to joke about with this guy. We hate him! We discuss how the album his a perfect example of Christian Rock's ability to launder some of the most sickening elements of Christianity through underhanded lyrics and overwrought production. Even though Kelly is secretly jealous of SCC's hair.Before we get into it, we also take a look at the latest example of Pitchfork's own revisionist history: A deep dive into Jesus Freak?! Articles discussed:Jesus Freak Pitchfork review: 1/3 on Jesus Freak by Will Stockton and D. Gilson: Jones article on Prison Fellowship, "Charles Colson's Jails for Jesus":
We continue discussing our Christian boys from down under in Part 2 of Going Public by Newsboys. Here is a link to the Cross Rhythms interview with former member John James that we discuss on the episode:
If you know anything about Christian've heard of the Newsboys. We knew we had to dig into their 36(!!!) year career early on in this podcast. But with 17 albums, where to start?!Going Public, that's where. Their 1994 breakthrough album features one of the most beloved and longstanding CCM smash hits, "Shine." It snagged the band two Dove Awards (Dovies) in 1994, including Rock Album of the Year and Rock Recorded Song of the Year for "Shine."This episode features our very first and very special guest, Kelly's sister Kari. Kari LOVED Going Public growing up - how does it fare now? Will John find another "In the Light" here and finally GO PUBLIC with his love (tolerance) of CCM?In Part 1, we discuss our memories of trying to get CDs played in the car on family trips, our memories of hiding Christian CDs from our secular friends, the superior albums released in 1994, and the further crystallization of the podcast's overall  burning research question: can any of these songs be considered good?
Hey, Christians aren't perfect either! They get horny and sad too.Along with dc Talk's Jesus Freak, Jars of Clay's self titled debut (1995) further pushed CCM into the secular world. Their single "Flood" was all over alternative rock radio in '96.We look at some of the horny lyrics on the album and try to sing some of the melodies for each other with the help of auto tune. We also discuss some of the more recent, crazy antics of the band, like not fully opposing gay marriage (!?!?) and play a little game called "Song Lyric Challenge": Are they secular lyrics or Jars of Clay lyrics?
What IS the nu thang that God is doing?! In our lives now?
Has pro life ever sounded so damn CATCHY? AWW YEUUH, it's dc Talk's Nu Thang. If the Fresh Prince was too scary for your parents, Nu Thang was probably a mainstay in your Walkman. In part 1 we do some background investigation, including the group's early days at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, this album's relationship to Jesus Freak, and the guys' eventual abandonment of their rap affect later in their career.
Episode 1 - Jesus Freak

Episode 1 - Jesus Freak


We're going Bible shopping, everybody get in the car.John and Kelly rap about THE Christian Rock album of the 90's, dc Talk's fourth album and musical curveball, Jesus Freak. A 'skin kaleidoscope' of genre and tone, Jesus Freak imagines  a world where Kurt Cobain worshipped at the altar of Duncan Sheik and Seal. 
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