As the regular reader is well aware, in the last two months or so my GCC production has slowly grinded to a halt. This isn’t because I’ve given up the blogging game or abandoned the principle desires that begat GCC, but because most of my writing energy has gone to Christ and Pop Culture. Christ and Pop Culture (CaPC) is an online magazine/blog ran by some very talented folks who, for some reason, let me join their motley crew about a year ago. My production at CaPC varies, but includes shorter reactionary (in a good way) posts called OTMs, God and Country Music. a weekly column on Americana/Country music that has come back in force after a two or three-month hiatus, and longer, more in-depth feature posts for the site. This, along a brand new marriage, directing online communications at Charis, and everything else that “real life” entails has made it tough to keep up with the demands of blogging.
However, I’m not done with GCC yet. The plan is to come back in force. I am hoping to do a little bit of rebranding by summer and also roll out a new kind of post geared towards discussion and dialogue. So keep your eyes open for that. And in the mean time, here’s a highlight reel of my recent writing projects.
God and Country Music
My weekly column recently has been an awesome place to interact with artists, introduce CaPC readers to great music, and explore themes of hope, spirituality, despair, poverty, & grace. Here are some of my favorite things that I’ve written recently.
This was a pleasure to write and research. Fauss is quickly becoming on of my favorite Alt.country musicians and his new album I’m Not the Man You Think I’m Not is damn good. The review searches not only the album, but the genre for signs of spiritual life. Fauss just had a write-up in the New York Times about his new album and his appearance at South by Southwest, look for this guy to get big!
2.27.13 Ivan & Alyosha
More of a neo-folk band than an Americana band, from the first time I listened to Ivan & Alyosha I was captivated. Their songwriting is absolutely comparable to their namesake, Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and the redemptive undercurrent of their music is universally appealing. With their first album just being released and folk music making a popular push look for these guys to be the next Head and the Heart (but with a higher caliber of songwriting).
2.20.13 The Wise Blood of American Music
This is possibly one of my favorite things that I have ever written. This column looks at the spiritual ‘blood’ of American folk music and the recent upswing in Americana/folk music gaining mainstream popularity. I run some heavy comparisons with Flannery O’Connor and bring it all together in a case for an American spiritual crisis.
OTM’s, Features, & More
After the Grammys, I did a write-up of one of my favorite Grammy-nominated groups, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. They are an African-American band that plays traditional folk & bluegrass music with a myriad of contemporary and old-timey influences that make them absolutely unique. Not only did the band like the post, the reposted it and inspired (and contributed to) an excellent discussion of race, music and spirituality on their link of my article on their facebook page with 75,000+ followers. It was cool.
I read The Brother Karamazov in January and ever since, a high percentage of my articles have referenced Dostoyevsky or the something about The Brothers Karamazov. Maybe my regular readers are kind of tired of it, but the book really is a wealth of aesthetics, humanity, and divinity unlike almost anything else I have ever read.
This year marks my foray into professional freelancing. I wrote two articles on upcoming Professional Racquetball tournaments, for the official professional racquetball tour, IRT-Tour.com. It was great experience gathering sources, learning how to write about something I knew very little about, and going through an editing process unlike the one I am used to over at CaPC. And I’ve gotten into Racquetball, it’s an absolute blast to play!
Coming Soon. Within the next week or so, an essay I wrote for my friend, fellow CaPC writer, and professional musicologist’s blog The Retuned will go up. It’s an essay on marriage as seen through the lens of one of the best songs in the American library. I tried to channel my inner Greil Marcus, if in fact I have any inner Greil Marcus.
Also going up within the week (possibly today, I’ve yet to hear back from my editor) is a CaPC feature on the importance of art made by non-Christians and the idea of beholding God in expressions of culture that would, at first glance, offer no spiritual benefit. I’m excited about this one. I think it will generate some good discussion.
There you have it, a brief and incomplete overview of what I have been wasting my time doing for the last month or two. I hope you all realize that I haven’t forgotten this blog completely. To keep up with my writing follow me on twitter or check Christ and Pop Culture every Tuesday for my God and Country Music column.