Tag Archives: mainstream music

MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 5: LIFEHOUSE

To say that I’m a very big avid fan of indie rock band Lifehouse is a very, very big overstatement. Let’s just say that for many, many of these artists I’ve placed here on my influential of all time list, I’ve barely listened to. And yes, apart from a song here and there from this guitar driven rock band (‘Hanging By A Moment’, ‘Broken’, ‘Everything’, ‘All In’, ‘Between the Raindrops’, to name a few), I haven’t really explored Lifehouse…until now of course. And we all know that this year-long project for me is as much as it is introducing to the world artists that I think have influenced and shaped music history, as it is very much an introduction for me into the realms of music that I may not have touched or even experienced, had it not have been for this project altogether. Nevertheless, Lifehouse as a band is very much like Switchfoot in a similar respect- they are indeed a band that deliver songs that probe at the human condition, asking questions that are deemed to be too personal, or even too taboo, to discuss in forums and public settings without music as the helm and delivery of transferring such ideas.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 4: DELTA GOODREM

Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Rebecca St. James, Johnny Farnham, The Rogue Traders, Natalie Bassingthwaithe, Stan Walker, Human Nature, Shannon Noll, Kasey Chambers, Samantha Jade, Dami Im, Jimmy Barnes, Olivia Newton-John, Missy Higgins, David Campbell. What do all these music artists have in common? Anyone…no one? They’re all Australian! Yes that’s right, all these artists do not originate from America, like I’m sure many people could think right, because all good music comes out of America…am I right? No really, on a serious note, music doesn’t have to come out of America for it to be good, and much of these aforementioned artists in the beginning of this paragraph have all had moderate to very high success in both Australian radio and the Australian market, as with exposure and influence overseas as well. Rebecca St. James, originally from Australia, moved to America with her family in the 1990s and became a superstar from her early teens onward. The family, the Smallbones, also produced a duo band years later- Rebecca’s younger brothers Joel and Luke a.k.a. for KING & COUNTRY (more on both Rebecca and her brothers in two separate Momentous Mondays posts at a later date). Johnny Farnham, Human Nature, Kasey Chambers and Jimmy Barnes are all legends in their own right, and more recently, artists like Dami Im and Stan Walker have captured the international stage after winning singing competitions X Factor and Australian Idol respectively. But for me, there’s one artist that has been influential, not necessarily as popular, compared to any one of these artists I’ve mentioned, but nevertheless, has worked hard at their music, touching listeners and impacting an entire generation over the last decade or so. Delta Goodrem, basically a household name now because of her music career as well as a judge on the Australian singing competition show, The Voice; is, I reckon, one of Australian music’s most impacting and dare I say it, decade-defining, if you look at the years of the 2000s.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 3: AVRIL LAVIGNE

If I were to speak honestly, I’d say that I was never really a fan of girl artists/female fronted bands that bore its prominence and upbringing during the 2000s. During that time in my life, I was heavily immersed into CCM, in particular, bands and artists like Carman and Delirious?. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with that, upon reflection, I thoroughly enjoy these two artists that I mentioned just then, and I would place them both, in a heartbeat, in my list of favourite artists/bands of all time, because of my early exposure to them and how they shaped my formative years as a teenager into who I am today as a person. Yet nevertheless, this is a post about influential artists, and though I firmly and unwaveringly believe that both Carman and Delirious? are influential in their own right throughout music history, I have found recently and discovered an artist that was indeed heavily impactful during the 2000s (and even now). Though I myself am late to the party in listening to them, I have been impressed with how they have managed stardom at such a very young age, and how they have carried themselves throughout the music industry process, from at the point of stardom till now. Drawing parallels, I reckon, to CCM/crossover artists like Plumb, and the early styles of Rachael Lampa and Stacie Orrico; Avril Lavigne began her fame journey at a tender young age of 17, and now 34, she has dominated the music market over the last 17 years or so. To say that she is an influential artist, not only to other new up and coming ones, but to listeners and those who are impacted by her music over the years, is very much an understatement.

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Message Mondays- Why Christian Music & Mainstream Music Do Not Have To Be At Odds, & how God can use Both to further His kingdom at the same time.

I reckon this year, the year of 2017, is the year where I have branched out the most in terms of listening to mainstream music. Just like how I think 10 years ago in 2007 was the year where I branched out in listening to Christian music (as prior to that I only listened to Carman and Delirious?…yep, call me old fashioned, or sheltered, or both!), this is the year where I have sat up, and taken notice of many of today’s current pop songs. Not that I wasn’t that much in the know before (I knew several mainstream artists, like One Republic, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake, and others, but I wasn’t following them religiously- I didn’t go out of my way to purchase an album of theirs!), but it was this year where my eyes and ears were opened to the realities of the type of music people listen to these days. Partly from exposure to Cimorelli’s covers (of which you can check out on iTunes here!)- and then  from there I wanted to see how the original sounded- and also partly because some of the neighbouring stores surrounding our café played pop music very loudly every single day; but whatever the case, I was exposed to more and more mainstream music each and every day this year, with some songs being inspiring, and others on the other end of the spectrum and quite disturbing.

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Sentimental Saturdays and Message Mondays (Fight Song)

What has been your earliest memory of your life? It may be of when you were a baby, or maybe a bit older. Maybe you were playing with your siblings, or maybe it was of a traumatic event. Whatever your earliest memory is, what is important about memories and the necessity of us all having and keeping them is in fact that at the end of our lives, our experiences will be just that- memories. We cannot contain our experiences in a box, and relive them again and again if we want to feel a happy moment. Nor can we erase the memories we long to forget. What we remember is placed there, and whether it is good or bad, hurting or healing, whatever our memories about our childhood and adulthood is at this moment, one thing is true of our memories- that what we experience, or rather, what we remember about the events we live through, will deeply shape how we are today, and shape the relationships we have, with our friends, family and even God Himself. Whether our memories of events are way different than the events themselves, memory is a powerful thing. Here in this combined Sentimental Saturdays/Message Mondays post, we’ll delve into memory, and how it is always important to affirm that whatever memory and belief we have, about our past, ought not to hold us back in our future journey and discoveries we embark upon.

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Message Mondays (Stand By You)

Can a song released in the mainstream music market have just as much passion, heart, emotion, and maybe even a spiritual significance to those hearing it, as a song released solely in the CCM industry? Can a song like “I Can Only Imagine” (MercyMe) or “Cry Out to Jesus” (Third Day) be as impactful compared to songs like “Temporary Home” (Carrie Underwood), “Superman” (Chris Daughtry), “Love” (Jana Kramer) or even the more recent 2015 hit song “Fight Song” (Rachel Platten)? This is a quandary and a conundrum in and of itself. Sure there are some songs that are explicit in language and in what they express to the listener, and there are others that are just plain silly in a fun way, and then there are others the evoke emotions of hope, encouragement and empowerment, but have you ever stopped to wonder, that God inhabits these songs as much as he does when we hear the songs we know and love on our favourite Christian radio stations?

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