Monday, March 3, 2008

The Death of Larry Norman & The Christian Music Label

Below is an excerpt from a journal entry by my favorite singer/songwriter of all time: Robert Deeble. Never heard of him? That's okay, now you have. Read below and note his comments about the entity that is "Christian Music".

i read this morning that larry norman died...

its strange he was one of the weirdest people in music. Larry is best known in the genre of Christian rock, a genre that I have fiercely avoided. Not for any denial of my own spiritual beliefs (I consider myself a Christian) but for the sick commercialization that accompanies it. Several of my albums had been partly distributed through that industry and what I witnessed behind the scenes was so traumatic that I pretty much washed my hands.

Larry's music focused on his belief in Jesus but never at the sake of denying reality around him. As Frank Black of the Pixies said recently of Larry "People might think of him as a so-called Christian singer or songwriter or whatever, but he's an individual. He has his own kind of thing going on. He's not all slicko, you know? He's real." Touring with bands like the Who and the Stones Larry's "Jesus talk" eventually wore out its welcome and he found himself in a subculture in LA that became a loose collective of artists who lyrically mingled life with a wonder for God...

Frank Black and Jason Carter filmed Larry in the hospital before his death and he looked pretty bad... ( video link ) but for a better picture of this who this strange man was search the record piles in your local thrift store until you find a edgar winter looking dude in his twenties all bellbottomed and crazyeyed, reaching out for something just beyond his grasp.

You can read more here.

*Of note: I would have never found Robert Deeble's music if it had not been added to the Downstream: A Weathervane Compilation (a "Christian Music" compilation). "Rock a Bye" is included on that album, and Robert Deeble does a duet with Victoria Williams (a guru in both Christian and secular circles). Simply beautiful.

Some questions:
-What are your thoughts concerning "Christian Music"? Christian Music Labels?
-Do you think Robert Deeble brings up a good point concerning the industry?
-If you bothered to click on Deeble's link above, what are your thoughts concerning his lyrics? His musical style?

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