The Habanero Hour Podcast: “It Won’t Change the World, But it Might Change The Way You Think of Christian Music”

I rarely talk about music because I don’t really feel like I have anything ever valuable to say about it, except, “That band was good” or “I love that song.” But that’s the extent you will get. No insight in the the songwriting, or musicianship, or the impact of the music upon the culture, etc. And there are people who do a great job of this.

For the last couple of years I have been reading my friend’s blog Colossians Three Sixteen. Brent and I went to college together and I knew he was always interested in music. He was always the guy with the huge CD collection. (For those of you who don’t know, a CD was something before the iPod…never mind). Almost every week Brent puts up a great post about music and through this he has turned me onto some artists that I never would have considred listening to, and he has helped me understand and appreciate more fully the depth of the music that he writes about and that I listen to.

All that to say, that it only makes sense that his love and passion for music, and writing about it, would be translated into a podcast. Brent and Mark Whiten have created the Habanero Hour. You have got to check it out. Here is what they say about the endeavor:

It won’t change the world, but it might change the way you think about “Christian” music. The Habañero Hour is a periodic music and interview podcast dedicated to exploring and challenging the idea of “Christian” music. All selections are played with explicit permission from the artists. We make no profit from the creative pursuits of others and make every effort to direct your attention to the artists’ own websites whenever possible.

They just completed Episode 1 which featured interviews with Steven Delopoulos and music from Doug Burr, Jeremy Casella, the Trees Community and some others. The featured artist for this episode is Steven Delopoulos, who is formerly of Burlap to Cashmere.

Please check it out, and let Brent and Mark know what you think. If you know of any artists that would make a good fit for their podcast then let them know.

“Grace gives life. Lift is art. Art is Grace.”

One of my student leaders, James Schoensiegel is a very talented musician, and he has recently been experimenting with the worship music, wanting to redefine it in some very different ways. He has been recording a more ambient sounding style of worship music that he describes this way.

This music is the culmination of a long struggle with faith and faithfulness, with immersing myself in the pains and joys of life, and with trying desperately to understand God. Regardless of your spiritual views, please pray and think about the vast needs and sufferings of people all over the globe while you listen to this music. Use it to transform your heart toward living a life full of grace.

James is an amazing young man and someone who has given his whole heart to serving those less fortunate in Los Angeles. He has really inspired our community to give back and to make service a part of who we are, and not just something we do. I know this music comes from a very, very deep place in his relationship with Christ and I hope you check it out.

Go to Art Is Grace to listen to some of his music.

The Cobalt Season

I have just begun to listen to this band even though I have seen their name around for a little while. Ryan and Holly Sharp are the design team of Sharp Seven who did the art and design work for Shane Claiborne’s new book, Jesus for President, which I just blogged about below.

This is one of those bands, and these are the artists that will make you think more thoughtfully and critically about your faith. I just love the integration of their work, their music, and how it all seems to flow into the rest of their life. I don’t know them personally except for some Facebook messages between Ryan Sharp and I….but I’m really impressed with them. And I’m jealous in some ways. I wish I was more imaginative and creative in my daily life and work.

Check out their blog Pressing On In The Dark and you can check out their music site from there, as well as their MySpace.