|Fiat Lux features gorgeous lyrics from redeemed artist, Ian Jacoby|
As for my opinion? SO many thoughts. Since my nephew is a really intelligent and perceptive guy who can argue a point without letting things get personal, I think I'll put this out there as my response. JUST my opinion so school me as you will.
1) The Music: Michael, are you suggesting that an artist, any artist, maintains complete freedom once he obtains a patron? Artists take commissions to support themselves. If your record company is looking for something you're not comfortable creating, don't take their money. The Christian Music Industry is a business. They are satisfying a market and doing so very profitably. I would suggest a more honest title for the article would be "I hope not, but I apparently have mild contempt for my audience since they are mindless Beckys satisfied with mediocre music produced by the company for which I work." A solution might be to start your own record label. But, I have a feeling that even then you'll want a say in which artists you represent. And there probably will be a blogger right behind you saying you aren't edgy, raw or real enough.
2) The Bars: Michael, some might call it patronizing to assume you know how the worldlings think. For all we know, the bar owners are glad it's "Christian Music Night" so they can give their bartenders a night off and get a crew in to deep clean the dried vomit and urine in the restrooms. And around the back door. And I'm not sure but I think I got the bouncer's shoes, too.
3) The Artist: If the Living God has gifted one with the ability to compose and perform music, it is the artist who must stand before the Lord and answer for what they did with that gift. The redeemed of Christ are everywhere. Some in the biz, some alongside Sufjan and LAARKS, some playing after their day job so they can feed themselves and still make music.
4) The End Product Ready for the Consumer: In the daily battle for my heart and mind, I cannot exaggerate the importance that Christian radio and industry songs play in my sanctification. I half listen to some songs, full on worship to others. Cringe at some of the lyrics or the commercial feel to some of the stuff. HOWEVER, I know that God uses "flawed" vessels so it would be arrogant to think every single song should minister TO ME and pass the acid test of my personal musical preferences. Who am I to judge God's Servant? "Why do you call me good?" Plus, I still haven't sent the new LAARKS CD to Harlan at WHEM, which is a shame because he'd play it. Because he's generous and awesome and brave.
So, Michael, I think your beef is with more than the industry. It seems to be with the Body itself; its tastes, its behaviors, its spending habits. And, as with any time we are frustrated and impatient with The Body, we are usually putting ourselves above them. We know better. We've gone further. We're more enlightened. Yuk. The real answer, our true consolation, is to bring it all before the Father. He alone can change hearts, appetites and actions. And He usually starts with our own.