Tag Archives: rock and roll

Saturday Top 5: Christian Rock Bands

I grew up in church listening to Christian music. I’ve come to an understanding in life that music cannot become a Christian so a better description would be “music for Christians”. We had some great radio stations in central Florida in the Sarasota, Bradenton/Palmetto, and Tampa area where I lived from the age of birth until I was 11. Specifically, WCIE and Joy FM were great Christian music radio stations with excellent programming and hosts who were well ahead of their time for Christian radio. Even WMCU here in Miami had nothing as far as hosts, programming, and music selection. The music on WMCU was just way too boring and the hosts for many years were not on par with Joy or CIE.

Listening to the great musical selections on the radio, especially the Saturday Top 40 on 91.1 (WCIE) and 88.1 (Joy FM) led me to really love certain Christian rock groups. After our family moved to Homestead in 1986, I carried my interest in Christian rock without an outlet to listen. WMCU was pumping out some seriously boring tunes back then, especially for a young teenager. So I followed some of the big routines in concert and through cassette sales. Even to this day, I enjoy some of that great old Christian rock. These are my favorite 5 Christian Rock bands of my life. If you are wondering why some of the biggest and best Christian routines did not make my list it’s either because I didn’t prefer them, or they were solo routines.

Honorable Mention

Third Day – I love their gritty solid rock and roll sound. The best part is what I have heard about their purpose and lifestyle. They love Jesus.

The Top 5…

#5. White Heart – Their best sound to me was their early to mid 80’s albums which are best compared with Toto.

#4. Mylon (Le Fevre) and Broken Heart – Mylon had the absolute biggest stage and road show in Christian music. This group was greatly responsible for my interest in drums. I can still listen to them today and enjoy it.

#3. Stryper – Dude, people made fun of them because of their big hair, make up, and spandex, but their music did rock! They had one commercially successful crossover tune that was one of the cheesiest rock ballads ever. Honestly. But their first few albums were awesome!

#2. DC Talk – They started out as a corn ball rap group, but developed a sound that actually was way ahead of it’s time. Before Linkin Park was doing the industrial metal rap tunes, DC Talk was. Their concerts were just great. When they split, thousands of fans were heartbroken. But Toby Mac is still around doing his thing which is similar to the later DC Talk stuff.

#1. Petra – This band belongs at the top of anyone’s all time Christian rock list. Through 30 years and two lead singers, they are one incredible band. They’ve gone from folksy rock in their beginnings, to a more credible straight rock sound of the late 70’s to early 80’s, to a synth rock sound of the mid 80’s, into a hair band style of the late 80’s, and then into their hard rock and metal sound that they rocked through the 90’s. I wish I could get my hands on a complete collection of all their tunes over the years on CD or digital media. They are one of a very small handful of Christian rock legends!

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Sunday Life Pointe Talk Soup

  • The service which many attenders experience Sunday morning starts earlier in the week for many, and in some cases weeks in advance. That is to say that bringing an experience on Sunday morning requires preparation, study, and practice. Rehearsal for Sunday’s worship set on Thursday was productive until a lightning storm shut us down.
  • This morning at 7:32 AM I was greeted by fellow blogmaster Chris Day and my mom who were already in full swing at the theater. Robert and Zech were in Pier 2 rockin out! Set up in the theater was smooth thanks to the late night maniacs who get everything going while I am busy catching Z’s.
  • Jesse was out of town this week, so I was honored to fill in for him on stage. I told him when he asked me to cover for him that I was going to bring back some rock’n’roll and he told me to go for it. I was sweating bullets this morning from nervous energy, but thanks to Alex who bailed me out a couple times everything went fine.
  • On the drums and vocals was Mike B, thumpin the bass was Billy Barue, Alex covered the rhythm on the acoustic, Rob (AKA Hyper-active) rocked the electric, I was on keys and vocals today, Nirian and Julie were also on vocals.
  • To open, Mike rocked the jungle beat and the LPC peeps jammed. The first tune was one of my favorite praise songs, Jon Egan’s “I Am Free”… ROCK AND ROLL! Then we sang “Famous One”, followed by “Shout to the Lord” led beautifully by Julie. It was so great to feel God’s presents as everyone sang that ‘Nothing compares to the promise I have in You!’. For communion we sang “Take My Life”.
  • I was so pleasantly surprised to see Ela Ortega at church this morning.  It really caught me off guard.  Ela’s hard work and determination is humbling.  In spite of her condition, she is determined to be a blessing.  She blesses me and Life Pointe more than she can possibly know.
  • The message today brought by Pastor Trav was “Loaded” and was on the subject of money. I loved the balanced approach sharing the biblical principles of cheerful giving and stewardship. Many times, either money issues are ignored altogether by the church, or it is overstated to the point that people are duped into believing that their gifts to ministries will grant them instant wealth. Yet, money was one of the most common themes of Jesus’ teachings.
  • I particularly found part of the message very useful, “where there is slack, there is lack”. If you are ignoring discipline in an area of your life, be it finances, health, relationship, or family, you can usually be sure that you will lack in those areas as a result.

For another perspective on this morning at Life Pointe, be sure to check out Ritz and his Sunday Goosfaba.

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Saturday Top 5: Reasons to Attend Life Pointe Church

I thank the Lord for my job, and His provision through my employment, but the unfortunate part is that due to my work schedule I cannot be at church with my Life Pointe brothers and sisters every other week. Being at church on Sunday morning is something I look forward to each chance I get. Life Pointe is a fast growing body of believers in Homestead, just outside of Miami in South Florida. We meet in a theater off the Turnpike and Campbell Drive. We also have a large number of people in the church who have blogs. Above all things, the best thing about Life Pointe Church is the life changing message of the gospel of Jesus that is shared each week. This week’s list is going to review the top 5 reasons to attend Life Pointe. Feel free to add to the list anything I may have left off.

#5. St. Arbucks. Along with Ela (who is definitely a saint), Nancy, Arlene, my own mom, and many other saints, St. Arbucks is available to provide caffeine to all who seek. Along with tasty treats like bagels and the occasional donuts or muffins, the free fresh hot Starbucks coffee really helps get you going on Sunday morning.

#4. Rockin Music – Along with some of the best and most current praise and worship, the Life Pointe band (led by TSP’s Jesse Santoyo) kicks out smooth tunes from U2, Dave Matthews Band, and the Eagles, occasionally some street sounds like Rapper’s Delight, bluesy Bill Withers stuff, and some solid rock tunes from the Beatles, ZZ Top, and Pink Floyd.

#3. The Coolest Videos – Jesse, the worship and arts pastor produces some of the funniest videos. The recurring cast in the comedic bumper and promo videos include Alex speaking Charlie Brown, mischievous Nathan, an arrogant Chris, cell phone Gio, crybaby Ritz, Venus rolling her eyes, Scottish Zech, and others. You can count on fake old western style handlebar mustaches to show up literally everywhere in the videos. Other videos and short movies are dramatic and contain deep meaningful messages that prick our conscience. As a Life Pointe attender or member, you have a chance to be cast in a video clip or movie.
#2. Come as you are. – At LPC, legalistic judgmentalism is not what we specialize in. Life Pointe people specialize in loving each other. Discipleship, training, obedience to God’s commandments, and the great commission are necessary parts of the Christian walk, and Life Pointe does also specialize in these areas. If you are comfortable in shorts, or a suit, you will fit in at LPC. We don’t speak fluent Christianese, so you don’t have to break out your thee’s, thou’s, hither’s and whence’s. We have the friendliest volunteers and staff, and there will always be a place for you!
#1. The Message – The messages on Sunday morning will not leave you seeking a translator, lexicon, or theologian in order to understand. Pastor Travis brings a message that will land in your lap, and can be used wherever you are in life. Sometimes the delivery is funny, sometimes serious, but always congruent with the Word of God. The website has podcasts and vidcasts available so you can see and hear what to expect on Sunday morning.

A list of only the top 5 is too short to truly detail the reasons to attend LPC, and I hope others will add on. It is definitely the highlight of my two week schedule. I hope to see you there!

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Saturday Top 5: Songs named after a woman

Many Rock songs are written to or about girls. Many times, the artist is recalling someone they loved, or someone they want be with. This week’s top 5 is all about songs named after a woman.  They are not necessarily the best songs that are named after a woman, but songs that are notorious for the name of the song.

Honorable Mention:

Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett

Jessica – Allman Brothers

Rosanna – Toto

Roxanne – The Police

#5 Billie Jean – Michael Jackson. If Billie Jean was about a little boy, then we may be more suspicious about the lyrics. But who knows? Poor Michael can’t catch a break here, can he? We know that Billie Jean is not your lover.

#4 Layla – Eric Clapton (Derek and the Dominoes). This song is about Clapton’s love for George Harrison’s wife Pattie. Eventually, Pattie left George for Clapton, and Clapton and George Harrison remained very close friends even after the event. George actually played at Eric and Pattie’s wedding reception. That is totally wild, and not in a good way. I guess all you need is love. LOL

#3 My Sharona – The Knack. I don’t know any Sharona’s, and I don’t even think I have ever met a Sharona. But if I did, I would have to sing this song to her. This one always gets people’s feet tapping. The word is that the success of this song ruined the band that wrote it. It was actually a punk band, and success for punk artists in the late 70’s and early 80’s made them “sell outs”. People were actually wearing shirts that said “Nuke the Knack”. Also, this tune pinned them in a corner, and it’s success was never approached again. This is also a great Karaoke tune!

#2 Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) – Looking Glass. This classic tune is always on the tip of everyone’s tongue when a girl named Brandy comes in the room. Ask any girl named Brandy if anyone has ever sung this song to them, and they will certainly answer in the affirmative.

#1 Michelle – The Beatles. Without a doubt, this song is the best tune named for a woman. Who was Michelle? Paul apparently would try to act French (why?) to impress the girls. He wrote an instrumental, and both Paul and John collaborated on the lyrics of Paul’s catchy tune.
Have any others? I know some more great tunes, but I didn’t include them because they were not quite there!

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Saturday Top 5: Rock and Roll Guitar Solos

I love music. And of all music, I like rock and roll most. At the heart of all great rock is the guitar, and the guitar shines today in the top 5 greatest guitar solos. Included in the list are a few songs that had the juice to make honorable mention, but not enough to crack the list.

Honorable Mention:

Hotel California – The Eagles Easy sounds from this southern rock band gave it such a nice feel. I still haven’t figured out what the song is about, though I have read things ranging from Satanism to music history (with references to Steely Dan and many other rock greats in the song). But the solo is just killer. Definitely one of the greatest rock solos ever.

Reelin’ in the Years- Steely Dan This is the closest to pop of any songs on my list. It actually was the #1 pop tune of 1973. But the guitar solo is totally rock. Steely Dan is jazzy enough for your mom and dad to enjoy, rockin enough for me, and about the most sophisticated rock and roll created. The solo on this track is Jimmy Page’s favorite solo of all time. It’s not every day you can find a guitarist who can come close to replicating it.

Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin There are many who say Jimmy Page’s hammering on Stairway was the best solo of all the Led Zep tunes, but this one had more emphasis with the breaks. I gotta whole lotta love for this song and this solo!

Long Time – Boston Off the self titled album, this was the best of Boston’s killer guitar solos in my opinion, and there were plenty to choose from.

Europa – Santana This song was the closest of the honorable mention selections to making the top 5. If you think Black Magic Woman contained his best solo work, you are incorrect. You can feel the heat coming off those tubes in his Mesa Boogie. Wikipedia has the parameters for attaining the sound Santana had on Europa, supposedly. He really makes the guitar sing, scream, and then cry.

Do You Feel Like We Do – Peter Frampton This was the best video I could find of this. The sound quality isn’t the best, but it still has the voice box and guitar solo. This tune is energetic, and the solo rocks in a big way that is worthy of mention on my list.

The “Top 5”

#5 Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd The smoothest work by a seriously smooth guitar player. Quite a few regard this as the best guitar solo ever laid to vinyl in the Rock and Roll genre. David Gilmour punctuates a song about an apparent injection of something that takes away pain. According to some of the information I found, there was nothing to the drug rumors other than that it was about a child that got sick and got shot up with some medicine to feel better. Of course, the term “acid rock” is actually a description of the effects of acid rain on a sheer mountain face. YEA RIGHT! Any way you slice it, the solo is one of the best ever.

#4 Eruption – Van Halen Eddie sets the fretboard on fire with some of the fastest hammering ever recorded. Actually, he was so fast many of the notes were supersonic and undetectable to the human ear. That’s how amazing this solo was! The link is to a live version with a little more than the original recorded version.

#3 Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits Is it rock and roll? You better believe it! There’s no trumpet playing in this song, and the solo(s) are just as effortlessly smooth and fast as the combination can be. One of my gun range instructors used to say “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast!”. I love the clean bends and flat picking Knopfler brings with his guitar here on this slightly altered live extended version.

#2 Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd It’s technically not a guitar solo when played live since it’s a duel between Allen Collins and Steve Gaines (Ed King originally), but the recorded version was double tracked and recorded by Allen Collins alone (still not exactly a solo). But since the 5 minute guitar piece at the end of the song is one of the most recognizable portions of rock and roll picking in rock’s history, I have to include it. The haunting slide played in the beginning of the tune is by Gary Rossington. That makes it a three part solo. 🙂

#1Little Wing – Stevie Ray Vaughan This is the ultimate in Rock and Roll guitar solo, an extended version of Hendrix’ Little wing with a portion of Third Stone from the Sun at the end. It’s a buffet of all you can eat blues/rock! It has some serious rock foundation to it, but the soul of this jam session is pure blues. It’s sad that such a talented guy (the greatest guitarist to live) didn’t live longer. To quote Bill, how much music was lost when he died? He had years of creativity, writing, recording, and performing taken away when he died in a helicopter crash at the age of 35. When you watch him play, he makes it look so easy.

There you have another controversial edition of Saturday Top 5. If you think I am wrong, then you are wrong, obviously. I welcome anyone to challenge my list so I can prove to them why I am right.

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