30 June 2008

It was supposed to be a quick trip to buy shoelaces

There are a lot of ways to say it, but the truth is that I am easily distracted. 

This evening, I was herding junior shoppers through a mall and heard a song somewhere.  I liked the sound of it and had the idea that I ought to know what it was.  Since most of the hip mall shops can tell you what they are playing, I raced to track it down and ask.  Big mistake.

It turns out that the Hollister Company (some kind of dreadful theme-park clothing chain with dim lights and a maze of twisty rooms all alike that pretends it is about surfing or something) has a touch-screen jukebox of all the latest "We are SO not emo! Punk, I swear, punk!" cool bands. So there I am, standing hip deep in camisoles and being sniffed at by young ubertrends, playing with the new toy and writing down band names.  (They have a limited version of this player on their web site, but it's not much.)  I think I was the only person in there who could have voted in the last election.

Eventually, I surfaced and hunted down the little kahunas so we could continue down the mall looking for skull shoelaces.  That brought us to Hot Topic, which is a remarkable collection of stuff.  I have never been in one before.  There is an excellent chance that no one in that store besides me will be voting in this upcoming election, either.  While my mini punks were going crazy over big skull beltbuckles and skull shoelaces and skull fingerless mittens and I don't know what all, I was leaning on the counter talking to the "I'm too cool to get excited about anything" clerk about the band they were playing, Allison (Mexico, power punk pop).  Turns out she is not too cool to get excited about them. 

Finally got the skull boys home and hit MySpace to look up a few of the bands. I was trying to figure out why Luna Halo's MySpace page shows four members and doesn't list a keyboard player, but the official bio on their official web page describes finding a keyboard player, so I pulled up their Wikipedia entry to see if it clears that up. In fact, it doesn't list a keyboard player as either current or former, even though at least one of the pictures on their site shows someone playing a keyboard.

I don't know if I will ever figure that out, and the puzzle doesn't make me not like their music.  I will probably get their current album. And maybe Crash Romeo's, too.

Anyway, then I spotted a link at the bottom of their Wikipedia article, one of the ones to a category that the entry belongs to. "American pop rock music groups", okay.  "Music groups established in 1999", questionable given the history of the band, but okay.  "Former Christian musical groups", wurru?  They have a category for this?  Is it so common?  Former Christians or former groups or what?

I clicked over to see, of course.  They list 5 groups, including Luna Halo, that

... were at one time considered a Christian artist or band, but are either no longer associated with the Christian Music industry or do not wish to be known as a Christian band, despite a large Christian fan base. Some of these artists may be on a Christian label or have an overtly Christian release, but have since stated publicly that they do not wish to be known as a Christian artist. An artist's inclusion on this page does not necessarily mean the artist has abandoned their faith.
This makes my brain go all asplodey.  What kind of alternative musical reality I was I getting a peek into?

And of course, my brain won't stop working on things like why there are only five such groups listed. Surely there must be more acts that have left a "Christian label".  What is a "Christian band", anyway?  Are there rules against Christians listening to bands without this tag?  Are there certifying authorities like there is for "Kosher"?  Is there an equivalent for any other religion?  Oh, what about black metal? Does Luna Halo count as a 1999 band, when all the members from then except one left and they got a new label and stopped being Christian and all? Or should they get their timer reset to 2002? And so on. 

I got so distracted that I nearly forgot to blog about it.  I think that many brain cycles are going to be wasted on these questions.  And on that missing keyboard player.

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