The New Face of Rock: Casting Crowns
October 21, 2011
Someone brought this to my attention: "Christian Rockers Casting Crowns Gunning For #1 Spot On Billboard Top 200." It's on PerezHilton.com. (Here's the link if you need it: http://perezhilton.com/2011-10-20-christian-rockers-casting-crowns-billboard)
My first thought was, "Casting Crowns and rockers? What?" I get it. Perez, bless his heart, doesn't know the genre. That's fine.
But as I read, I noticed that there was a link in the story to the actual Billboard story about Casting Crowns nabbing a possible #1 spot on the upcoming Top 200 chart. And that's where Perez got the "rockers" title.
Really, Billboard, you supposedly all knowing source of music? Have you listened to Casting Crowns? Have you listened to any other actual Christian rock bands?
It seems to me that maybe they based that title on the picture of the group that's running with the story. Based on that picture, Casting Crowns might be rockers. Standing in the middle of a street (dangerous!) in their jackets and black boots (foreboding) and guitars in hand, they look like a rock band. Albeit a big, neatly dressed, smiling rock band.
I mean, seriously, how hard is it to ask someone associated with the group (because honestly I have a hard time even calling Casting Crowns a band) or even with our genre about how to describe their music.
It kind of makes me think, "No wonder we sometimes feel like the red-headed stepchild of the music world. No one takes the time to listen and correctly identify us." I feel like in the past I've seen the same title "rocker" associated with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. Why is that? It doesn't even make sense if you listen to even one song.
Or is my definition of a "rocker" way off?
Switchfoot, Needtobreathe, Skillet, those are rockers and they are Christians and they are Christian rockers. Those make sense. But to lump everyone in our world in that category is not only a little insulting, it's just plain stupid. How do we reach a wider audience if the gatekeepers can't even get it right? How do we remedy that? How do we educate?
Huh. Maybe one market at a time. One on one with your listeners. How much do you talk about the variety in Christian music, even if it doesn't fit your Christian AC or CHR format? How do you let your moms know about music for their kids? How do we spread the word about diversity of Christian music from the worship bands to the rockers, even if one or other doesn't fit our playlist specifically?
I'm tired of reading stupid things like "Christian rockers Casting Crowns." It makes me think we're not doing our part to tell our story. In a way it kind of reflects bad on us. I'd like to change that.