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The best band you’ve never heard of

I went to a Bebo Norman concert last night. Bebo Norman is a Christian singer/songwriter. I saw him open for Third Day a few months ago, and as good as Third Day was, Bebo kind of stole the show.
What goes around comes around. One of Bebo’s opening acts was the David Crowder Band. All I knew about them going in was they were from Waco, Texas. I didn’t expect much. But they blew me away.

David Crowder has an unusual voice. Sometimes it reminds me some of the lead singer for Toad the Wet Sprocket, if you remember them. And sometimes it reminds me of Elvis Costello. But I find I’m really reaching. It’s different enough to grab you, but not so different as to make you uncomfortable. There, how’s that?

He has an appearance that’ll grab you and might make you uncomfortable. He has really wild hair, thick eyebrows and a goatee that’s a good three inches long. He wears glasses with the thick black frames, similar to the standard military-issue glasses. Normally I’d call them unstylish, but they look fine on him.

The band is loud. Really loud. And in addition to the expected electric and acoustic guitars (lots of ’em), bass, and drum, they frequently mix in synthesizers, samples, and violin. It’s been a long time since a band has floored me with its sound, but these guys did. All of their songs could have been about motor oil and I would have bought all their records. Since I was pretty sure I heard them mention God a few times (it was hard to tell over all that double-time clapping) I had double excuse to buy all their records. So I went to their booth at intermission and bought all their records.

The current one is called “Can You Hear Us?” It’s loud. I don’t think David Crowder’s favorite Psalm is “Be still and know I am God.” But you know how a lot of bands are an angry loud, or at least an angst-y loud? DCB is a happy loud.

It starts off fairly slow and easy and segues into loud and fast. The album roughly alternates fast and slow numbers for the duration. I think there needs to be a radio station that does nothing but play it over and over. So I guess I like it, but I can’t nail down exactly why. It’s loud and quirky and uses a lot of instruments. But just as Butt-Head knew it takes more than bears to make a video cool (even though Beavis didn’t), it takes more than volume and quirks and lots of instruments to make a record cool. I don’t know what that is but they’ve got it.

One of my favorite bands of all time is The Cars, and I think part of what I liked about them was how they mixed quirkiness with really good musicianship. I wouldn’t say DCB sounds like The Cars. But they take that formula another direction.

David Crowder got his start by recruiting college students for worship services, which led to him co-founding a church called University Baptist Church in Waco, and eventually he started writing his own songs. I don’t know about using some of the songs for a church service, at least not in Mehlville and Oakville, Missouri, but I’ll listen to it when I’m not in church, that’s for certain.

And if I’m ever in Waco, I’ll check out his church to see how they make those songs work in that setting.

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7 thoughts on “The best band you’ve never heard of”

  1. I’ve discovered I really like some of this hard sounding Christian rock.

    The song “My Glorious” is my favorite of that type. It’s pretty loud and “heavy handed” sounding when it gets played at the worship service at church. I’m not sure how much everyone else likes it but I sure do.

    Yeah, we heard it this morning.

    This is the same song I’ve woken up singing about 4 mornings this week.

    I’d be interested in chasing down this DCB music ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. It’s a cop-out. I’m ashamed I’m still struck so dumb I can’t say it myself. Here’s a review written by somebody else. Along with RealAudio links and a place to buy it.

    I e-mailed my sister. I told her she’s got to hear this thing.

    True story: At church this morning, this young, single (I checked), attractive girl walked up to me, smiled and said hello. I couldn’t figure out where I know her from. She sat down. (I can’t sit down next to her. I’m ushing, or whatever it is that ushers do. What ushers don’t do is go sit down next to pretty girls who come to church alone.)

    I talked to her after the service. I found out where I know her from. I found out what she’s studying. I invited her to my next Bible study. I didn’t ask her out. Go ahead and yell at me, get it over with.

    I thought later about what would be better: a cup of coffee with her, or listening to that DCB CD one more time. Now, I’ve had one (yes, one, as in half of two) date all year. Nothing against her. Really, nothing against her. She’s a nice girl.

    I had to think about it a really long time. I think I’d go for the coffee and the company. Mostly because I realized I could listen to the CD in the car on the way there and the way back.

    Go buy it. And make sure you’ve got some CD-R blanks, because you’re going to want to make copies for your car and for work. Put the original in your CD player at home. And glue the door shut. You won’t want to change it anyway.

  3. Check out these other great Christian Rock Bands.
    Rhythm. I ran sound at a local coffee shop/club (Studio 34) in Tulsa, for 4 years. This band was easily the best live band we hosted. They are the most energetic, and have the best stage presence. You can listen to several mp3’s online. If you get an opportunity check them out live. Back stage they are as real as on stage, and exemplify what it means to be a christian.

    Other Christian bands to check out:
    Lifehouse, last song on cd is an awesome worship song.
    Chasing Furies
    Circadian Rhythm
    Ten Sheckle Shirt
    Five Iron Frenzy

    Awesome praise/worship cd
    United Live: Everyday. United Live is the youth band of Hillsong Church in Australia. Hillsong is the church that Darlene Zschech is from. Check out her albums too.

  4. Ya’ want I should just post the list from the stack at work or the stack at home <g>?

    There is soooo much good stuff out there!

  5. Dan,

    Start with the list from work, ’cause that is where you are now, then when you get home, post part 2…


  6. Let’s see…

    In no particular order:

    Lifehouse No Name Face
    Paul Baloche God of Wonders
    Audio Adrenaline Lift
    Rebecca St. James Worship God
    Jeff Deyo Saturate
    dc Talk Jesus Freak
    Third Day Come Together
    Alavon O2 Remixed
    The Katinas Lifestyle
    Third Day Offerings
    various Stadium Jam
    Crystal Lewis Beauty for Ashes
    Darlene Zschech Shout to the Lord, Platinum Collection
    various Edge of Worship
    Chris Rice Past the Edges
    various Awesome God, a tribute to Rich Mullins
    Rich Mullins Songs
    Darlene Zschech/Hillsongs I Believe the Promise

    …and some secular stuff <g>

    I’ll do home another day…

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