Thursday, December 16, 2004

A New Way to Sample LDS Music

I recently discovered a new website for sampling current LDS music. Actually, new website isn’t really the best way to describe it. New system is better. You can find it at

I’d been to the website, and I’d signed up. For a nominal shipping fee, they send me a CD (I got two of them, actually, at first). Just last night I got my first one and threw it on. There was about 50 minutes of audio program on the CD. When I spun it, it played just like radio. A couple of DJ’s bantered while introducing the songs, and there were even “station” promos, and a couple of ads.

What I enjoyed most about the CD, though, was the songs. Especially the variety. There were a number of mainstream styles represented. There were a couple of urban/R&B/Hip Hop tunes, some more middle-of-the-road rock and pop, some of the current acoustic folk/pop, and even some grunge and a novelty tune. What was distinctly (and thankfully) missing was the sappy Afterglow-like piano ballads of the 80’s and 90’s. Not a one of those. Woo Hoo!

Also, these were all “indies”. None of the “big names”. I put those in quotes because nobody in LDS music is truly “big”. I mean, even Julie De Azevedo has a day job. Personally, I liked that aspect of it. But then, I’m a fan of the new stuff, the oncoming wave, the cutting edge. Often it’s not as polished, but what it lacks in that department, it more than makes up for in sheer guts and freshness.

Here’s some comments on some of the tracks:

Jennifer Lemon: I didn’t catch the title of her track, but I’ve always loved her voice. She’s got the brand, too. Check out sometime, for the young women in your house.

The boys played a track by The Hinkleys that could only be described as pop country with a bit of an edge. I really like their stuff. Tight vocals with some smokin’ guitar and keyboard work.

Carey Judd is an interesting new singer/songwriter. There were two of his tracks on this mix, one was a Peter Breinholt-y acoustic folk alternative sorta thing, and the other was just him and an acoustic guitar, but with an almost Offspring kinda feel. Very cool.

I was pleased to find not only was Fast Sundae included, but they chose what was probably my favorite FS song, too, even though they slated it wrong. They called it as “The Burden of Babylon”, but it was really “Childish Things”, an absolutely killer modern grunge thing about growing up and putting away your childish things, all the while becoming truly childlike.

Besides Jen Lem, there were some other urban tracks, including a battle rap from TJ Fredette (I blogged about him a while back, remember?), and a thing by someone named “Fingermix”. That last one kinda confused me. I wasn’t sure quite how it fit, lyrically speaking, with the other, more LDS, tunes. It was a dance tune, all about a girl who loves her man even though he steps out on her. Nice production, but I was put off by the message. Hmmm…

Overall, I was pleased spinning the CD. Normally, DJ’s annoy me, but I actually liked their banter and their background info. I had some initial suspicions of their business model, though. I wasn’t sure where the funding for the long term was going to be coming from, but I guess there’ll be LDS-related ads both in the program, and in some of the papers that came with the CD. Even though I didn’t mind the few ads they included in the program, I hope they go more with the printed ads. For some reason, I also have to return this CD to get my next one. I’m not sure why. Perhaps the guys at can jump on the comments here and explain that one to us.

Also, I’d like to see them not only tell me the title of every tune, but also, as they’re mastering the CD, drop a song marker at the start of each tune.

For me, though, those complaints are mere nit-picks. The best part of getting the CD was hearing new songs and discovering new artists (along with a couple that I had already heard). And shouldn’t the music be the focus anyway?

I truly hope this effort works out for them. I know I’ll be in on it as a listener, and I also hope to have some of my tunes on a future mix!

Mark Hansen

A Post Script:

If anyone out there has an LDS-oriented CD, or even a downloadable single, contact me, and I’d love to review it, alongside of my regular keen observations and news on the LDS pop culture scene!

1 comment:

  1. I (Mark) got this back from in an email. Thought I'd share it here, as it answers some of the points in the blog:

    Hi Mark,
    Hey thanks so much for the kind words and (I am sure)
    truthful review of LDS Disc Radio. I am VERY VERY glad
    you gave us some critiquing at well. Believe me, we
    need it. As you may know, when you are into the center
    of a project, you aren't quite the most balanced mind
    on the subject, so your comments really mean a lot to
    For some reason I misunderstood the Fingermix song and
    thought it meant something different, even though I
    have listened to it several times> Believe me, you are
    not the first to point that boo-boo out. Fortunately
    we already edited out the song and corrected the name
    on childish things as well as Rich Bischoff's song.
    Now, it is back to being duplicated as the new mix,
    and all new subscribers will receive that set. I have
    to apologize to all of our listeners for that.
    Fingermix has been completely taken out of the mix and
    all future programming because of that song. I did'nt
    even listen to his others lyrics on other songs, but
    if there is something down on one, then I can't take a
    chance promoting the rest. He told me he performed
    these songs at Rick's and BYU and the like, so I
    thought I was just interpreting the song wrong. Our
    lesson for today is "When in doubt, throw it out."
    At the moment, the ads are free on the discs and we
    wanted to keep it that way for a few months until
    there is actually a base large enough that businesses
    will want to pay to advertise. We will probably keep a
    few on disc ads, just to get their message across in
    repetition, like the radio. There will also be more
    print ads included as well. That is pretty much the
    way to pay for the mumbo jumbo behind the scenes.
    Eventually we are shooting to have the shipping way
    down to like $1, so more people will be inclined to
    The biggest reason for having to send discs back, is
    that, like radio, listeners can't really keep the
    music. I would have had no success with getting the
    artists to sign the copyright agreements if
    subscribers were allowed to keep their songs, even if
    it is just two of their songs. This way, listeners
    still have an arsenal of songs each month, and we will
    revisit songs from program to program, and everyone
    stays happy. The discs can be bought, and the cost is
    somewhere around $15 (each) as I recall, and the
    artists would get a fee for each of their songs that
    is on a sold disc. Really this is just to ensure
    people return the discs and keep the spirit of the
    program viable.
    Next month, interviews with artist, and Mark, don't
    forget to email your requests of songs you want to
    hear. If I don't have their music, I will do my best
    to get it. That is how Cary Judd came to join us.
    Thanks again and see you soon.
    Anson Service
    LDS Disc Radio



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