Freshman Year Soundtrack

First year of college? DONE. Now I only have three more to go…

Anyway, this past year I listened to a lot of music. I mean, I don’t have over 500 songs on my phone for nothing! Plus, I think music can often provide motivation, encouragement, and support all through life, and it expresses things that sometimes can’t be described in just words.

This week, I wanted to share a handful of songs that I’m calling my Freshman Year Soundtrack. Although I listened to much more than this list, these are the songs that I think most describe my year and are also some of the songs that most encouraged me all through the school year. You can listen to the whole playlist on Spotify, but if you want to hear my explanations of the songs, keep reading!

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A Case for Christian Metal

You probably know by now that there are many things I’m passionate about – books, writing, video games, stories, mental health, photography, the list goes on and on. One of those things is music.

I love all kinds of music – everything from the poppy electronic beats of The Jellyrox to the rapping of Manafest to the heavy riffs of Wolves At The Gate. This is also evidenced by some of my previous posts, like my favorite music videos (Part 1 & Part 2) and my favorite lead vocalists (Part 1 & Part 2).

As a Christian, I tend to listen to music that has a Christian message, or is at the very least appropriate and not disrespectful. One of the genres I’ve learned to love over the past year or so is Christian metal which is a vague term, but I basically mean metal/metalcore music that has a Christian message (if you’d like a longer explanation of my thoughts on “Christian music,” you should read my Beginner’s Guide to Christian Rock). Even though I dislike using “Christian” as a genre, I’m going to use it in this post because it will (hopefully) clear up any confusion.

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Nick Detty of Wolves At The Gate

Christian metal bands are often the recipients of a lot of criticism because of the style of music they play. Forget the message. I’ve seen everything from “How do you know it’s honoring God if you can’t understand what they’re saying?” to “The music is too worldly.” Responses to these comments will wait for another day. Today, I’d like to explain to you why I think Christian metal is important, and why, even if you detest the musical style itself, you can at least respect these bands for what they do.

It all started when I went to see Memphis May Fire a few weeks ago…

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A Beginner’s Guide to Christian Rock

Or, “Another Excuse for Me to Talk About My Favorite Bands.”

Want to start listening to Christian rock, but don’t know where to start? Well, I’m here to help.

But let’s get one thing straight first – I’m not the biggest fan of the term “Christian rock,” or whatever genre you feel like shoving in there. First off “Christian” isn’t a genre, no matter what your local Christian bookstore tries to tell you, and second, bands can’t actually be Christian. To quote Blimey Cow for the second time in the past week: “Bands don’t have souls! DC Talk didn’t go to Heaven when it died!”

However, musicians can be Christian, and lyrics can have themes related to Christianity. Musicians and bands use their platform to share the Good News, which I think is wonderful! That’s really what I mean when I use the term “Christian rock” – a rock band that’s using their music and their platform to spread the Gospel.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll explain this list: I know from experience that discovering Christian rock is both incredibly exciting and very overwhelming, so I decided to come up with a reference for those new to this “genre.” I’ve included the bands I think are pretty accessible to everyone up to metalcore and heavier artists. There’s a place for everyone, so read on!

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5ish Christmas Covers

Around this time last year, I posted about my favorite original Christmas songs. It actually went out on Christmas day, since that was when I was still posting on Fridays, of course.

As a lover of Christmas music, I couldn’t resist the urge to do that again, except this year, I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite Christmas covers. These are songs that you’re probably familiar with in one way or another, though these covers might be a little different than what you’re used to. You’ve probably noticed that I love a variety of music, including what you might call “headbanger music.” I know this isn’t everyone’s favorite, so I’ll do my best to denote the genres with the song!

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September in Pictures (Uprise 2016)

I mentioned last week that I was headed off to Uprise Fest for the weekend, and I had such a great time! This week, I thought I’d share a bit about my experience and some of the pictures I took as well.

(And don’t forget, you can see more of my Uprise Fest pictures on my Canon Fire Photos Facebook page!)

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