Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The New Album From Jesus

FYI: Jesus has a new album. I’m kidding, but our computer database does list the artist for this album as “Jesus.” I do find it interesting that Jesus recorded an album covering all the overplayed, tired worship songs you used to love but now secretly hate. Then he commissioned a companion book to generate a few extra profits.

On a whim, I decided to take our computer database at face value. What if Jesus really had recorded an album? Here is an excerpt from an interview that would have appeared in [insert your favorite music publication].
After a 2000 year hiatus, Jesus has returned to the recording studio. He has remained largely absent from the music scene ever since his band Jesus and the Fishers of Men All-Stars broke up. For the first time in 2000 years, we sat down with Jesus to get his thoughts on the state of music, the possibility of a reunion tour, his new album, and the genius of Ringo Starr.

[Music Magazine]: So why did you wait 2000 years to record a new album.

[Jesus Christ]: I felt like the time was right. I was tired of this religious revival with all these people claiming to understand the impact of my music and then butchering it. It’s like The Strokes; they desperately want to be The Ramones, but they don’t have the talent, the attitude or the life experience to capture that raw energy. Music today is full of posers. I’m here to bring the old school flavor back.

[MM]: There has to be someone you like in today’s music industry?

[JC]: Kanye West, but he did write a song about me. After Bono lost his god complex, I really began to like U2. Johnny Cash and I were really tight. That man was more punk than Blink 182.

[MM]: Who do you think represents what is wrong with the music industry?

[JC]: Kelly Clarkson. She is all that is soulless and wrong. Nickelback really sucks too.

[MM]: In this election year we’ve been reintroduced to musicians making political statements. Your music always seemed to capture the political and social issues of your day so well.

[JC]: How so?

[MM]: Well, you were always looking out for the poor, the oppressed, and the children, among others. You always seemed to want justice. Your music provided the blueprint for socially conscious artists.

[JC]: Those aren’t political issues. That was the major point of my music. These were spiritual issues. They could only be changed by the power of God channeled through His people. I always tried to avoid politics. The issue of taxes was the only exception. If you look at my entire catalogue, I didn’t try to change the world through political action. I tried to change people’s hearts. When these issues are co-opted by political campaigns, they are inevitably distorted, watered down and done a disservice.

[MM]: Many of your fans have tried to claim their political action was motivated by your music. Were they wrong?

[JC]: Here’s the thing about fans, and it’s true of any fan of any major artist: they always get the facts wrong. They all become instant experts. They take one aspect of your music and blow it out of proportion. They end up completely misrepresenting your talent, your message and your catalogue.

The Beatles are the perfect example. Lennon and McCartney were a great songwriting team. People go on and on about that. Those guys were good, but they weren’t that good. The fans also try to say Ringo was the luckiest man in the world; a talentless hack who got lucky. But they overlook the sheer genius of the minimalist drumming on tracks like “In My Life.”

[MM]: So are the fans just dumb?

[JC]: That’s not what I’m saying. You have to remember, that when my music first began to emerge from the underground scene in Nazareth, the cultural climate was a hotbed of unrest. People wanted a revolution. They wanted “Street Fighting Man” by the Rolling Stones. I didn’t give them that. So they ignored the vast majority of what I was saying. They took what was popular and ran with it. But the music lives on, and if you return to that you’ll understand what I’m saying.

[MM]: Let’s get to the question on everyone’s mind, is there going to be a reunion?

[JC]: Nothing has been confirmed, but I will say the boys and I met for a week in Key West and discussed our future over key lime pie and margaritas. We had a great time, and I think the creative tension is still there. We’ve started talking to producers, and I’d say there is a very good chance of an album by the end of next year.

[MM]: Can you give us any kind of taste of the artistic direction of this album?

[JC]: Well, we were hoping for a world music kind of feel. Not Paul Simon in Africa kind of stuff but more of a sampling of music of the disenfranchised. We already have some guests stars lined up, people like Chuck D from Public Enemy, Bono from U2, Moby and Justin Timberlake.

[MM]: Justin Timberlake sings music of the disenfranchised?

[JC]: No, but our record label wanted at least one radio single. It was either Justin Timberlake or Clay Aiken. Pick your poison. I tell you, those accountants are ruining the art form.


Rouver said...

Sooo, just how many personalities do you have trapped inside you?

Ryan said...

This is really funny. I think you have a great blog and I look forward to continuing to read it. Glad I found it. I, too, am a seminarian, and so appreciate your sense of cynicism and humor.


Anonymous said...

Ben! You rock! This is really funny, pointed and slightly cynical, but very truthful. I'll be back!


Jim said...


"Don't call it a comeback
I've been here for years"

Anonymous said...

comedic gold, my friend.


Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Frickin' hilarious man! You made my day.

Keep on rockin' in the free (er, is it?) world.

Neb said...

This is one FINE piece of creative writing! Great points, very pithy. When JC really comes back he'll probably have his people call your people for a meeting...

clara* said...

wow i love it. i've blogrolled you just so you know. i'll be back...

Rouver said...

Speaking of music, EmorySalem has a nice looking website up:

There's a couple of their songs on there that you can listen to.

It consists of Bruce Benedict doing whatever musical thing that needs to be done, Matt Hale on keyboard I believe, and Kyle Ragsdale as the main vocals.

Ben said...


Thanks for the link to Emory Salem. I had no idea those guys were making music together. They're three of my favorite people, and I bet the music is great.

So, did I know you in a previous life? Are you a resident of Indianapolis? I'm assuming there is some sort of connection since you mention Emory Salem, a band made up of people from my old church.

Anonymous said...

I think a duet with Karin Bergquist from Over the Rhine would be killer.

And I think JC is down with the new U2 album. Have you heard it?

As a former FCS Asst Mgr, I love your site!

Friday Night Running

erika said...

i *heart* this blog.

i think Jesus and ben gibbard should collaborate. they could do kind of a heaven/earth postal service kind of thing. i'd be down.

Anonymous said...

A riot. Thanks. I gave it a recommendation on my blog --

-- Dan

Anonymous said...

And do you know Matt MacKellar at Bethel? He's the former youth pastor at my church.

Ben said...

The name Matt MacKellar does not sound familiar. That doesn't mean anything - I'm terrible with names.

Rouver said...

Yes, we've met a couple of times. I currently live in Indy.

Seth said...

I love how small this blog world is. I have been enjoying this blog for a while, and then in the comments I come across metion of my old college roomate Bruce Benedict and his new band. So weird, I can't really even get my head around it. Anyway, keep up the good work on this blog.

AllisonJoy said...

More Indy people? I'm from Indy also. How do we end up finding each other? I'm now living in Nashville. Yes, yes, the self-appointed source of all things Christian music. I'm working in the Christian music industry too, so I'm glad I discovered this blog--the perfect home for good laughs. This is the industry we love to hate. :)

Donna said...

I love your blog! It's just too funny. I've plugged your blog on mine -- all 2 of my readers will know about you! :-)

Keep up the hysterical posting, please!!!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work.


Cardiphonia said...

Hey Ben,

Either this is some undercover advertisement for or just a great blog! for all interested...this is our real address.! or we've got a myspace.

Keep up the great writing ben...see you at FFM hopefully this year.


p.s. Seth Harrell!! what the sh*t. email me.