Saturday, December 26, 2009

I didn't buy cigarettes at Berean, but I did find this..

What an amazing day at Berean Christian Stores. The chain is under new management, and for the first time I am aware of since 1984, they are stocking...U2!!

I even snapped a quick stealth photo of the remastered "Joshua Tree" CD on the rack, flanked on both sides by a Chris Tomlin CD...but I was afraid some kind of alarm would go off (:

I remember they stocked "War" when it was new.

But the story about the last time I spotted U2 at Berean is hilarious:

The last time I remember seeing a U2 record in a Christian store was so long ago that it WAS literally a record (the "Wide in America" EP, an import version), and the price tag was strategically placed over the cigarette hanging out of Adam’s mouth!
-LINK, "Is there such a thing as Christian music?"

But on this same trip to Berean...and even more controversial to some, I was able to buy (on the cut-out rack, of course...shhh, don't tell Jesus! What will they sell next!? See last year's post,"Lifehouse skit, and cigarettes on sale at Berean Christian Store") "Brothers/Sisters," the much-acclaimed (everywhere but in Christian circles! (See the amazon reviews, for example) 2006 release by MewithoutYou.

Some are wondering, "Are they a Christian band?"

Even though the only real answer to that question is "no,"
whether it's Gaithers or King's X (the only thing that can be "Christian" is a non-thing: a person)....

The enigmatic and autistic (or ADD, depending on who you ask)lead singer, who spent some time living in inner city Philly with Shane Claiborne's intentional, incarnational, missional community, The Simple Way (he talks about it in the video here) answers this way:
"It’s not like I’m offended if someone says we’re a Christian band. I just don’t think it’s true. I don’t think we live up to that calling, so I’d be reluctant to go saying that."
link, the Wikipedia page on the band
Wonder what he'd think if he knew his Cds were at Berean (Probably wouldn't be as colorful a response as was Ben Moody on finding out Evanesence was in Christian stores)...if he has heard of Berean. (:

But isn't it amazing to find lyrics liken this at Berean?:

"I'm still (...eeeh, technically) a virgin after 27 years/which has never bothered me before/what's maybe 50 more" (from "C Minor")

The music and vibe?

Fascinating. Much better than "Gaithers and Benny Hinn on crack." (Though some might place them in that league").

If you like the Psalters (who have played with them), 16 Horsepower/Woven Hand, The Danielson, The Flaming Lips, the Pixies, or Arcade Fire, you might like them...

Or not.

Suffice to say they are from Philly, not Kansas.
I don't know if I'll ever acclimate fully to them.

Maybe that would be a bad thing anyway (:

A few article excerpts..

Note the unapologetic assumption of the first sentence in this one (it would never appear in an openly Christian magazine):

An openly Christian band that frequently tackles religious themes, mewithoutYou has also accomplished the rare feat of creating music that transcends religious and social boundaries..
The Weiss brothers -- vocalist Aaron Weiss and guitarist Mike Weiss -- were raised in a Sufi Islamic household with a mother who had converted from Christianity and a father who had converted from Judaism. As a result, they were well-versed in multiple religions from an early age, and the influence has played a part in their lives as well as their music. The band members are indubitably Christian and believe that Jesus Christ leads the path to God; nonetheless, this disc heavily explores the idea that perhaps all of the world's religions
hold significance -- that perhaps all can lead to one coming face-to-face with an ultimate truth or higher power...
"Whenever you point a finger at somebody else, saying [he] is not a true Christian because [he] has a song called "Allah, Allah, Allah," on [his] record, you have three fingers pointing back at you. If you want to bring Christianity and Jesus into it, I don't think Jesus would ever put somebody on the chopping block for writing a song like that, honestly," Weiss states. "[The record is] meant to do nothing but glorify our Creator." Even with their faith in Christianity, though, mewithoutYou is really just a rock band when it comes down to it...

"I don't think we're up there putting on a ministry. We're not up there trying to come to your city to have church," says Weiss. "We're trying to be a band and are expressing ourselves as artists. That's what every band does."
-Redefine magazine
How about this:

SING TO THE LORD A NEW SONG: Swami-like and pedagogical in skullcap, glasses, corduroy blazer, and striped tie, with the first Beatitude (“Blessed are the poor in spirit…”) tattooed on his wrists, Aaron Weiss steps into the street after his band’s sound check and is promptly cornered by a young man wearing a homemade Aaron Weiss T-shirt. The young man has questions, questions; Weiss nods, smiles, radiates. The world is looking very worldly this evening, in Philadelphia’s Chinatown—the dazed conventioneers issuing from the nearby 1,400-room Marriott; the seamed faces of the homeless—but here outside the Trocadero Theatre, we’re running a slight spiritual temperature. Local theophile band mewithoutYou is playing a sold-out show, and the air holds the possibility that the kingdom of God, if it doesn’t descend to Earth tonight, will at least lower itself by a couple of inches....

Or this from MTV:

>Mewithoutyou: Not Your Average Christian, Vegetable-Oil-Fueled, Flower-Flinging Rockers:Philadelphia band's eccentricity has worked in its favor.

See their MySpace for more.

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