Saturday, December 5, 2009

A how-to on Switchfoot crossover success...? ; more tour videos

Well, looks like the $5 deal on Amazon for "Hello Hurricane" has been extended even further. So, ff you haven't gotten any copy of "Hello Hurricane" yet, or if you want to help support the band with some extra change, or if you want to buy it for a friend, go grab it here now!

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BeliefNet posted an interesting analysis of Christian music and crossover success. They highlight how Switchfoot did it, and I find their ideas interesting:

The first story I was assigned on the topic of Christian music, back in the early '90s, was an investigation into whether Christian bands used religious talk shows the way mainstream bands boosted their records on the "Tonight" show or Letterman.

The answer? Not really. But it occurred to me while watching Switchfoot perform "Mess of Me" on the "Tonight" show this week--above, I embedded their "Kimmel" appearance from two weeks ago; it was hotter--that when Christian record producers first dreamed of bands that could play both on mainstream TV and at Christian festivals, Switchfoot was what they pictured. How did they do it? Some lessons of Switchfoot's crossover success:


Build a Christian audience first. Though bands hate to be restricted to Christian CD racks, gospel Grammys and CCM radio--one group of rocking believers sued their mainstream label when they were shunted to the Christian subsidiary--church basements and Christian festivals give a band a safe place to tighten their sound and find their voice. Think Beatles in Hamburg.

Get riffy with it. The crossover rock bands of the '90s tried to translate their Christian numbers into mainstream success without getting a grip on what drives the secular market: aural hooks to fight through the bigger, noisier crowd. From "Dare You to Move" to "Hello Hurricane," Switchfoot has stripped down from alt-jangle to a sound centered on gritty riffs.

Stay Christian. While they adapted to mainstream sound, Switchfoot has never stopped writing songs that make sense to both its audiences, unlike bands that tried to smuggle themselves across the Christian divide with secular pop. Even when they hit, they soon died because they had stopped doing what made them good. Witness "Mess of Me," which screeches about drugs and misspent days, but is ultimately about redemption.


^I like how the writer likened "church basements and Christian festivals" to The Beatle's time slogging and laboring in Hamburg before dominating the world. I do think this isn't something bands can look at as an end-all formula for crossover success. The situations are slightly different.

I'm not sure if the band was intentionally looking to crossover into the mainstream by toiling in the Christian scene, but they never wanted to start out in the CCM scene in the first place; rather, it was forced on them when Re:Think got bought out by Sparrow. Either way, whatever it was, it worked for the band... but to any upstart acts out there, i wouldn't recommend this method as a do-or-die.

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The Lords of Pain, a wrestling news site, posted a recap of the weeks events and mentioned "Bullet Soul":



^I still find it quite hilarious that "Bullet Soul" is associated with WWE. I expected it to be snatched up by some form of extreme sport, like BMX or skating or something... not... er... wrestling! But that's ok.

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The popular alternative band Cartel, who I used to listen to A TON, is opening for Switchfoot tonight in Atlanta. Check out what Cartel had to say about Switchfoot:



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Here is the "To Save a Life" movie trailer that features "Mess of Me," now on Youtube for easier streaming. Rate, comment, and share it with your friends!



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Now for some Tour Videos from the show in Asheville

Free



Red Eyes



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Have a good weekend friends! Be sure to check back on Monday for something kinda special... depends on whether you think it is or not! Anyways, I digress. Peace out!