In Clef Notes, thESource columnist Josh Salzburg takes a monthly look at all things musical: artists, labels, lyrics, lawsuits, and, perhaps most importantly, listeners. Tune in to Clef Notes each month to catch a soundwave about what’s up in the music scene.

With all the recent media craze over pop-star studded stunts (MTV makeouts, Super Bowl shams), the music world has suddenly become taboo in the church, and for once, most of America’s families agree:

If this is music, our children don’t need it.

How sick is it that we can’t hear a beautiful voice without attaching it to a scantily clad dancer? It is nearly impossible to support an artist’s music without also condoning their actions, which focus around sexuality, materialism, atheism; issues completely separate from the artist’s lyrics. The youth leader’s days of simply marking off artists such as Eminem due to his lyrics are over. Now, you’re being held responsible for researching artist’s lifestyles as well.

So, what about going to concerts? Ha, right! If artists are willing to shed their clothes on network television, imagine what they’ll do in the privacy of an arena.
If all of this talk and controversy has made you long for the purer days of music yesteryear, search no further. The next few months bring several solid music acts together on tours that your youth will love, and you just might have a good time too.

NewSong’s Winter Jam tour has been running for 8 years and has included artist such as Rebecca St. James, Newsboys, and Tait. Those not familiar with NewSong might recall their holiday hit “The Christmas Shoes,” and many will recognize some of the big names on this year’s tour. Up-and-coming artists Todd Agnew and Jadyn Maria team up with veterans Audio Adrenaline and Reliant K. This year’s tour also includes illusionist Brock Gill. Eddie Carswell of NewSong claims, “This is definitely one of the strongest lineups we’ve had.” Whether your group is looking for alternative (Audio Adrenaline), punk rock (Relient K), or the musical showcase of NewSong, the ticket price should be well worth the wait: $10.50!

Looking for a quality mainstream show? Linkin Park takes their Meteora Tour throughout the world on March 6th. True, the multi-multi-multi-platinum artists do not show up on any Christian charts, but their lyrics avoid expletives and their tour carries Christian crossover heavyweight, P.O.D. These two award-winning acts will be opened by Story of the Year and Hoobastank. Both acts do not have any problems musically or lyrically, but both bands’ stage show isn’t free of choice vocabulary. If youth are interested in the Meteora tour, which will prove to be the concert event of the year, don’t feel bad about their attendance. Just warn them about the first two acts, and the ticket price ($34.50). Regardless, the Meteora Tour is a great opportunity for Christians to support the rise of Christian influence in mainstream music through P.O.D.

If Winter Jam is too tame for your mosh-pit driving, crowd surfing youth, but you are unsure of mainstream’s Meteora Tour, just See Spot Rock. No, it’s not a beginning readers book. See Spot Rock is the Christian rock event of the spring. Featuring Pillar, Skillet, Grits, Big Dismal, and headlined by 12 Stones, the CCM labeled Favorite Show of 2003 is back and better than ever! The tour kicks off in Birmingham, Alabama on March 5th and will continue across the U.S. throughout April. Not only do fans get samples from Christian artists who influence hard rock, rap-core, and post-grunge, they’ll also experience what the industry has in store from rap duo, Grits. Tickets range from $15-$25, but there are group rates available. This is not just an opportunity to experience some of the best rock around; it is a chance to support quality music with positive messages at some of the country’s most acclaimed venues. Spot will be stopping through Rocketown in Nashville as well as the House of Blues in Chicago, L.A., and Anaheim.

With all of these great concerts featuring artists bearing the name of Christ, there’s no reason that your youth should have to settle for Blink, or Korn, or even Carmen (sorry buddy, your time left with the 90’s)! Be safe, rock hard, and who knows? Maybe we’ll meet in the mosh pit.

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