I have a talent that is virtually worthless. That talent is the ability to scan radio stations and identify the Christian ones simply by music, without hearing lyrics, almost instantly. Why am I able to do this? Because it's bad music? Not really. I wasn't able to put it into words until a few years ago, when I lived in Nashville and ran with a crowd of (somewhat successful) Christian musicians. Once, I was talking with my friend Josiah and a guy from the band, The Elms. That guy was saying how Christian music suffers for its lack of sex. Not sexual content, mind you, but sexual energy. Maybe we take it for granted in the secular world but its a necessity for good rock and roll. And that's why I'm able to pinpoint the Christian radio stations. The lack of sexual energy may be comforting to repressed middle aged American men and women who don't really care about music anyway, but for those of us that do, it makes for some bland shit. I should point out that this is not a problem across the board for all Christian artists (as I'll point out further), and the irony is that I heard this from a member of the Elms, one of the more neutered bands you're likely to hear.
So why wouldn't the Christian music industry embrace sexual energy? It doesn't sell to the youth groups, quite simply. Let's take a look at one of the martyrs to learn this lesson; My idol, acquaintance, and former label mate, Lee Bozeman. (Just so you know, I'm about to get really nerdy about a really obscure band.)
When, and if, you ever meet someone who knows who Lee Bozeman is, they're likely to spin you a tale of tragedy. How Luxury, Lee's band (possibly the greatest band ever), is the greatest band ever and deserved so much more recognition than they ever got. Then there was the tragic car crash that seriously injured the band between their 1st and 2nd records leaving their careers in limbo. The band put out more records, but by Lee's own admission, they were never really a band again.
I once drove to Illinois to see Luxury play. They reunited to play the Cornerstone Festival occasionally and I just had a feeling that if I missed their show in 2002, I wouldn't get another chance. Turns out, I was right. As it also turns out, it was probably the best show I've ever seen. Honestly, there were instances where you could tell that the band hadn't played together in a long time, but those were trivial when you considered the energy that they had. I saw in Lee Bozeman the kind of frontman I wanted to be. Talk about sexual energy! I've since dedicated my energy on stage to mimicking him. The one good thing about Luxury never becoming a huge band is that no one knows I'm trying my hardest to rip someone off.
Shortly after, I was relieved to learn that Lee was still making music, under the moniker "All Things Bright & Beautiful" and released an album on Northern Records entitled, Love and Affection. It's great, though a little more somber than the Luxury stuff. I personally think that Lee is at his best when he's loud and intense, but he does quiet and delicate quite well, just the same.
A few days ago, Lee emailed me to tell me that he's made more music and it's available. Always great news! He changed the moniker from "All Things..." to "Orient Is His Name" which I'm not as big a fan of, but a rose by any other name...
Anyway, I'm posting it here because I'm tired of people acting like Lee's career is in its epilogue, especially Lee. This is one of the worlds finest songwriters, singers, lyricists, and entertainers and it's time the world fucking realized it. I'll not go to my grave not having done everything in my power to share the luxury of Lee Bozeman with everyone I can.
This isn't my favorite thing he's ever done, honestly. As I said, I like the loud and intense the best, but this is a beautiful EP, nonetheless. Please, for the sake of justice, go listen and download and absorb this. You can download it for free, or pay however much you like, just do it. Then go to Amazon and buy all the Luxury records. (my favorites in order are: 1. Luxury- self titled 2. Luxury - Amazing & Thank You 3. All Things Bright & Beautiful - Love & Affection 4. Luxury - Health & Sport 5. Luxury - The Latest & The Greatest.)
I really think you'll be glad you did. Now click on this picture.