by Chris Bertram on August 6, 2005

Here’s a site I think is fun: “Cheezeball”: . Dedicated to (whatever that is) and keeping it free of schmaltz and schlock: ‘ “It is “cheeze” with a “z,” as in “Muzak.”‘. The reviews are often savage (including of a least one album I think is pretty good) and funny and the “manifesto”: is worth a read (and connects with “Kieran’s recent post”: on Christian rock).



soubzriquet 08.06.05 at 9:02 am

Christian musicians clearly doesn’t imply Chrisitan music (rock or otherwise). A couple of commenters have mentioned the excellent new album by Sufjan Stevens, which only incidentally has some Christian themes. Of course a songwriters beliefs will colour their work, but Sufjan is far too talented to muddy his purpose in the 50 states project.

On the other hand, in between the Michigan album (also very good, although not as strong as Illinoise) and this one, he released `Seven Swans’, which is overtly Christian themed. And doesn’t suck.


david 08.06.05 at 9:17 am

Loving country so much you want to keep the cheeze out is a hard life.


Eszter 08.06.05 at 10:22 am

Yes, the Manifesto is definitely worth a read. The Off Topic section is worth a look as well.


Bertrand 08.06.05 at 10:46 am

Alt country is alternative rock played in a country style. Alt country people hate contemporary Nashville country but like outlaw country (Willy Nelson, et al). Some alt country groups are purist traditionalists, though they still write original music. Others develop country style in a direction different than the way Nashville did it. Alt country musicians might be from a countryish area, though they don’t have to be, but they aren’t normally cowboys or barefoot folk from the Tennessee hills. All members of my son’s alt country band had some sort of country roots, but members also has Mexican, Japanese, and Yapese ancestry.

Alternative rock, on the other hand, is an indefinable attempt to find something besides commercial rock (top 40 and oldies).


Chris Bertram 08.06.05 at 12:41 pm

Thanks bertrand, my “whatever that is” was merely meant to signal that the category encompasses a remarkably heterogenous bunch of styles/


soubzriquet 08.06.05 at 12:51 pm

Oops. Post #1, if it isn’t obvious, was meant for the thread on Kieran’s post. I’ve been lurking here for a while but it took a music topic to draw me out. Of course I screwed up in the process!

In response to bertrand though, I think the “alt” label is becoming so dilute as to be meaningless. are so-called Alt-country and Alt-folk really that far apart? While it *might* be uncontroversial to tag a band like Shearwater or The Be Good Tanyas, what about Califone, or The Books for that matter?


Daniel 08.06.05 at 12:53 pm

they were certainly sound on “Countryman” by Willie Nelson. That is possibly the worst album I own, and my collection of unlistenable crap is second to none.


Bertrand 08.06.05 at 1:08 pm

One of the problems with the “alt” category is that it means “non-commercial” among other things, but any group which is reasonably successful in the “alt” category will be courted by the biggies, and will realize that they can reach more people and make more money that way. (If they sign a good contract.) The countercultural precession is eternal.


Matt McGrattan 08.06.05 at 7:11 pm

The entire manifesto seems explicitly designed to catch the work of Lambchop.

I think “Nixon” and “What Another Man Spills” tick pretty much every single box on the their list. Both are still great.

“C’Mon/Aw You C’Mon” and “Is A Woman” are admittedly rubbish though…


corey 08.09.05 at 8:10 pm

This goes out to Max who says there are no good christian hardcore bands. Man you should really know what you are talking about before you say that they suck. Before you permanently decide that there are’nt any good hardcore bands in the christian genre, maybe you should try listening to Zao! Or try, The Chariot, Mortal Treason, Norma Jean, The Death Campaign, Comeback Kid, The Showdown, As I Lay Dying! I believe you just have’nt heard enough. Believe me these guys are good and if you don’t think so then I believe you don’t know what true hardcore is and maybe have no respect for good music.

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