New Christian rock videos by Skillet, Audio Adrenaline, etc.

Written: 9 March, 2000

I saw the newest video from Skillet, for their song "Best Kept Secret," from their new album, Invincible. I have to say that I enjoyed the song, although the techno/Nine Inch Nails influence and the "futuristic" outfits is quite different from their old sound and image. I thought the group looked kind of silly-looking in the new album cover photo that I saw, and some people might say that their look in the new video is kinda tacky looking rather than cool looking, but in regards to the music, I thought that the song was exciting. I think Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" may have been an influence on the look of the video, such as the dangling guitar & microphone cords hanging from the ceiling in an obvious way, just like "Brazil" had awful-looking tubes running through the rooms and stuff. The pointy edges on the lead singer's black outfit reminded me of Edward Scissorhands. (I think he wore something like that, didn't he?)

A few days ago, I happened to tape the video for one of Skillet's older songs off the TV, "Saturn," and it's remarkable how different the style is. In "Saturn," the lead singer is dressed normally and wearing glasses, reminded me of an "intellectual" type singer such as John Lennon or XTC's Andy Partridge.

I also recently saw Audio Adrenaline's latest video, "Hands & Feet," which I believe is their second off their "Underdog" album (which was up for a Grammy recently, but lost to Rebecca St. James). I notice there is a bit in the last half of "Hands & Feet" that sounds reminiscent of the beginning of DC Talk's "Colored People." The emphasis on being active in helping the poor in a foreign land reminded me of the 1980s charity projects like USA For Africa.

And it also made me look at A.A.'s previous video, "Get Down," in another light. In retrospect, "Get Down" takes place within a comfortable suburb, where wealth, food, transportation, etc. are in abundance. We are shown ways in which people can act in a helpful or positive manner in this everyday environment (stopping to help a motorist, etc). These are ordinary, relatively undemanding ways in which we are presented opportunities to put into practice the good that we claim to believe in. "Hands & Feet" goes a step further, showing us how people can go out of their way to help others, not simply waiting around for an opportunity to help.

Another new song that I've seen the video for recently was "Love Liberty Disco" from the Newsboys album of the same name. I've watched this a bunch of times and really enjoy it. The way in which ordinary people are transformed into disco attire when they enter the disco made me wonder if I shouldn't dress so drably as I do. The guitarist with the long blond hair, in this retro setting, reminded me of one of those 1970s heartthrobs like Peter Frampton or Leif Garrett.

"120 Minutes" had planned to air the new video from Chevelle last week, "Point #1" from their album of the same name. Apparently the new video didn't reach MTV in time, so they played Chevelle's current video "Mia" instead, and promised to play the new one on next week's show. So, "Point #1" should be shown between midnight and 2am this Sunday night on MTV. "Mia," by the way, is an excellent video, amusing and disturbing at the same time, like a short art film instead of a usual music video. Hopefully "Point #1" will be just as creative. P.O.D.'s "Southtown" video was also shown on last week's "120 Minutes," and the band appeared in-studio for a short interview.

Both Skillet and P.O.D., among many others, will be appearing at this year's Cornerstone Festival, which happens in Bushnell, Illinois, on July 5-9, and which features a zillion bands on various different stages, playing at the same time. Here are the acts scheduled for the Main Stage:

Wednesday, July 05, 2000:
6:30 PM - 7:20 PM: Skillet
7:40 PM - 8:30 PM: The W's
8:55 PM - 9:50 PM: Jennifer Knapp
10:15PM - 11:25PM: Third Day

Thursday, July 06, 2000:
6:30 PM - 7:20 PM: Fono
7:40 PM - 8:30 PM: 77s
8:55 PM - 9:50 PM: Burlap to Cashmere
10:15PM - 11:25PM: Delirious?

Friday, July 07, 2000:
6:30 PM - 7:20 PM: Blindside
7:40 PM - 8:30 PM: Squad Five-O
8:55 PM - 9:50 PM: Living Sacrifice
10:15PM - 11:25PM: P.O.D.

Saturday, July 08, 2000:
6:30 PM - 7:20 PM: Switchfoot
7:40 PM - 8:30 PM: Five Iron Frenzy
8:55 PM - 9:50 PM: MxPx
10:15PM - 11:25PM: O.C. Supertones