Christian Rock Videos on TV This Weekend

Written: 24 August, 2000

Every Friday and Saturday night, there are two TV channels that play some Christian rock videos and performances at the same time. (If anyone knows of any other times that Christian rock videos are aired on TV, let me know. The only other one I know of is Eastman Curtis' show on TBN. The "Z Music" channel used to play Christian music videos all the time, but that channel went off the air a few months ago.)

The two channels are TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network, identifiable by usually having a phone number at the bottom of the screen) and PAX TV, which becomes ETC (Entertainment That Counts) after midnight. So, if you receive TBN or PAX TV (a.k.a ETC, a.k.a. PRAISE TV) in your area, and you want to see what CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) is like, I suggest checking these progams out.

I'm not sure what songs and artists these channels will be playing this weekend, so I'm taking a risk that they'll play something stupid and someone here will walk away with a negative opinion of CCM. But I neglected to mention this programming last week and it turned out that they played a few cool things (including one show that was like an overview of CCM with clips of a variety of CCM artists in different styles -- that would have made a very good introduction to the music for people who don't know much about it), so I decided to just throw caution to the wind and hope it all turns out right.

So, here's what the channels are supposed to be playing Friday and Saturday nights. (Note: Technically, it would be Saturday and Sunday night, since it's technically the next day after midnight.)

Friday night:

1:00am to 2:00am (PAX TV, a.k.a "ETC"): "ETC Special Presentation"
ETC is scheduled to play an hour of DC Talk, from their "Supernatural Experience" videotape at this time. If this is the same hour's worth of DC Talk that ETC played last Saturday night, you won't want to miss it. If you can only watch one show on this list, this is the one. It contains live performances from last year of the songs "Dive," "Into Jesus," "Supernatural," and "Red Letters," as well as the video for "Consume Me" (which takes place in a futuristic dystopian setting), and many interviews with DC Talk. Even the commercials are interesting, being for such Christian rock artists as Skillet, Rebecca St. James, and Audio Adrenaline.

2:00am (PAX TV): "Cafe Video"
This can sometimes be a somewhat bland show, mainly of lighter pop, but sometimes it can be really good. I think that the episode scheduled for Friday night is going to be hosted by new CCM artist Staci Orrico, a teen singer of soulful dance pop (sound familiar?). The episode of "Cafe Video" that aired last Saturday night was hosted by CCM artist Jennifer Knapp and the theme was live music, so all the videos shown were of live performances. So, they played some great videos, including Newsboys' "Everybody Gets a Shot" (one omy top 5 favorite CCM videos), DC Talk's "Since I Met You," Ashley Cleveland performing The Rolling Stones song "Gimme Shelter," Caedmon's Call's "Thankful," and a video by Jennifer Knapp that I'd never seen before, performing a song called "In the Name" in a grassy field.

2:30am (PAX TV): "Keep the Faith Top 7 Countdown"
Tends to be light Christian pop videos for the most part.

3:00am (TBN): "Real Videos" (or, 12am Pacific time)
A good video show that plays a variety of Christian music. Three weeks ago, they played 4 videos that I really, really like. Two weeks ago, they played 2 videos that I really, really like. (Same with last week.) So, I don't know what videos they'll be playing this week. Hopefully they won't suck. The show is usually hosted by a rapper named T-Bone, but sometimes there have been guest hosts, or behind-the-scenes with a band. For example, an episode earlier in the year played only Newsboys videos, and was hosted by 2 members of the band. Two weeks ago, the show was hosted by two members of the ska band The Supertones, and they played 3 Supertones videos (plus 1 video by Audio A and 1 by Crystal Lewis). So, you never can tell what they'll play. This episode will be repeated the following night at 1am Eastern time, by the way, if you miss it Friday night.

3:30am (TBN): Sierra
This is a show hosted by light pop female singing trio Sierra, which I usually skip. Sometimes they have musical guests (like last week they interviewed Crystal Lewis), but the light pop music style is not my thing. This show is usually almost all talking, too.

4:00am (TBN): "New G-Rock Live" (or 1am Pacific time)
This is a half-hour program focusing on one band and showing one of their concerts. Usually it's some obscure hard rock group or rap group that looks like they are playing in someone's basement. I usually skip this show, too. The really good TBN stuff comes on the next night...

Saturday night, 12am to 3:30am Eastern time (or, 9pm to 12:30am Pacific time):

TBN airs a block of music programs (or, at least, ones with have at least some music component to them) during this time. They are:

12:00am: G-Rock
This is a "Sports & Rock" show that usually features heavier music, as well as some ska and rap. Bands on indie labels like Screaming Giant Records and Tooth and Nail Records are often featured. Some of the songs are shown to footage of skateboarders doing stunts, but some actual music videos are shown per show as well.

12:30am: Al Denson Show
I usually don't watch this show, except that they usually have a musical guest perform live on the show around 12:45am. Past performers on this show have included Luna Halo, LaRue, Big Tent Revival, Tracy Dawn, Ginny Owens, and Clear, among others. Al Denson is a singer of light Christian pop in the style of Bob Carlisle (of "Butterfly Kisses" fame) so the musical guest tends to be of the lighter kind.

1:00am: Real Videos
This is a repeat of the episode of "Real Videos" shown the previous night. I usually watch the Friday night show and if I really want to tape a video they showed on it, I can tape it during the repeat on Saturday night. Usually this show does nothing but play videos, so I recommend checking it out.

1:30am: FFWD (Fast Forward)
Another video show, where they play around 5 videos, and in between the videos, the host (who are different each time, and are always black, and always have an accent, making me think this show comes from Jamaica or something) gives commentary on proper Christian attitudes ("Don't let things get you down," etc.).

2:00am: 2Worlds
This is a more theology-heavy show where they show clips of young people talking about their faith. Each episode tends to have a particular theme, and it seems that they choose videos to play which relate to that theme somehow. They play around 3 videos per episode. I've sometimes criticized this show in the past for being too fundamentalist. For example, they had one episode attacking the idea of evolution and another show which was anti-homosexuality. But they usually play some good videos!

2:30am: Mission X
I have to admit that I haven't seen this show too often. This is the show that last week did a run-down of the history of Christian music, from Gregorian chant to P.O.D. It was quite a good overview and I wished I'd known that they'd be doing that last week, so I could have mentioned it on the boards. The other episodes I've seen of this show have mainly had a guy with blond hair talking about the Christian faith and then occasionally showing some videos, usually ones with a little harder sound, like G-Rock does.

3:00am: G-Rock
A repeat of the episode that aired at 12am.

And then that ends at 3:30am. End of TBN's Saturday night music line-up.

Also, at the same time as the above shows are on, PAX TV (a.k.a ETC) has a two hour block of CCM. Usually it looks like this:

1:00am: "Keep the Faith Top 7 Countdown"

1:30am: "Cafe Video"

2:00am to 3:00am: "ETC Special Presentation"
Meaning, that they might play something of interest, or might not. I don't know. Last week at this time, they played an hour of DC Talk stuff from their Supernatural Experience video, which was definitely worth watching. But I don't know what they have planned for this Saturday at this time slot.

And there you have it. If you want to get a sample of the state of today's Christian music scene, and not just rely on outdated and inaccurate impressions picked up over the years, then tune in to these programs this Friday and Saturday night. You just might be surprised by what you see and hear.