Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jalapeno Peppers and Progressive Apostles

January is pull month at your local Christian bookstore. It's when we make a list of our inventory and return what hasn't sold yet and most likely won't. Finding some of the CDs can be a bit of an adventure, especially in sections where every CD is by a collection of artists. Those usually stay alphabetized for about 5 seconds. So, since merchandise is being pulled from every section, you pretty much get to see absolutely every CD currently in store. This can be a temptation, as I saw several titles I wanted (I miraculouslhy restrained myself. The state of my post-Christmas bank account may have helped.). I also saw a few titles that intrigued me, and made me want to giggle. Without further ado, here are my three favorites. Two of the three got pulled. Bonus points if you can guess which two.

1. Seriously Hot Worship
Okay, so the title is a bit unconventional for a worship collection and the jalapeno pepper on the cover is even less so. That's not a huge deal. although I would probably migrate to Laura Story myself. What really got me on this one was the track listing. There were 50 "well-known worship songs" on the back and I recognized exactly zero. As well, whoever titled the worship songs seemed to have difficulty making up his mind. Fully 80% of the songs have an alternative title in brackets: We Come in Your Name (You Have Been Lifted,) If I Could Pierce These Clouds (Mystery,) Fire by Night Cloud by Day (We Will Not Go,) and so on... My favorite? God So Loved This Whole World (Yeah Yeah Yeah.)
2. New Smokey Mountain Gospel Volume 2
Honestly, there's not much to say about this one. It was in the Southern Gospel section, which I don't usually peruse much. When I saw this title, I had three questions that begged to be answered. First of all, what on earth is New Smokey Mountain Gospel? Secondly, how exactly does it differ from Old Smokey Mountain Gospel? And lastly, how on Earth did such an obscure genre become so popular that 2 or more volumes were needed for its compilation. So far these questions are rhetorical, but if you have answers, by all means, please enlighten me. That way, if a customer comes in torn between New and Old Smokey
Mountain Gospel, I can tell them the pros and cons of each.
3. Apostle Donald L. Alford and the Progressive Radio Choir: Then and Now
Seriously, how can such a title now make you giggle, or at least make your lips twitch in mild amusement. I do realize part of my reaction is denominational. I've been to United Baptist Church, a Wesleyan Church, multiple Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches, and a non-denom or two thrown in for goood measure. I have never heard anyone referred to as Apostle Bob, or Apostle Sally. In fact, I was under the impression from a Sunday School lesson in the somewhat hazy past that Apostles contributed to the canon of Scripture in some way. I doubt Donald L. Alford did this, although his definition of apostle probably differs from mine somewhat. It may be a reference to a spiritual gift he feels he has, based on Paul's list of spiritual gifts in his first letter to the church in Corinth. That's legitimate, I guess, although I'd love to see what happened if everyone started doing this. Prophet Bob Smith. Healer Alice Jones. Interpreter Doug Sanders. Anyway, combined with The Progressive Radio Choir, it just seems like a bit much.
So there you go: the three most interesting CDs in our music library. Perhaps you can see why they may not have sold as many copies as originally anticipated.

1 comment:

Bruce IV said...

My church has apostles ... one came this fall. I think they sort of tour around and make sure no one's doctrine is getting to wonky (no cults and whatnot), and sort of build up or chastise the local church as necessary. (I'm a bit fuzzy on it, but basically whatever Paul would have done with an epistle, they do in person)

wv: props (yeah, a real one, how strange) - unfortunately, those CDs did not get mad props