Christian rockers Pillar, who have Tulsa ties, announced on their social media pages and in e-mail to their fans over the weekend that they will reform their marquee lineup to record their first album in four years and first release for next-level record label idefi Music.
“We’re going to be doing a record and are shooting for a summer 2013 release,” says Pillar singer Rob Beckley in a news release. “It’s going to have that gritty sound but will come from a more mature place lyrically.”
Considered by many to be the band’s definitive lineup, founding members Beckley and Michael “Kalel” Wittig were joined by guitarist Noah Henson for the 2002 release “Fireproof.” The album immediately topped the charts and in the course of selling more than 300,000 copies, won two Dove Awards and established the band at the vanguard of Christian Rock. During touring for the album Lester Estelle Jr., a much respected drummer joined the group, and the four members formed one of the most successful Christian rock bands to date. The album spawned several hit singles, including the title track and the band’s signature song “Fireproof.”
In 2004, the band again topped the charts with the release of “Where Do We Go From Here.” The album immediately shot to No. 1 and included the singles “Bring Me Down” and “Frontline.”
“What was cool about ‘Fireproof’ and ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ was we were young and touring….those were pretty authentic records,” Beckley says in the release.
The band’s next full-length album, “The Reckoning,” not only furthered the band success but earned a Grammy nod for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album. Their follow-up “For Love of the Game” brought more Dove nominations and hit singles but would be the end of the band’s most successful line-up as Estelle and Wittig departed.
Beckley says the band is excited to be back together again and thankful for Pillar’s fan base.
“We’re going to rally the troops so to speak…what made Pillar successful was not the music but the fans. The Underground Army has been in hiatus for a while and now it’s time to re-enlist,” he says in the release. “One thing we know is that our fans were the driving force behind what we did. We’re really relying on them to support and get the word out about the new record.”
Idefi Music LLC is a web-based “all access” record label that allows performers of any age, level of experience or genre to upload music and create a profile for free. Idefi’s mission is to give artists freedom and control. The company offers duplication, worldwide distribution, support for recording, help with music video creation and tour support as well as marketing based on a reward point system.
“I am so proud to think that the idefi model gave them another option, one that included staying together and continuing to make great music while getting paid royalties on their music sales from day 1!” idefi CEO Brady Deaton says in the release.
In this YouTube video, the reunited members of Pillar discuss via Skype what they’ve been doing lately as well as their plans for a new album.
“Our hearts have completely been restored as friends and with our relationship with God and just where we are right now. We’re all in great places and we’re incredibly thankful,” Beckley says in the Skype discussion.
Pillar frontman Rob Beckley, who lives in Broken Arrow, has announced that he plans to release his first solo record in March. His album will be the first release on new record label idefi Music.
“I am incredibly excited that Idefi believes in me enough to be their initial launch artist. I believe in Idefi and what it stands for and am incredibly honored” he says in the announcement. “An unknown future is as exciting as it gets in business, especially the music industry.”
For years, Beckley served as lead vocalist for the Christian nu-metal band Pillar and is scheduled to release his debut solo album in March through idefi. During his time with Pillar the band sold more than 1 million records worldwide and won three Dove awards. Their 2008 effort “the Reckoning” received a Grammy nod for “Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album.”
“The solo record is an opportunity to just be myself and not worry about sounding like ‘what Pillar is supposed to sound like’” he says.“I love rock, I love worship, and I love anthemic songs. This will be a straightforward rock record with the same passionate lyrics people grew used to in Pillar.”
“I really cannot wait for people to hear the record Rob’s working on and see what an artist can do when they are not under the thumb of a traditional label,” says idefi CEO Brady Deaton.
idefi music is a new record label model that puts control into the hands of the artists, according to the announcement. It allows artists to set their own pricing and determine what, when and how their music is released. Payment to the artist is instant and does not revolve around recouping advances and exorbitant promotional fees as seen in the traditional model.
“We’ve scanned a million records but we really haven’t seen any royalties” Beckley says. “They loan you all this money to do a record and you have to pay it back plus all the marketing before you get to any kind of return.”
Music from Rob’s new album will be released shortly after the launch of idefi Music on March 14. To learn more about idefi Music. go to www.idefimusic.com.
Point of Grace
Two bands will Oklahoma ties have earned nominations for the Gospel Music Association’s 2010 Dove Awards, reports Oklahoma Rock Newsblog.
Tulsa-based Pillar , a three-time Dove Award winner was nominated for best rock/contemporary album of the Year for “Confessions.”
Point of Grace, which includes Norman-raised member Denise Jones, earned a nomination for country recorded song of the year for “King of the World.” The trio has previously won 10 Dove Awards.
The Dove Awards are the highest industry honors for the Christian and gospel music genre.
The 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards will be handed out April 21 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn. They will be televised on GMC (Gospel Music Channel) at 7 p.m. April 25.
It’s been a big week on the Oklahoma music scene, with multiple state artists releasing albums or music videos or appearing on TV this week. Here’s the rundown in this week’s Wednesday Video Spotlight:
Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist St. Vincent (AKA Tulsa native Annie Clark) released the music video for “Marrow,” from her album “Actor,” this week:
Also, “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer announced on her Web site that St. Vincent and the indie band Bon Iver would collaborate on a song on the soundtrack for the hotly anticipated sequel “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”
Oklahoma City based psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips also released a new video this week. “I Can Be a Frog,” from the upcoming double-album “Embryonic,” features animals noises from Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Just watch it, it will make sense, for the Lips at least:
“Embryonic” is due out Oct. 13.
Tulsa-based Christian rock band Pillar released its new album, “Confessions,” on Tuesday. Check out this YouTube video of the band performing the song “Call to Action” from the album:
Also on Tuesday (well, early this morning technically), country music superstar Reba McEntire appeared on “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” See her chat with Ferguson and performance of “Consider Me Gone” in these YouTube videos. (The first is worth watching not only to get a gander at Reba’s awesome boots, but also to hear Craig call the Oklahoma native the “ShamWow of country music.”)
Also, the music video to “Consider Me Gone” will premiere Oct. 2-4 on CMT and CMT.com, according to Reba.com.
And Oklahoma-Texas red dirt band Cross Canadian Ragweed posted on its Facebook today this YouTube video of the group performing “51 Pieces,” from the new album “Happiness and All the Other Things,” at last week’s Americana Conference in Nashville, Tenn. (And surely I’m not the only Ragweed fan still trying to get used to frontman Cody Canada’s new short hair, right?)
On Friday, I’ll have a feature with interviews from Canada and drummer Randy Ragsdale about Saturday’s big Sixth Annual Cross Canadian Ragweed Family Jam at Oklahoma City’s Zoo Amphitheatre. So be sure to look for that.
Tulsa-based Christian rock band Pillar releases its new studio album, “Confessions,” today on Provident Music Group (which is part of Sony Music Group).
In DVDs, the new short “Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death” comes out today. I’m a huge Wallace and Gromit fan, so I got my review in early. You can read it by clicking here.
And in books, I’m currently reading the entertaining new memoir by Scottish-American “Late, Late Show” host Craig Ferguson, ” “American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot,” which also enters stores today.
Here is a list of the new CDs, DVDs and books available this week, from Amazon.com, VideoETA.com and BarnesandNoble.com:
Harry Connick Jr., “Your Songs.”
Three Days Grace, “Life Starts Now.”
David Gray, “Draw the Line.”
Monsters of Folk, “Monsters of Folk.”
Guy Clark, “Somedays the Song Writes You.”
Brand New, “Daisy.”
Rufus Wainwright, “Milwaukee at Last!!”
30 Rock: Season 3
Battle for Terra
Brotherhood: The Final Season
Castle: The Complete First Season
Clive Barker’s Book of Blood
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto
Jonas: Rockin’ the House Volume 1
Law & Order Special Victims Unit: Year 10
The Mentalist: The Complete First Season
Observe and Report
Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins
Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Season 2
Ugly Betty: The Complete Third Season
Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death
Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana
“An Echo in the Bone (Outlander Series No. 7)” by Diana Gabaldon.
“American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot” by Craig Ferguson.
“A Change in Altitude” by Anita Shreve.
“Gourmet Today: More Than 1,000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen” by Ruth Reichl.
“Hardball” by Sara Paretsky.
“High On Arrival” by Mackenzie Phillips.
“Hothouse Orchid” by Stuart Woods.
“The Lost Art of Gratitude (Isabel Dalhousie Series No. 6)” by Alexander McCall Smith.
“Most Evil: The Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel” by Steve Hodel.
“Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall” by Kazuo Ishiguro.
“Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance” by Garrison Keillor.
“Role of a Lifetime: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Significant Living” by James Brown.
“A Separate Country” by Robert Hicks.
“Sixty Feet, Six Inches: A Hall of Fame Pitcher & a Hall of Fame Hitter Talk about How the Game is Played” by Reggie Jackson.
“Spooner” by Pete Dexter.
“Year of the Flood” by Margaret Atwood.
My colleague Heather Warlick-Moore did an enlightening interview with Oklahoma rock/pop duo Sugar Free Allstars, who have discovered great success performing children’s music. They also are popular in Italy.
She brought the Allstars into the NewsOK studios so they could record an interview and also perform a couple of their fun, popular songs.
The duo of Chris Wiser and Rob Martin (AKA Dr. Rock) will be doing a 56-show tour of the Oklahoma City area’s Metropolitan Library System this summer. They also are getting ready to release a DVD.
In addition, the Allstars will play at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Paseo Arts Festival’s wimgo.com Stage on the south end of Paseo Drive.
They’re good guys and make wonderful music. If you want to hear a sampling, go to www.myspace.com/sugarfreeallstars. You can also find their full schedule of performances there, so check them out sometime.
Click here to read Heather’s quality feature on the band.
This Hanson display is part of the “Another Hot Oklahoma Night” rock ‘n’ rock exhibit at Oklahoma History Center. (Photo by Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman)
Today’s featured event:
Celebrate the grand opening of the new exhibit “Another Hot Oklahoma Night,” which explores and celebrates Oklahoma’s rock ‘n’ roll history.
The grand opening is today at the Oklahoma History Center, 2401 N Laird.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, the opening will feature live music by John Moreland & the Black Gold Band, Crocodile, The City Lives, The Oh Johnny! Girls, Mike Black and & the Stingrays, Ali Harter, Unmarked Cars, Camille Harp, Wes Reynolds, The Romantic Disaster, The Gunship, Rainbows Are Free, The Undecided and All But 1.
The festivities also will include a tie-dye area, rock star makeovers, “Guitar Hero” gameplay, rock star photo ops, and costume contests to pick the best ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s outfits.
Admission is free Saturday.
If you can’t make it Saturday, regular admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 students and free for children younger than 5.
Personally, I can’t wait to see this exhibit. Kudos to the Oklahoma History Center and all others involved for finally recognizing Oklahoma’s talented rockers.
To read more about the exhibit, click here to read Gene Triplett’s preview story.
For more information, call 522-0765 or go to www.AnotherHotOklahomaNight.org.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Today’s featured event:
Rock hard with Sevendust, along with A New Revolution, Soulidium, Overscene and Tulsa-based Christian rock band Pillar, at 7 p.m. today at historic Cain’s Ballroom, 423 N Main, Tulsa.
For more information, go to www.cainsballroom.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Rob Beckley, lead singer of Tulsa-based Christian rock band Pillar, and venerable songbird Sandi Patty, who was born in Oklahoma, will be among the presenters at the 39th Annual GMA (Gospel Music Association) Dove Awards, according to a news release.
The Dove Awards will broadcast live from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., at 7 p.m. Wednesday on the Gospel Music Channel.
Artists set to perform include past “American Idol” finalists Phil Stacey, Mandisa and Chris Sligh; Dove female vocalist of the year Natalie Grant with country songstress Wynonna; “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks; Ricky Skaggs and The Whites; Point Of Grace with Cindy Morgan; Charlie Daniels with Third Day’s Mac Powell; Casting Crowns; Marvin Sapp; Switchfoot; The Clark Sisters; David Crowder*Band; Trin-i-tee 5:7; The Isaacs; Angella Christie; The Hoppers; Jeff and Sheri Easter and Karen Peck and New River; new artist of the year nominees 33 Miles, Brandon Heath, Group 1 Crew, Mandisa, Rush Of Fools and DeWayne Woods.
In addition to Beckley, confirmed presenters include Kirk Franklin and Matthew West and Dove Award nominees Skillet; Aaron Shust; Mark Lowry; tobyMac; Sandi Patty; Mark Schultz; and Leonardo. ABC “Good Morning America” comedy contributor Anita Renfroe will also present at the Dove Awards, along with fellow comic Michael Jr., R&B singer Regina Belle and from the NFL Cincinnati Bengals standout Ben Utecht.
GMC’s Doves Day will kick off at 6 a.m. Wednesday with “The Best of The Doves Marathon,” the complete first season of the GMC original series, which features highlights from the first 38 years of the Doves, including 200 performances and 130 artists from multiple genres of gospel, including soul, urban, hip-hop, country and rock. Featured artists will include Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Whitney Houston with the Georgia Mass Choir, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, Blind Boys of Alabama, Yolanda Adams, Third Day, Jars of Clay and Dolly Parton.
Tulsa-based Christian rock band Pillar pays tribute to Christian music in “Turn It Up,” a song from its new album “For the Love of the Game.”
Except for two lines, every lyric in the song is an album or song title from another Christian band. There are 34 bands represented in the song, all of which have influenced Pillar.
Here are the lyrics, with the name of the band represented in parentheses:
I can only imagine (MercyMe)/All of the magic that would happen if we all come together (Third Day)
I could sing of your love forever (Sonicflood)/Tell me I’m never alone (Barlowgirl)
And that I’m going home (Daughtry)
I can hear sounds of melodies (Leeland)/And the remedy (David Crowder Band)
That comes when you ‘Lift me up’ (Jars of Clay)
From the flood, in the sea of faces (Kutless)/And I promise you we’ll make it (Spoken)
In the healing rain (Michael W. Smith)/There is beauty from pain (Superchick)
But the scars remain (Disciple)/I will find a way
To take my life (Jeremy Camp)/And give it all away
I’ll be pressing on (Relient K)/Feel this phenomenon (Thousand Foot Krutch)
I’m learning to breathe again (Switchfoot)/Maybe we’ll meet again (Johnny Cash)
I hear whispers in the dark (Skillet)
Even the snakes have hearts (Kids in the Way)/So we break free (Decyfer Down)
Won’t you breathe into me (Red)
I’m drawing a black line (Project 86)/Define the great line (Underoath)
Maybe I just feel so alive (P.O.D.)
It’s a super good feeling (Bleach)/So I’ll keep waiting (Stavesacre)
Will your momentum change (tobymac)/Take a typical day (Mute Math)
That you gotta engage (PAX 217)/Don’t wait for your heart to cave in (Audio Adrenaline)
Give the freaks something to believe in (DC Talk)
It’s about a burning fire (blindside)
If you like it, turn it up, let me hear you shout/If you want it, turn it up, gotta live it loud (Steven Curtis Chapman)
If you like it, turn it up, let me hear you shout/If you want it, turn it up, gotta live it loud.