ApologetiX Off to the Races With New CD and Concert
Sat., Oct. 28. 2000 2:30am EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) here!
Our new CD, "Spoofernatural," is now mastered (finished Friday) and at the duplicators, and for the first time in months, our lead guitarist/producer, Karl Messner, is able to go to bed at a decent hour ... unless he's working on updating our website or designing promotional materials for the stores or one of the many other things he works on for us. And yes, we have already started working on the concept and song list for our NEXT TWO CDs, both slated for release in 2001 (one of them is our long-awaited Christmas CD). I remember starting to work on the lyrics for "Spoofernatural" while Karl was laying down his final guitar parts on "Enter Samson" for "Biblical Graffiti."
We had a great time in Green Bay last week at both shows as we played many, many more of the new songs for the first time "live." Actually, in a number of cases, it was technically the first time we played those songs together at all (and we did have a few "technical" difficulties playing a few of them HA HA HA), since we all recorded our parts separately in the studio. Thanks again to all of our friends at Green Bay who filled the Cup O' Joy coffeehouse (a BIG coffeehouse) to overflowing for both shows once again.
THIS WEEKEND'S CONCERT - AT A HORSE RACE TRACK
This weekend, our concert is a little different than usual. We're playing for the chapel of Ladbroke's at the Meadows, near Pittsburgh, PA. Those of you in the Pittsburgh area know that Ladbroke's is a horse racing institution, but we've been asked by the chapel pastor there to come and play for an outreach event for the jockeys and other people who work at the racetrack, in lieu of his normal Sunday service. If you're an ApologetiX fan who is dying to see the band play, you won't be turned away, but it is definitely a limited seating place.
(For the rest of the October/November schedule, see the bottom of this email.)
Sunday, Oct. 29 at 10:45 a.m.
Ladbroke At The Meadows
Meadow Lands, PA
Contact: Pastor Joe Di Donato
From Pittsburgh, take Rt. 279 S (Parkway West) for 5.5 miles. Take Exit 1, 1-79 to Erie/Washington and bear right onto Rt. I-79 S. Follow I-79 S for 16.5 miles and take Exit 8 Race Track Road to Meadowlands. Pass Holiday Inn on left. Get in left lane. Make left into Racetrack itself. Pull in at big statue of horse. Go to right to security gate, and tell them you're going to the Sunday morning chapel concert service with ApologetiX. Go up hill and through stop sign. Follow that road and you'll see that the main road bends left, and you'll see the chapel on the right.
We got some great newspaper coverage in the past couple weeks with feature articles in the newspapers in Green Bay, WI, Muskegon, MI and Washington, PA. It's great to see so many people in the secular media who are interested in what ApologetiX does and want to share it with their readers. As a former newspaper reporter myself (I was a journalism major in college), I still get a kick out of being on the other side of the pen and pad (or computer terminal) now. I remember doing a story on a Christian band called the Watchman (they had just changed their name to Abraham) as a college intern at a newspaper, and I never ever dreamed that one day I would become a born again Christian, let alone in a Christian band. God has a good sense of humor, doesn't He? Good thing for us that He does!
ApologetiX has a full-page full-color ad in the latest issue of HM (formerly Heaven's Metal) Magazine, which is most likely on the magazine rack at your local Christian bookstore. If you want a sneak preview of the "Spoofernatural" CD cover, you can find it there -- on page 98 -- next to the ad for the new Michael Sweet (formerly of Stryper) CD.
WHAT'S ON THE NEW CD?
"Spoofernatural," is scheduled to be available in stores on Tuesday,
November 21. Many stores have already pre-ordered, and we seem to get a bunch a more each day. The CD contains 19 parodies. Like "Biblical Graffiti," it's a mix of parodies of classic rock and songs from the past year or so. There's plenty of variety for everybody -- 50's, 60's, 70's, and a LOT of 80's, which is our main focus on this CD.
If you got this far in our previous five newsletters, you know that instead of telling you the complete song list beforehand, we're giving you the scoop on two new songs per week (the theme of the song plus hints as to what it's a parody of), to add to the mystery and the excitement. Here are the two tracks featured this week:
Song Title: "Livin' What Jesus Spoke Of"
This is a simple song about "What Jesus Spoke Of" to Nicodemus in John 3:3: "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." When I was in college, the few students who were born again Christians scared me. They would say things like, "If you died tonight, do you know for sure that you'd go to Heaven?" I'd say (to myself ... I was "too polite" for confrontation), "How can anybody think they know for sure that they'll go to Heaven? That's SO arrogant and presumptuous!" Well, I was unaware of the fact that the Bible says repeatedly that a person who is truly born again can know for sure that he is going to Heaven. In fact, the Bible says that once we are born again, the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts in confirmation of that change: "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children" (Romans 8:16). It's a hard thing to explain to somebody who's never had that experience, but everybody who has been born again understands. There's an expression that sums it up: You just "know that you know that you know." Kerry Livgren, the co-founder of the rock group Kansas, became a born again Christian after years of trying out every other religion known to man. "The last thing in the world I wanted to be was one of those fanatical born-again Christians. Because of my image of what Christianity meant, my concept of what Christians were like, and what it would mean socially, economically, and personally for me to become one, the thought absolutely terrified me." But that's what happened to Livgren, to me and to countless others since Nicodemus. It can happen to anyone -- even those who think they're "livin' the wild and crazy life" now! But STEVE Martin wasn't exactly the name that came to mind when we spoofed this song. Comprende?
Song Title: "I Love Apostle Paul"
What can I say? I DO love Apostle Paul. The dude was a fantastic theologian. He went from being the avowed enemy of Christianity to being its leading proponent. And where would we be without his epistles? Those letters explain so much about why we believe what we believe. I remember hearing the original version of this song on the bus when I was a senior in high school, and thinking, "This song is so awful that it's actually good." Apparently, the rest of America agreed with me, because it was a number one hit for seven weeks. It's one of the few times when you get to hear me try to sound like a girl, which is ironic, because I think she spent most of her time trying to sound like a guy. In fact, she followed up this song with a Top 10 remake of a #1 Tommy James & the Shondells song in which she didn't even bother to change Tommy's words from "her" to "him." Another clue: She shared guitar duties in her original band with Lita Ford ("Kiss Me Deadly," "Close My Eyes Forever").
HAPPY 5th APOLOGETIX ANNIVERSARY, KEITH HAYNIE!
October marked the fifth anniversary of Keith Haynie's becoming the bass player for ApologetiX (this past June was the tenth anniversary of Keith's becoming Karl's brother-in-law). Keith's first concert as the official ApologetiX bass player was in Weston, WV, on October 6, 1995, although he did fill in for us once on bass on December 22, 1992. If you've ever been to an ApologetiX concert, you know that Keith has an amazing ability to attract new names. He has been misidentified by so many people since joining ApologetiX! This year's new names include Lee, Mr. Galparin, Brian, John Crawford, and most recently, Frank. But the gifts Keith possesses which we are most grateful for are his commitment to God, family and friends ... and his musicianship, patience, hard-working attitude, and lethal sense of humor. The gifts Keith would most like to RECEIVE all involve trains, the Three Stooges, Bachman-Turner Overdrive or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Keith, we don't know where we'd be without you, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun.
WHO IS THAT GUY ON KEYBOARDS?
For years and years, the Rolling Stones had an "invisible" member (not like Yoko and Linda in the Beatles, either!). His name was Ian Stewart, and he was even a guest star on the Led Zeppelin song, "Boogie With Stu," which features his ivory-tickling. Anyway, although Ian wasn't an official member of the Stones, he was integral to their sound in the studio. Well, the "Ian Stewart of ApologetiX" has been Bill Hubauer (pronounced "HUGH-bow-er"), the keyboardist on our "Jesus Christ Morningstar," "Biblical Graffiti," and "Spoofernatural" CDs. Many times, while listening to "Spooferatural" in the vocal-recording process or in the final mix, Karl and I looked at each other and said, "God bless Bill Hubauer." If you caught ApologetiX at Creation 2000, you got to see Bill actually play with us, but he's only been on stage with us for a handful of concerts ... mainly, because he has his own band. In fact, he does more than play keyboards with them -- he's the band's leader and main songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist and producer. Bill is a renaissance man par excellence when it comes to music. If my memory serves me correctly, he used to be in a Kansas ("Carry On Wayward Son," "Dust in the Wind") tribute band that was acknowledged by members of Kansas as able to do some of their songs on stage that Kansas members couldn't even do. Bill's band, Ten Point Ten, is excellent. We shared the stage with them many a time during our 1998 tour. This is a band that musicians and progressive rock lovers and just plain CCM lovers will enjoy. They just released their second CD, "Cartography." Check them out at http://www.TenPointTen.com
CD RELEASE PARTY
As I mentioned in our last e-mail, we are tentatively scheduling our Pittsburgh CD release party for "Spoofernatural" on Saturday, November 25, two days after Thanksgiving. It'll be held at the brand new Family Christian Store in Robinson Town Centre in Pittsburgh, PA, and the band will be on hand to sign the CDs and chat. The CD will be available several days earlier on Tuesday, November 21, but we want to make it easier for more of our friends to come to the party, and a big shopping-weekend day seemed like a better bet than a school/work night. However, we value your input. If you're planning on coming to the "Spoofernatural" release party in Pittsburgh, let us know if Tuesday, November 21, Friday, November 24, or Saturday, November 25, is a better day for you, and let us know if the afternoon or the evening is better. We will take all the input we get into consideration. Thanks to those of you who have already given us your input.
OUR PLAN FOR THE NEW CD
If you've already heard this next part, we apologize. We've been adding hundreds and hundreds of e-mails to our list lately, and we need to make sure nobody misses out on any important information.
Our current plan is to make the "Spoofernatural" CD available only to stores for the first two weeks (and after that it'll be available on the website), because we want to encourage people to buy it in the stores, for two main reasons:
1. We want the stores to realize how many of you are out there (If your store doesn't stock us, ask them to order it), and
2. If all of our fans buy the CD when it is released there is a chance that we will hit the national album sales charts, because when you purchase a CD at a Christian bookstore, that sale is recorded and sent to the record-keeping publications that chart records. "Biblical Graffiti" has sold thousands and thousands of copies, but that was over the past nine months. If we sell a large amount in the first week of the CD's release, it will definitely draw the attention of DJs, concert promoters, stores, and others in CCM music and the music industry in general.
I've seen some CCM ads lately and I've noticed that we're not alone in this strategy: Carman and the Newsboys are doing the same thing with their greatest hits packages that come out later this month because they'd like to make a splash on the secular charts. I presume that's because they want to make people outside of the church aware of their music, because they want to reach more people with their message. And that's why we're doing it, too.
If "Spoofernatural" hits the CCM or secular charts, it will draw more attention to ApologetiX, even though we are an independent band that is not on a major label. Why would that be good? Well, it would open up the doors for more concerts and more CDs and getting the message in our music into the hands of more people ... both Christians and non-Christians. Our music is specifically designed to reach certain types of people, and we want to get it into their hands. But many of them have to find out about us first. First and foremost, God is in charge of that. But we're also trying to do trying to be faithful servants in getting the message out, because we really believe that God is leading us in this area.
Watch for our full-page color ad on the inside cover of the December issue of CCM Magazine.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1) Please pray for us -- that we complete the CD on time and that we do all things for the glory of God and to the best of our ability. Please pray for wisdom and strength for us, particularly for Karl.
2) Find the Christian bookstore near you and go see if they have ApologetiX. If they don't, please tip them off that hundreds of stores around the world are carrying ApologetiX. (Maybe find the name of another store in the area from http://www.apologetix.com/stores.html and tell your store that the other store is already stocking us.)
3) Tell your local store that they can order through their major distributors, Ingram/Spring Arbor, Riverside or New Day.
4) Give your local store the phone number of our retail relationship manager, Tim Hetchler. Tim personally takes care of all the stores who carry ApologetiX. He makes sure they have everything they need and they get the best deal. Tim is a great guy and also represents Billy Graham, so they may already know him.
Tim Hetchler Wesscott Marketing 1.800.788.0442
5) Mark your calendar and try to be at your neighborhood store on Tuesday, November 21, 2000, in your ApologetiX T-shirt (still available at http://www.apologetix.com/cds.html). You can pick up your copy of "Spoofernatural," and help show support for your favorite Christian parody band. (If you're feeling particularly obnoxious and giddy, you can ask out loud, "Excuse me, do you have "Spoofernatural," the new CD from ApologetiX, That Christian Parody Band!?")
NOVEMBER & DECEMBER SCHEDULE
Sat., Nov. 18 at 7:00 p.m.
Liberty Christian Center
210 Count St.
Watertown NY 13601
Contact: Ron Whiting 315-786-9957
Sun., Nov. 19, 6:00 p.m.
Life Center Ministries International
951 S. 13th St.
Harrisburg PA 17104
Contact: Donn Polson 717-367-8865 (Home)
Tue., Nov. 21 ApologetiX New CD, "Spoofernatural" is Released!
Sat., Dec. 9 Cornerstone CafÈ 8-11 p.m.
CafÈ Number (717) 367-5326
Contact: Jim Schreiber 717-653-6439 (Night) Jim@pa.net
Thu., Dec. 28 at 9:30 p.m.
Contact: John Staffieri 717-656-4271
Sun., Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m.
New Years Eve Party
Chelten Baptist Church
1601 Limekiln Pike
Dresher, PA 19025
Contact: Ken Hunkins 215-643-5557 (Church)
Thanks for all your prayers! We'll take any more prayers you want to send our way! It's an absolute miracle that the CD is already being duplicated, when you consider that none of the tracks were laid down until mid-September! Please keep in touch! God bless you all!
-- J. Jackson ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) www.apologetix.com firstname.lastname@example.org
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Anybody else out there reading the "Left Behind" book series? My wife, Lisa, and I have read the first seven volumes in the past three months. We're just finishing "The Indwelling" right now, and we can't wait for "The Mark" to come out the week before "Spoofernatural." Obviously, the authors of those books don't claim to know everything that's going to happen in the future, but I've found the books to be very entertaining and faith-bolstering.