New ApologetiX Single, Rockford IL, GA
Wed., Oct. 22. 2003 4:34pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) here.
I'd like to welcome back our AOL and Hotmail subscribers. I think we finally worked out the bugs that were preventing you from receiving our newsletters! In case you missed it, we're releasing a brand new CD, "Adam Up," in late November. Since so many of you are AOL and Hotmail users, I'll also include some news items that still apply from the past few newsletters to bring you up to speed.
And now, here's some news for everyone: We just released the first single from "Adam Up" to Christian rock radio this week. And we're back on the road this Saturday in Belvidere IL (13 miles from the Rockford IL, and this concert is sponsored by WQFL FM, just as previous ones we've done in Rockford and Rockton were) after a month off for recording and for the birth of my third daughter, Kelly.
1.This Saturday: Belvidere IL (Rockford area)
2.Next Saturday: Norcross GA (Atlanta area)
3.Look Yourself: The New ApologetiX Single
4.Vote for ApologetiX for CCM's 2003 Awards
5.Vote for ApologetiX to Play At Creation 2004 (You Could Win Tickets)
7.The $7 ApologetiX CD Sale
1. THIS SATURDAY: BELVIDERE IL (ROCKFORD AREA)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2003 7:00 PM
Tickets $10 Advance, $12 Door
Sponsored by WQFL Radio
Performing Arts Center
Belvidere, Il 61008
Contact: 815-623-2236 or
WEB SITE: www.cmcmusic.4mg.com
Tune in to WQFL 101 FM on Friday for in-studio interviews with ApologetiX lead guitarist and producer, Karl Messner.
2. NEXT SATURDAY: NORCROSS GA (ATLANTA AREA)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2003 7:00 PM
Tickets $10 advance, $15 door
CHRIST THE KING LUTHERAN CHURCH
5575 Peachtree Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092-2551
CONTACT Rachel Alley/Coord of Youth Ministries
firstname.lastname@example.org and www.ctklutheran.org
3. LOOK YOURSELF: THE NEW APOLOGETIX SINGLE
As mentioned above, this past Monday, Christian rock radio stations began to play the brand new ApologetiX single, "Look Yourself," from our upcoming CD, "Adam Up." Rather than reinvent the wheel, I think I'll just share with you part of the news release we developed for radio stations. Please forgive the formal tone:
"Look Yourself," the first single from the upcoming ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) CD, Adam Up, is the story of one man's salvation experience and the obstacles he encounters as he attempts to share his newfound faith with family and friends. The song is a parody of controversial rapper Eminem's Grammy-winning number-one hit, "Lose Yourself," from the movie 8 Mile. As Eminem's original is loosely an account of his own rise as a rapper, so ApologetiX lead singer and lyricist, J. Jackson, says his parody is largely autobiographical.
"In Eminem's original," says Jackson, "the main character reaches a turning point where he has to make a decision if he's going to risk everything in order to change his life. That's what happens to every born-again Christian. When it happened to me, it was pretty dramatic. I just saw a lot of parallels between my experience and what the main character goes through in Eminem's original, not just the turning point, but what happens afterward as people's perceptions of you change."
Jackson says he thinks most people who become born-again Christians encounter resistance initially from their family and friends, who think they've either gone crazy or are going through some phase or are getting involved in some sort of cult:
"I think it's natural for family and friends to try to protect their loved one from going off the deep end. Even in the Bible, it says that at one point, Jesus' mother and brothers came to try and take Him home while He was teaching, because they thought He was crazy. And Jesus Himself said in Mark 6:4, ëOnly in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.' I'm not claiming to be a prophet, but I'm saying the principle of what He was saying still applies. People you've grown up around have a hard time believing you've changed overnight."
Many listeners will be shocked to hear what sounds like Eminem proclaiming a Christian message, but Jackson says sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. A recent article in Rolling Stone magazine noted that Eminem's first independent release, Infinite, contained these verses: "In the midst of this insanity, I found Christianity, through God and there's a wish he granted me, He showed me how to cope with the stress, and hope for the best, instead of moping, depressed."
"Look Yourself" is actually the second parody ApologetiX has performed of an Eminem hit. "The Real Sin Savior," their parody of "The Real Slim Shady," was included on their 2001 release, Keep the Change. Although the song was never released as a single, Jackson says many Christian radio stations treated it like one and gave it heavy airplay. "I've had stations tell me that it's still their most requested song," he says. "It's also one of our most requested and most popular concert numbers. Most importantly, I have been blown away by how many people who have told me they or their friends or family members have had life-changing experiences after listening to that song."
In regard to his own life-changing experience with Christ, the subject matter of "Look Yourself, " Jackson says he originally came from a religious upbringing, but high school and college took its toll:
"When I was growing up, we went to church every Sunday, and I had a basic fear of the Lord. But high school and college exposed me to all kinds of other attitudes like atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, mysticism, and a wide variety of world religions. I also got exposed to all kinds of temptations. So I didn't know what I believed. My first year after college, I started reading the Bible, because I wanted to get closer to God, and I had a really guilty conscience. I think I was kind of like King Herod back then. He liked to listen to John the Baptist talk, except when John the Baptist pointed the finger at him and the sin in his life. I liked to read the Bible, except when it convicted me of things I was doing.
"I didn't think I could make the changes in my life necessary to get close to God. And I think I was getting a little too zealous for the tastes of my family and friends, who all thought I was a fine upstanding young man as I was. So I ended up going in the opposite direction. For a year, I tried to live like there was no God. I looked for answers in science and everywhere but the Bible, and I led a pretty hedonistic life, just doing whatever I wanted. But I did throw up a little prayer that said, ëGod, if You're for real, please have mercy on me while I go out and try this, and lead me back to You.'"
Jackson says God answered that prayer dramatically on January 1988:
"It was Super Bowl Sunday, the Redskins vs. the Broncos, and I was at a party at my girlfriend's apartment. For some reason, I felt compelled to go next door to the local church (which was dark and empty but unlocked) get down on my knees and pour my heart out to God. Kind of like, ëGod, if you're up there, I know I'm a sinner, and I really need you to change my life.' My year of living without God had left me feeling so empty, and my conscience felt guiltier than ever. But this time, I was coming to God seeking His forgiveness rather than just His stamp of approval, and I was willing to give up everything if necessary.
"I can't remember everything I said, and I didn't even know if anybody was up there listening. I didn't feel different that very moment, but soon after I got the desire to start reading the Bible again. Something inside of me was changing. A year earlier, the Bible was a book that I found mysteriously fascinating but threatening. Now, it started making sense, and it was encouraging. And I believed it, which really was freaking me out, although it freaked out my family and friends a lot more."
The song "Look Yourself" describes the reactions of friends and family to the main character's conversion. "It's kind of like that old T.V. show Welcome Back Kotter," Jackson says. "The guy went to this school and then comes back as teacher, and everybody's thinking, ëYou're one of us. What can you possibly teach us?' Thankfully, just as Mr. Kotter was able to gain the students' respect over time, I gained the respect of my family and friends over time, and I've seen that happen in the lives of many other born-again Christians. I've also seen a number of old friends and family members, including ones who thought I was crazy, become born-again Christians over time. So this song is ultimately encouraging, although its final verse ends with a poignant plea for friends and family to accept Christ."
Long-time ApologetiX fans know that we have a tradition of giving clues about the songs on each upcoming CD. Well, I guess you won't be needing any clues regarding "Look Yourself." However, there's a special webpage for you that includes the first eight clues and the cover artwork, plus a special thermometer which will help you track the progress of "Adam Up" until it is ready to serve. Here's the link, especially for you:
4. VOTE FOR APOLOGETIX FOR CCM'S 2003 AWARDS
CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) Magazine, the leading magazine for contemporary Christian music for the past 25 years, is holding its 2003 CCM Readers' Awards and has opened it up for Internet voting. Many of you have probably read the magazine at one time or another. I'm a long-time subscriber and plan to vote.
ApologetiX has never been featured in the magazine, although we have advertised numerous times in the past and plan to run full-page ads in the November, December and January issues this year. To be frank, not having been featured in the past may be a blessing in disguise ó no publicity can be better than a bad review by a critic who doesn't approve of Christian parodies :)
If you'd like to vote for ApologetiX (and your other favorite artists), the survey allows a space in every category for write-in votes, and it doesn't take long to fill out. NOTE: When I first tried to access the survey, it gave me a failure message, but when I tried again, it worked. The same thing happened when I tried to submit my votes. Then I tried again (I didn't have to re-enter my choices), and it submitted.
Here's the link: http://www.CCMmagazine.com and click on the "VOTE NOW You Be the Judge!" button
If you have trouble with the link there, try:
(link no longer active)
Some of the choices for which you may wish to consider ApologetiX are:
Your Favorite Band (Don't Do "Your Favorite Group" -- that's for vocal groups) Your Favorite Artist for 2003 Your Favorite New Artist Your Favorite Artist Who Hasn't Been on the Cover of CCM Yet
Voting ends soon! One entry per person. Winners will be featured in the January 2004 issue of CCM. I don't know if we'll win anything, but at least it will increase CCM's awareness of all the ApologetiX fans out there. Thanks!
5. VOTE FOR APOLOGETIX TO PLAY AT CREATION 2004 (YOU COULD WIN TICKETS!)
The Creation Festival, one of the nation's oldest and largest Christian music festivals, wants help booking the musicians for the Creation Festival 2004. Although the festival is located in Pennsylvania, it draws fans from all over the country. ApologetiX played the main stage there in 2000, and we got great response. Ever since then, we have received many emails from our fans asking when we are going to play there again. Well, here's your chance to help that process. Here's the info from an email we received from Creation Concerts:
The Creation Festival wants to know which artists you would like to see at Creation 2004. Your input really counts and definitely will have an impact. By completing the survey, your name will be automatically entered in a drawing to win a pair of Creation 2004 Tickets.
It is easy! Just enter your information in all of the required fields, then hit submit. Winners will be selected and notified by Jan. 1st.
Click here to go to Creation Festival Survey Page: http://www.itickets.com/contest/creation
PLAN NOW TO ATTEND CREATION '2004: EAST:
June 23 to 26,
The Agape Farm,
Mt. Union, PA
July 21 to 24,
The Gorge Amphitheater,
6. UPCOMING CONCERTS
This list adds concerts frequently, so stay tuned for more info. For the full details on all of the concerts below, please go to http://www.apologetix.com/tour.html and scroll to the bottom. To inquire about booking a concert, please contact
Kathleen Burke at
Burke Communications at
949-770-3001 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST).
Oct 25 - Belvidere IL Nov 1 - Norcross GA Nov 7 - Wausau WI Nov 8 - Green Bay WI Nov 9 - Greenfield IN Nov 15 - Corpus Christi TX Dec 6 - Hillsboro OR Dec 31 - Belle Fourche SD
7. THE $7 APOLOGETIX CD SALE
You've heard about "Adam Up." How about "Autumn Up"? Earlier this year, we ran a cracked CD sale and received an overwhelming response. I am still receiving emails asking if the sale is still on, so we'll run it again from the beginning of Autumn (now) UP till we decide to stop it :) That way you can stock up on the old CDs before the new CD comes out. Here's the scoop: We have a limited supply of CDs with cracked cases that we are selling at a greatly reduced rate. All seven of our titles are available. All of the CDs and booklets are in perfect shape. The cases are in various degrees of disrepair, some are in near-perfect shape while some don't even have cases, but all of them have the CD, the booklet and the tray card, so all you need is a CD case in good condition. I will autograph all of the CDs to help make up for the broken cases.
For a limited time only, we are making them available to our e-mail subscribers for $7 each.
We are also putting our remastered "Have Yourself a Parody Little Christmas" six-song CDs on sale for a limited time for $7 each. The CD includes the following songs:
1. "Micah No. 5" - Parody of "Mambo No. 5" by Lou Bega
2. "Late December 5 or 6 B.C. (Oh Holy Night)" - Parody of "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)" by the Four Seasons
3. "Santa Claus" (It's not what you think, though) - Parody of "Panama" by Van Halen
4. "Hotel Can't Afford Ya" (Newly recorded version) - Parody of "Hotel California" by the Eagles
5. "Manger" (same version as "Keep the Change") - Parody of "Angel" by Shaggy with Rayvon
6. "Christmasnite" (same version as "Keep the Change") - Parody of "Kryptonite" by Three Doors Down
Mail orders only. Sorry, no credit cards. Please make checks/money orders payable in U.S. funds to ApologetiX.
Shipping & handling is a flat rate of $5 for your entire order ($10 for orders outside the United States), no matter how many you order.
Simply print out this e-mail and fill out the form below and send it in along with your check/money order to the address at the bottom of the order form.
We must receive your check/money order before we ship. Don't worry about contacting us by e-mail. Just send the form via postal mail and include your name and address.
Please list the quantity in the blank space next to the title:
______ Grace Period
______ Keep the Change
______ Biblical Graffiti
______ Jesus Christ Morningstar
______ Radical History Tour
______ Christmas CD
________ TOTAL NUMBER of CDs ordered
x $7 Cost per CD
+ $5 Shipping & Handling
________ TOTAL COST (please make checks/money orders payable to ApologetiX)
City, State, Zip: ________________________________________________________
Please include this order form and print your address information on the order
Send your order, along with your check or money order, to:
Pittsburgh PA 15212-1977
God bless you all!
-- J. Jackson Lead Singer/Lyricist ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) www.apologetix.com email@example.com
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.