Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cover Band Theology

One of the things I am sort of interested in, musically speaking, are "covers". Covers are the times when one band plays a song that another made famous -- they "cover" the song.

As a rule of thumb, most covers aren't nearly as good as the original. Just saying... sometimes they can be neat, but most of the time, no.

So why do a cover? Well, often because the song that one is covering is popular - it might help grow a following or resonate with another audience. But the thing is, most of the time, the cover is foreign. It doesn't sound like your band... the lyric, the melody - they don't mesh right. And if you play nothing but covers, you never develop your own sound. And if it goes too far - you become nothing but a cover band, never doing your own thing, just parroting someone else.

Theologically, Lutheranism in America has fallen into Cover Band Theology.

Seriously. We end up aping everybody else, following what popular with the Evangelicals, seeking after the latest trend, or even waiting for the latest thing from Rome to respond to. We don't bother to do theology for ourselves - we have become cover band theologians.

We used to be better - we used to be like a Punk band doing covers - where you would take some trashy song that someone else had written and fix it - pull out the bit of awesome and get rid of the dross. (As an example, compare Mandy by Barry Manilow as compared with the far more awesome by the Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. The later brings out the best of the first and adds lots of awesome!) But we don't even do that - we don't even try to Lutheranize stuff anymore... we just swallow it wholesale in the hopes that someone will like us.

Rise up! Quit playing off of the latest fads! Study the Scriptures! Read the Confessions! Open those books you haven't cracked since Seminary (and probably didn't even crack open then). Quit doing cover theology of stupidity - go to your roots!


Christopher Hall said...

Nice post. Better example:

Or even better:

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Tori Amos's cover album was fantastic. . . but it does drive to the point - it takes what was good and radically shifts and transforms it -- it sounds utterly like Tori, but takes the good from elsewhere.

And Fountains of Wayne is just funny. Actually, there are a lot of good covers of "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon. Paramore's is nice... and Pixie Lott's is interesting.