Christian Hipster Music: A YouTube History

Last week on the Hipster Christianity Facebook page, I posted YouTube videos from the last 4 decades of “Christian hipster” music, or music that was at least pivotal in the ultimate development of today’s culture of hipster Christianity. Here they are, in chronological order… Enjoy!

Love Song, “the Christian Beach Boys,” out of the Laguna Beach dope scene (ca. 1970s):

Children of the Day, “the first CCM group” (1971):

Explo ’72, “the Christian Woodstock” (1972) featuring Johnny Cash:

Glass Harp (Phil Keaggy) live in ’72:

Daniel Amos (ca. 1979):

Steve Taylor, “Meltdown (at Madame Tussaud’s)” music video (ca 1984):

DeGarmo & Key, “666” music video (1986):

Altar Boys, “You Are Loved” video (1986)… early Christian punk:

Stryper, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” live in Japan (mid-80s)… Christian glam rock/metal:

DC Talk, “Walls” music video (1989):

Vigilantes of Love at Cornerstone, “Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Can’t Heal” (1993):

The debut of Danielson Famile (1994):

Over the Rhine, “Happy With Myself” music video (1994):

Starflyer 59… Christian shoegaze (mid-90s):

Jars of Clay, “Flood” (1995):

Rich Mullins, “If I Stand” (1997):

Derek Webb, “Wedding Dress” (mid-2000s):

Sufjan Stevens 2005 MTV interview, in which he’s labeled “the ‘it’ boy of indie music”:

Cold War Kids on British TV (2006)… Biola University kids turned indie rockstars, bypassing CCM altogether:

11 responses to “Christian Hipster Music: A YouTube History

  1. Of course, every history has to cut and pare, but the most glaring omission from the narrative this list assembles is Pedro the Lion. Every Christian hipster, almost without exception, goes through a PtL phase. It’s almost a litmus test or a rite of passage. I’d definitely replace Derek Webb with David Bazan.

  2. That old Danielson Famile clip is priceless.

  3. Of course, every history has to cut and pare, but the most glaring omission from the narrative this list assembles is Pedro the Lion.

    Really? I would have said Larry Norman.

  4. Brett, I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing your book!
    three questions:
    1. Where does Keith Green fit in all of this?
    2. What about Willow Creek/mega-church movement?
    3. Do you know the story behind the finger-raising gesture at the end of the first couple of posts ( at Calvary Chapel?)

    priceless post, by the way!

  5. Thank you for the Danielson Famile video…

  6. I don’t know if DeGarmo and Key were ever hip and I know DC Talk never were. Where’s Daniel Amos or LSU?

  7. “I posted YouTube videos from the last 4 decades of “Christian hipster” music, or music that was at least pivotal in the ultimate development of today’s culture of hipster Christianity. “I can concur fully!

  8. So pumped about the SF59 reference. What’s funny is that I never listened to them when I was younger proto-Christian hipster (assuming they sounded like Superchic(k) or something). It wasn’t until I actually had been listening to shoegaze for some time that I listened to them, and then realized what I was missing out on!

  9. Did you know that the woman who wrote “For Those Tears I Died,” Marva Dawn, later left her husband, “married” a woman, and started touring in Metropolitan Community Churches? I discovered this during a freshman-yearTheology of Culture field trip to Oak Park.

  10. Betsi, you don’t mean Marva Dawn. I think you might mean Marsha Stevens? Just wanted to clarify. : )

  11. Oh my gosh, this post was amazing! I loved the Steve Taylor double eyebrow raise… the man’s got talent.

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