The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

They Were Collaborators #590

Danielson Famile


Matt said...

Such an intriguing group... Cool picture, too!


Tom Sutpen said...

'Intriguing' is close. 'Bizarre' just about covers it. They're something of an Indie rock curiosity. musically they play a deeply eccentric brand of pop, but with lyrics that are unambiguously Christian in their message. Other words, they're working the Indie circuit to spread the word of de Lawd.

Apart from the music (which I like a lot, though it's admittedly a textbook example of 'not everyone's cup of tea'), the most interesting thing about them is that, despite the message and its absolute sincerity, they have zero cachet in so-called Christian rock circles.

I think this is something that can be said in their favor.

Wikipedia has a decent overview of this bunch.

Gerard Saylor said...

Christian rock or not, the first thing I think is "Are the chicks hot?" It's that fight between the abstinence and chastity of the church versus the sex of rock and roll.

Rhys Ziemba said...

That is one weird group. I am sympathetic to many of their melodies. Like Sufjan Stevens, an artist they have been associated with, I forgive the proselytization due to the fact that they are obviously in it for the art. My problem with "praise" music is that it typically commandeers whatever musical style some youth minister thinks will most profitably add to his list of saved souls. The results are always musical hell.

de Selby said...

Compare and contrast:

Rotary Connection (1967)

Milan said...

I wonder if they ever asked anybody to "forgive the proselytization".

Tom Sutpen said...


Short answer is No. Daniel Smith, the founder and leader of the group makes no secret of his intent. He and his Famile are up there to save souls; bring them to Christ. This doesn't mean that they're in these clubs, bringing people up on the bandstand to feel the power of the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues (they may have surmised, correctly, that club audiences aren't about to sit and watch some Hellfire freak show). Their methods are hugely different from traditional preachers of the gospel, but their intent is the same.