When A Christian Punk Rocker Leaves Christianity with Ojo Taylor

Steve HackmanA few weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with Steve Hackman for his podcast series, Beyond the Pale.  Steve identifies as a Christian, although certainly not your garden variety Evangelical, with open, inclusive, thoughtful questions. Continue reading

The Via Dolorosa and Way of the Rose

Via DolorosaI embedded a riddle into the song Way of the Rose, on the Undercover album Balance of Power (1990). To those who care, this is old news (it went around on Usenet here and here). But I do still get questions about it and recently two people have asked and since have solved it on their own. There are other aspects of the lyric folks have asked about too. Continue reading

Huffington Post Interview – Extended and Unedited

The interview I did with Bert Montgomery earlier in the year ended up appearing in The Huffington Post, the Burnside Writers Collective, Faithlab, and on Bert’s own blog. He’s resourceful!  The version that appeared in all these publications was about half the length of the whole interview.  The unedited full version, done initially in two parts, appears below and includes a whole bunch of other important stuff on religion and faith, CCM, Undercover and even a bit on The Fugs!  Now what interview would be complete without that?

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Ric Alba – Homosexuality, The Church and Christian Music

It’s been a busy week at the intersection of religion and our bedrooms – a very busy week. The Culture Wars are back it seems.  Washington State lawmakers passed a bill allowing same sex marriage.  Earlier in the week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California’s Proposition 8 which bans same sex marriage was unconstitutional, upholding a lower court’s ruling, and almost guaranteeing a trip to the Supreme Court. Rick Santorum, has made a platform of social conservatism and believes that the health of our economy and the very future of our country is threatened by the decline of marriage but rabidly opposes gay marriage and contraception. He won all three of the Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota caucuses. Continue reading

Undercover, Sky-Circles and Me

Sometimes, those we know and love throw us a curve ball so simple, innocent and innocuous on the face, but almost devastating in poignance. They can show up in the strangest of places, at the most unexpected times and perhaps they don’t even realize what they’ve done.  I got one yesterday from my friend, Continue reading

Audio & Photos – Freedom From Religion Foundation Convention

Audio of my presentation at the Freedom From Religion Foundation Convention in Hartford, CT, on October 8 has been posted on their website here. Scroll down a bit and you will see a media player.  Scroll down within that player and you will see my name.  The talk is about 40 minutes long. There are more photos here, beginning with FFRF President Dan Barker’s introduction. Continue reading

Branded – 25th Anniversary Notes

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Undercover’s Branded on Blue Collar Records. It was re-released with bonus tracks in digital format this year to celebrate the anniversary. It also landed in the Top 50 of “CCM’s 500 Best Albums Of All Time” (that’s right, 500!) Continue reading

I Am Your Father, II – Sea of Tranquility

I don’t like the idea of providing narrative on my songs, much as I used to do it as a young fool, but I am going to do it here in the service of love to my firstborn son Benjamin.  I would not want to leave this life without having been clear about this one. A number of planets lined up to make this important now, almost 20 years after the song was released. Continue reading

Playing in Undercover and Beating Dragons

“Joe – I was wondering if you have regrets in making this type of music considering your current doubts about God?”

This is a common question I get about my ongoing relationship with Undercover, although it’s one of the more civil and thoughtful versions (sent to me by a lifelong friend).  A somewhat more aggressive version usually asks how I can get up on stage and perform those songs when I don’t believe the message behind the songs anymore.  Continue reading