Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
59,728
as of April 12, 2024

<< Back to the fan club


Search Past News:

Sort by Relevance Date

Yesterday's News:

04.12.24Influential Albums: 1430-1436
04.12.24Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
04.12.24Over 1650 Tracks for $100
04.12.24USBs Include New CD & Latest Single
04.12.24This Week's Bible-Reading
04.12.24Unchained Medley CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Etc.
04.12.24How to Donate Online or by Mail
04.08.24This Week's News Bulletin
04.08.24How to Get the ApX Library, USBs, Multiple Downloads
04.08.24This Week's News Builletin
04.05.24Five Months Till the Big ApologetiX Show
04.05.24New Story
04.05.24Influential Albums: 1423-1429
04.05.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
04.05.24ApX Fan Needs Lung Transplant or a Miracle
04.03.24This Week's News Bulletin
04.01.24New Single: Two-Hit Wonders
03.29.24Bible-Reading Ends Tuesday, Starts Again Wednesday
03.29.24Rock the Bible Finishes Up
03.29.24Easter Season Playlist 2024
03.29.24Influential Albums: 1416-1422
03.28.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday Night
03.28.24Clues for 2024 Single #7
03.25.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.22.24Influential Albums: 1409-1415
03.22.24This Week's Bible-Reading
03.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.20.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.20.24New Single: Top-Five Hits by Four-Man Bands
03.16.24Influential Albums: 1402-1408
03.16.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
03.12.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.09.24Influential Albums: 1395-1401
03.09.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
03.09.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.05.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.03.24New Single: '74 Solo Smashes
03.01.24A Serious Problem We're Trying to Address
02.29.24All About Our Next CD
02.29.24Influential Albums: 1388-1394
02.29.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.29.24Clues for 2024 Single #5
02.25.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.22.24Get Ready for Our Next CD
02.22.24Influential Albums: 1381-1387
02.22.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.22.24Wayne Is Retiring, What's Next for Him and Us?
02.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.19.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.19.24New Single: Billy & The Beach
02.16.24Influential Albums: 1374-1380
02.16.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.16.24Remembering ApX Friend Paul "Doc" Nigh (1956-2024)
02.16.24Clues for 2024 Single #4
02.10.24Influential Albums: 1367-1373
02.10.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.10.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.06.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.06.24New Single: '74 & '83
02.03.24ApX Lead Singer/Lyricist Shares His Testimony 36 Years Later
02.03.24Influential Albums: 1360-1366
02.03.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.03.24Latest CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Etc.
02.02.24Clues for 2024 Single #3
01.29.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.26.24Influential Albums: 1353-1359
01.26.24How to Get the ApX Library, USBs, Multiple Downloads
01.26.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
01.26.24Flashback: J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2014
01.26.24J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2024
01.26.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.24.24Checking in With ApX Alum Drummer Fred Behanna
01.22.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.22.24New Single: '70s #1 Hits That Remade '60s Top 10 Hits
01.19.24Influential Albums: 1346-1352
01.19.24Encouraging Message from Longtime Fan in Oklahoma
01.19.24This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
01.15.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.12.24Influential Albums: 1339-1346
01.12.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.12.24Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.12.24New Testament Reading Started Wednesday
01.11.24New Worship Songs Available from ApX Alum Bill Rieger
01.08.24New Single: '81 & '83
01.08.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday
01.08.24New USB Thumb Drives on the Way
01.05.24Clues for 2024 Single #1
01.05.24Influential Albums: 1332-1338
01.05.24Have You Heard About the Other Music City Miracle?
01.05.24This Week's Bible Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.29.23Influential Albums: 1325-1331
12.29.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.28.232023: A Record-Breaking Record-Making Year
12.28.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
12.26.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.26.23New Single: 1974 & 2008
12.23.23Influential Albums: 1318-1324
12.23.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.23.23ApologetiX Updated Christmas Playlist
12.18.23This Week's News Bulletin

Influential Albums: 1318-1324
Sat., Dec. 23. 2023 3:41pm EST

J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.

Here are the latest entries in the "albums that influenced me" series I started writing in May 2020.

Note: Just because an album appears on this list doesn't mean I give it a blanket endorsement. Many of the secular albums on this list are mainly there because they wound up being spoofed by ApologetiX.

1318. One by One - Foo Fighters
The fourth Foo Fighters LP, One by One, hit the stores on October 22, 2002, the same day as Best of Bowie. It reached #3 on the Billboard 200, with three songs that got significant airplay on U.S. radio: "All My Life" (#43 pop, #3 mainstream rock, #1 alternative for 10 weeks), "Times Like These" (#65 pop, #5 mainstream, #5 alternative), and "Low" (#23 mainstream, #15 alternative). A fourth cut, "Have It All," had some popularity across the pond (#37 U.K., #8 U.K. Rock & Metal). Those were the first four tracks on the album, too. I also like "Disenchanted Lullaby," "Lonely as You," "Overdrive," and "Come Back" (especially the second half of it). ApologetiX spoofed "All My Life" in 2003 — and I was pleased with how that parody turned out — but there's something special about "Times Like These." It's easily in my Foo Fighters favorite five, possibly tied at the top with "Learn to Fly" (#19 pop, #2 mainstream, #1 alternative) from their previous album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose. At the same time I picked up One by One, I also purchased another album Foo Fighters founder/vocalist/guitarist Dave Grohl played drums on, Songs for the Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age, which had come out two months earlier. The big single from that one was "No One Knows" (#51 pop, #5 mainstream, #1 alternative for four weeks). To borrow a term from my youngest daughter: It's a certified banger. I read Dave Grohl's autobiography in 2023. The way he tells stories reminded me so much of ApX alum drummer Bill "Moose" Rieger. Sometimes I subconsciously felt Bill was the one telling the stories, and I probably projected my personal affection for Bill upon Dave while reading it. Then I thought about how Dave was a drummer who become a singer/songwriter and guitarist, as did Bill (that's what he does now for his church and on his own). Then I remembered that we used to call Bill "VH1 Storyteller." As you may recall, in our song "We're in a Parody Band," I said he "has a knack for chat." Then I remembered the title of Dave's book is The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music. That was crazy. I told Bill and even sent him a copy to read for himself. I later lent mine to ApX bassist Keith Haynie, and he noticed the similarities, too.

1319. Veggie Tunes - Veggie Tales
Released in 1995, Veggie Tunes was the first Veggie Tales audio cassette, and its contents comprised the songs from the first three episodes of the series: Where's God When I'm S-scared? (1993), The Grapes of Wrath (1994), and Are You My Neighbor? (1995), plus the Veggie Tales opening theme and the "What Have We Learned Today" song from the end of each show. If you and/or your kids were a fan of Veggie Tales in the '90s or the 2000s (as I and my wife and kids were), you probably know all these tunes by heart (as we do). Favorites include "God Is Bigger," "Oh, No! What We Gonna Do?," "The Grapes of Wrath," "Busy, Busy," and "I Can Be Your Friend," but the main attractions were probably the two Silly Songs with Larry — "The Water Buffalo Song" and "The Hairbrush Song." The first time I ever heard that last one, I laughed quite hard. Christian rock band Audio Adrenline released a live cover version of "The Hairbrush Song" as part of their "Some Kind of Zombie" single in 1997. It would eventually reappear on a compilation album I plan to write about later on this list. BTW, pay not attention to the "Ages 3 Thru 8" label on the back panel of this cassette; that's got to be some kind of misprint. ;)

1320. A Very Veggie Christmas - Veggie Tales
A Very Veggie Christmas was an LP released on October 22, 1996 — the same date as the sixth Veggie Tales video, The Toy That Saved Christmas. That's the day after my oldest daughter, Janna, was born. I first started watching and enjoying Veggie Tales two years earlier, though, when our pal Keith Harrold (whose full-time job was working as a national sales representative for Word Records) gave us free VHS copies of the series' first two episodes. Keith filled in on drums for ApologetiX many times over the years and continued to supply us with Veggie Tales videos until '97, when we started buying our own. He probably gave me this cassette, too. We played all of the VHS tapes many times but may have played this cassette even more, because it provided 40 minutes of entertainment for Janna (and her siblings who would follow years later) in the days before any of our cars had DVD players. A Very Veggie Christmas revolves around a Christmas party at Bob the Tomato's house, attended by all of the Veggie Tales regulars, with dialogue as amusing as the actual videos. There are also many musical numbers, sung by individual characters or small groups of them. My favorites among those include: "Feliz Navidad" (Larry the Cucumber and Manuel the Date), "The Boar's Head Carol" (Archibald Asparagus), "Ring Little Bells" (Archibald and Larry), "Go Tell It on the Mountain" (The Grapes of Wrath), "Angels We Have Heard on High" (Palmy the Palm Tree), "He Is Born, the Holy Child" (The French Peas), and "The Eight Polish Foods of Christmas" (Oscar the Polish Caterer). Since all of the dialogue tracks required titles, somebody with a great sense of humor (or no sense of humor) gave them names like "Talking," "More Talking," "Still More Talking," "Vegetables Talking," "More Vegetables Talking," "Vegetables Talk About Watching a Video," "Vegetables Talking During a Video," "Even More Talking," "Vegetables Talking to Sheep," "Vegetables Talking to a Polish Caterer," "Vegetables Tire of Talking," and "The End of Talking!" To prepare for writing this entry, I listened to A Very Veggie Christmas again and found it as entertaining as ever. I didn't really need to jog my memory much, because the skits and songs are still firmly embedded there.

1321. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius - Music from the Motion Picture - Various Artists
On December 26, 2001, Lisa, Janna, and I went to a theater in Centreville VA to see a new CGI-animated movie called Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius with my two of my sisters and some of their kids. I can't remember if everybody in attendance liked it as much as we did, but Lisa, Janna, and I found it delightful. Soon after, I bought us the movie soundtrack, which had a great mix of old and new tunes. The classics included "We Got the Beat" (The Go-Go's), "Kids in America" (Kim Wilde), and "Blitzkrieg Bop" (The Ramones). The new tunes included selections by such wildly popular acts of the day as *NSync, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Aaron Carter, Lil' Romeo, and Nick Cannon, but my favorite was "Jimmy Neutron Theme" by Bowling for Soup, a group that would eventually score a Top 40 hit in 2004 with a song called "1985" (#24 pop, #5 adult Top 40). I also liked a 31-second hidden bonus track called "Jimmyneutron.com" attributed to Sheen, one of Jimmy's pals. In addition, there was a cover version by Melissa Lefton reimagining an iconic Thomas Dolby hit from the '80s as "He Blinded Me with Science." A spin-off television series, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, ran for three seasons (58 episodes) from November 2002 through November 2006 and proved very popular with Janna and our second daughter, Heather. In fact, both Janna and Heather have told me in retrospect that Jimmy was one of their first crushes, although neither daughter was aware her sibling felt the same way. ApologetiX spoofed "We Got the Beat" (with Janna on lead vocals and Heather on backing vocals) in 2015. We also spoofed "1985" in 2006 and "She Blinded Me with Science" in 2011.

1322. Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
In October 2002, Lisa and I took our oldest daughter, Janna (who turned six that month), to see Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie at the only local movie theater where we could find it playing. Would vegetables prove viable in a full-length feature film (83 minutes)? Surprisingly so. We felt that the folks at Big Idea Productions and F-H-E pictures did a good job, so I purchased the soundtrack, too. I believe Janna's favorite songs were probably "Billy Joe McGuffrey" "Bald Bunny," and "Steak and Shrimp." I liked those, but I loved the Gospel rave-up "Second Chances," which was a real showstopper on the big screen. However, many might argue (and I might agree) that the Veggie Tales gang saved the best of last — "In the Belly of the Whale" performed by Newsboys and written by Steve Taylor and Peter Furler. I loved it at first listen while we were watching the movie, but Steve Taylor lyrics are like Pokémon — "Gotta catch 'em all." It was nice to be able to hear it over and over again ... because that's what you're gonna have to do if you buy a soundtrack for your six-year-old kid and you have the means to play it in your vehicle. The album also included rockin' cover versions of "Billy Joe McGuffrey" by Chris Rice and "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" by Relient K, both of which were very well done. And how could I forget the cherry on top of the Sunday-school lesson ... the hilarious closing track, "Credits Song"? Shame on me!

1323. The Best Present of All - The Donut Man with Duncan and the Donut Repair Club
The Donut Man (a.k.a. Rob Evans), his donutty sidekick, Duncan, and their kid companions, The Donut Repair Club, were a big part of our children's video viewing, especially our two oldest daughters, Janna and Heather. We owned just about all of the Donut Man videos (on VHS and later on DVD), and they bring back fond memories. I think we had both the VHS and the audio cassette for their Christmas special, The Best Present of All. It's got a great message and great music to go along with it. Although there are two standard carols, "Joy to the World" and "O Come All Ye Faithful," the other songs are original, and they're quite good: "Glory to God," "Gentle Mary, Humble Mary," "You Are the Lamb of God," "I'll Give My Heart," "The Best Present of All," "Jesus Joy," and "Happy Birthday Jesus." Side Two of the cassette had "Split Trax" versions of all the songs on Side One, so kids (or church groups, I presume) could sing along. There's an innocence and childlike spirit to it all, and that's a refreshing thing to still be able to find in Christmas music.

1324. Psalty's Songs for L'il Praisers - Psalty's Kids & Co.
I realize I may lose some of my audience if I keep up with all this kids stuff, but I'm only putting in the albums that had the most impact on my life, and the 1991 LP Psalty's Songs for L'il Praisers qualifies. I didn't hear it till the late '90s, but it was right on time. The idea of a giant singing songbook may seem absurd, but so does the idea of a Christian parody band. Besides, some people may think of me as a giant singing songbook! I hope that ApologetiX's spoofs can minister as much to others as Psalty's songs did to me during the decline of my first marriage. Don't get me wrong; I played this tape to keep my young daughter Janna entertained in the car, but that doesn't mean I was unaffected. In particular, I distinctly remember hearing Psalty's version (actually, it was just kids singing it) of "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" at a time when I was feeling really low, unloved, and alone. To quote Bob Dylan (not somebody you ordinarily think of when talking about Psalty the Singing Songbook), "And every one of them words rang true and glowed like burnin' coal." I also learned tunes that I would sing to Janna and the rest of my kids when they came along later. My other favorites on Psalty's Songs for L'il Praisers were "Give Me Oil in My Lamp," "Hallelu, Hallelujah," and "Do Lord." My mother, who was a Catholic all of her life, only became aware of some Protestant hymns when she got much older and played piano for the Bethel Women's Group in Ligonier and for the folks at her assisted-living community. She liked "Do Lord" a lot, but she couldn't remember the title and mistakenly called it "Do-Rag." We never let her forget that one.