Jesus Rocks Me, This I Know

Last night, I made a 200-song playlist of the greatest (read: my favorite) songs from the Golden Age of Christian Music (late 80s – early 90s).

You may need to swipe or something to accept a setting or something if you’re using a mobile device.


This most awesome playlist is guaranteed to strengthen, edify, and encourage you whether you feel like a rockstar or if, in the words of Sensei Lawrence, life just took big steaming dump in your mouth. Behold the artists I’ve included so far:

  • 12th Tribe
  • Adam Again
  • Alice Cooper
  • Allies
  • Amy Grant
  • Barren Cross
  • Bloodgood
  • Bob Dylan
  • Bride
  • Chagall Guevara
  • Crashdog
  • Daniel Band
  • Darrell Mansfield
  • David Zaffiro
  • DC Talk
  • Deitiphobia
  • Disciples of Christ
  • Don Francisco
  • Dynamic Twins
  • Freedom of Soul
  • Glenn Kaiser
  • Jacob’s Trouble
  • Jars of Clay
  • Jerusalem
  • Johnny Cash
  • Kaiser Mansfield
  • King’s X
  • L.S. Underground
  • L.S.U.
  • Larry Norman
  • Lifehouse
  • Lost Dogs
  • Lust Control
  • Mark Farner
  • mewithoutYou
  • Michael Knott
  • Michael Roe
  • Mike Knott
  • One Bad Pig
  • P.I.D.
  • P.O.D.
  • Petra
  • Prince
  • Resurrection Band
  • Saint
  • Scaterd Few
  • SFC
  • Steve Taylor
  • Stevie & the Saints
  • Stryper
  • Tim Cappello
  • Tourniquet
  • Trytan
  • Undercover
  • Vengeance Rising
  • XL and Death Before Dishonor





Christian Metal Bar Graph

My latest “feature” is a bar graph to compare artists’ popularity. Right now, I have separate arrays based on genres and do this manually. I want the user to be able to choose a genre which, at this point, would change the array used by the MySQL query in PHP. I’m having trouble with that, however.

The final goal would be to have a grid of artist images and the user drags and drops them onto the chart area to add them — either in the line chart shown in a previous post or like the one below.

In real life, you can hover over the artist’s image to see the artist’s name. Since you can’t see that in this screenshot, the list of artists (L-R) is beneath the screenshot. I changed it to a numbered list from a bulleted list for easy counting.

Screen Shot 2018-12-22 at 11.58.41 AM.png
What’s especially harsh for Christian artists is so many of them have incomplete discographies on Spotify. Not Spotify’s fault — Christian record companies that released good music during the 80s and 90s disappeared almost as quickly as they started. Metal fares much better than, say, rap.

Sorry — I don’t know why WordPress is so inconsistent about whether it lets you click images to see them full size and/or allows me to place them in such a way that it does that. What you’re able to do when creating and editing posts seems to change with each browser and operating system and I can’t keep track.

  1. Barren Cross
  2. Believer
  3. Bloodgood
  4. Bride
  5. Deliverance
  6. Gold, Frankincense, & Myrrh
  7. Jerusalem
  8. King’s X
  9. Living Sacrifice
  10. Mortification
  11. P.O.D.
  12. Resurrection Band
  13. Saint
  14. Seventh Angel
  15. Stryper
  16. Tourniquet
  17. Trytan
  18. Vengeance Rising
  19. Veni Domine
  20. Whitecross
  21. XL and Death Before Dishonor

For mobile users, I need to make the artists display vertically so the bars go horizontally. These rows of columns (does that make sense?) get really wide really quick which you can see when viewing albums for artists with huge discographies as shown in the screenshot below.

Screen Shot 2018-12-22 at 12.14.27 PM.png

Even with my default width now set to 2400px, David Bowie runs out of room as do artists like the Rolling Stones.

Why does it work? What happened?

All of a sudden! (That’s a Tourniquet reference) One week ago, my cron jobs started working. I’m very happy and very confused. I pulled what I’ll loosely call “reports” on various random artists to compare what time batches of data were pulled from Spotify to the times I set in the crontab — wondering if it was some weird fluke or maybe I’d done it manually (in the middle of the night) and just forgotten.

Good News: No ghosts or gremlins — they’re actually working.

When I got to Bloodgood, I received quite a shock.  Their #1 song was from their latest album. But wait, there’s more — these are their Top 25 tracks on Spotify:


Not only are most of them from Dangerously Close (2013) but most of the rest are from Out of the Darkness.

I would have thought the list would be dominated by tracks from Metal Missionaries and Detonation. I gave Dangerously Close a try when it was first released but didn’t like it and I only ever liked one song enough to remember it from Out of the Darkness (“Top of the Mountain” which appears twice in the top 25).

As it turns out, one need look no further to find evidence of how out of touch I am with other Bloodgood fans than the ranking of Rock in a Hard Place — my personal favorite Bloodgood album. It ranks last among their studio albums with the exception of … whoa … I thought Metal Missionaries was at the bottom because it’s a “25th Anniversary Edition” but there’s no “regular” edition elsewhere on the list.


I think I need to go back and listen to those last two albums … maybe I missed something.

However …

while requests for 12th Tribe data finally seem to be working (for some reason, they weren’t for a while), artist popularity for One Bad Pig has only been fetched (using the term loosely) twice and not since the middle of last December. Album and Track data is up-to-date but nothing for artist popularity. The same arrays are used for all of them … well, maybe it’s what my browser pulled just now and not really what’s in my database … hold on … nope, MySQL Workbench gives me just the same two rows.

Well, I’ll be …

One Bad Pig‘s latest album, Love You to Death (2016) is tied for first place as well. Wow, I thought that album kinda sucked, too. It’s tied with I Scream Sunday (1991) which … is their second most-recent album.

I keep waiting to exhale so I can maybe start working on the data viz for all of this …