Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight a battle will be waged for your musical souls. Three opponents, each personifying an aspect of rock and roll - though for some that such a designation may be kindly inappropriate.
In this corner, with his guitar and a somewhat peckerwood haircut, The Christmeister, Steven Curtis Chapman at the First Baptist Church. And in this corner, from New York City with the self-satisfied sneers, the Primo Emo Extremos, Vampire Weekend at Verizon Wireless.
And our guests tonight, wearing the metal trunks and carrying souls torn from their corpses of their previous opponents, The High Priests of Hate, Witness to the Fallen, at Numbers.
Cue the entrance music... this is the Cage Match!
RO: We're here tonight with Charlie Cuevas of Witness to the Fallen. Mr. Cuevas, can you tell us and the millions of music fans out there exactly why people should forgo the potential salvation offered by your first opponent, Mr. Chapman tonight?
CC: I'm not a hateful person, I like Christian music just as much as the next pervert with a subscription to Juggs magazine. I'm not going to get into the whole religion thing, so I'll just give you a little reality. This Mark David Chapman guy, or whatever the hell his name is, is boring.
It's the kind of music you program into your alarm to wake you in the morning, so you can take a shower in order to get over the hangover you have because you stayed out too late at a Witness To the Fallen show the night before.
RO: We see. Well, what about the threat from new indie sensation Vampire Weekend? Does their meteoric rise to fame and fortune intimidate you?
CC: Vampire Weekend is a great indie band. They are a parents' wet dream. I liked their original band, The Wiggles much, much better. Being different for the sake of being different is the new thing - a genre unto its own. But, the lack of substance, or anything relative to say, gets lost in the circus that is their music.
We are just the opposite from both these artists. Yes, we are metal, but we aren't amateurs either. We put on a show that is comparable to any major act across the nation and across both ponds, Atlantic and Pacific. Heavy riffs - check... great stage performance - check... lyrical content - check... sleepy, elevator music - No Bueno... Intro music for a third world variety show... not in Houston!!!
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RO: Well there you have it, Houston. Witness to the Fallen has thrown down the gauntlet. Mr. Chapman, do you have a rebuttal?
Steven Curtis Chapman (from "Bring It On"): I know I've got an enemy waiting who wants to bring me pain, but he never seems to remember what he means for evil. God works for good, so I will not retreat or surrender.
RO: Strong words indeed, Mr. Chapman. And you, Mr. Weekend, what do you have to say to the challenged laid down by Witness to the Fallen?
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Vampire Weekend (from "Giving Up the Gun"): My body fades behind a brass charade and I'm obsolete.
RO: You said it, Mr. Weekend, not us.
Witness to the Fallen plays the Thursday Throwdown at Numbers (300 Westheimer) with The Hectic, EraseTheVirus, Midnight Carnival, Tragedy 2:16 and Canobliss. Steven Curtis Chapman performs at the First Baptist Church (7401 Katy Fwy.). Vampire Weekend plays with Beach House and The Very Best at Verizon Wireless Theater (520 Texas, Bayou Place).
Jef With One F is the author of The Bible Spelled Backwards Does Not Change the Fact That You Cannot Kill David Arquette and Other Things I Learned In the Black Math Experiment, available now.