To See You Happy: Experimental Christianity Leaves Us Hanging

Ed. Note: As they are designed to, these "What's In a Names" get a little fanciful sometimes. There is in fact no church on Phillippine Street - in fact, there is no Phillipine Street in Houston at all, though there is one in Jersey Village - and Joshua Littleton is still very much on this Earth. The poem "To See You Happy" is real. Our apologies to To See You Happy for any confusion.

It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying to find meaning in the oddest monikers.

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It started out so well. We found To See You Happy through the Super Happy Fun Land calendar, and in addition to having a name that made us what to explore its origins we were thoroughly digging the first experimental Christian music we've ever heard.

Not to start a holy war or anything, but working in a sheet-music store, you really come to hate the question, "Do you sell Christian music?" It always leads you down a road of endless covers, slight tweaks, and half-remembered hymns and never to anything with an original voice. So it's nice to hear someone really tackle sacred music from a road less traveled.

Singer Joshua Littleton has a voice that initially makes you want to punch him, but like Dylan, if you listen to it for more than a minute you realize there is some real power in his warble. It drips honesty and a kind of desolation, even in uplifting tracks like "We'll Make It Through."

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True, the music isn't really experimental when you put it up against Houston bands like The Manichean, but the strength of the songwriting is undeniable. You can do a lot with just a distinctive voice and backing based off a holy strumming if you've got the lyrical chops to back it up. To See You happy does. Coming off a Blitzen Trapper playlist when we discovered them, it was the perfect music for the mind and mood not of a murderer, but the murdered. Or maybe the martyred. That name, though...

To See You Happy? You don't even know us. Maybe we're assholes and happiness isn't something we deserve. Or maybe we like sitting sad in the corner dressed in black. In fact, that is sort of our trademark. We don't need some indie band trying to screw up this image we've tried so hard to cultivate.

Location Info

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Super Happy Fun Land

3801 Polk, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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5 comments
Joshua Reese Littleton
Joshua Reese Littleton

Dear everyone,Nothing in this article is true to our band.And Jef, if this is printed I will seek legal recourse . Your friend- Joshua Reese Littleton.P.s. There is not a church on phillipine street, and for anyone who would actually like to hear our band, we have an ep up on itunes, amazon, and rhapsody. jef if you would like to get a hold of me, you may email me at tsyh@ymail.com

Dr.Demento
Dr.Demento

No offense (and I'm gonna sound like Ricky Bobby's "With all due respect...." here), but there is a good reason why this band is playing on a Wed night at SHFL...

Cory Sinclair
Cory Sinclair

With all due respect, never threaten someone who buys ink by the barrel (so to speak.)

rocksoffsr
rocksoffsr

Joshua:

See the note at the top of the article. All of these "What's In a Names" are fantasy, to some degree. Jef did not ride a horse out to meet Dangerous Ponies, nor did he ambush the lead singer of Bearfighter while dressed as a scarecrow. He may have let Skeleton Dick crash in his living room for a week, but that's between him and the band.

However, what Jef wrote about the music is true, at least from his point of view.

Again, Rocks Off apologizes for the confusion.

Jef With One F
Jef With One F

Maybe, but my criteria is usually exploring the band's name, and they were the only band playing this week with an interesting name to pick apart I saw.

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