Month: April 2016

Goodbye is Forever: Showbread is Showdead

Good morning, friends.

For the majority of my teen years into my early twenties, I had a favorite band.


They were raw and visceral and spastic and also godly.

I saw their music video for Mouth like a Magazine on TVU back in 2005 and I was hooked.


I burned through three copies of No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical because it was the only cd I listened to.

In many ways, they changed my tastes in music…

Which is why I’ve avoided writing this post for so long…

And why I avoided listening to their final album for so long…

Because Showread got Cancer and died…

And Goodbye is Forever.


Here I lay because either way, I know we’ll all be dead by dawn.

Unlike other fans who came and went, I was loyal even when their sound changed drastically from album to album. I even went backwards and picked up older albums that were harder to find: Life, Kisses, and Other Wasted Efforts, Goodbye is Forever, and I had The Dissonance of Discontent. They were nothing if not enthusiastic although I preferred the better produced later albums.

I had posters, printed out pictures of band members, and tattoo designs I wanted plastered to the walls of my bedroom.

I even took a solo human video to Matthias Replaces Judas to National Fine Arts through the Assemblies of God.

I was a fanatic in every sense of the word.

Unfortunately, I was also extremely young and didn’t get around to seeing them until the original line up was long gone and they were doing the whole Showbread and the Cancerbots thing.

After that concert, I offered them a place to crash.

I even stayed up until 3 a.m. for them to call.

They didn’t. I was bummed. Not a big deal though, right?

I only bring it up because…

I finally got to meet my hero, vocalist Josh Dies some years later at Ursinus College when he was doing solo acoustic shows.

I told him about how they stood me up and asked if I could punch him in the arm…

What an idiot, I was.

He autographed his book for me anyway…


To John. We stood you up. Joshua Porter.

It was an amazing response to a stupid question.

I still regret it.

Time jump to 2012ish.

Showbread announces they’re going to do something big…

An Album and a movie…


They called it CANCER.

An oddly fitting name seeing that it ultimately is what killed them.

When I finally listened to the album, I was enthralled.

I loved it, but something was off.

It didn’t resonate with me the same way everything from Nihilism to Flaming-lips inspired Who Can Know it? did.

I think it was partly due to where I was in my life.

I had graduated from Bible school and was now pursuing a graduate degree in acting. I was a husband and an artist. I still liked my music, but it didn’t occupy such a large place in my life.

Furthermore, I felt like Josh was getting a little pedantic with his lyrics. He had started integrating his theology more and more into his art (which is by no means a problem) but it felt like the days of loving Jesus were left behind and in its place was this theology monster. Just my opinion.

And I get it.

I do.

As an artist, our beliefs are intrinsically linked to our art. In my case, my belief in Jesus Christ manifests in what I do and how I do it in the theatre. In Showbread’s case, in lyrics and musical excellence.

Either way, it was the first album that didn’t cut me to the quick.

And ultimately, the project was too big for them, and it exhausted them.

They recorded one final album…

Showbread is Showdead.


I’m just grindin’ all the meats…

For reasons, I ‘m sure you can divine…I didn’t listen to it for awhile.

Really, I just wanted to be alone with it like with Anorexia and Nervosa.

Which is extremely difficult now that I have a toddler.

I was also afraid.

Afraid that Showbread with launch at me one final theological assault.

Bear in mind I too am a Christian (neither hyper Arminian or Calvinist, mind you).

But I was worried.

Worried I wouldn’t get to see that same young band whose music I fell in love with.

That same band that killed but also loved Jesus.

I was happily wrong.

Every song (with the exception of one…) had to it the fun, love, and aggression I so loved as a teenager.

Even the theological song I referred to a line above (Dear John Piper) was just angry and fun.

It was punk. Obviously riddled with their beliefs. But what is a Christian anarchist supposed to rage against?

John Piper, duh.

Angry. And thought-provoking.

But nothing.


No song they’ve ever written.

Has hit me harder than track 11.

Life After Life After Death…

And I know why…

Because Josh Dies is now a father.

And so am I.

It was everything I want for Jacob (and soon Kaeden).

Showbread has managed to touch me exactly where I am in life…one last time.

And now with these final lyrics, I’m finally willing and able to wish the greatest band in the world Good-bye.

“I try to be a better man
And I’m still learning how
I had a dad who taught me once
And I can’t ask him now
So while I have this time to talk
There’s one thing I would say:
Follow Jesus with your heart
Love Him every way.”

Goodbye, Showbread.

You were exactly what I needed when I needed it, and I thank God for you.

Scritch out.