Nirvana means absolutely nothing to me. I'm sorry to have to be so blunt, but that's the only way to put it; as much as I enjoy the songs, and as much as I can intellectually recognize the influence it had on the next decade of popular music, Kurt Cobain did not ever take up residence in my conscience, or my rock-star fantasy life, or my angsty teen self-identity, because I did not live in America. I lived in CCM America.
That's Contemporary Christian Music -- the genre in which Michael W. Smith, who is coming to town early next month, is unspeakably famous. And while the world was doing its best to convince itself that grunge was inherently more thoughtful and less disposable than hair metal, those of us who lived in the Christian Bookstore Alternate Universe had our own totally separate cultural touchstones. Here are 10 of them.