July 19, 2009 § Leave a comment
Today we washed all the baby clothes and now I need to hang them up. I also need to bring down our rolling plastic drawers from the attic to put stuff in. Right now, they are housing all my leftover PartyLite candles, which means they should smell nice anyway.
We spent the day at my parents’ house watching VH1 Classic’s marathon of 7 Ages of Rock. It was interesting, but glossed over a lot of musical sub-genres of rock. But we’re big time music-philes in my family, so we take what we can get. Matt was pleased that they dedicated an hour to heavy metal, even if they only covered, like, six bands– one of which being Motley Crue (who hardly register as real rock to me; they are part of the Glam Rock thing, and that doesn’t speak “influential” to me.) He was disappointed though that they hardly discussed Prog Rock. Granted, they talked about Pink Floyd a lot as well as other Prog bands, but it wasn’t in reference to that particular genre.
Surprisingly, they didn’t even mention the Beatles, except for the occasional musician who would reference their influence on them. It seemed they picked about five or six bands to feature for each “Age” (which were Blues, Art, Heavy Metal, Alternative, and Brit Indie Rock) and while the bands they picked were undeniably influential, I don’t know if I could say they were the originators of their genres, or even the best particularly. The Alternative hour seemed more like a tribute to Kurt Cobain more than anything else, with much applause for REM; but you would think they were the only two bands to influence American Alternative rock in the 80’s and 90’s based on the program.
After that, we were watching a documentary on Pink Floyd, so we listened to Dark Side of the Moon on the way home. I’m going to have Money stuck in my head for the rest of the night.
March 1, 2008 § 3 Comments
This morning, Matt told me about Larry Norman’s passing last week. For those of you who don’t know who this incredible man was, Larry Norman was a pioneer of Christian music in the 20th Century. He brought “religious music” out of the old-timey hymns and saccharine sweet New Christie era into an era of rock and roll and made faith accessible to a generation that couldn’t relate to, and rejected anything offered by, anyone over 30.
Called a rebel and scoffed at by the Establishment, he along with such groups and musicians as Keith Green, the Resurrection Band, Phil Keaggy, and many many more helped cement the Jesus Movement of the 70’s. Songs like “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music” and “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” awakened and inspired a generation of young people hungry for righteousness and something good and new.
The Gen Xer’s out there, and the subsequent generations owe a debt of gratitude to Larry and his generation for bringing our music out if the dark ages, and into a form of art that is at once inspirational, informative, convicting, fun, worshipful and prophetic.
God bless you, Brother Larry, and we hope to see you soon along with Keith, and Rich and all our brothers and sisters on the other side. Welcome home.
FYI, not all of the artists featured in this video have passed on, just so you know. 😉
December 26, 2006 § 4 Comments
For the dinner table, family devotions, and discussions and applications in fellowship.
This edition: The Miracle of Messiah / a story compiled from several accounts
As millions the world over are reminded, if only for a moment, about the miracle of “God with us” which Christians declare happened some two-thousand years ago, it is also worth remembering that there was once a man who believed heartily in that story and who decided to set it to music. The results were astounding. He seemed like an ordinary enough man. He did not care much for vanity and the inaccessible heights of wealth and power that were deeply intertwined with the religious institutions of his day. He was frequently found on his knees. He was not famous, he was not rich. But he could work — oh, could he work — and he could fast, and wait until God answered, and God had given him one great gift; one great skill.
A servant, intent on trying to serve a meal to his eccentric employer who had not been eating, opened the door of this man’s room one day and found tears streaming down his face. Turning to the servant, the man cried, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself!” What had just happened would go down in history as one of the most powerful compositions of all time, the Hallelujah Chorus in Georg Friedrich Handel’s work, Messiah. But what happened that day was only a taste of what would soon follow. Rarely, if ever, has the work of a believer so affected the public attitude or resulted in such an outpouring of goodwill, the public’s sacrifice of material things rather than their accumulation, inestimable relief to the poor, and hearts and minds brought face to face with “the great God Himself.”
J.S. Bach, a fellow composer of Handel’s, had focused much on the organs of churches and commercial and ecclesiastical success. Handel championed excellence, but he wanted to take the message of the scriptures to the streets. Living in England at the time, he wrote biblical episodes, such as Esther and Israel in Egypt, specifically with the intent that they would be heard in secular theaters rather than in the great halls of benefactors, or those of the Church of England. The Anglicans in power at the time detested such priorities and attacked Handel for them, but he refused to counterattack. And even though doing this also meant little or no profit from his endeavors, he persisted. By 1741, he was facing the very real possibility of debtor’s prison. Right about then, he received a commission from a charity in Dublin, Ireland, asking that he compose a work for a benefit performance. The rest, as they say, is history.
On April 13, 1742, the “charitable benefit” became the premiere of Messiah. In its first performance alone, the intake for charity set 142 men free from debtor’s prison! One year later, it was brought to London. The King of England attended the first night. When the notes of the Hallelujah Chorus began to ring out, the king rose and stood and, following royal protocol, the entire audience stood in response with him. Thus began a tradition which has lasted until today, over 250 years later. By all accounts, when the great composer Haydn first heard Messiah, he wept like a child and declared of this street-composer, Handel, “He is the master of us all!”
Handel personally conducted more than thirty performances of Messiah through which he raised thousands of British pounds for relief on the streets. One writer of the time summed up the result this way, “Messiah has fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and fostered the orphan.” Another wrote, “Perhaps no other work has so largely contributed to the relief of human suffering.” Handel protested to Lord Kinnoul that he hoped that his purpose was not entertainment but to make his listeners better men. Still another writer of that era concluded that Messiah “has probably done more to convince thousands of mankind that there is a God about us than all the theological works ever written.”
Handel passed from this life the day before Resurrection Sunday, 1759.
November 12, 2006 § 3 Comments
The Jars of Clay concert was pretty good. Matt Wertz opened for them, and he was very good. He confessed that one of the songs of that he sang tonight was his ringtone. He dug himself a hole explaining that one, agreeing that that was tantamount to wearing one’s own band t-shirt– which he also admitted to doing just yesterday, but he was quick to explain that he was “testing” it because he wanted to make sure it was a very soft t-shirt. These things are important. He was entertaining.
JoC basically opened with mostly songs from Good Monsters, and pretty much stuck with that vein. We learned that even though Leigh Nash was billed on the tour, she dropped out a while back, so they didn’t do Mirrors and Smoke. They also didn’t do anything from Much Afraid, If I Left the Zoo, or Who We Are Instead. In fact, relatively speaking, it was a very short concert… only around an hour, and they just barely fit in the big hits– Flood, The Eleventh Hour, Love Song, and Liquid.
Dan Haseltine is a jumper. He was rather bouncy.
I had one beef. Of course, reading this, perhaps it sounds like i have more than one… don’t get me wrong, it was an enjoyable show, I guess I just expected … more– especially from a group that has been around as long as they have, and with as extensive a catalog as they have. But one thing actually bothered me.
October 18, 2006 § 2 Comments
Ok, so after dinner, I came back to work on my paper for Painting the Figure in Context tomorrow and set my iPod to random as per usual and a song came on to just chase my earlier blues away. “I’m Lion-O” by Relient K. I sure do love those boys. And how can one stay down when listening to a song about Thunder Cats? I mean REALLY??? So I found a little somethin’ somethin’ for y’all on youtube.