Tag: Music (home)

Wouldn't it be nice if the wattage of a car stereo could not exceed the IQ of the driver?

permalink source: Internet
tags: Folly, Generational Issues, Music

"When a person gets up to sing in church, the longer he or she takes to introduce the song, the worse that song will be."

permalink source: Dan Betzer
tags: Church, Music

David Wilcox, one such thinker, has released 10 critically acclaimed folk albums and sustained a successful music career for over a decade. In his songwriting he unapologetically discusses aspects of his Christian faith, though he has never done so with the help of a Christian label... “The lyrics of Christian music are about as deep as top 40 love songs, which are just about the initial crush, not sustaining a relationship,” said Wilcox. “It’s ‘Jesus is my boyfriend.’ There is no talk about what happens when that love is threatened by reality.” ... “When I scan through those stations, I usually listen until somebody lies to me,” he said. “I make it through a whole song sometimes. It makes me so sad, because I hear them saying things that I know they know aren’t true. It breaks the sacred trust between writer and listener.”

permalink source: Relevant article: CCM: Looking Past the Numbers by Jewly Hight
tags: Worship, Music

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those who sang best."

permalink source: John James Audubon
tags: Courage, Excellence, Music

Listening to music while reading is like putting ketchup on steak.

permalink source: Steven Brust (on his weblog)
tags: Reading, Music

<img src="http://glenandpaula.com/quotes/uploads/godismydj.gif" width="651" height="276">

permalink source: SinFest
tags: Worship, Music

I suspect that on some level—say, the conscious one—I didn't want to be noticing what I noticed as we went. But I've been to a lot of huge public events in this country during the past five years, writing about sports or whatever, and one thing they all had in common was this weird implicit enmity that American males, in particular, seem to carry around with them much of the time. Call it a laughable generalization, fine, but if you spend enough late afternoons in stadium concourses, you feel it, something darker than machismo. Something a little wounded, and a little sneering, and just plain ready for bad things to happen. It wasn't here. It was just...not. I looked for it, and I couldn't find it. In the three days I spent at Creation, I saw not one fight, heard not one word spoken in anger, felt at no time even mildly harassed, and in fact met many people who were exceptionally kind. I realize they were all of the same race, all believed the same stuff, and weren't drinking, but there were also 100,000 of them. What's that about? http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_301&pageNum=9 [a nonbeliever writing about Christian music festival Creation]

permalink source: Upon This Rock, by John Jeremiah Sullivan
tags: Music

Or, no, wait, there's this: The fact that I didn't think I heard a single interesting bar of music from the forty or so acts I caught or overheard at Creation shouldn't be read as a knock on the acts themselves, much less as contempt for the underlying notion of Christians playing rock. These were not Christian bands, you see; these were Christian-rock bands. The key to digging this scene lies in that one-syllable distinction. Christian rock is a genre that exists to edify and make money off of evangelical Christians. It's message music for listeners who know the message cold, and, what's more, it operates under a perceived responsibility—one the artists embrace—to "reach people." As such, it rewards both obviousness and maximum palatability (the artists would say clarity), which in turn means parasitism. Remember those perfume dispensers they used to have in pharmacies—"If you like Drakkar Noir, you'll love Sexy Musk"? Well, Christian rock works like that. Every successful crappy secular group has its Christian off-brand, and that's proper, because culturally speaking, it's supposed to serve as a stand-in for, not an alternative to or an improvement on, those very groups. In this it succeeds wonderfully. If you think it profoundly sucks, that's because your priorities are not its priorities; you want to hear something cool and new, it needs to play something proven to please...while praising Jesus Christ. That's Christian rock. A Christian band, on the other hand, is just a band that has more than one Christian in it. U2 is the exemplar, held aloft by believers and nonbelievers alike, but there have been others through the years, bands about which people would say, "Did you know those guys were Christians? I know—it's freaky. They're still fuckin' good, though." The Call was like that; Lone Justice was like that. These days you hear it about indie acts like Pedro the Lion and Damien Jurado (or P.O.D. and Evanescence—de gustibus). In most cases, bands like these make a very, very careful effort not to be seen as playing "Christian rock." It's largely a matter of phrasing: Don't tell the interviewer you're born-again; say faith is a very important part of your life. And here, if I can drop the open-minded pretense real quick, is where the stickier problem of actually being any good comes in, because a question that must be asked is whether a hard-core Christian who turns 19 and finds he or she can write first-rate songs (someone like Damien Jurado) would ever have anything whatsoever to do with Christian rock. Talent tends to come hand in hand with a certain base level of subtlety. And believe it or not, the Christian-rock establishment sometimes expresses a kind of resigned approval of the way groups like U2 or Switchfoot (who played Creation while I was there and had a monster secular--radio hit at the time with "Meant to Live" but whose management wouldn't allow them to be photographed onstage) take quiet pains to distance themselves from any unambiguous Jesus-loving, recognizing that this is the surest way to connect with the world (you know that's how they refer to us, right? We're "of the world"). So it's possible—and indeed seems likely—that Christian rock is a musical genre, the only one I can think of, that has excellence-proofed itself. [http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_301&pageNum=9 an unbeliever writing about Christian rock]

permalink source: Upon This Rock, by John Jeremiah Sullivan
tags: Excellence, Music

We probably like to think that we're too smart to be seduced by such "branding," but we aren't. If you ask test participants in a study to explain their preferences in music or art, they'll come up with some account based on the qualities of the pieces themselves. Yet several studies have demonstrated that "familiarity breeds liking." If you play snippets of music for people or show them slides of paintings and vary the number of times they hear or see the music and the art, on the whole people will rate the familiar things more positively than the unfamiliar ones. The people doing the ratings don't know that they like one bit of music more than another <i>because</i> it's more familiar. Nonetheless, when products are essentially equivalent, people go with what's familiar, even if it's only familiar because they know its name from advertising.

permalink source: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, by Barry Schwartz, 54
tags: Advertising, Art, Marketing, Self-awareness, Music

From Mary Jo Leddy I learned another term besides “alternativity” for thinking about the uniqueness of the Church. In a conference lecture she reported that the playwright-president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, was asked why the “Velvet Revolution” against the communists in the former Czechoslovakia was successfully nonviolent—and we might add, why it remains effective when so many other satellites of the former USSR are presently in turmoil. Havel answered somewhat like this: “We had our parallel society. And in that parallel society we wrote our plays and sang our songs and read our poems until we knew the truth so well {141} that we could go out to the streets of Prague and say, ‘We don’t believe your lies anymore’—and communism had to fall.” --For the exact quotation, see Mary Jo Leddy’s closing plenary address in the volume from the conference Confident Witness—Changing World, ed. Craig Van Gelder (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999).

permalink source: Marva Dawn, Worship To Form A Missional Community, http://www.directionjournal.org/article/?1014
tags: Worship, Music

“I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people gay; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor.”

permalink source: Martin Luther. (Quoted by Martin Marty, Martin Luther, p. 114.)
tags: Music

Music and singing are necessary to Christian faith and worship for the simple reason that the realities of God and Christ, creation and salvation, heaven and hell are so great that when they are known truly and felt duly, they demand more than discussion and analysis and description; they demand poetry and song and music. Singing is the Christian's way of saying: God is so great that thinking will not suffice, there must be deep feeling; and talking will not suffice, there must be singing.

permalink source: John Piper, Singing and Making Melody to the Lord, http://www.desiringgod.org/library/sermons/97/122897.html
tags: Worship, Music