Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Music as a Life

In some attempt at being creative I decided that instead of just "sharing my story" to the Sunday School class at church I tried to figure out what the soundtrack to my life would be and explore how these songs reflected the various stages of my life.
(all links have videos from the artists)

Junior High
The first time I had any real investment in music was in Junior high when my best friend introduced me to Led Zeppelin. I bought all the albums, had t-shirts, biographies, even watched their horrendous movie "The Song Remains the Same." Looking back now I can't see how their lyrics would have drawn in a barely pubescent teenager. They certainly were good musicians and some of their lyrics quite poetic, however, I imagine the greatest impact Led Zeppelin had on me was to forge a special friendship between me and Greg. Music provided identity and a medium for our early time together.

High School
Its pretty difficult to pick one song for high school in the soundtrack of your life. For some reason Beck Loser (wow is he young there) came to mind. First, it was/is dang catchy. Then I realized that at that age there are probably not to many people doing two things. One admitting they are not perfect (I don't know of too many teachers or adults who display that trait well to teenagers) and the other taking ownership of being a "loser" and thereby taking the power away from anyone who might try to call you that.

Post-High School Pre-Adulthood
I came up with two bands here, Zao and Deliriou5. This time of life for me and perhaps many others reflects passionate pursuit. Finding something you believe and wanting to be uncompromising in your commitment to it. This was the time when my faith was really beginning to take root in how I understood myself. Though a little different on the surface I find both these acts draw in that type of response. Another commonality is the emphasis that experience plays in their live acts. There is a feeling that you can, at least in part, be living your commitment just by participating in the show.

The College Years
Here I entered the reflective melancholy phase of music where Damien Jurado became a big influence. His music let uncomfortable realities linger to be absorbed and reflected on. However, his music and message always had a redemptive presence either in his lyrics or passion. This music allowed me to accept that all is not always well and that the roof will not come crashing in if we acknowledge this. And if the roof does come falling in then there is hope to rebuild.

Today I am exploring music again. Music that is still rigorous in self-awareness but much of it also explores expressions that I am not as familiar. Artists like Boards of Canada, The Decemberists, and The Postal Service are right up there these days. This is also why I have added "MySpace of the Moment" which is to inspire me to keep checking out new stuff.

Faith and Music?
Isaiah 42 (as well as several Psalms) ask us to sing to the Lord a new song. In Isaiah this is in the context of God delivering the people. But God's deliverance does not look like what the people expect. I see "the song" as possibly introducing the people to a new movement of God and that if they recognize and take seriously the song they may also recognize the movement.

Any reflections of your own . . . ?

PS the video to the right is for you rudy!!


The Cockpit Radio Blare said...

I like this post, and I'll respond, but I need a little time to think about it.

johnny m said...

damn you indie!

i'm so stuck on thinking about old times now.

junior high - michael w. smith...i'm still trying to find my place in this world!

high school - death metal. mortification was fantastic. but mxpx and other punk rock snuck its way in there.

post high school - repressed, of course. but of course i was also discovering pedro, damien, etc. but i was still really into metal.

college - yeah, still into pedro. seeing him at the stone table...remember getting a dime thrown at you on the streets of van, indie? i also got to see joy electric, value pac, zao, and (the most suprising of all) warlord! what a great year.

now...lots and lots of rap. eminem is still crazy, waiting for the final dr. dre album, and still really enjoying all of my old favorites. something that i enjoyed for more than a month is still going to be part of what i'm into. much more of an appreciation for the legend johnny cash (thanks to you indie...and a little known film called walk the line).

that's a quick summary...if i thought about it i'm sure i'd come up with way too much more.

johnny m said...

oh yeah, thanks again for the video.

The Cockpit Radio Blare said...

All right here we go. I have had an obsession with music ever since around 3rd grade and getting psyched on Huey Lewis and Eric Carman. Stuff that I now find terrible. It became more and more eclectic, until I got into snowboarding, and it was shown to me that there is far more out there than what is played on the radio. And I would say the ambition to pursue musical tastes fed the ambition to pursue a myriad of other things that fly below the radar. Music was the "gateway", like so much marijuana, to more esoteric discoveries. And thankfully, it continues to be so (the music, not the weed). Now my knowledge and enjoyment of mostly obscure crap is pretty much part of my character. Which is kinda annoying to me. And to soundtrack my life would also annoy me. But if anyone want's mix CDs, send me an email.

By the way, your appreciation of Boards of Canada makes me happy. If you haven't already, get the EP In A Beautiful Place Out In the Country. Four of the best BofC songs ever.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comments guys. Yes Rudy I remeber the Zao show unfortunately my pictures are buried away somewhere at my parents. I still have that one where the guy with the teddy bear is choking the other guy (man, I audibly laughed just writing that).

Blade, you are certainly are mysterious musical man. I am sorry that your character is annoying you. Try some happier music. :)