So, Church, cry out to Christ to meet this broken world with His grace;
Cry out that He will put on His boots and trample His enemies that
foster hatred and violence. And Church, come join the song and fight
against evil...fight against the violence and hatred...Church, be the
redemptive force in the world you are called to be! Now, do I know that
Bono means all this...not really. After all, he hasn't called me and
talked about the song. But I will say this...what I've written would be
completely in line with the symbolism and poetic layering he has used
in the past.
It's fun to watch your friends do something they're really good at.
This weekend, we hosted Red Mountain Music for a show on Saturday and then they hung around to lead music for us on Sunday. I've had the privilege of spending a bit of time with some of the guys in the band but like I said Sunday, I consider these guys friends for sharing music that has become a significant volume in the soundtrack of my life. Doesn't hurt that I've genuinely enjoyed every interaction I've had with Murph and Clint.
So having them come down our way after a gig in Atlanta at a conference hosted by my friend, Harvey Kirkpatrick, was a no-brainer. The set on Saturday was brilliant. Sunday was more of the same.
If nothing else, I'm glad that every copy of a Red Mountain CD that showed up in Georgia got sold. If you didn't get a chance to buy one of their albums or have never heard of RMM, you can pick some up here.
I grew up in church. For the first 15 years of my life or more, I was singing church tunes every Sunday and Wednesday. By the time I got to high school, I had learned all the songs and was playing along on the guitar. And it's clear to me that this intimate knowledge of church songs influenced what kind of a songwriter I am. When I first started realizing this fact I was paralyzed with horror and I wanted to hide all the stuff I was embarrassed by.
But I had to say to myself, 'Dude, you are who you are, and you have to be cool with it and own it.' I mean, until I was 14, I was only allowed to listen to Christian music. For me the purpose of music back then was much different than it is now. What I understood about music, from the culture I grew up in, was that its purpose was to tell people about religion, to 'spread the good news.' So it was pretty utilitarian. Officially, no music existed for its own sake. It existed for the sake of proselytizing. Part of the reason why my lyrics are so literal and concrete is because of this situation in my childhood.
As I was developing as a songwriter, I had a lot of conflict with this idea. Even in the early years of Pedro the Lion, I was struggling, trying to understand the purpose of music. But it's also the reason why I gravitated towards bands like Fugazi or U2, who - for lack of a better term - had something to say. That appealed to me because that's what I understood about music. Then, from there I slowly learned how to get excited about music for its own sake, and not as a tool for some other end.
I found this quote fascinating because I feel like some of this is bleeding through our conversations as a church, learning that the value of something like music can't be collapsed into its ability to serve the verbal declaration of the gospel. I'm not sure that music exists for the sake of music...maybe its just that we've made the gospel story so narrow that the sounds and words of redemption, restoration, renewal, and recreation sound foreign to us.
Aaron and I went to see U23D at the IMAX at the Mall of Georgia. We giggled for the first five minutes - there are no words to describe how happily surreal the entire experience was.
The set list was great - not perfect ('Love and Peace' off the How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album is there for some of the visuals rather than for the timelessness of the song). The audio was tremendous and the cinematography was stunning. Okay, so there are words...but they don't do the film justice.
Or I guess he is since the XM Christian station that Chick-fil-a in Beechwood is piping in is playing his song, 'Home.' My guess is they're trying to pass it off as a song about heaven, which is like using U2's 'One' as a wedding song.
I actually like Daughtry's album but this seems more than a tad silly. Not to mention that they don't even use the version of the song on the album, going instead with an acoustic version with an orchestra in the background. Because of course, guitars are satanic.
Oh, and in other news, Van Halen is touring again this fall with DLR at the helm. I'm not sure how, but the world seems strangely in balance now.