If you are wondering where part 0ne of this series is, it is on the MBCC blog which you can access here
As I mentioned in my last post, I received an Ipod from my awesome older sister. It has greatly enhanced my ability to check out from reality, but more importantly, it gives me an opportunity to one of my favorite things (listening to music) while I do the other things I have to do (like exercise or study for ordination exams). I've been doing a great deal of self-examination lately (most away from the blogosphere) and looking at the playlists I have created on my 'pod I am beginning to wonder if the voices in my head are unusually loud or if eveyone has as eclectic a mix of music in their collection. To illustrate this point, let me breifly highlight some of what I have recently downloaded and some of my favorite songs of the moment. Oh, I might as well also tell you what I'm listening to as I type...
(Air Force Ones
, David Banner)Jazz:
I recently purchased three jazz albums that I probably should have already had: Cookin; with the Miles Davis Quintet, Song for My Father
by Horace Silver, and Time Out
by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Between these three albums, there are at least a half dozen jazz standards. I love jazz. I appreciate that to play jazz, you both have to know the rules and know how to bend them (without breaking them). I've also recently downloaded a ton of latin jazz. I'm not much of a dancer, but latin jazz sets off a party on the inside of me.
(Speaking of which Our Routine
by Eddie Palmierei... I type slowly).
As a person who owns a bass, I appreciate the bass lines of latin jazz. They are usually repetitive, but interesting and they keep the tune driving. It is fun to have that constant beat while so much is changing with the improvisation in the melody. Maybe that's why I like playing bass. I like being the stable thing while things around me are changing. That was deep!
Anyway, I have wanted to catch up on some of the standard jazz collections. You have to know your history, after all. It amazes me how creative some of the jazz pioneers were! There are a series of Miles Davis Quintet albums out there if you are looking for an onramp to jazz. Workin', Cookin', and Relaxin' are three that I own. It amazes me at time that John Coltrane and Miles Davis played together. I don't know how one room contains that much cool.Rap:
I often have to go backwards to find rap that I like. The mid-90's was a pretty good time for rap. I think a lot of the rap out now is awful. There are however a handful of good musicians out there in the rap world.
, David Crowder Band...party shuffle is a wonderful thing!)
One rapper whose stuff I really like is Talib Kweli. A lot of his stuff is really socially conscious and political. He is also a very clever lyricist in my opinion. He has a great song called Drugs, Basketball and Rap
about how young black men are reduced to these three things in our culture. It is pretty profound.
(I was looking for some of his lyrics on line and Flash Gordon
came on. How about that! I'll give you the skinny like Ally McBeal
...dated, but still clever)
(Battle of the Heroes
from Star Wars Episode III by Mr. John Williams...are seeing a pattern? If you do than you are crazier than I am!)
I have come to realize that for me to enjoy it, rap either has to have some sort of conscience or the lyrics need to be clever (even if the message isn't great). A lot of stuff that is coming out now fails on both counts. However there is something else I really enjoy with rap...Hybrids:
I own alot of what I would call hybrid rap.
by Notorious B.I.G. - clever not positive)
One rapper I like is Guru. He has done several Jazzamatazz albums mixing jazz and hip hop together. He has a song with Herbie Hancock called Timeless
that I really love. I also have Jay-Z's unplugged album that he did with The Roots. I've actually really been drawn in by Jay-z's "hybrid" efforts. Along with the Unplugged album, I also recently got his "Collision Course" album that he did with Linkin Park. It is a pretty fascinating mash up (as the kids say) of Jay-Z's rap with Linkin Park's own rap/rock hybrid style. I like the best of both worlds approach.
(Step Right Up
by Tom Waits...I type really slowly!)Alternative Rock
: Up to this point I have yet to compromise my blackness. That all ends now. I own alot of alternative rock music. It is great to work out to! For some reason angsty white guys amuse me. I guess I have always been sympathetic to the plight of the overprivileged.
(Right on cue, Aeroplane
by the Red Hot Chili Peppers... I couldn't make this stuff up!)
Besides the relatively mild stuff like the Chili Peppers, I also own things from Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold. The band names alone should give you a hint into the tone of their music. Like I said, it is good to work out to. I think it is also a little cathartic for me to listen to really angry sounding music. It is almost a way of externalizing my own anger. Almost. I do use music for mood control sometimes. I think that is one of the biggest blessings of music, how deeply it can be felt and experienced.
by G-Unit, okay the other reason I listen to some rap is that I like the beat and/or the production. Stunt 101 is neither socially conscious or incredibly clever).
Sometimes the emotion in a song can communicate what I'm feeling better than my own words can, for better or for worse. That brings me to...Christian
: Okay, I own very little Christian music. I am somewhat embarrassed by that. I am also somewhat embarrassed by how much Christian music sucks. (I'm excluding Gospel from that description. Most Gospel is good). The majority of the Christain music that I own is of the "praise and worship" variety. I am particularly fond of the David Crowder Band. Some of Crowder's lyrics are trite. Still, the musicianship is particularly high quality and I love the passion that he sings with.
A particular favorite song is Beautiful Collision
on his album A Collision:
The breaking makes a sound
I never knew Could be
so beautiful and loud
Fury filled and we collide
So courageous until now,
fumbling and scared
So afraid You’ll find me out
Alone here with my doubt
Here it comes, a beautiful collision
Is happening now
There seems no end to where You begin and
There I am now You and I collide
Something circling inside
Spaciously you fly,
infinite and wide
Like the moon and sky,
Here it comes now
The collision, I imagine, is that of the human experience with the Divine, perhaps both in our own condition and also in the incarnation. I don't know if that's what DCB had in mind, but that's how I interpret it.
Anyway, that's a brief look into my musical world. It is possible that I am insane, but we all have different sides and sometimes we need different sounds to represent our sides.
My next post on the MBCC blog will be When the boss says "blog", I say "how high?" pt. 3: A book you just might need to read if you are an American Christian. See you then.