11 April 2008

Music's Brilliant Moments

I'm a big music fan. Ever since I was young I began collecting music...first it was cassettes, I believe my first tape was Tom Cochrane's Mad Mad World, then CD's came and I started with some little known hip-hop that I bought at a second hand music shop in Fort Collins Colorado to listen to on my brand new Discman, these days I'm into the whole iPod/iTunes/MP3 thing, it's such a convenient way to get music, I'm not sure what my first purchase on iTunes was but I do know I've added to my Counting Crows, Dave Matthews and John Mayer collections through iTunes (I've also purchased a few tunes that I don't publicize often "Be Our Guest", "A Teenager in Love" and a few Van Halen tracks). So what is this post really about?

I was blown away this week by a certain moment on American Idol and it made me think about music and how I am often impacted by just a few seconds in a song. Most people buy music to enjoy a song or a whole album but I can be enticed by just the slightest burst of musical genius in a song. If you don't watch American Idol that's understandable, it can be cheesy and overdone but there are some amazing talents and this year is no exception. The frontrunner in many eyes is David Archuleta, a 17 yr old from Utah. He's got this innocent voice that is able to open up and blow you away from time to time. This week he sang Angels by Robbie Williams. The majority of it stayed in the good category but the last 10 seconds was AMAZING. I'll try to find a way to get the clip on my blog but if you YouTube it you can see for yourself. He played the piano and just as the end came he pulled away from the piano and just went nuts with his voice to end the song. I'm kind of an emotional guy and this moment choked me up. It was so good...dare I say perfect. I tend to get really choked up when I see someone who is doing exactly what they were meant to do. There are moments that you see a supernatural gifting totally hit the mark...it's like when Michael Jordan hit the game winner against Utah, or when Robin Williams and Matt Damon act out the hug scene in Good Will Hunting, or when great preachers like Mark Driscoll or Dean Angell deliver a message that delivers God's truth right to the soul...these moments are priceless. I watched David Archuleta sing that 10 seconds about 20 times and it blew me away every time.

These musical moments of brilliance for me are found both in musical notes or lyrics. (Artist, Album, Song)

1) Counting Crows-Across The Wire-Round Here-5:43-6:27
This moment brings a calm and peaceful moment that just takes me over. Especially at 6:12, there are 4 notes played on the piano that just make my world go still and take me to a place of reflection.

2) Damien Rice-O-Blower's Daughter-:55-1:35
The haunting cello accompaniment soothes my soul.

3) Joni Mitchell-Blue-River-Opening/Closing piano bit
It gives a beautiful bluesy pop edge to a little Christmas diddy. I love Christmas so that part gets me there but the edge echoes the song and the sadness of losing that magical innocence of the Christmas season. I think we can all relate to the loss of the purity that once existed in several areas of our lives.

Lyric Moments
1) John Mayer- Inside Wants Out (EP)-Comfortable
"I loved you, gray sweatpants, no make-up so perfect"
It's about loving someone at their most raw. Loving them for who they are and not needing the bells and whistles to make them beautiful to you.

2) Counting Crows-Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings-When I Dream of Michelangelo
"It seems so close as he reaches out his hand, but we are never quite as close as we are led to understand."
This song includes imagery provided by Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting of God reaching out to touch Adam. Although I'm Christian and believe that we can touch God and have a relationship with Him this line intrigues me deeply. Lead singer, Adam Duritz, takes a different look at this painting approaching it as though Adam is reaching out to God but can't actually connect. Many people in the world think that this is true and the pursuit of God is all in vain. It's sad that so many struggle to find something bigger than themselves but fall short, this leads to some sense of hopelessness and sometimes meaninglessness. It encourages me to keep teaching about our God who does want to make that contact.

* I could list dozens of Counting Crows lyric moments but this is the one that is fresh in my mind as it is on their newest album that I am spending time taking in*

3) Dixie Chicks-Taking the Long Way-Not Ready To Make Nice
"Forgive, sounds good, Forget, I don't think I could. They say time heals everything but I'm still waiting."
I think this is something we all deal with. We've all struggled, we've all been hurt and even though we come to place of forgiveness it's hard to forget. I think there are issues that shape us and sometimes that means we reflect on them daily because they are a part of our story. So many people in the world are hurting and if we forget what causes these hurts then there's a chance we will do those things again/repeat those cycles.

Lastly...songs that get me everytime, musical moments as a whole
1)Van Morrison-Moondance
2) Alicia Keys & Adam Levine-Wild Horses
3) Jeff Buckley- Hallelujah
4) Dave Matthews Band-Crash Into Me

If you want, leave a comment about some musical moments that touch your soul.


Anonymous said...

I will start mine first with the cheesy one: Donny Osmond sucking in breath so he could continue with "and they called it Puppy Love" Oh how we listened to that over and over again, We could set the needle down on the vinyl right at that point.
The other musical moment of awe for me

is hearing "O Holy Night" sung by Sylvia Shepherd. If she does not do it Christmas Eve service, I feel like my Christmas celebration is not complete. One year we sang it as a congregation, to my delight Sylvia was beside me and agreed to sing into my ear, totally melting me.
When we went on a family cruise Christmas 2005, I mentioned to my family as we were taking a small boat to Belize on Christmas Day that I missed this. A man from Philedelpia heard me and in his soulful bass voice he stood up in front of me and sang " O Holy Night". What a blessing from God.

Allison said...

Like you, Chester, music has always been so important to me and there have been so many moments and so many songs that evoke such emotion and awe. But I would have to say that music has become even that much more meaningful to me since Mom died. "As For Me and My House" by Brian Doerksen was played as we came into the sanctuary as well as when we left, it was one of Mom's favourites, so of course that one evokes so much emotion and thoughts. Other songs, and I won't get into details as to why, that have expressed feelings I've had include "When the Tears Fall" by Newsboys (Devotion album); "Yours to Hold" and the chorus of "Last Night" by Skillet (Comatose album); and "Numb" by Linkin Park (Meteora album). So many worship songs also bring tears to my eyes. Music is so important...

Melissa said...

I totally agree about Archuleta. I love AI this season. That song blew me away. I love it when Robbie Williams sings it but David took the ending to a new level. I react emotionally with music also but not sure I could narrow it down very much. I really enjoyed this blog post, thanks Chris!

Melissa said...

ps. I love the new pic of you and Gemma, so cute!

Reagan said...

Personally I'm rooting for David Cook, not that Archuletta isn't good, I'm just more in touch with Cook, musically :) (although he did kind of bugger up that OLP song last week) Let's see, songs that are meaningful to me. "Good Riddance" by Green Day has always gotten to me, I connect with its message, like life takes you were it takes you and as long as you've made the most of it you can live without regret. "Drive" by Incubus "Whatever tomorrow brings I'll be there with open arms and open eyes" "Everlong" by Foo Fighters, I dunno, I just gets me everytime, maybe because it's a very honest love song, not too mushy, but more realistic. "Under the Bridge" by Chili Peppers my sole reasn for wanting to teach myself to play guitar. "I Am Whatever You Say I Am" Eminem, the lyrics here just remind of how society can label you without even knowing you, so sometimes you just give up and be what people seem to assume you are just to spite. I could go on and on, I love my music.