Archive for the ‘music’ Category

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Thoughts on Jennifer Knapp

April 16, 2010

I spent the first 13 years of my life listening to only christian music and so even in high school when I could have listened to other music I only listened to christian music. Like an good evangelical teen girl I had a subscription to Brio– a magazine for teen girls produced by conservative Focus on the Family.  It was through this magazine that I discovered Jennifer Knapp’s first album, Kansas. I saved up my allowance and excitedly went to the Christian bookstore and bought the CD. I loved it and listened to it over and over and over. When the next two albums released I bought them as well. Even though by the time the third released I was listening to far more “secular” music than christian music. I didn’t realize she had “left” music so suddenly. I knew that she didn’t have new albums releasing, but that isn’t all that unusual- musicians fade in and out relatively quickly.

And then she came back. I am a huge fan of Derek Webb and when he announced who he was going to tour with I got super excited (and then quickly super disappointed since they apparently hate Chicago and aren’t coming remotely near us). I cannot wait for her new album to release in May, I will be buying it May 11 and I’m sure listening to it over and over and over.

Last week Jennifer Knapp made a decision. Actually, I’m sure the decision was made before then, but last week is when the decision was made public. And this decision could not have been easy, and the consequences of it are DEFINITELY not easy. Jennifer Knapp shared with the entire world that she is in love with a woman and they have been together for 8 happy years. I don’t care what you believe about homosexuality- that is fantastic. Isn’t this what we all long for? To find the person we love who loves us and share our lives with each other? Congratulations to both of them.

How did the “world” respond? It seems that the bulk of responses fall into one of two categories. The GLBT community celebrated and responded with great excitement and full support and people who had never heard of her before are now going out and buying her music. The bulk of the conservative Christian community has responded by telling her how wrong she is and how she’s not a Christian because of it and far more hateful and hurtful things. They are probably having a Jennifer Knapp CD burning party.

I have a feeling Jennifer Knapp didn’t choose to share this with us because she needs our support or hate. I think she did it (based on her interview at least) because she wants to be true to herself and honest with her fans. She knew she would lose some fans, I think she probably knew she’d gain some new ones. But she didn’t do it for either of these reasons. I think she did it because the assumption people hold is that a person is heterosexual and Jennifer Knapp is not and didn’t want people falsely assuming anything. At least, that seems to me the most logical reason.

She knows what she believes, she doesn’t need us to tell her she’s right or wrong. She isn’t telling you or me to be judged or to have us idolize her.

If you liked her music before, nothing has changed. It’s still awesome music. It’s still lyrically powerful and immensely enjoyable to listen to. If you didn’t like her music before you still shouldn’t- although if you never heard of her you certainly should give her a chance because it is really good music. She didn’t just become gay on April 13- she just told us she is then.  Let’s quit acting like this changes anything. Unless you know her personally this should have absolutely no impact on your opinion of her music.

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Move

February 26, 2010

It’s not that I don’t trust you, I do
But I don’t trust myself to hear from you
I’ve been known to jump the gun
Where I should’ve walked I have run
Yes, I have run out ahead of you

Now I don’t want to blink
I don’t want to breathe
I don’t want to move unless you’re moving me
Oh no, I don’t want go until I know
That it’s you
Behind the scenes
To close and open doors for me
I don’t want to move unless you’re moving me

Each time I step out on my own
I wind up broken and alone
But every time I get off track
You are always there to call me back
Always calling me back home

Now I don’t want to blink
I don’t want to breathe
I don’t want to move unless you’re moving me
Oh no, I don’t want go until I know
That it’s you
Behind the scenes
To close and open doors for me
I don’t want to move unless you’re moving me

`Cause everytime it breaks my heart
To have to go back to the start
But I want to thank you for
Your amazing grace
While I learn from my mistakes

Now I don’t want to blink
I don’t want to breathe
I don’t want to move unless you’re moving me
Oh no, I don’t want go until I know
That it’s you
Behind the scenes
To close and open doors for me
I don’t want to move unless you’re moving me

Cause I have failed so many times before
And I don’t want to do that anymore
No I don’t want to move unless you’re moving me

Jason Gray

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The Rock

February 3, 2010

There’s a song I got from a free iTunes sampler of country music that I actually listen to. It’s not uncommon for me to download a bunch of free songs that end up getting deleted shortly thereafter, or at least not listened to ever. The song is “The Rock” by Tracy Lawrence. I’m not sure what to think of the song actually. I like the sound of it, I like the idea of it, but there’s just something that bothers me about it.

The Rock

Outside Savanna, Spring of 1844, They drove the last nail in,
and opened up the doors. Jedediah Moore, was the first to be baptized,
saw him married here and buried here when the Yankees took his life.

Ive felt the pain, of people fighting their own demons, and the presence,
of the power that finally freed them. I’m a bright and shining beacon,
giving shelter in the storm, every saint and sinner, I greet with open arms.

(chorus)
I am the Rock, I am stained glass and stone, the foundation that this
town was built upon and Ive been standing strong and steady all these
years, held together by the faithful gathered here

I’ve heard the words of deliverance and damnation, and the sweet sound of redemption and salvation. Entire congregations, with their voices raised in song, while the Angles in my rafters rejoice and sing along.

Repeat Chorus

And as long as there’s a God above and people still believe, my walls will never crumble, and I will always be…

The Rock. I am stained glass and stone, the foundation that this town was built upon and I’ve been standing strong and steady all these years, held together by the faithful gathered here

Outside Savannah, Spring of 1844, they drove the last nail in, and opened up my doors.

 I like the idea behind it- the church is the foundation of the community, the church is a central point of life for the people, the church is a constant in a world of great changes. It’s a nice idea. But is it reality? Should it be reality?

 I think there was a time when the church as an institution was very much central to the identity of the community. There was a time when schedules were formed around the church’s calendar and not the other way around. But those days and times are long gone.

 As nice as it sounds I don’t think it is any longer something we should strive for. I think that today faith is much more fluid than it used to be. There doesn’t seem to be the “church life” and the “rest of the time” life that often defined many people’s lives. Now it seems there are far more people who are learning to live as the church in everyday and not set aside time specifically for that.

When I first heard this song I thought how nice it would be to get back to a place where the church as institution is once again central to the identity of a community. From a church employee perspective this would certainly make my job easier, but I don’t really think this is what we should be striving for. Instead I think the institutional church’s task today is to equip people to go out and live as the church. Stained glass and stone are great, but our role isn’t to be a place for people to come, but to go out and find the people.

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What Matters More?

July 7, 2009

 

A few months ago I downloaded music by Derek Webb on NoiseTrade.  I have enjoyed listening to it since then. Today I stumbled upon a blog about controversy surrounding his new album (to be released in September I believe). After listening to the song stirring up all this controversy I was a bit depressed. I like the song. It’s challenging and fresh and musically enjoyable. I have to admit that I didn’t go digging around any other places to see what exactly the controversy was, but from what I understand it is rooted in the use of a swear word in the song. I can understand some hesitation because of swearing. I can understand outrage even. But the reaction is rather ironic considering the song is about just that.  And I wonder, are people reacting to the swear word or the fact that they feel challenged by a Christian song that has a swear word? I mean, how scandalous is that, to say you are moved by a song that uses bad language? But seriously, it’s challenging in a positive way and in my opinion the swear word adds to that rather than taking away from it. I have enjoyed the album I have and based on  “What Matters More” I will probably be downloading the new one as well. You can get Derek Webb’s “The Ringing Bell” on NoiseTrade for free by clicking below.

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NoiseTrade

May 26, 2009

 I love this site. It’s a great place to get free music and find new artists you likely won’t find anywhere else. Right now I’m really enjoying this artist, but there are so many great musicians with music posted I highly reccommend you take some time and go check it out. I think everyone will find something they like. And it’s FREE!

 

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NoiseTrade Widget

April 7, 2009