As a musician I know what it feels like to think, every so often: I wonder what life would have been like if I’d completely sold out on doing music full time…
Fortunately for a friend of mine, he doesn’t have to think that at all; as part of a band he’s done far better than I ever have and as supported bands I’ve actually heard of, like Puddle of Mudd. On top of that, he’s just released a lovely new web page where you can hear some of his music, see a trailer for an upcoming film he’s written a lot of the soundtrack for, and peruse the services he offers as a solo musician.
So please, check out Jamie’s website to show your support for him, and if you know anyone who’s looking for a singer/musician/band for a wedding/party/event get in touch with him!
The logo at the Christian Music Wiki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the nineties there was a bit of a move in Christian music towards love ballads, to reflect popular music as opposed to those dull old irrelevant hymns.
Then there was the cry against femininity in Christian ‘Jesus is my girlfriend’ songs; singing ‘You are beautiful beyond description’ isn’t that natural a thing for a middle-aged, middle class, straight white male to sing (because, obviously, that’s who the church is made up of).
So now it seems the fashionable thing is to do modern takes on classic hymns, which I love…but if I’m honest, I also love singing that Jesus is beautiful.
And I’m fine with that.
If I see a good goal I cry: ‘beauuuutiful!’ But that’s obviously a different kind of beautiful…that said, is it any different from me describing God as awesome?
Has anyone stopped to think that our hearts are more important than our words?
Just something to get the ol’ brain working at the start of the week…
A friend of mine posted something on Facebook last week:
I can play guitar!
After thinking, ‘well done you,’ my mind immediately went something along the following lines:
What do you mean? Are you celebrating the fact that you have the physical ability to lift a guitar and hit the strings to create noise? Or have you learnt every finger combination possible and could theoretically play any song every written?
Or somewhere inbetween those two?
Obviously, playing the guitar is a bit too qualitative; it’s far easier to measure when someone has learnt to ‘count to ten’…or is that just memorisation? I’ve not discussed with her exactly what she meant, but I expect she was trying to publicly celebrate the fact that she has learnt a few basic chord shapes and strumming patterns, and can play Oasis’s Wonderwall or something. And well done to her for that achievement.
But I can’t help asking: At what point should we objectively measure that someone has moved from a position of not being able to play the guitar to having that ability?
Or is it something more ingrained than that? In other words, can some people play guitar and just need a guiding hand, while others simply can’t?
A good friend of mine is incredibly clever and has created a decent piece of software, mp3TrueEdit. It’s basically an easy-to-use application so that you can create your own ringtones and audio greetings.
The website’s over here, and right now there’s a free trial so you can see if you’d like to buy it – can’t say fairer than that.
A particularly cynical friend of mine heard the news recently that Jessie J had hurt herself after ignoring doctors’ orders and performing at a bunch of festivals with a broken leg (or something). Her take on it was that Jessie J, despite saying that she was doing it ‘for her fans’, was actually doing it to feed her own pride.
The problem is that this got me thinking. The music industry is an easy one to point the finger at and say, ‘you’re only a pop star because you like the look of your own face and the sound of your own voice’…but who wouldn’t want to sit at the X Factor judges’ table and tell those wannabes how good or bad they sound?
I wonder if every career choice on this planet essentially comes down to pride. I know there are exceptions (that’s what sometimes proves the rule) but I’m talking broad brushstroke thoughts here: is every singly one of us ultimately motivated by pride more than anything else?
My job’s an easy one to analyse – I review a business’s processes, then produce a report with my personal opinions in it, and force that company’s management to create an action plan based on its contents. The whole thing is basically a way of telling them that I know better than they do, despite the fact that they’ve been doing their job for years and I’ve barely been there a week.
Other jobs are probably not as easy to rip apart as mine; some jobs actually exist for the good of the community. Who could possibly question the motives of a teacher, a nurse, or a midwife? But playing devil’s advocate, I’m pretty certain that Jessie J would say that she sees herself as a good role model for the community as she shows those brought up in poorer areas that they can do well with their life…
I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to saving money, I’m willing to search for hours if it means saving a few pounds. So one of my frequently visited sites is one which gives me cash back on purchases I’d make anyway!
And I want you to share in my joy.
As a bit of an example we wanted breakdown cover – normal price £45 for the year, cash back £30 – quids in.
As an even better example I like music – special offer for joining some music download site: two free albums, first month free, cash back £8 – cancelled after the first month and I’m not only quids in but two albums in as well! Boom.
So here’s the deal – click on this link and get an account – that will be tracked to my account, and I’ll get £2.50, of which I will give you £2. Aren’t I generous? Just let me know when you’ve done it (DM on Twitter/e-mail me/grab me if you live nearby/leave a comment here – it won’t appear unless I approve it so I won’t tell the whole world you want the cash!).
Of course, there is some small print – for the £2.50 to be credited to me you have to claim £5, but as you’ve seen that’s not too hard, and it doesn’t have to cost you anything!
I’m a fan of a band called Page CXVI, and right now they’re letting the whole world listen to their latest album for free on their website!
But we’ve played some of their songs as part of Sunday services before, and one of my church’s drummers has recorded himself playing drums over the top of the song. Enjoy, by clicking here…I hope you’re able to view it!