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Category Archives: Music

I’m sitting in room 223 of Greve Hall, which should be (and is supposed to be) empty by 3 this afternoon. (God help me.) As I’m scurrying around (read: spastically freaking out and chasing my own tail), I’m thinking about how this school year was different. For the first time ever, I ended the semester taking the same classes with which I started out, not dropping one class or changing a single section. Also, I actually finished all of them. That hasn’t happened in years. And, by my estimation, I should pass all of them. I wish the grades overall could be better, and they could be, to be sure. But, that I can say that I’ll have all 5 grades and that I didn’t give up in the middle of the semester (or at the beginning, for that matter)…that is a miracle.

Outside of school, I’ve gained a wonderful girlfriend, I’ve learned some things I’ve pretty good at, I’ve learned one thing I’m not great at (being a regional representative for an organization…my brain just doesn’t work that way 🙂 ), I’ve made some new friends, and I’ve had a number of adventures. Not to mention loads of great memories.

And you can check out some of those memories by viewing the slideshow below. The music is me playing/singing part of “Dare You To Move” with my friend Bekah when we were hanging out after this year’s OCF College Conference. Last summer, my friend Laura said that it’s a good song (and a good message) for me. I couldn’t agree more.

“Maybe redemption has stories to tell.”

Maybe it does.

Maybe this is a sample of Chapter 1.

It’s finals time. At this point, I have 3 down and 4 more to go, including two for an Incomplete from the fall semester. This song by They Might Be Giants sums up my life right now.

P.S. For more finals week goodness, check out the latest OCF Podcast and listen to an awesome conversation an OCFer at UCONN had with Dr. Al Rossi about finding peace during this crazy time.

Man! What a beautiful day!

It’s 70°, the sun is shining bright, and a walk of any length anywhere on campus reveals people enjoying the day outside. There is a feeling of newness, of great opportunities ahead, and of a fresh joy that hasn’t been felt around here in a while.

I even left my iPod in my dorm room this morning so I could just take in the life around me on my way to biology. I’m so excited about the weather, I haven’t even needed caffeine today.

Sure…this is East Tennessee, and cold weather will be back in a couple of days (shhh…don’t tell anyone). But it’s just so beautiful right now that I had to share. 🙂

There’s a song that I heard recently which speaks to this idea of newness and opportunity. Take a listen if you get the chance.

Lyrics

They Might Be Giants has to be one of my favorite groups. And this has to be one of my favorite songs of theirs.

On a chilly Saturday night at the end of December, some 200+ college students combined their voices in the chapel at the Antiochian Village retreat center to sing a beautiful hymn to the Mother of God.  And, though I did not remain in the chapel until 3 in the morning like some people did, I did stay long enough to try and capture some of the Heavenly wonder that swallowed me whole.

Here is a link to the audio of mine and Tiffany’s interview with Tia Graham to discuss To Write Love On Her Arms and the issue of self injury.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wbbp/blog/2007/10/27/Oct-27-2007-302PM

The interview was cut short due to technical difficulties we were beginning to experience on our end. But, there’s still plenty to chew on and to spark interest. Also, it serves as great evidence for my ADD and lack of ability to properly explain things when I’m under the gun. 😉

On a personal note, I have to give credit to Tiff for being brave and discussing her own problems with SI.  If you ask me, it’s pretty gutsy to do that when society says that these things should be swept under the rug.

Feel free to leave comments or ask questions…

“So close my eyes and hold my heart. Cover me and make me something. Change this something normal into something beautiful.”

Jars of Clay’s “Something Beautiful” is one of my favorite songs ever, and often one of the most meaningful. Here’s an acoustic version from the 11 Live DVD…which is a great DVD, by the way. 🙂 The lyrics can be found here.

Mute Math is a rock band with a fetish for vintage instruments and electronic experimentalism in their music.  But their songs are chock full of great music and thoughtful lyrics.  This song is one of my favorites, and it’s something I long for.

P.S.  The video is crazy…it’s all shot backwards.  Check it out.


“Typical”

Come on, can’t I dream for one day
There’s nothing that can’t be done
But how long should it take somebody
Before they can be someone

‘Cause I know there’s got to be another level
Somewhere closer to the other side
And I’m feeling like it’s now or never
Can I break the spell of the typical

I’ve lived through my share of misfortune
And I’ve worked in the blazing sun
But how long should it take somebody
Before they can be someone

Cause I know there’s got to be another level
Somewhere closer to the other side
And I’m feeling like it’s now or never
Can I break the spell of the typical, the typical, the typical, uh huh

I’m the typical
I’m the typical
Can I break the spell of the typical

Because it’s dragging me down
I’d like to know about when
When does it all turn around

I’m just the typical
I’m just the typical

Yeah I know there’s got to be another level
Somewhere closer to the other side
And I’m feeling like it’s now or never
Can I break the spell of the typical
The typical, the typical, uh huh

Of the typical
Break the spell (of the typical)
Break the spell (of the typical)
Can I break the spell of the typical, of the typical
I’m just the typical
I’m just the typical
I’m just the typical
I’m just the typical

As anyone who spends five minutes on this blog can probably tell, I love music. I’ve played guitar for around 15 years, and I’m twice a music major. I was in band from 6th through 12th grade, and I played in the high school Jazz Ensemble. I listen to different kinds of music, from rock to classical. The artists I listen to are also quite varied, ranging from Harry Connick, Jr., to Queen.

Music has been an escape from troubles, while, at the same time, being my way of confronting the issues in my life. When I was going through the initial thrust of my brother’s drug addiction, I played the blues a lot. I would drown in the music, but also use it as a way of wringing beauty out of an otherwise achingly sorrowful heart. I’m sure my dad would rather me have turned down the stereo and the amplifier, but he seemed to understand, himself being a musician. I spent so much time playing blues music back then that, to this day, I’m bound to play at least one blues riff whenever I pick up an electric guitar. I know the time playing them enabled me to lay down my pain and weep, scream, moan, and wail through the instrument that I love so dearly. I honestly can’t imagine having survived that period any other way.

But, most often, music is a scrapbook to me. A single song can open up several pages of my life, some bleeding from one to another, others being discrete memories specific to a particular time, place, and group of people. For years, I’ve been opening this book and flipping through the different sections, often smiling at the past moments of my short life. Though, some don’t bring smiles. Some bring sadness, confusion, disdain, bitterness, joy, humor, peace…you name it. It’s all there amidst the melodies, beats, and lyrics that contribute to the contents of each page.

Probably the era that gets the most attention in this regard is the music from the mid-to-late 90’s. I can listen to nearly anything that was decently popular from 1995-2000, from Gin Blossoms, Natalie Merchant, and Hootie and the Blowfish to Vertical Horizon, Creed, and *NSYNC. Yes, I said *NSYNC. And, more often than not, I’ll sing along. My girlfriend Tiffany says that I sing as if my life depends on it. And, in a way, it does.

In these songs, I revisit those things which have shaped me. By singing along, I not only share in the memory it brings to mind, but I also contribute (for better or for worse) to the artistic effort. I raise my own voice to say whatever it is the singer is trying to get across in his or her vocals. This enables me to own them at the root level and adds even more meaning to the songs themselves.

Samuel Pepys said “Musick is the thing of the world that I love most.” I would definitely have to agree, but it goes well beyond simply enjoying an art form. It provides a ladder out of the deep holes of life’s sadnesses and a way of remembering and viewing past events, and even current events. It’s more than just the tune playing in the background: music is one of the most important things in my life.

I’m looking for an orphanage
I’m looking for a bridge I can’t burn down
I don’t believe the emptiness
I’m looking for the Kingdom coming down

Everything is meaningless
I want more than simple cash can buy

Happy is a yuppie word
Happy is a yuppie word
Happy is a yuppie word
Happy is a yuppie word

Nothing is sound

“Happy Is A Yuppie Word,” from Nothing Is Sound by Switchfoot