Saturday, May 7, 2011

v2, d332: Shuffleblog

I'm never going to ask for requests again, because it takes me so long to get to them that they might as well not have been requested in the first place. 

#1 Snowfort by Room Full of Walters
My snow fort, it won't fall down.
My snow fort's better than anyone's around
My snow fort, it won't melt in the sun...
Oh, RFOW.  They were a local band that became Christians after they'd already built a pretty solid following in the Wichita area.  They subsequently wrote what ended up being a "Christian" album and started getting radio play on the Christian rock radio station.  Eventually, they were signed to a national label, and they released to albums.  (Oh, and they were pretty good, by the way)  However, as is often the case in Christian music, the label didn't throw much money into promoting the band--no music videos, no tours with "big name" artists, none of the big collaboration albums, and not pushed very hard on national radio, so the band got frustrated and embittered and dropped off the face of the planet after two years. 

I have a friend who does some independent recording on the southern gospel scene.  I've had a couple of interesting discussions with him about how it's determined what songs get played on what radio stations.  It might make for a good play or film sometime, though I think Kevin Max may have already beat me to the movie idea. (Did that movie ever end up happening?) 

Anyway, it's a discouraging industry.

#2: Burn Out Bright by Switchfoot
The future is a question mark with kerosene and electric sparks
There's still fire in you yet, yeah, there's still fire in you...
Seems as though I've done this song before. Also seems as though my iPod (who has no name, nor will it ever receive a name) plays this song quite a bit.  Which I don't complain about, because I'm usually only listening to my iPod when I'm walking or jogging outside.  And this is an awesome outside song.  It's actually one of my favorite windows-rolled-down-while-driving-in-the-summer songs.  There were a couple of years where I needed those, because I had to drive with my windows down ALL SUMMER LONG.  No AC in my old car (the gold one) for two and a half years.  Houston summers are pretty brutal.  Since we got rid of the gold car, I can hardly believe I used to brave them with nothing but the air flow from the windows. I remember I would even drive home in the rain with my windows down, because my choices were get wet (and therefore slightly cooler, though uncomfortable) or suffocate in the hot air that built up in the car as the day wore on.  It was pretty miserable. 

#3: My Deliverer by Rich Mullins (performed by not Rich Mullins)
Joseph took his wife and child and they went to Africa
To escape the rage of a deadly king.
There along the banks of the Nile, Jesus listened to the song
That the captive children used to sing
They were singing, "My deliverer is coming, my deliverer is standing by..."
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that Rich is one of my Big Four in Christian songwriters.  Like RFOW, he was pretty huge around the Wichita area because he called it home.  My dad actually played in Friends University's orchestra with Rich at one point.  I remember when Rich died.  It was a huge deal in the local Christian community.  I think I thought Rich was bigger than he actually was, because when I left Kansas I found a lot of people knew him and some of his songs, but he was just sorta there for most people.  Local celebrities, I guess.

Anyway, when Rich died, he was working on a new album.  They released the unfinished demos he did and then had other artists who were friends of his record the songs with finished studio versions and released them together.  Funny thing is, most of them still sounded better on the rough demo cut pulled straight from the audio cassette.

And then there's this track.  I don't actually know who is singing on it (I'm pretty sure there's a Micheal W. Smith cameo near the end, however), but I love it.  It's haunting, it's dramatic, it's moving.  It builds on itself.  It's almost theatrical.  Which is probably why I enjoy it.  But it takes on the characteristic of waiting, longing, hoping for redemption, and the explosion of faith into an emphatic resolution to believe, a strong hope in things yet unseen, and the unifying passion of a shared faith. 

Cool track.

#4: Something Like Laughter by Five Iron Frenzy
Create in her a sense of awe that sees Your beauty,
Let Your splendor flash with blinding light.
Standing tall, all the aspen trees drink water
As rain falls down like laughter from the sky...
This hasn't been statistically proven, but i don't think it's possible to skip through six songs on my iPod without running into at least one Reese Roper project.  It probably speaks both of the volume of Roper/BS2/FIF/Guerilla Rodeo music I have as well as of the small size of my iPod's library.  Nano.  Whatever.

But I digress.  (Can you digress when the concept of your blog is more or less stream-of-consciousness?)  This song has a pretty personal meaning to me.  So personal, in fact, that I can't share the even it reminds me of!  How's that for teasing?  I can share, however, that as I was typing "stream-of-consciousness," I accidentally typed "steam-of-consciousness" at first, and then I tried to decide if that were a clever enough play on words that I could use that concept one day in a story somewhere. (Shaking the 8-ball... "Early Signs Point to 'No'")

#5: A Man's Gotta Do What A Man's Gotta Do from Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog
A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do
Seems destiny ends with me saving you
The only doom that's looming is you loving me to death,
So I'll give you a chance to catch your breath.  
Sheer brilliance.  But you already know that, hopefully. 

Recently, the little community theater that two summers ago hosted a new play festival that my Girl Who Wore Golden Clothes script was chosen for announced their 2011 season.  (Recently = last November, apparently)  Dr. Horrible was on the list.  I'm pretty sure they just decided to adapt the short film for the stage by themselves, and while I'm pretty sure that technically that's not legal, they're a community theater with a house that seats about forty people.  I really don't think it ought to be that big of a deal, so more power to them. 

It's not like theatre people all over the year wouldn't do the same thing if they thought they could get away with it :-)

#6: Prayer of the Comfort Counselor from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
All you need is the strength to pretend it's no big deal
Try to act like you don't care, try not to cry, lord,
Not in front of your brother.
Don't embarrass your mother.
Make your exit with care.
That, dude, is my prayer...
Every time I start a shuffle, I spend the entire time hoping that I'll get an awesome closing song for #6.  More often than not, it seems to happen. 

I remember being my school's alternate for the 5th grade city-wide spelling bee.  None of the three regulars got sick or injured or suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, however, so I didn't get to compete. We bussed all the fifth-graders in the city (four schools' worth) for the big event, and one of the kids from our school finished fourth.  The alternate position.  Yet, when the county-wide spelling be was held, she got to go ahead and compete, despite the fact that none of the three regulars missed the bee.

I never got anybody to understand why I thought that was unfair.