Posts Tagged ‘ Music ’

Perspective: The Rhythm of Silence

The difficulty with silence is the noise of not talking. The sound, which drums up from our soul once the melody of speech, has decrescendoed out of our lives. It is often we misunderstand this melody – the things that we say, articulate, and produce – as the primary part of our personhood. And although it takes much skill and revision to produce a melody – be it simple or complex – the melody simply gives color to the drumming core of the soul. The things that are lived as rhythm. The things only heard by those listening for the baseline, can only be altered by silencing the melody. But when the melody is sliced we must confront the pulsating self, whose tones are sometimes dark and whose sounds clamor. The rhythm, which seemed on point with the melody’s overlay, is understood to be jumbled, wild, and superficial. When listening carefully to the rhythm we see that the harmony between who we are and who we present ourselves to be exists only in snippets. We realize there is a deep disconnect and that the rhythm is plagued by mistakes, unnatural improvisation, and inconsistency. It is only when silencing the melody that we can learn allow God to work in our lives – through our hard work, wisdom from others, open eyes, etc. – to synchronize our self with His symphony.


Music 4 tha Soul

Shad . . . if you don’t know Shad you should. His lyrics are impeccable and his style seamlessly combines a jovial spirit, social commentary, and personal wisdom. His most recent album TSOL is an incredible work of art that can be listen to on repeat for weeks over and still be enjoyed more and more each time.  Check out his video for the single “Rose Garden” and if you like his stuff, go find his album, its worth it.

Thoghts about pop-culture, ethics, morality and value ispired from a conversation on facebook.

Although we have moved away from overtly signing songs and telling folk tales or myths as ways to convey ethics, values and meaning in our culture, popular culture has become the town square, campfire and village gathering that the contemporary person covertly learns societal values through. The tragedy is not the vehicle of information. The tragedy is that the stories and songs are no longer mediated by elders seeking to guide the community they are mediated by some guys trying to make a buck.

The Grammy Awards, Beyonce, and who should have a gramophone statuette.

Last night Beyonce won six Grammy Awards breaking the record for most Grammy awards won by a female artist in one night;  The six trophies brings her up to 17 in total – I thought it was only 13, but I did some digging and if you add her shared awards she has a total of 16. Last night Beyonce was catapulted over a host of classic artist to the top ten list which contains the likes of Aretha Franklin,  Michael Jackson, Alison Kruass, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and B.B. King .

I am not hating on Beyonce, but is she really that good? Should we really say her names with those that I listed in the top ten? I personally believe that she is overrated and that plenty of folks have better voices and songs than she does, but I don’t give out the Grammy Awards. I have conceded that the Grammy Awards are as much, if not more, about popularity as they are about talent. So I supposed, given that I can be okay with Beyonce’s success.

But unfortunately that means that they Grammy Awards don’t mean much anymore. Not solely because Beyonce has 16, but because the Grammy Awards seem like a time for celebrities to pat one another on the back. As Stephen Colbert – ironically a Grammy winner himself – put it last night “the only thing better than celebrities congratulating each other is celebrities giving each other awards”.

All my frustration with the Grammy awards let me to search who folks who did not or have not won a Grammy. Let’s just say the list of those who do not have an award does not help my view of the Grammys. Read the list from and make your own decisions.

The Grammys, much like the Oscars, have lost some of its luster and credibility in recent years with such pop phenoms such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera taking home Grammys. But even more indefensible is the rock and roll legends that haven’t won a Grammy. Some of the most famous and influential musicians in music history have never won a Grammy and here are the top 10 on the list. Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix won Lifetime Grammy Achievement Awards after their deaths, but we won’t count those since they were given out based on a career and not a year, so to speak.

10. Buddy Holly


Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death in an airplane crash, Holly is described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll.” His works and innovations were copied by his contemporaries and later musicians, notably The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones, and exerted a profound influence on popular music. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Holly #13 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Buddy Holly died in 1959, the year of the first Grammy Awards ceremony and was never eligible for a Grammy during his lifetime.

9. The Doors


The Doors’ music was a fusion of psychedelic rock, hard rock, blues-rock, and acid rock. They were considered a controversial band, due mostly to Morrison’s cryptic lyrics and unpredictable stage persona. After Morrison’s death on July 3, 1971, the remaining members continued as a threesome until disbanding in 1973. Despite a career that barely totaled eight years, The Doors still enjoy a huge cult following as well as status in the mainstream music industry as being hugely influential and original. According to the RIAA, they have sold over 32 million albums in the US alone. The Doors went winless by the Grammys for during their entire eight years together.

8. Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

The band became prominent in the Southern United States in 1973, and rose to worldwide recognition before several members, including lead vocalist and primary songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, died in a plane crash in 1977. The band reformed in 1987 for a reunion tour with Ronnie’s younger brother, Johnny Van Zant as the frontman, and continues to record music today. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006. The band now has a total of 7 deceased members. A Grammy still eludes this iconic and pioneering Southern rock band.

7. Jimi Hendrix

jimi hendrix

Hendrix synthesized many styles in creating his musical voice and his guitar style was unique, later to be abundantly imitated by others. Despite his hectic touring schedule and notorious perfectionism, he was a prolific recording artist and left behind more than 300 unreleased recordings. With all of his popularity and musical influence he never won a Grammy. In 1992, Hendrix was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

6. Queen


As of 2005, according to The Guinness Book of World Records, Queen albums have spent a total of 1,322 weeks or twenty-seven years on the United Kingdom album charts; more time than any other musical act including The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Also in 2005, with the release of their live album with Paul Rodgers, Queen moved into third place on the list of acts with the most aggregate time spent on the British record charts, but Queen has still never won a Grammy.

5. Grateful Dead

the grateful dead

The Grateful Dead’s musical influences varied widely; in concert recordings or on record albums one can hear psychedelic rock, blues, rock and roll, country-western, bluegrass, country-rock, and improvisational jazz. These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead “the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world. 30 years of touring though couldn’t garner a Grammy award.

4. Led Zeppelin


With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin are regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands. However, the band’s individualistic style draws from many sources and transcends any one genre. The band have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, including 111.5 million sales in the United States and they have had all of their original studio albums reach the U.S. Billboard Top 10, with six reaching the number one spot. Led Zeppelin are ranked #1 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as “the heaviest band of all time” and “the biggest band of the ’70s”. But sorry, no Grammy for you.

3. Diana Ross

the supremes

A twelve-time Grammy and Oscar-nominated singer, record producer and actress, whose musical repertoire spans R&B, soul, pop, disco and jazz. During the 1960s, she helped shape the sound of popular music and the Motown Sound as lead singer of The Supremes before leaving for a solo career in the beginning of 1970. Since the beginning of her career with The Supremes and as a solo artist, Diana Ross has sold more than 100 million records. Apparently not enough to win a Grammy though.

2. Bob Marley

bob marley

He was the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the ska, rocksteady and reggae bands: The Wailers (1964 – 1974) and Bob Marley & the Wailers (1974 – 1981). Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited for helping spread Jamaican music to the worldwide audience. Although he never won a Grammy in his lifetime, he was recently announced as a 2007 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.

1. The Who

the who

The primary lineup was guitarist Pete Townshend, vocalist Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They became known for energetic live performances, are one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s and ’70s, and recognized as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility. According to the New York Times, The Who have sold 100 million records yet were never recognized by the Recording Academy.


1.Sir George Solti – 38 Grammys
2.U2 – 22
3.Pat Metheny and the Pat Metheny Group – 17
4.Stevie Wonder – 21
5.Aretha Franklin – 20
6.Alison Krauss – 20
7.Michael Jackson – 13
8.Aretha Franklina – 11
9.Carlos Santana – 9

The Jesus Response

I apologize  for posting on Christianity & Homosexuality again, it has simply been an issue on my mind recently.

A few months ago, a report came out in which Ray Boltz, admitted that he has been struggling with this sexual identity and that he was in fact, homosexual.

While I was in my undergraduate studies at Taylor University – Boltz’s daughter, Liz, was also a student – Boltz played his farewell concert at Taylor University and I personally traveled down Botlz’s barn/studio in Muncie, Indiana to hear several artists perform. I had the opportunity to meet Boltz several times. He was a normal middle aged musician, with a collection of guitars, and a sleek, black Harley Davidson that would make even the most pious preson envious. At the time I did not suspect that he was struggling with his sexual identity, but in reality, he already determined that he was homosexual.

I am taken aback when he publicly came out. It just wasn’t something I was expecting. I personally don’t believe that homosexuality is Biblical, but experiences that I have gone through have also given me a perspective that earnestly, in practice and in theory, believes that those who are homosexual can be wonderful, loving, kind and even Godly people. I know that that is messy; I struggle with how someone can live I life that is remorselessly rooted in sin, yet still exhibit Godly characteristics. But the reality is that, it happens (we often acknowledge this to be so with other sins, why is homosexual actions as special case?)

I admit that I have not been keeping up with how the Christian community has responded, but pray that Christianity’s response has been and will be one filled with the complexity of love – maintaining the integrity of the Bible, while offering humble friendship.  As Christianity continues to deal with the issue of not only homosexuals, but homosexuals who also claim Christian faith, I pray that God will give us discernment, strength, and humility.

In a related subject, Bryan Loritts, pastor at Fellowship Memphis in Memphis TN, recently gave a challenging and humbling sermon about what the Christian response – Jesus’ Response – to homosexuality should be. Don’t listen if you want a sermon that will make you feel good. Listen if you want a sermon that will push you the think and behave more like Jesus Christ.