Friday, March 24, 2006

Art--Cds you should own

The thing I love about having a blog is I can write about all sorts of topics that I want to, and there's at least the slightest chance that someone might be reading and join in. Well, so far it hasn't worked really well, but maybe with time and more promotion?

Anyway, I love art. I really think I connect and interact with art more than anything else in this world. Well, except for maybe people. By art, I mean creative expression. I would say storytelling is the art I connect with the most. Whether it be through writing, film, drama, television, face to my life, nothing beats the power of a good story. But I love all art--music, dance, visual art (painting, sketching, etc). Art inspires , challenges, comforts, empathizes, rebukes, consoles, expresses, reminds, soothes, remembers, warns, and humors me. It's amazing really. So I would now like to dedicate a series of posts of to the art of my life...not that I've created but that has played a strong role and been a friend to me.

First said post shall be....about music. CDs specifically that I believe everyone should own. These are in no particular order.

#1 The Cure--Wild Mood Swings.
I'm sure all the Cure connasieurs out there are befuddled by my choice. But this CD is exactly what it says...wild mood swings. From euphoria to the depths of despair and regret, it has it all. It was also a bit of a departure from previous efforts by the band, which made it truly refreshing. This disc was spinning more than any other for me in high school. Of course my favorite song was "Bare"...those of you who know me well, know I love the melancholy sing- because-life-is-miserable sort of songs the best!!
(other Cds of note by the Cure...Faith, Disintegration, Wish)

#2 Watermark--A Grateful People
Because I have been a fan of Watermark for their career, and because Christy Nockels invited myself and some of my friends to attend this concert...I did. I don't think I can tell the number of times their music has ministered to me, but that concert was perhaps a culmination of it all. As I watched the Nockels celebrate all that God has done in their lives and start to turn to a new chapter...I did the same. It was profoundly beautiful and the CD captures much of it. (other Watermark cds of note...all of them!)

#3 Alison Krauss--Forget About It
This is perhaps one of the most beautiful cds on the planet. The combination of her sweet voice with gentle melodies and wistful poetic lyrics makes for the perfect "reflection" cd. I bought this cd because I wanted to listen to something by her, and grumbled because it cost 1000 yen used. As soon as I put it in my cd player, I knew I had a treasure. It's traveled a few journies with me and continues to accumulate my memories--smiles and tears.

#4 Andrew Peterson--Love and Thunder
In the middle of one of the most difficult periods of my life, I went to see another artist in concert and ended up falling in love with the music of Andrew Peterson. I honestly believe he is the best songwriter alive. His perspectives, sharp insights, amazing storytelling through song, and poetic lyrics blend perfectly with his always spot on music. This cd is a masterpiece, from the first notes of "Canaan Bound" to the final bits of "After the Last Tear Falls." Every song is beautiful, but the "Silence of God" is perhaps the one that gives me goosebumps every single time. It's so beautifully crafted and you can feel the ache blended with comfort. Wow. (other cds of note by Andrew Peterson--all of them!)

#5 Jane Siberry--When I Was a Boy
This is my perfect broken heart cd. Achingly, hauntingly beautiful music. Jane's unique voice. Songs that pull you into a whole different realm of consciousness...and all you want to do is love...because after is everything.

#6 Sarah McLachlan--Afterglow live
I chose this one because it contains music from all her efforts, but it's possible that despite my initial disappointment with it, Afterglow has turned into my favorite of her cds. She has the voice of an angel, and interesting perspective. Her cds are always good for a rainy day, or also for a time of reflection if you need to have a change from the aforementioned Alison Krauss cd.

#7 Jill Phillips--God and Money
Jill is amazing. She is so insightful, honest, and has a beautiful voice. I love this cd because it takes you all over emotionally. And some of the songs, feel like songs I could have written myself. (if I had the talent) I love when music feels like it was birthed in your own soul. I like that she wasn't afraid to tackle the issue of trying to serve both God and money and I love the admission...."little steps, little tries, till I get it right...."
(other cds of note by Jill--all of them!)

#8 Caedmon's Call--Share the Well
While every other Christian music group was pumping out more...oh I'm so in love with you, glory glory songs, Caedmon's Call went around the world and saw how the other half lives. The result of said trip was a beautiful collection of heart-wrenching enlightening songs, infused with world music. It's a keeper.
(other cds of note by Caedmon's...all of them!)

#9 Shaun Groves--White Flag
I heart Shaun Groves. This is a great cd of intepretation of the beatitudes. Thoughtful, and thought-provoking. The music is fun and haunting. And Narrow is such an amazing song, it gets every time. And really, Shaun has the loveliest version of Bless the Lord out there.

Ok, that's all for this time. I'm sure there will be another one in the future!!


Shaun Groves said...

Wow, I made THAT list?? Thank you.

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