Sunday, May 5, 2013

Quotation of the Week: On Music

San Diego's own Steam Powered Giraffe

For the last few weeks, I've become enamored of popular music once again. It's been years since I truly listened to popular music, to new music just hitting the radio waves. For the past few years, I've been listening to music on my iPod, most of which consists of U2, Big Band and Swing music, and 80's classics. I tend to play Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra while I write, and when I need a pick-me-up, I turn to the Mama Mia! movie soundtrack or some great be-bop music from the 50's and early 60's.

Despite my dislike of most music of the decade, I've also picked up a few 70's favorites, especially "American Pie" and "Bohemian Rhapsody." (But I refuse to admit my junior high and high school crushes on the music of John Denver, Barry Manilow, and Neil Diamond...despite attending their concerts.)  I was also seriously addicted to the Grease soundtrack. Leaving music behind, I have all of the Harry Potter and Twilight book series on my iPod as well (plus Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), so I didn't even listen to music for a couple of years as I focused on audiobooks.

But between Pandora on my phone and desktop and the replacement of the ancient radio in my 20-something year old Corolla, I've started listening to indie and alternative music. A lot of the indie bands are courtesy of Elizabeth who is hipster-ish in her music selections and from the Twilight movie soundtracks, but I've come to love the British indie bands Florence + the Machine, Editors, and Mumford and Sons. Elizabeth and I attended a Florence concert last fall, and she was amazing!! We missed out on getting tixs for Mumford for next month...which disappointed us both greatly.

Now that my car has a radio (and one that tells us what's playing--the song titles and musicians), I've become quite addicted to KPRI out of Encinitas which plays "Then and Now Adult Alternative" music. On my phone, the KPRI app allows me to "Clip" songs I like to listen to later, and my collection so far includes The Clash, Phillip Phillips, Coldplay, Alpha Rev, Goo Goo Dolls, R.E.M., Green Day, and Adele.

My Pandora stations with new music include Muse, Mumford and Sons, Indie Singer-Songwriters, Steam Powered Giraffe, Katie Melua, She & Him, Editors, Florence + the Machine, and Coldplay. Plus I listen to older and other music, including Blossom Dearie (1940's), Katherine Jenkins, John Michael Talbot (Catholic Christian), Tempest (Celtic), Casting Crowns (Christian), Gregorian Chant, Brian Setzer Orchestra (modern swing and big band), Herman's Hermits (1960's), Celtic, Swing, Big Band, Andrews Sisters, Monkees, Beach Boys, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, 80's Pop, Golden Oldies, British Invasion, 50's Rock 'n' Roll, and U2.

I get quite the eclectic shuffles on Pandora. Right now Muse's "City of Delusion" is being followed by Glen Miller's "Pennsylvania 6-500," followed by Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful," and then "Fun, Fun, Fun" from The Beach Boys and "I'm into Something Good" from Herman's Hermits, and finishing with Artie Shaw's "Begin the Beguine" (I used to play the clarinet myself, so I have a soft spot for Artie), Muse's "Starlight," Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day," and The Lumineers' "Ho Hey." :)

Yeah, my Pandora shuffles are just a little schizophrenic.

And I love San Diego's own Steam Powered Giraffe (see top photo) with their humorous steampunk style, especially since my niece is friends with several of the band members. Our son Timothy has painted an amazing portrait of one of the band members in persona for his art class.

I'm not a big fan of Christian Contemporary music except for Casting Crowns because of their engagement with popular culture. And I prefer hymns on Sunday mornings for the most part.

So this week's Quotation of the Week is all about music and is something I feel as well. Growing up in a household without Christian music, I was always drawn toward any song that mentioned God: "American Pie," "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," etc., which also explains why my favorite band is U2 (starting with 2001's All That You Can't Leave Behind; I wasn't much of a fan in the 80's). So Bono's words below strike a chord within me:

"The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or running away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt."

~Bono of U2

PS: 5/6/13: John Armstrong of Act 3 Ministries (whom I love because of his true ecumenism of bringing Catholics and Evangelicals into positive, constructive dialog) posted a video of U2 closing a Chicago concert with two of their most clearly Christian worship songs, "Yahweh" (Bono's ode to the hymn "Take My Life and Let It Be") and "40" (which is based on Psalm 40); the worship in Bono's expression is echoed by the audience so palpably. Amazing. Here's the link (the video is about eleven minutes and was posted on a Christian video site): U2 Chicago concert closing.

PPS: 5/6/13: Editors just released the video for "A Ton of Love" from their new album The Weight of Your Love due out 1 July. Here's the link: "A Ton of Love"; I found the lyrics, especially at the beginning of the song, to be reminiscent of U2. ;)

So what kind of music do you listen to?

Musically yours,


David Rupert said...

I listen to Sinatra when I write too!

Mumford and Sons is really engaging. I'm noticing more strings -- mandolins and violins in modern music and thats a good trend.

The Bono quote is really great

Susanne Barrett said...

Thanks for responding, David. :)

Yes, I love the addition of traditional instruments into popular music.

That Bono quote is a long-time favorite.

Oh, and a pastor/teacher whose website and blog I follow posted this article on Facebook about Bono, and I thought you might enjoy it:

Thanks for responding, David!

~Susanne :)


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