Dear CDs

Dear CDs,

I forget how much I truly love you all (and by “all,” I mean “most of you”).

If you don’t know me well enough by now, I’ll tell you one thing that is almost always true: I am very intentional. If I act like I’m irritated with you, then I probably am; if I act like I’m thrilled to be with you, then I probably am; if I act like I’m impatient, then I probably am; if I act like I don’t want you to touch my piano, then I probably don’t; if I give you a tin of chocolate-covered pretzels, then I was singing prayers over you (I know that doesn’t make sense to any of you, but…trust me, it makes sense); if I have the television turned onto the Tiger game, then I’m watching the game; and if I’m not answering my phone, then I don’t want to talk. Nine times out of ten, I act intentionally.

It should be stated for the record, however, that those “one times out of ten” that I don’t act intentionally, I tend to make the biggest blunders. I really am quite scatter-brained, and when I screw up, I do a dandy of a job. But most of the time–at least from my perspective–I am intentional.

And music is no different. There is a reason I don’t listen to rap. There is a reason I listen to southern gospel. There is a reason I like 4Him but not Point of Grace (I miss you, 4Him). There is a reason I like PFR and Dimestore Prophets. And there is a reason I am so opposed to most of the newer CCM. There is a reason Rich Mullins was my hero. Songwriting is far more than rhyming and rearranging the three chords you know on your guitar. Songwriting is a gift, and it is a struggle. I don’t particularly enjoy songs (particularly Christian songs) that are easy-listening, make you “feel good” kind of stuff. If it’s going to make me feel good, it had better at least be musically or literarily whimsical. Either one suffices. But same-old, same-old, two verses, chorus, one-four-five progression, “Jesus” rhymes with “frees us,” songwriting just doesn’t do a whole lot for me. If it makes you feel good, then…by all means, enjoy it.

But for me? Music must be whimsical. Chris Rice caught me off-guard today. I was driving home and had only a handful of CDs with me, and one of them was his old Past the Edges album. I haven’t listened to Chris Rice in, oh, at least a year! Today, he caught me by surprise and with delight! Have you heard Smellin Coffee? Talk about whimsical! Musically, it couldn’t be more whimsical unless it were Cake (but don’t tell anyone that I listen to Cake; it’s Jenn’s fault).

So I am inspired. Tonight as I dip pretzels, I will pull out all of my old CDs and listen to them (well, not every single one of them, but definitely a couple). I’ll leave you with some Smellin Coffee:

I remember reading you’re the God who never sleeps

While I’ve been dreaming, you’ve been singing over me, yeah

Singing about my freedom, waking me up to hear your song

Now I can’t dance hard enough, cause yesterday is gone, gone, gone!

Love your CDs, people.

Pax Christi.

semmie.

7 thoughts on “Dear CDs

  1. I love my CDs, passionately, every day. Of course, my CDs are in a whole different realm than yours… I like the ones that scream out my rage, cry out to God in my frustration, lead me into a dark day of the soul, then back into God’s arms again, soothing my mind and expressing the depths of my heart… usually a good Hardcore Ballad does it. :) Where would I be without music? Most of the seasons of my life are marked by a particular album or artist. I don’t generally think of life in songs…I reflect on my life in albums & musicians & bass guitar & drums…

  2. meh.

    but see…the album, musician, bass guitar (barph), drums…they are all part and parcel to the craft of songwriting. they don’t just magically happen. somebody went to a lot of trouble to create that soundtrack for your raging, deep, longing soul. in that regard, and not respecting of genre, i think our musical tastes are actually quite similar.

    and to be honest, the only reason i have typically avoided heavy music is because it is SO emotional. music itself evokes emotional responses (if you don’t know this, then you’ve never lead worship in a pentecostal service), and it has only been in recent years that i’ve not been on the edge in terms of my depression. for ME, it would have been too much. which is brilliant, of course, because for others, it is the very weight of hard music that will draw them OUT of a depression. it’s just a personal balance kind of issue. what balances you doesn’t balance me, and vise versa. and that’s a GOOD thing. but again–i don’t think our choice in musicians is all that different; neither of us are choosing mediocre songwriters or musicians.

    as an honorable mention, have you ever heard Cayerio? take a listen and let me know what you think! http://www.myspace.com/cayerio

  3. oh…if you go to the myspace for Cayerio, scroll down to watch the second video on the left, called Get Urr Cups Up. that’s my faaaaaaaaaaaaaaavorite song. :)

  4. For me, music has to move you. It has to rip out some emotion you are feeling or have felt and lay it there before you and say THIS is it. THIS is what you have felt. See it, know it, understand it. It has to catch your mind in a dance unawares, and tug those emotional strings so that suddenly you realize the music has carried you away with it. It is an act of sex, of making love. As you bond with your partner or partners in congress, so too do you bond with music makers when their music really and truly pulls you with it.

    If a song does not do this, I do not listen to it.

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