Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More Willow feedback

Getting some great comments and feedback on the Willow Creek post. But the last comment bothered me.

The person wrote: "Now don't get me wrong -- I enjoy Rock & Roll, but don't ever recall hearing a rock song that is profoundly beautiful and touches the soul."


Have you ever listened to Roxy Music's Avalon? The second side (dating myself here) of the Police's Synchronicity? How about U2's Joshua Tree? "One Tree Hill" still makes me cry. Eric Johnson's "40 Mile Town" makes mere mortals crumble. "I Am Waiting" by Yes. "To Be a Man" by Boston, beautifully sung by the late Brad Delp and haunting knowing he just recently took his life. "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits used to make an old college girlfriend cry, and she hated rock and roll. "Sad Lisa" by Cat Stephens brings me back to my days listening to my mom's old records in the living room.

I'm shooting myself in the foot by listing just a few of hundreds of rock and roll songs that "touch the soul."

Why do you think I listen to music? To have something in the background while writing a story? Yes. To be moved by melody and lyrics? YES YES YES! I was walking the other day listening to my iPod Shuffle when "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel from Secret World Live came on and all of a sudden I was at the other end of South Park and I had no idea how I got there.

Are we "dumbing down" by offering a service appealing to youth and contemporary audiences? With that attitude, there simply won't be a church in another five or 10 years, at least not at 12th and Maine. Organ music and 300-year old hymns just won't do it anymore. It's not wrong and if it moves you, it's where you should be.

Music should inspire and connect, whatever form you choose.

Listen. If I watch the show "Ozzie & Harriet" today, I'd be bored out of my mind, and it's a personal choice.

And seeking something more isn't wrong.


Anonymous said...

No doubt, 12th and Maine Congregational should know it's roots! It's founder, Asa Turner, was a radical abolitionist Christian who definitely did not go the traditional route. And look at the change he helped initiate! He even met his wife at Harriet Beecher Stowe's house in Connecticut. This wife, Martha Bull Turner, grew up in the white mansion at 16th and Maine (Women's City Club)
A fresh voice with fresh ideas.

Anonymous said...

"To Be a Man" by Boston

Enough already ! Boston sucks !

But I agree with the rest of your post Rodney ! Faith comes in many forms and expressions of faith can be productive in many forms.

Unless it is ODE to JOY , hymms bore the piss out of me . But Easter sunday and Kirby all cranked up -------One will feel ODE to JOY !

Boston still blows !

Put them in the trash with Air Supply , Journey, and Styxx's Mr Roboto !

rodney hart said...

Awesome comment about Asa, whose photo adorns the hallway at First Union. A pioneer with unique vision!

Just to clear something up, First Union is fortunate to have Alan as a great choir director and David Moore as an awesome organ player.

And ... if I'm at 7th and Hampshire and Kirby fires up the organ, I will be moved!

Anonymous said...

it's roots, It's founder?
My bad, its

Anonymous said...

"On April 22, 1840 Asa Turner Jr., pastor of the Congregational Church in Denmark, wrote to the “The Anti-Slavery Reporter” about abolitionist activity in southern Iowa. “Letter from the Far West,” from the “Friend” Vol. 13, 1840, p. 326, reprinted from “The Anti-Slavery Reporter” below:"

“Asa Turner Jr. of Denmark, Lee Co. Iowa Ter., writes to James G. Birney under date of April 22, 1840 that an Anti-Slavery Society has been founded at that place, and also at Salem, Henry County, Iowa Ter. He says ‘our little church and society are almost to a man on the right side of this great question. As to the territory generally there is but little light, and less action on the subject. We need some judicious and efficient men to lay before the people the nature of this abomination of abominations. The inhabitants of Salem are mostly Quakers and many of them take a deep interest in the subject of slavery. Last summer [1839] two slaves passed through Salem, and were soon overtaken by their pretended masters. As they returned with the fugitives, some inquired by what authority they were carrying away these men captives, and called upon them to show their authority. The justice was sent for, and the trial was about to commence, but the black boys chose to take leg bail. So they poor men stealers had to return without their prey. A few weeks after the slaves discovered themselves to their new “Friends,” who undertook to help them on their way to the land of liberty. Two hundred dollars were offered for the apprehension of the fugitives. Three Quakers set out with the two runaways, in a covered wagon. Four men, armed, waylaid them, and demanded the salves on pain of death. No resistance was made, and the poor men were taken to Missouri, one of them was immediately sold to go down the river. For this act the perpetrators received $200. Three or four are professors of religion, and two of them officers in the Methodist Church! The Quakers were apprehended and tried under the black law of the territory, and fined $500. The laws of the territory are much the same as in Ohio and Illinois—making it the duty of the county commissioners to apprehend and sell every black man who has no free papers, and imposing a fine of $500 on any one who shall aid one of these outcasts in obtaining the birthright given by heaven.’

“Asa Turner communicates the following heartrending fact. ‘A black man in Missouri married a free woman, who now lives at Quincy, Ill. His master told him, if he would pay him $1200 he should have his liberty. Being a good blacksmith he went to work and in there years paid the amount, but last fall he came over to see his wife, joicing to think he was soon to breathe with her the air of liberty. He returned to Missouri for his free papers. His mater was offered $1800 for him, which he accepted, and in a day or two, instead of returning to his wife, he was on his way in chains to New Orleans’.”

Excerpts from The Anti-Slavery Reporter, obtained from the research notes of Lewis D. Savage.


Anonymous said...

Great post, RB.
Early Quincy history had some pure drama, the site of radical change and ideas from both famous and nonfamous Americans

Anonymous said...

Not usually considered a Mainstream rock band. Check out Homesick by Mercyme. powerful. heavy subject too. I hear a boy will be playing it at New Faces this spring.

Anonymous said...

Willow Creek church was blasted by the Chicago papers when the church chose not to hold services on Sunday, December 25. Willow Creek's response was that it takes "many, many people to run things on any Sunday and not enough people would be available to help with the service." Hmm. What's wrong with this picture?? One would think that receiving Jesus and serving him by being part of the worship service would be a privilege and a joyful occassion! Perhaps their fear was that those who go to church for the entertainment value might not attend because of their priorities.

By the way, our souls have been touched by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart for 250 years. Will today's contemporary artists have that lasting influence? I doubt it.

rodney hart said...

Glad Bach and Beethoven and all that stuff still touches you. It does nothing for me. Never has, never will. And people who think they are better because they are "civilized" by listening to classical music don't get it.

In 250 years, some kid will put on
"Who's Next" into a plate that slides into his brain and be blown away. Of that I am sure.

By the way, since everybody goes to church on Christmas and Easter, maybe not going to church isn't such a bad idea.