Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Uninspired, The Unrehearsed

"God we're tired of empty words. We're the uninspired. We're the unrehearsed."

I don't always feel very inspired by today's new music. I've listened to a few records that SOUND fantastic.... Maroon 5, Radiohead, and Rihanna all put out great-sounding new records. Rihanna's in particular... hers is one of my favorite records right now. This is definitely Jess's influence. However, the music I listened to growing up did more than just tickle my eardrums... it changed the way I looked at many things.

Foo Fighter's "Monkey Wrench" changed the way I thought about playing guitar. U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" changed the way I thought about passion. Ben Fold's "Brick" changed the way I thought about honesty. I remember hearing songs that were written and performed with REAL passion and charisma.

While the airwaves have been filled with a lot of glorified mediocrity recently.... I've actually heard a few albums that have started to remind me of what it felt like as a kid.... listening to artists that have inspired me, and challenged me in my own songwriting, performing, and mindset.

Leeland has inspired me with his very real passion and completely childlike freedom when he worships in his songs. Jon Foreman has inspired me by writing more honestly than I thought any "Christian" artist could. I'm so proud of him for his EPs. Marilyn Manson (obvious criticisms aside) has inspired me in his willingness to take chances, and to poetically describe the sad world he sees around him, all the while appearing as a hatemonger for doing so. Bjork has inspired me by making records that many would barely consider music, and doing it with a wonderful awkwardness only she could pull off. Daniel Carson (guitar player for Chris Tomlin) has inspired me as a guitar player, seeing him balance technique with personality and substance. Bryan Adams has inspired me because he's Canadian... and he's freaking Brian Adams.

It's interesting to think that there are kids growing up right now, having the same experiences with music that I did when I was a kid. There are young boys and girls enjoying their first tastes in melody and rhythm. What will inspire them? Can we be a part of that? How do we carry the mantle of the artists that inspired us? Aren't those big shoes to fill?

They certainly are.

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