Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Traveling to Atlanta this weekend to record a Christian rock band (more specifically, a Catholic rock band-one of the many bands who take part in the Life Teen Catholic youth organization, a nationwide efffort to minister to Catholic high schoolers) was a good experience. It's interesting that the same "rules" apply to recording Life Teen as do to recording your typical Clevo shitcore band-that is, make the band really comfortable, figure out how they work, try to hear what they hear, and do a line check (kinda like a soundcheck) before they get there. Oh yeah, and have some mics and preamps and compressors at hand.

Coming back to New York and talking about recording a Christian rock band is even more interesting. For some people it seems like I've been to the heart of the Outback (in Australia, not the family restaurant) to record Aboriginal ceremonial music. I was talking to a friend here in Brooklyn about contemporary Christian music, and she said that one of these bands-Evanessance-is actually pretty good. Of course Jars of Clay are a successful "crossover" group.

I remarked that the first real Christian band I remember was U2. She was shocked.

Yes, three of the members of U2 are active, believing, real Christians (try to guess which one isn't). They didn't talk about it a lot, but they definitely did talk about it, and wrote (and continue to write) songs that reflect their faith. "I guess I got into them after, like around October or Boy or War," my friend said. Well, these records are as openly Christian as any of their others. She was surprised at first, but then we recited the lyrics of "40" together and it made a lot of sense. This song, of course, closed many a U2 show during the height of their powers.

Music, like faith, comes in a lot of shapes and sizes. Writing a song is just another form of communion (in the original sense of the word, which the American Heritage Dictionary defines as "an act or instance of sharing, as of thoughts or feelings"). Whether your lyric is "My God is an awesome God" or "I don't want to be normal" or even "I kissed your lips and broke your heart." Just remember to check that all your mics are working and try to get a good level.


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