Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Studio Thoughts & Fears

I read two things this morning that somewhat adequately summarized the emotional journey I’m on while making this record.

@nedhepburn:
Blogging is like constantly doing a Zack Morris, where you turn to the camera and tell the unseen audience how you really feel. It’s a shame that this isn’t book-ended by gnarly guitar riffs, however.



As it turns out, what my audience hears IS surrounded by guitar riffs. I try to tell myself most of the time that I’m not a real musician, mostly because I’m not an incredibly skilled musician. But I think that’s just the way I console my own fears. The reality is: I have been doing this for long enough now that I have a steady list of people whose lives have been connected to my music and my thoughts that it actually starts to terrify me when I’m working on a record. And this is the most honest, terrifying record I’ve ever made.

@jhnmyr:
I think I owe it to my fans to disregard them during the making of an album. If I don’t risk it all on tape soon I’m going to be in trouble. I need to be loud. Slightly out of tune. Stick around in a solo a little too long. Maybe not know exactly what I’m doing and let that be the document.

I’m not John Mayer, so it’s weird to say that I have “fans” but for whatever reason, I do. And some people who have followed my career for the past 6 albums will hate this one and will write me off forever, and that’s okay.

Art is not perfect, because art reflects life, and life is messy.

And my life, especially this time around, is especially messy.

So expect something ugly and beautiful.

You might not even care that my actual life is wrapped up in there somewhere.

It’s okay. That’s an honest response, too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

You can't tame the things that try to kill you. You have to kill them. To kill the root of a sin, ask God for the grace to do its opposite. Be cognizant of the places you lose this battle, and actively wage war against it. And you will thrive.

* Impatient? -- Choose the slowest line at the grocery store, the longest lane at the red light.
* Lustful? -- Praise godly character. Resist the natural urge to chase after beauty and consume it.
* Greedy? -- Give things away. Set aside a portion of your income for a ministry or charity.
* Selfish? -- Ask how you can help others. Beat them to the "ask."
* Idolatrous? -- Cut yourself off from the things that you worship.
* Prideful? -- Offer gratitude to God and others for what you've been given (but not in the Luke 18:11 sense). Weep with those who weep.
* Gluttonous? -- Fast.
* Gossiping? -- Speak kind words of / to others. Look for ways to praise your enemies.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." -- Phil 4:8

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

sign me up




“Only masochists love the things that hurt them.”

Maybe.

Why is it easy for me to love the things/people/ideas that wound me? Last month I was in a car accident. The girl at fault cost me thousands of dollars. She falsified the police report, lied to me and avoided me. She was easy to love.

I find myself strangely drawn to addicts, narcissists, those who are so selfish that they never can/will love anyone but themselves, or those who only “love” others out of a vacuum. Does this mean I need therapy to work it out? Or has Christ worked it in me?

What does it mean that my favorite holidays are New Year’s Eve (exponentially worse every year) and Valentine’s Day (never had a Valentine)? Is it beautiful that I love those days? Or is it foolish?

I wrestle with this. Sometimes I hate it. But sometimes it brings me the deepest peace and joy to have relentless hope.