Revive Us Again

I was late for the conference, and the band had already started. I braced myself as I entered the room. I think I expected what Adam McHugh describes:

...blaring music, flashing colored lights, floating images and rolling PowerPoint announcements on numerous screens around the room, and the loud chatter...Clearly this was not a time for silent prayer. At the start of the service, the scream of the electric guitar caused everyone to leap out of his or her chair. For the next thirty minutes people clapped and danced and cheered their way through a frenetic worship set.

I needn't have worried. The worship leader that night was Pat Sczebel, Elder of Creative Arts and Student Ministries at Crossway Church in British Columbia. He's also an accomplished songwriter. He, along with his sons, led us to sing from his new album Revive Us Again, a new CD from C2C Music. It's what I wish we experienced more in our corporate worship.

The CD has been getting lots of play in our house since then. Four tracks in particular deserve mention. Praise the Lord, the first track, sets the tone with a good blend of rich content and a catchy tune. No One Like You, the third track, exults in the greatness of God. Revive Us Again, the title track, expresses a longing for revival. Come to the Fountain points to Christ's work at the cross and sounds a note of hope. There's more to this project than these songs, but they're my favorites.

I like Revive Us Again for a few reasons. The content is rich. The music is engaging and singable. The focus is Godward. It's a good CD for personal worship, but I hope that churches will also use the songs on the CD for corporate worship too.

We need theologically rich, singable, and enjoyable music. Revive Us Again fits the bill. Pick it up yourself, and consider buying some as gifts. You won't be sorry.

You can purchase the CD on iTunes, Amazon, or directly from C2C Network.

See below for an interview on C2C Music:

Comment

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.

From the Sky Down

We attended a documentary on Saturday night. It's called From the Sky Down, held at the Toronto International Film Festival (trailer here). It tells the story of when U2 hit a creative dead end, and had to destroy its own identity in order to create itself anew.

I remember discovering U2 in the Joshua Tree era. I can still remember walking in a ravine while a seminary with the cassette tape playing through my Walkman. I then remember losing track of U2 while they seemed to go through a strange period that I didn't understand. I rediscovered them later on in the All That You Can't Leave Behind era, only to discover that I'd missed some of their best material such as Achtung Baby, released twenty years ago.

What happened in that strange era? That's the subject of this film. U2 retreated to Berlin and (forgive the cliché) reinvent itself. Producer Brian Eno says, "The biggest enemy any artist has to face is their own history." Bono adds, "You have to reject one expression of the band before you can get to the next one." This means letting go of the old expression without knowing it's going to work.

One reviewer puts it like this:

But what to do instead? From the Sky Down, without being at all overblown about it, presents the recording of Achtung Baby as a moment when the band was trying, in essence, to get from one side of a canyon to another, only they weren’t at all sure that there was a bridge they could walk across, because only the album they hadn’t made yet could be that bridge. Either they would create an inspired album…or they would implode. The movie is startlingly intimate — and honest — about the fears, the personal and musical tensions, the artistic chaos, the grinding work and discovery that went into the recording of Achtung Baby. It is, quite simply, one of the most transcendent close-up looks at the process of creating rock & roll I’ve ever seen.

I love movies like this. If you're a writer, artist, or musician, it will help motivate you to take the necessary risks to create new great work. It applies to life as well: moving ahead does involve risk sometimes. As one book says, we continually face the choice of slow death or deep change.

I enjoyed this movie. It's worth checking out if you get a chance to watch it.

110920

1 Comment

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.

Songs in a Minor Key

I just bought a new jazz album by blogger and church planter Zach Neilsen and company. Love it! If you like jazz at all, you should check it out too. It's available from iTunes and Amazon.

Zach writes:

For some, jazz is esoteric and obtuse. To the unacclimated, it can sound like random noise that is challenging to listen to for extended periods of time. For that reason I recorded a couple songs that most people will recognize. The recording kicks off with my arrangement of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” and later on you'll find The Police’s famous hit, “Message In A Bottle”. In my experience, if people hear a simple melody that they recognize it greatly increases their enjoyment and overall listening experience. I hope that is the case for you as you encounter this recording.

more

1 Comment

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.

Wake Up Love by Melanie Penn

I don't do a lot of music reviews at this site, but that doesn't stop me from recommending a good album when I find it.

Melanie Penn is on staff with Redeemer City to City in New York City. I've heard her sing before, particularly at the Dwell Conference in NYC a couple of years ago.

I got to meet Melanie this week. Turns out she's just released an album and it's excellent. She's not only a great singer but a songwriter as well.

Here's a review by someone who knows a lot more about music than I do:

Composed mostly of originals, Wake Up Love is a fun, well-arranged pop gem. Produced by Ben Shive (who has also worked with Sara Grove), it has a stellar cast of musicians on board, including Ron Block of Union Station and Andrew Osenga (both of whom I'm an adoring fan). The arrangements pull conceptually from a whole host of singer/songwriters - a dash of Sufjan Stevens, a heaping scoop of Paul Simon, and references to Sixpence None The Richer, Over the Rhine and Emmylou Harris.

It holds together very well, and through it all Melanie's airy, pure and beautiful voice shines. The amount of detail in the arrangements lend themselves nicely to headphone listening, and doesn't wear you out. The front half of the record has some of the more adventurous ideas, like "Wake Up Love," with it's Russian dance breakdown near the end, while the second half gets a little more intimate and straight-forward. My personal favorites are "The Wind" and "Train" - a great take on the classic Americana theme of the railroad.

Definitely worth checking out. I know I'm enjoying it. It's playing right now.

Find out more at MelaniePenn.com, or Melanie's MySpace page. Or just buy the album at Amazon or iTunes.

Comment

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.

How Many Kings in Studio

1 Comment

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.