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Friday, October 9, 2009

Mysteries in the Night

           Halloween will continue to be a primary topic on this blog until the end of October--that is unless an onslaught of disgruntled comments ask me to stop.  I do have more to say on the subject of Halloween and the economy which I will continue. In future blogs, I intend to address issues such as Halloween as Tradition, ways that Halloween is celebrated, the whys of Halloween,  costume ideas, Halloween from the religious viewpoint, Halloween entertainment, Halloween stories, and other Halloween related topics.  If any readers have anything special about Halloween to bring up I'd like to talk about that as well. 
          
           In a comment to one of my earlier blogs, Jennifer Hudson Taylor suggested that a "regular blog schedule" might be a helpful approach to giving a sense of continuity to one's efforts.  She suggests that readers like to know what to expect and may come back if they are routinely looking for something that interests them.  I guess this might be similar to watching a favorite TV show on a regular basis.  Many of us are creatures of habit.  I may try to develop my entries somewhat along these lines. Maybe I won't go so far as WACKY WEDNESDAYS  or SOMBER SUNDAYS, but the idea has merit and I may be playing with this.  So in that spirit I offer you the following:

          In my post of a week ago, I talked about some DARK MYSTERIES that I had read about recently. Yesterday's Los Angeles Times offered an update on the story of Mitrice Richardson, a 24-year-old woman    who had just outright seemed to have disappeared after she was released  from police custody at 1:25 AM on September 17.  She had been arrested after she had refused to pay a bill at a Malibu restaurant and then police discovered marijuana in her car.  Witnesses reported that she had been acting "odd, but entertaining".  Later police decided it was okay to let her go and sent her on her way with no purse, cell phone, or car.  That was the last confirmed sighting of Mitrice.  Since then there have been several reports of possible sightings but nothing confirmed.  Earlier this week a body was found in a burning dumpster in Santa Fe Springs, CA but police determined that the body was not Mitrice.  However police and relatives of the young woman are convinced that she is still alive somewhere. Where is Mitrice?  Let's pray that this young woman will be found unharmed and can continue on with her promising life.

             In the same posting I also mentioned the death of Amy Farris, a talented violin player who had been  in the group DAVE ALVIN AND THE GUILTY WOMEN.  Suicide is the suspected cause for death but so far I have not seen any other confirmation about this.  I have seen nothing but praises and accolades for her talents and for her as a person.  The loss of someone like this is so tragic.  And there have been so many.
The story made me think of another musical artist who departed having left a huge impact, but with so much more that could have been accomplished. 

            Gene Eugene was a musical genius the way I look at it.  I had been a fan and follower of Gene's for many years when I heard that he had died.  He was the primary creative force behind the highly innovative Christian rock/funk band ADAM AGAIN.  Gene produced, engineered, sang, played, and wrote most of the songs on the group's albums.  If they had not been hindered by the label of being identified as a "Christian" band they might have been much bigger than they were.  Let's face it-- to be indentified as a "Christian" band tends to turn off a lot of the pop music audience. Nevertheless, Gene was highly regarded in his music circles.  He also lent his immense talents in contributions to other groups' recording efforts and produced the albums of many more in his Green Room recording studio in Huntington Beach, CA. On March 20, 2000 Gene Andrusco (his real name) died in his sleep.  His friends said he had not been feeling well prior to his death and had said he had a headache before he had gone to bed.  He had also been in a car accident prior to his death and had been complaining about headaches. I never saw any absolute confirmation of what the cause of death was but at the age of 38 it was far too soon.  I met Gene at a party once, but didn't talk to him as much as I wished later on-- I think I was so surprised to find him at this particular party, a Halloween related party strangely enough, that I was just taken by surprise that he would have been there.  In any case, any rock music fans who are not familiar with Gene Eugene and the music with which he is associated you should check him out.  Some of the bands that he was connected with besides ADAM AGAIN are the LOST DOGS and THE SWIRLING EDDIES, not to mention the numerous bands for which he produced albums.  Click on this link to read more about Gene Eugene .

          Finally, last week I talked about another stupid gang-related death.  One could probably do an entire blog about nothing but this topic.  I am not going to go into this subject today, but I'm sure that I will sometime in the future.

           Leave a comment if you wish.  I'd love to hear what anyone has to say about any of this.  Anybody familiar with the music of Amy Farris?   Do you have any favorite Christian artists?  What is you opinion of Contemporary Christian Music?  I look forward to hearing from you.

4 comments:

  1. >>[What is you opinion of Contemporary Christian Music?]<<

    It is in sad shape. It's embarrassing, actually. One would think that the gift of Christ and the message of the Gospel would inspire some powerful, emotionally moving music. But instead, in this day, all it seems to inspire are whiny-sounding, treacly ballads and bland singers going "La-La-La..." Where's the energy? Where's the passion? Where's the power?

    >>[Do you have any favorite Christian artists?]<<

    Only a few.
    Of course, "Mahalia is mythic!"

    Michael Card is Christian music's best wordsmith. Just average voice, but some great lyrics.

    Jubilant Sykes (whom I went to junior high school with) has a voice that can only be described as "a gift from God."

    Joel Chernoff's album "The Restoration Of Israel" is one I play fairly regularly. Now Joel can sing a ballad without whining and he can also Rock The Gospel with real power.

    Bob Dylan's first Christian album "Slow Train Coming" flexes muscles, it rumbles and roars, it is socially/politically aware and isn't afraid to be controversial (the third track, however, "I Believe In You", contains the worst singing I've ever heard from a professional singer).

    The soundtrack album for the movie "Leap Of Faith" has some great Southern Baptist-like Revival-type tunes that make the hands clap and the feet stomp.

    And of course, I just adore traditional Christmas music (gimme mostly Johnny Mathis, Percy Faith and The Carpenters for that).

    Other than these few artists above, I find Christian music to be bland and boring. It's like Chinese food: ten minutes after hearing it you feel hungry again for something substantial.

    ~ Stephen
    <"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11>

    ReplyDelete
  2. You sound pretty old school in your tastes there and that's certainly not a bad thing. But talking about old school maybe something really substantial we shouldn't forget the great Christian works of composers like J.S. Bach. And then there's Handel's MESSIAH -- now they don't write em like that anymore.

    I recall how in the '70's and '80s
    I avoided going to church for the most part. For one thing I found that old church music to be so boring. I was thinking that they needed to update the music with more modern sounds. Now I go to church pretty regularly and I have gotten my wish. As they say be careful what you wish for -- I like some of the praise and worship songs alright, but it absolutely thrills me when we sing one of those old hymns that used to bore me so much.

    What I don't hear anymore is "Onward Christian Soldiers", a song I really liked when I was a kid. Now that was a song with some real conviction-- how politically incorrect.

    ReplyDelete
  3. >>[You sound pretty old school in your tastes there]<<

    Ha! I'm Old School in EVERYTHING!

    >>[And then there's Handel's MESSIAH -- now they don't write em like that anymore.]<<

    I remember an article I read many years ago, written by a Jewish commentator. He was very proud of his Jewish heritage, but he said something like: But look, let's be honest - comparing Jewish art to Christian art is like trying to compare "I HAVE A LITTLE DREIDEL" to Handel's "MESSIAH."

    Ha!-Ha! That made me laugh then, and obviously it made a long-lasting impression on me since I can still repeat it.

    Hey, rLEE-b, thanks so much for the very, very nice plug you put in for my Blog in your most recent Blog Bit. You are too kind, sir!

    As I said before, I don't think anything or anyone can save my poor Blogs. History shows that my way of thinking and my way with words does not appeal to a lot of people. Nevertheless, your efforts on my behalf are greatly appreciated, Friend. Thanks!

    However, I am amazed by how many Blog "Followers" you have acquired in such a short time. I guess you've got "It."

    ~ Stephen T. - sick Doggtor of Blogology

    ReplyDelete
  4. Loved the anecdote -- made me laugh as well.

    My words about your blog are sincere. I have enjoyed your writing style since the old Amazon days. That's why I followed you here and you deserve a good following. As far as my following, the only thing I've got so far is shameless self-promotion and I'm appreciative of everyone who's clicked the icon. Now to develop some serious readership.

    I watch my GoogleReader daily to see if you have posted. Thanks for quality work and some people don't appreciate it, then it's their loss.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete

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Lee