I don’t know what it is, but as I get older, sleep doesn’t seem to be as easy as it used to be. Last night, I was really tired, but when i went to bed, I just couldn’t fall asleep. That happens once in awhile and it’s incredibly frustrating.
Last friday, two of my friends, Jess and Kendra and I loaded into Kendra’s cool Santa Fe and drove to St. Louis. My biggest reason for going was to get to hang out with my sister a little bit, but the whole idea for going came from Jessica wanting to go see this band, Over the Rhine. I’d heard of OTR and listened to their music a little bit, but I can’t say I was a big fan. However, I thought it would be fun to go see my sister, C, and check out this group.
The show as at this REALLy cool club called the Duck Room which is in the basement of a bar/grill. We were lucky in that we got into the concert, got seats and a table and were able to eat our dinner while waiting for the show to start.
OTR were really great. They’re a married couple that write together and he plays predominantly piano and she plays some acoustic. They also had a lead player, drummer, and another girl who sang some bgvs. Their music is pretty mellow, very folky and a little jazzy at times. But mostly, I’d describe it as piano-based folk.
What struck me the most and what has been itching in my brain since seeing them boils down to 2 things: 1) How did they get themselves and their charming, thoughtful, spiritual music heard by this group of people in St. Louis who obviously love it? 2)How do they get away with being so open and honest about the obvious emphasis they put on their christian faith they hold onto?
The first question has to do with marketing, luck, providence and a whole slew of things that I ponder all the time and still can’t figure out, so for the time being, I’m not going to let that leak out of my brain onto this blog. However, the 2nd question could be pertinent here.
Unfortunately, their ability to be honest with their faith with their audience, of which I am sure was made up of some Christians and some not, frankly made me a little jealous. It makes me wonder how much they have had to deal with their own “SWs”.
I know that nobody wants to talk about him and some who read here will be disappointed that I’m bringing him up. It’s obvious from SW’s own blog and the most recent comments he’s left here (that I deleted as fast as I could) that he really has no care with being helpful or constructive and that trying to deal with him directly just feeds his cravings for attention and controversy. Because of this, I will try not to respond to SW’s previous or future statements in hopes that the lack of attention will simply keep him away. However, SW’s rants toward and about me bring into focus personal struggle for me that I still can’t figure out how to resolve.
I’ve never been concerned with the thought that SW just doesn’t like me. Believe me, I’ve known plenty of people who don’t like me and don’t like my music. That comes with the territory. I’m used to it.
But, I think at the bottom of his problems with me is the belief that as an artist, I’m just not being Christian enough for him to see any validity in what I’m trying to do with my music. More than anything, as an artist, I want to be understood, and this judgement that I sense shows SW’s lack in understanding. And my dealing with him has been because I want him (and any number of others who might have the same types of questions/concerns) to understand, even if he may not agree. (I will add that in this particular medium, I don’t believe that SW specifically, is capable of understanding. That’s why it’s not worth trying to get him to understand him while he continues to feel it necessary to maintain the charade of his anonymity.)
It is interesting that in my experiences of sharing my songs and music the most honestly and transperantly, it is usually the non-christians that have responded with most enthusiasm and support even of music expressing a belief system that that they may not share. If/when dissenting voices are heard, they have invariably come from the “christian” likes of SW. And I’m still not sure how to deal with this.
Disclaimer: Words cannot express the awareness and gratitude I feel for the support of the majority of the people that happen to read this blog. I know that you “get it” and I’m so glad you’re my friends and I don’t want to make light of the emotional support you’ve sent my way. Unfortunately, the attitudes by the likes of SW “stick in my craw” and I’m still trying to figure out how to get people like him to “get it” like you all. Thanks for putting up with my struggle.