Music: April 2004 Archives

I woke up this morning
and I went back to bed
I woke up this morning
and I went right back to bed
Got a funny kind of feeling
Like I got broken glass in my underwear
and I really, really, really wish I was dead

Thus begins Weird Al Yankovic's The Generic Blues off his UHF soundtrack. I never knew what that funny kind of feeling was like until this morning. I really did have broken glass in my underwear. I wasn't wearing them, of course. Somehow they must have fallen on the kitchen floor as someone went through to the basement with laundry, and when Ethan dropped one of our brand-new glass bowls on the kitchen floor today right next to that fallen pair of underwear, guess what happened? I got this funny kind of feeling, like I had broken glass in my underwear.

Christian Carnival XIII

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This may have been the earliest posting of the Christian Carnival in its history (at TheGodBlog.com), and I've been out all day and haven't had a chance to look at anything until now. Let's see what we've got.

My post on intermarriage is in there.

Some young guy in the UK names Andrew Guilder has a reference to Yes keyboardist extraordinaire Rick Wakeman's new special on the BBC about British attitudes about Easter. The title is "Jesus Who?" This story from before it aired says far more about it than the link Guilder gave. I'd be interested in seeing it, but I doubt I'll ever get the chance. There are two problems overdetermining his failing to get a link from me. First, he called Wakeman "this old rock star guy Rick Wakeman". Keep in mind that the guy he's calling "this old rock star guy" is probably second only to Keith Emerson among keyboard legends and a real musical hero of mine. That's a real insult to anyone who knows the history of rock music. Second, he uses Xanga, which has no permanent links, and the relevant entry isn't even on his front page anymore with no way to link directly to it. I had to search for it myself. So much for getting publicity from me. I'm not merely being petty. I wouldn't know how to link to it properly if I wanted to.

As usual, ireneQ has some funny and thoughtful comments, this time about prayer and the annoying things we do when we pray. She keeps saying all sorts of things I've long thought, but I always thought I shouldn't say them. It's nice to see them out there.

Mr. Standfast, a blog completely new to me, blogs about when to conceal knowlege. Hmm?

There's other stuff too, including some good reflections on Easter that for some reason struck me as old hat and of last week simply because Easter is past. Isn't that awful? Why should the resurrection of the Son of God get dated simply because the day we single out to emphasize it more than other days is done?

Myriad

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I'm hoping the album arrives tomorrow. If not, I'll keep posting these. In case it does, I wanted to get my favorite Kansas song in. This is from their 2000 album Somewhere to Elsewhere, perhaps their best but at the very least up with Leftoverture and Point of Know Return. All the songs on it were written by Kerry Livgren, and it was recorded in his studio, and it features all the members of Kansas in the "original" lineup from the first album. (The original version of this song is older than that lineup and was done by the first two bands known as Kansas. The second lineup is Proto-KAW, whose new album Before Became After I'm awaiting. The third recorded the first album. He reworked this song considerably for this recording.)

Myriad (Kerry Livgren)

Upon the page, symbolic form,
Both a miracle and yet the norm
The functions clear, sum and difference will soon transform
Equations chain, lies in His hand,
Voice authority will dance command
Solution's true, line of measure will divide, expand

Myriad, see the numbers as they're counting down
Thousands and thousands
Myriad, form and function to display the sound
Line upon line every melody points the way

The cycle turns, like Heaven's gate,
Unknown integers predestinate
Calculating all we must explore, and navigate

Quantities no man can know,
No formula to wield
No pages left to turn,
No choices but to yield

Xylon

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No Before Became After yet, so I guess I have to wait until at least Monday, meaning at least one more of these tomorrow. This one's from Kerry Livgren's 1994 solo album When Things Get Electric and is highly appropriate for this week (it might have better for yesterday, but I didn't remember it until today).

Xylon (The Fury)

There's a garden in the valley
There's a beauty I could never conceive
In this paradise I dream of
I have known it though it's never been seen

I remember I was falling
Someone took me by the hand
I was burning in the sunlight
Now in the shade I stand

The Tree stands tall
It's mighty branches cover all
No wind can bend
It's majesty will never end

In it's shadow no illusion
In this place where there is never a fear
No sorrow or confusion
The enchantment of the glory is so near

I remember I was rising
And a light was in my eyes
I could feel my heart ascending
To this place I recognize

The Tree stands tall
It's mighty branches cover all
No wind can bend
It's majesty will never end

The fruit of love is falling from above
These roots run so deep and strong
With every breath a son
An endless new song

The Tree stands tall
It's mighty branches cover all
No wind can bend
It's majesty will never end

The Day After

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I lied in my 250th post below. I do have something with content worthy of being my 250th post, but I didn't write it, so I decided to keep it separate. I haven't had a lot of Easter-related stuff here, and this helps remedy that. It also ties together my current focus on things Kerry Livgren (whose new album with Proto-KAW still hasn't arrived) with the events we remember during what we call Holy Week (not that any period of time is really more or less holy than any other).

My friend Michael Brooks (whom I've never met in person but is someone I consider a friend nonetheless) wrote the following and sent it to some of the music discussion lists we both participate in:

Incantos

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Still no Before Became After. If it's arrived in Syracuse, the online tracking hasn't caught up to it. So here we go with another one. This is from Kerry Livgren's Prime Mover II, his 1998 rerecording/remixing/revision of 1988's Prime Mover. This song was new to the second version. He wrote it on a napkin while eating at a restaurant with singer Warren Ham.

Incantos (Livgren)

When I was young and world was old
I saw through eyes of light
These wonders will not cease until
The years have claimed my sight

Bright image floats above the plain
Whose voice renewing mind
Is building kingdoms long to last
A priceless pearl to find

The stories told have not been lost
But saved through pen and sword
And will not empty handed turn
Til' all have seen this Lord

A brighter way is nowhere found
In all Creation's hall
One misty dream doth now enfold
Since from estate did fall

The call is heard across the wave
To summon all would hear
Sweet song of company long endeared
And men who love good cheer

It is my brother's place to keep
And mine to you return
All works of straw will not retain
There's time enough to learn

No coin will buy or memories burn
Nor lift the sounding weight
Though all will press the wheel in turn
Not open Heaven's Gate

Too noble for this darkened plain
To walk among the lost
And hang upon yon coarsest branch
No measure of the cost

All start in endless number count
And glory testify
To all in truth the deep of night
And jewels of wisdom buy

In liquid skies no toil or tear
Brought down by crimson stain
In robes of light proceed before
Redemptions golden train

The fruit of labors long endured
Shall end in grand display
Til' peace like river freely flows
Has come in one fine day

The Wall

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Proto-KAW's Before Became After still hasn't arrived, so here's another Livgren lyric, from Kansas' 1976 album Leftoverture:

The Wall (Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh)

I'm woven in a fantasy,
I can't believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall
And with each passing day
I feel a little more like something dear was lost
It rises now before me,
A dark and silent barrier between,
All I am, and all that I would ever want be
It's just a travesty,
Towering, marking off the boundaries my spirit
Would erase

To pass beyond is what I seek
I fear that I may be too weak
And those are few who've seen it through
To glimpse the other side,
The promised land is waiting like a maiden that is soon to be a bride
The moment is a masterpiece,
The weight of indecision's in the air
It's standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that's me
It's just a travesty,
Towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
I want to see

Gold and diamonds cast a spell,
It's not for me I know it well
The riches that I seek
Are waiting on the other side
There's more that I can measure in the treasure of the love that I can find
And though it's always been with me,
I must tear down the Wall and let it be
All I am, and all that I was ever meant to be, in harmony
Shining true and smiling back at all who wait to cross
There is no loss

The Pinnacle

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Given that the new Proto-KAW album came out yesterday (even though it hasn't arrived here yet), I've decided to post a Kerry Livgren lyric in eager anticipation. Given the approach of Easter, I figured one of his meditations on the human condition from before his dramatic Christian transformation would be appropriate.

(For the unitiated: 'Kaw' is the preferred term for the Kansa Indians. When the Kansas lineup preceding the one that recorded the albums with the hits reunited, they chose this name, since they were a sort of proto-Kansas. Kerry Livgren, the mastermind behind much of Kansas' music, is at the helm again with this project. I've heard some cuts, and I'm longing for its arrival.)

The Pinnacle by Kerry Livgren (from the 1975 Kansas album Masque)

I've so much to say, and yet I cannot speak
Come and do my bidding now for I have grown too weak
My weary eyes have seen all that life can give
Come to me, O young one, for you I can forgive

I stood where no man goes, and conquered demon foes
With glory and passion no longer in fashion
The hero breaks his blade

Cast this shadow long that I may hide my face
And in this cloak of darkness the world I will embrace
In all that I endure, of one thing I am sure
Knowledge and reason change like the season
A jester's promenade

Lying at my feet I see the offering you bring
The mark of Cain is on our faces, borne of suffering
O, I long to see you say it's not been wrong
I stand before you now, a riddle in my song
The answer is that sweet refrain
Unheard it always will remain
Beyond our reach, beyond our gain

Trapped in life's parade, a king without a crown
In this joy of madness, my smile might seem a frown
With talons wrought of steel, I tore the heart of doom
And in one gleaming moment I saw beyond the tomb
I stood where no man goes, above the din I rose
Life is amusing though we are losing
Drowned in tears of awe.

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