Saturday, March 14, 2009

free music

Sufjan Steven's Free "Illinoize" Remix Tracks
Here is a free download of remixed songs by Sufjan Stevens. A Montreal-based producer named Tor basically did a hip-hop version of several songs. Some of them are pretty good.
Note: I am NOT recommending the profanity-laced tracks with lyrics. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to the "Bonus! Instrumental" tracks. Here's the link.

Page CXVI hymns
Tim Chester links to Page CXVI and some modern arrangements of hymns - mostly old hymns, but Stuart Townend’s ‘Christ Alone’ is also there. Page CXVI is a project to make ‘hymns accessible and known again’. The MP3s are free for a limited period of time.
An added bonus is that Page CXVI are allowing a creative commons license for all of the public domain songs (Come Thou Fount, My Jesus I Love Thee, Nothing But the Blood, Solid Rock, and Joy). This means you can use them in videos for your church or other types of media presentations license free.

while we are on the subject of music
John Stackhouse who is normally a pretty good theologian stirred up a hornets nest by complaining about load music and bad lyrics and stuck a lot of blame for the later on Chris Tomlin. Stackhouse says:
"The man either doesn’t care about rhyming and settles for the merest assonance, or he lacks the skill or patience to actually craft rhymes."
He accuses Tomlin of writing lyrics:
"considerably stupider than [those of] our much less educated Christian forebears"
I'm not sure where Stackhouse gets this idea that for hymnody or indeed any musical genre, the words have to rhyme - maybe if you are writing at a grade 4 level. But music has certainly moved beyond that.

And as far as stupid lyrics, Ben Meyers posts these "wonderful" lyrics:
All mixtures, Lord, in Doctrine
And Practice thou dost hate;
Ourselves therefore with wicked men
Let’s not associate!
Benjamin Keach, 1696
or how about this anti-Muslim diatribe:
The smoke of the infernal cave,
Which half the Christian world o’erspread,
Disperse, Thou heavenly Light, and save
The souls by that Impostor led,
That Arab-chief, as Satan bold,
Who quite destroy’d Thy Asian fold.

O might the blood of sprinkling cry
For those who spurn the sprinkled blood!
Assert Thy glorious Deity,
Stretch out Thine arm, Thou Triune God
The Unitarian fiend expel,
And chase his doctrine back to hell.
Charles Wesley
Wesley wrote over 6000 hymns, of which maybe 20 have lasted. Who knows how many Chris Tomlin will write and how many will survive. The point it songs are not necessarily designed to last forever. That's why the Bible says "sing a new song!"

In a similar vein, not every sermon, not every theological article, not every blog post will last forever.

Thus endeth the semi-rant.
Go out a sing a sing... even if it doesn't rant. If someone complains, tell them I gave you permission! (not that that will carry a lot of weight!)

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