Thursday, May 15, 2008

From Sweeney Todd to Christian Rock?

I’m sitting here trying to figure out how I managed to get from watching Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to listening to Christian rock on YouTube.

Yesterday, I actually got home from work with plenty of daylight to spare, so I decided to see if I could figure out how to get to Blockbuster on foot without using the busy street I usually use to drive there. I succeeded without getting lost at all and, once there, saw that Sweeney Todd was available for rent. My coworker who generally has to look away when gore is on the screen liked it so much see saw it twice in theatres, so I decided it was at least worth a rental. I watched it (it was okay, but I couldn’t understand some of the lyrics. Maybe I need better speakers. Also, I couldn’t help but think that it reminded me of Shakespearean tragedy – mistaken identity, lots of coincidences, dark humor, betrayal, revenge, murder, and *spoiler* everybody dies (well, not everybody, but it was very Hamlet).

Most of the songs weren’t all that memorable for me, but one stood out and was in my head on the way home from work – "Not While I’m Around" (that kid steals the show, by the way. He’s the only source of positive energy in the entire film, which is what makes the song that much more heartbreaking, particularly in context). As I pulled in to my garage, a new song popped into my head. A song I was writing. And let me tell you, I miss the days when creative thoughts would just pop into my head like that. I haven’t had the mental energy lately to nurture that side of me. So I kept singing, quietly, trying to keep it in my head until I could write down the words and record the sound of it. Since I don’t read or write music, I had to record me singing it (softly, so the neighbors won’t hear). I have a microphone, but it’s ancient. I have to crank up the volume much too far to hear what I’ve recorded.

I managed to get the gist of the sound recorded and half the lyrics written before I hit a lull and went to surf the internet while waiting for the next wave of inspiration. I ended up looking for an AMV (animated music video) tribute to Toph that I saw months ago (I was looking for this specific version, because it uses dialogue from the show itself very effectively rather than just overlaying music on top of clips. I got chills). In the process, I ended up watching several AMV’s, only to realize the same group – Superchick – had done several of the songs, including the song for the video I was looking for. It was all girl power stuff, but in the “life’s tough but I ain’t weak” kind of way rather than the “boys suck” kind of way. One Girl Revolution could be a secondary theme song for Avatar. (Seriously, Mattel, you’re missing a market here).

Anyway, turns out that Superchick is a Christian rock band. I’ve never really been able to get into Christian rock. But these guys are pretty good. Yes, there are guys in the band, too.

Oh, and the song I'm writing? Almost done.

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