Saturday, December 6, 2008

Garage Band is Killing Me

I'll be posting again soon. I've been busy working, preparing for Sundays, commenting on other blogs, and trying to learn Garage Band on my Mac. I'm not complaining; I've been enjoying all of this "busyness"...except Garage Band! I really want to learn it, but I'm not progressing very quickly. I've got a new keyboard now; a Casio that has a USB connection, so I'm finally able to "talk" with the program. That's a start. Now I need to configure a few things on the keyboard and get Mrs. Moogly to start playing some songs into Garage Band.

My purpose in this is to have Mrs. Moogly play a lot of songs into Garage Band so that I can pull out my bass and "practice with her" anytime I want. As most of you know, I often "lead" the worship service at church; but I also enjoy playing with my wife on occasion. The problem is that I don't have time to practice with her enough to feel competent enough to play on Sundays. Besides, she gets really tired of practicing with me because I tend to have her play the same song over and over and over...until I get it down. With Garage Band, I can play any song (and any part of a song) as often as I like whenever I like. This way, I can "practice" with her all the time and end up having a fairly large repertoire in my back pocket for playing on Sundays. I have it all figured out--except how to use the program! Soon....

Anyway, that's where I've been the last couple of week. I plan on posting some on our Christian "ethic". The popular refrain "What Would Jesus Do", with its accompanying bracelets, necklaces, t-shirts, ad nausea is really a crutch, at best, and another conduit to "law-keeping", at worst. The principle of WWJD should be changed to WWID--What Would I Do. Jesus is not our exemplar; He is the source of our LIFE. He is our example only in the sense that He shows us what a "son" of God looks like in relation to his Father. We don't look to Jesus and try to decide what He would do in a certain situation; we look to Jesus to see how it is that a son lives in relation to his father. And in that way, we then respond in the situations of life as He did--by faith, out of love and respect for our Father.

I'll expand on this line of thought soon. But for now, just begin thinking about how you normally think to respond in certain situations. Do you have to consider the "law"? Do you have to think about how Jesus would respond? Or do you realize that you are a child of God who possesses "everything pertaining to live and godliness" and who responds accordingly? Our lives are to be lived "naturally" as children of God--not out of compulsion.

Think about it and be ready to interact in the coming posts.

In the meantime...Garage Band is calling me..."MEH" (just for you, Abster!).


jeleasure said...

Congratulations on Garage Band. I understand what you are saying in having time to practice. Now, she plays into Garage band and you practice with Garage Band until you fell comfortable playing with your wife in music ministry.

Leon Basin said...

Are you into Jazz? If so, what jazz artist can you suggest?

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Thanks Jim,

Now, however, I have to get her to take the time to actually play the songs into Garage Band! :-) We just had our first go of it and it didn't seem to difficult. So far so good, I'd say.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Hi Leon,

Yes, I like Jazz. I'm still a "rock-n-roller" at heart--mainly what we call "classic rock" nowadays, but I did enjoy some of the "grunge" stuff (early Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, etc.) and some of the "New Wave" stuff in the '80s (not much, though. I consider the '80's the worst decade of music ever; even considering that Disco was a huge part of 70's!). I'm very into "Progressive Rock", e.g. King Crimson, Yes, Rush and Dream Theater, to name just a few. I also really enjoy Classical music, from Baroque to the present day; although I still haven't found my taste for Opera. Oh well, all things but Opera isn't so bad.

But Jazz has been an increasing enjoyment for me for the past several years. In fact, one of the things I was going to do with this blog other than speaking to Christian issues was to "review" the Jazz titles that I own. I knew I'd have much to write about because I have a fairly large collection. But I've discovered that I'm not much of a musical reviewer; all I thought of to say was, "This is good"--but I can't really say why! I like it...but so what?

So...I've abandoned my "Jazz" section on this blog and have stuck to mostly Christian living and doctrinal issues. My hope is to get my next blog up and running in a few months where I'll have audio and video clips of music and other interesting things with commentary. I plan on having Jazz playlists and other things available with posts and interaction. Maybe in this way, I can begin discussing my Jazz collection with others.

Anyway, as for you question. Yes, I'm into Jazz. I'm partial to "piano jazz"; mainly trio (e.g. Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett), but also piano ensemble (e.g. Chic Corea, Dave Brubeck). But I also enjoy Coltrane, Davis and Rollins, etc. Really, I like just about any Jazz except for "free jazz", e.g. Ornette Coleman--I can appreciate it, I just don't necessarily like it.

My favorite Jazz artists right now are:

Christian Jacob (trio and with Tierney Sutton). This is my all-time favorite pianist. He's got the chops to hang with the Jarretts, Corea's and Peterson's of the industry, but he's so...well..."cool". I'm awed by his ability and skill, but also with his lyricism--he's just a joy to listen to. He's the best of Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett (minus Jarrett's obnoxious "vocalizations") and Kenny Werner all rolled into one. Even playing with vocalist Tierney Sutton, he's the perfect "accompanist" and yet awe-inspiring in his solos. And the band he plays with in the Tierney Sutton band is the same band on his three latest solo releases--Henry on Bass and Brinker on drums (absolute MONSTERS!). But his early works are also worth having--he plays with John Patitucci and Steve Swallow on bass and Erskine and Nussbaum on drums (no slouches...any of them!).

As you can see, I'm a huge fan of Christian Jacob in whatever setting he's playing. But other than him, my favorites at this moment are:

Bill Evans (of course. He and Oscar Peterson are my favorite pianists next to Christian Jacob)
Oscar Peterson (the pianist of his generation).
Keith Jarrett Trio (except he almost ruins everything he does with his constant and aggravating "singing"--he's the guy that seems to be caricatured when people make fun of jazz! But he really is one of the greatest pianist of all-time).
Chick Corea (everything he does is excellent. I particularly enjoy his "akoustic trio" and his "elektric" band. The DVD of his "electrik" band playing in Montreaux is absolutely fantastic! Chick Corea on piano and keyboard, John Patitucci on bass, Frank Gambale on guitar, Dave Weckl on drums and Eric Marienthal on sax. It's difficult to turn away from the screen when these guys are playing!).
Dave Brubeck Quartet (I don't really know why he doesn't get the props he deserves. Sure, his stuff is considered "nice" and "enjoyable"...but what's wrong with that? I have almost all of his stuff and enjoy every bit of it. His work with Desmond is legendary and deservedly so!).
Kenny Werner Trio (This guy is another stalwart of the piano trio. I find his work to be very interesting; along with Brad Mehldau)
The Bad (This group is...well...different. I really like them, but they're not really "pure" jazz--whatever that means. They are very aggressive and loud--things I usually enjoy in my rock-n-roll :-)
Mike Stern (He's an incredible guitar player that I absolutely love. I have his DVD "Live at New Morning, Paris" and it is awesome! He's really a beast and he has some great talent playing with him: Dennis Chambers on drums, Richard Bona on bass and Bob Francescini on sax.)
Dave Holland Band (He's the leader and bass player of an incredible group of players. I've never really liked the vibes before, but they work in this group that also features the sax and trombone. Very cool stuff from Dave)

Wow, I can't believe how much I've written here. As you can see...when I get excited about something I can go on...and on....and on...! And music excites me. Anyway, that is just a few of the artists that I regularly listen to. I mentioned John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins as standards to listen to. There are so many more...maybe I'll do a post sometime on my favorites from different styles and generations.

I'll bet you didn't expect me to write a book, huh?

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. When I get my next site up and running, I'll announce it here. It will be more musical and media oriented. In the meantime, I hope you browse around here for awhile. If you find anything interesting, feel free to comment with anything that's on your mind.


satire and theology said...

For jazz-fusion may I suggest
Mahavishnu Orchestra and Allan Holdsworth.

Abbey said...

Ahh, so garage band is what's using all your time. See if I care! Meh! :S

Your next post sounds interesting, and I will be looking forward to reading (and hopefully commenting on) it.

Greg said...

That's cool! We wanted to get something like that years ago, but my wife's arthritis has left us with no able musically inclined people in our house (our son has little interest, and I have little time). But when we wanted to get a piano, last year, I heavily pushed for a digital one, so that we would have the option of plugging it into our laptop.

Since I am computer-inclined, maybe I can figure out GB for you, and you teach me to play! LOL! ;)