Yesterday I posted a reference to a song by Porcupine Tree, a band I’ve recently started enjoying. I listen to a lot of music from various genres, being a musician and a lover of music; for me it’s relaxing and edifying.
But one thing stands out: I don’t really limit what I listen to, outside of my tastes. There are forms of music that I don’t care for – I’m not much into hip-hop or rap, for example, and electronica has limited appeal for me, and some forms of speed metal are boring.. as is most Christian music.
The limits aren’t really on words, as it turns out; there are some songs I find distasteful because of their content, but for the most part, if it’s written well, it has a chance to resonate with me.
So I find that I probably won’t appreciate a song that shrieks how “God is so terrible, why didn’t I get my Barbie doll, where’s my Jaguar,” there’s nothing that says that I wouldn’t appreciate a song that shrieks how God is so terrible, how could He let something happen?
I can handle an expression of pain that results in a rejection of God – I can find the art in that. I don’t enjoy an expression of greed or arrogance. To me, that’s usually not art, that’s just foolishness.
So I find I can handle Rush easily: intellectual music, performed fantastically, even though the artists are atheists to the best that I can tell. They’ve largely rejected the notion of God, but they are rational about it – and the things they condemn in religion are many of the same things I condemn in religion.
I can handle Yes easily: excellent musicians, writing in purple prose (the music wins over everything), and their spiritual searchings are exactly that: searchings for meaning in spools of random color. As a band, Yes has trouble defining things objectively… but I can deal with that, even while (hopefully) holding objective reasonings myself.
I can handle Tool easily: excellent musicians, writing very angry content. Their rejections of God end up being Jeremiads, fierce considerings calling God to task for what the world is. I can understand (and even share) that sense of anger, even though my final conclusion is not to reject God.
I can handle AC/DC: simple musicians, perhaps, but the music is all Freudian id. I find much of their music laughable in content, but the force behind it is a pleasant association.
Led Zeppelin. Hendrix. Porcupine Tree. Matisyahu.
I guess the point behind all of this is that I don’t have a problem dipping my toes into non-Christian water – because it’s all part of the world in which I live, and to me it’s part of what makes the world what it is for me, a setting in which I can appreciate and glorify the Name of God, even though there are things in this world that attempt to demean the source.