Passion is a funny thing. As we’ve seen lately, with the tiny hands Cheeto man officially being sworn in, people are not afraid to fight for what they’re passionate about…even if it makes them look supremely insane. In my thinking about passion today it stuck out to me how hard it is to carry over that passion to your fellow man if they too are not passionate about the same ideas. That’s why these vagina hatted idiots marching on Capitol Hill look like, well, idiots, but to them women’s reproductive rights are worth the shame, I guess.
If you’ll follow me down this winding passion path I want to delve in to probably the world’s biggest topic of passion, religion. This particular passion has lead to literal life and death over hundreds of years. In our current era of neo-Christianity that is not always the case (discounting extremes) but it is obviously a topic many have tried to impart upon others that don’t or don’t want to understand that Jesus is the reason for the season. In fact, that is the basis of the entire religion, sharing the gospel. I’m here today to say I get it. While I definitely do not believe in an imaginary man in the sky, my faith in music is something I share with many.
This ^^^ is my gospel. I get goosebumps when this man’s songs enter my ear holes 100% of the time. Sean McConnell is the holy trinity for me. Father, singer and holy song swap host. My personal savior.
When I hear a song that hits my soul the first thing I want to do is share it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve desperately tried to get my mom or my peers to like something I like simply because I like it so much. I think try is actually kind of a futile word here. I have begged and pleaded and nearly jumped out of my skin trying to get people around me to feel the same way I feel about a song or an artist. Thus, I get it. Passion is an easy thing to express, but not an easy thing to usher someone else to embody.
This is most certainly not a new feeling for me. In my adult years people have always been shocked that Texas Country is not the only genre I’m insanely passionate about.
This ^^^ is my bible. This is my stranded on a desert island with only one record for the rest of forever and infinity choice. I can listen to every song on this album and recall exactly how I felt when I heard it in my teens, twenties and now my 30s. It has completely different implications for each decade of my life. Much like a specific bible verse you hang on to through life’s storms and celebrations, the lyrics on this album have been my anchor through days that are both full of hurricanes and sunny with a high of 75.
For many years during the early Sara era Deep Ellum was my church. Trees, Gypsy Tea Room (R.I.P.), The Door Dallas all held service for me and my friends to hear sermon from Andrew McMahon, Jesse Lacey, Mae, Straylight Run, The Ataris and every band that ever existed on the now defunct Drive Thru Records. I could go on and on listing the preachers I’ve heard in those hallowed, smoke stained, whiskey soaked halls, but I think you get the picture. Hell, my first concerts were Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, Green Day and Dave Matthews Band (separately, that would be a weird mashup). Travis Barker is the reason I love music and I am not ashamed of that fact. I still believe he is an insanely charismatic drummer. While he may not be the most technical or most talented it all circles back around to Travis (we’re on a first name basis) possessing an intense passion for the kit. In identifying and experiencing all of this, I have become a better person.
Isn’t that the goal in all of this? To create better people with our passions. Stacking those better people in to a better society and eventually a better world. If your intentions are pure, that is undoubtedly the pinnacle of sharing Christ with those around you. Samesies over here. If even one band, one song, one lyrics I share with you make you view the world a little more rose colored I have done my job as a disciple.
My roots grow in many different directions. If you know me in real life, you undoubtedly know this to be true. I comfortably rest my laurels on being a paradox. You need to know this to make the next sentence land effectively. When I talk about Taylor Swift, you will hear me say she is my “spirit animal” repetitively. I guess that makes her my Buddha and I have no problem with this. T. Swizzle brings out a child like passion in me that no other artist can. Speaking of failed relationships (too soon?) John Mayer as an apostle may sound like a cliche choice to many, but that man can play a damn geetar. His music also shaped me from an early age. Well, not only his music, but his persona, his songwriting, his charisma. These are two people that I have always been drawn to because of who they are as people in addition to their scripture. I will end this jaunt in to pop music with a quote from my favorite movie of all time (yes, it’s a movie about music);
“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” (John Cusack as Rob in High Fidelity or if you want to get technical, Nick Hornby actually wrote the book.) In case you’d like some more totally bad ass quotes from the movie here ya go: High Fidelity is the fucking best (Plus I just really like the title of the article.)
I feel like we’re digging grooves in the tread of this trail, so I’m gonna come to the summit of talking about the passion and the Christ. Whether it’s your church or mine I hope somehow you’re using your powers for good. If nothing I said resonated with you in this post here’s my girl Maren to tell you exactly what I fucking meant.
I’ve cheated and I’ve lied
I’ve fallen down from grace
A few too many times
But I find holy redemption
When I put this car in drive
Roll the windows down and turn up the dial
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that’s my church”
- “Things To Do” -Grady Spencer
- “My Church” -Maren Morris
- “Summertime” -Mae
- “Sunny With a High of 75” -Reliant K
P.S. If you thought I was going to let you escape this without talking about Grady Spencer…SIKE! You were wrong. I have not had passion for an artist like I have Grady in quite some time. The warmth I feel on my face when I watch this video and listen to this Sandlot glasses wearing, mustachioed crooner no matter the weather is I believe what it feels like to have God’s love in your heart…but I would not know.