Thursday, November 27, 2014

#94 SET ME ON FIRE - The Burn Service

Yes, I made this. So, that's computer graphics skills in addition to nunchuck skills and bow hunting skills

ANDY NOTE: A new feature, Andy's Extras, is now online, just click the tab above.

The following story is apocryphal. The word apocryphal in this case means that it's "a story of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true". I know that because as soon as I wrote the word, I heard Inigo Montoya in my head and began to doubt if the word actually meant what I thought it meant when I wrote it down. By the way, why don't you rent The Princess Bride and watch it with your family this holiday season. Can't go wrong with The Princess Bride

Ok, back to the story. I was late 1999, when a fresh faced, 19 year old (approx.) Andy Prosseda was handed the reigns of a youth ministry, complete with worship leading responsibilities. I didn't have very much music, so my friends Fred and Shonda Krapner handed me a CD and said that not only could I borrow it, but I could have it. The reason I could have it, according to Fred, was that "there wasn't anything you could use on it". <that quote requires citations>

Anyhoo, I took the CD home and, since I didn't own much worship music at the time, I played the crap out of it. And you know what, the whole album was pretty decent, but I thought that the first song would be killer for worship. Does anyone want to venture a guess as to what the name of that song was? Anyone? 

AH, C'MON! It's right there at the top of the page. How many times do we have to go over this? It's ALWAYS the thing that's right at the top of the page. Oh, wait, I'm now being told in my ear that last time it was NOT the thing at the top of the page. OK, new rule, from now on, it will always be the thing that's at the top of the page. Fair enough? (and that, my dear friends, is how you drive up your word count). 

Set Me On Fire was released in 1999 on the Burn Service album. 1999 was a very hearty year in the history of modern worship - a ton of GREAT albums came out that year, albums that most of us still listen to: Hungry, Sonicflood, Passion: Better Is One Day, The Heart of Worship, and Hillsong's chronically underrated By Your Side were all released in 1999.

I estimate that the 3-year period between 1999-2001 was the time when modern worship music transformed from a rapidly growing segment of Christian music into a force that was taking over Christian music. And artists like Sonicflood, Passion, Hillsong, Matt Redman, etc are the ones that ushered the church into this new era.

The Burn Service was a little different from the rest. When you think of those other artists, you think of a polished, finished product. If you go back and listen to the Burn Service now, there is a sublime rawness to it. I'm not saying it sounds like a garage band, but it has a simplicity that sort of ended right about that time.

Set Me On Fire became a staple of what we did in worship for the next three or so years. But, if you do manage to find your old Burn Service CD, there's a couple more tracks that make it worth it. Your Love Reaches Me is a great song, but I think New Creation stands out the most. And here's something interesting:

So, it seems that Darren and Jessie Clarke have recommended a channel for me on youtube. The Clarke's are the ones involved in The Burn Service, and also Darren wrote and sang My Lord, My God, song #107 on this list. Fun Fact: Jessie Clarke was Jessie Lane at the time. I get that people may want to change their name, but it's still kind of ironic that she changed her last name to the same as a guy she's in a band with. I can think of no other explanation.

So, being that I'm 50 years old and not very good with the intewebs thingys, I thought that Darren and Jessie Clarke actually somehow knew me and were trying to help me out. Hey, ya never know, maybe word of my blog got around.  I was all ready to strike up a conversation with the Clarkes about the state of worship when I realized that more than likely it was just some sort of clever youtube algorithm. (Not to be confused with an ex-vice president dancing with Bono, that's a U2 Al Gore Rhythm).

Sure, I was disappointed. But I realized the importance and unique advantage I have by now being 50 years old. When your my age, you're not suppposed to understand the Internet. It's like you get a free pass. "Hey Andy, how 'bout PM'ing me on Facebook?" "Sorry, Ashlie, I don't understand what PM'ing means, and I can't find my Facebook on the google box, I think it's broke." And then it's back to the game without distractions.

Whenever I have to show my dad how to right click something or open up his email, because he doesn't know anything about computers, he always says to me, "What do you want from me, I flunked mouse".

Being that this is Thanksgiving, I realized that I have another advantage, which is being a 50 year old single guy visiting others on the holidays. Normally, people are expected to act with a certain decorum when visiting during the holiday festivities, but the fact that I don't have a woman in my house to civilize me gets me out of a lot of responsibilities. It might go something like this:

Gladys: "Look, your friend Andy didn't bring anything to the party"
Carl: "Honey, you have to realize that he doesn't have a good woman like you to tell him what to do".
Gladys: "That's sweet, Hon, but he's wearing a mesh t-shirt with pictures of half-naked women on it".
Carl: "Baby, do you remember how I used to dress before you got ahold of me? Let it go, he's got no one".
Gladys: "Ok, but now I think he's hitting on our 23 year old niece"
Carl: "See, you have to understand...Wait, what???
Gladys: "Carl, now you've got to say something. He's peeing with the door open!"
Carl: "Ok, now I've got nothing".

So, I guess what I'm saying is Happy Thanksgiving! Rest well and dream of large women. Oh, and don't forget to check out Andy's Extras.

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