While I was in China, one time me and Tim Dalrymple went out on a prayer walk. Incidentally, I am now a big fan of prayer walks. I think they are the coolest things in the world. At any rate, we were talking about the future. He plans to be a pastor, big surprise. And then I told him about my plans, and he said something like, “Come on, Danny. You’re not gonna be happy doing that. You know you’re going to go into ministry.” Something to that effect. And that just totally shocked me, because I had rejected doing full time ministry a long time ago. But that he assumed it of me got me thinking, because Tim really is one of the more astute people I know.

So I thought about it a lot this summer. And I think I’m pretty sure that no matter what I do in the mean time, by the time I’m 40, I’ll be doing some type of ministry or music. Henry wants to produce my first album. Yeah wrong! You can be a sound engineer. I’ve decided who I want to be my producer. If I can’t get Hugh Padgham, I want Brian Min. I have no idea who Brian Min is, except he produced an album by Steve Moriya. There’s been this recent massive influx of independent CDs produced by Asian Christians. Like that hymn CD Young Nak in LA has been peddling. There’s another one that Albert Shim showed me when I was at his place with all these worship leaders from around LA. Anyway, this Steve Moriya guy’s CD is the best sounding, best produced of these independent projects that I have heard. It really is a good CD. So Brian Min, his producer, will produce my first CD.

I recently took a road trip and I only had a limited amount of tapes. Among them were 5 KCPC worship services. That was an interesting listening experience. At any rate, one of the albums I listened to was the 2nd Jars of Clay CD. Much Afraid. I really like this CD a lot. And the reason I like it is because they take chances, and I really dig that. I was talking with Henry and something came up and my philosophy in making music is that it can’t just be good; that’s not enough for me. It has to be innovative, or interesting. I am really into innovative and interesting music, and I admire people who do that. Here are some music people I admire for being innovative. Sting, Dr. Dre, Puff Daddy, Smashing Pumpkins, Charlie Peacock, 77s, King’s X. Ok, so I have my own ideas of what is innovative and interesting, and I don’t necessarily respect the people or their lyrics, but innovative music is awesome to me.

For example, that one 2Pac song that Dr. Dre produced, the California one, that song is just so interesting. I really like Dre as a producer. Sting just has so many interesting songs, it’s crazy. I highly recommend all of his albums. But one of the most interesting songs you’ll ever hear is I hung my head. Both lyrically and musically, it’s just brilliant. I don’t know if you’ve heard of King’s X but they are really cool musically. They are just so complex and so tight, and they maintain 3 part harmonies (the bassist, guitarist and drummer all sing) in a really amazing way. Wow.

Anyway, I think Jars of Clay took a risk in their 2nd album and I respect that a lot. To be perfectly honest, their first album pretty much all sounded the same. I mean, the majority of the songs have the same strumming pattern and instrumentation. And it’s all cool, but the 2nd album is more innovative. First of all, I dig how they went into mood. A lot of the stuff in the second album is about setting mood, and I dig that. So some parts are really slow and mellow, but listen carefully, and there’s a lot of moody type stuff in there. I don’t know who the producer Lipson is but apparently he’s famous or something. Anyway, you’d think the producer of the 2 tracks on their first album would be more into that, because Adrian Belew is this famous moody guitar guy. Actually, those 2 tracks are pretty heavy on mood, but more in an upbeat way. The use of Gregorian Chant is just brilliant.

So yeah, I dig the mood stuff. Also, Fade to Grey is the best Jars of Clay song ever. Here is why: they captured the energy. Capturing the energy is the hardest thing to do in a recording, and when it happens, it’s awesome. Anyway, the energy is there. I’ve seen a lot of cool performances that didn’t measure up on CD, but this song just brims with energy. yeah.

I think a big part of the CD’s tightness is thanks to the same guy playing drum and bass. Greg Wells, I believe. The tightness of the rhythm section makes such a difference in music. On certain Sundays, me and Kris Song, when playing bass and drums respectively, would reach this symbiosis where we both did the same thing rhythmically or did the same rhythmic emphasis without saying anything. It’s a really cool thing when it happens. Anyway, if the same guy is playing both things, the tightness is there.

Also, they use a lot of different effects, doing stuff on the voice, double-tracking, and stuff like that. It’s really cool.

Anyway, I respect Jars of Clay a lot for taking chances. I think my respect for them as a band first went up when they recorded this cover of an old Petra song, Stained Glass Windows. They decided to do it in a non-standard meter, and that is just very cool.

So when I was listening to the CD, I was getting into it, and I really like getting people into good music. I almost feel like it’s my duty.

Also, I will never contribute anything frivolous to fics-chat again. You hold me accountable to that.

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