25 March 2013

A Few YouTube Gems

I've spent the last two weeks or so on YouTube. Amazing how as soon as you click one White Heart song, there appear twenty other White Heart songs in the sidebar. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. What I will complain about is the fact that EMI blocks 65% of the White Heart from Canadian viewers on 'copyright grounds.' Do you people want to sell your product or not...? It's worth noting that nobody -- nobody -- else blocks their content from Canada on 'copyright grounds.' White Heart is the only artist I have ever been blocked from seeing on YouTube.

Anyway, here are some gems I've found in my YouTube travels... they're not all White Heart, I promise... (and also, most of them are not on the Canadian iTunes Store, or I would have featured them on Music Day. Methinks iTunes needs a little competition... they've got too much of a corner on the market).

White Heart -- Powerhouse live
Rick's coat. Dude. That is an awesome coat. It looks kind of odd at first (or maybe it was just me because I'd spent the previous hour watching videos of him in blue jeans with the knees blown out), but it's seriously an amazing coat. He must be absolutely dying of heat stroke in that thing though -- it looks heavy.

White Heart -- Powerhouse live (again)
THERE IT IS! Did you see it? Did you see it? Don't blink or you'll miss it -- right at the beginning of the video (15-second mark), you see the legendary back handspring. I had heard SO MUCH about this and thought I would never get to see it... but there it is!
Also, his dancing is amazing. Not that I'm biased or anything. (Man, what I wouldn't give to see that in concert for myself...)

Crumbächer -- Track You Down live at Cornerstone 1985
This song is catchy as heck. And... not on iTunes. Literally every other Crumbächer album is on iTunes -- not this one. Sigh. But this performance is pretty great (as is the song itself... two, count them, two keyboards!) The vocal blend on this song is so, so pretty. Also, am I the only one reminded of Mark Gersmehl circa 1986? (Who in turn, now that I think about it, reminds me of Steve Green. I think it's the hair.)

White Heart -- My Eyes Have Seen (1994)
Beautiful. Just... gorgeous. This takes everything that was great about the Highlands album (from 1993), sonically speaking, and compressed it all into four minutes.

White Heart -- A Love Calling live
Actually, this appears to be just Gersh and Rick -- I looked and looked, but didn't see any evidence of any of the others. But holy smokes, this is beautiful. There's such joy on both their faces.

Isaac Air Freight -- Final Minutes
How familiar does this sound (churchgoers)? Perhaps a little too familiar... Is this my home? Is it yours? And doesn't it sound eerily like the Pharisees as we imagine them -- the ones Jesus condemned at nearly every turn?
We wonder why people look sideways at anyone who identifies themselves as a Christian. I think this pretty much sums up the answer to that question.
(For those listening and going 'What's the deal with the logs in their eyes?' it's a reference to the book of Matthew chapter seven in the Bible.)

Lifesavers Underground -- Shaded Pain (1987)
Straight to the soul. Just trust me on this one. It's not rock, but to make it rock would be to kill such lyrical perfection. Simply beautiful.
We put on all the masks
And then we play the game...
Cut by the Body
Forced to run and hide...

Daniel Amos Concert (probably 1981 or '82)
Exactly what it says... a full DA concert. I wasn't too sure how much I'd like this, since it predates Doppelgänger and if I've got it right this was just coming out of their transition period from country to awesomeness, but this is a good concert. They rocked up some up the songs rather more than on the records from which said songs came. You can pick out some of what was to come with Doppelgänger (and, on a side note, if anyone has footage from the Doppelgänger shows, I will seriously love you forever for posting it).
Anyway, this is a good show. That story he shares about playing at this high school and then an older man comes up to them and says... well, you'll have to watch the video to find out what the man says, but that story really hit me, in pretty much the same way it sounds like it hit the band. Many times I've passed the same judgement about older people in our church, but as he told that story I found the finger I've been pointing was suddenly pointing back at me.

Crumbächer -- Jamie (official video) (Trigger warning on the video: relatively explicit allusions to suicide attempts and some reference to prostitution.)
This is SO moving. In fact, it is so powerful that I actually didn't hear the song beyond the first verse -- I got so wrapped up in the story that I tuned out the song. It might be because I'm a dancer... the story is that Jamie is a ballerina, and, with dreams of stardom and dancing in her head, she auditions for something, but is turned down. Deeply hurt and in need of money, she turns to the dark side of dance -- prostitution. Deeper and deeper into this dark world she gets until finally she hits bottom, in some nameless back alley, with a gun in her hand. And then she sees a Bible in the gutter. The part that hit me the hardest (spoiler alert... as far as those go in a music video) is at the very end, when she goes up to... it's Stephen Crumbächer, and I'm not sure if he's playing the part of a pastor or a Christian friend of Jamie's. She has a Bible in her hand. The pastor/friend figure gives her a pair of ballet slippers. They embrace, and the camera focuses on the man's back, Jamie's arms around him -- the Bible in one hand, the ballet slippers in the other.
And she lets go of the slippers... just lets them fall to the ground.
As a dancer myself, that was gut-wrenching. Once a dancer, always a dancer... to give up dance is akin to, say, severing a major limb. On one hand, I literally gasped in pain as the slippers fell, but on the other hand, it convicted me -- given the choice between a Bible and dancing shoes, what would I honestly pick? The message was so clear -- Christ is so lovely, so wonderful, so worth-it, that even dancing shoes are counted as loss against the glory of the risen Christ.
And watching this now, as I stand at a crossroads, where one way I stay here, guaranteed to get a few more years of ballet, and the other way I go where it seems God is leading me... but it may be the end of ballet for at least two years (an eternity in dance-time), that was... that hit home. Hard. Jamie stood at the crossroads and made her choice. And now I stand at the same crossroad. What decision will I make?

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