Saturday, July 25, 2009
Time After Time... Attending “LOVE (as it turns out) is a Battlefield” benefit concert for Blood: Water Mission
While checking out the “what’s happening” collage wall at Portland Brew I saw a poster up advertising a free benefit concert “Love (as it turns out) is a Battlefield”. The only name that was familiar at first was Sarah Masen, then the cause “Blood: Water Mission”. Being an almost rabid fan of Jars of Clay, I had heard about it many times through the magical world of Myspace bulletins. If Sarah Masen is playing then I’ll probably like the other artists I thought. Later at Ugly Mugs, I saw the same poster and was reminded I shouldn’t miss it. FYI, I didn’t have coffee at both places…I do have a Mocha addiction but it’s under control. =)
In my house growing up, my parents “preferred” that I listen to music I could buy at the local Christian book store. I’d spend a lot of time at the listening stations searching for something that moved me and not in a vomiting from too much cheese kind of way. While my friends were listening to the likes of Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, and Beck…I had Sixpence None the Richer, Hoi Polloi, Amy Grant and Jars of Clay.
Sarah Masen was a fav. Her first album I adored. She was only 4 years older than me and I gravitated towards singer songwriters that seem to do it all. And when I was nineteen I cut my hair like her….it turned out to be a hideous mistake. Being petite, you’d think I could pull off a Pixie…but you’d be wrong. So very very wrong. I remember my boss at the mall store I worked at saying I looked very “butch”. Umm, that wasn’t the look I was going for.
I’m in the process of purchasing a motor vehicle and so the ride situation I had not thought through. Thankfully after airing a distress call in the form of a Facebook status, one of my friends from the Art Fair circuit, that wanted to go too, offered to pick me up. Horray for Facebook!
My friend L, turns out, lives about a second away from me in East Nash. She drove us to the Downtown Prepaterian Church, a historical landmark and still functioning church, where the concert was being held. The structure has actually been rebuilt 3 times after two fires. The last fire burning it to the ground in 1848…but you can’t stop the church! Ha, take that fire, we’ll just rebuild!
Not being aptly prepared, I only had my MACRO lens with me so here is a picture from the Church’s website.
Interesting enough, when the inside was being designed, America was going through an Egyptian Revival Style period. L and I couldn’t figure out if it had been designed then added too or if someone actually thought it all through…but apparently they did…or thought they did. That Keith Green song “So you wanna go back to Egypt” kept playing in my head. =P
Sarah Masen’s husband, author David Dark was the Host for the evening. He described the meaning of the title of the concert and how the 80’s were very relevant. In keeping with the theme, a lot of the artists would be covering their favorite 80’s songs as well as some originals.
I can’t seem to escape 80’s music.
Sarah was first. She played the guitar and sang the REM song “Fall on Me” with her daughter on backup vocals. Familiar with the song, I don’t think I’d ever listened to the lyrics. What a beautiful song. Sarah sang two other covers before the next artist Justin Caldwell came up.
Justin Caldwell, I had never heard before but he had a great voice. It was very earthy, slightly jazzy voice with great melodies to his originals. I should have kept track on the 80’s titles people were playing. Perhaps someone will chime in on what he sang.
Between the mini sets, they played 80’s commercials on the movie screen next to the stage. Everything from the boom box cassette player that will change your life to car commercials to Arcade Games. It was quite enjoyable.
Up next was Sandra McCracken. She covered “Time after Time” which had much audience participation. I forgot to mention that the church was full to the brim and L and I were sitting in the second row on the right. =)
Sandra McCraken also played some originals and I knew immediately I would be visiting her CD table after the show. Her husband came to play the guitar with her, who was none other than Derek Webb, formally of Caedmon’s Call…another favorite of mine. The night just keeps getting better! I heart Nashville.
The final musician was Matthew Perryman Jones. He covered a few 80’s songs…one was a favorite and I can’t for the life of me remember which one it was…lol. I just remembered a Sting song but it could have been Justin who’d sung it.
Sarah Masen came up and sang backup.
The speaker for the night was “Blue Like Jazz” author Donald Miller. He and David talked about Blood: Water Mission and how the public viewed global consciousness and awareness in the 80’s and how they do now. Donald was saying that we’ve gotten very good with the awareness part…it’s the doing that we need to work on. As in, everyone likes to wear the T-shirt…but who is going to Africa and getting dirty?
Speaking of T-shirts, I bought one and I love it. I guess I have to go to Africa now so I’m not a hypocrite. =) The art is blood and water tricking down and turning into birds that fly. It super soft cotton too…I’m very impressed with whoever choose the design and fabric choice. I’d like to give at shout out to that person…it’s like totally awesome.
A little info about Blood: water mission from their website:
Blood:Water Mission (founded by the band “Jars of Clay”) is a grassroots organization that empowers communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crisis. They exist to promote clean blood and clean water efforts in Africa, tangibly reducing the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic while addressing the underlying issues of poverty, injustice and oppression. Blood:Water Mission is building clean water wells, supporting medical facilities, and focusing on community and worldview transformation, both here in America and in Africa.
Everyone came up at the end to sing an Elvis Costello song.
As L and I wandered out of our pews, I stopped to tell Sarah Masen the last time I saw her in concert I was about 15 and she replied, “I probably was too!”. =P I treated myself to a Sandra McCraken cd “Red Balloon” on my way out. It’s very good! I think you need to order it on my recommendation. If you don’t trust my taste…fine…check out her Myspace first than wussies.
L dropped me by “Decades” on Broadway after the show as “Bob” was playing in a 80’s cover band there, so the 80’s night continued and it Shook Me All Night Long.