Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh Em Gee - Mahalia is dead!

OMG stands for Oh My God, which is what people say when things are good, bad, or shocking. I'm having an OMG moment as we speak.

Today is Sunday, which means that while some are out to church, and others are tailgating, I am home, in my pajamas listening to Mahalia Jackson on vinyl. I often joke that I listen to Mahalia on Sundays in lieu of going to church., it's true. Besides, I don't really go to church. I mean, I have. When I was little we went to a Unitarian church. But then pastor (?) moved, so we followed him (or her, I don't remember, I was just a kid), but it was too far of a commute, so we quit going to church.

Over the last 2-3 years, I've gone to church a few times. I went with the ever-speedy Ladia a couple of times. She would go in big part for the music, but also because of her dedication to God. I went with her to hear the music, to learn more about her, and to learn more about Christianity. I went to a mosque with my buddy Aziz a year ago. I was taking a class with Jim Laine (hilarious man, if you ever get a chance to take a class with him, I recommend it) and we had to go to a service/place of worship that was different from our own. I wasn't able to participate in the service at the Mosque, because I am a woman, but I was able to observe, which was really cool. (Note: before you judge, keep in mind I wouldn't be able to take communion at a Catholic service either).

I also went to a couple different Evangelical services with my friend Shari. Girl can sing... which is mostly why I went. One of the services we went to was in Bryn Mawr, at a school auditorium.... I remember taking notes (which are in an old journal somewhere), and being really pleased with the messages being shared. To me, they were less about God and more about people. I felt like I could relate to a lot of the things being said. (This is weird, because when I think of Evangelical, I think of people trying to push their beliefs on to me...but when I was there, I didn't feel that way).

I used to live half a block from a Presbyterian I went there a handful of times. I figured since I'd been to all the other places in the neighborhood (bars, coffee shop, etc), I should check out the church as well. The people there were very nice, and welcoming...yet they didn't push their religion on me. One old woman (probably in her 80's) asked me what my home church was, and I said I didn't have one. She asked what religion I was raised with, and I said I wasn't. She still served me a cup of coffee... and didn't feel the need to preach. I appreciated that.

I live close to the cathedral, but have not been there for services. I went once on a tour with one of my group home girls, and that was interesting. I stopped and talked to some protesters a couple weeks ago over there, who were upset about the DVD condemning homosexuality. I don't know what difference protesting makes, but I think it's good that they came together and had a physical presence.

This weekend, I declared it "Pajama Weekend". That means no church clothes... only pajamas and gym clothes. Feeling like I should "embrace my spiritual side", I tried playing some Mahalia Jackson this morning. It didn't work. It was warped. I yanked a few other records from the stack, and they were also warped. This initiated the OMG response...the OMG Mahalia is warped, dead, done, over. Ugh. What a terrible feeling. I hollered at my boy Adrian and he agreed with my plan to put each record under my heavy set of speakers for a while so they flatten out. Andy Wilbourn told me the same thing too, a while ago, when I was in denial of any record warping damage.

So....I now have a year long task ahead of me.... flatten out these records. Some I don't care if they get fixed. Some I can repurchase for a dollar at Landfill Records. Others, a digital version will suffice. And there's a few yet...that just can't be replaced with MP3/digital versions. A few like Mahalia, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, etc...

We shall see what happens. Maybe this is a sign that I should sell my turntables, and use my desk for studying, rather than spinning. Truth be told... I don't spin records. Well, sometimes I mess around with mixing, but that isn't very often. Mostly, I just let the record play itself...which usually is enough to make me happy. Today though, I am not happy... because as you know, music makes my world go 'round, and while sure I have a lot of music on my computer, nothing compares to the sounds of Mahalia, Marvin, Stevie, Janis, Joni.... on wax.

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