Ripped To Shreds - Extreme Berserk - Extreme Berserk (Cassette)
Why do I still struggle with the need to prove to him and others that am a devoted follower? Whatever the reason may be, I pray fervently that my motives, your motives in pursuing the God of the universe are ultimately because we love him.
I strongly desire to make daily decisions that draws me closer into his presence, that our worship would be pure and focused on his glory and not our own. I think there is a invisible magnetic force field around the perimeter of the pool that silences my thoughts.
Or maybe it is the Holy Spirit allowing me some peace and quiet. On my knees I look up to you. Because you are the King on the throne! I will hold your hand like a servant girl. And keep my eyes on you. And not give up until you show me favor. Grace our family, Covenant Keeper, Grace our family! We need your favor, help, sustaining power.
You are our King. We lift our eyes to you. Keep my gaze on you, Covenant Keeper. Remind me to pray when disrespect takes place towards anyone. Remind me to pray before I take action. My soul has been in a very dry place for the last few months. Turns out, I have the terrible habit of fixing my gaze on circumstances around me instead of on Christ.
Hearing the deep troubles of those I have the privilege of ministering to, as well as my own deep struggles caused me to feel empty, lack luster, and worn out. Can I tell you that it is such a great relief? Beth Moore wrote the study in such a way that we would spend two days on each Psalm symbolizing taking steps up to meet God putting both feet on each step.
During our own personal study time, we read the Psalm out loud, work the Psalm by underlining, circling, highlighting the meaningful words and descriptions, and then at the end of the second day, we re-write the Psalm in our own words as a prayer.
The last step was the most intimidating to me. I can quote Psalms as prayers fairly easily, but for some reason re-writing them as my own prayers revealed some insecurity in my spirit.
Well, good news! This is turning out to be the highlight of my study time. God is truly making each Psalm so personal in my life. I study them for two days, gain a rich understanding of the history and purpose of the chapter, and finally, make deep personal application to what God is revealing to me.
It is personal, but I believe that God teaches me to make me more like Jesus, but not to just to keep it to myself. He always knows exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. Psalm But, alas, I choose to not neglect half of the Bible. It is true that I do not understand most of it. Seems very strange. Thankfully, God in all of his glorious detail understands my inability to sift through the nitty-gritty and teaches me in big moments with big concepts.
This last Easter weekend I had the privilege of reading Isaiah 53 to forty of my closest Cord of Hope partners. We were about to worship God together through singing, giving gifts to people who may not know Jesus, and praying. As I was passionately reading this beautiful description of Jesus, I was struck by verse 10 that says Jesus made his life our guilt offering. Leviticus talks a lot about guilt offerings, and I, on some intellectual level, understand why they were necessary.
But, in that sweet moment of remembering Jesus on the cross I was struck in a new and fresh way that Jesus is my guilt offering. The big moment in front of my closest partners moved me straight to a huge concept. The reason the old testament is so full of detail in how to approach the Most High God of the universe is because his holiness is far too great for us to understand.
Jesus, the one and only Son of God became my guilt offering because the holiness of God demands meticulous detail just to simply approach him. Saying that I wanted to fall on my knees in that moment is an understatement.
God teaching me in big moments like these is such grace to me. Making my way through the Old Testament has not been an easy journey. I much prefer James, Romans, one of the gospels. But, the desire to see deeper into his holiness draws me to my reading each day. But, my thankfulness to Jesus for becoming my guilt offering intensifies as I see the attention to detail demanded of people just to approach God.
I will make my way through…. Slackin' Wednesday, December 15, :: 1 important comment. I've been the biggest blogging slacker on the planet this past month. There is a growing list of topics I hope to blog about rolling around in my brain.
Tonight is not the night I plan on clicking the keyboard to post something fantastic for you to read. That will have to come another time. Moxie ladies, I have a some great ideas rolling around in my head for the coming year. I'm So Excited!! Our Christmas Cord of Hope outreach just happened.
I have thoughts I hope to communicate. Some good family stories should be documented on this blog. Chad has been talking a lot about Second Mile cliff jumping that I'm hoping to write about. Mostly I'm putting these topics out there as a form of accountability for me to actually write about something. To be honest, I thoroughly enjoy blogging. Communication is something I highly value.
The challenge of clearly and purposefully stating my ideas, opinions, and stories excites me. So, I will get back on the band-wagon. I will stop being a slacker. I will discipline myself to write, write, write.
Double-Minded Distractedness Tuesday, November 02, :: 5 important comments. After a year in Acts, Chad started teaching through the book of James. I'm sad to see Acts go because I learned so much through the year long study.
Someday I will try and put some thoughts together on what God showed me. However, James is my one of my favorite books. The straight-forwardness of James' writing speaks the language of my heart. It's going to be a really good 12 weeks. Chad says 12, but my guess is it will take at least 16 weeks, but what do I know. I'm only his wife. This Sunday Chad talked about our need for consistency as we follow Jesus, that we can often be double-minded or double-souled as we make our way through life.
I was so convicted as he was speaking. My distractions so often come in the form of ministry to people in need. I'm so busy pouring out, or cleaning up, or fixing things that I don't fix my eyes on Jesus where I belong.
My desire to ask God for wisdom as I follow him and believe and not doubt was bolstered on Sunday night. I want to know him so much. I want him to know that I am passionate for Him not just passionate to serve him. A friend of Chad's sent him some encouraging feedback about his message.
He likes to hear what people are learning, just in case you were wondering. He attached a great example of distractedness. As I read it, I laughed, teared up a little, and felt embarrassed about how it described my brain.
I'm going to share it with you. I'm still working on my plans, but I'm hoping to steal some of your good ideas! This is how it manifests: I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing.
As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first. I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only 1 check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.
I'm going to look for Ripped To Shreds - Extreme Berserk - Extreme Berserk (Cassette) checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.
I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered. I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do. At the end of the day: 1 The car isn't washed 2 The bills aren't paid 3 There is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter 4 The flowers don't have enough water, 5 There is still only 1 check in my check book, 6 I can't find the remote, 7 I can't find my glasses, 8 And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail. Please share your thoughts and solutions! Let's help each other strive towards wise consistency.
Labels: Second Mile. Labels: communitydiscipleshipprophet opinion. I'm tired. It's been a long, busy, frustrating week. At one point, I even had an ugly cry Thank goodness Chad loves me and doesn't freak out when I cry like that. I'm not going to give you details of the week. I know some of you want the dirt, but that's not the point of this post. The point is I'm glad it's over. I'm glad Chad loves me. I'm glad God is God and I don't have to be even though trying to be contributed to my long week.
My life's on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching til morning, waiting and watching til morning. I'm not stuck. Being a watchmen waiting til morning is possible because my hope is in God alone. Sweet Reflection Monday, October 04, :: 2 important comments. Which is why so many of us were dumb enough to raise our hands at his question.
Thus, I began my Air Force career in my underwear and on my knees, scrubbing the latrine with four other to year-old recruits. Heads freshly shaved, and smelling strongly of new uniforms, quivering after almost two days of mental anguish, we scrubbed the drab tiles and scoured toilets until they were as clean as the medical facilities.
We went so far as to use Brasso polish on any exposed pipes we could reach, and to fold the torn edges of the toilet paper roll into neat triangles. And yet, somehow, we still failed miserably.
Each daily inspection would reveal some missed detail: a stray pubic hair stuck in a remote corner of the shower, a tiny gobbet of shaving cream clinging to the underside of the sink, and even a tiny, stray turd which had miraculously appeared in one of the urinals after we thought we had finished our cleaning for the day.
Who poops in a urinal? Our Latrine Squad was a roaring success compared to our "House Mouse," however. SrA Young, had reviewed our records and learned that Airman Speck and myself were the two "most educated" airmen in the flight, having both attended some college. Speck had a degree, though, and was made "Mouse" - a thankless job that added cleaning the TI's office and scheduling the hour dorm guard watch to his other Basic duties.
I silently offered a prayer of thanks that I had never finished that music degree! Speck seemed to take to the job, carrying a little notebook around to jot down SrA Young's instructions and requests from other recruits to swap dorm guard shifts with each other. It was the Dorm Guard Monitor part of the job that brought him down.
Part of the duty was "training" the rest of us in dorm guard policies and procedures: how to challenge visitors, what to say, whom to allow in, operating the door. Everything one needed to know was even printed on a large chart next to the door. If it sounds easy, that's because it was. Only, no one could get it right. Strike one, day eight: TSgt Burns was a sour, angry man, aptly named as any shred of sympathy for us had long ago been charred out of him.
He withered SrA Young with a blistering stream of invective over having incompetent dorm guards. Strike two, day twelve: Reams of course allowed the squadron Superintendent into the building without checking his ID card.
SrA Young, furious, warned Speck that the next mistake made by one of his guards would cost him his job as Mouse. Speck redoubled his efforts to "train" us, begging us to read the procedures in our manual every spare minute.
He would sidle up to people during "free time" and whisper cryptically, "Remember, call the dorm to attention for any officers that enter! SrA Young savaged us at his daily inspection, and drilled us over every tiny mistake. We milled about, nervously fiddling with our gear, and trying to catch any last-minute errors before the Major arrived. That was when we heard Morgan start the door routine.
Please present identification! They checked the latrines first mercifully turd-free and began working through the bunk and wall lockers in the East Bay. All went well, until You don't call the Commander to attention, unless Into the dorm came the Group and Wing commanders!
The Colonel greeted the Major, and introduced the General, who was conducting a surprise visit, and had asked to see one of the inspections. The Major sent his XO, a jittery 2nd lieutenant, scurrying out to get the General a pad of inspection forms so he could join in. We were petrified, but things still seemed to be under control. Then, once again Instead, the XO came nervously into the room. SrA Young's face went beyond purple, back around the spectrum to red again, and he ran, elbows pumping, down the center of the aisle between the bunks, his scream of rage building as he went: "No-o-o-o-o-o-oo-oo-ooo-ooo-oooo-ooOOOOOOOOO!!
Any hope I had to return to anonymity after shooting my mouth off the day before when Reams made his ignominious exit vanished as SrA Young's face split into a Grinch-like grin. I was struggling enough with my own duties; every inspection found some new deficiency in sock or underwear folding, and even with the help of my neighbors, element leader, squad leader, and the dorm chief our student commander some seemingly impeccable item would draw a demerit every time.
Adding the TI's office only made it worse, as I had less time to devote to arranging my underwear according to regulations. The Dorm Guard schedule didn't help, either. I quickly wearied of hearing people ask for specific shifts, and of keeping track of who had swapped with whom.
After being awakened twice on my first night to settle disputes between remorseful swappers, I declared that there would be no more trades. Shift assignments would be final when I posted them on the bulletin board each week. My only consideration was to keep someone sharp on duty when we were likely to get visitors; which could be any time.
I struggled on, failing inspections, irritating my fellow airmen with the schedules I posted, and trying everything I could to get my duffel bag folded correctly. SrA Young seemed sympathetic, since I wasn't a discipline problem, and he could see I was trying as hard as I could.
I made point of keeping my bearing - which mostly meant keeping my mouth shut - even when threatened with the dreaded Recycling. Strike one was my inability to pass an inspection; I couldn't afford any other problems.
Startled, I whipped around to see Muncie, a skinny, black kid with a gigantic head that bobbled when he walked. He sneaked into the TI office through its rear door while I was sweeping under the bed. I didn't trust him, either. He was supposed to become an SP, the Air Force's Security Police, but he hadn't shown any of the qualities typically associated with cops.
For example, at the rifle range, he dropped his M the first time he fired it as though it had turned into a snake, and wailed "I cain't DOOO it! The thought of this weird little man - like Golem with glasses - lurking near my bed while I slept gave me the cold shivers, and I kicked him out of the office. Before he left, though, he hissed at me, "You'll be sorry! I heard something fall behind the desk and shatter. I dove under the desk, only to pull out the remains of one of SrA Young's prized awards: a model of one of the missile's he had worked on before joining the Training Wing.
Before I could decide what to do, the door opened, and there stood SrA Young, looking down on a cowering airman, sitting on the floor of his office in his underwear, and holding his broken missile. Strike Two. TSgt Burns had as much as promised that someone would go by the end of the week; we were SrA Young's first solo training flight, and TSgt Burns felt that our lackluster performance would only improve if he followed through on that ultimate of threats.
Three of us failed that inspection. We were told to line up at attention next to the door. TSgt Burns was called on the intercom, and the other two failures began to swoon and moan, tears welling up in their eyes. I was merely angry, and stood locked at attention, gritting my teeth. On dorm guard was my friend, Jay. I had specially selected him for this shift so that someone I trusted would be on duty during the inspection. He had performed flawlessly Jay did well, following the script on the door.
Until, that is, TSgt Burns, the sadist, left the script. Lemme in, you piece of crap! Rattled, Jay managed to follow the directions on the board by the door, and said, "Please report to the orderly room for assistance, sir. You know who I am, now let me IN! At this point, Jason was supposed to repeat the previous instruction, and then call downstairs for help. Instead, he said: "NO! You could safely say that he had lost it.
TSgt Burns went berserk, hurling himself against the door, screaming, and snarling like a pit bull after a rabbit in its hole. The thick, steel door shook in its concrete frame. Saliva dripped down the outside of the window. SrA Young strode to the door and let him in.
Crossing the threshold, TSgt Burns transformed into the picture of composure, and turned to Jay. Me, against the wall with the other two blubbering on either side of me, an obvious trio of losers.
My insides churning, I stood staring fixedly at a point about six inches in front of my face; precisely the space where TSgt Burns placed his face as he said: "Pack your bags. Labels: freedomhopesmousetroubleUSAF. I've written before about the way my body reacts to over the counter cold remedies. People have told me, "People pay good money on the street to feel that way," but I'd rather keep my money and NOT have to deal with the "side effects".
As amusing as it might be to have my bedroom furniture talk to me, or to sit and watch the ceiling fan turn rainbow colors while lofting little fairies into the air around me I'd just as soon stay in control of my own imagination. Cheer up, honey I hope you can There is something wrong with me Radio Cure I've been told that certain albums are improved by having your mind artificially expanded. Radiohead s keep telling me I'd "get" some of their more obscure stuff if I'd just take a little something to help out, but I like The Wall just fine when I'm cold sober, thank you very much.
I think music should stand up on its own, in general. I have to admit, though, that being wired on cold meds has given certain albums more impact that they would have otherwise had on my cynical brain.
Sometimes I don't let them work on the dark, secret parts of my psyche that they are intended for. So while I won't go seeking them out, my few brushes with the High Life - at perfectly legal and unmodified dosages of Dextromethorphan and Phenylephrine - have given me some appreciation for "pharmacologically enhanced listening experiences" I wonder why we listen to poets When nobody gives a fuck Ashes of American Flags Experiencing physical weaknesses, along with the usual emotional or spiritual crises, leaves one with time to think about the less obvious ailments.
If art has to have a purpose, isn't that a good one? I was down hard when Wilco crossed my transom; life was demanding a lot of us, and on top of the long hours of work and commute, I got hit with a pretty serious sinus infection.
So, out came the drugs. I am an American aquarium drinker I assassin down the avenue I'm hiding out in the big city blinking What was I thinking when I let go of you I Am Trying to Break Your Heart Is there a better way to start an album when you have a fever of degrees Fahrenheit, and are whacked out on decongestant?
I swear I could taste the aquarium water, and the fever was causing flashes of light behind my lids anyway. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has an interesting story behind it, anyway, which you can track down elsewhere easily enough. For me, the first impression was of a man trying to battle down the dazed delirium of his life and seize the flashes of beauty and joy that he hoped were real before they evaporated into the dream. The teetering balance of breathless harmonies and pleasant pop with the odd and disturbing sound scape creates an effective picture of someone exasperated with his situation, but determined to fix it.
I could certainly relate to that. Every place around the world it seemed the same Can't hear the rhythm for the drums Everybody wants to look the other way When something wicked this way comes Jeremiah Blues Sometimes, even if you feel it coming and take precautions, sickness can carry you out to sea.
Waves of nausea crash over, capsize you and leave you wishing for that blinking city. Introspective reflections on his father, and cerebral ocean metaphors were not what the critics wanted from Sting's second solo outing.
A lot of Police fans considered this a sign that Sting had "lost it", or had gone soft. It gave me something to float on while I was drowning, though, and helped me smooth the emotional seas I was navigating. It didn't hurt that I was recovering from some kind of allergy attack with the help of some anti-histamines, of course. There is no "one-stop shop", no "one size fits all". Every drug affects everyone differently.
These are just two examples of good medicine, taken as needed. Next time you're down, try these out, and call me in the morning.
Labels: lb4lbmusic. You are on a bus. It is the middle of the night. You have been awake for twenty hours, and as the bus pulls through a gate guarded by men with machine guns and faces hidden by the shadows from their strangely shaped caps, you see a bizarre line of buildings that appear to have been built upside down.
Their ground floor is about half the area of the three upper floors, making it look like a layer cake dropped on its top - a cake made of pale brick with pill-box windows placed high up on the walls. Spotlighting from the ground gives it all an eerie, alien illumination. This will be your home for two months. The bus pulls up in front of a modular trailer, and you are shuffled off, along with the other riders.
You have an envelope with six names on it. The other five people gather loosely around you; strangers who have been told to stay with you because you hold their identities. You are all herded into lines, which slowly file into the short, narrow building full of uniformed men with bulldog faces, bristly haircuts, and a walk that speaks of violence. They don't look at your faces, and if you make eye contact, they will react as if you have physically challenged them.
They constantly shout or sneer because you have failed to do something expected of you, or you have done something wrong. It's as if you are incapable of doing anything right. You stand wrong, you sit wrong, you get up when you are supposed to sit - and don't even think about leaning against a wall or on a table. You try a sheepish grin, hoping for someone to say, "It's alright Get your meat handlers off my desk! You move in an amorphous mob, like an amoeba with scuffed sneakers and slept-in hair, sheepdogs in camouflage and smokey-the-bear hats nipping at your heels.
Did your mother have any children that lived? Hard, cold edges welcoming you to your new life. They are ushering your group toward the upside down buildings, cutting out smaller groups and lining them up on the asphalt pads under the overhanging ceilings.
Someone barks a number, and it matches the number printed on a card in your hand, so you follow the barking and line up with 49 other dazed sheep in jeans and various T-shirts. Now they start the games. Not fast enough! Put 'em down! Pick 'em up Do you know HOW to stand at attention? Everything you say will begin with 'Sir'! Sir, yes, SIR!
Sir, no, SIR! I can read! What is THAT supposed to mean? They pepper him with questions, and you stare straight ahead, thanking any god up at this hour that you wore a plain, solid blue shirt today.
The other guy is flustered, which is the point of this exercise, but he keeps his bearing. He stays at attention, and doesn't look any of them in the eye; they hate that. Unfortunately, he claims not to know what his shirt "means. He is slow to answer, and they harangue him. Can't you read it? Why would anyone buy a shirt like that?
He has scored a small point, but one of your fellow newbies fails to hold back a snort, and they are on him like hyenas on a sick zebra. Who gave you that haircut? You didn't PAY for that, did you? I answered questions, and I called cadence. I spoke when spoken to, and gave my reporting statement when required.
They made us write it on a slip of paper and repeat it about a thousand times the first morning. For most of us, the boredom was just another test; one of the ongoing mind games, the point usually being to teach us Self-Discipline and Attention to Detail.
But, there were still guys that didn't get it. Reams, do it again! Are you working for a newspaper? No 'reporting'! Do it again! That was how long it took for them to decide to get rid of Reams. The Six Little Words weren't the only words Reams had trouble with. He was constantly drawing fire for making dumb little mistakes, and when they came after him, his eyes rolled in his head, and he wailed like a whipped dog.
He was nervous all the time, always casting paranoid looks at the rest of us. We tried to help him, but he seemed to blame us for watching his disgrace, and he reacted with defensiveness and suspicion. It was like trying to free a dog with a paw caught in a chain-link fence; he snaps at you and won't let you near him, and whines because you won't set him loose. He wasn't entirely a victim. They gave him every chance to get with it.
I heard the sergeant pull him aside and talk to him in the Calm Voice - the voice of an actual human coming from someone in authority almost brought me to tears as he explained to Reams, "We aren't trying to hurt you. We're putting you under stress so you can learn to function as if you were in combat. You need to learn to take orders and do your job no matter what. We have to be sure you won't fold under pressure. You haven't shown me that you get it, yet. Marines have to be tough, so they run.
The Army has to be combat ready, so they yell "hoo-ah" a lot. Navy guys have to deal with ship-life, so they are taught to swim. We in the Air Force were mostly headed for "behind the lines" duty; administrative support, medical, intelligence, even flight line is well back from the "front" in modern warfare. They wanted to pick at us, needle us, erode our patience, just so they could be sure we weren't going to go nuts someday and kill everyone in our office over some small thing.
We had it better than the other branches of service, and we knew it; but we all needed some basic training in dealing with authority and Ripped To Shreds - Extreme Berserk - Extreme Berserk (Cassette) under pressure, and that was what they were giving us. Not to mention some valuable lessons in hygiene and living among other people, which some needed more than others!
Everyone seemed to understand that. Except for Reams. It was as if he refused to understand what he was supposed to be doing. He wouldn't talk to anyone, except to complain. He wouldn't do his details, never made his bed right, always left something unlocked or unsecured. If we pointed out a mistake he would grow sly, sneer at us and accuse us of picking on him; if we let him get caught making a mistake, he would cry - literally, with real tears - that we weren't watching out for him.
The final straw came the day we went to the medical center for blood testing. Our flight was fifth or sixth in line that day, standing in formation in front of the building in the hot, San Antonio sunshine. The medical center was across the street from the shoppette, where we had been allowed to go our first week to buy essentials; toothpaste, razors, small uniform items, etc. Reams kept glancing over at the vending machines and pay phones, muttering under his breath.
Finally, when all of the instructors had their backs turned at the same time, he made his move. Two hundred and fifty silent airmen stood at attention, no one quite sure what to do. We couldn't stop him without getting into trouble ourselves, and no one wanted to be the one to rat him out. But someone finally uttered a timid "Sir? We expected quite a show; shouting, running, perhaps even some physical violence. Instead, our sergeant quietly asked one of the other instructors to keep an eye on us, and left.
We filed through the building, gave up our blood, and were marched home, where we went straight to our day room and sat quietly on the floor, waiting. For us, the worse thing that could be done to us, among all of the punishments at their disposal, was Recycling. To be Recycled, taken out of your flight and put back with a "younger" one - people who were two weeks behind yours, and thus, two weeks further from graduating from Basic Military Training - that was considered the ultimate horrible fate.
We had received two Recyclees from older flights ourselves; they were pathetic, broken little men. Shakira, Katy Perry and Karol G 3. Tori Kelly 8.
Maroon Cartoon and Sponge on the run scene Bikini Bottom intro Main Title Scrat's Opening Scene Around The Studio Downtown L. Valiant and Valiant Lucius DeGeraldson Toon Patrol 2 Toontown Disaster it is unused New Team Welcome to Characterville Getting The Team Together Characterville's Super Legion Jade Wilson's Soundstage Bugs Bunny Meets the Nerdlucks Daniel's and Scarlett's Office Daffy Chase Special Forces Meeting Emergency Exit The Lucius is Rising Abstract Thought I love his picturisations, he can elevate a routine song by percent; give it a new dimension.
Expectations were high. What a fall if he failed! Later I realised it was to keep me going. He discarded whatever bore the influence of others and picked out tunes that had my individual stamp. It was awaited with curiosity since it was Mani Ratnam's first film without Illaiyaraja. Sceptics doubted the ability of a year old debutant. The entire film world and filmgoers were in for a pleasant surprise. Rahman delivered the goods and how.
To call the music a superhit would be an understatement. Rahman became a household name in Tamil Nadu overnight and the score of 'Roja' was the first step in his changing the face of Indian film music. Rahman also got the Rajat Kamal for best music director at the National Film Awards, the first time ever by a debutant. He was flooded with offers to do more films. He gradually cut down on his work in ads and subsequently moved into film music full time. And there was no looking back for A.
With 'Roja', A. Rahman had finally arrived. Recalling the massive success of his first film, Rahman says, "I was lucky to set a sound in the first film. And I had the right people like Mani Ratnam guiding me to achieve it also and by the grace of god it set and the people know from the moment the song is heard that this is Rahman's. I was trying to do a film, I wanted good music and I was searching for somebody who would and I heard a demonstration tape of his which he had sent across.
I thought that in the first note of the piece that he had sent me was really brilliant, really outstanding piece. So I went across to his studio and he played me some more, lots of things which he had done for jingles and a few other musical pieces he has done for somebody else. They were quite amazing Ripped To Shreds - Extreme Berserk - Extreme Berserk (Cassette) I had no doubts that he would be right for my film.
How much he would grow, I was not looking at. I was looking at predominately my film at that point of time. He was ready to break a lot of conventions that were there in terms of music at that point of time, in terms of recording at that point in time.
So I was very lucky to find someone who was willing to break away and do something different. To that extent it was absolutely perfect. He is the perfect bridge between today's technology and Indian music. He has the soul of Indian music inside and there is a lot of engineering and recording talent in him. He is able to blend the two together. He is a very talented person. But even at that young age, Rahman was very mature and sagacious.
He did not let success go to his head and was very choosy about what he accepted. He had his priorities set right from the beginning. For a person who had struggled throughout his childhood, he did not let insecurity get the better of him and wisely opted for quality over quantity and refrained from signing films blindly. That is why I am not interested in a lot of movies but only in one at a time.
I like directors whom I can vibe with. Ten years of experience in this field has made me quite frustrated. I have evolved a technique which requires a lot of time. Other music directors record a song in seven or eight hours. But I am different. We do a basic sitting and we record it. We record the voice and I add instrument by instrument to improve the quality. Gopalakrishnan and Hindustani from Krishnan Nair. He also learnt the qawwalli style from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan".
His second film 'Pudhiya Mugam' with director Suresh Menon was also a success but was not in the same league as 'Roja'. It was his third film "Gentleman" with debutante director Shankar that firmly established him as the new king of Tamil film music. Rahman also did a film in Malayalam called 'Yodha' for the brothers Sangeeth and Santosh Sivan, and two films in Telugu titled 'Super Police' and 'Gangmaster', all of which were moderate successes.
But his Malayalam and Telugu films have remained relatively unknown till date, inspite of having the classic Rahman touch in them. His other films in Tamil in that and the subsequent year were 'Uzhavan' with Kadhir, 'Kizhakku Cheemayile' with Bharathiraaja, with both of whom he would work on many more films in the future, 'Vandicholai Chinnarasu', and 'Pudhiya Mannargal'. All the scores were only moderately successful. Balachander in 'Duet' that really stood out.
Rahman redefined film music with his score in 'Thiruda Thiruda'. While the film itself did not do too well, the music became an all time chartbuster and the Tamil songs of 'Thiruda Thiruda' appeared on Hindi language countdown shows. It was for the first time that Tamil songs became popular on a national scale. His equally unconventional score for 'Duet' centering around one instrument - the saxophone, played by one of its noted Indian exponents Kadri Gopalnath, was also widely appreciated and is considered to be one of Rahman's best scores.
Needless to say, both the movie and the music become phenomenal successes. This heralded a new trend where every Rahman film was necessarily a trilingual with the film getting dubbed into Telugu and Hindi. At the time of Roja's success in Hindi, Rahman's second film for Shankar, 'Kadhalan' featuring dancing sensation Prabhudeva was released. It was as if the movie was structured around the brilliant score that Rahman produced for Kadhalan.
While the entire score was a runaway hit, one song 'Mukkala Muqabla' caught the imagination of the entire nation, never mind if the song was in Tamil. The song was played at every club, disco, restaurant, marriage hall and street corner across the country and went down in Indian movie history as one of the most popular songs of all time.
There was not a soul in the country who was neither dancing to it or humming it. With this song Rahman became a nationally recognised figure. The song was plagiarised freely by Bombay's tunesmiths and nearly a dozen versions of the song were churned out, a feat that earned 'Muqabla' and Rahman a place in the Limca Book of Records, the Indian equivalent of the Guinness Book of Records.
But Rahman was more pleased about the immense popularity of the song 'Ennavale Adi Ennavale' which won Carnatic vocalist Unnikrishnan, making his film debut with this song, the National Award, because he felt that it is easy to compose a dance number like 'Muqabla' which is here today and gone tomorrow but is real hard work to produce an everlasting gem like 'Ennavale'. He said that he had been inspired by a year old Tamil composition.
Overnight most Rahman tunes in Tamil reappeared in Hindi albeit under the baton of other music directors. Three other releases of Rahman that year were 'Pavithra''Karuthamma' with Bharathiraaja and "May Maatham', a film that was originally supposed to be made by Mani Ratnam but was later made by his cousin Balu.
One interesting story about May Maatham went thus. Producer G. Venkateshwaran, incidentally Mani Ratnam's brother, sold the rights of the music of the film to three companies simultaneously on the strength of Rahman's score. Lahiri, Pyramid and HMV shelled out huge sums, sure of the score's success but unaware of the producer's subterfuge.
When the deed was discovered the companies took GV to court. He finally sold the rights to Pyramid who had offered him the highest sum, mollified Lahiri by offering them the rights of his next film with Rahman, Indira -diretced by Suhasini Maniratnam, and had an out-of-court settlement with HMV. He also won the Filmfare-R. Burman Award for best new musical talent. Following the unprecedented success of 'Muqabla' Rahman realised the importance of not only having to do original Hindi scores but also ensure that the dubbed Hindi versions of his Tamil films were released simultaneously, to prevent the continued blatant lifting of his tunes by Bollywood tunesmiths.
He stepped into the cutthroat world of Bollywood when he signed two Hindi films, one for director Mahesh Bhatt and one for the Seengals of Compact Disc India to be directed by Priyadarshan. While the film with Mahesh Bhatt was shelved even before a scene was canned the other film was taken over by R. But his first original release in Hindi would actually be the third film that he would sign. Popular Telugu director Ramgopal Varma was also setting foot into Bollywood just then with two films, one a remake of one of his Telugu films 'Gaayam' which had a script by Mani Ratnam and the other titled 'Rangeela'.
Following a strong recommendation from friend and colleague Mani Ratnam, Varma signed on Rahman for 'Rangeela'. Following this, directors from Bollywood clamoured to work with the 'whiz-kid' and Rahman also signed Bollywood movie mogul Subhash Ghai's Magnum Opus 'Shikhar' and noted art film director Govind Nihalani's 'Droh-kaal'. But 'Shikhar' was shelved and Rahman was forced to opt out of 'Droh-kaal' when he lost all his compositions for the movie owing to a computer system crash.
Rahman was very frustrated about not being able to work in 'Droh-kaal' and rued the loss of his compositions for the movie. He recounted later that it was one of the most unique experiences for him. The successful partnership that he had forged with his mentor went to new heights with the music of this film.
The music of 'Bombay' was one of the most awaited scores and was hailed as a classic. With this film, Rahman also formally took to playback singing. Rahman had lent his voice to his compositions earlier too but they had been part of the chorus or bit pieces like 'Marhaba' in 'Urvashi' in 'Kadhalan' or background pieces and interludes like 'Yelelo' in 'Chinna Chinna Aasai' in 'Roja'. But 'Hamma Hamma' in 'Bombay' was Rahman's first complete song.
With 'Humma Humma' Rahman came to be regarded as much a playback singer as a composer. It became an amusing and common sight at various award functions to see the comperes trying to cajole Rahman into singing on stage and Rahman coming up with hilarious excuses to avoid the same.
Rahman composed a haunting and surreal instrumental theme with a long and eerie flute prelude to capture the sombre mood of the film. The evocative, soul-stirring and sensitive theme music, with a remarkably outstanding flute interlude by his flautist Naveen, of 'Bombay' touched the hearts of many and was included by popular British-Indian Artiste Talvin Singh as a part of his album "Sounds from the Asian Underground' and aroused a great deal of curiosity in A.
Rahman's music among international music connoisseurs. A critic named Kingsley Marshall had this to say of the Bombay Theme - "Establishing itself through soundtracked strings, which sits menacingly in a cradle of drifting flute rises - epic horns introducing a full orchestral progression.
Although classical music is more than a little unusual in a compilation of dance music, the beauty of the piece warrants its inclusion - in a class above most of the material I've heard in the last couple of months with regards both production and arrangement.
Simply stunning. Till date 'Bombay' has sold close to 15 million units in all languages. Following closely on the heels of 'Humse Hai Muqabla' and 'Bombay', Rahman's first original score in Hindi, 'Rangeela' was awaited with great expectations.
Carrying the tremendous burden of the enormous expectations of the public once again, Rahman did not disappoint. With 'Rangeela' Rahman had successfully stormed the Bollywood bastion. Though Aamir Khan's performance in the film did help in sustaining the film at the box-office, it was Rahman's music that brought the crowds in droves to the theatres. Every song in the film became a phenomenal hit.
Crowds danced to the music in the theatres and forced the theatres into showing the songs again. People whistled in the theatres as his name appeared in the credits of the movie. He hogged equal space with the actors on the publicity material of the film. For the first time a music director was also considered as one of the 'stars' of the film.
The Tamil Nadu distributor of Rangeela, apprehensive about how Rangeela would perform there, since it was a Hindi film and none of the stars were particularly well known in that part of the country, took the advice of his brother-in-law, Ganshyam Hemdev, of Pyramid Music, and did away with the actors altogether from the posters and replaced them with a mugshot of Rahman with the catchline "The first original score of A.
Rahman in Hindi". And sure enough, crowds flocked to watch the movie like crazy and for the first time a Hindi film was a runaway success in Tamil Nadu. Late saw the release of 'Indira' directed by Suhasini Maniratnam where Rahman came up with a score with a rural touch.
Ripped To Shreds - Extreme Berserk - Extreme Berserk (Cassette) score met with lukewarm success with a couple of songs 'Thoda Thoda' and 'Nila Kaigiradhu' becoming popular. By the end ofRahman was the No.
Hailed by various critics as 'the true successor to R. Burman' and the 'Messiah of Music' he had endeared himself to the Bombay film crowd as well but Bollywood music directors were none too happy about his success. Not only were they now unable to rip off his tunes without a care but they had to compete with him on their own turf to boot. Rahman began to reportedly charge over 1 crore rupees 10 million per film, more than three times that of his nearest competitor.
But most producers were readily willing to shell out even that amount forcing him to further hike his fees as a deterrent and keep the producers at bay. The ones who could not sign up Rahman took someone else and asked him for a 'Rahman jaisa gaana' literally - Rahman type song - meaning a song in the style of Rahman's music.
He had become a national idol and cult figure. His style of music had become the rage of the day. Rahman's music also began to arouse interest internationally. Adulation that was reserved for the biggest of film stars was showered on him.
Moviegoers cheered wildly and threw money at the screen when his name appeared on the credits. Films that were sold on the strength of the stars in it or its directors now began to sell just on the strength of the name A. Rahman attached to it and attract fabulous initial responses when released. The music rights of the movie, till then just a nominal source of additional income for the producer, became a separate territory in its own right and commanded prices equivalent to the distribution rights.
Any Rahman sound track used to sell out within hours of its release. For the first time one could see crowds queuing up outside music stores on the morning of the release of any Rahman soundtrack. Crowds that used to leave the movie hall for a break during the songs stayed put firmly in their seats and took in every note of the songs in Rahman's films.
People came in to music stores and asked if there were any new releases by Rahman, instead of the practice of asking for a film by name or by a that of a starring popular actor.
But Rahman had a sound head on his shoulders and took none of this overwhelming acclaim to mind. He had his feet firmly planted to the ground and went about his work with the same devotion and dedication as before.
He did not give a dozen interviews a week and shoot his mouth off like most others did. In fact he became very elusive and remained as media-shy as ever. He rarely if ever met the media, going to great lengths to avoid them and would not even say more than a 'Thank You' at awards nites inspite of rpeated requests for rendering a song on stage. This earned him the nickname 'Artful Dodger'. He was also a very strong contender for the National Award. But according to Chetan Anand, the Chairman of the Jury for the National Awards for that year "Rahman's music in 'Kadhalan' had a great deal of variety which established the versatility of the composer Ripped To Shreds - Extreme Berserk - Extreme Berserk (Cassette) swung most members in the jury to his side, but since 'Kadhalan' was a typical masala movie, we thought it would send the wrong signals to film makers and decided against giving it the award".
End also saw the release of an album of his favourite lyricist, Vairamuthu's double album of poetry amp;'Thenvandhu Paayudhe' where he scored the background music for Vairamuthu's recitation. But the album remained very inconspicuous. Fresh from the success of his "Bandit Queen", director Shekhar Kapoor planned "Tararampampam" as a mega musical with 10 songs.
Rumours that Rahman himself would be producing the movie abounded. But Kapoor took for foreign shores leaving the movie unmade as yet. He also agreed to do a film in Hindi for his schoolmate turned director Shivendra Singh titled 'Waqia' and later a second film with him titled 'Ittefaq'. Rahman was to work with Gulzar on both the movies. Both the films never got made unfortunately.
Rahman's first score for Rajnikanth was released, with 'Muthu', in The score was awaited with high expectations and one witnessed serpentine queues outside music stores on the morning of the soundtrack's release and cassettes were even sold at a premium. Though the music did very well it was criticised for not suiting Rajnikanth's superstar image. The song 'Thillana Thillana' became a chartbuster. He also did 'Lovebirds' the same year where he sang a song with the international Bhangra-Rap star Apache Indian.
His music also received international recognition when his tracks were used on the BBC Clothes Show and other international fashion shows. Rahman accepted the offer but later backed out for unspecified reasons with some sources saying that he had quoted lack of sufficient time to do a befitting job.
He accepted only the latter. He later said in an interview that much as he wanted to work with Mira Nair he turned down Kamasutra because he did not want to be known internationally as the 'Kamasutra Boy'. Reflecting on the runaway success of his rhythm based tunes, he says, " I had some golden rules when I started my first film, 'Roja'. These rules were - good lyrics, good thought, good melodies, good recording and good presentation.
But I think Gentleman was to break the rule completely because Shankar wanted commercial music for the film to break the monotony of the serious subject.
So we did it, and gave it full blast to them. Unfortunately the success of the rhythm-based compositions reached the masses much faster than normal 'Roja' type of music and the trend became an epidemic because it was easy and safe. I was pushed by producers to make similar kind of stuff. But rhythm-based compositions can be listened to only for a very short time, though we put in too much energy in polishing it.
But later, I realised that the golden rules were going out of my hand. I think we are back to normal. That year, on March 12, he got married to Saira Banu, sister-in-law of the Tamil actor Rahman and the daughter of a Madras based businessman. THE YEAR - Rahman's popularity touched such heights, that other composers began to cash in, rather innovatively, on his name rather than his music.
Many albums like 'Fantasy' and 'Beauty Palace' which actually had music composed by someone else but was falsely credited to Rahman were released in the market. Usually such albums had Rahman's photograph splashed across the album cover to draw the attention of buyers. And most people bought such albums without question if they saw the name A. Rahman on it. So much so, that the music company Magnasound re-released one of Rahman's first albums 'Set Me Free' under the title 'Shubhaa' without the consent of Rahman, which led to the souring of relations between the two.
But this time around, the spotlight was on Rahman and Shubha was relegated to the background. Magnasound publicised the release as 'Rahman's first international English album'. Hoardings publicising the album sprung up overnight in major cities. Rahman was livid. Neither am I trying to hide my past," explained the music director.
But he wanted the public to know that 'Set Me Free' was a six-year-old album which was done as an experimental venture with singer Shubhaa. Magnasound, he said, was wrong in trying to pass it off as a brand-new album.
And today A. Rahman's name is an instant guarantee to success. So, what is wrong in exploiting that? That summed up the brand equity of the name 'A. Relatively, proved to be a listless year for Rahman, career wise.
He had only four major releases, 'Indian', 'Lovebirds', 'Mr. Romeo', and 'Kadhal Desam' along with Bharathiraaja's extremely low-profile 'Anthimantharai'.
Though the music of both the filmsIndian and Kadhal Desam did very well they did not take him to any newer heights on counts of both creativity and success. In 'Kadhal Desam', his second film with Kadhir, he went the whole hog and sang 3 of the 6 songs with 'Musthafa Musthafa' becoming extremely popular.
With 'Musthafa Musthafa', Rahman arrived as a singer. Romeo' and 'Lovebirds', both starring Prabhudeva. His background score for Deepa Mehta's 'Fire', where some enchanting new compositions were embellished with snatches from his score for 'Bombay', was internationally appreciated.
But the soundtrack of 'Fire' was not released in India and was available only through mail order from a German company. This denied the score not just public acclaim but also prevented the masses from listening to one of Rahman's best soundtracks. That year, he was offered a very prestigious multilingual project, 'Kaalapani' by director Priyadarshan with whom he was already working on 'Kabhi Na Kabhi'. But, reportedly on the request of lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar who had scripted 'Kabhi Na Kabhi' that he concentrate on any one of Priyadarshan's films he opted out of 'Kaalapani'.
Following the failure of his 'Trimurti', Subhash Ghai decided to put 'Shikhar' on hold and make a relatively low-budget film called 'Pardes' and he asked Rahman to handle the score. But Rahman's response as he recounted later was "At that time I was extremely busy with films. I told him that if I had to work with him I had to give him priority and I if I gave him priority I wouldn't be able to do these films. So I said let me finish these and then we will work together.
He said alright and demanded full priority on the next film". And he later went on to do Ghai's 'Taal - The Beat of passion'. He also went on his first ever concert tour, to Malaysia, in October where he was greeted by hysterical crowds.
For this concert he specially composed a song 'Bosnia Oh Bosnia' since the concert was in aid of Bosnian War victims. This song was rendered by a chorus of 40 children accompanied by Rahman on the piano. The lyrics were in the local Bahasa-Malay language. The concert was a humongous success. It featured all the top singers from India including Hariharan, S.
Balasubramnaniam and others. For the first time Rahman sang in public when he rendered 'Musthafa Musthafa' at this concert. As always, he won numerous awards that year, the notable ones being two Filmfare Awards for 'Bombay' and 'Rangeela'. In end, Rahman went on a signing spree in Tamil films. He signed Kadhir's next film 'Kadhalar Dhinam'. He then signed his friends R. Sait and Anwar Ali's "Love Letter'. There was lot of speculation that Rahman was producing this film along with his friends.
But this turned out to be false. Unfortunately the film has remained unmade till date owing to a cash crunch. One very interesting incident that occurred that year, was at the annual Screen-Videocon Awards for cinematic excellence in Mumbai. Following the super success of 'Rangeela', everyone took it for granted that Rahman would win the award for Best Music. Even the organisers forced him to come all the way from Madras to Mumbai, saying that he had got the award and he had to receive it personally.
On the night of the Awards ceremony, everyone at the event and those watching the show live on T. Even the compere of the show Javed Jaffrey was taken aback and immediately rushed to Rahman in the audience and asked him for his reaction.
All that Rahman said was 'God is Great! Such is the humbleness of this man. He was said to be very slow and was accused of taking his own time in composing, something that reportedly forced Mani Ratnam to drop a song from 'Bombay' to release the already delayed film on time. Rumours were rife that Mani Ratnam had dropped him from his next project for this reason but they were proved to be unfounded.
But Rahman made no bones about it and said that he was no machine that could churn out scores on an assembly line endlessly and admitted that he did take his time over his scores. He added that it was essential that he take his time in order to do a quality job and made clear the same to his directors before taking up the assignment.
I'm not lazy. I need time to get involved so that something undefined comes naturally to help the movie. I can't do it in a week - all I had for Karuthamma. Due to the lack of time in completing scores Rahman began to serve up his lesser known earlier compositions in new avatars. This dubious practice earned Rahman a lot of criticism but he didn't seem to care.
This feature would become a hallmark in many of his future scores. But he would top himself when he would go on to reuse not one but two songs for 'Pukar'. Another charge against him was that his music was getting repetitive. Initially Rahman countered it saying that it was his individualistic brand of music and therefore might sound that way but later he brushed away the oft-repeated allegation saying "hellip; the accusation is getting repetitive.
You call it predictable, I term it as my style. They are ways of looking at it. If you call my style predictable, that means you have understood Rahman has been dealing with a particular brand of music alone.
Once you hear the music, you know it is has been composed by Rahman. That is what I am all about. That is my identity; that is the identity of my music.
Its a no-win situation for me. Left to myself I would like to be adventurous and try out styles I haven't tried before. When told that that many are of the opinion that he has given a new dimension to music he responds by saying that many also feel that he is lousy.
The Moon On Christmas Eve - Sarah Jane Morris - Angels At Christmas (CD), Down On The Street 2001 (Wackside Radio Edit) - Various - Clubtraxx Volume 5 (CD), Come Into My Arms Again - The Vogues - Turn Around, Look At Me (4-Track Cartridge, Album), Symphaty For The Devil - The Rolling Stones - The Best Giga Collection (CD), For All This - Holly Golightly - Painted On (CD, Album), Red - Morgaua Quartet - Atom Heart Mother Is On The Edge (CD), Technology And Time - Deborah Mollison - Earth Story (Music From The BBC TV Series) (CD, Album), Limousine (10) - Limousine (Vinyl, LP), The Terry Theme - Los Indios Tabajaras - Play Favorite Movie Themes (Vinyl, LP), Ma Semaine - Lady Laistee - Second Souffle (CD, Album), Portobello Road - Various - Bedknobs And Broomsticks (Vinyl, LP), Vainglorious - Heart - Jupiters Darling (CD, Album), Sunshine In The Rain (Sol Brothers Mix) - Richard Anthony Davis - Sunshine & The Rain (The Mixes, Rave At School - Matt Minimal - Child (File, MP3, Album)