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Remembering Kurt Cobain and Nirvana

20 years ago this week Kurt Cobain passed away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I remember the day I found out, after they found his body (April 8, 1994). It was a sunny day my freshman year of high school, and I was riding home on the school bus. I knew who Kurt was and I liked some of Nirvana’s songs, but I hadn’t dove deep into their music yet. Still, I felt sad. He was so young, 27 years old, the same age as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison when they died. All three were big musical influences in my household at the time, especially Hendrix and the Doors. As a young teenager, I thought it was a sign that he died at the same age, and he must be as influential and talented as those other musicians now long gone. That same summer my brother, Gregory, graduated from high school and I remember Nevermind playing at his party. I was slowly but surely leaning into this music I hadn't heard much of before and was enjoying it. That I would latch onto rock music shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone who knows me.

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A Vocal Celebration of Eddie Vedder

Happy 49th birthday to Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam. I'm a little obsessed so I thought I would celebrate today by describing some of my favorite vocal performances by this talented man. Thank you all for indulging me, and thank you, Eddie, for being born and allowing me the pleasure of enjoying your beautiful voice.

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Don't give up on your dreams

Last night, I had yet another “I met Eddie Vedder” dream. It was weird, like reality within a dream. I kept trying to prove how I wasn’t dreaming, and I actually had met Eddie Vedder. In the dream, I shook his hand, said thank you for the music, told him how Pearl Jam helped me meet my husband, and how, to me, “Given to Fly,” was a spiritual song. 

When I woke up this morning, with the dream pretty much forgotten, I skimmed a few blog posts. They started getting me thinking about why I want to write and what I’m working towards with my life. (Stick with me here, I’m going to try and connect this all…)

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Holding Rock and Roll

Once upon a time, we held the rock and roll experience in our hands.  

Remember album art work and liner notes? The "new music" experience for six decades included opening the package, absorbing the artwork, reading the lyrics (if they were included), and eventually listening to the music so much you scratched the vinyl/CD or warped the tape (never had eight tracks so can't speak to their durability).  

Our ability to literally feel the music is being lost in the internet age. Buying and listening to an album on iTunes, and staring at information on a screen, no matter how interesting, just isn't the same as buying an LP, tape or CD.  Technology is supposed to make things efficient but instead it has wound up stifling the music-listening experience. 

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Jesus Christ, Eddie Vedder and Jeff Winger walk into a bar…

What do Pearl Jam, NBC’s “Community” and Jesus Christ have in common, besides the fact that I am obsessed with them? They each have loyal followings, and people willing to go to the ends of the earth (sort of…) to be part of their movements.  

Pearl Jam fans travel around the world to hear their favorite band with the hope that maybe, just maybe, they will play a rare song. 

Community fans bog down Twitter every Thursday night -Friday night for half a season- with quotes like #sixseasonsandamovie, and pleas for their family and friends to tune in.  Many also travel to Comic-Con every year with the hope that “Troy” and “Abed” will do their secret handshake.  

For 2,000 years, Christians have traveled thousands of miles to share the good news of the Gospel to anyone willing (or not willing) to listen. Now we have hundreds of millions of Christians spanning every continent.

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