This weekend was an interesting musical endeavor. My friend Adam (pictured below) was in town touring with his band Remembrance, metal in nature and lyrically focused on a Christ like life. The band was playing at Cornerstone California, which is the newest off shot of Cornerstone festival that started in Illinois. I had interesting emotions coming and being at this show. I hold many healthy growth experiences to my treks to Cornerstone and hold them fondly in my memory. I was happy that these guys could play at something that has given a lot of hardcore and metal bands a platform to play and get their careers started.One of my favies is Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. They threw a whole box of t-shirts to the crowd. They made me laugh with their funny antics and pride seemed far from their attitude on stage. Musically I was excited to go back a few years and be around metal and hardcore, something I have not been around since I moved to Pasadena. I loved being around the music, I even got a couple of albums to play, usually when I paint, or being creative.
Going to this festival was not cheap and the atmosphere is always interesting when you mix one part Christian subculture, one part hardcore, and one part consumerism. I think what you get is a mess of people attempting and striving to be like Jesus but not knowing how to do it when we have an old religion mixing with a new way of seeking and experiencing spirituality and Christianity. The fest was $40, parking another $5. Water was something that was expensive, and merch was two rows in a large tent selling everything from art, to hoodies with Jesus is my Savior/Music is my Life, and pamphlets to give money to help kids in Africa. To participate in the festival is just to be a passive observer or throwing down in the mosh pit. There was a guy playing some sort of music infusing rock with jam beats, he commented about how uncool he felt often times for playing music that had Christian undertones and what it meant to follow whole heartedly to follow that Christ guy.
The next day I found myself attending another Festival, this time it was Swerve Fest that celebrated film, music, and action sports. It was an interesting concept and took place over the weekend at an art park in Los Feliz (those who are not familiar with the area, it is a small creative town north of downtown LA) It was very interesting to contrast the two fests as this one offered creativity and was FREE. It was free to attend the shows, though you had to pay a small fee to see the films. Parking was FREE, it is NEVER free in this town and especially when it is a chance for someone to get money. The food was not free but Fuel TV was giving away a lot of prizes for participating in silly games or recycling your trash. The prizes were not high fives or candy but passes to movies or even an XBox. Kids could design their own skate deck, Ready Made magazine was offering a subscription to their magazine for $5.
The atmosphere was calm, people sitting and calmly listening to music about riding bicycles and seeing life through rose colored glasses. There were people picnicking and enjoying their Sunday afternoon on a hill over looking the city. Devotchka played a beautiful set. If you are not familiar with them watch Little Miss Sunshine. There music was the main soundtrack to the film. I loved it because it seemed so beautiful and so simple, yet for a four-piece there was a lot going on. I also was told that Jesus Saved (St. Vincent has a t-shirt that says St. Vincent says JESUS SAVES and in tiny letters and I Pay) and that I was told threw another T-shirt that we need to Stop Genocide.
What are the differences between the two. Sometimes I wonder if the pictures in the Highlights magazines I read as a kid is a good indicator of this test. What is the same and what is different in these two pictures? I was given an assignment in class last week that asked us to compare a Psalm with an Egyptian Hymn to the Sun God. There were a lot of similarities. Where were people being served and loved, whose gifts were being highlighted, whose talents were being rewarded. I don't know about you but the edge to create and helping to provide a space to create is something I lean more towards. I don't think there is a limit or a boundary to love and there certainly can't be when it comes to art.