We had another great LifePoint Cafe last night with two local artists — Michael Tiernan and Nathan Welden. One of the key values at LifePoint is that we want to actively support the local arts scene. We believe God is a creative God and that the church should look for ways of encouraging the arts.
For too long, there has been an antagonistic relationship between the “church” and the arts. There was a sense that art was too emotional or expressive or even human. Rather than embracing the arts as a way of communicating truth, the church resisted the arts. In some cases, churches even eliminated the arts altogether. At LifePoint, we want to build a bridge between our community of faith and the arts community.
Now … on to local music. One of my favorite things to do is hit the open mic circuit. Why? Because it’s a garden-style variety of music and musicians. You have people playing out for the first time alongside old guys with no thought of “making it big.” You also have musicians who ought to make it big.
The level of talent is strong in San Diego. There are phenomenal guitar players, great writers, talented vocalists. Many of them have strong spiritual underpinnings though their music wouldn’t be classified as “Christian” by them or anyone else. And that’s OK. I would much rather have good music with a strong positive theme than shabby music about cutting off your sister’s big toe (I admit that’s a bit drastic and was totally made up — but there probably is a song out there about cutting off your sister’s big toe).*
If I started to list all the artists I’ve heard and been impressed with, I would definitely overlook some who deserved to be mentioned.
Why should we support the local music scene? For one, it’s good. For another, it’s often free! I also feel like it’s similar to supporting an up-and-coming athlete and providing valuable encouragement. The level of contact and friendship you have with a local musician is unlike anything that’s possible when they do make it big.
And you can look back and tell your children … I knew that guy when he was playing at Twiggs for free!
* Note: There is a Steve Poltz about cutting off big toes but the toe cutter is a Hitchhiker Joe and he cuts off your big toe, not your sister’s big toe.