Monthly Archives: September 2014

There Is Good In Things

Today it just seems like we’re being bombarded with bad news. Usually I can handle it, but for some reason (hormones probably have something to do with it) everything is super depressing today and I’m sick of it. The problem isn’t that I don’t see good in the world and everything is doom and gloom. Actually, the problem is that I do see good in things, but it just seems so small and quiet compared to all the trouble the world has been dealing with lately.

There is love among family and friends and between people and God.

There is beauty in the way the trees change colors in autumn and in the sound of water and the smell of burning firewood.

There is joy in created things and in creating things.

There is joy in music and games and stories.

There is hope.

There is satisfaction in making things and owning things and finding things and learning things.

There is good in animal instinct.

There is good in laughter.

There is good in medicine.

There is good in the way humans want to keep on living.

It just seems like there is so much evil and darkness in the world, and I just want to keep the good alive.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

My Enemy

Last night we started dropping bombs on Syria.
Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others have joined us in the effort to destroy ISIS.
Civilians will die.
Civilians are dying.
Countless civilians have already died.
We will train “moderate rebels” to be our ground forces.
This will take a year.
What will happen in that time?
Who else will die?

Israel drops bombs on Palestine.
Palestine fights back.
We were born into this.
We have never seen the beginning of war.
It’s all we’ve ever known.

We watch it on TV, and change the channel
because we don’t want to see.
But it’s still there, somewhere.

Countless little countries whose names we’ll never know;
who we’ll never bother with because they’re not a trade partner
or a threat,
fight each other;
fight tyranny;
fight against themselves.

Here in America it’s a constant game of checkers
with our present
and our past.

We pretend we’re sophisticated.
We pretend we’re above it.
We hold conventions
and make movies
and write stories,
But somewhere there’s a riot.
Somewhere there’s a protest gone wrong.

Somewhere a white man has killed a black boy.
Somewhere a mean man yells and beats his wife.
Somewhere a straight man breaks his brother’s heart.

And someone somewhere is alone.
In every high school it’s the same.
There are the ones who hate each other
and the ones who hate themselves.

There are those who feel alone
and those who are constantly told.
“Kids are cruel,” they sometimes say
and write it off.
They won’t read between the lines.

History is the great master of bitter irony.
It’s hard to deny that the nicest men,
the one’s who want the world at peace:
John Lennon
Martin Luther King Jr.
Christ,
are the first to die.

Someone once asked Jesus,
who is my neighbor?
who is my brother?

And Jesus told him.
Our brothers are the ones fighting far away.
Our brothers are the ones we’ll probably never see
and never agree with.
Our brothers are the ones who, like us,
need love.

But we fight in the name of God.
We fight about semantics.
We fight about technicalities.
It doesn’t make sense.

Forgive the people.
Don’t forgive the deeds.
People are wrong.
People are human.
It’s all a matter of degrees.

The Buddhists believe that one should never harm a living thing.
One should love the least of these.

But the rhetoric is wrong.
We say we have to fight for peace.
We talk about what it will take to destroy the enemy.
Destroy,
break down,
eradicate;
these are people we’re talking about,
and I have no enemy.

In The Audience And On Stage: How Does Live Music Relate To Worship?

Today I’m playing a little gig at our neighborhood block party. It should be quite fun because as far as I know, most of our neighbors downloaded my album, thanks to my mom. I find it awkward and funny and awesome all at the same time, but regardless, I’m going to play guitar today.

Last night my dad and I went to see Rend Collective. They’re a Christian band from Ireland, and they’re hysterically funny, talented, and otherwise awesome. My dad and I are concert buddies, and we were very overdue for some live music. The best part about it was that I was kind of in a foul mood before the show, but after it, I was happy as a fed guinea pig.

I was kind of thinking to myself that a rock concert isn’t exactly conducive to worship, but apparently it was without me explicitly knowing it. At one point the lead singer said something that I almost missed, but now I think I agree with it very much: he said Christians tend to think that spirituality has to be serious all of the time. The truth is that we’re supposed to celebrate and have fun. It’s sometimes hard for me to get past what I do wrong, and when I screw up, and I pray for forgiveness and I pray for him to fix me when I’m already forgiven.

I think this can be hard for a lot of people, including myself, because what we celebrate is, quite frankly, kind of confusing. When I really think about it, it actually pisses me off, what Jesus had to go through. I’m just going to go ahead and say that he was the nicest person ever to live. It’s pretty hard to argue with that. He was also the most innocent person ever to live, and he willingly went to a death he didn’t deserve. That confuses me and pisses me off.

What we’re supposed to celebrate is the freedom we now have and the salvation we have because of what he did, but there’s a bit of guilt that comes along with that. We’re not supposed to feel guilty, but a lot of times we do. It’s natural, and quite frankly, it’s annoying.

Last night I got an idea for a new song. Part of it was, despite the fact that the three bands who played last night were stylistically very different, they occasionally used some of the same motifs and metaphors in their lyrics. It’s a trap Christian bands often fall into. Rend Collective turned out to be a bit more creative, which I appreciated, but I decided that if I’m going to write a new worship song–which I am, it’s kind of what I do–I’m going to try and sneak away from convention. The idea for my new song is that the world is really loud and cluttered, and what seems to be missing is complete silence and complete darkness. I don’t know if I’ll even end up using these lines in my new song, or if they’ll be modified, but this is what I came up with last night. I think I like it.

I want to find the silence
I want to find the darkness
I want be where time Is endless
And there’s nothing between us
Nothing, nothing

I have a feeling the idea might end up getting muddled if I’m not careful, but then I’m the queen of convoluted. Very few of my songs are actually straight forward. Maybe it’s a problem, but I don’t think so. I decided something else last night as well. I decided that when I perform, I’m never going to explicitly try and make my shows into worship sessions, whether I’m playing at a college, or a bar or a church. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s hard because when you go to see a show, at least from my experience, you’re kind of going to see the band and freak out about how good their music is. Then again, I find that it’s sometimes easiest to worship when you’re with a whole bunch of people who are singing the same songs, maybe even harmonizing, and jumping around because, yes, the music is EPIC. In reality, whether it “works” or not is on us.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Reality Check

Yesterday was fun. It was my big album release day: my moment in the spotlight. Yesterday I got a whole bunch of people to go and buy something that I created; something I’m proud of. I got all kinds of attention, congratulations, and praise about how good my music is. Yesterday I felt like a goddess.

But I’m not a rock star, and I know I need to stay humble. I look at what I’ve done and I think “how did I get here?” The truth is, that I’ve learned a whole lot through this process. I had no idea what I was doing when I finished recording and mixing this thing in the studio, and I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing to a degree. It’s great to know that people like my music, but I’ve had to learn and improvise my way here.

I spent a large part of yesterday checking Facebook, updating Twitter, working on getting one of my songs on Pandora, and checking to see how many views I’ve got on YouTube. I got a little obsessed with seeing how many people paid attention to me when I should have been doing homework.

Last night I told my Dad that I don’t want to be a student anymore. Honestly, that really is true, but for now I need to suck it up and finish my last year of college. I am still a student. I am still a quirky, awkward kid living in a boring suburban town. I still have no idea what the “real world” is like, and I’m still just trying to figure out how to make an actual living off this music thing.

I have to remember where it started and where I want it to go. Ultimately, I have two goals for my music. I want it to glorify God, and I want to be able to use it to help people and maybe make the world a little bit of a better place. Maybe that just means making music that makes people happy. I think those are pretty big goals, actually, but I’m also very optimistic. I just can’t get ahead of myself, and I can’t get impatient. I’m already realizing that impatience can be a big problem.

Thanks for reading and listening.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Release

Hey everyone!

I have one more super exciting, musical thing to tell you!

First of all, I want to thank those of you who checked out my YouTube videos. However, that was just a taste of my sneaky shenanigans of doing!

And yes, my grammar commits suicide when I’m excited.

ANYWAY… as of late last night, or early this morning, my album is available on iTunes to purchase. I’m actually a little annoyed with myself, but all day I’ve been shamelessly antagonizing the masses to go and get it. However, I would really appreciate it if you guys would at least go check out the demos. You can easily find it on iTunes just by searching “Replace These Empty Spaces,” or “Katie Rose Curtis,” but here’s a link anyway.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/one/id919649617?i=919649629&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

There will also be a “stage two” of my release since it’s only available for digital download right now. However, this will be happening in the spring or summer since I’m currently very busy with school.

I just want to thank you all again for taking an interest in my blog and my music. It really means a lot.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Good In Things, Lyric Video

Here is another lyric video from my album. Please “like” and “share.”

This song came about almost as the result of a good mood. I had got a good night’s sleep, and it was nice outside; warm and sunny. As I was getting in the car to head to school, I thought “there is good in things.” It was an involuntary thought, so of course I had to analyze it.

A few months later I had the chorus of this song:

I will sing
Hallelujah
‘Cause there is good in things
And I believe it
I can see that it’s true
And it’s beautiful.

It means that the world itself is innately good because it was created by a God who is innately good.

However, it took me a long time to figure out the material for the verses. Honestly, it’s still hard to explain exactly where it came from.

Anyway, enjoy!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

One, Lyric Video

Well, it’s official! I finally have copyright of all my music. As a result of that, I’ve been busy. Here is a lyric video I made of my song, “One.” This song and its message are super important to me, so it would be really great if you guys could share it after you’ve checked it out. If anything, I’d really like this song to “get out there” and reach some people.

Thanks so much for listening!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

The List

Things I want to do:

Get married
Get payed for playing music
Travel (everywhere if possible)
Be philanthropic
Change the world (on a small scale would suffice)
Own at least one pet (this will be happening soon)
Pay rent
Buy groceries
Start over at something
Start something new
Go skydiving
Sit at the top of a mountain
Burn the ships
Get utterly and completely lost and then find my way back
Be an aunt
Read lots of books (working on this one)
Live a century
Be happy (in progress)

It isn’t exactly a bucket list, but in some ways it is.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!