I'm late to the party - I just discovered Mumford & Sons. Okay, I vaguely knew about them but just bought the album (a $5 well spent). I'm 2 days into it so here are some raw quick thoughts.
Some quick thoughts:
1. Moving music moves every man.
I had this playing in the background at work when one of our assembly guys came in. Tommy is a "salt of the earth" kind of guy. I've seen him bring people to tears with heartfelt actions and then bring tears with terrible gas. Tommy lived the hard life for a while and is now doing what he can to get bye and have laughs along the way.
Tommy comes in with a question regarding a drawing and simply says "Mumford & Sons". I thought it was a question regarding a youtube video title but he was identifying the music. It is the first time anyone has known any of my work background music short of a briefly playing "Don't Worry Be Happy".
I had it playing while driving to an ultimate frisbee game. I was giving a fellow player a ride and I've tried many times to strike up a conversation and nothing has stuck yet. He pounced on M&S which he first heard 3 years ago (again I'm late to the party).
2. Music can tell the truth with out being "christian" and "christian music" doesn't always tell the truth.
On first listen I was wrapped up in the level of emotion that was being drawn out of me. I listened to this while driving and found myself speeding quite a bit. These songs are digging out some deeper thoughts and feelings that are true.
-the journey is part of the adventure.
-I screw things up and feel sad.
-the joy of a WAKE-UP moment.
I think they are tapping some deep truths in an honest way (not formula for radio play). It is their own songs that they want to play. They also aren't just dwelling angst or brooding, it has some element that seems to say "get moving and fix it".
3. My music snobbery would likely have robbed me of this.
Confession - I am a music snob. I don't want to be, but I am. I am getting better. Something in me rises up and wants to hate popular music. I generally don't join the bandwagon, I throw rocks at it. I've gotten better in that I no longer cast stones or dispersions at it. I do ignore it though. Had I known they played at the Grammies I may have skipped out.
There is something about earning your credibility as a fan of anything. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a great crowd this year now that they are winning. The true fans (the people that love the team) were with them through the years (decades) in the basement and know the joy of being in the glory after dwelling in the dark. I am more ambivalent as a baseball fan and am happy for the die-hard fans and the new fans.
In highschool a close friend was working at the mall and I ran an errand for him of going to a t-shirt shop and getting a Nirvana shirt. Adam had credibility as a Nirvana fan, he just wanted another shirt. I enjoyed them vicariously through him but I had my own bands to follow. Some typical teenage lads were hanging out and started heckling me as a bandwagon jumper since Nirvana had recently caught some popularity. I can still hear them saying "Oh, maybe you should get a Pearl Jam shirt too!". Pearl Jam was long considered, rightly or wrongly, as the music industry's formula push into the grunge genre. I remember making the same jokes about Pearl Jam. Bandwagons and credibility.
Oddly I will gladly help people hop onto any bandwagon when I have credibility. I have long been an Andrew Peterson fan; I rejoice for any new fans.
I don't know if I have some desire to not follow the crowd, to find my own thing, to be the first (or an early) discoverer. Sports (playing), books, music, tv-shows - I seem to innately migrate towards a niche which isn't the popular crowd.
Somewhere I started learning the lesson, and I still continue to learn, that I can passionately enjoy what I enjoy and let others do the same without casting the stones. Maybe I'm older and just don't care, maybe I'm maturing. Nah, Pearl Jam still sucks.