Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Way to Heaven"

According to polls a surprising number of people believe there is more than one way to Heaven. Even more surprising is that some of our modern day Christian churches are not confronting this issue.

The only reliable information concerning the "way to Heaven" can be found in God's written word, not in the opinions of men. We must rely only upon His way. "The Way" was a designation for early Christians. It was "The Way to Heaven" then, and is "The Way to Heaven" now.

Christianity itself rests upon a "plan of salvation," so easy that even a child can understand. This perfect plan must be maintained, else those who follow the wrong teachings will spend eternity in Hell.

God's written word say's the way to Heaven is through what Jesus did on the cross.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Metallica Sparks

Metallica was easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the '80s. Responsible for bringing the genre back to Earth, the bandmates looked and talked like they were from the street, shunning the usual rockstar games of metal musicians during the early '80s. Metallica also expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions. The release of 1983's Kill 'Em All marked the beginning of the legitimization of heavy metal's underground, bringing new complexity and depth to thrash metal. With each album, the band's playing and writing improved; James Hetfield developed a signature rhythm playing that matched his growl, while lead guitarist Kirk Hammett became one of the most copied guitarists in metal. To complete the package, Lars Ulrich's thunderous (yet complex) drumming clicked in perfectly with Cliff Burton's innovative bass playing.

After releasing their masterpiece Master of Puppets in 1986, tragedy struck the band when their tour bus crashed while traveling in Sweden. Burton died in the accident. When the band decided to continue, Jason Newsted was chosen to replace Burton; two years later, the band released the conceptually ambitious ...And Justice for All, which hit the Top Ten without any radio play and very little support from MTV. But Metallica completely crossed over into the mainstream with 1991's Metallica, a self-titled effort that found the band trading in their long compositions for more concise song structures. Peppered with hits like "Wherever I May Roam" and "Enter Sandman", it resulted in a number one album that sold over seven million copies in the U.S. alone. To support the record, Metallica launched a long tour that kept the musicians on the road for nearly two years.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Sheet Music Saves Lives!

Okay, maybe not literally; but consider the following. No serious musician would want to admit that he couldn't just play Happy Birthday off the top of his head; but suffice it to say, that has been known to happen. Even a three chord song can thwart you if it catches you off guard; and if you've ever had to pick up the devastated heap of a musician wrecked by the inability to anticipate that pesky seventh on the first chord of the third phrase (What the heck is that, anyway? A secondary dominant? Short little "easy" songs aren't supposed to have those!), then you might want to invest in some Happy Birthday sheet music. Think of it as an insurance policy.

For the player of any skill level who doesn't hold himself to that level of expectation for memorization or picking up a song by ear, Happy Birthday sheet music can also be quite helpful. It isn't just pianists who might want to accompany a group rendition of the song, but rather anyone on any instrument might want to play along, or perform alone. You are likely to be able to find versions of Happy Birthday for any instrument from alto sax to tuba, and in many cases, duets with piano accompaniment as well.

You may be able to find some really fun digital sheet music arrangements of Happy Birthday. While some will be the bare bones chords and melody so that anyone can easily sight-read, other arrangements can be quirky, jazzy, or in a classical or pop idiom. You haven't explored the full potential of Happy Birthday until you've browsed some of the versions that you can find online.