Ok I hope to finally finish this series today...there have been some seriously bloggable topics in the last few months but I knew I needed to finish this series before moving on...can't leave anything unfinished. With the more recent albums of Jars, I still have loved the music, but more so have enjoyed the way they continue to provide a soundtrack to my life.
In 2005, Jars of Clay released Redemption Songs, an album of old hymns redone in Jars of Clay style. Beautiful. Obviously, the lyrics can't be credited to Jars, but the combination of their excellent musicianship and this treasure trove of beautiful lyrics reflecting on the Savior made for a pretty incredible album. There wasn't anything in particular about 2005 that made this album matter to me; the songs were just a sweet return to basic truths about God and what He has accomplished. One of my favorite memories of this album is listening to it over and over last spring when my Romanian friend Vasi came to visit. We drove to Sedona, Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon and back, singing sweet truths about our God all the way.
I wasn't a very good fan for a couple years - didn't really keep track of what the band was up to at all. In September 2006, I was driving to New York from Phoenix to start my internship. My dad was with me, and we heard a song on the radio that sounded to me like Jars of Clay but wasn't one I knew. Sure enough, the dj announced that it was a song from their new album, Good Monsters, which was released in stores that day. So my best memories of this album are the ones of trying to find it! Here we are, traveling across the US, and I decided that it was pretty important that I get my hands on this cd. My dad was really great about it - he made it his goal as much as mine, and we would choose cities to pull off in that seemed like they might have a decent music store close to the highway. I forget what city or even what state we finally found it in, but the search was half the fun. And then I was able to listen to this cd during the rest of that long journey and during the difficult months that lay ahead.
Christmas Songs, released in 2007, is not my favorite Jars cd or my favorite Christmas cd - I was a little disappointed at the number of secular songs on what I hoped would be a cd that would bring me to worship during the Christmas season. Still a good cd, though - and I was glad they finally did a Christmas one.
And finally, Long Fall Back to Earth. Just came out in April and I was ready for it. Not ready enough, though, to preorder the cd. I just figured that that morning I would go buy it at a store. I made some sad assumptions though. Apparently it's 2009, and apparently that means that you're primarily encouraged to buy music from iTunes or from amazon. I called around a few actual physical stores that morning with no luck. Finally, I found it at a Best Buy near where I was working that day. I overestimated how long I would be in the store, so once I came out with cd in hand, I sat in the parking lot listening. Then I got to the house of my next kiddo, and sat there listening to it for awhile, foolishly with the ignition off. And then....my battery died. The battery in my 2007, fully maintained, reliable Honda Civic died. Still don't know exactly how this happened, because the Honda guy and my dad both said that just listening to music without the car on for the limited time that I did shouldn't have caused a battery to just die. Honda checked everything out and ran a full test on the battery and the system and all and nothing really explained it. Because they took care of it for free, and because my dad was around to bail me out, and because I didn't even have to miss a session for it, I was able to laugh about the whole thing. Even if it didn't make sense, it seemed my Jars obsession had almost cost me a car battery.
Ok, that concludes my Jars of Clay series...even though I didn't even include lyrics in this part...anyway, from here on out, hopefully I'll blog more often than once every nine weeks...