Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Name Is Love...

My Name Is Keith Giles

Last night I was treated to a wonderful gift from my friend Jarred Rowland who invited me to join him and a friend as they went to see a live, solo performance by Rob Dickinson.

Rob Dickinson is the former lead vocalist for a band that should have been huge but never quite caught on here in America called "The Catherine Wheel". Rob has now put out a solo record called "Fresh Wine For The Horses" with a killer single called "My Name Is Love".

Anyway, on the ride out to Hollywood to see the show, Jarred and his friend Brett (also a huge Catherine Wheel fan), and I talked about culture, about the Church, about serving the homeless, about living the Gospel, etc. It was exhilerating. I always love talking with Jarred about this sort of stuff. He's got a brilliant mind for these things and a genuine heart for people that I wish I had when I was his age. (He's just 21, I'm nearly month..)

Jarred shared an idea with us that I won't mention in detail here (unless he gives me permission to later on), but it was one of those ideas that could make the network news if he can pull it off. Basically it would bring the conversation about what it means to be a follower of Jesus to the top of the network news broadcast and the topic of every water cooler conversation at your work. I would love to see it succeed, if just for the opportunity to bring this conversation between the Church, the media and political activists into being.

At any rate, after fighting traffic and getting turned around (twice) we finally found the Hotel Cafe off of Sunset blvd and walked into the tiny club, just about ten minutes before Rob hit the stage.

Jarred paid my way in, (the whole trip was his gift to me), and the three of us fumbled our way in the dark towards the bar, and the bathroom (which smelled like a nursing home).

After Jarred and Brett got a drink (I stayed clean and sober), we walked towards the tiny, intimate stage in time for the opening acts final song. In a moment, Rob Dickinson took the stage.

He was phenomenal. He wowed the audience with his clear, emotive vocals and an acoustic guitar. The gorgeous power of his voice is found in the tension between one note and the opening syllable of the next. His command of the audience, and the dynamic range of emotion within the chords, was mesmerizing and beautiful.

I was struck by the simple power of music. He played several new songs off his solo record (which I've never heard) but the assemblage of chords played on his guitar alone was music enough to evoke a pervasive, resonate, air of wistful abandon. It was truly a remarkable experience being in the same room with this artist, listening to his soul screaming out, whispering pain, soaring over the top of our heads and into the night.

He played "Crank" off of the CW Cd "Chrome" (my favorite), and a brand new song ("still newborn") about the end of the world that left the audience in appreciative awe.

The highlight of the evening was when Rob played his song, "My Name Is Love" which lyrically is one of the best things he's ever written.

After the show we drove home and talked about the power of music, about how great talent, fused with humility and confidence, can make any performance amazing. Whether you hit every note or not, the sincerity of true art is undeniable.

I came home at about 11:30pm. My family was sleeping quietly when I walked into the house but I wasn't sleepy. I poured myself a ginger ale and went into our den and sat down on the floor next to the fireplace. I pulled out my old guitar and started strumming it. I accidently found a few new chords and just sat silently strumming the chords, stringing them together and feeling more than thinking about the day, the evening, my friends, my family, how I'm so loved, and how blessed my life really is.

After playing a few worship songs, playing with a few songs I'm writing and going back to those first experimental chords, I put down the guitar and just sat quietly in my den for about twenty minutes. I had no words for my feelings. I still can't quite describe it. It was like peace, but peace feels heavy somehow and this was much lighter. It wasn't melancholy because there was no trace of sadness in the moment, only freedom, joy tempered with acceptance and contentment.

I thought about several issues in my life now which had earlier been causing me sadness and frustration. As I mentally cycled through the various problems and challenges in my life right now, I had no anxiety about any of them. I felt a simple contentment about my life in every way.

I felt like God had given me a gift, through music, through my friend Jarred, even through an admitted pagan like Rob Dickinson and his songs of yearning and hope.

"My name is love I can't be"


1 comment:

davidcwelker said...


i think i was looking up some stuff re:david ruis when i came across your blog. great site. i'm an outreach pastor at a vineyard in cleveland. that allows me to serve others (particularly economically oppressed folks) in cleveland as well as other places in the world in short term mission trips. i have it in my heart to church plant someday and i love what i read on your site about that. i will have to spend more time checking out the links on your blog. coincidentally, i do enjoy rob dickinson. i saw him several months back at a club, opening up for a band called "the church" (no relation). even more coincidentally, your name sounds very familiar... did you work for a record dist company, back in the mid-90's ? seems i can remember ordering some progressive christian music from a keith giles for a book/record store for the church i was in at the time.
anyway, God bless you. again, very cool blog.