It turns out that Hillsong United has 6 CDs. I have 4. For the first 3 albums, they went under the name "United Live" and then the last three as Hillsong United. The first 3 each have a header of "Hillsong Music Australia". I guess they wanted to make sure people knew they were Hillsong.
Anyway, what struck me most about the six albums is that they progressively get better and better. It's not just that the style of music goes from modern worship to praise rock. At first, that's exactly what I thought they were doing -- just changing their music to cater more and more to the young people; reinventing themselves.
I suppose it is a little bit of both. The first CD "Everyday" is mellow, almost like a more recently done Hillsong album. Compare that to the reaction of our english congregation to the youth leading worship with songs like One Way or All Day from Hillsong's 5th album "More Than Life". It's like shell-shock.
But I guess what I'm trying to get at is that they get better. Musically, the guitarists, and the singers, get better.
Maybe this seems obvious to you, but to me it's a big surprise. I'm really curious about it, did they take lessons to get better? Or did it just take practice? Or maybe they listened to other music and tried to figure out how to do it themselves?
air filter guy
Every 6 months, a guy goes through the building replacing air filters for every unit. I remember this guy because last year when he came in he saw my electric guitar and told me about how he had started to take guitar lessons after going on a retreat with some of his buddies and one guy was just a wizard on the guitar.
Anyway, a follow-up, he was making his rounds again this weekend so I talked to him again about it. He'd made large strides since we last spoke. He now owned two electric guitars and was planning to buy an electric acoustic -- but his wife wouldn't let him. He was taking lessons still and was getting pretty good. For a minute there I dreamt that we'd just start jamming right there and then.
This guy had no musical background and had picked up basic guitar theory. That really impressed me. Also, he was at least 40 with two kids, and still found the time to persue his dream of guitar playing!
I guess next time I see him, I'll try to catch his name :P