So, I meant to write about this right away, and already everything I was thinking about this whole movie is kind of fading. Peter did a good job of saying why it was good, and important.
I remember when we saw Danielson at a music festival in 1999, everybody told me what to expect. "It's crazy, just wait, it's going to be crazy!" I had already heard of Danielson because dear Wendy, my old housemate, put a Danielson song on a mix tape for me in high school. (The same mix tape that introduced me to The Smiths.) I think it was called "Flesh Thang" and even though Daniel Smith has a crazy voice, I liked it. It was silly sounding and fun, and as a senior at a Christian high school, I wasn't very impressed that Danielson Famile sang about Jesus. Didn't everyone?
Then, at this festival, we saw them in all their glory: nurses uniforms, motions and all. It was crazy and fun, and again, I wasn't very impressed that they sang about Jesus. Big deal. People asked me all weekend if I was in Danielson. (Redhead stereotyping of a kind: She has red hair. That weird band had chicks with red hair in it. Ask that girl if she is in that band.) I talked to one of the brothers Danielson for a little bit after that show.
A couple years ago we saw Low and Danielson was opening for them. It was a wholly different experience to see them play a bar, with a crowd who did not know what to do with the yips and hoots and the clapping and the spiritual lingo. I enjoyed it, but I didn't know enough to be impressed that night.
Then, we watched a movie about the "Christian" music industry and Daniel Smith gave some interviews for it. I realized how much more there was to that guy. He was very serious, and very honest. That was impressive. He gave a smart, cool answer to the ridiculousness that was Christian Music. He was embarrassed of the same things I was embarrassed of. He thought the same things were problematic about having such a genre at all.
Which finally brings us to "Danielson, A Family Movie or Make a Joyful Noise HERE."
I was totally impressed. They are unapologetic, they are artistically daring, they all really love God and are completely unashamed to proclaim it. I was most struck when I watched them all sing with such GLADNESS, such real joy and feeling "I love you Lord, I love you Lord, I love you Lord, I love you Lord" on stage at a bar in front of people who were mostly just staring at them bewildered. I thought "Wow, that is so gutsy." I wish I were so gutsy. I think I'd be afraid to do that.
I liked seeing Daniel and Sufjan's relationship develop and see how Sufjan's success was inconsequential to Daniel. He was soley interested in developing creatively, as led by God, and wasn't interested in success. I liked that Sufjan took some of Daniel's ideas and made them his own because Daniel's ideas were so clever. I wish all the Sufjan people knew that.
Anyway, a long post. Mostly to say I'm impressed by Daniel Smith and Danielson in general. Go to Gid's blog and watch the little videos.