“Emmanuel” Round Two

In 7th grade journalism I was taught that you never bury the lead. Our number one seed is gone, in only the second round.

(Bethany Bylsma is so going to yell at me. In all caps.)

Whitney. I’m just not sure where to begin. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s nothing you did wrong. You did it all. Hit every note, changed keys effortlessly like a boss, even a little jazz scat. Everything you did was perfect. And…everything you did pointed me to what you were doing. It’s an arrangement that just screamed, “Look at me! Look at what I am able to do!” That. So. Worked. For the national anthem; seriously, you were the best ever at that. But for “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”…and like I said, it’s not you, it’s me…for this song, I don’t want my attention on you. I want to be reminded of my own longing, that there’s nothing I can do on my own, that I have need, and that there is a promise that Emmanuel will come to meet it. While I loved what you did with the song, Whitney, I mean please: there’s nothing you need. You got it all. So I’m sorry, you’re the best, it’s not you. It’s just that I need something different for this song, and David Crowder Band came much closer.

The second matchup of the day went into overtime. In all seriousness. I listened to the Benedictines of Mary, enraptured again. I listened to The Civil Wars, and liked it even more than the first time. I couldn’t decide, and I had to literally play them both again. And then I had to figure out why this was so hard for me to decide.

I think it’s the tension between old familiar love and the heat of a new crush. I have a crush on The Civil Wars. I’m captivated by the blend of their voices, the unique and shifting harmonies as they progress through the verses. They’ve got, to quote the great Ricky Bobby, “A tractor beam of hotness.” At this point in my life, though, I’m wise enough to know the blessedness of old familiar love. My heart is broken, but I choose steady love as the Benedictines advance. What I really wish is that at the very beginning I had just slid The Civil Wars down to the 6 seed, because then they would still be alive right now. Ah well.

Then came the Piano Guys. In the first round, I was just going for a little joke with the line about how the cello made the song and that seemed a little incongruous for a group called the Piano Guys. But today it was no joke. Seriously, it’s the cello alone that I like with this piece. I can’t stand that little constant rain-falling-down thing the piano does over and over again. And over and over and over and over again. The Punch Brothers just deepened even further on the second listen, and I absolutely love the musical movement and tension. The 3 seed is gone, and we’ve got an 11 seed in the semi finals with the Punch Brothers.

And in the final match of the day, Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Philharmonic vs. Pentatonix had an evenly matched, well played battle. The close win goes to Pentatonix. The Ormandy piece was a little bit like Whitney for me-beautiful, but just too focused on the high, straining violins. Too much wanting to move me. A bit too manipulative of my emotions. Frankly, it may be as simple as the fact that I think this song calls out for the lower registers; it’s why I love the cello on the Piano Boys and Avi on Pentatonix.

So here’s the bracket after two rounds:

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 12.20.51 AM


Which means, dear readers, that I humbly ask you again to vote in the semi-finals:

(Sorry to post so late-had a great night with friends.)

5 thoughts on ““Emmanuel” Round Two

  1. REST IN PRACE WHITNEY. YOU, ALL THE OTHERS WHO SIMPLY USED THE TALENTS GOD GAVE YOU. DONT WORRY ABOUT GREGG… His mansion will be far away from yours. At least down the street. Apparently, listen for acappella. And David crowder. It’s ok if you need to roll over in your grave. It’s advent. We’re prepared to wait. Take all the time you need.


  2. Pingback: Advent Madness 2015 | Gregg Koskela

  3. Pingback: 2016 Advent Caroling Madness! | Gregg Koskela

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