You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2008.

Just wanted to warn you all that I’m transferring my site hosting to another service, so the MP3s will be unavailable for a few days.  Normal people would transfer their hosting and you’d never even realize an interruption in service.  I, however, am reaching my max bandwidth usage at my hosting provider, so I have to shut down the site for a few days so I don’t get charged insane fees.  So while I’m in the process of doing that, you can read posts and all, but MP3s won’t be available for download.

As soon as things get up and running again, I’ll let you know.

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I’m not sure if this is a hoax or not, but head over here to see a giant iPod on the surface of Australia, as seen from space.  You have to hit the zoom button once or twice (but not more) to see it.

Apparently, my hatred of iPods is doing nothing to slow their spread.

I posted yesterday about musical genius Don Chaffer.  Today, I thought it’d be fun to pass on to you some live recordings I’ve found of Waterdeep that show off Don’s skills.

I don’t remember where I found these, but there’s a zillion live recordings out there – I’m sure you can find your own easy enough.

All Along the Watchtower – DownloadStream
The Razor Light – DownloadStream

Note: all MP3s will be removed after one week.

I’m sure many of you have heard of Don Chaffer, but for those of you who haven’t, I hope you’ll read on and get hooked on one of the greatest musician story-tellers out there. Don is perhaps best known for his part, along with wife Lori Chaffer, in the awesome folksy, hippy, bluesy, jam band Waterdeep.

Waterdeep is great.  Lori’s incredibly unique yet powerful voice carries the group out of the realm of normalcy and into the legendary.  For years, I ignored Don’s additions to the group, focusing on how much I loved Lori’s voice, but after downloading some solo songs by Don, and listening to what he did on the Waterdeep albums, I’ve come to a renewed appreciation for his musical prowess.

(Side note: When you use words like “prowess,” it makes you sound smart.  If, however, you use words like “prowess” in sentences like “The tigress had great prowess” it makes you sound less smart and more like a chidren’s author.)

Enough of his prowess…  Don is a story-telling artist who’s medium happens to be music and tapestry happens to be your ears.  If you can’t appreciate his acoustic/folk/blues/funk style, I understand, but look beyond the style of music and watch an artist at work.

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Geology.  It was one of those subjects I hated in High School and will probably never really get.

It also happens to be the solo project of Greg Jehanian, the totally wickedly sweet bassist from mewithoutYou.  If you know me or have read much of this blog, you know that I consider mewithoutYou to be one of the few nearly-perfect bands out there.  I say that half-facetiously, but one of the main reasons I really dig mewithoutYou is Greg’s ability to craft powerful bass lines that can carry a song.  If you don’t get what I’m saying, just listen to “In a Sweater Poorly Knit” or “A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains” from their latest album Brother, Sister.  I could go on and on about how great his bass lines are, but I’ll try to contain myself.  If you’re into jazz, just think of him as a Louis Armstrong as opposed to a Dizzy Gillespie.  Dizzy may get more notes in, but Louis hits the few he hits at exactly the right time.

Anyway, Greg is awesome on bass, so it came as no surprise to me that his solo stuff was just as good.

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Here’s a site I found a while back and have made some use of.  Check out Free Albums Galore for a bazillion free albums.  They’ve got links to all sorts of music available for free download throughout the internet, from surf rock compilations to orchestral arrangements to bluegrass albums to Arabic bellydancing, you’ll probably be able to find something you like here.

Or maybe you don’t.

We’ve been doing some of his songs for worship at church, so I just tend to assume that means everyone else is doing his songs too.

But if not, let me introduce you all to Kristian Stanfill, another worship leader to… uh… lead you in worship.

About six months ago, we started doing the song “Jesus Paid It All” by this mysterious guy named Kristian Stanfill during worship at church.  It’s a really powerful song, so powerful that it made me think, “Hey, I should get more of this guy’s stuff.”

But then Monday rolled around and I forgot all about him.  That is, until I had my “Too Many Free Downloads” crisis with emusic (read about it here and sign up for a similar experience here).  It was during that crisis, where I was forced to download a few hundred free MP3s within a few weeks, that I remembered Kristian Stanfill and downloaded his EP Hello.

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Sandy Ross, author of A Place Called the Bla-Bla Cafe, just sent me a copy of her book to review, since I stole my blog name from the cafe and all.

I haven’t finished it yet. I just got it a few hours ago and there’s not as many pictures as most books I read now (Clifford, Angelina the Ballerina, and Dr. Suess books, to name a few), so it might take me a while, but I plan on doing a full-fledged review sometime in the near future.  Near like before Jesus returns.  Unless he returns soon.  Cryptic, aren’t I?

If you’re interested in reading about the history and life of the real Bla-Bla, head over here and buy the book.  I just glanced through it quickly and there’s a ton of great stuff here.  It’s like she’s a real author or something, as opposed to guys like me who just write blogs for the heck of it and make up facts instead of doing research.  😉

But, if you can’t wait to get the book, just download an MP3 of me reading it here or stream it here.  You can play it on your way to work, like an audiobook.

Oh, I suppose an MP3 of me silently reading it doesn’t help much, does it?

When I created this blog, I never planned on offering the latest up-to-date album reviews or news releases.  I just wanted to get the word out on some of the music I like, emphasizing artists I listen to who have a Christian faith but wouldn’t necessarily fall into the CCM category.

Today, I offer another not-so-timely review of an album I got about a month ago, though it feels like I’ve been waiting on doing a review for a few months.  Why have I waited so long?  Plain and simple laziness mixed with a little feeling of being overwhelmed with the blog.

So today, I introduce to you Amy Courts and her new album These Cold and Rusted Lungs, set to be released in July.  It’s not a perfect album but it’s definitely worth your listening.

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I just watched The Devil Came on Horseback last night, about the genocide going on in the Darfur region of Sudan.

If you don’t know anything about Darfur, read up on it here.  Basically, the Arab-run government to the north is sponsoring a genocide against black Africans living in Darfur (located in the south-west of the country).  The government has hired the Janjaweed (translated “the devil on horseback”), an Arabic militia force, to systematically wipe out the black Africans in Darfur.  They burn people alive (even kids), set whole villages on fire, shoot their own countrymen indiscriminately, and use rape as a deliberate war tactic to destabilize families, bring shame to women, instigate fear and hatred, and spread STDs.  What’s going on is sick and twisted beyond belief.

Since 2003, the Sudanese government has sponsored this genocide and killed possibly more than 400,000 people, all in an attempt to win a war against rebel groups that draw support among black Africans in the Darfur region.  Rather than attack the armies like the rest of us do, they’ve decided to just wipe out everyone.  Over 2.5 million people have been driven from their homes, many living in massive refugee camps in Chad.

The movie The Devil Came on Horseback is really well made.  It follows marine captain Brian Steidle, stationed in the region as a military observer.  Brian takes photos, interviews rebel soldiers, talks to Janjaweed militiamen, hears from the victims of genocide, and videos whatever he can get.  The documentary pulls it all together into a nice hour and a half package.  The great thing about it is that Brian isn’t some annoying, liberal, hippy pot-smoking college student jumping on the latest humanitarian bandwagon.  He’s a marine, and he’s seen injustice and wants America do something about it.  It gives him a lot of credibility that guys like Michael Moore don’t have.

Somewhere inside me is a bleeding-heart activist that likes to call attention to the latest international issue that needs our assistance, but I get tired of all the whiny neo-hippies just hopping on liberal bandwagons.  Broad generalization, true, but I’m sure you get what I mean.  Anyway, the movie is great because it’s nice to see a military guy calling attention to something like this.  I feel like I can trust him.

So, moving on, watching this movie has once again caused me to think about how shallow my blog is.  I give away (some might say “illegally distribute”) MP3s.  I promote bands.  I interview artists.  I write about deep issues like “Defining Christian Muisc.”  All while 400,000 people have been killed and countless women raped in a brutal genocide in Sudan.

So, to ease my aching conscience, I signed the petition here to get Bush and the UN to stop the genocide.  Now who’s shallow?

Useful Sites and Links
SaveDarfur – learn about the genocide, sign a petition like me, or do something even more radical
Brian Steidle’s photos – see the photos he took while in Darfur
The Devil Came on Horseback – read up on the movie or watch the trailer
Invisible Children – some guys went to Sudan to document genocide but ended up in Uganda to document something just as creepy

Important Note

These MP3s are here for sampling purposes and to help spread the news about some sweet bands you may not otherwise know about. Support the artists by buying their MP3s and CDs and attending their shows. If you're a musician and don't want your MP3s on here, let us know and we'll take them down. In the interests of promotion and not robbery, all MP3s are taken down after a week or two, so if you wanna hear stuff, either come around often or pay for songs.

Send us an e-mail if you want stuff removed or you would like to be promoted here.

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