You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2008.

You may be asking yourself, “Where has The Blah Blah been lately?”  Well, in an effort to improve the health of my readers by encouraging regular physical activity and to increase productivity in the workplaces of America, I haven’t written any posts in over two weeks.

Has my attempt to improve the life of Americans actually worked?  Sadly, research has shown that it has not, so I will resume blogging soon…

The truth of the matter is that two things happened: 1) I still haven’t been able to fix my MP3-uploading issue, and 2) life suddenly got really busy.  Between hosting hassles, ministry responsibilities (church retreats, VBS, the high school group), side jobs, and family stuff, I just gave up on blogging for a while.  It wasn’t really intentional.  I just completely forgot all about it until today.  It’s too bad, too, cuz I’ve got a plethora of new bands to introduce to you.

But it’s gonna hafta wait, because I’m taking some time off to head out west to the Rockies, to spend some much-needed time driving, thinking, reconnecting with God, and hanging out with my family.

Hopefully by the time I return, my hosting issues will be over and The Blah Blah will resume as normal.  Until then, check out where we’ll be staying part of the time (here).  It looks boring from the sky, I know, but it’s right in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, and it looks awesome in real life.

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I’m serious.  This really is the coolest idea ever.  I just downloaded four entire albums for free.  I got Katie Herzig’s Apple Tree, Dawson Wells’s Boulevardier (I just upped my syllable ratio), Matthew Perryman Jones’s Throwing Punches in the Dark, and The Major Labels’ Aquavia.  And what did I pay?  Nothin’.

Head over to NoiseTrade to do it yourself.  They call themselves “fair trade music,” but it’s not so much fairly distributing music as freely giving it away in exchange for your promotion of the artist you download.  The deal is you can download select albums from participating artists if you either 1) send an e-mail to 3 friends inviting them to download the artist, or 2) pay what you think the album is worth.  I opted to spread the word about the artist.  Besides the fact that I’m broke right now, I like to promote good music anyway.

If you find a good artist, you want to get all your friends to download their music, right?  So why not get rewarded for it?

NoiseTrade asks “What happened when the generous, forward-thinking artist met the generous, forward-thinking music fan?  They lived happily ever after.”  Well I’ve got some new music so I know I’m happy.  And I know my friends will be happy if they download some music too.

P.S. Since I should give credit where it’s due, I didn’t find this sweet sight on my own.  I found it at Ryan’s Spiritual Journey.

A friend of mine told me he ran The Blah Blah through an internet test to see what grade level I wrote at.  I came out somewhere in the Middle School years.  His blog (here) was somewhere around the High School level.  He acted smug about it, to which I responded, “You’re a big turd!” and ran home to watch cartoons.

I decided today to run the test myself, and here are the results:

Reading Level Results
Summary Value
Total sentences 367
Total words 3110
Average words per Sentence 8.47
Words with 1 Syllable 2099
Words with 2 Syllables 705
Words with 3 Syllables 238
Words with 4 or more Syllables 68
Percentage of word with three or more syllables 9.84%
Average Syllables per Word 1.45
Gunning Fog Index 7.33
Flesch Reading Ease 75.96
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 4.77

 

Pretty cool, huh?  Let me draw your attention to “Average Syllables per Word… 1.45”  That’s like half my words are one syllable and half are two.  How moronic can I be?  I need to use more big words like “vacuous” and “artichokes.”

You’re probably wondering what the last three scores mean.  Let me explain.  First, the Gunning Fog Index.  This measures how many years of schooling would be necessary for someone to understand my blog.  It goes from 1 to 17, first grade to post-graduate level.  My score of 7.33 means that someone three months into the 7th grade would be able to understand The Blah Blah.  Turds.

According to Juicy Studio, where I took the test, TV guides get a 6 (so I’m better than that) and Reader’s Digest gets an 8.  I’m more dumbed down than a Reader’s Digest, the literature made famous for it’s position of honor within the bathrooms across the nation.

Now, the Flesch Reading Ease (not Flesh Reading Ease, you pervs).  This measures, on a scale of 1 to 100, how readable you are.  Authors are urged to keep within the 60-70 mark.  My 75.96 means I’m very readable.  I’ll take that as a benignant thing.

Finally, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade is another rough measure of how many years of school would be necessary to understand the writing sample.  It’s on a scale of 0 to 12, ending at your senior year in High School apparently.  My score of 4.77 means most fourth graders would be able to understand me by the end of the school year.  Which is weird, because I can’t understand them.

So there you have it.  Contrary to popular belief, if you read The Blah Blah, it’s no indication that you’re any smarter than anybody else.  But I still like to think you’re all better looking.

Do the test on your own blogs and let me know how you scored.

Remember Stavesacre?  Back when Tooth and Nail was the epitomy of cool, a friend of mine had me listen to Stavesacre.  I was just starting to work through whether or not I was ready to sacrifice everything to live for God and my friend Rob got me into Five Iron Frenzy and Stavesacre.

I still love both bands, and not just for purposes of reminiscing.  If you don’t know ’em at all, check out their catalogs of songs, but I don’t wanna go into detail about them in this post.

Instead I wanna pass on a nice little link to some Stavesacre bootlegs.  Check out this link I got from Matt at True Tunes.  It’s got some really awesome demos and live recordings.

I got this press release Sunday from Delirous? and thought I should pass it on:

We would like to address all our fans, our friends and people around the world who have faithfully supported Delirious?

After 14 albums, thousands of shows in front of millions of people, and many extraordinary memories, we have decided that at the end of 2009 we will take a break from recording and playing as a band.

Our decision was triggered by a request from Martin to be released from the band to pursue new projects including his work with CompassionArt and the desire to be at home more with Anna and his children. We have of course honoured this request and made a decision together that now is the time to end this chapter of our lives.

We will continue to play and be excited about our current tours and bookings but will not be adding many more over the coming 17 months..

We are all so deeply grateful to our incredible fans who have sung the songs and allowed Delirious? the privilege of providing the soundtrack to many lives over the years. From the school hall in Littlehampton to the stadiums of the world we have many stories to tell our children’s children. Delirious also would not be what it is without our amazing wives and families, and our gratitude to them is immense. We will now move forward to the next part of our lives where new challenges unfold and greater stories will be written.

We want to make it absolutely clear that although this decision has been extremely painful and difficult, we are still great friends and our respect for each other is unquestionable. We love playing in this band together and know that even though 2009 will bring an end to this current journey, there will be more adventures together in years to come.

We always used to say that we were ‘taking it wherever it goes’. The music ended up going further and deeper than we could ever have dreamed, yet we are now at a point where our creative futures will spread out and take on different journeys.

Thanks again for believing in us through all these years. We believe the best is yet to come.

– Jon, Martin, Paul, Stu G and Tim

Even though I’ve been getting more into indie music lately, I feel a sort of sadness that Delirious? will be done next year.  I think it’s great that they’ll be spending more time with their families and other ministry areas, but… man, Delirious? is leaving behind quite a legacy.

I remember when I was barely a Christian yet and someone bought me a copy of Cutting Edge (on cassette tapes even).  I asked, “Who’s Delirious?” and they told me, “They’re like U2 but they do worship music.”  To which I responded, “Who’s U2?”  And then they looked at me as if I’d just been barfed up onto a beach by a large fish.

Delirious? changed the worship world.  Not all their albums have been winners, but Cutting Edge pretty much set the standard in worship music for years to come (which is a hard feat to top).  Glo brought the idea of recording spontaneous worship to the mainstream.  Kingdom of Comfort merged a social consciousness with worship music, revealing a God who feels the pain of the world.

I’m sad to see Delirious? go.  As far as CCM worship acts go, they’ve been one of my favorites.

Well, after a week off from The Blah Blah, I’m still having issues with my domain transfer from MyHosting to GoDaddy.  I don’t know what the problem is, but I’ll hopefully get it resolved soon.

I used the free evenings to spend some much-needed time with my family, watch a few movies, meet with God, and read some books.  I cranked through Michael Crichton’s Timeline (good), Donald Miller’s To Own a Dragon (very good), and Tim Cahill’s Road Fever (also very good).  Now I’m in the middle of Desmond Tutu’s The Rainbow People of God which is good but a little wordy.

And, today, the flooding in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, has resumed.  With the last round of big rainstorms, we got some significant flooding in the basement (where we have my office, a prayer room, the laundry, storage, and our girls’ bedroom).  But, despite the large volume of water coming in, it all was sucked down the drain, as long as we routed it right.

Today, about an hour ago, it started pouring again.  And now the drain is not working and we’ve got over an inch of water across almost the entire floor.  And the outlook says we’ll be getting almost non-stop rain for the next two weeks.

I’m not sure if there’s something clogging the drain or if the water level is just so high that new water has no place to go, but either way, I’ve decided that the next place we rent will have enough bedrooms on the first (or second!) levels so we don’t have to rely on the basement staying dry.

So we’ve moved most everything we can move out of the basement and now all we can do is sit and watch the water level rise.  The girls will take naps upstairs and we’ll probably all be sleeping in the living room for a while.

Why am I telling you all this?  I’m not sure.  But, since this is a music blog and not a blog just for my personal whining, here’s a list of some of the albums I’ve been listening to as the floodwaters rise:

The Khrusty Brothers – The Khrusty Brothers
Page France – And the Family Telephone
Colour Revolt – Plunder, Beg, and Curse
Colin Meloy – Colin Meloy Sings Live!

All good stuff (not all made by Christians, if that’s important to you), and you don’t necessarily need a flooding basement to appreciate it.

Just had a random thought.  Since I missed out on doing a Fourth of July mix CD, I should make up a Flood mix to celebrate all the rain we’ve been getting in the Midwest lately.  I’ll make that my first post when I get MP3s back.  What better way to exploit the flooding than with a mix CD, right?

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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