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I stumbled across this video the other day of David Crowder playing a Guitar Hero guitar for the song “Neverending” at a concert this past March.
I want that guitar.
A guest post by my wife, Jessie:
For a long time, I have wanted to learn to play banjo, and so this year Jake and I finally purchased one for me to learn on. It’s a handmade, open-back style banjo, the kind used in old-tyme and folk music, the kind you play clawhammer style (as opposed to bluegrass style, for those of you familiar with those styles of playing the banjo). I like the banjo for it’s plunky sound, and because it is easier for me to fret the chords on a banjo rather than on a guitar with my small hands. Anyway, I get frustrated with the learning process often as it’s always difficult to learn something new, so I’ve been making myself listen to more artists lately that include banjo in their music. It’s actually relatively easy to find bands that have a banjo-ist included that are not bluegrass or old-tyme bands now that banjo is becoming one of the more “hip” instruments to play, thanks to Bela Fleck, Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens, and others.
I filled in for a friend this past week on his paper routes again, and one night I stuck the MP3 player on repeat with Cory Asbury and Matt Gilman’s new album Holy. To be honest, I didn’t care for Matt Gilman’s style that much, so I didn’t download any of his songs from the album, only Cory’s.
I like to play worship music while driving through the night delivering papers. It helps me stay focused on God, gives me some time with Him amidst the insanity of paper delivery, and keeps me from whining and feeling sorry for myself.
I once listened to Colour Revolt for four hours on the routes, and as much as I love those guys, I’d rather have lines like “Be exalted in our praises, be exalted in our love” get stuck in my head than “We call it mattresses underwater but the gutters are seeping.” Then I’m not just hanging out in the middle of the night listening to good music – I’m actually building myself up.
I haven’t checked my Blah Blah e-mail in a few months (sorry, if you’ve tried to get ahold of me), and now I’m scared to check it.
I’m scared that I’ll open it up and I’ll have thousands of unread e-mails… most of them from angry Medieval dwarves with axes… riding on skateboards… and singing about spandex.
It’s irrational, I know, but it haunts me all the same.
And I don’t even get that much e-mail coming through really, just enough to get really clogged up if I don’t check it in a few months. Not like these guys who declared e-mail bankruptcy last year.
I think I’m less bankrupt and more anti-social when it comes to my e-mail. It’s not on purpose, though… It’s just how it has worked out lately.
All this e-mail stuff reminds me of Brother Andrew, the famous God Smuggler, who refused to even have a phone in his office because he didn’t want to be distracted. Sometimes I think that’d be nice. Until I try to order pizza with my telegraph.
Jon Foreman didn’t leave the “h” out of his name because he can’t spell. He didn’t forget the rules of Wheel of Fortune and think he had to buy consonants, finding himself only able to afford two for his first name. No, he leaves the “h” out just because he can.
That’s how cool he is.
You probably know Jon Foreman from the band Switchfoot, which has been around since 1996, but he’s got some great solo stuff that you should check out.
I actually only own a few of his songs, because most of his solo stuff isn’t available on e-music, and since I’m danged near broke, I don’t like to pay $1 per download. So until e-music gets more Jon Foreman up, I’ll have to listen to my three songs of his over and over again. Life is so cruel sometimes…
Ever since I first heard about Cold War Kids, I’ve been listening to them non-stop. The edgy vocals, the soulful rock and roll music, the great writing… these guys are great.
If you haven’t gotten on the bandwagon yet, go get their new album Loyalty to Loyalty that was released today. I’ve read mixed reviews on-line, some good and some bad, but so far I really like it. It’s similar enough to Robbers and Cowards but different enough to show some new sides to the band.
I’ll try to do a full review with sample tracks sometime soon, but for now, go and grab it up if you want some awesome new music. The best place (in my opinion) to get it is by signing up at e-music here, but if you insist on paying more for your downloads, here’s a link to Amazon.
I was thinking of doing a full review right now, but it didn’t seem right to offer late-breaking news at a reasonable time. I’ve got a reputation to uphold after all.
Well, I finally did get the internet working, after I killed it a week or so ago, so I can post again. 🙂
Last week, I had another one of my usual “I’ve got way too many downloads to burn through and not enough music I want” episodes. I had 250 free downloads from e-music, and, honestly, I was already overwhelmed with the music I had and wasn’t really excited about the idea of downloading another 20 new albums I’d have to grow to like.
But it drove me nuts just sitting on those downloads, so I went searching for new (or “new old”) stuff, and one of the artists I found was Annie Clark, who performs as the group St. Vincent.
I found her through her connections to Sufjan Stevens. Apparently, she toured with his band beginning in 2006. I’m not sure what part she played, but according to Wikipedia she knows guitar, bass, and keyboard, so I would assume she did one of those.
Anyway, the music is fun, quirky, jazzy, poppy, and smooth, all at once. She’s got an eclectic mixture of a sound that harkens back to classic jazz vocalists without remaining trapped there – the sound of thrift stores.
Well, no, I didn’t really kill the internet, but it’s been down at my home and office for about a week. And that’s why I haven’t done any posts. I’m working on it today and so far I’ve got the internet back up on one computer, but I still have to set up the whole network.
Anyway, expect some posts this coming week, and sorry for the week off. I was doing so good, too, wasn’t I?
Side note here… I’ve noticed that when I write posts, I get fewer comments. Why is this? I hadn’t written in a week and I had twice as many comments to approve as the previous week, when I wrote every day. Weird.
Following along in the line of my very CCM posts lately, I found a bit of news I wanted to pass on to those interested. Since I don’t normally follow CCM happenings, this is new to me, but you may already know.
Bart Millard, the voice behind MercyMe, first produced an album of redone hymns in 2005. I took no notice, through no fault of his. But now in August 2008, he released another album he calls Hymned Again, and I think it’s definitely worth a look. Go on over to his MySpace to take a listen. It’s really good and very different from other Christian music out there.
I’ve heard hymns redone by all sorts of bands, and I’ve always like them, but with Hymned, Millard gets to the heart of the matter. Drawing heavily on country and bluegrass, Millard makes these hymns shine. I’ve never been a huge country fan (especially not the more modern stuff), but for some reason it just works on this album. Maybe I’m more of a hick than I realize.
But it’s not all country. There’s definitely a lot of that going around, but there’s also jazz influences, blues overtones, and all sorts of musical styles slipping in.
Anyway check it out, and then someone send me a copy of the album to review, alright? 🙂
I’ve been doing a few pretty heavily CCM-influenced worship groups lately, so why not add another to the mix, eh?
Phil Wickham is giving his whole live album Singalong away for free download to anyone who signs up for his newsletter (go here if you haven’t yet). I know it’s just a scam to get contacts, which translates into fans, money, popularity, and spread of his message. I know it’s just one of the best, cheapest forms of advertising available, and I’m becoming a pawn of the marketing system by participating, but I don’t care – Phil Wickham is still a really nice guy.