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I should have posted about this weeks ago, but Waterdeep’s new album Pink & Blue is awesome.  I got an advance copy a while back, but I’ve just been too busy to review it until now. I only hope the world will not stop spinning because of my tardiness.  God help us all.

Moving on…  The album is amazing.  Don and Lori continue to astound me with every offering.  Whether it’s Don’s weird alt-folk Khrusty Brothers, or their worship stuff on albums like You Are So Good to Me, or their best offer to date (in my opinion) Heart Attack Time Machine, Waterdeep is a band that knows what it’s doing and does a great job of it.

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My wife and I are taking it easy this Thanksgiving.  Normally we drive up to Green Bay to spend the weekend with my parents, but with our weeks being rather crazy lately, I decided we’re just gonna hang out at home and eat some pizzas (cooked on the grill of course).

This change of the normal tradition got me thinking.  I think Thanksgiving may have more to offer than just boat loads of pie, turkey, and mashed potatoes.  Seriously, the Thanksgiving season is a great time to remember how much God has given us.  Even if your life seems sucky, man, we’ve all got a lot to be thankful for.  It’s with this in mind that I created a soundtrack for your Thanksgiving holiday (you can thank me later): Life is Good.

I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving mix!

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Don Chaffer is a pretty recognizable name in certain circles of the music industry.  Whether it’s his solo projects, his years with Waterdeep, or his new project The Khrusty Brothers, the guy deserves the attention he gets.

The first time I heard of The Khrusty Brothers, I thought, “Who the heck would name their new band that?!”  It’s a weird name.  Relax, the music is weird too, so it fits.

With that, the first time I heard their self-titled album, I didn’t like it.  It was weird, but not quite weird enough; normal, but not quite normal enough.  It felt stuck somewhere between really weird, trippy, cool alt-folk… and more normal, well-written, expertly-played classic folk. Read the rest of this entry »

Here it is – the highly-anticipated second summer mix CD at The Blah Blah: Baby, You Can Drive My Car.  Pop this bad boy into your CD player and drive until your butt cramps up and your bladder’s about to explode.

Man, I love road trips.  Nothing clears my head like driving for 10 or 12 hours straight, getting away from everything you’re used to.  Road trips are therapeutic for me.  I don’t even need to be going anywhere amazing.  Just the fact that I’m leaving wherever I am and doing nothing but driving is enough sometimes.

Given the choice between flying and driving, I’d always rather choose driving, as long as the cost is the same and I can get enough time off to do the drive.  Flying always leaves me a little discombobulated feeling, like I just went through some intense time travel or warped to a different planet.  I get off the plan and feel disoriented for a while, like I shouldn’t have gotten to California from Wisconsin in under 5 hours.  Driving leaves me time to clear my head, see the country, and adjust to the fact that I’m going somewhere.  By the time I get there, I’m ready for it.

One time, I found out my friend Greg had never been west of Minnesota (we live in Wisconsin), so I convinced him to drive with me to Wyoming and back in under a day and a half.  We cranked high speed and got there in about 13 hours.  It was about 3 am so I pulled off the highway and napped for a couple hours before we drove to Devil’s Tower, snapped some photos, then headed home.  We stopped at Mount Rushmore for maybe an hour, cruised into the Badlands, shopped at Wall Drug, and got home in time for a late dinner the next day.  I was short on funds for the trip, and Greg couldn’t get more than a day off of work, which made it a challenge, but a memorable one.  My lack of funds meant we ate nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the whole time.  At the end of the trip, exhausted and delirious, we stopped for the best McDonald’s meal I’ve ever had.

I made this CD with road-tripping in mind.  Some songs are actually about road trips.  Others just have an “I’m driving a car for a really long time” feel to them.  Hope you enjoy it.

1. Robbie Seay Band – Better Days (Download or Stream)
2. The Listening – The Factory (Download or Stream)
3. Justin Fox – When You Drive (Download or Stream)
4. Destroy Nate Allen – Arizona (Download or Stream)
5. Sufjan Stevens – Chicago (Download or Stream)
6. Havalina Railroad Company – Tundra (Download or Stream)
7. Jason Harwell – California (Download or Stream)
8. Rosie Thomas – Much Farther to Go (Download or Stream)
9. Jeremy Enigk – River to Sea (Download or Stream)
10. Jeff Caylor – The Egypt Vibe (Download or Stream)
11. The Innocence Mission – Lakes of Canada (Download or Stream)
12. The Cold Comfort Band – A Heart Unseen (Download or Stream)
13. Don Chaffer – Motel Rooms (Download or Stream)
14. Daniel Smith and Sufjan Stevens – Worried Shoes (Download or Stream)
15. Starflyer 59 – No New Kinda Story (Download or Stream)
16. mewithoutYou – A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains (Download or Stream)
17. Brave Saint Saturn – Gloria (Download or Stream)

Enjoy the CD!  To download the album art, just save the image above.

Note: all MP3s will be removed after one week.

When it comes to music, most people think I have weird taste.  Well, maybe not you nice guys and gals who read my blog.  People have described my musical tastes as “bizarre,” “eccentric,” “eclectic,” “weird,” “crazy,” “boring,” and “dumb.”

Contrary to what they may think, though, I do like some “normal” music once in a while too.  I really do enjoy quite a few songs by Delirous?, Shane and Shane, Lifehouse, and even Newsboys.  I try not to be a total music snob, though I fear I’m becoming somewhat of one, and I try to come to all music I hear with an open mind.

Jon Abel is one of those “normal” guys I’m starting to like.  He sounds a lot like Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes, and other worship leader guys (this despite his incredibly cool suitcase).  His lyrics are a little cliched, the music is a little boring, and the themes are a little over-used, but for those times that you really do just want some simple good Chris Tomlin-styled worship music, he’s perfect.

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Lori ChafferWelcome to Day 1 of “Girls of Christian Indie!”  Now, before you go and get your minds in the gutter, this is gonna be a clean list.  I was thinking about it the other day how most bands are fronted by guys, and this is especially true in the mainstream market.  Girls who don’t like to lip-synch or dance around half-naked (or do this) have a harder time than their male counterparts in making it in the mainstream market.  Indie, though, indie is a different story.

Sort of.  There still is an over-abundance of guys in indie music, but I feel there is more of an openness to girls who wanna make some noise.  For the next week or two, depending on how you all like the theme, I’ll be posting about some of the women of indie music who I think deserve your attention.  This will not be a best-of list – just a list of some musicians you shouldn’t skip past.

First off, meet Lori Chaffer.  With a voice that can go from soft and soothing to loud and powerful to high and dreamy, all in the same song, Lori’s got a vocal range that’s impressive.  Ever since I heard her singing with Waterdeep, I was hooked.  With so many copycat dancing Christian pop girl bands (nice imagery, huh?), Lori Chaffer is a nice alternative.

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Early Blues LogoI hope all you faithful Blah Blah readers had a great Labor Day weekend!

Enough small talk.  🙂  Let’s get back to the music.  Welcome to Day 2 of The Top 10 in Christian Blues week.  Thanks for all you who have given me your thoughts on what I should have included on the list.  Keep ’em coming!

And in case any of you were interested, Dale Thompson (mentioned in a comment to this post) is starting a new project called Monster of the Americas.  Dale Thompson was the mastermind behind 80’s Christian heavy metal band Bride and bluesy bands The Kentucky Cadillacs and The Religious Overtones, and this new project aims to blend both sounds.  Keep an eye out.  It could be really fun.

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