Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Audrey Assad, The House You’re Building
March 2, 2011

This is the title track from Audrey Assad’s latest release.  Her light and easy to listen to vocals complement the simple guitar and organ.  But like all the songs that impact me the most, the music is only the vehicle to communicate deep truth.  Her lyrics are both worshipful and insightful.  The melody leads to the key idea,

“I’m a broken stone, / so lay me in the house you’re building.”

It appeals to the part of me that feels lost and spiritually homeless.  And all the time, the Lord has been calling me to a home that he has been painstakingly building.  It kind of blows me away to realize that while I can feel so lost, the Lord is active in my life and afterlife.  There is hope in the idea that He hasn’t stopped working and has the big picture in mind while my vision is so narrow.

I need that hope right now.  Warning, I’m goin

g to get all personal and anecdotal right now.

I am currently waiting tables.  Nothing wrong with that or providing for your family, it just isn’t what I want.  I have a four year degree that I spent a lot of money on.  I have had eleven jobs since I graduated college.  Did you read that? Eleven!  The longest stint I’ve had in one career is two years.  I have been wandering since I graduated.  I feel lost.  I know what I want to do for a career, but the options out there are limited given my education and experience.  This is especially daunting since it has nothing to do with the degree I have hanging on my wall.  I have to work to support my family, so my ability to take risk is limited.  More than that, my personal vision for my life seems always in flux.  There is the problem.  I have been consumed with my vision for my life.  I have at times given thought to God’s vision for my life and think I may even know what that might look like.  However, I am not content to wait on his timing, his provision, or even really ask.  So, for the world wide web to read, I am sorry, Lord.  Forgive me for my wandering.  Please, lay me in the house you’re building.  Just give me the satisfaction of being apart of your vision for my life.  And never let me be content in running my own direction with my own lack of wisdom.  Or worse, never let me drift into hopelessness and stagnation.

My heart echoes Audrey’s prayer, just let me be apart of what you’re are doing, Lord.

I recommend the entire album for it’s musical excellence, her impeccable vocal quality and the insightful lyrics song after song.  This has been like a delightful auditory devotion.  If you don’t believe me, just listen to Restless.

Thanks for reading!

Why so distant?
March 1, 2011

For the three of you who actually subscribe to this podcast I owe you an explanation for my prolonged absence.  My wife and I recently had a brand new baby girl!  While she is adorable, she does interrupt the previous flow of life.  And may I add, needs to sleep at the appropriate hours.  So, never fear I will be back on track soon bringing you the best songs you may not have heard already.  Also coming, I will be self hosting this blog and so the URL will change.  I will keep you posted as the site gets revamped to be more helpful and easier to navigate.

In addition to this, I missed this blog very much and so stand with hat in hand, holding a bouquet of daisies with a look of the utmost sincere apologies.  Forgive me?  No.  Well maybe this will help, it is a photo of my family with our new addition.

The Point of Countersunk
November 25, 2010

The point of countersunk is: to discover, promote and discuss the best Christian music hiding beneath the surface of the popular levels of radio and the big label promotional machine.

Let’s face it, Christian radio is lacking.  Where I live there are three options:  (1) Southern Gospel, (2) CCM, and (3) Something supposed to be “edgier” than CCM.

Each station runs a Top 40 format and therefore plays the same 20 songs over and over again.

On the “edgier” version, the songs ALMOST ALL run about 3 1/2 minutes, tend to be a medium pace and follow the exact same structure: intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, chorus.  The intros are usually very short, there are few extensive musical interludes and nothing risky.  What do you expect?  The songs are written for the radio.  You wouldn’t want people to drive too fast or (gasp) turn the dial.

Yet, this has had a severe impact on me as a music consumer.  I find that I don’t much like most artists they play on the radio.  The music feels forced, cheesy and fake.  Over all, the radio poisons music for me.  I never listen to any of the music stations any more.  On occasion I will listen to the classical station, but that is the violinist in me just screaming to be used once in a while.  Mostly I listen to talk radio, or simply put my iPod in.

One caveat, there are songs on the radio I have liked.  For example, Switchfoot’s “Mess of Me.”

So what’s the problem?   Surely I am just too critical, and with the Internet I can find the music I like.  That’s true, I am and do.  However, there has been an odd phenomena.  I have on occasion been able to see some of the radio artists I thought were cheesy and fake, live.  On several occasions I have been blown away when I got to experience their artistry live.  Three examples of musicians whose radio songs I had distaste for then, saw them live and was moved by their songs and talent:(1) Michael W. Smith, (2) Mercy Me, (3) Natalie Grant.

If you knew how high my personal standards are and the kind of music I write and commonly listen to, you would never match me with these artists.  But these have met and exceeded my expectations as writers and artists.  So I don’t think they are getting their fair shake.  And, as I talk to other Christians who have standards for their music, they are frustrated about the image the radio is painting of our talented artists.  In addition to this, people who are not believers think that Christian music is laughable.  I will stand and shout it simply isn’t so.  There is plenty of great music out there but the general listening audience is simply unaware of it.  So, in my small way, I hope this blog will help combat that problem.

I will mine the piles of music out there until I find the best songs on an album.  Let’s face another fact together, shall we?  Either the radio single is the best song on the album or it is the worst.  I have a couple of albums where I just skip the “radio” song.   I have even heard that many artists on major labels write the album they want to and then write one radio song.  This seems insincere at best and destructive in the public eye at worst.  Either way, there are great songs out there.  Risky songs.  Songs that break the rules.  Songs that express true artistry, real creativity and have real value in any conversation of the arts.

So without further ado, here we go…

Please feel free to leave comments or song suggestions.  These will probably be the artists name, song title and the phrase, “I can’t believe you’ve never heard of this guy/girl/group! They’re awesome!”