Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

John Reuben featuring Matthew Thiessen, Nuisance
March 28, 2011

Haha!  If you’ve ever worked in an office you will resonate with this video.  I love the attitude that both artists present.  John Reuben is a fantastic writer and rapper and Matthew Thiessen brings that extra pop element to keep you going this monday.  I hope you aren’t being a nuisance at work but that everyone sees how hard you work and God gets the glory for it!  But if you do have an odd moment, making a sun out of post-its for your work space may not be a bad idea…

The truth?  We can do better than just okay.  We must, we are called to grow more and more like Christ everyday.  Don’t let life let you get all passive and bland.  Don’t spend all your time on you.  Don’t chase after the deceitfulness of getting rich.  Think about eternal things, about doing things of real significance.  Catch fire and burn for Christ, He’s worth it.

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Flatfoot 56, City on a Hill
December 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!  Yeah, I’m 28 today and honestly,  I never could have guessed that I am where I am today.  A beautiful wife almost married 7 years, one amazing son and a daughter on the way.  I’ve had 14 jobs (not kidding) since college and I fell as though I’ve tried to keep life interesting.  Well, let’s be honest, it’s been interesting whether I’ve tried to make it that way or not.  That is neither here nor there, so on with the music!

Today I indulge in one of my all time favorite Celtic punk bands, Flatfoot 56.  I highly recommend them for anyone who likes fun music with plenty of surprises.  Mandolins, bagpipes, accordions and whatever else it seems they can find is added into a very fun and enjoyable punk band.  I personally like the album “Jungle of the Midwest Sea” the best, but anything they do is good.  I cannot wait to purchase their new album with the iTunes gift cards I got for my birthday (thanks Jonathan!)

If you had to listen to one song, because like me you are strapped for time, I suggest “City on a Hill.”  It pretty much sums them up for me.  I might also add that they do a fun and possibly irreverent version of Amazing Grace that was a crowd favorite at Shoutfest several years back.  I had the opportunity to see them on a small side stage and have had that brief forty-five minutes implanted firmly in my mind since.

“City on a Hill” in addition to being a riot and causing me to drive way too fast also reminds me of a precious passage of scripture.  In the greatest sermon of all time, The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7), Jesus lays out the life of the Christian.  I recommend these chapters for in depth study.  I was led to memorize this in high school and it has been a frequent guide in my life since.  We are to be light in a desperately dark world.  We are supposed to stand out, like a city on a hill.  It is a great image.  I can still remember driving home to San Antonio while I was in college.  Coming into town on 281 in the dark, there seems to be nothing except the distant glow of the city.  Then, you pass over one hill and see all those lights.  It always made me feel great after eight hours of driving stick with no cruise control.

The song is a strongly worded rebuke to Christians who don’t live like Christians.  You are supposed to be light, but is there a “blackout in effect”?  I’ll end on the question the song asks, “Will you make your decision are you chaff or are you wheat? /

Will you rise or will you fall, will you stand or will you crawl?  /

Will you be the ones He’s called you to be or turn away and run,  /

I say No / No more on the fence”

Joy Electric, The Magic of Christmas
December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas!  I hope this season is finding everyone filled with a desire to give, serve and generally think less of him or herself.  And what is Christmas without the music?  Well, it’s a holiday of course.  Let’s liven it up a bit.

Had enough of Josh Groban?  Need something a little edgier and random than Nat King Cloe or Bing Crosby?  Look no further than Joy Electric’s “The Magic of Christmas” released in 2003.  Ronnie Martin uses his signature electropop/synth sound to bring the music of the season in a whole new way.  Full of crazy synthesized blips, whirls and plenty of echo vocals, this will make your left eyebrow raise a bit.  Then, if you are like me, it won’t leave your holiday play list.  Fun, fresh and strangely enticing, I give my hearty approval to the project and encourage you to add it to your seasonal music collection.  I also appreciate that there is no need on the album to stretch any one of these songs further than they need to.  Many of the tracks are less than three minutes, good on yer’!

The album mixes traditional songs like “Angels We Have Heard on High” with cultural favorites like “Frosty the Snowman.”  Of all the tracks, I think “Lollipop Parade (On Christmas Morn’)” is my favorite.  It seems a little melancholy, but musically, it is irresistible and the track will get stuck in your head.

http://www.myspace.com/joyelectric

Phil Keaggy, Salvation Army Band
December 6, 2010

Introduction:

When it comes to pure excellence in guitar playing there is no one in Christian Music in the same league as Phil Keaggy.  When I first heard one of his songs, I thought, “Wow, I should quit playing guitar right now because I will never be as good as that.”  I realize of course that that kind of thinking is wrong.  I still play guitar, and I am still getting better.  I want to use the talent God has given me to make him famous.  This is what Phil Keaggy excels at.  Mr. Keaggy has been in the world of music since the 60’s and has shared the stage with other rock and roll legends such as Eric Clapton, The Kinks, Yes and Chicago.  He has won multiple dove awards.  Legend tells that Jimmy Hendrix was asked once what it was like to be the world’s greatest guitar player.  He responded, “I don’t know, you’d have to ask Phil Keaggy.”  Have I made my point, Phil Keaggy is AMAZING.

Live, seeing is believing:

Having mastered his instrument Phil has done what every truly great artist does, grows with the times.  In this case, Phil is using a technique termed “live digital looping.”  Basically what he does is use a complex foot pedal to record a section of a song on his guitar.  At his command, the pedal plays that recorded section back and he continues to play an record a new layer on top of that.  I cannot tell you how hard this is to do sitting in my bedroom with a simple pedal and make it sound good.  Phil does it live.  And in doing so reinvents himself as a musician and the use of technology out there.  He shows an in depth understanding of the music writing process as well as diligent practice, use of technology and recording.  And as if that were not enough, the lyrics are great.  Phil stakes his position as being a draftee in the Lord’s Salvation Army Band.  As a fellow musician this resounded deep within me.  That is after I realized the song wasn’t about the organization working in my downtown.  Please watch and enjoy.  Pay attention to all the little details and you will find this rewarding.  Also, if anyone can find a better quality video of the song that I could embed for free, I will gladly replace this one.  No offense is meant to the person who filmed it (and thank you for posting it online!).

Also, Phil is on facebook here, click “like” on his page if you like this video!

http://www.facebook.com/PhilKeaggy