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Archive for November, 2009

I’ve been meaning to write this out for a little while but I hadn’t gotten the chance.

For the past several years, I wasn’t a huge concert-goer – not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t care to spend the money. I’d only attend shows I won free tickets to and that was about it.

I decided recently that I wanted to change that. I love seeing live shows, seeing artists perform their songs, seeing how they respond in that element. Songs can often take on new life in a live performance setting and it’s a blast hearing artists who take advantage of that and let the song grow and be reinvented.

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-I caught Jonny Lang a few months ago with Jason Joy after missing his show earlier in the year and vowing not to let it sell out again before obtaining tickets.

For me, blues is one of those genres that can’t be fully experienced on a recording. I think the recording was an after-thought to a band playing together, feeding off of each other and letting the music tell the story.

Jonny was brilliant. That boy can play. Man. And he knows how to pick a band! Talk about stellar musicians with more soul than a stage should really be able to handle. It was a great night and Jonny’s set flowed well. Highlights for me were the extended, laid-back take on “Red Light,” the very extended cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City,” and the many dynamic ranges of “Lie To Me.”

If you have a chance to catch his show, do it. You don’t have to be a blues fan to really enjoy it, as he’s taken to being more of a songwriter in recent years. But I think anyone can appreciate the beast of a musician he is.

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-MUTEMATH was in town a couple of months ago as well and, as always, they didn’t disappoint with their live set. If you’ve had the chance to see them before you know those guys know how to put on a show.

They are always impressive with the sound they manage to create and the energy with which they do it. If nothing else, watching drummer Darren King play can provide a night’s worth of entertainment alone.

This may be considered sacrilege to admit but I’m not the biggest MUTEMATH fan. Or more accurately, I’m not the biggest fan of their songs. They sometimes run together for me. But I do appreciate some creative musicians who know what they’re doing.

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-I became a fan of Mindy Smith’s sometime during my folk music obsession (which I’m still in, by the way) and have since gotten ahold of as much of her music as I could. She has this pure, sweet voice singing such sad songs. It’s quite gripping. Her latest release has far more upbeat songs but the content still isn’t what some would call “happy.” But I think she’s okay.

She played a small, side room at the House of Blues which turned out to be a perfect venue for the 70 or so people who came out. It was just Mindy and a second guitarist for the whole show and they carried the load well.

While it wasn’t my favorite show (evidenced by the fact that I looked down at my watch more than a couple of times) I was glad I went. Mindy Smith is a cool girl. Not at all who I expected behind the songs. I expected a quiet, soft-spoken girl with a shy personality that let herself loose in her music. Wrong. She’s funny, smart, out-spoken, sarcastic. Very cool artist. To the point where I wanna be her friend.

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-So I could give that show some contrast, I saw Third Eye Blind the next night. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time, since I first heard “Semi-charmed Life” back in high school (at least I think it was high school) and this was the first time I got to see them live.

Years ago someone told me that, while they were a great band on their records, they were awful live and that singer Stephan Jenkins couldn’t hold a tune to save his life. I had no basis to confirm that so I’ve always kept that logged away in my memory.

Yeah, that person was wrong.

Talk about a great show. Stephan Jenkins sounded amazing as did the rest of the band. Every song was excellent which reminded me of how much I love their music. They reinterpreted some older tunes, took some liberties with others, and altogether put on a pretty rocking show. Didn’t look at my watch once.

I especially liked how raw but polished it was, if that makes sense. They’re a tight band but they didn’t play to a click track – the songs breathed with the dynamics, with the crowd. Good rock ‘n roll.

I’ve always thought Third Eye Blind was one of the more underrated bands out there and since it had been six years of silence before their latest release, everyone had mostly written them off. I’m not crazy about the new album. It’s good but most of the tracks are forgettable. But they still got it, I say.

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-The last show I saw was The Swell Season’s. I don’t know even know what to say. If you’ve read this blog before or follow me on Twitter you might know that I’m slightly obsessed with them. Once I got hooked to the movie Once and its soundtrack (thanks to Kitt) there was no turning back. I discovered the project that the film’s stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova put out entitled “The Swell Season” and I bought just about everything I could of theirs.

Debut? Check. Live From the Artist’s Den DVD? Check. The Deluxe edition of their latest? Check. Tickets to their show as soon as they went on sale? And check.

I was blown away by these guys. It never hurts when you love all their music, though. They really seemed to love what they were doing, loving playing these songs to people who ate it all up.

And, one reason why these live shows are as much as fun as they are, is that these Swell Season shows aren’t all the same from city to city. I may have kinda been hunting down audio bootlegs and finding live video feeds of other shows on their tour to confirm this. So far, I haven’t heard a show quite like the Houston show.

They fed off each other, seemingly changing the setlist as it seemed appropriate, performing a song for the crowd completely unplugged and acoustic at the edge of the stage and still managing to fill the room with just a vocal and guitar.

One of the more memorable highlights of the show was during the encore, where they introduced a new, unreleased song. Like he does on a few other songs, Glen Hansard had the crowd sing along to certain part that he teaches to everyone before the actual song, where he’d sing a part and have the crowd echo it back to him. During this particular lesson, one soulful voice sailed above the rest and was met with applause and cheers from everyone else. It didn’t go unnoticed, so Glen invited Moji to come up and sing the song with them. So cool. And she was amazing. Raw and stunning, she definitely made the most of it. And here’s a little video of that moment that @_Admiral_Akbar managed to capture.

All in all, one of my favorite shows I’ve ever had a chance to see.

I know I can’t see everyone I want to play live but I’m thankful to have caught these acts while I could.

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Who are some of your favorite artists that you’ve seen live? Any heart-breakingly disappointing concerts you’ve attended? Please share!

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Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty

You’ve probably already heard the sad news that Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, OK passed away yesterday morning from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

I spent six years living in Tulsa and, being on the campus of ORU, it was impossible not to have some experience with Pastor Billy Joe. When Victory’s services were held at ORU’s Mabee Center, it was very convenient to walk just a few minutes to attend church on Sunday morning. He was also a regular guest at our chapel services and was always present at the ICBM conferences and Victory’s Word Explosion services which many students attended.

I’ve attended Victory quite a few times during my years at ORU. I didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Pastor Billy Joe theologically but I did admire the man greatly. He was one of a few people, particularly ministers, who I felt conducted every area of his ministry (and lived his life) with integrity. I never believed his kind demeanor was an act; his sincerity was felt when he preached from the stage and when you chatted as you ran into him around campus.

There’s plenty to be said of the work he did and I think Victory’s site does a good job sharing some of the highlights.

Pastor Daugherty lived a life in service to Christ. Billy Joe Daugherty was the Pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he also founded Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute, and Victory World Missions Training Center, and the Tulsa Dreamcenter. From inner city families, to single parents, to troubled teens—Tulsa has benefited from his influence beyond the walls of his church. And his reach was not only local, his ministry has birthed hundreds Bible training centers and supported missionaries around the world.

The world will never be the same because of Billy Joe Daugherty. As with any life given in service to Christ, the effects of his life and the legacy of his ministry will continue through his beloved wife Pastor Sharon Daugherty, his children Sarah and Caleb Wehrli, Ruthie and Adam Sanders, John Daugherty, and Paul and Ashley Daugherty, and his mother Iru Daugherty—and through the thousands who were inspired by him.

Thank God for Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty and the life he lived. I am inspired and I strive to live the life with integrity he showed was possible to do. I pray that I make an impact for the Kingdom that’s at least as fractionally effective as he did.

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iTunes DJ

I’m unashamedly stealing this idea from Brody Harper because it’ll be fun and I want to get some new music ideas from you (and also just to have a potential chuckle). 🙂

For you iTunes users, you click on the iTunes DJ button on the left column. Then, you come back here, list how many songs you have in your library and then the first 10 songs that appear in your DJ list. And the good times ensue.

Here’s mine:
Library: 23,750
1. I Call It Love – Jared Anderson
2. Ian’s Groove – Phil Keaggy
3. Leaving – Crew
4. Striking – Francis and the Lights
5. Bad – Michael Jackson
6. Wicked Web – Waterdeep
7. Jesus, You’re Beautiful – CeCe Winans
8. I Ride An Old Paint – Johnny Cash
9. Knees to the Earth – Watermark
10. You’ve Been So Good [Reprise] – Martha Munizzi

Easy! Just leave your list in the comments. And, just as Mr. Harper warned, no cheating to make your list cooler.

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Ragamuffin Soul

If you aren’t already, you should be a regular reader of Ragamuffin Soul.

Carlos Whittaker shares his faith and his journey in a blog that’s really as much about the community that reads and joins in as it is about him.

He’s also one of the newest artists to Integrity’s artist lineup and his new record is due out in the next few months. Excitement.

So, in true Ragamuffin Soul style, Carlos is involving everyone to weigh in on the selection of his first single off the album. Have a listen and cast your vote HERE.

While you’re there, go ahead and subscribe to the blog. It’ll be one of the few you won’t want to just scroll through to clear your Google Reader.

🙂

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I particularly enjoyed Stephen Hawking’s appearance.

HT: Know Your Meme

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Once again, I have to show love to Twitter for hooking me up with more free stuff.

This time I thank Shane & Shane for providing me with a copy of their new album as a reward for playing a “Guess What This Picture Is” game. Can’t beat that.

shaneshane

If you’re following anyone that’s giving away guitars or other music gear, do let me know 🙂

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Anyone out here participating in the National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo? Sounds intriguing. A fun idea to set and meet a difficult but achievable goal.

I’m a day behind but I may try and get in on the action. Join me?

(Follow the NaNoWriMo journey of other Twitter users here with Twitscoop)

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