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Archive for March, 2010

This Is For Me

I will call to mind the deeds of the LORD;
I will remember your wonders of old.

I will meditate on all your work,
and muse on your mighty deeds.

Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who works wonders;
you have displayed your might among the peoples.

With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

Ps 77:11-15

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Nothing Is Beyond You

http://www.joshuapthomas.com/08NothingIsBeyondYou.mp3″

Where could I go? Where would I run?
Even if I found the strength to fly
And if I rose on the wings of the dawn
And crashed through the corners of the sky

If I sailed past the edge of the sea
Even if I made my bed in Hell
Still there You would find me

——————-

‘Cause nothing is beyond You
You stand beyond the reach
Of our vain imaginations
Our misguided piety
The heavens stretch to hold You
And deep cries out to deep
Saying that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You

Time cannot contain You
You fill eternity
Sin can never stain You
Death has lost its sting

And I cannot explain the way You came to love me
Except to say that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You

——————-

If I should shrink back from the light
So I can sink into the dark
If I take cover and I close my eyes
Even then You would see my heart

And You’d cut through all the pain and rage
The darkness is not dark to You
The night’s as bright as day

——————-

Nothing is beyond You
You stand beyond the reach
Of our vain imaginations
Our misguided piety
The heavens stretch to hold You
And deep cries out to deep
Saying that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You

And time cannot contain You
You fill eternity
Sin can never stain You
And death has lost its sting

And I cannot explain how You came to love me
Except to say that nothing is beyond You
Nothing is beyond You

——————-

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Positive

Not that it’s a hard and fast rule around here but I’d prefer to keep my posts and thoughts positive.

That’s why I deleted the post I just wrote of my thoughts of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno as I was watching it tonight.

It’s for the best.

(I miss you, Conan.)

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Last night, John Mayer and the Battle Studies Tour came through Houston. They played the Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets.

This was my first time seeing Mayer live though I’ve been a fan for a while. I’ve seen performances on TV and DVD but I think seeing a show in the flesh is an altogether different experience. I waited long enough to see him live so I figured this tour would be an ideal setting to catch him; in his prime, I’d argue.

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First things first: let’s not kid ourselves. This boy can play. And I mean play. I don’t know of many guitarists (or musicians in general) who hate him for his musicality or think he’s untalented. He’s got the chops so it’s difficult to argue that he’s not a top bluesman.

What I find most impressive about him in general is his ability to educate the masses musically. He’s always written songs that were more interesting than your standard 4-chord-pop-hit but they’ve never been so complex that they weren’t engaging. He has great, strong pop sensibilities and he knows how to make a song connect with you or the other way around. I believe it’s this that accounts for his ability to consistently pack out stadiums and arenas for a blues show. There weren’t/aren’t many artists (were there any?) who held as large a listening audience as his albums and shows do.

So back to the show. He was awesome. Great songs, great variations of songs, great covers. The band was amazing. The set was amazing. The production was amazing.

However, something felt a little off. I may have been the only who felt this way but throughout the entire show he seemed tired. His playing wasn’t at all off, his singing was right on, everyone was tight. It could be said that whole show was flawless. But it seemed to lack some life, some soul. Does that make any sense?

It felt like he had a hard time connecting with the audience, though from the screams of the masses, I may be alone on that one. It seemed like they played the songs just as they rehearsed it, with slight variations thrown in for good measure. I think that statement sounds worse than it was. Again, they played everything brilliantly. It just seemed to lack some heart in the process. I hope it’s nothing more than fatigue from the being on the road and playing the same set to the same faceless crowd night after night. I don’t think it was until he got to “Gravity” that he really seemed to let loose and get all in it. Unfortunately for us, that was the last song of the encore.

On the other hand, Michael Franti and Spearhead, who opened the show, were amazing with the crowd. They had fun, they looked like they fun, they tried to get the crowd to have fun. It was my first experience of Franti (save for one or two songs I overheard once) and he won me over. There was soul to his set. And all this sounds vague and subjective, I know, but that’s how it is.

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I’m glad I got to see the show. I would love to see Mayer play smaller venues. That, to me, would be incredible. The hi-tech production side of the show would surely have to be scaled down but I think the intimacy of the songs and audience would elevate it all to a whole new level.

A show like The Swell Season‘s left me walking away loving music, loving songs. I love songs. Mayer’s show last night left me loving his guitar playing. Don’t get me wrong – I love his songs on the albums. But the live show didn’t leave me loving his songs more. I left loving his tone. And that ain’t bad. But I’m not sure if it’s ideal.

All in all, great show. I’d love to see a show of his again, especially if it’s in a club-type setting. If you don’t know his music at all, I’d say start with Continuum and then move on to Battle Studies. You won’t be disappointed.

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