Archive for March, 2011

I think this entry needed to be written long ago but I’ve been recently reminded of my love for this band.

Enter: Augustana. I was introduced to the band sometime in 2005 by my friend sister Shelly who gave me a burned copy of their debut, All the Stars and Boulevards, informing that it was good and that another one of our friends loved it, someone whose musical taste I also valued.

Well, I did like it. It wasn’t life-changing for me. But it was good. And there was a definite standout track – “Boston”, which hadn’t yet received the major radio play it eventually would.

Fast forward a few years, I’m mostly just a fan of “Boston” but enough so that I check out the band’s second release.

Holy cow.

Talk about a great album. While some of the tracks of the their first record struck me as a bit uninteresting, their second, Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt, was killer from start to finish. I really couldn’t get enough of it. It was just great rock n roll. Nothing complicated, nothing pretentious, just great songs all the way through.

At this point, I’m a pretty big fan. I looked them up to see what the story was on a new record and it turns out they’re releasing it next month. I’m nerdy to the point where I’ve marked my calendar with this information which is a bit silly… since I just pre-ordered the album.

Well, with the pre-order I got a download of Augustana’s latest single, “Steal Your Heart.” It’s really got me excited for the rest of the album. Counting Crows have had Augustana open for them on a tour or two the past couple of years and reading Adam Duritz’s tweets exclaiming how great Augustana’s is and how great their new album is has also helped keep my excitement elevated.

This is “Steal Your Heart” from the upcoming self-titled album from Augustana.



Previous entries of SFMS:

Pt. I
Pt. II
Pt. IV
Pt. V
Pt. VI
Pt. IX
Pt. X

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I’ve always wanted a dog.

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From Downtown Houston, last night.

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Gang Fight

I laughed.

HT: Language Log

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Practical Worship Band

There are a ton of teachings out there on worship and better understanding it from a biblical sense, from a spiritual sense, etc. We have to constantly focus our attention on who we’re worshiping rather than just playing songs. We’ve all heard it. There’s a plethora of that out there. It’s good stuff.

If I’m not mistaken, more than a few of my friends (and more than a few of you reading along) currently lead worship on a regular basis or used to or are/have been a part of a worship band in some capacity. I’ve played with a few different worship teams over the years and I think with our collective experience we’ve seen a pretty diverse set of practices and habits by different people in varied scenarios. I’m sure we’ve all heard our share of teachings on the subject of worship and I’m even more certain there’s plenty to learn yet.

But I have a question for you regarding practical approach. Being as experienced as you all are and possessing diverse backgrounds like you do, what has been the best practical tip you’ve used in putting together a worship band or a worship service? There’s gotta be something you or your team does that makes everything so much easier or smoother or just better and at the same time makes you wonder why everyone else in the world doesn’t do it that way.


Here’s mine: If it’s a band that I happen to lead, I absolutely have to have chord charts for everyone. I think every band should do this, yet it surprises me to sit in with so many bands that have no charts for the members playing along. That’s especially shocking when the band is often made up of guys who aren’t from the same church or don’t regularly play together.

I don’t trust all musicians to remember how every song in a set goes when they show up to rehearse. Even if they claim to know it, I still insist on having a chart. Not every church plays the same song the same way. Not every player has the same ear to hear the correct chords in a tune. I know I constantly miss the slight nuances and inversions of some chords in any given song. I’ve found having chord charts for everyone immediately eliminates that variable. Everyone is on the same page and that’s a much better starting place to rehearse with a band than just winging a song based on how five people have interpreted the original recording via watching it on YouTube.

Chord charts for all. That’s mine. I want to know yours. What tip best serves you and your worship team in getting prepared? Or what are definite habits to avoid when arranging a worship band?

Do share!

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Okay, this guy is incredible.

His name is Hideaki Akaiwa and after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan he became separated from his wife only to learn she was still trapped in their home, which was quickly filling with water. So what does he do? He puts on scuba gear and goes after her. Seriously.

Surrounded by incredible hazards on all sides, ranging from obscene currents capable of dislodging houses from their moorings, sharp twisted metal that could easily have punctured his oxygen line (at best) or impaled him (at worst), and with giant f***ing cars careening through the water like toys, he pressed on. Past broken glass, past destroyed houses, past downed power lines arcing with electrical current, through undertow that could have dragged him out to sea never to be heard from again, he searched.

Hideaki maintained his composure and navigated his way through the submerged city, finally tracking down his old house. He quickly swam through to find his totally-freaked-out wife, alone and stranded on the upper level of their house, barely keeping her head above water. He grabbed her tight, and presumably sharing his rebreather with her, dragged her out of the wreckage to safety. She survived.


Too awesome. Read the full story here, because it’s ridiculous and there’s even more to the story, if you can believe it.


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Okay, I take it back. Saturday’s PCNAK band rehearsal went rather well and was actually quite fun (not that I didn’t expect it to be fun) despite my complete lack of sleep.

And on a side note, that Houston-Dallas drive never gets less boring, I’ll tell you that. Because it was his car, Joel drove the entire way there and then did the same on the way back home. I didn’t want to doze off leaving him awake all alone so we started the surprisingly exhausting game of “Let’s Get Neighboring Passengers To Dance Along With Us.” We cranked up MJ in the Altima and proceeded to make fools of ourselves to all who had the honor of sharing I-45 with us.

It’s tiring maintaining that much energy in that small of a space for that many cars. But our creepy endeavor was not in vain! We managed to have one other guy violently bang his head and pump his fist along with our so-called dancing. It was beautiful. There was a bond. We owned the road.

We’re sure to take another trip down that fateful road sooner than later, so tell me – do you have any entertaining games for those awfully awful drives? We need ideas. Desperately.

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It’s early.

I haven’t slept much. Something like 35 minutes is all.

I’m going to Dallas today for a PCNAK band rehearsal.


We’ll drive, rehearse, then drive back.

I’m withholding any further commentary because I’m sure whatever I say in my current condition I will regret when rested.

But yeah, totally awesome and stuff.

Fortunately for me everyone I won’t be behind the wheel for the start of this journey.


I can tell the lack of sleep will definitely help my already addled brain function at its best today!


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