November 2006


general17 Nov 2006 05:00 pm

well, if you guys don’t stop encouraging, i might just blog more often… right now i should be writing something important, but instead, due to time constraints, i’m gonna do a blog entry instead… i’m glad that it’s friday, but can’t wait to go home… my topics today are all numbers because i’m quirky like that and, hey, Numb3rs is on tonight i think…


06. Twelve..

not days of Christmas, not disciples, nothing like that… twelve stands for the twelve (at least) shots of novocaine that the dentist gave me yesterday in efforts to make my tooth numb while they cleaned it out and fitted it for a temporary crown… not that it was particularly effective… i kept getting the most wicked jolts of pain as he played tether ball with the nerve… after the final few doses (injected directly into the nerve) i was informed that i was going to be numb all night and long into the morning, that i would have to eat soup with a straw for both dinner and breakfast… i was unnumbed before the work was done… evil… and now i have to go back in a few weeks to get the actual crown set in place… i will admit though, that despite being un-numb, i was very light headed leaving that office… twelve shots of the juice and two and a half hours of standing on your head will do that i suppose…

05. Five…

As it turns out, the latest addition to my CD collection is a pre-release of Relient K’s Five Score and Seven Years Ago which is due out sometime in March (about five months away)… obviously, i’m pretty excited to have the record in hand so early, especially since i really enjoy the group’s music… but what really caught my eye (since i’m still very self-centered) was more about me than the album… it’s one of those watermarked pre-releases that’s got my name and credentials stamped onto the disc… normally, when i get these, it’s for CMCentral and i’m numbered somewhere in the 200-300 range… well, this one has me listed as “Freelance” and, get this… i’m #5… (i’m number five, i’m number five)… anyway, yeah, like i said, i’m pretty self-absorbed sometimes… i’m sure it was alphabetical and all (“Barry” is pretty high up) , but i got excited about it… there’s also another significance to the number five that will be revealed at a later date… but it’s pretty cool…

04. Twenty-three

not Michael Jordan… but close… twenty-three years ago, Michael W Smith (i suppose he’s the Michael Jordan of the CCM-Game) released Project, his debut album and since then he’s kind of made a name for himself… well, i just talked to him on the phone… for an interview that will go up at CMC in a week or so… for the record, it wasn’t my decision, but i didn’t snowball him… heck, i barely had a (second) chance to take the interview anywhere… it was… an interesting experience, but i’ll refrain from any snide remarks… (interesting that he would NEED to BUY coverage though, isn’t it?)…

03. Three

today, the playstation 3 released… and people squatted much of the week outside their favorite electronics boutiques and toy stores to secure their consoles… this i believe is absolutely ridiculous… now, i like video games as much as the next guy (well, maybe not as much as THIS guy), but really… six days and $600 are worth far more than the latest new system… Thanks, Sony, for exposing another flaw in America’s value system… (note: i’m probably just bitter that i didn’t pre-order and eBay one, myself)… Three is also the number of laptops i’m juggling right now (2 new and this one) while i’m testing out Windows Vista and migrating to a new XP laptop with lots more muscle (yes this is the same process that started months ago – i know how far behind i am thankyouverymuch)…

02. Eight

i am officially eight album reviews behind my normal pace… i am the only one to blame… i just can’t get myself into the swing of things… i’m sorely behind elsewhere in my writing as well… lots i want to accomplish, but when i sit down to try, i watch time fly by and accomplish next to nothing…

01. Sixty..

Studio 60 is my favorite new show this season… i know this is a show that has taken fire for being anti-Christian, but i’ll be honest, i like the fast pace and high-brow humor… i can see where it could offend me at times, especially early on in the series, but as the characters have developed, i think it’s a far better drama than i expected it to be… and the last episode was pretty circumstantially hilarious… solid cast and i just dig the writing so much… For those keeping tabs: The Office is probably still my favorite overall show right now and i’m also really enjoying Lost, Earl, Heroes, Friday Night Lights and Jericho (had to be patient, but it’s coming into its own) in no particular order… Gilmore Girls would probably be up there too, but apparently my DVR is allergic to it, since it never manages to record it…


Okay… there… two entries in one week… amazing… now… to get those reviews written and those features… and interviews… and oh good grief Charlie Brown!… my tooth hurts and i’m afraid to eat my apple… blessings and good weekends to you all…

currently listening to:

Michelle Tumes – Michelle Tumes
meWithoutYou – Brother & Sister
Listener and Dust – Just In Time for Christmas
Kathy Troccoli – The Story of Love
Relient K – Five Score and Seven Years Ago
Switchfoot – Oh! Gravity
Braille – Box of Rhymes
Fernando Ortega – The Shadow of Your Wings
Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Colorblind

keeping an eye on…

peace… love… bdg…

general13 Nov 2006 03:32 pm

i realize that i’ve become a bad blogger… a very bad blogger… it’s not really as bad as you might think though, because i have little evidence that i was ever really that good of a blogger to begin with… i don’t think that i ever really broke any news scandals with my blog… i don’t think i was ever featured anywhere… in fact, there’s not really too much productive i’ve done with this here blog since day one… just kind of spout off when i get ticked off about things or theorize about the oddities of life… there have been times when i found the time to dig deeper into the lessons i’ve been learning through the years, but most of the time, i’m strapped for minutes as much as cash and i just tell silly stories like the Ghost in the Machine series or like the first time Gotee Records sent me a review copy and how i thought that meant that i’d “arrived” as a critic… However, i’m content with that…

anyway, it’s been a long time and i’m going to try to ease my way back into things with some hopefully shorter items/thoughts… here’s to new beginnings here’s to a new start…


05. Change

Change seems to be the vehicle that all the democrats campaigned on… that and some very bitter acts of name calling and mud slinging… and this approach to campaigning clearly worked as the government has changed hands… but here’s the thing about change… it’s great in theory and it’s a perfect platform on which to run… hey, no one is really content in life today, so why not promise change? obviously, change will be a good thing for everyone, right?… and to sell this change, all i need to do is highlight how bad things really are currently… smear… smear… smear… and promise better… just like every other adverisement on the television right now… the problem though is that people will vote for change, they don’t really want it… in principle, yes, in practice, no… so, am i concerned about the turnover? no… the “change” that was promise is unlikely to flesh out into anything substantial…

04. Agenda

The other morning littler boy managed to lock himself in his room… (we’ve reversed the locks to prevent them from locking us out etc)… generally in the morning, he has free reign of the upstairs until little boy wakes up or one of us gets out of bed… there’s some toys in our closet to keep him happy and there’s books and stuff to read all of which he enjoys… well, apparently, he had gotten a toy and went back to his room, locking the door behind him… if this were little boy, we’d have known right away by the screaming and pounding and crying… (very dramatic is he)… littler boy, however, is much more laid back… in fact it wasn’t until i got up – probably about a half hour later that i heard his door handle rattle, then a quiet little “hmmph” and his footsteps going back to his toy… i realized that he must be locked in and went to free him… he calmly came over to the door and gave me a hug for rescuing him… a real hug that was halfway between a squeeze and a resting in my arms in relief… it was such a great moment to start the day, knowing that he was grateful and that he realized that i had saved him from his predicament… but also knowing that he was content to wait until i came along… there was no agenda in the hug, no petitioning for further action… it was just a hug… and i realized that it’s been quite a while since i rested in God’s arms just because… opened my eyes so to speak…

03. Amy Grant

She’s apparently too cool for school… certainly too cool for little ole me… i was told that i needed to interview her not too long ago for a cover story at CMCentral… now, here’s how it went down… my first question was, why am i being told who to put as the cover story? the answer was that money had exchanged hands, but that *of course* the cover story hadn’t been sold… i could go off on a pretty big tangent on that, but i’ve decided to bury the hatchet and move on… anyway, my next question was why would anyone want Amy Grant as their cover or main feature?… i sure wouldn’t… to be perfectly honest – and setting aside my youth group years when i thought she was, you know, the best thing out there and my celebrity crush (at one point i was actually convinced that she had winked at me from the stage despite the fact that it was an outdoor venue and i could only see her face because i brought binoculars – we were something like 140 rows back…) – she’s not at all relevant to anything going on these days… and, as i would find out, she’s very much a princess (read too cool for school)… but again, money had exchanged hands and apparently SOMEONE more important than me DID want her featured at CMC

So, defeated Sr. Editor as i was, i went ahead and pursued an interview… (you might note that there never was an interview with Amy Grant posted at CMC, but i’ll get to that)… here’s what i found… for being pretty much culturally irrelevant, Amy Grant is hard to pin down for an interview… initially i thought that perhaps my gut-level assessment was wrong… that maybe she is worth covering since she’s so popular that i had a hard time getting ahold of her… but that’s just what they want you to think… they want you to think that she’s doing interviews almost non-stop… that everyone and their mother wants to have Amy featured in their publication, that she’s still the hottest thing in Christian music… however… it’s simply not true… (except for maybe everyone’s mother wanting to cover her)… the real story is that she only makes herself available for 1 1/2 to 2 hours every third week… even if the interviews run for 15 minutes each (the shortest ones i’ve conducted) that’s only 6-8 interviews MAX… and trust me, 15 minute interviews are nothing to brag about when it comes down to it unless you already have an established rapport with someone… anyway, my deadline and the approved interview time slot didn’t correspond and the interview was off the table… that’s when i had to scramble to figure out something else to fulfill the required coverage and that’s when i did the DVD concert review… the whole thing left a bitter taste in my mouth… moreso than i expected… and i’ve since learned that i’m not the only one who feels this way and/or had similar to worse experiences with Amy…

on a similar note… pretty much every interview that i’ve had to conduct because of secret handshakes and under the table money exchange (which sadly includes 6 of the last 8 i’ve done – not including Amy) has turned out to be a pain in the butt… missed calls, being stood up… many times the most unprofessional dealings i’ve had… it’s just not a good scene… anyway, i do potentially have another big one coming up so we’ll see how that one turns out and if another positive image is shattered by the demon of prima donna…

On a positive note… i recently posted my 25th interview for CMCentral since taking over the reins… it was with By the Tree, it was not my choice, but i went ahead and snowballed him somewhat Colbert-style…

02. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

we’re doing a series in Sunday School called Love & Respect… it’s possible that you’ve heard of it because it’s apparently sweeping the nation’s churches like woah… anyway… here’s the nuts and bolts… ladies need love and guys need respect… now, this series is based on a seminar that’s held on weekends now and then and it’s designed for marriages with the premise that the reason behind the 60+% divorce rate boils down to this basic misunderstanding of personal needs… i can understand this perspective and i think they’re definitely on to something… i mean, if your “need” (or expectation) for respect or love goes unmet, that can certainly lead to a whole lot of frustration and could easily boil over into feeling a need to get divorced… of course the other part is that it’s so dang easy and acceptable to get divorced these days…

Anyway, even though this is tailored for the context of marriage, i was more moved by what i realized about my jobs… i never got around to talking about my GMA experience much… i mean, i had the whole “official CMCentral” blog going while i was there – which never really went live for various reasons that i’ll ignore right now – but there were a couple entries of reflection that i never ended up writing down… one was called “headaching home” which talked about the morning after the Doves when i was sitting in the Nashville airport at 4:30 AM (after resorting to a taxi cab because my ride refused to answer the phone) waiting for my plane to come… and one was called “A Tale of Two Cities” which was going to contrast my two lives as a software engineer and as a broke music journalist… it’s a stark contrast and i didn’t know exactly how to put it into words back then… but i knew that it was astounding that i could run until the early morning each night and get up early without missing a beat going and going and going like i did in college… and i knew there was an energy about the city of Nashville that week that i couldn’t describe more than knowing that it encouraged the idea of creating and that i felt charged up to simply be a part of the community… i may have felt a little odd about the whole notion since it was difficult to accurately put to words… at home, however, at my day job (which generates something like 90% of my income)… i often times find myself in an empty office space, out of communion with my coworkers, rarely on the same page, rarely in the loop, often given the chores instead of the projects, a real utility employee… and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that but, i’ve now realized that what i don’t get here that i got in Nashville was respect… and hey, it does energize a guy… of course, money without respect still pays the bills, you know what i’m saying?

01. Praise God, no autographs please…

i’m going to be perfectly blunt… it’s simply not easy for me as a music critic to enjoy the worship songs portion of my church service… i realize that it’s quite telling of my attention span at church, and i’ve been working on that… but hey, come on, the music, the singing and the sound quality completely suck… well, mostly suck, anyway… now, i overcome my judgement by remembering that worship, in it’s purest form, regardless of how ugly it sounds to human ears, is a thing of beauty… i agree and that often allows me to worship in the midst of the audio assault… however, what further complicates matters is that our worship team have this rockstar mentality to them… not so much the new worship leader, but the team he’s inherited is infected with a severe case of “ALL THAT”… there’s usually a team of 4 accompanying singers at the front each week and each of them at best is mediocre as a singer, but they all are certain that the only reason that they don’t have several multi-platinum albums to their credit is because they’ve chosen not to pursue that career… it gets worse when they sing special music during the offering, because then they get the opportunity to mimic all the gestures of singers past and present while they butcher a classic… as a church, i think we hit an all time low when a duo covering a Steve Green and Sandi Patty duet drew a standing ovation after the offering had been collected… a STANDING OVATION and let me tell you it was not “clapping for the Lord”… anyway, it’s difficult to see these people act like that every week – especially having seen Tomlin, Crowder, Hall, and the likes and meeting them… stark contrast… just had to get that off my chest…


so there… that ended up being long too… hopefully i can do this more often, but if not… cherish this entry… or something… i’m off to write another batch of reviews and format some great inTRuviews and write a new Left to Write and unleash some other goodness to the world who happens to read my stuff…

currently listening to:

Stacie Orrico – Stacie Orrico
meWithoutYou – Brother & Sister
Grits – Redemption
Michael W Smith – Stand
Disciple – Scars Remain
Avalon – Faith: Hymns Collection
Manafest – Glory
Fernando Ortega – The Shadow of Your Wings
Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Colorblind

keeping an eye on…

peace… love… bdg…