don’t tell anyone, but i’m writing again… stealing time in a sense… actually, i’m sitting in a all-staff meeting via conference call and what i hear more than our organization’s president is the constant reminder that “someone has joined the conference”… latecomers… anyway… since i have some time to be low-key and unable to listen to music, much less write about it, i can unload a few thoughts rambling around in my head… a few will be music related of course… but here we go…

A MUSICAL INTERLUDE

since many of you have asked and since i’m so far behind on my album reviews at CMC and since i need to work on shorter reviews, here’s a few quick takes on some of the albums i’ve been listening to the last month or so…

  • The Showdown: i know that this is kind of a “sell-out” album for them in the sense that the sound is much more accessible and pretty much completely overhauled since the last album. Well, i like it a heck of a lot more than Chorus of Obliteration. If i can be so bold, i’ll compare it to when Metallica released the black album. All the die-hard fans were really ticked, but the album has since proven to be a classic and the launching pad from which Metallica reached a far greater audience…
  • TobyMac: this is yet another example of an album that will tick off the overthinkers and artsy folks, but will be loved and adored by people who enjoy music that is (gasp) fun… It’s a great pop album from my standpoint and i enjoy it very much, even if it is on a slightly superficial level… it did take a few listens to really sink in however, so, i’m sure that can be a stumbling block for some…
  • Group 1 Crew: yeah, another fun, frilly group with a straightforward pop sound and slight hip-hop leanings… Black Eyed Peas meets Souljahz meets fun… it’s a good old party listening to this album and i really didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as i do…
  • Lost Ocean: i haven’t talked much about this group and honestly hadn’t listened to it all that much until this week as i realized that i need to review the album, but it’s pretty darn cool… at times it feels like an Anberlin album and at times it feels like Mae or something along those lines… it doesn’t surprise me at all that i enjoy it, since there’s yet to be a release from Credential that isn’t top-notch…
  • K-OS: last and primarily on my mind and in my ears… i picked up Atlantis – Hymns for Disco for a mere eight bucks on iTunes… and i know it’s pretty early in the year to declare that if you only buy one album all year… but seriously, this album is amazing… hip hop, jazz, soul, it’s just beautiful all the way through… and fyi this year’s Crazy is called Sunday Morning… more on this album in the near future…

    WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

    This is odd… last year at GMA week i had a minor overlap of my two lives… in that there was a minor presence of my day job at the Dove Awards… this year, the presence will be much greater and i was actually asked about doing work for my day job while i was down in Nashville… the good point would be that i might not have to take vacation days, but there’s so many bad points too… we’ll see… it’s definitely a strange feeling to have what seem to be two completely different jobs aligning like stars… i’m thinking that it’s something of a bad omen…

    ME AND THE MOUSE (PART 1)

    i might as well get started with the whole Disney thing, since i have this time and i know it will need to be spanned across a few entries… so here goes…

    Day One of our trip ended up being Friday instead of Saturday because we were tipped off that the Daytona 500 was Sunday and that traffic could potentially be a real nightmare on Saturday if we got in that area too late… so, Friday afternoon, we unfortunately bypassed the Chris Tomlin concert that i was all set up to attend (including meet and greet and all that good stuff) and instead headed out on a 6 1/2 hour drive down to somewhere in South Carolina, effectively splitting the 13 1/2 hour trip to Orlando in half (approximately)…

    on the drive down, i heard from my brother who was driving his family down to Richmond to split up the 21 hour drive from CT and found out that he had unfortunately opted to go through PA… that was a big problem because PA has the laziest department of transportation in the entire US… all the major highways through PA were closed because none of them had been plowed after the snow (which came down on Tuesday and Wednesday)… needless to say, he had spent about 17 hours on backroads and such trying to get through the state and on to Richmond, where he did eventually arrive safely… my parents on the other hand stuck with 95 and made it to their midpoint destination (somewhere in NC) in record time…

    Oh, if you’re ever in Florence, SC and think about eating at Ruby Tueday’s, don’t… we had the WORST service… and the food wasn’t all that great either… come to think of it, the hotel wasn’t the greatest either… come to think of it, don’t go to Florence SC… it has nothing to offer…

    Day Two took us down through Daytona without too much ado… we continued down I-4 to Orlando and noted the really odd traffic patterns that had us cruising along one minute with no one else on the road and stuck in a mob of traffic at a standstill the next… really odd, but no traffic is much of a concern to me given our surrounding area… Since we were the furthest along on day one, we were the first to arrive at the house that we rented… (apparently, we were the only ones with the common sense to understand directions as well, since we were the only ones to get to the house without getting lost)… Interestingly enough, the house was only like a couple miles from from a hotel that i stayed at on a business trip to Orlando six years or so ago… but, then we entered the house…

    Strike one was that the key code we had been given didn’t work… after a call, we were informed that the code was never changed and that we had to use the previous week’s code… great… strike two was that the house was incredibly dirty when we walked in… not incredibly dirty like there was a mudslide or anything, but certainly not as clean as one would expect from a place that we paid to rent for the week… Strike three is a series of items that all fall under the catagory of false advertising… basically things that were not as promised to us… for instance, the house was supposed to be equipped with hi-speed wireless internet… it was equipped with a moderately hi-speed wired DSL line… fortunately for me, i always try to pack an extra cable… next, there was the “giant LCD television” in the common area that was actually a 32 inch standard tube television… and the “newly remodeled game room packed with foosball, pool, air hockey and darts” that was actually equipped with a pool table (with 3 usable, but broken cue sticks), an air hockey table, and a dart board that included one broken dart… no foosball, but it was in fact “packed” with a few old mattresses, a desk, an empty old entertainment center, a few more standard tube televisions, and a lot of other items that made it more of a storage closet than action packed game room… oh, and it had an original playstation (not to mention sega genesis) unit instead of the advertised PS2…

    Now, i’m a reasonable man and i didn’t come down to Florida to sit around the house and watch a giant LCD television or spend hours doing work online or even play foosball necessarily… none of these are necessarily dealbreakers to me… however, when i pay for a house that has three master bedrooms, it shouldn’t have only two master bedrooms… sure, we survived, but my wife and i ended up sleeping on a double bed the whole week in what was little more than a glorified hotel room that included a sharing a bathroom with the littles… this would all be fine if that’s what i was paying for… also, the pool in the back didn’t seem to have any visible signs of a heating unit which we also paid for… the water was freezing as it was in the 40s that day…

    So, here is my Disney Lesson # 1 (i will hopefully be coming up with a number of lessons/tips along this journey): Nothing is EVER as advertised.

    After we got over the initial letdown of the accommodations and unpacked and woke littler boy up from his impromptu nap that began 5 minutes before we pulled in, we decided to head over to Downtown Disney rather than sitting around awaiting the arrival of our vacation mates… and i’ll pick up there another time…

    AND ONE MORE THING…

    i’m pretty sure that i have officially broken through the funk that has been plaguing me thus far this year… maybe it was Disney, maybe it was just time… maybe i’m fooling myself… but i know that a lot of it has to do with this “secret” project that i’m working feverishly on in my spare time… one that i’m TRu-ly excited about and one that is in fact a dream come TRu… a dream i began envisioning over a year and a half ago… God is good and i think that this will be as well… anyway, it’s something you can all ponder as i get back to work…

    spinning round in circles:

    Anberlin – Cities
    K-OS – Atlantis: Hymns for Disco
    John Waller – The Blessing
    Family Force 5 – Business Up Front Party in the Back (Diamond Edition)

    i’ve got my eye on…

    peace… love… bdg…