GMA Week


Dove Awards&GMA Week&MUSIC19 Apr 2012 05:20 pm

And we’ll wrap things up with some of the Song Categories. I must be quick as time is escaping. As a reminder, if you have Spotify installed and want to follow along, here’s the playlist for most of the nominees. Off we go.

Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year

NOMINEES: Hallelujah (Lecrae),Intoxicated (JayEss),Please Don’t Let Me Go (Group 1 Crew),Riot (Tedashii),Overdose (Lecrae)

THOUGHTS: More proof that Lecrae should be Artist of the Year, right? 2 of the top 5 Rap songs of the year?

WINNER: Lecrae, probably for Hallelujah.
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Dove Awards&GMA Week&MUSIC18 Apr 2012 11:45 pm

Okay, poor planning on my part. But I’m burning the bottom of the candle, and diving into the Dove nominations for album categories. As a reminder, if you have Spotify installed and want to follow along, here’s the playlist for most of the nominees. Off we go.

Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year

NOMINEES: Backlight (Tedashi),Captured (FLAME),Culture Shock (Jai),Rehab: The Overdose (Lecrae),The Whole Truth (Da TRUTH)

THOUGHTS: This is really indicative of the style of hip hop that is selling these days – the thicker beats and harder tones – and perhaps the lack of a really strong label presence for the likes of Braille, Playdough, and such.

WINNER: Lecrae, especially since he’s such a longshot for Artist of the Year.
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Dove Awards&GMA Week&MUSIC17 Apr 2012 11:10 pm

One of my traditions here at theTRu is that of predicting (and griping about) winners for the Dove Awards. Since this year’s awards show is right around the corner, I’d better get on the ball before it’s all over. So, I’ll dive right in – only touching on the major categories and maybe a few extras that pique my interest. If you have Spotify installed and want to follow along, here’s the playlist for most of the nominees. Off we go.

Song of the Year

NOMINEES: Alive (Natalie Grant), Blessings (Laura Story), Celebrate Me Home (The Perrys), Glorious Day (Casting Crowns), Hold Me (Jamie Grace), I Smile (Kirk Franklin), I’ve Been Here Before (Ernie Haase & The Signature Sound), Please Forgive Me (Gaither Vocal Band), Who Am I (Jason Crabb), Your Great Name (Natalie Grant)

THOUGHTS: Well, there’s a lot of Southern Gospel represented here, some old and new standbys, and one fresh face. Speaking of, I can’t listen to Hold Me without singing Neil Sedaka’s Calendar Girl in my head. There, I said it. I’m not sure I would’ve picked any of these songs to be perfectly honest, but I’m at a loss for replacements.

WINNER: Blessings should win. Glorious Day is likely to take it home, though.
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Dove Awards&GMA Week21 Apr 2010 03:31 pm

So, the day of the Dove Awards is upon us and i have yet to make my annual predictions… since time is always short these days, i’m going to go ahead and make some quick predictions on the major categories as they are listed on the Official Dove Awards website… i may post a reactionary piece after the fact as well, but we’ll see… for now, let’s just dive right in…

now playing: Megaphone – Braille

Artist of the Year

The nominees are: Francesca Battistelli, Casting Crowns, Jason Crabb, Jars of Clay, TobyMac, Mary Mary, and Skillet.

Traditionally this is the capstone award and, in turn, the most frustrating to the widest amount of fans when the results don’t align with, i don’t know, artistry perhaps? Anyway, this typically ends up being the most popular (read: biggest cash cow) artist at the time and recently, the GMA trends towards the “hip” factor. Be that as it may, the need for wide-spread popularity immediately eliminates Francesca, Jason Crabb, Mary Mary, and (yes) Skillet. It’s surprising that Casting Crowns has never one this award, nor has Jars of Clay. Toby, as a past winner, is the clear favorite, but i’m going to go out on a limb and say that Jars of Clay takes this award for their performances on and off stage, despite up and leaving the CCM industry and striking out as an indie band.

Artist of the Year

The nominees are: Francesca Battistelli, Michael Boggs, Mike Donehey, Jason Ingram, Jennie Lee Riddle, and Neil Thrasher

Interesting group of nominees here… and i have to go with Jennie Lee Riddle actually. She wrote Revelation Song all by herself. It could easily go to Francesca, however, as a way to give her something to take home. Not that she doesn’t deserve a Dove, i just think she’ll be pretty much shut out this year.

New Artist of the Year

The nominees are: Jonny Diaz, Kari Jobe, Revive, Sidewalk Prophets, Bluetree, Crystal Akin, and Brian Courtney Wilson

So this is always an interesting award… besides stretching the definition of “artist” they also stretch the meaning of “new”… okay, no ranting, but i’d bet that no more than 15% of CCM listeners have heard of Crystal, Brian, or Kari… well, maybe Kari, but only because she’s been recording for several years now. (Same goes for Jonny Diaz). Jonny certainly had a breakout year, but i don’t think he has the pull to win, neither does Sidewalk Prophets for that matter. Which leaves Revive and Bluetree and i’m gonna say that Bluetree takes home the hardware.

Group of the Year

The nominees are: Casting Crowns, Gaither Vocal Band, Jars of Clay, NEEDTOBREATHE, Tenth Avenue North, Hezekiah Walker & LFC, and Skillet

immediate eliminations include GVB – though, i reckon their new album is fantastic – Hezekiah, and Skillet… why? their fanbase is marginalized. Leaving Casting Crowns, Jars of Clay, NEEDTOBREATHE and Tenth Avenue North. I’d love to see either of the latter two take it home, but chances are this one goes home with Casting Crowns (for the SIXTH year in a row).

now playing: The Motions – Matthew West

Female Vocalist of the Year

The nominees are: Francesca Battistelli, Natalie Grant, Mandisa, Dawn Michele, Karen Peck Gooch, Heather Headley, and Laura Story

here’s the rub… you might think that because Francesca is the only female solo artist up for artist of the year, she’s a lock to win here. She’s not, and neither is anyone not named Natalie Grant.

Male Vocalist of the Year

The nominees are: Jeremy Camp, Jason Crabb, Michael English, Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman, Mark Schultz, Donnie McClurkin, and Smokie Norful

i doubt anyone would argue that Michael English has the best vocal of any of these nominees… but that’s not really the question here, despite the name of the category. Besides, we’ve been down that road before – i’m just saying. This one’s gonna be another repeat with the nod going to Brandon Heath.

Song of the Year

The nominees are: Born to Climb (Jeff & Sherri Easter), By Your Side (Tenth Avenue North), Free to Be Me (Francesca Battistelli), God is There (Diamond Rio), I Will Rise (Chris Tomlin), Let the Waters Rise (MIKESCHAIR), Revelation Song (Phillips, Craig & Dean), Somebody Like Me (Jason Crabb), Two Hands (Jars of Clay), and Why Can’t All God’s Children Get Along (Karen Peck & New River)

Typically, this is a song that encapsulates the anthem of CCM for the year. Usually, it’s a ballad, it’s a worship song, and it’s been played to death on the radio. It’s gotta be a song that everyone instantly recognizes and at least half are pleased to hear. The standbys (Casting Crowns, MercyMe) aren’t in it this year, which makes it a little trickier, but the finalists are instantly Tenth Avenue North, Chris Tomlin, and Jars of Clay. (I would’ve expected Matthew West’s The Motions – WHERE IS THAT?) But i’m going with By Your Side because i don’t think I Will Rise was a typical Tomlin smash hit and Two Hands is too awesome not mainstream enough.

Producer of the Year

The nominees are: Ed Cash, Ian Eskelin, Wayne Haun, Bernie Herms, Jason Ingram, and Rusty Varenkamp

not too many people who aren’t producers or industry folk care about this category, and the GMA pretty much copy-and-pastes the nominees in each year. Without looking up all the albums that they worked on this year, i’ll just go with Bernie Herms again.

now playing: The Unavoidable Battle of Feeling on the Outside – FM Static

okay, now a couple quick hits…

Rap/Hip Hop:
– SONG: End of My Rope (KJ-52)
– ALBUM: Reiterate (Grits)

Rock:
– SONG: Hero (Skillet) – really, 2 RED songs? they couldn’t think of another rock group?
– ALBUM: Innocence and Instinct (RED)

Rock Contemporary:
– SONG: Lay Em Down (NEEDTOBREATHE)
– ALBUM: Church Music (David Crowder*Band)

Pop Contemporary:
– SONG: Until the Whole World Hears (Casting Crowns)
– ALBUM: The Long Fall Back to Earth (Jars of Clay)

And that’s it for me folks… we’ll see how i did tonight… it’s always weird not walking around Opry Mills Mall for a couple hours before heading over to the Opry House, getting backstage and grabbing a tall sweet tea and some other treats from the back table… perhaps another year… for now… we build and grow…

peace… love… bdg…

2008&Bookshelf&features&front page&GMA Week&It All Goes Back in the Box&news&pop culture&reviews&walkTRu13 May 2008 05:29 pm

i promised myself that i’d write again before it was time to do the whole American Idol thing and yet, here it is again… Tuesday staring me square in the face laughing at my lack of discipline… mocking me with my own voice… well… anyway… it is Tuesday but it’s not time for Idol… not just yet anyway… and i’ve not been idle in the meanwhile… in fact, i’ve been so busy that i’m ready to burst…

in the past week (though it feels like one long day), i worked on building out a new site for my brother and sister in law, i transcribed a lengthy interview, i wrote two feature articles, i wrote a couple reviews, i did a walk TRu, and i sketched out some work on a few other projects i have whirling around in my head… all this on top of my day job, the duties of which have exploded over the last five days or so… this is going to be one hectic week, i’ll tell you that much… so much so that i missed out on having a sabbath this past weekend and i’m a little discombobulated… anyway… my time is probably short, so let’s go ahead and dig in…

MOVIE MONDAY

to the tune of Assets and Targets – John Powell (from The Bourne Ultimatum)

Well, i finally got around to watching the third installation of the Bourne trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and all i have to say is woah… not like a Keanu Reaves, Matrix, “woah”… a serious, have i taken a single breath this entire movie, woah… i normally try to do some work or whatever on my laptop while the movies are playing, but not while Jason Bourne was on… i had a tough time taking my eyes off the screen the entire time and that’s how an action movie should be… if i’m watching an action flick, i want to be completely taken in by it… i want the little boy in me to be acting out the fight scenes for the next few days after watching it… bottom line, The Bourne Ultimatum gets a 4.5 out of 5 from me…

RETURN OF THE TALK

to the tune of Jesus is Just Alright -dc Talk

So i’ve realized that i don’t talk music enough here on the old blog, which is genuinely odd since this is primarily a music website… if i made any bread and butter, you could say that music is where i’ve made it… and since i enjoy the older stuff too, when i saw this headline… dc Talk Reunites. . . i naturally had to check it out and share it with you all… i knew we’d all be excited together… (note: yes, i realize that it is what it is)…

WHERE IS THE LOVE

to the tune of Love Is Here – Tenth Avenue North

And now for perhaps some more serious musical news… hot new band Tenth Avenue North who’s debut record is set to release next week has released a video for their lead single… the video for Love Is Here seems to pay a bit of tribute to The Beatles and U2… or maybe i’m reading into it too much… anyway, the song’s really good….

IN OTHER WORDS

to the tune of Violet Hill – Coldplay

When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg… Well, i’ve moved onto the final section of this book, which means it’s time for me to talk about Hazards (the second to last section)… the first chapter in this section jumped off the pages to me… “BEWARE, THE SHADOW MISSION” discusses what i’m far too familiar with… distractions… distractions keep you from accomplishing your mission… shadow missions seem like worthy causes sometimes… like, hey, can i really beat my previous high score in that game?… but they occupy your time and prevent you from making progress on what actually matters in the long term… it’s somthing that i can honestly admit to struggling with just about every day…

the rest of the section is good, too, reminding us that competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing… more stuff will never make us more of an actual success… and what’s really important in terms of our physical existence is how we react to, cohabitate with and most importanty love those around us… all in all, a number of good lessons in this book so far… and as i’ve rounded the last bend as they say (i have about 20 pages to go), it’s earning my recommendation more and more with each page turned… stay tuned for the finale sometime (most likely) next week…

PEEP INSTEAD OF SLEEP

okay and there are a few things to check out over on the main page… first, a Walk TRu of WOW Hits [1]… part two of my GMA Reflections and Responses… and an album review of Meredith Andrew’s debut album, The Invitation… right around the corner, you can expect some more reviews, 2 interviews (Salvador and Stephanie Smith), an iTRunes playlist and a handful of other things…

peace… love… bdg…

2008&americanidol&features&front page&GMA Week&interviews&inTRuviews&pop culture&reviews&reviews&walkTRu06 May 2008 11:19 pm

So, it’s another Idol night already and that means i’ve not updated in a week… what a jerk… anyway… i’ve been trying to readjust to life and a bunch of other excuses that you don’t care about, i’m sure… and man, have my allergies been driving me nuts lately… my eye has been twitching for about a month and my nose has been twitching on and off as well… the littles are starting to struggle with the pollen counts, too, which really makes like fun… anyway… lots to get to, so let’s get getting…

MOVIE MONDAY

i meant to go post this yesterday, but i didn’t post anything so, here it is now… i finally, (read: FINALLY), saw Oceans Thirteen… and for me, it was goooood… i really like the series and i thought this one fit very nicely into the mix… you gotta love crooks who steal to make other people happy… and they’re all just the epitome of cool… a couple odds and ends notes… as expected there were a number of twists and turns in the plot line… i say expected because it seems like every movie now has to have these crazy twists at the end nowadays… i think that eventually, we’ll get to the point where a straightforward movie – one where what you expect to happen actually happens – is going to be the new suspense thriller… just a thought… Also, and i’m not one to force spiritual meanings into things, but at the end of the movie, all i could think about was that verse in the Bible about man making all the plans that he wants, but it’s only God’s plans that actually matter in the long run… yeah… i should figure out where that’s from exactly… i’m guessing Proverbs…

FOUR MORE (A.K.A. THE AI COMMENTARY)

to the tune of Roll over Beethoven -Chuck Berry

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame night… i… wanna rock and roll all night…. and party every day… okay… so i’m not going to guess the songs this week, but anyone wanna bet that Brooke tries to crash the stage and sing Piano Man or something… anyone? anyone?… okay… the show’s underway after Ryan specifies when the judges are allowed to speak…

David (Daughtry the 2nd) Cook: Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran… i remember the video for this song more than anything else about it… i think some dude was wandering around the woods trying to catch a girl dressed up like Little Red Riding Hood and he’s wearing a wolf skin… i remember that video more then i expect to remember this performance actually… Randy says it was just okay… Paula says she’s hungry for some David Cook and then she rambles on about something odd… Simon says it’s probably good enough, but nothing special…

Syesha (a.k.a. Cry-esha): Syesha’s dress has been designed by Kristy Lee Cook… or something… oh, i like the hat… Tina… i thought she might sing some Tina or Aretha, but i don’t know who’s in the HOF… wow… she’s trying to look like Tina… she’s definitely working it… she has the clear advantage of being the only official girl left in the competition… and this song is alright… her vocal isn’t that great, but the performance is very strong indeed… she knows how to use the stage… Randy says she was in the zone… (no, i didn’t just copy that from last week)… Paula says she looks like a star… Simon says he has to put a slight damper on it… shrieky, bad impersonation of Tina Turner… the song was Proud Mary, by the way…

Jason (Castor Oil) Castro: i think Carley’s drunk… so, go figure, Jason Castro is singing a Bob Marley tune… I Shot the Sheriff… props right off the bat to the band… they’re fantastic… he’s alright… well… i mean, this really… well… um… he looks the part at least… he needs to take into account the dynamics and meaning of the song… Randy plays the karaoke card… Paula says he played to the crowd… Simon says it was utterly atrocious and he has no idea what Jason was thinking…

{Little) David Archuleta: singing Stand By Me… and he actually looks like the kids walking on the train tracks during this movie… i remember singing this song in like fifth grade or something… i think i sounded about the same… well, i didn’t sing it solo or anything… but come on… if anyone deserves the karoake card, it’s him right here… that’s just… bah… Randy says he broght the hot man vocals… or hot mad vocals… or something like that… Paula says she admires that he kept his eyes open… Simon says whistling would’ve been better than Jason’s song, that he struggled a little bit, but it was the best performance so far…

REALLY? YOU WANT MORE?

to the tune of A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

So far i’m not really impressed with any of them (surprise), but as of halfway through, Archy and Jason seem to be battling for the boot…

David (Daughtry the 2nd) Cook: singing something from The Who… Baba O’Riley?… i never listened much to The Who… it seemed really short, which isn’t a baad thing… i’ve decided that he sounds like Todd Agnew… slow build and now he’s screaming up the end of the tune… whatever… it’s alright… Randy says it was really good, the David Cook they like… Paula says she wants a happy meal with a David Cook toy to hug and squeeze and hang from her rear view mirror… Simon says welcome back…

Syesha (a.k.a. Cry-esha): oh no she isn’t… she’s singing my boy Sam Cooke… Change is Gonna Come… look, if you can’t mess with a Bob Marley song, i’m not sure you can mess with Sam… well, this is an entirely new arrangement… and she’s belting out the words here and there… that’s a strong finish, but i’m not sure that the whole thing was that great… not as much soul to it as the original… Randy says he didn’t like the arrangement and you shouldn’t mess with Sam… Paula says she did a great thing with her vocals… Cry-esha is still reeling from Randy’s harsh comments… Simon takes pity and sides with Paula, noting that Randy got it entirely wrong…

Jason (Castor Oil) Castro: oh gosh… Jason didn’t shoot the sheriff, he shot himself in the foot, head and heart… BOB DYLAN???? and we don’t know the lyrics… somebody call Wayne Brady up on stage… i don’t even know what to say… sort of like Jason… wah wah waaaah wah wah waaaaah…. well, needless to say, it was terrible and he’s going to get trashed… he might not get voted off though… Randy just kind of giggles… Paula is smelling her feet… Simon tells him to pack his suitcase…

{Little) David Archuleta: oh… good grief… he really IS trying to beat Jason for the lamest performance… Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley… and he’s, well, he’s saving himself quite nicely actually… the vocal is pretty solid… why does the dude who can sing really well have to be so annoying?… Randy says he was carressing the lyrics… Paula says he’s so sweet… Simon says he CRUSHED all those who oppose…

Well, i’ll say that the Davids are safe and Jason will go home despite the possibility of pretending to forget the lyrics for the sake of getting sympathy… Syesha will probably be left on stage with Jason, but should be safe…

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

So, lots of new stuff to peep over on the main page… first up, a Walk TRu of the Jars of Clay Greatest Hits project… part one of my GMA Reflections and Responses… an interview with Poems (formerly Sharlok Poems, Sharlok P, etc from LA Symphony)… and an album review of Salvador’s latest, Aware… and there’s plenty more to come…

peace… love… bdg…

2008&Dove Awards&GMA Week23 Apr 2008 11:29 pm

On we roll with the program… Casting Crowns are up here now and Mark was talking about how there’s no “next level”… we need to live as though we’ve already arrived…

Next up is David Crowder Band fielding lots of questions about their performance and it seems that they put the whole production together with staple guns and glue in the parking lot…

Now is The Hoppers with Karen Peck and New River and i think that’s going to wrap things up for the night… i’m pretty sure it’s gonna do it for me… hope you all enjoyed the coverage and i’ll catch you later

peace… love.. bdg…

2008&Dove Awards&GMA Week23 Apr 2008 11:03 pm

well, the awards have all been handed out and we’re watching what seems like a very rousing and amazing Southern Gospel, bluegrassy, revival jam going on over on the main stage but it seems that the XM radio station didn’t want to stay with the program and my audio stream is dead… i don’t know or really care who’s on stage right now, but we’re still here…

okay, now here’s Switchfoot… definitely recommending catching their upcoming tour if you can… The Music Builds Tour gives back proceeds to Habitat for Humanity and it definitely promises to be one of the best tours of the year…

the guests are coming fast and furious now and they’re backed up at the opening… the “idol” trio of Sligh, Stacy and Mandisa spent a bit of time up on stage and now Toby is up there with some crazy shoes that i can’t manage to get a picture of… i could describe them to you, but not without revealing my geeky sneak background… okay, there we go… i managed to get a shot of them… Toby, by the way, hauled in four statues…

Point of Grace is with us now and i think the notion that it will be an early night has completely gone out the window… Chris Tomlin is up now and he’s talking about how he didn’t want to be the “punk” that messed up the greatest song of all time, meaning Amazing Grace…

peace… love… bdg…

2008&Dove Awards&GMA Week23 Apr 2008 10:18 pm

Sandi Patti and Mark Lowry are onstage right now getting ready for the Artist of the Year award… Michael Jr. and Ben Utech are backstage… MJ is way funnier than Mark Lowry… but i’m interested in seeing who wins this…

and the winner is… TOBYMAC

Q: Has anyone told you [Michael Jr.] that you look like Kirk Franklin?

A: Only people who don’t have many black friends.

peace… love… bdg…

2008&Dove Awards&GMA Week23 Apr 2008 10:05 pm

Israel Houghton is back here now, but he’s gotta be upstaged right now, but the Michael W Smith tribute… which has started out with Amy Grant and Michael on stage together with Amy reflecting on Michael’s career… i think she’s taking some credit for his success, but who knows… she mentioned that she hired him to play piano for her tour, for “a little bit of money and a deli tray”…

Amy’s singing Thy Word while Michael’s playing piano and now joining them on stage… Phil Stacey, Chris Sligh and Mandisa… it’s kind of like American Idol: Smitty Night… Phil’s starting off with “Place in This World“… and now it’s time for Mr. Sligh… he’s talking about how old he is because he used to have cassette tapes… um… moving on… He’s singing “Secret Ambition” which is well received… and now, Mandisa says, they were good, but she wants a little more soul…. “Crown Him With Many Crowns” which was originally done with Anointed… oh, and Mandisa doesn’t get it all by herself… they’re all singing…

now they’re all singing “Worthy is the Lamb” or “Holy Holy” and most of us are ignoring the comedianne who’s backstage right now… even though i wouldn’t say it’s a great performance… it’s a pretty nice moment…

peace… love… bdg…

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