MUSIC


MUSIC&web23 Aug 2017 11:45 am

I didn’t see the podcast pop-up in the Stitcher feed until later than normal and then, there wasn’t a good time to post these notes while I was actually around to do it, so now, I’m writing up the show notes for episode 20 and thinking, “hmm… I should post last week’s notes.” And, through the miracle of future-dating posts… here we go…

Show Link
Listen Live (Wednesdays)
about StudiaDNA

Album 1: Every Mile Mattered, by Nichole Nordeman (7/28/17)
I typically spare DNA the quiet albums – especially if they fall in the realm of CCM (no offense to fans of CCM). However, this is the first full album from Nordeman in 12 years, meaning she’s been out of the industry longer than some of the new faces have been out of diapers. Always exemplifying the balance between artistic and accommodating, she tells stories with each song, a canvas for lyrics that convey meaningful depth.

EVERY MILE MATTERED opens the album with a subtle piano refrain that leads into an immediate conversation designed to catch the listener up like two long-time friends reuniting over a cup of coffee (or tea). It all comes back so quickly. The sentimental journey continues with YOU’RE HERE and her vocal is just plain endearing. The chorus opens up a little into a catchy melody and rhythm that maintains a grip on youth and adulthood. And I know that the Digest won’t get far enough into DEAR ME to fully capture the marvel of this song construction, but I’ll encourage you to go back and take a listen to the entire song because it’s quite a moving experience (I’ve gotten goosebumps every time I’ve listened so far). Like what MercyMe attempted with DEAR YOUNGER ME, except that it’s done so. much. better. It’s like she never left.
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MUSIC&web10 Aug 2017 02:43 pm

I missed the live show yet again, but just finished up the podcast and I was a little surprised by some of the reactions – and I was surprised by this week’s “winner”. That’s part of what makes this fun. Not every album is going to be a hit and, fortunately, not all of them will be misses. That’s why I try to pick albums and songs that are distinct – that’s where the voting comes in.

I suppose it might be helpful to explain that, while they are hearing the music for the first time on the show, I listen a few times before making the selections – and sometimes first impressions do not prevail. Anyway, I write a lot below so I don’t have to write a lot here… So let’s just dive into the show notes.

Show Link
Listen Live (Wednesdays)
about StudiaDNA

Album 1: Revival, by Third Day (8/4/17)
If I have to be the first to say it, let me say it as loudly and clearly as possible: I’m so tired of hearing how Third Day is going “back to their roots” every time they release a new album. It’s been so long since the early days of Third Day – you know, when their sound was still kind of fresh, new, and unaffected by the yearn for a better bottom line. That was so long ago that it really doesn’t matter anymore if they DO go back to their roots because it’s as stale as a bag of cheetos that has been sitting around in a dorm room all semester. It’s time for a new bag of chips and REVIVAL is that chance to crack open a… aw, never mind, it says this is a “return to their roots.”
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MUSIC&pop culture&web07 Aug 2017 12:46 pm

In case you don’t know, I am “producing” a weekly podcast covering music. Don’t worry, I’m not talking or anything – the dynamic duo of Aaron and Denee’ handle that. I just give them things to talk about. In an effort to cross-promote (or something that sounds social media conscious), I’m posting the show notes here.

Ideally, you’ll read them here, listen to them there, and really enjoy both experiences. I’m starting this week because… that’s it. Just because. Click the link below to listen to the show and read the text below for my thoughts. Simple, right? Here we go.

Show Link
Listen Live (Wednesdays)
about StudiaDNA

Album 1: Wildfires, by Stephen Christian (7/28/2017)
Stephen Christian fronted the modern rock band, Anberlin, until they disbanded in 2014. He also launched a solo side project, Anchor and Braille, with a slightly mellower sound. Now he steps out again, moving from Tooth and Nail (home of some of CCM’s more controversial artists) to BEC Records (home to some of CCM’s more commercial acts). WILDFIRES is a solo album that serves as a worship project of sorts as Christian follows the footsteps of Aaron Gillespie. One can’t help but wonder if this is simply a sales grab.
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MUSIC13 Apr 2017 04:15 pm

This entry dates back about four and a half years ago, but I don’t think I ever posted it. I think it’s still kind of fun. I’m told people used to like what I wrote, you know, when I wrote. Maybe I’ll be inspired to do more… enjoy.

Quite honestly, as I’m typing this up, I haven’t the slightest idea what (or how many) songs will be on the upcoming release, WOW HITS 2013. I just saw it was coming out soon and thought, as I have many times over the years, “If only I could pick the songs for the WOW Hits Collections.” (I suspect you’ve had similar thoughts.) In the interest of full disclosure (aside from not looking at the track list), I’ve stopped taking notice of the annual (or more frequent) releases of this series. I remember the very first edition and I believe I was a faithful consumer through 2001 or 2002, but I’ve not purchased an installment in quite some time. Further, my awareness of what is and isn’t a radio single remains very limited. I have listened to more Christian radio in the last few years than most of the rest of my life, but more as background noise to drown out the sounds of my car falling apart as I drive to and from sporting or musical events with the littles.

And finally, I am pretty sure the official list has some label-related restrictions, but I don’t pay the closest attention to who holds ownership rights over which label, either, so I’ve opened it up to all releases. All that to say, I’m probably not coming from the same place as the folks who compiled the official WOW Hits 2013 album. And I’m not knocking them, or their choices, I’m just explaining that I anticipate a bit of disparity between my list and theirs.

So how did I come up with my choices? I’m glad you asked. First, I went back about a year from now and scoured through the list of releases between 9/1/11 and today. In some cases, I looked a few weeks ahead, but mostly, I stuck to that date range. [continue reading this post…]

features&front page&MUSIC22 Sep 2016 03:06 pm

As I looked at the music releases of the past couple months, I noticed a trend: Most of these groups/artists had popular releases ten years ago. That either speaks to enduring artistry or a lack of creativity within the industry. Either way, this inspired me to take a closer look at this situation, since, ten years ago, I was much more a part of the music scene.

theTRu_presentsI’m going to pit these albums (the old vs. the new) against each other, track-by-track, reminisce, and see how these groups are holding up through the years. This will probably end up being a little longer than most blog readers can hold their attention for, so if you REALLY NEED to, you can skip down below and peek at the bottom line. I will try to entertain you the entire time, though.

The first group I’ll take a gander at is THE AFTERS and we’ll compare their label debut album, I WISH WE ALL COULD WIN (10 Tracks, 41 minutes), to their latest release, LIVE ON FOREVER (10 tracks, 36 minutes). I know, technically speaking, WISH came out in 2005, but it was really thriving in 2006 so I’m counting it. As you can see from the stats, they both have 10 tracks, though FOREVER weighs in at 5 minutes lighter. Let’s go ahead and dig into the tracks…
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general&MUSIC&My5&pop culture&SPORTS&television25 Sep 2015 04:23 pm

My5 today is a random mix of things I’ve been meaning to write about… should be fun.

Muppets.
The Muppets are back and Miss Piggy has a late-night show. These are more “adult” muppets apparently and the broken relationship between Piggy and Kermit is at the “heart” of storylines. I’m okay with that, I guess. The move to a late-night show makes sense because there aren’t any variety shows on the air these days. In that sense, it’s a smart decision. It’s hard to say whether this will work or be funny in the long run because, for the pilot, all the funny moments were already in the trailers. What’s missing? Puns. The Muppets are supposed to be fraught with puns. Just saying.

Football.
bills helmetIncreased concern about concussions, but 2 plays in week one featured players getting stripped of their helmets. Ndamukong Suh tackled Redskins running back Alfred Morris and then kicked his helmet off of his head while Morris still lay on the field. No penalty. No fine. On the west coast, Adam Jones tackled Amari Cooper and proceeded to rip off Cooper’s helmet and slam Cooper’s head into the helmet. He was fined at least. Seems like mixed messages being sent by the league.
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MUSIC&walkTRu29 Aug 2015 12:51 pm

Someone, somewhere, for some reason upset the apple cart and changed the music release schedule so that new music comes out on Fridays now. I can’t get used to that, but as I was poking around Spotify yesterday, I saw a familiar name and felt compelled to give it a listen and took the opportunity to force myself to write again. I need to do that more often anyway. So, below is that result. Enjoy.

K-OS – Can’t Fly Without Gravity

A long time ago, I heard a song called “Sunday Morning” by k-os (knowledge of self) that caught my ear and seemed like the next song of the summer, following on the heals of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”. Turns out, it didn’t gain that much traction, but I had discovered a new artist and really enjoyed his albums, ATLANTIS and JOYFUL REBELLION. Hadn’t heard from him in a while, but here he is again, this time with capital letters. Let’s check it out:
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general&MUSIC&My5&web25 Aug 2015 04:58 pm

Today’s “My Five” (yes, I’m ignoring my absence) is in conjunction with a podio/radicast/talk show that I listen to live pretty much every Tuesday and Friday. Shoe the Doe Live (or Later) is the brainchild of Aaron and Deneé and if you catch it live, you get to chat along with them and try to distract them and affect the show. (Not that anyone would do such a thing).shoethedoe

Every once in a while, they do a special show, dubbed a New Music Digest, where they look at four new albums that have been released recently. They let the first few songs play on the show and add their comments as they listen to it for the first time. (Yes, very similar to when I used to do walkTRus, but I don’t think they stole the idea or anything.)

Anyway, since I don’t talk about music much anymore and since I’m trying to get back into writing more, what better entrance than this one to talk about. Here’s how it went down today:
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MUSIC&news&pop culture&television&web30 Jan 2014 04:31 pm

Okay. Enough dragging my feet. I’ve been tossing around the idea of a new format for this blog for a while. One that involves, you know, blogging once in a while. I know, it’s a crazy idea, but we’ll give it a shot, right?

So here’s how this might work. Each day, I’m going to try to talk about something that grabbed my attention in the news or pop culture (assuming there’s a difference anymore), something I’m listening to, reading, and/or watching, and something outside of categories that seems worth sharing or talking about. Then, I might sum it up and let you know what to expect next time. And, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. This won’t replace the occasional book, music, movie or TV reviews, but will be passing mentions for the most part.

You can still expect reviews, commentary, and other features as time allows. I’m hoping that by forcing myself to write more often it will start a snowball effect. Let’s see how it shakes out.
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MUSIC&reviews17 May 2013 04:18 pm

I know, it’s been a little while. Not much has been coming out and I’ve been less than motivated, but working on it. Anyway, my return is marked by two other returns, two newcomers, and a duo I love to listen to. There are some surprises here, which is cool and most of these have come out within a week and a half of today. Before we get to them, though, here’s how things work. I’ll give you my thoughts on the album in 25 words or less and then I’ll add 2 key songs and 2 other artists to consider. But that is not all. Oh no, that. is. not. all. For whimsy, I throw in a random comparison. And this week, it’s condiments.

Your part is to let me know in the comments if I’m on or if I’m on something. Yeah. Okay, now we’re ready to get to it.

Amy Grant – How Mercy Looks from Here
http://amzn.to/12gW11p | http://amzn.to/107cdkp (mp3)

Not a doppelganger, it’s the real deal. New pop music from this home-grown CCM veteran. She’s come a long way, baby (baby). Mustard.

DON’T MISS: Don’t Try So Hard, Free
SEE ALSO: Cast of Nashville, Susan Ashton

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