Saturday, November 7, 2009

Get some free music!

When I was in Huntington a little while back I recorded some local artist, and all the songs are available for stream/download here. If you like the tunes please spread the word! Thanks!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Exciting things are happening

On Thursday I'm taking a 5 day vacation to Huntington, WV to spend some time with some friends that I haven't seen in a long time. While I'm there I'll be recording some acoustic tracks from several of them that are really talented and that I think should be heard. After I get it all done and get some time I'm going to put the songs somewhere on the web to be downloaded for free and I'll put a link up here. It should be a lot of fun, and free music is generally a good thing. It's going to be a blast!

Other than that, everyone should go buy the new David Bazan and Thrice records, they're both unlike most of each artist's discography, and although they are written from contrasting viewpoints, the former is about him not being a Christian anymore and the latter is some of the greatest faith-based music that I've ever heard, I think they both offer equally thought-provoking content. Regardless, they're both full of good songs. Hope anyone that happens to read this has a wonderful week.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What is the price of honesty?

The other night a friend sent me a link to download a documentary about the band Underoath. I expected to see a lot of live footage and the usual funny backstage banter that you normally get with any film that comes out based on a band. Throughout the two hours of the it though, I was extremely surprised at how honest this look was into the lives of the band. The camera was exactly what it should have been for a documentary type film, it was an unbiased observer, for the better or worse. I could quickly see why Tooth and Nail wouldn't let them release the feature, as a lot of the content focused on the amount of money that the band was making and how they weren't seeing any of it.

It's easy to think that more popular bands such as Underoath are living the easy life. They play big shows, have a bus driver, a crew to set up their gear and get to travel all over the world. That is not the case though. In one segment of the video one of the guitarists, Tim McTague, shared the fact that in 2007 (when this was being filmed) the band had made $1,000,000 from January of that year to the present and yet had only received $24,000 of that, which was to be split among the six members. This is coming from a supposed "Christian" record label. Ugh.

At one point, they showed a fan talking to McTague, attacking the band for using their Christianity as a marketing tool to make sure that they sold a lot of tickets/records since that's how the Christian market is. (If you don't believe me just take a second to think of how many big Christian artists have been around forever and still make a ton of money...or just look at televangelism.) McTague made the rebuttal that if they wanted to do that, it would be easy to play churches every night for $40,000+ guarantees and that they could make much more money but that they intentionally don't play Christian venues simply for that reason. This brought up something that I had struggled with in my personal life a lot for the past 3 years or so.

When I lived in Nashville I attended Lipscomb University for a year, then took a year off to just work and play music. During this time I was doing my best to not ask my parents for any kind of extra monetary help (they were paying my car insurance and cell phone) as I believed that they were doing too much for me already. Being a member of a unknown band wasn't bringing in any cash and I worked at an electronic store making $6/hr + commission. That sounds cool, but on big ticket items I would receive 1% commission, where as I would get 10% on overpriced accessories (cables, speaker wire, warranties, surge protectors...etc). I specifically tried not to sell anyone something they didn't need, because I didn't want to feel like I was cheating anyone or lying to them to make my check a little better. This is where I felt a little betrayed though. I thought here I am, being honest, doing what I feel is right, and yet the best I can afford to do for myself right now is sharing a one room apartment (not one bedroom) with two other guys and eating a diet of mostly ramen and spaghetti-os. I remember one customer coming in one day wanting to buy a TV, and after figuring out what size he wanted, what kind of things he was going to be hooking up with the tv and whether he wanted LCD or plasma, I began making a few suggestions for him to consider from different companies. When he decided on the one he wanted, he said something along the lines of "Well hopefully this is a good price and what I need and you're not just pushing this on me to get some commission on your next check." I was so mad for a second that he would say this, to the point that I explained to him that I would be making about $1.50 on this sale, and that if I wanted to do that I could have convinced him to buy a $150 surge protector and make an extra $15. He didn't believe me at first, but I explained exactly how our payroll worked and that it meant more to me that he got a good product that he loved rather than for me to screw him over and make money. He ended up being a return customer. I was very thankful for him as he would buy something every now and then that he knew he didn't really need, or could get cheaper somewhere else, but that would give me a little extra on my check. I still felt like I was being cheated though. I felt that if I was doing everything the way God wanted me to that life should be easy, that everything should be working out and that I should be comfortable. Another instance that I'm reminded of is when my band was asked to play a retreat for a church in Redding, PA. It was a 24 hour drive round trip, but one of our friends was setting it up and we said that if they could at least cover part of travel that we would do it, just because it would be a fun show. We got there, played and were about to settle in for the night so we could make the drive back the next day when the guy who put it on hands us an envelope containing about $600 more than we would need to cover all the travel. It was a huge blessing, and even though I felt a little weird about making a $200 profit on a 45 minute set for a church function, I was hoping this was God giving me this and not me being greedy for taking it. It did pay the rent and bought me a good meal though, haha.

In any event, here's what I want to say. I think that all these instances show two things in a real way that we're told through God's Word. He tells us that we should know He cares and that He will take care of us, if only for the fact that we can see how He cares for the sparrows. He also tells us that our reward in the next life is going to be so amazing that we cannot even begin to fathom it. So regardless of if you have a crappy job or if the person doing things that you think are awful seems better off than you with their job, grades or relationships with the opposite sex, just know that we are promised something so much better just around the corner by a God who is not in the business of breaking His promises.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

i promise if i came into a large sum of money tomorrow that after i took care of my parents, some people i think deserve much more than they have and a few organizations i would buy my own house somewhere on the outskirts of some town that has hardwood floors and i would build the greatest recording studio ever. i would also get a boarder collie or a great dane. i can't decide if i want a dog that is a genius or an idiot.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My friend Benji Taylor never ceases to amaze me. He has a new worship EP coming out with four originals and one cover on it, and the majority of it can be found on this myspace. The last track on there is my favorite so far. Please share this with your friends and pick up a copy when it comes out if you dig it. Thanks for checking it out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

but i've seen what happens to the wicked and proud
When they decided to try to take on the throne for the crown

Friday, August 7, 2009

i need to start being more open to learning and new experiences, but i can't throw caution completely to the wind. this is my goal for august. time to get things right.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"If we could only see us now..."

Sorry that this is so long. Hopefully it makes sense to someone other than myself, haha.

The other night I decided to text several friends that I’d lost touch with, just letting them know that I was thinking about them and that I was thankful for their influence on my life. It was awesome because most of them sent back some really cool responses and it was good to hear from them. I even got to talking to my friend Christina who I hadn’t really talked to since leaving West Virginia about 6 months ago. We started off talking about what we were each up to, she told me her plans for school in the fall etc. and I told her about work and about some stuff I was trying to get going. We eventually got on the subject of Ohio Valley University, the school that we both attended in Parkersburg, which led to some good conversation about church and the nature of God. These are the kinds of discussions that I love. I really enjoy hearing opinions from other people on these subjects and just taking in that person’s relationship with God and how they feel about the state of things now.

Christina and I come from very different backgrounds when it comes to church and faith and those kinds of things, which is really cool as far as I’m concerned. I was raised in the Church of Christ, a super conservative church that doesn’t (usually) have instrumental music or clapping/dancing/raising of hands and when you’re saved it doesn’t really come with a prayer, only baptism. Christina attends a church on the other end of the spectrum. Spiritual gifts, dancing and guitars are all things that are in attendance during their Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday services (which I have no problem with personally). We both talked about how OVU, and the Church of Christ (OVU is a Church of Christ school) mentalities seem to be somewhat of a breeding ground for the people who are so quick to say that this or that person is going to Hell for this or that because the Bible doesn’t instruct to do it. This has always perplexed me, and it’s not just an OVU thing, not just a Church of Christ thing, it’s across the board. Everyone thinks that they're right in what they're doing, or else they wouldn't be doing it, for the most part at least.

I see different churches and the way they do things and my best guess is that all we can do is study the Word and model our life on that while we find a place to worship that is preferable to the other places available to us. Is this wrong though? How can we be sure? I’ve adapted these questions to the concept of being born again that comes with being saved. Sure this is about being made clean and free of sin, but couldn’t it also be about us having to start a new life mentally too? I’ve learned to love the phrase “new Christian” in this light as well. None of us, as humans, grow at the same rate. We all experience physical changes at different ages and we mature at different times as well. I think this applies to our spiritual lives just as much as it does to our physical bodies. In my opinion, I can’t see how anyone can really expect for another person to be on the same page as them when it comes to something as personal as faith. We all have different ways of learning and understanding as well as different influences outside of ourselves that will mold us into who we are, as a human or a Christian. With that in mind, how can we say that this or that person is really wrong with their faith, or that they are remaining stagnant because they’re not going outside of their comfort zones? Aren’t we all just in our comfort zones? No matter where you worship, you must at least feel comfortable there, you must feel like you belong or that you gain something from the other members that you come in contact with.

Growing up in the church that I did was a good experience for me as I had several youth ministers in my life that were a little “out there” as some would say, but as far as I could tell all that meant was that they were actually striving to follow the Gospel of Christ rather than the cultural norm of the congregation that they were employed by. I really value this because it brought me to a place (along with a class I took instructed by the wonderful Dr. Earl Lavender while at Lipscomb and some youth ministry classes taught by a man named Jeff Fincher) where I was able to adapt what I had learned and what I continue to learn to my personal life while being respectful of other’s opinions while learning from them as well. To me this was such a blessing as I’ve met people of differing faiths over the years and been able to have such good conversations about what they believed while doing my best to answer questions that they may have about my faith. This upbringing also gave me experience with those who were super conservative and damming of most that was outside of the 4 walls of whatever square brick building they determined actually had God’s presence in it. Ugh. Please. This leads really makes me wonder though. I don’t get how this or that person can point fingers (myself included, I’m doing it right now) at others and be dumbfounded about why they think or act the way they do. I don’t get how we’re supposed to find common ground so to speak. Sure, I’m ok with people having different ideas or opinions, but I still judge people for what they say/do/believe, and it’s not justified by me not doing it audibly. I still think oh wow, this person tries to sound so intelligent by regurgitating whatever they remember from their philosophy classes and yet they don’t really have any idea about what they’re truly attempting to say. I wonder if that’s all we can do though. We obviously can’t be like Christ. We should certainly try, but we can never be as loving or compassionate or understanding as He is. We just can’t do that, which brings up the question what can we actually do? I love the quote from Ghandi that tells us that we should “be the change we wish to see in the world” but I wonder how we can be that change without venturing into situations that will leave us pointing fingers or boasting that we’re right while saying that everybody else just hasn’t figured it out yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning my faith here, I’m just questioning how to go about living it out. It’s tough to want to show the love of God to people while having this judgmental voice inside my head telling me why other people are wrong.

Sorry if this seemed scatterbrained/ unorganized...that’s how my brain works I guess, haha, I basically wrote this and didn't really look back over it, also I've never really been a writer. I would really love any thoughts that you have on this subject and I look forward to reading them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

it's been a little while

i'm pretty sure that nobody looks at this anymore, but i thought i'd take a break from my journal and post something here instead. not much is new, still slinging produce at the finest super target in charlotte (the only one), going to my psych class 2 days a week (it's over soon!) and spending my days off reading, playing music or watching movies. still haven't really met anyone in the area that i feel like hanging out with or anything, there's some alright people at work, but they're all on different pages than i am, or so it seems. it's good though, i'm enjoying the quiet and relaxation and i've been playing a lot more music recently as i'm slowly buying some decent recording gear. fun stuff. anyway, i'm tired and have class at the crack of 8am. time for sleep.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

best weekend ever.

this past weekend i went on a three day trip with two of my good friends, benji taylor and zach stewart, to three venues in tn to play some music. what followed was pure awesome.

we started out from charlotte, driving to nashville, playing at cafe coco on thursday night (not yet having practiced together) and hanging out with some of my friends that showed up. the next day we secured a practice space, ate amazing burritos, had some local brews, and played a show at the frisky berry in franklin, tn to a very small but thankful crowd. the next day brought us to knoxville's preservation pub for the best show of the weekend. it was a nice place, good sound system, friendly crowd, just an overall great experience. you should probably go ahead and watch the video here to see some stuff from the trip.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I was in Nashville for a year and a half, then back in WV for just over a year. I wonder how long this whole Carolina business is going to last. I wish I knew I would be just as well off without a degree as with one, I'm ready to move on with life, but I think my best bet is to just stay here and get that finished. Oh well. How is everyone [aka, the two people that read this] doing?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oh Charlotte

Things here are hot and stormy, weather-wise, not life-content-wise...that would probably be an awkward post. Speaking of awkward stuff, I went to the doctor today and he was pretty creepy. Trust me. Not much to say really, I'm spending a lot of hours at Target as they're training me in various areas, learning Benji Taylor songs for the TN trip in two weeks and trying to track down the elusive Sonia Maki mother's day gift. Hope you're all doing well.

Here are the dates for the Benji Taylor stuff
May 21st - Cafe Coco - Nashville, TN
May 22nd - Frisky Berry - Franklin, TN
May 23rd - Preservation Pub - Knoxville, TN

If you're in the area come out for some good music and good times.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

God Bless the Colbert Report

If not for the comic relief, than for the fact that last night The Decemberists were on there and played one of my favorite songs of the new album, well about half of it anyway. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Oh God I need it. I was was wrong again. Take me to the river and make me clean again. Oh my God, make me clean again! Oh my God, let me see again!" - Manchester Orchestra - The River

I'm trying to figure out how to be the person I was created to be. I'm tired of being unsatisfied with what I have when I'm so insanely blessed. I'm tired of worrying about where I'll be next year, the year after, etc. I'm tired of having these ideals of how my life has to go for me to be happy. I'm tired of being so freakin lukewarm. I love Jesus Christ and I'm going to start acting like it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I have been extremely bored since moving to SC. Yes, even I can get tired of playing music, surfing the web, watching The Office, sleeping...well, not really sleeping, but when I sleep too much I feel like I'm wasting away. I've started fighting this boredom by trying to get into some kind of daily routine until work starts, which is hopefully next week, that goes something like this. Wake up, check e-mail, hang out for a little bit, try to obtain more information on MIDI stuff in a live situation using Reason [which gives me headaches] playing music and then weather permitting I'll head out either before or after dinner to Panera or some equivalent to get some coffee and do some reading, mostly of the Bible. This last one has been really good for me as I realized how much I relied on my friends to kind of keep me thinking about God, in the sense that as long as we were having good conversations about it or something, I felt like I was doing OK even though I wasn't opening up the word very much. I hope to keep this up as it not only gives me some good God time, but it keeps me from buying stuff out of boredom with money I shouldn't be spending. It's been good and I'm definitely going to carry this over to my routine as work starts.

Monday, March 16, 2009

You know you like music...

So I have a good friend named Matt who just bought a house and is getting married this summer. He runs a record label. Help him pay for his house by picking something up, everything in his store has free shipping within the US! And if helping someone isn't a good enough incentive, just know that I buy this stuff, so you might be able to match with me!...and I'm that should make you want to...well...just help the dude out.

Future Destination Records Store
Future Destination Records Myspace

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

today has been a rough day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A good day for some Bon Iver.

These videos just destroyed me.

Hope you enjoy.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Last week I was having a conversation with a friend about the term “ordinary radical”. Some of you may be familiar with this term as it has been used in recent years to describe much of the emerging (for lack of a better word) Christian movements that have been seen. This title is normally used for people like Shane Claiborne or others that are radically living the way Christ has called us to live during His ministry on earth. We were talking about this label and what we thought it truly meant, which to us doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be living in an community somewhere, or give up all you own, or wear Toms or anything like that [not that these things are bad, I just feel that different people are called to different things and that this phrase shouldn’t just be used to describe the people doing these things....also, I own some Toms...yeah son.] but that being an ordinary radical should be used for those that are simply loving others in whatever way they can, according to the Gospel when we are told to love others as ourselves which, by worldly standards, is a pretty radical thing to do. The next day I had a conversation with someone who completely is showing this kind of love to someone who they don’t really have an obligation to, and I would like to tell you about this “ordinary radical”, she’s my mom.

I don’t think that many of you know much about my sister, or what she’s doing with her life or anything, so I’ll fill you in. My sister left at 18 to go to Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where she studied History. She was always a decently good kid as far as actions went, was pretty quiet, spent most of her time reading or watching TV and such, but my sister also had another side. Amanda would get into these moods where something would set her off, starting an argument between her and my parents and would eventually slip into an all out tirade of screaming, cussing, breaking stuff, whatever. This was something that she started in high school, carried on throughout college and continued even in her life after college when she moved back home. One of the more prevalent subjects of arguments that happened post-college was the fact that Amanda, at 21 years old, was dating someone over twice her age. He was also our next door neighbor. These arguments continued until one day, when she told my parents that she didn’t have to take it anymore as Ed, her boyfriend, had given her a key to his place and told her that she could move in whenever she wanted. This hurt my parents more than it angered them, even more so when she actually moved in.

The next year, I obviously was 16 and my parents were still the two strongest people in my life. I had seen them both lose siblings, seen my mom lose her mother and even in these times they remained stronger than I think I will when those hardships come for me. That’s why on my sisters wedding day, the things I saw hurt me more than anything I had really dealt with up to that point. While sitting at my sister’s wedding, I watched as my parents both broke down in tears. This was not a joyous occasion for either of them. No parent hopes that their daughter will marry the rude 45 yr old city councilman from next door, they hope for prince charming.

Now back to the conversation my mom and I had. I still haven’t really forgiven my sister for the trouble she put my parent’s through. I’ve done some pretty bad things to them as well, but just seeing them hurt like that and knowing that I can’t do anything about it, well that’s something that I had almost deemed unforgivable. I still see my sister from time to time and talk to her every now and then via the phone or AIM, but I don’t like talking to her husband that much. I Just never was able to hold a conversation with him that well after all this. Anyway...when my mom and I were talking, we happened to get on the subject of Amanda and Ed and their current situation and everything. During this conversation we had recapped some of the events of the months after she moved in with him, some of the disrespectful things he said to my parents/ relatives and I told her how I still haven’t really forgiven him. My mom went on to say that she is just happy that Amanda’s happy, that she is thankful that Amanda has someone who loves her, is good to her and that things could be worse. Because of this, my mom says that she just wants to see them have a better life, get out of debt and live happily with one another. To me, this is being an ordinary radical. My mom is embracing and showing love in any way that she knows how to someone who has never really deserved it, someone who has disrespected her. I have a lot to learn from my mom.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I should have a new post in the next couple days. Enjoy some free Conor Oberst for now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let it snow

Oh man, I am loving the snow. Granted, I just ran out to get some food, and the roads are terrible, but I love it because I've been getting some stuff done around the house, getting things ready for the move and all that jazz. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get even more stuff done and maybe write some more music. As for now, I'm going to hang out with some friends, keep warm, sip a Sierra Nevada and thank God for the beautiful sight outside my window. Blessings to you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


i should be sleeping in more today. i'm really tired, but i may just lay here a little longer then go face the day. i wish we had some cereal. the end.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I don't know.

I feel a pretty large amount of sorrow for some people that I know. I'm not sure if the word friend really fits much anymore, but I sure wish it did. I know some beautiful people that I haven't talked to in awhile that don't even know how great they are. They don't know how much they're missing. I hope to maybe reach out to them, maybe just send a kind word their way and hope they want to talk back. I love you, whoever you may be, reading this right now.