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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Recent Musical Coolness

I just found this cool site - www.christrock.com It's a blog that has music reviews of a lot of cool new bands, concert reviews, and even free music downloads on Mondays.

And now, for your listening pleasure, here are the top 10 albums I've acquired recently and can't quit listening to, in no particular order:

NeedtoBreathe - Daylight (I got a prerelease and it comes out in a couple weeks) - Christian but going the dual label route with a mainstream release on Atlantic/Lava Records (home of Skillet) and Sparrow Records on the Christian side - kind of a cross between Lifehouse, Third Day, and maybe a little Dave Matthews in places - not too hard, but nice upbeat rock/pop sound. Lyrics are good and songs are amazingly catchy from the first listen - I can't stop listening to it!

Jonah 33 - The Strangest Day - just got this and am loving it - very solid Christian lyrics, and there's a great song on being pure with our eyes called "Desensitized" - not quite as rocking as their first disc to my ears, but just as good if not better

Crossfade - self titled - a secular band, kind of like Creed and a little POD sound at times - decent lyrics that are kind of introspective and somewhat hopeful - great rock sound - kind of hard but not much more than a typical Creed/POD album

House of Heroes - self titled - very inventive lyrics, very different for Christian band and good rock sound - quite original

Kutless - Hearts of the Innocent - another prerelease that I think comes out this week or next - very good if you like Kutless. A good combination of their first album and 'Sea of Faces' - not much worship a la 'Strong Tower' but a good mix of upbeat rockers and mid-tempo songs. Strong lyrics. If you like Kutless's sound, you'll dig this.

The Killers - Hot Fuss - highly talented secular band - sound a bit like Duran Duran - I am not that into the "new" 80's type bands, but they are just phenomenal and the whole album is great - I tend to listen to all the songs, which is rare!

Fall Out Boy - From Under the Cork Tree - another secular band - kind of a pop punk thing with rock elements - I'm not that into punk sounding guys such as Blink 182 but this is really good stuff. Big hits on this one are 'Dance Dance' and 'Sugar, We're Going Down"…

Marty Casey & Lovehammers - self titled - this is the guy that came in 2nd place on Rock Star: INXS - the guy has the intense singing style of a Curt Kobain or Scott Weiland - glad he didn't win the show, as his style is too hard for the poppy INXS - another great secular album from start to finish - check them out even if you didn't watch the show, as they're quite talented - good rock sound and nice hooks

P.O.D. - Testify - it's great - much better than their last album - closer to 'Satellite' and more back to roots sounding POD, after the somewhat disappointing (to me anyway) 'Payable on Death'

The Lonely Hearts - Paper Tapes - coming out soon I think - another prerelease I got - a Christian band with a great sound - these guys used to be called Holland but have changed to a more upbeat sound than their first album - somewhat reminiscent of Beatles-type melodies - so kind of poppy and not that hard - but good songs with strong lyrics and good hooks - catchy.

Rock on!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Daughter Humbles Daddy

Anyone who knows me realizes I'm the type of guy that thrives on being funny. I just love making people laugh, and always have...and it's clear that I'm a lot like God in that way (ducking that lightning), because He obviously also has a very well-developed sense of humor.

You see, He decided that since I enjoy making people laugh and a large part of my identity is that I see myself as quite a humorous individual, that what would be good for me is to have someone in my life that just doesn't find me funny. (I don't count my wife in this role. She found me hilarious when we were dating, but now pretends she's heard all these stories before. My theory, though, is that women like to be in control, and a humorous man such as myself takes that control by inducing laughter. So rather than suffer chucklencitis, the little-known condition where the body goes into shock from so much hilarity, she protects herself from this by continual subtle lip-biting. This pain keeps her from actually verbally expressing laughter.) But I digress.

It's really our daughter, Aubrey, who God has sent to humble her daddy. For no matter what I do, she's not amused. She just looks at me with her big, beautiful blue eyes and blinks. I've tried everything. Dancing like a spastic fool to some crazy rap song? Aubrey yawns. Gregorian chanting while juggling flaming monkeys? Nothing. Sucking in helium to sing Bohemian Rhapsody all the way through in my chipmunk voice while standing on my head wearing a clown outift? Uh-uh. Aubrey falls asleep. Resorting to allowing my son to hit me in the crotch (as everyone knows, crotch-pain humor is the most desperate of all humor offerings) with a light saber, while simultanously gargling with guacamole? Aubrey pretends to find our cat fascinating.

The good news, though, is that she definitely has the ability to laugh. Loudly. And repeatedly... at my son, Caden. He goes up and just says hi really close to her face, and she thinks this is just the bee's knees. He runs around in a circle and then falls over. She snorts milk through her nose. I mean, we're talking really pedestrian material that my son is coming up with, yet she finds it hysterical.

My wife can also make her laugh. You know, by kissing her face, ohhh...LOOKING AT HER.

But that's ok, because I know one day it will happen. I'm plotting all sorts of joviality to unleash that she won't be able to resist.

But hey, even if I never make Aubrey laugh, that's ok. Because I know someone who is just CRACKING UP AT ME.

God.

I'll have the last laugh on Him too though. He'll never see this one coming...

(He doesn't know it yet, but my next tithe check? Only 9%. Heh heh.)

Um, that wasn't thunder...

Was it?