Passion Pit – Manners

This band is awesome! Manners is definitely going to be my feel-good-album-of-the-summer-09. The more I listen to this the more rich it’s getting…that’s the only word I got for this layered bit of musical excellence. I would die a happy man if I could make an album like this…ok that’s maybe a bit strong. But it is almost that good.

Passion Pit

If you’ve never heard of AmieStreet Music you should go ahead and check it out…it’s a great place to discover new music (and find some older stuff too) for good prices.

Fiction Family

What happens when you cross Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot? You get Fiction Family. As odd of a couple as they may sound…they are really good. My friend Lindsey hooked it up with tickets to their show in Portland on Wednesday night and I was really impressed…I would recommend seeing them if you can (especially on the west coast as Sara Watkins is playing fiddle with them!) and picking up their album if you got some bucks to spare…

Anyone that does this has to be pretty good:

The Edge’s Live Gear Setup

I have often…literally often…thought about what gear The Edge from U2 uses. His sound has become legendary and nobody comes close to his sounds. I have tried…and failed miserably…and have just decided to practice more!

But here is a video that answers my questions about what the Edge plays…or better yet, what the Edge doesn’t play. Let’s just say he takes 45 guitars on tour!

Here’s the video…and if you’re a guitar player…you may need to watch this a couple of times (like I did) to get all the wonderfulness that is going on here.

Thanks to Gerry at Worship Guitar Guy for finding this!

Books I’m Reading, Music I’m Loving

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about things that I love in hopes that you will love them too…so here we go

Anatomy of Peace
by The Arbinger Institute

When I read Leadership and Self Deception a couple of years ago, it changed my life. Seriously. I didn’t have those expectations when starting to read this book because I wanted it to stand alone. I can’t say this book had the profound insight into my life for the here and now as the other book, but this book helped give me a vocabulary and insight into my personal justification which results in distorting the relationships and world around me. Once again, The Arbinger Institute cleverly delivers bombshell messages that could change your life if you can find yourself in the story. I would give both this book and Leadership and Self-Deception 5 stars and recommend them to anyone who wants their relationship to grow. 

The Call of the Wild
by Jack London

Yes, for real. I found this book in a Dutch thrift store and remembered reading it as a kid in school. So, I decided to make this book my ‘mindless’ read. This is a classic book, amazing writing, and a cool story about a genius dog that can pull 1000 pounds in the snow and kill a moose by itself. I really found myself relating to Buck in his extra-ordinaryness…ok, maybe not. 

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse
by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen

My friend Laina loaned me this book and I’m only in the first part. It’s honestly a lot to think about. Because the truth is…it happens and people are harmed by people whom they give spiritual authority to. If you are a leader of people in a spiritual position it would be good to read this to heighten your senses to the subtle ways that we can unintentionally hurt those whom look to us as leaders. I hope that as I process this, I’ll be given insight into how I need to repent!


Organizing Genius
by Warren Bennis

I just picked this off of my friend Al’s bookshelf and it seems appropriate for the season that Jen and I are in. We are starting to look at recruiting for the future and this book is all about how to collaborate with other people and ‘manage’ talented people…which is an aspiration of mine. So we’ll see how it goes!

From the eyes to the ears…Music I’m listening to…

Brandon Grissom – Brighter Ep

Brandon is an acquaintance whom I met in Paris years ago when he was passing through. He’s a worship leader for a ministry called Axis in Chicago. This album seems to be written with corporate worship in mind…as he is a worship leader. I have to say…this album is a refreshing departure from standard worship tunes but is still catchy enough to be able to sing along with. If you are looking for worship songs that are musically good and have good lyrics…then check this out. It’s a welcomed breath of fresh air in the oft-boring and cheeseball worship music that is marketed well enough to make it ‘bigtime’…gosh I’m jaded. Another good album in this vein is Travis Taylor’s You Have Loved. 

Copeland – You Are My Sunshine

I just bought this today (and Brandon’s album) thanks to my friend Rachel hooking me up with an iTunes gift card! I am half way through it and I love these guys…it’s kind of head bobbing pop-rock with good instrumentation and percussion…check ‘em out! 

Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

Jen discovered these guys back in March and it is easily my favorite album of 2008. The cat is out of the bag about these guys and they are kind of blowing up in the Indie scene. I got to see their show in Amsterdam and they blew away very high expectations. I think that a lot of Indie bands try to hard to be ‘artsy’ and come across as pretentious and contrived. Bon Iver is a band of people that seem the exact opposite. They genuinely seem to be surprised at their success and seem to just love playing…and they should because they are brilliant…

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Howl

Thanks to my buddy Tim who is putting together a pretty amazing list of albums on his blog, I found out about these guys…and they’re just good. 

Jon Foreman – Season EP’s 

That’s not the real title of Switchfoot frontman’s albums…but it works for me. Jon Foreman has put out four EP’s entitles Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring…each one with a bit different vibe to it. I’ve really be into them. 

Ok…that’s enough for now…I hope that you will enjoy any and all of these things I’m enjoying…

Joseph Arthur…an artist

Joseph Arthur is an artist that inspires me to be more creative…check this out. He makes this look easy…

He has a way about his lyrics (most of the time) that I don’t think many song writers do. He is abstract enough to interpret, but concrete enough to make you think you know what he’s talking about. His music is genius and beautiful, haunting and magnetic…I was this close to getting to see him in Portland this week…hopefully he’ll tour Europe soon!