Category Archives: Christian Music

For all the times Switchfoot got it right

I love the band Switchfoot. My high school friends can attest to this. My college peeps would agree. My post-grad compadres would likewise vouch for the validity of my claim.

I can’t count the number of times in my life that a Switchfoot song was the sweet balm of musical understanding I craved in a particular situation.

I can get lost for hours in the vocal stylings of Jon Foreman. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the band numerous times. They are chill Diego-rock dudes.

Like I said. I love Switchfoot.

Their lyrics continually cycle through my mind and I apply them liberally.

Take today, for example. One of my Facebook friends posted a delightfully true article about why Generation Y Yuppies are unhappy. It’s a long read, but it’s a good read, so check it out. Naturally, given what I just said, the word “yuppie” in the title made me think of the Switchfoot song “Happy Is A Yuppie Word.” So, of course, thus commenced a session of listening to Switchfoot.

A few lyrics from “Happy Is A Yuppie Word”:

Lookin for a bridge I can’t burn down

I don’t believe the emptiness

I’m looking for the Kingdom coming now

Everything is meaningless

I want more than simple cash can buy

Happy is a yuppie word

Happy is a yuppie word

Happy is a yuppie word

Happy is a yuppie…

Nothing is sound

Nothing is sound

After enjoying the greatness of that song, my playlist moved on to “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine” and “The Blues.” And those are just a few gems on the “Nothing Is Sound” album. My list of stellar Switchfoot tunes includes so many more than these three.

A few lyrics from “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine”:

My heart is darker than these oceans

My heart is frozen underneath

We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight

Dry eyes in the pouring rain well

The shadow proves the sunshine

The shadow proves the sunshine

Two scared little runaways

Hold fast till the break of daylight where

The shadow proves the sunshine

The shadow proves the sunshine

Oh, Lord, why did You forsake me

Oh, Lord, don’t be far away, away

Storm clouds gathering beside me

Please, Lord, don’t look the other way

I’m a crooked soul trying to stay up straight

Dry eyes in the pouring rain when

The shadow proves the sunshine

The shadow proves the sunshine

Two scared little runaways

Hold fast till the break of daylight when

The shadow proves the sunshine

The shadow proves the sunshine

Yeah, yeah, shine on me

And lyrics from “The Blues”:

Is this the new year or just another night

Is this the new fear or just another fright

Is this the new tear or just another desperation

Is this finger or just another fist

Is the Kingdom or just a hit and miss

I miss direction most in all this desperation

Is this what they call freedom

Is this what you call pain

Is this what they call discontented fame

It’ll be a day like this one when the world caves in

When the world caves in

When the world caves in

I’m singing this one like a broken piece of glass

For broken hearts and broken noses in the back

Is this the new year or just another desperation

You push until you’re shoving

You bend until you break

Do you stand on the broken fields where your fathers lay

It’ll be a day like this one when the world caves in

When the world caves in

When the world caves in

When the world caves in

When the world caves in

When the world caves in

Is nothing here worth saving

Is no one here at all

Is there any net left that can break our fall

It’ll be a day like this one when the sky falls down

And the hungry and poor and deserted are found

Are you discontented

Have you been pushing hard

Have you been throwing down this broken house of cards

It’ll be a day like this one when the world caves in

When the world caves in

When the world caves in 

Is there nothing left now

Nothing left to sing

Are there any left who haven’t kissed the enemy

Is this the new year or just another desperation

Does justice ever find you

Do the wicked never lose

Is there any other song to sing besides these blues

And nothing is ok until the world caves in

Until the world caves in

Until the world caves in

God bless the timeless music and the people who make the timeless music that feeds my soul. This post is for all the times Switchfoot got it right. Of course, the music and lyrics referenced on this post belong to Switchfoot. The copyright is theirs.

Kristian Stanfill – Day After Day – CD Review

A new voice could become an old favorite…

Unless you’re a close follower of the Passion movement, you probably don’t know who Kristian Stanfill is. Though a new voice, be assured that sixstepsrecords has made a credible addition to its already impressive repertoire of artists.

With a full-length album already under his belt, the Day After Day (EP) is a preclude to Stanfill’s next full album, out next year.

The lyrics on Day After Day clearly stand out on the EP. At times, the instrumentation behind the words fades into the background as the verses and choruses ring out like declarative Psalms. In a heavily-instrumented music world, this is refreshing.

Conversely, the up-tempo “Say, Say” features driving instrumentation that immediately draws attention from the listener. The dynamic chasm between “Say, Say” and the songs before it causes “Say, Say” to be the only original track that is easily remembered.

Rounding out the EP is a cover of Hillsong’s “The Stand.” It’s easy to enjoy this track because of its strong lyrics and familiarity. The choice to put “The Stand” at the end of the EP is intelligent because the listener comes away feeling satisfied.

Overall, Day after Day is a solid combination of songs if the listener gives the opening tracks a chance to sink in. In an over-crowded music market, it’s hard for entire CDs to truly stand out. With patience, audiences could truly latch on to this EP.

Visit www.KristianStanfill.com for more information on this emerging artist.

This is My Story, This is My Song

Addison Road releases stories worth listening to on INO Records.

“Stories,” the second INO Records release from Addison Road is anything but sophomoric. The term “sophomore” wouldn’t even apply to this band. “Stories” may be be their second release with INO Records, but the band itself has been together for a long time, releasing other albums before their major label debut.

Packed full of honest, often aching lyrics, “Stories” is authentic. This album is a perfect mix of wreckage and resilience. Recently, the members of Addison Road endured several tragic events, including a bus fire. These events were no doubt difficult, but very obviously kept the band grounded, leading to passionate lyrics in the song “This Little Light.”

The rains will come and the waters rise, but don’t you ever lose your light. In this life you will know love and pain, joy and sorrow. So when it hurts, when times get hard, don’t forget whose child you are.

If you’re wondering if “This Little Light” is anything like the familiar children’s song, you’d be right. At least partially. Addison Road successfully sampled the nostalgia of that song, yet also coupled it with compelling conviction.

Another familiar lyrical reference is included in the final track “My Story.” Strategically placed at the end of the record, “My Story” hearkens back to the beloved hymn, “Blessed Assurance.”

As enjoyable as “This Little Light” and “My Story” are, “Need You Now” is definitely my favorite song on the record. “Need You Now” surprisingly comes across as a victorious worship-like song, featuring the lyrics: Now this is all that I am. Here with my outstretched hands. ‘Cause I really need You. I know that I need You now.

The made-for-the-dance-floor number of “Don’t Wait” captures the listener’s attention musically. However, after further listening, the lyrics steal the attention. One thing that did confuse me about this song is why the topic of death was turned into a techno-pop tune. Perhaps the song was written that way on purpose–to challenge people and make them think about mortality. If that was the goal, then 1 point to Addison Road.

“Stories” is a definitely worth purchasing, as is the band’s self-titled debut release. Addison Road is an endearing band with a devoted following. If you are not yet familiar with them, please introduce yourself to their music. You won’t regret it.

For more information on Addison Road, visit their website at http://www.addisonroad.com.

Set Apart

We’re not made for mixture. We’re set apart for one thing–either carnal living or Kingdom living. What’s your substance?

Lately, I’ve been focusing on consecration. I’ve also been meditating on the concept of being set apart.

Set apart.

What does that really mean?

A vessel that is set apart for something can only be used for the one thing it was created for. It cannot be used for any other activity or substance.

We, as humans are not made for mixture. We were all created for a specific purpose. And that specific purpose is to know God and have a relationship with Him. Every person. Every one. Not just the goodie two-shoes. Not the brown nosers. Not the moral people. Not the religious stiffs. Everybody was created with an inward desire for God.

Granted, a lot of folks deny that desire. In fact, they often pervert that desire.

I’ve been challenging myself and also those around me in the area of mixture. I’m looking at the source of sediment in my life. I’m tracking any trace of pollutant in my life’s water. I’m exposing any areas of contamination and cleansing them. I want to be clean, pure, consecrated, sanctified and SET APART in every area.

I need to be set apart for God in my thought life, the way I dress, the things I say, the stuff I watch, the books I read, and the music I listen to.

Are you set apart for living for the Kingdom of God or for carnal, worldly living? Are you made of mixture? What is your substance? Are you purified or polluted?

Christian CD Reviews

Hey-o!

I write for an online magazine–A Time To Love Magazine–so I get a lot of free CDs and press releases. However, I can only review one CD per month. I’ve been considering writing reviews on this blog of all the extra CDs that I don’t review for ATTL. Would you read that? Would you be interested? I think it would be good for me and ultimately good for the bands if I wrote a review.

I will try really hard to begin writing reviews. And I may even retro-write reviews to older CDS. I also plan on linking to the other CD reviews I’ve written that were published in ATTL. I’ll work on that now…

If you would read these reviews, please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!!

Ending Is Beginning

My blog title is a shout out to Downhere. I’m listening to them play live right now at a GMA showcase. I wanted to go, but had other plans. So I’m watching/listening to a live stream of their set isntead. Their latest CD is called Ending Is Beginning. It’s very good. You should purchase it.

Though I love the band Downhere and their music. This blog is not about them.

It’s about BarlowGirl.

Depending on how well you know me, you know/or you don’t know/or are slightly aware of/or are overly aware of how much I love this band. I do not love them in a fanish, obsessive way. On the contrary. I love them like they are family.

Allow me to explain myself. Whether you take me seriously about my “love them like they are family” comment or not, I’m still going to continue. Be skeptical if you wish. But trust me and know that I am speaking in the utmost pure sincerity about this.

For the last four years of my life, I have faithfully served on the leadership team of BarlowGirl’s message board. It’s called SoundPost. The name is further shortened to SP. Hope you can keep up with all the names/references.

For pretty much every single day of the last four years, I have spent at least an hour (an hour was required) working on that message board, reading posts, answering questions, telling other leaders about problem areas/posts/people and doing other things. Most days, I was on there for well more than an hour. I was assigned to The Band and The Concerts section. I read and answered all sorts of questions about them every day. I’ve garnered ridiculous amounts of trivial BarlowGirl knowlege. Their height, their hair color, their eye color and their many middle names, just to mention a few. I’ve told little 12 year olds not to idolize them. I’ve told creepy middle-aged men to stop objectifying them. I’ve defended them. I’ve helped solve many an internet crisis over issues such as copyright infringement. I’ve laughed at their podcasts and prayed for their needs. I even sang on their Christmas album Home For Christmas because I’m in the choir that they use everytime they record an album. I’ve waited after concerts to talk to them, check in on them encourage them and give them a hug. I’ve done a lot. All in joyful service and all for the advancement of the Kingdom.

And now, as of tomorrow moring at approximately 7 a.m. Central Standard Time, that season of my life is officially over because the message board is closing down. Why is it closed down? In short, because God told them to close it down. God told them that the season of SP is over. 

I agree with His Will for that. I’m in total submission and understanding of His directive to close the message board. I know that God is moving every person on SP into a new season. He’s going to do great things for all of us if/when we allow Him to. I’m excited and expectant for what He’ll do.

When I sign out of SP for the final time tonight, I know I’ll be sad. A four-year-span of service is a long time. When something that impactful is gone and no longer, it will affect people. It will affect me deeply.  I’m emotionally, physically and devotedly invested in this band and their ministry. I’m part of it. I’m not saying that in a prideful way. However, I am saying it just to say it. I took part in something amazing. I’m so honored God allowed me to do that.

I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of this post is. So I can get my feelings out. So I can say a final goodbye to SoundPost. So I can tell you all to check out BarlowGirl. So I can tell you to trust God when He speaks to you and tells you to move on to the next season. The Barlow family and everyone that serves on their ministry team are truly and sincerely and genuinely amazing people. I’m not saying that shallowly. I’m saying it because I know from experience.

*deep sigh* I could say a lot more about a lot of different things. Maybe I will another day. Or maybe I won’t.

Thank you SP and Barlow family for your ministry. God has done so much through you. Your humility and obedienceto God have allowed Him to shine through you so clearly. Who you are and what you do have impacted me in so many ways. I can stand strong in my singleness beause of you. I can stand as a person free from a terrible addiction because of you. I have met so many people through your ministry. I’ve realized a lifelong dream of singing on a CD. 

I cannot thank you enough for your contribution to my life. 

Now…on to the next, exciting season. *lighter sigh*

I’m ready, Lord. Lead me as I walk in Your ways…

Topical Depression

Nope.  I’m not depressed.  I’m just sad that I can’t come up with one topic to blog on so that’s where the name came from.  I’m having a topical depression. 

1) I’m going to the Dominican Republic (a.k.a. the DR) in July on a mission trip. I think I’ve said that before. We had our first meeting for the trip last Friday. I’m happy to finally have more information about the trip. I need to send out support letters…like…yesterday.

2) I led worship for the first time yesterday at our Sunday service. It was really fun. It went well, too. I didn’t make any big mistakes. Well, I did start singing the wrong notes in rehearsal. But rehearsal doesn’t count, right? And I also–according to my roommate–make my hand singnals to0 big and for too long. I sort of agree with her. I’ll have to work on that for next time. The reason I make them for so long is because I’m afraid the other people on the worship team won’t see them. *shrug* Again, I said I’ll work on it.

3) I went to my first piano lesson last Tuesday. I have another one tomorrow. I purchased a keyboard. It’s a Kawai. Apparently it’s a quality brand. I’d never heard of it before, but I don’t really know what/who makes a good piano/keyboard. I read reviews online and people said good things. Besides, it was the only decent one I could get that offered financing. I can’t just drop $800+ dollars in one day. I neeeeeed financing! I enjoy my piano teacher. I think she’ll teach me a lot. I don’t, however, enjoy the parking situation at the school. It’s actually a house in Franklin, TN. We park behind the house and there’s just not much room back there. Six cars have to squish in there. It makes me uncomfortable. I am a bad car parking person. It’s my unfavorite thing to do. Probably because I once backed into a grain cart and also side swiped (at 1 mph) a column in a parking garage…twice. :O Martina, if you read this, I’m talking about the parking garage for Salem when the office was located on Woodmont.

4) I just had to scroll up to see which number I was on.

5) I’m going to a women’s conference in Atlanta this weekend. It’s the national Foursquare Women’s Gathering. I’m excited to see how the Foursquare denomination behaves at a national level. I have never experienced that before.

6) I purchased a handheld GPS. It’s a Delorme Earthmate PN-40. I like it a lot. It’s quite accurate and comes with great mapping software. I use it for geocaching. It’s a fun activity that my roommate and I (and other friends) do on occasion. Since the weather is warming up we will start to do it more often. I’m excited to use the Delorme more often too.  I need to give it a name so I don’t have to keep calling it Delorme. My car GPS is called Maggie. My roommate’s car GPS is called Rico. Her handheld GPS is called Grim. Her car is called Ibe. My car is called Torrie. So…I just need a name for it. Maybe I’ll name it Dominic. Dominic Delorme.  I like that!

7) My February CD reviews have been published for the online magazine that I write for. You can find them here:

VOTA

Julianna Zobrist

8) I think that’s it for now. Nothing all that profound written here today. I do have things to say that mean a lot to me and are quite important. Perhaps on another day I will write about them.