Friday, December 30, 2011

Group Therapy Thursday, December 29th 2011

Tonight on Group Therapy Thursday we were helping Ryan. He's been invited to a party that may or may not contain stuff that he's uncomfortable with, what should he do?

Top 10 of 2011

I did this last year and since I like lists as well as opinionateing on music, I thought I'd do'er again!

10. Hawk Nelson - Crazy Love
The boys from Air Raid 20 kick things off. Crazy Love is a fun album with some great foot tapers. One of my favorite songs is L.A.X. It's about being stuck at an airport, great for a laugh.

9. Peter Furler - On Fire
While not what I was hoping for from the former Newsboys front man (I was hoping for a Newsboys album to be honest), this cd was great. If for no other reason just to hear Peter's voice in a song. My favorite songs were On Fire, Closer, All In Your Head and one you'll know from LIFE 100.3, Reach.

8. The Natatorium - The Natatorium EP
I only found out that this band existed a few weeks ago when we started to play the song Burning Out. The cd isn't "ground breaking" par say, but it is different. Banjo, synths, guitar all mixed into a strange sound that is really great. Look out for Burning Out and Too Believe.

7. Hawk Nelson - The Light Sides
This is available with the Deluxe edition of Crazy Love. It's a lot of the Hawk songs that you know and love, with an acoustic twist. Some songs (Friend Like That) just take the electric guitars and make them acoustics (which is cool) and others change the sound totally! (California is all acapella).

6. Needtobreath - The Reckoning
O.k, a disclamer... I don't own the album ... but, that will change soon! Drive All Night will get stuck in your head for at least a day... maybe two... or four... Not to mention the soaring opener Oohs and Aahs.

5. Owl City - All Things Bright And Beautiful
Sooooo it's a little mushy.... even sappy, but it's a fun cd all the same. Yacht Club is a fun synth trip, Honey And The Bee is an acoustic driven pop masterpiece and Galaxies, well Galaxies is awesome. Another gem is Plant Life. This track features Mat from Relient K.
The only draw back is Kamikaze... it's .... meh.

4. Abandon - Control
When I started listening to this, I forgot it was a Christian cd. The music sounded like something you'd hear in any mall across Canada, but the lyrics, left no doubt as to where the guys faith lies.
Under Fire, Control, New Years Eve, Help.... plus it was $10 @ the Treasure House!

3. Jason Gray - A Way To See In The Dark
This one is the Dark Horse on the list. While the music doesn't reinvent the wheel, the lyrics do. They are great! Thought provoking and yet, he wears his faith on his sleeve. Even the song Good To Be Alive (which borrows from one of the most over used themes in music [living for today]) is good. My favorite is No Thief Like Fear.

2. FM Static - My Brian Says Stop But My Heart Says Go
This song was suppose to be #1, but Swichfoot kinda killed that for the T.F.K side project. This album is probably the most fun I had all year listening to music. Hey, I Want It, You Don't Know Me and Firefly are all great tracks, not too mention F.M.S.T.A.T.I.C and the title track (which I'm not typing out again). It's catchy, simple, not too deep just great. That not too deep thing is a slight problem on one had (not very spiritual), but when I just want to rock, this album is my first choice.

1. Switchfoot - Vise Verses
The album is awesome. And that's all I can say... From soaring rock master pieces like Dark Horses and The Original to soft balads that pack a punch like Restless and one of my personal favs Thrive. One of best on the cd is Rise Above It, it's catchy, has great lyrics and has flawless instrumentation. I also liked Selling The News, it almost is Newsboysesq with a slightly sarcastic lyrical tone.
The album art even rocks.
The only downside is Souvenirs. I just don't care for that track...

0. David Crowder* Band - Give Us Rest (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys])
I haven't heard the album yet... but it's a double disc compilation... and it's the last Crowder Band record. It will be good... when it comes out on the 10th...

That wraps up the portion featuring bands you've heard of... now for...

My 3 Favorite Unheard of Cds of 2011

3. Kye Kye - Young Love
Yes, they beat Mat Kearney to the cd name... Side note aside, this is ambient electronica at it's best, very little to no drums, synths coming out the ears and amazing lyrics. Any doubt these guys are Christian leaves when you listen to one of their songs on YouTube, their lyrics feature scripture references right next to the line!

2. The Hawk In Paris - His + Hers
Who? Well believe it or not, it's Jars of Clay front man Dan Hassletine's side project. It's sorta electric, sorta dancy... really good all the same.

1. Gungor - Ghosts Upon The Earth
These guys made my list last year, and thanks to recording a new cd this year, they've made it again.
The album is epic. That's really the only word for it. Soaring string sections, banjos, pianos, cellos, driving bass lines no song is what it seems at first. This is worship at it's finest!

And there you go! That's my list. What was your favorite cd this year?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Banquet

It was tricky coming up with something interesting to do at my churches' Christmas Banquet this year. The last few years have been great, but not about the nativity. They've focused on giving, the reason for the season or (last year) a variety night, but no babe in a manger. This year however, the goal was to do The Christmas Story. That's harder then it sounds. Everything has been done. Church Christmas plays can get into the "cliche rut" so easily - we didn't want that to happen.
So instead of a musical or a play... we mixed 'em! A guy was pretending to be Luke writing his Gospel, every time he'd hit an important part in the story (Angels appearing to the shepherds) we'd get someone to do their version of a relevant carol (for the angel example it would be While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night). It worked!
A Buddy of mine and I kicked things off with "O Come O Come Emmanuel." Great song. I've always liked it, though I'm not sure why...

The night continued with "We Three Kings," "Away In A Manger" and an instrumental version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle Men."
Between the lights, music and food (and of course the over aching message) I'm officially read for Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Group Therapy Thursday - December 8, 2011

Tonight on Group Therapy Thursday we were helping Joey. He works at a department store that will let him say "Season's Greetings" but saying "Merry Christmas" is a no go. What should he do?

The Newsboys Reborn

O.k, not quite. But that was what crossed my mind at least 5 times on Monday night as I watched Peter Furler perform in Peterborough. Peter alone made it feel like Newsboys, then there was former bassist for the group Phil Joel. Add in Super Chic[k] guitarist Dave Ian (I know that's not his real name, but that's what he's going by these days) and you get a sound that sounded like Newsboys. It was great. They did classics like Breakfast, Shine and Entertaining Angles. A newer Newsboys tune also surfaced in the form of Something Beautiful. Peter did a few of his own solo career tunes too like Reach, All In Your Head and Psalm 23. It was a blast. The best part was meeting both Peter and Phil! These guys are heroes of mine, twas awesome to knock that item off the bucket list!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New House of Heroes

I love House of Heroes. David Crowder Band is my favorite band, but they are calling it quits in January which leaves my "favorite band" spot open for the Air Raid 20 headliners. I got super excited on Tuesday when I found out that they had a new Christmas song coming out. Fast forward a few days, it's on YouTube.
While it's not exactly your most conventional "Christmas Song." I like.
It's a bit of a smack in the face actually.
We can get so wrapped up in stuff that we forget that Jesus came to challenge the conventions of the day. To get rid of the hypocrisy and bring in a faith that was real and tangible. One that we should be living every day of the year.

That's what I took from this song anyway. Your thoughts?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Group Therapy Thursday December 1, 2011

Tonight on Group Therapy Thursday we were helping out a newlywed couple who are having some trouble decorating for Christmas because of traditions.

What should they do?