BOOKMARKS: SET 21

Tig-Notaro-NYT-300x300-Tig Notaro is a great story teller. But my favorite part has to be where she blanks on national television.

-I’m usually the guy going, “Man, TV is so good these days.” And then I saw this….

-Debating on doing another one-worship-song-a-month thing in 2014. I’ve done a good bit of co-writing the past 2 years, but it may be time to get back into writing solo.

There’s something massive under Seattle.

What makes an atheist love religious music? Interesting post. (Some language.)

-“While, indeed, we attempt to prove our identity by vainly clinging to other people, things, ideas, organizations, etc, we also self-justify through the things that we turn away from.”

“I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things.” – Kanye West (June 16, New York Times)

BOOKMARKS: SET 20

godzilla1954c-I’m excited to see what Gareth Edwards does with Godzilla. The trailer is awesome – great color composition and tone and manages not to tell us what happens in the movie!

-I’m sorry, but those iPad stands worship leaders use REALLY get on my nerves.

-My friend, Spence, is one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever met. The past few years, he’s performed “Carol Of The Bells” at his church. Here’s this year’s version.

-I’m so torn about this video. I love how closely they nailed the style and attitude of these musical pieces, but it sure seems like they’re mocking a lot of great, God-honoring music. (Watching this made me realize that worship songs used to be better….)

-If Buzz (from Home Alone) had an Instagram.

-Somebody is pretty clever. ‘Cause every parent does this at some point.

“I think that’s a responsibility that I have, to push possibilities, to show people, this is the level that things could be at. So when you get something that has the name Kanye West on it, it’s supposed to be pushing the furthest possibilities. I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.”
 Kanye West (June 16, New York Times)

BAND SPOTLIGHT: PREPARE HIM ROOM

We’re just a few days from Prepare Him Room at Bethel Bible Church on December 15, so I thought it might be fun to profile some of the musicians that we’ll be featuring at the concert!

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 4.04.14 AMWhen I first decided to do this concert, there was one guy I wanted on board…Tim Gillespie.

I don’t know any musician more passionate about excellence and more devoted to orchestrating musical experiences that move and inspire. From the start, Tim was invested – he volunteered to make all our charts, he gave great notes about what to keep and what to cut and he completely nailed the keyboard and organ parts for this concert.

There’s a lot of keyboard in this thing – big spacey pads, syncopated clavs, chimes and bells, etc. And he’s doing it with just two hands and one keyboard. If you’re at the concert, make sure you spend a little time watching this guy work. He’s one of the main reason why it sounds so sweet.

PREPARE HIM ROOM will be Sunday, December 15 at 6pm at Bethel Bible Church. (17121 Hwy 69 South; Tyler, Texas.) Admission is free.

THE REAL WAR ON CHRISTMAS

elfonashelfAs far as dumb internet things go, this one has to be my favorite.

Apparently, now there’s an “open letter” to parents who use the Elf-on-the-Shelf at Christmas time.

If you’re one of the self-righteous snarks who have been linking this to all your friends, I’m going to ask – politely – that you stop doing that.

BECAUSE EVERYBODY HAS DUMB TRADITIONS
Every family does dumb stuff at Christmas time. Your silly thing is no more noble than the other guy’s silly thing. Why do care so much about how another family celebrates Christmas? Why not just live your life? Why not just appreciate that there are lots of different types of families with lots of different holiday traditions?

BECAUSE THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO BE AGAINST
Believe me – there are way more important Facebook issues to be worried about. Like your great-aunt who keeps posting articles from The Onion because she thinks they’re true. Or college girls who have worked so hard to document the 400+ pictures of them drinking beers at the lake. Let’s get our priorities straight.

BECAUSE YOU’RE BEING PROUD OF SOMETHING NOT GOOD
The over-arching theme of these anti-Elf posts seems to be something akin to: “stop doing all that Elf stuff / you’re making us look like bad parents. We’re now upset at other parents who are more organized or creative than us? When did we turn into Facebook jocks, making fun of all the nerds because we can’t do what they do? If “Elf” parents make you feel like a bad parent, maybe it’s not their fault.

BECAUSE THERE’S NO MORAL HIGH GROUND
In this debate, someone will eventually shake their head and drop this bomb: “well, I’m just not comfortable using some little plastic Elf to scare my kids into behaving.” That person either doesn’t have small children or is LYING. Because every single parent has tried to bargain with their kids. We’ve all used threats and made deals. Scare kids into behaving? That’s like Parenting 101.

Our family doesn’t do Elf-on-the-Shelf, but we have lots of other stuff that makes our house fun and gets us excited about being together at Christmas. This year, stop being weird and enjoy the people around you.

BAND SPOTLIGHT: PREPARE HIM ROOM

We’re just a few days from Prepare Him Room at Bethel Bible Church on December 15, so I thought it might be fun to profile some of the musicians that we’ll be featuring at the concert!

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 3.20.35 AMIn professional music, there’s a term known as “side-man.” If you’ve been to many concerts, you’ve seen this position. This is the guy who jumps between four or five instruments through the whole show – adding little parts here and there. Heck, it’s more choreography than recital!

The thing about being a side-man, though, is that it’s hard. You’ve got to know a lot of material that you can play at the drop of a hat. Good thing we have Smitty.

You may know him as Dave Smith, but to us, he’s “Smitty,” and on Sunday night, he’ll be our side man. While you may have heard him on mandolin before, you might be surprised with how good he also he is at finger style guitar. The songs Sunday night have a lot of acoustic guitar and Smitty is the perfect guy for it. Lots of parts, played quickly and expertly…that’s what Smitty does best!

PREPARE HIM ROOM will be Sunday, December 15 at 6pm at Bethel Bible Church. (17121 Hwy 69 South; Tyler, Texas.) Admission is free.

BOOKMARKS: SET 19

341024039_3bbcb1b9ef-Proof that you don’t always have to have good gear to be a good musician.

Base jumper has a bad fall. And records it all on his Go-Pro.

-Just finished the Mick Foley documentary, For All Mankind. It was great – Foley seems like a great guy.

-I was transfixed by this footage of guitar SWIRLING.

-Hey, kids. Maybe all that video gaming will pay off someday and help you land a job!

-I never knew I could like a 19 second video so much.

-Here’s an old sound check video of Stevie Ray Vaughn. The story is that SRV had just woken up and walked onto stage. Pretty good for a guy still half-asleep.