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JFH Staff Blog | March 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Featured Fan - Jessica Harb

Daniel Biro and Jessica Harb

Favorite Band/Artist: Hawk Nelson
Featured Fan: Jessica Harb
Location: La Habra, CA
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  Fishfest 2008, Irvine, CA
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You:  I love this band cuz they are all about spreading love to us teens and just letting us know that Jesus loves us :)
Favorite Album by This Artist:  Smile It's the End of the World
Favorite Song by This Artist: ohh, so many...."Let's Dance," "Letters to the President," "California," "Live Life Loud," and like every song on Smile... :D haha
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: Seen them 8x, met them 5x
Favorite Live Show Experience:  hmmm, all of them were amazing, but probably the time at Six Flags when we had front row and Dan was messing with us :)
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: A scrapbook of all the band members that they signed
Website: N/A

Submit your photo and reasons why YOU'RE a fan for a chance to be featured here!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There and Back Again

Woah.  We’ve just come out of the first two performances we’ve ever done in public, and it was amazing!  New Day Dawning played their first gig at a youth music venue called Zeal (based in West Auckland, New Zealand) and the response was very encouraging.  There must have been about 70-80 people there at least, which is very good for a first performance.  And before you knock me for being too cocky, I’ll back up my last statement by adding that about two-thirds of the crowd went home after we finished playing (note AFTER, not DURING—got to be a good sign, I think). Of course, the crowd was probably due to all us band members inviting practically everybody on our Facebook friends list to the event.

Being up on stage was a very unique experience.  You tend to think about a lot of things: are we mixed well, will I remember my parts, will the singer remember HIS parts, do the crowd like us, should I clap to get them going, or should I just act reserved because getting into it too much would seem arrogant for a new, unknown band?  But when I got into it, all of those worries because less of an issue; instead, it became fun!  And the crowd enjoyed it too (I can say this because it was confirmed by several people who were NOT my mum, although she did too).  I’m super-stoked about this, because it means that those two years we spent practicing in our drummer’s garage, working on new songs and getting tighter as a group were totally worth it.  Some people said that they were really surprised at how good we were for our first performance, which was something I’d always hoped but never expected to hear.  So here’s a good piece of advice for any new bands out there: Be patient!  Don’t worry about taking a long time polishing your sound (or in our case, trying to decide on a sound!), because if you do, you’ll surprise a lot of people in a good way.  And if you don’t, you’ll sound like just another garage band so-and-so’s kid put together a month ago.  Only sayin’.

I booked our second performance a day after we played our first, which was happening on the following Friday.  We figured that, since we’d already rehearsed for one performance, why not do two and grow from the experience?  The gig was a benefit concert for the Christchurch earthquake victims, hosted by Eastview Baptist Church in Botany Downs, East Auckland.  An acquaintance of mine invited me to what was basically a concert with an open invitation to artists and bands to perform, so I jumped at the chance.  While the crowd wasn’t quite as enthusiastic (I’m putting that down to about eight 3-song acoustic acts before us lulling them into a semi-slumber), it was a good opportunity to raise awareness about New Day Dawning with the Christian musicians that were there.

So, what now?  At the moment we’re focusing on increasing our repertoire by working on some new songs.  Since we’ve only got a 4-song set, I’d say that’s a high-priority task for us at the moment.  I’m also looking at ditching my MIDI controller/laptop setup in favour of a dedicated keyboard synthesizer.  To be honest, it takes way too long to set up the controller, laptop and output box for a live gig, and it’d be far easier for me to control everything on one device with knobs and buttons, rather than depending on the laptop for most of my adjustments.  Here’s hoping I’ll choose the right one for what will hopefully be a year of many more performances to come.

God bless!
Adam Dawson

 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Featured Fan - Jeremiah Hare

Jeremiah Hare and Peter Furler (formerly of Newsboys)

Favorite Band/Artist: Newsboys
Featured Fan: Jeremiah Hare
Location: Orginally from NY but I live in TX now
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  2005 at the Nebraska state fair during my R+R leave from Iraq
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You:  Peter's music has always been full of life and the Word of God. Newsboys know how to have fun. Peter does love Jesus and is the real thing.
Favorite Album by This Artist:  Greatest Hits (all the hits) but I love them all
Favorite Song by This Artist: "I'm Not Ashamed"
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 22
Favorite Live Show Experience:  Meeting them and the spinning drums
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: Each one of my 30 t-shirts
Website: N/A

Submit your photo and reasons why YOU'RE a fan for a chance to be featured here!

We Recommend - Andrew Peterson, 'The Far Country'

I confess, as much as I profess my love for artsy folk music, I really didn’t get to know Andrew Peterson until about a year ago. But when I first heard last year’s Counting Stars, I was left floored by his lyricism and wondering what I’d been missing for the last decade. In just a few months, I began the journey of building up my AP collection and exploring his back catalog. I could recommend any of his albums with confidence, but The Far Country was one that especially struck me with its brilliance and beauty.

Peterson has described this one as an album about death, and therefore about Heaven too. With just enough pop production to be accessible without quelling the folk singer spirit, lyrics that draw from theology, literature, and his own life and family are the true star of this album. (Nerdy reader types will especially appreciate the Lewis, Tolkein, and Buechner references woven throughout.) In fact, the entire price of admission is worthwhile just to hear these lines from “Lay Me Down”: “I believe in the holy shores of uncreated light / I believe there is power in the blood. / And all of the death that ever was, if you set it next to life / Well, I believe it would barely fill a cup.”

 Seriously. That should move you. The Far Country is currently a free download at Noisetrade.com/AndrewPeterson (for a limited time!)

 

- Jen Rose

Andrew Peterson
The Far Country (2005)

Click here for our review of the album.

Our synopsis: "One part pop-folk, two parts poetry, The Far Country is a deep and inviting introduction to one of Christian music’s finest writers you might’ve never heard." (Recommended by JFH's Jen Rose)
Perfect For: Uplifting reflections on life’s journey toward Heaven and/or the mood for literary, yet down-to-earth songwriting
Song Highlights: "The Far Country” “Lay Me Down” “Little Boy Heart Alive” “The Havens Grey"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album The Far Country? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Featured Fan - Lisa P

Lisa and her spread of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound merch

Favorite Band/Artist: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Featured Fan: Lisa P
Location: Pennsylvania
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  At my house, 3/10/11
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You:  EHSS music speaks to me in so many ways. There's songs like "Until We Fly Away," which really encouraged me through a particularly rough time in life, while songs like "Get Away Jordan," and "The Old Landmark" are fun songs that always put me in a good mood! "Oh What a Savior" is one of the best songs they've ever sang, and every time I hear it, it reminds me of how great God really is, and all He did for us on Calvary. If you think Southern Gospel is for your Grandparents, EHSS proves it's not!
Favorite Album by This Artist:  Just one??? Hmmm, tie between Get Away Jordan and A Tribute To The Cathedral Quartet
Favorite Song by This Artist: "Oh What A Savior"
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 3
Favorite Live Show Experience:  All of them!
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: Autographed "Oh What A Savior" tshirt.
Website: http://lifewithlisap.blogspot.com

Submit your photo and reasons why YOU'RE a fan for a chance to be featured here!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

10 Years Later - Third Day, 'Come Together'

Sadly, few bands can celebrate being around for 10 years let alone it being ten years since the release of their FIFTH studio album. In 2001, Third Day released Come Together, the follow-up to their first worship album, Offerings, which followed the southern flavored and folksy Time from 1999. Last year, 14 years since the national release of their self-titled album, Third Day released their latest studio recording, Move. Move was more of a return to the spirit of Time (even down to the short, single-word title) as the band continues to strive to make music that they (and their fans) love and believe in.

Still very much a five piece when it released, Come Together seemed to be a chapter during the band's sort-of soul searching period, musically. Decidedly more pop with electronic accents (like an electronic drum beat for parts of "My Heart" and "I Got You"), I often remember this album as much less the band we know Third Day as now than most of their other albums (except for maybe the popular but disappointing contemporary feel of Wherever You Are). As a pop album, Come Together offers some memorable songs, but it's clearly not the band's best or most "true" effort.

So in comparison to Move, their latest project is more raw in production and contains a few songs edgier than anything that can be found on Come Together. The only thing that the band seems to have carried over from the Come Together season in their career is the overlapping circles logo. When listening to how the songs on Come Together compare to Move, the latter just feels considerably more comfortable than the 2001 record. Lyrically, the project is still very positive and worshipful, but perhaps a bit more day-time radio friendly (and altogether "CCM"). Songs like "Show Me Your Glory" and "Nothing Compares" are still great worship songs that don't feel quite as paint-by-number as some of the most popular songs sung on Sunday mornings these days, and the heart behind them is pure and the passion is infectious. These tracks were mixed in with the rockier "Get On" and the soulful southern rock of "Still Listening" (the former seems to work and hold up better over the past decade than the latter), along with the signature Third Day ballads were also present in "It's Alright," "I Don't Know" and "When The Rain Comes." And while I loved the electronic exploration in "My Heart" and "I Got You" when this album came out, it's a sound that, now, sounds more dated than most of the rest of the record and didn't really "fit" the band quite as well (or naturally).

Come Together was not their best effort in 2001 and after five more full-length albums (and two live albums), the band has proven that this record seemed outside of their comfort zone. The songs with more production sound the most dated, but fans of the softer side of Third Day may still want to check out this record if they haven't yet. Songs like the title track, "Show Me Your Glory" and "Nothing Compares" are still great songs even ten years later.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Featured Fan - Jessica and Emily

Jessica, Kevin Young of Disciple, Emily

Favorite Band/Artist: Disciple
Featured Fan: Emily and Jessica
Location: Michigan
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  Wisconsin
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You:  It is a constant reminder of Jesus's love for us.
Favorite Album by This Artist:  Love them all!
Favorite Song by This Artist: You seriously want us to pick one? We love them all!
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 4...soon to be six! We are seeing them two days in a row!
Favorite Live Show Experience:  The Hug. At our second show we made "I love Kevin Young" shirts. After the show, we ran to the line to get our merch signed. Kevin noticed our shirts and commented, "Hey I like your shirts! Wow this is awesome! You guys are amazing... I know I am sweaty, but I gotta do this!" Then...he hugged us.
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: Well, our favorite purchased merch is any of our many shirts....but we also make our own :) We have made Disciple calanders, a cake in the shape of Kevin (With his favorite drink-Green Monster in it), and countless groupie shirts. We also had our posters laminated. All in all, we love our signed converse the best!!!
Website: N/A

Submit your photo and reasons why YOU'RE a fan for a chance to be featured here!

We Recommend - Audio Adrenaline, 'Some Kind of Zombie'

It’s hard to believe that it has been 14 years since Audio Adrenaline released their hardest rock effort, Some Kind of Zombie.  With all of the great music that Mark Stuart and company released over the years, Zombie seems to be a forgotten jewel.  After a recent listen (actually two), I was reminded how great the album really was.  Audio A strayed from the 70s feel of Bloom and went to a more modern alt/rock feel.

Though there were only ten tracks on the album, most of them strike gold.  “Chevette,” “Original Species,” and “Some Kind of Zombie” are easily favorites, but where the album gets really good is with the Supertones backed “Blitz.”  I still remember them playing the song live together while touring for the album.  That show remains one of my favorites to this very day.  “God Shaped Hole” also remains one of the band's greatest songs in their long and illustrious career.

While it was sad to see Audio Adrenaline say “adios,” it’s nice to be able to listen to their older material and smile.  Zombie still holds up to today’s standards for good alt/rock music.  If you overlooked this album in the 90’s because of the greatness of Bloom and Underdog, give it a listen now; I promise you will not be disappointed.  Though it’s not their most popular by far, it is easily one of their best.

- Michael Weaver

Audio Adrenaline
Some Kind of Zombie (1997)

Click here for our review of the album.

Our synopsis: "One of the best alt/rock albums of the 90’s from one of the top Christian rock bands of all time." (Recommended by JFH's Michael Weaver)
Perfect For: Faith, love, and Godly living
Song Highlights: "Chevette”, “Original Species”, “Blitz”, “Lighthouse”, “God Shaped Hole"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album Some Kind of Zombie? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

 

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