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JFH Staff Blog | September 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Featured Fan - Amanda Guimaraes

Amanda Guimaraes with BarlowGirl

Favorite Band/Artist: BarlowGirl
Featured Fan: Amanda Guimaraes
Location: Sao Paulo - Brazil
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken: SOS Da Vida (Life SOS) -- Brazil
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: Lauren, Rebecca and Alyssa have been such an inspiration and encouragement to me. Their songs speaks a lot to me. They were so nice, every single moment.
Favorite Album by This Artist: Love & War
Favorite Song by This Artist: "I Need You To Love Me"
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 1
Favorite Live Show Experience: 13 September of 2008
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist:  CDs, DVD and a t-shirt
Website: www.facebook.com/mandxy

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

Monday, September 19, 2011

We Recommend - Listener, 'Wooden Heart'

Dan Smith, formerly known as Listener as a part of the Deepspace 5 collective, got together with guitarist Chris Nelson, and then applied the name "Listener" to the duo's band name.  Listener's latest offering Wooden Heart is a treasure amongst indie rock albums.  The music doesn't really follow any rules of music, unless it wants to.  Listener makes use of ukeleles, electric guitars, trumpets, drums, and several other instruments, and they just go with whatever they feel they need to play.  Smith's lyrics are pure poetry, with some aggression and LOTS of imagery.  The highlight is the title track, "Wooden Heart," which speaks heavily of trying to survive our human condition through God's love and a community of fellow believers.  It grips my heart every time.  A lot of the songs are reimagined versions of poems Smith has already written and recorded, and I can't help but love what the band did with them.  Wooden Heart is a HUGE departure from past Listener albums, but if it's where the band is going, I'm on board for the long run.
- Scott Fryberger

Listener
Wooden Heart (2010)

Click here for our review of the album.

Our synopsis: "Passionate and poetic indie rock music." (Recommended by JFH's Scott Fryberger)
Perfect For: Loving people, survival
Song Highlights: "You Have Never Lived Because You Have Never Died," "Wooden Heart," "Falling In Love With Glaciers," "Failing Is Not Just For Failures," "Building Better Bridges," "You Were A House On Fire""

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

Featured Fan - Amy Kennedy

Jon Foreman and Amy Kennedy

Favorite Band/Artist: Switchfoot
Featured Fan: Amy Kennedy
Location: Parkersburg, WV
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  June 23, 2011 Alive Festival
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: Tim, Jon, Chad, Drew, and Jerome have been such an inspiration and encouragement to me. Their music is incredible and the lyrics have helped me through so much. They are five of the nicest, most caring guys I've ever met. I am so thankful to be a fan and follow what they are doing.
Favorite Album by This Artist: Hello Hurricane
Favorite Song by This Artist: All of them!
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 6
Favorite Live Show Experience: Jon pulled me up on stage after I went to San Diego for the Bro-Am and I was wearing my Bro-Am shirt at Alive the day after I got back.
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist:  Hello Hurricane Deluxe Version
Website: http://twitter.com/rkmmhmm

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Featured Fan - Erica Lysne

Erica Lysne with Chris August

Favorite Band/Artist: Chris August
Featured Fan: Erica Lysne
Location: Luverne, MN
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  Lifelight Festival 2011
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: i love his music and the meanings behide all of them :)
Favorite Album by This Artist: No Far Away
Favorite Song by This Artist: "Starry Night," "70x7," "Candy Wrap"
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 1
Favorite Live Show Experience: Lifelight 2011
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist:  my signed No Far Away CD
Website: http://www.faithfreaks.com/Erica Lysne

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

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Forgiving Your Friends

Friendships bring us great joy, but they can also cause immense pain when people we love and trust fall short. If you haven’t experienced rejection or betrayal yet, you will someday. Having a relationship with God doesn’t make us immune to the hurts of this life, but it does help us forgive those who cause us pain, including our friends.

We all have to deal with people who disappoint us. For example, the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them” (2 Tim. 4:16). Even though he felt betrayed and abandoned, he chose to forgive his offenders’ cruel actions.

It’s important that we learn how to forgive our friends. Harboring bitterness and resentment will only lead to more heartache, stress, and broken relationships. Also, the Lord holds us accountable. That is why Jesus said, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matt. 6:14).

Let’s consider how Paul handled his disappointment.

~ He responded with forgiveness. Paul said, “At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them” (2 Tim. 4:16, emphasis added). Both Jesus and Stephen said something similar in the final moments of their lives (Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60).

~ He practiced what he preached. Paul wasn’t interested only in what he could gain from friendships. He knew he needed to be willing to “turn the other cheek” and help those who had mistreated him in the past. Waiting for a chance to retaliate or wishing them harm would only indicate an unforgiving spirit.

~ He affirmed God would never leave him. “The Lord stood with me,” he says (2 Tim. 4:17). Although Paul’s friends deserted him, he knew that the Lord remained. Christ promises all believers, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

~ He trusted God for empowerment. Paul writes, “The Lord . . . strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear” (2 Tim. 4:17). He could rely on the presence of God to accomplish his calling—taking the gospel to the world (Phil. 2:13). Chances are, people will persecute you. In tough times, some of your friends will abandon you. However, God has promised that all adversity will eventually come to an end (1 Pet. 5:10).

~ He remained confident in the Father’s deliverance. The apostle closed his letter with the assertion, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18). Remember that the Father may deliver us from
hardship or through it (Isa. 43:1-4). He also rescues us by calling us home to be with Him. For Paul, God’s deliverance came by allowing Nero to execute him.

A Faithful Friend
What kind of friend are you? Are you dedicated to those you love, or do you often disappoint them? Perhaps you are faithful, but your friends consistently fail you when trouble comes. I urge you not to hold it against them.

Hurt and rejection are painful but unavoidable parts of life, but healing is always available if you are willing to forgive. You and I can take comfort in knowing that the Lord Jesus never leaves our side, even if everyone else does.

Copyright 2011 In Touch Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org

Monday, September 05, 2011

We Recommend - Blindside, 'About A Burning Fire'

Ah, Blindside. These Swedish hard rockers arrested my attention in 2002 with the release of Silence. That album was an intriguing mix of hardcore elements with a melodic rock sound. While it may still be one of my favorites by the band, their follow-up About A Burning Fire further developed the sound they began experimenting with on Silence. This formerly all-hardcore band was keeping the screaming/singing blend going, but kept evolving their sound to be more melodic and accessible. Having been released in 2004, it's a record that has not only stood the test of time, but  - in this reviewer's humble opinion - it was superior in every way to the album that followed it, The Great Depression (I realize some diehard fans love it, and to each their own, but to me it can't hold a candle to Silence or About A...). From the blistering opener "Eye of The Storm" to the risky ballad "Shekina" to pulverizing closing title track, About A Burning Fire was truly a unique journey and one of the highlights of this great rock band's career.
- John DiBiase

Blindside
About A Burning Fire (2004)

Click here for our review of the album.

Our synopsis: "Heavy, soft, melodic, chaotic - About A Burning Fire is a rock album that still sizzles seven years later." (Recommended by JFH's John DiBiase)
Perfect For: Worship, Spiritual food-for-thought, Encouragement
Song Highlights: “All Of Us," "Follow You Down," "About A Burning Fire," "Eye of the Storm," "Across Waters Again," "Where The Sun Never Dies"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album About A Burning Fire? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Featured Fan - Shannon Geary

Shannon, her little sister, Matt Thiessen, John Warne, Jon Schneck, Ethan Luck

Favorite Band/Artist: Relient K
Featured Fan: Shannon Geary
Location: Illinois
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  May 7, 2010; I-Wireless Center, Moline, IL
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: RK has songs everyone can relate to. I've heard tons of stories - and have my own - about how a Relient K song has changed someone's life.
Favorite Album by This Artist: Forget and Not Slow Down
Favorite Song by This Artist: "Forget and Not Slow Down"
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 2
Favorite Live Show Experience: Definitely the show in this picture. My mom got directions to the bus from a security guard when they toured with Paramore, and her, my sister, and I were the only fans out there. The band talked to us for a good 45 minutes!
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist:   Definitely the signed vinyl copy of FANSD
Website: http://twitter.com/RoosterKickin

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

Sunday, September 04, 2011

10 Years Later - Relient K's 'The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek'

I still remember walking around the electronics section of Wal-Mart at the age of 17 with the money from my part time minimum wage job burning a hole in my pocket.  At that time in my life, I was really just starting to build my massive collection of albums (which is now 2,000+ strong).  I stumbled across four dorky looking dudes in tracksuits jumping hurdles in the Christian section; the band name was the same of a crummy Dodge car… Relient K.  The CD had a sticker on it that read something like, "For fans of MxPx".  Being that MxPx was (and still is) my favorite band, I blindly made the purchase.  The album was entertaining, but nothing too great.  It was, however, good enough for me to keep my eyes open a year later when their next album came out.

The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek made the purchase of the so-so, self-titled debut worth it.  The growth they showed between the two albums was high.  If I only knew then the path of growth and maturity these guys had truly embarked on.  I loved, and still do, the quirky nature of the band.  Even though their newer albums hardly resemble their old, they still carry a sense of dorkiness with them.

Anatomy is packed full of both funny songs like "Sadie Hawkins Dance" or "May the Horse Be With You" and serious songs like "Those Words Are Not Enough" and "For the Moments I Feel Faint", which remain favorites to this day.  The album made these guys Christian music superstars.  During the tour for this album, I saw Anberlin and Relient K together.  I actually ran into them pre-show at a burger joint just down from the venue.  The guys were completely cool and signed the only thing I had… a napkin.  The crowd at the show was your normal crowd for a Christian punk show.  The next time I saw them, with MxPx, the screams of 14-year-old girls nearly drove me crazy.  The last time I saw them was at Rock the Universe in 2008.  My wife and I left the show because of middle school girls (ha ha!).  I was a dorky guy that played guitar in high school, why didn't I have that effect on the opposite sex?  Regardless of the crowd, I have seen Relient K around 6 times and they never disappoint.

While Two Lefts Don't Make a Right… But Three Do and Mmhmm are my favorite Relient K albums and I enjoy the maturity of Five Score and Seven Years Ago and Forget and Not Slow Down, there will always be a special place in my heart for The Anatomy of Tongue in Cheek.  This year Relient K is treading into new territory. They released, in typical Relient K fashion, the K is for Karaoke EP in June with the full-length covers album, K is For Karaoke, to follow in October.  While cover songs are a staple of the Relient K live experience, they are recording them for the consumer for the first time.  If Tom Petty's "Here Comes My Girl" and Weezer's "Surf Was America" are any indications, K For Karaoke should be a success.  As you sit back and think of music from a decade ago, The Anatomy of Tongue in Cheek should not be forgotten.

-- Michael Weaver

 


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