Download the Latest Free Compilation from JFH!
Download the Latest Free Compilation from JFH!

JFH Staff Blog | May 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Featured Fan - Elena Frye

Sammy, David Zach of Remedy Drive, and Elena Frye

Favorite Band/Artist: Remedy Drive
Featured Fan: Elena Frye
Location: Waseca, MN
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  Station 4, March 5th 2011
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: Their music brings so much hope!!! My dad and I blare "Daylight" really loud in his car whenever it comes on the radio. :) I love going to their concerts, they are really nice guys!!! David even remembers me and my dad from other shows we've been to! :)
Favorite Album by This Artist: Daylight Is Coming
Favorite Song by This Artist: "DAYLIGHT!!!!" (and all the others!)
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 6!!!!
Favorite Live Show Experience:  ON June 20th, 2010, my dad drove me and 3 three of my friends to a see Remedy Drive in Altoona, Iowa (which was 3 hours away), for my 16th birthday. We had AMAZING standing spots right in front of Philip, and while David was doing his famous stunts, he shook my hand! :) After the show, we went to go get our shirts and posters signed. When we got to Phil, we started talking about how Sammy's sister doesn't like Remedy Drive anymore because her boyfriend Cj doesn't like them and how that was dumb. Phil overhears us and says in a funny voice: "Cj is soo dumb!" and then he looks at Sammy (who wasn't looking him in the eyes) and says: "You have a problem looking me in the eye!" We were all laughing so hard!! When we got to David and he was signing our stuff, he said: "Something smells funky, *smells shirt* I thought it was one of you, but I guess it's me!." (He told us during the concert that they were wearing the same clothes everyday for a week without being washed). My friend Miranda asked if he could sing happy birthday to me, but he didn't. :( Oh well. Then Paul hit us each in the head with a purple noodle. We missed Dan cause he was putting stuff in the trailer. On the drive home, my dad's car got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, so he called the police and we got to ride in the police car on each other's laps cause there wasn't enough room. The policeman drove us to a rest stop where we waited for my friend's dad to pick us up. We finally got home at 4:30 am. :) BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: My signed "Guide You Home" bag. I also have a signed shirt, 2 posters (1 signed), 2 cds (1 signed), and a button

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

We Recommend - Lifehouse, 'Who We Are'

Although their faith somehow got a little shuffled and disconnected with their most recent record, Lifehouse still remains one of the larger examples of Christianity in the mainstream today. This couldn’t be any truer when speaking of their 2007 release, Who We Are. From the stark imagery of Jesus rescuing us from drowning in the troubled waters of life (“Storm”), to a desperate plea for healing (“Broken”), the band truly drives home their message of faith on this record. And no one can deny the appeal of the insanely catchy hooks on tracks like “First Time” and “Who We Are.” As to where their music will continue to take them as the years continue to roll by, time can only tell, but at least we’ll always have Who We Are to hold on to…
- Logan Leasure

Who We Are (2007)

Click here for our review of the album.

Our synopsis: "Lifehouse proved with this record that they are still the band that we have always loved them for…" (Recommended by JFH's Logan Leasure)
Perfect For: Healing, Hope, Finding God, Encouragement
Song Highlights: “Who We Are," "Storm”

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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Featured Fan - Ben Cardenas

Matt Odmark of Jars of Clay, Ben Cardenas, Charlie Lowell of Jars of Clay

Favorite Band/Artist: Jars of Clay
Featured Fan: Ben Cardenas
Location: Florida
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  September 10, 2010 at Rock the Universe
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: Their view on life and God and love. The way they merge every emotion of life and make it almost a form of worship. Even sadness.
Favorite Album by This Artist: Hmmm...that's a toughie. I suppose The Long Fall Back to Earth
Favorite Song by This Artist: "There Might Be A Light" relates to me big time.
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 3
Favorite Live Show Experience:  Rock the Universe 2010
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: A Good Monsters poster I have in my room. Plus they signed my Chik-Fil-A cow! LOL

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

Monday, May 16, 2011

Featured Fan - Timo

Timo and Matt Greiner of August Burns Red

Favorite Band/Artist: August Burns Red
Featured Fan: Timo
Location: Germany
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  Cologne (Underground) , September 28, 2010
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You: Matt Greiner is the best drummer, i know. He is my Idol and I learned so much of drumming by listening to him. And August Burns Red is a band which has so much positive energy at their shows. You feel that they are Christians. And it's good that they are famous in the unchristian scene. And they are very modest! This is the most positive thing of August Burns Red!
Favorite Album by This Artist: Constellations
Favorite Song by This Artist: "White Washed," "Meddler"
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 1
Favorite Live Show Experience:  N/A
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: Band shirt (and the records)
Website: N/A

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

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Behold the side project

Side projects

I really like the idea of side projects.  I spent a good portion of one evening going through the list of Adam Young's projects just because I wanted to hear them all (search for "list of Adam Young projects" on Wikipedia for a nice big list; you can find just about all of them between YouTube and Purevolume).  Most of them don't have an actual album release to my knowledge, and most of them aren't meant to be taken seriously, thus aren't really good (the farther you go down the list, the sillier they get; the ones at the top of the list start off pretty good though). I'm typing this, the Owl City song "Galaxies" came on RadioU.  If you like this song, be prepared for like ten other great songs when All Things Bright and Beautiful comes out on June 14, most of which are better than "Galaxies."

ANYWHO...I was thinking about how sad it is that most of the time side projects don't end up doing any more than one album.  There are exceptions, of course, such as brave Saint Saturn, FM Static and the aforementioned Owl City.  But I'd like to know: which one-time side projects would you like to see more music from?  Even if their one album was recent, include them!  Be sure to include who is in it and what band they're from, just for any potential new fans' sakes!  Here's my list (that is probably not fully complete):

Grand Incredible (Mojo & Ethan from The O.C. Supertones)
The Brothers Martin (Ronnie Martin from Joy Electric and Jason Martin from Starflyer 59)
Fiction Family (Jon Foreman from Switchfoot and Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek)
A Rose By Any Other Name (Josh Scogin from The Chariot)
The Radio Sky (Cory Brandan from Norma Jean - I believe they had an EP and a full album, but I'm not entirely sure; the album is a free download though -
Sky Sailing (Adam Young from Owl City)

I'd also like to see actual albums from The Man Suits (featuring Aaron and Mike Weiss from mewithoutYou), The Water and the Well (Toby Morrell and Matt Carter from Emery) and The Thieves' Guild (Josh Dies and Patrick Porter from Showbread and Reese Roper from Five Iron Frenzy).

I almost included Crash Rickshaw, but then I remembered they did have a second album.  Pish tosh.

Your turn.  Let's see if there's some I didn't know about!  Go!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Featured Fan - Valerie Seelye

Valerie Seelye and a collage of Newsboys fandom!

Favorite Band/Artist: Newsboys
Featured Fan: Valerie Seelye
Location: Kalispell, MT
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  John James: Creation NW 2010; Duncan/Jody/Jeff: Missoula Montana August 15th 2010
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You:  I love this band so much. Their music has been amazing since 1985, even though I haven't been around that long, and they're probably the nicest guys you'll ever meet!
Favorite Album by This Artist: If I HAD to pick it would be Take Me to Your Leader or Born Again.
Favorite Song by This Artist: Oh, there are so many! I love "Take Me to Your Leader," but from the present day band, I like "Miracles."
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 3
Favorite Live Show Experience:  Hard one...probably when I got to meet them in Missoula. There weren't many people there so I just walked up to the stage and talked to them for a few minutes!
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: I have too much, I don't know for sure, but I love my songbooks! I play electric guitar and it's fun to learn Newsboys songs!
Website: Twitter Page

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

We Recommend - Sixteen Cities, 'Sixteen Cities'

God kind of has a funny sense of humor. The first time I ever heard anything by Sixteen Cities, I was doing Christmas shopping in Hollister (a clothing retailer known for their heavily secular values); "Sing Along" was playing and its lyrics and catchiness intrigued me. That was December of 2009, and after interviewing them a year ago for JFH, it says something to me that Sixteen Cities is still relatively fresh in my mind.  The one thing that really drew me into this band was their effectiveness in making worship music relevant to a younger generation of listeners. Songs like "Winter" and "Captured By Your Love" dug deeper than a lot of the other general noise I had been hearing from different Christian artists. It remains true now. I don't recommend passing up a track-by-track listen of Sixteen Cities - better late than never.
- Logan Leasure

Sixteen Cities
Sixteen Cities (2010)

Click here for our review of the album.

Our synopsis: "A standout alternative worship album from one of Christian music's most underrated bands…" (Recommended by JFH's Logan Leasure)
Perfect For: Worship, Finding God through music
Song Highlights: “Winter," "Come As You Are," "Sing Along”

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

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Take Heart! Everyone Else is as Stupid as You

In high school, I was the definition of a puppy dog crush, chasing this girl around as best I could without being too obvious. She always seemed cool, collected, calculated, mysterious... all the things I was not, growing up. I was attracted to that, but also saw it as a barrier separating us; because, after all- how could a girl like that like a guy like me?


I was a holy mess. Socially awkward. Never quite sure of my place. Drifting in and out of close friendships, and never really feeling like I was worth the time it took to get to know me. But no way I was going to let anyone know that.


So instead of bottling it up and being shy and reserved, I did the opposite growing up. I told jokes. I spread myself around. I made sure everyone had a high opinion of me at all times, regardless of how tiring that eventually got.


Of course, the only opinion I really cared about at the time was that of my high school crush. Sometimes she paid attention, sometimes she didn't. Sometimes I'd hear she'd mentioned me in conversations with others, sometimes she would comment on my Xanga and MySpace pages... and sometimes I'd hear nothing from her for weeks at a time. I lived for the moments when she noticed me.


Because I was a wreck. I was figuring out who I was. And she appeared to have most everything already figured out.


Years later, I ended up marrying that same girl, and we have lots of conversations now about what life was like for us back then. I'm sure you know where this is going...


Kelli was probably even more confused, awkward, and socially inept than I was. She never fit in either, she was just good at hiding it like I was. I thought she spent almost every night partying it up with all of the school friends I wasn't cool enough to hang out with all the time; when in reality, she spent most every night of the week quietly watching television or playing video games with her siblings- pretty much the exact same thing I did every night during high school.


I grew up thinking I was the weirdest, dumbest, strangest person I knew. Everyone else around me had their stuff together, and I was just barely hanging on- making moves as I saw others making moves, hoping to be seen and noted, but only because I was cool like everyone else. But at some point you have enough conversations with people to realize that everyone is the exact same way.


One of my favorite episodes of the radio drama Adventures in Odyssey is called "Coming of Age." Little Jimmy Barclay starts going through adolescence; and he is confused, and feeling alone in the world. So Mr. Whittaker gives him one of the best nuggets of truth that the program has ever put forth: "Everyone your age feels the same way you do. No matter how cool or together they may seem on the outside, inside, they're just as scared and confused as you are."


A while ago, I was riffling through some old emails and came across one from a good friend years ago. "I'm a great liar," he confessed, "I'm a pro at the mask," he went on, before speaking more broadly: "It's not that you can't trust anyone, but seriously- everyone's messed up no matter how good their mask looks. They're a train wreck like everyone else."


These are just things I've been thinking about lately. There's no neat bow to wrap around it. It just is what it is. No one has a clue, everyone's just making it up as they go along. So, I guess, I mean it more as a stress reliever than a call to action.


Take heart! Everyone else is as stupid as you are. We're all in it together. Your confusion and insecurity is just more obvious to you because you're the only one who has to live in your own body.


So just rest in that knowledge, let yourself breath. Equipped with that knowledge, maybe find someone not so comfortable in their own skin and let them know they have a friend in you, because you have no idea what you're doing either. Thank Yahweh for it!


One of my best friends since senior year of high school is a guy named Barry. His friendship has always been greatly appreciated, because he's pretty much the only really close guy friend I've had since high school, aside from my brother and my father (And this guy). But the thing is, Barry and I don't have much in common. We get along great, and we have fun, always. He's a great friend, and we've seen each other through a lot of good and hard times. But if I really had to sit back and think about it, I'd be hard pressed to come up with even a short list of similarities that we share. It's always puzzled me how we've stayed such good buds for so long. I related this to Kelli the other day- "Barry and I have very little in common," I said. "I think the only reason we're still friends is that he's stuck with me."


"Well, you've stuck with him, too," she replied. "You two have that in common."

(Taken from my blog Taylorville)

10 Years Later - P.O.D., 'Satellite'

The next installment of ‘10 Years Later,’ features P.O.D.’s Satellite.  Not many remember, but this album was released on one of the saddest and most tragic days in American history, September 11, 2001.  It was a terrible first week to get album sales, but the perfect timing for an inspirational song like “Alive.”  When all of America was grieving, “Alive” was ruling airwaves as a sign of hope despite recent events.  The track was even the first rock tune to reach the number one position on MTV’s Total Request Live.

Satellite kicks off with the adrenaline filled “Set it Off” and never really backs down until the end with the Grammy-nominated “Portrait.”  The album captures many of P.O.D.’s influences from Bad Brains, Santana, Bob Marley, and others.  They also refused to back down from their Christian stance and message even after the hugely successful Southtown.  Satellite were nominated for an unprecedented (for a hard rock band) six MTV Video Music Awards in 2002, a single Grammy nomination in 2002, and two Grammy nominations in 2003.  This is by far their most successful, and most popular, release of their career and it is currently certified triple platinum by the RIAA.

Though the album was a departure from their original hardcore sound found on Snuff the Punk and Brown and more melodic than the smash hit Fundamental Elements of Southtown, P.O.D. scored big with Satellite.  The album showed they could be diverse and do something beside thrash, scream, and rap.  The album has several great sing-a-long tracks.  “Alive,” “Boom,” “Youth of the Nation,” and “Satellite” are easily favorites.  Tracks like “Without Jah, Nothing” capture a sliver of their former hardcore selves, while “Ridiculous” shows off their reggae roots and “Masterpiece Conspiracy” is a flashback to Southtown.

Though there really isn’t any current P.O.D. music to compare Satellite to (When Angels and Serpents Dance is over 3 years old now), hopefully there is some on the horizon.  Fans are hoping to have a new P.O.D. album coming by year’s end.  An album at the end of the year would be a perfect way to lead into the band’s 20th anniversary in 2012.  If you haven’t listened to Satellite in years, then there is no better time to pop it in or upload it to your MP3 player than now.  Get ready to enjoy some amazing music from years past.

-- Michael Weaver

Monday, May 2, 2011

We Recommend - Capital Lights, This Is An Outrage!

According to recent reports, the demise of Tooth & Nail punk rock group Capital Lights may be slightly exaggerated. However, as it stands now, the band has only left us two items to hold onto: One lone, but touching Christmas song, (“His Favorite Christmas Story”) and their outstanding debut, This Is An Outrage!. Since Capital Light’s album was released in the same year as Children 18:3’s self-titled debut, calling it the best punk rock project of the year will always be disputed. But it sure is a beauty behind such snappy, catchy songs like “Outrage” and “Work It Out.” Bryson Phillips provides the ideal lead vocals for the entire 12 track adventure, and they particularly shine on subtly brilliant “Mile Away” and the quirky “Let The Little Lady Talk.” The album finishes with the strangely captivating “Frank Morris,” a well orchestrated and written finale that details the escape of four inmates from the infamous prison Alcatraz. Spiritual content is low except for “Return,” a song in which the singer talks about the end times. Hopefully we have not heard the last of Capital Lights because the greatness of This Is An Outrage! demands an encore.
- Nathaniel Schexnayder

Capital Lights
This Is An Outrage! (2008)

Click here for our review of the album.

Our synopsis: "A terrific punk/rock album from a group who disbanded far too early.." (Recommended by JFH's Nathaniel Schexnayder)
Perfect For: Looking back, looking forward, and fist-pumping fun
Song Highlights: “Outrage,” “Out Of Control,” “Mile Away,” “Work It Out,” and “Frank Morris”

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album This Is An Outrage!? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Featured Fan - Justin Evans

Justin and Jon Poole from Echoing Angels

Favorite Band/Artist: Echoing Angels
Featured Fan: Justin Evans
Location: Adairsville, Georgia
When/Where Was The Above Photo Taken:  Winter Renewal 2011 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
What About This Artist's Music Speaks To You:   Echoing Angels are simple guys that I have grown to know. I am so blessed to even know these guys. It's pretty amazing how Twitter can build relationships. EA puts everything they have into their music. Their worship is beyond great. I can listen to their albums over and over and can never get tired of the music. These guys live for Christ, play music for Christ and better than anything, they try to love like Christ's love.
Favorite Album by This Artist: Echoing Angels
Favorite Song by This Artist: "Coming Back To Life"
Number of Times Seen This Artist Live: 3
Favorite Live Show Experience:  Winter Renewal 2011
Favorite Piece Of Merch/Item You Own From This Artist: My Echoing Angels album signed by the band
Website: Twitter Page

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