Another list…

…this time of musical acts (I wouldn’t say I’d call all of them bands…) I’ve seen live:

Amy Grant

Destiny’s Child (back when there were 4)

Audio Adrenaline x2

Dave Matthews Band x3

Relient K x2

Superchick

Switchfoot x2

Ludo

House of Heroes

The Urge

Hazard To Ya Booty

IndiaArie

The Calling

Lifehouse

Jimmy Eat World

Jessica Andrews

…again, I’m sure there are more that I’ll think of and add later, but that’s the list in my head right now!

Stoopid Verizon…

Since we went to see “A Prairie Home Companion” for Brooke’s birthday, we went to see Dave Matthews Band for mine. The concert was held at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, and for the first time, we dropped the big bucks to actually sit in seats (as opposed to standing on the lawn).

The set included the following:
“Pantala Naga Pampa/Rapunzel”
“Shake Me Like a Monkey”
“Funny the Way It Is”
“Typical Situation”
“Anyone Seen the Bridge”
“Too Much/Lie in Our Graves”
“Seven”
“Corn Bread”
“Best of What’s Around”
“Crush”
“Why I Am”
“Dreaming Tree”
“Grey Street”
“Dive In”
“Shotgun/Squirm”
“Time Bomb”

Encore
“(#40)”
“You and Me”
“All Along the Watchtower/Stairway to Heaven”

The music was spectacular, as always, with a very good mix of some oldies and some stuff off their newest album, “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux” king. There were a few of my favorites missing, but that’s to be expected any time they have a new album out. It was certainly better than when we saw them back in 2005 (I think?) right after “Stand Up” was released, as they played almost everything from that album and very little of their old stuff.

So yeah, the music went on for a little over 2.5 hrs, so we got our money’s worth!

…BUT…then we tried leaving. We sat in that parking lot for over an hour without moving…and we weren’t even in our parking spot anymore, as we had moved out into one of the driving lanes. No cars were moving. I still don’t know why this was. Finally, one of the park workers rode by on a golf cart and directed us to another exit. This time, we made it out of the parking lot, but were directed south on Earth City Expressway, away from I-70 (where we needed to go). By the time we had turned around toward I-70, they had opened up that intersection so people could then head north on Earth City Expressway, but all the lights were backed up such that we had to wait through about 4 light cycles at each light (and there were two).

Long story short, we left our apartment around 6:45 pm Wednesday night. The concert started a little after 8:15 (DMB, that is…there was an opening band). We were out of the amphitheater by around 10:45. We didn’t get home until 1:00 am.

The concert was great, but I’m seriously considering never returning to that venue…

Guess where we’ll be tonight???

“I do write about death a lot.  I don’t like to over use that whole
‘seize the day’ thing, but I think, you know, the fact that we’re
going to die is a pretty good reason to stop complaining.”

Dave Matthews; CBS Sunday Morning, 5/31/09

Playing For Change

Brooke was listening to Morning Edition this morning and heard this article about “Playing For Change.”

The general premise is that Mark Johnson, a producer in California, got this crazy idea to record street musicians performing well-known songs (like “Stand By Me,” above). The hook of this is that he (and his crew) traveled the world and recorded other street musicians singing/performing the same song, and then edited them together.

Really, it’s a neat idea and it gets you thinking about how a simple thing like music can bring people of completely different cultures, creeds and colors together like never before. The video above went viral on YouTube awhile back, but there are 6 other episodes on the website. They also have a CD/DVD available for purchase.

U2charist

So, as many of you know, Brooke and I are currently (and temporarily…) running the contemporary worship service, 1040 Connection, at Webster Hills United Methodist Church, where we’ve been attending since moving to St. Louis. As part of this, we got the crazy idea of doing the “U2charist,” which is essentially as the name sounds: a communion service built around the music of the Irish rock band, U2.

We had talked about doing it for awhile now, but after we took control of the song choices last September, we got to thinking about when to make it happen. Somehow, Maundy Thursday (or Holy Thursday) seemed appropriate, as it marks the Last Supper (i.e. the first communion).

Anyway, here’s the song list, for those that know the music of U2:

Prelude/Postlude:

  • Bad
  • All Because of You
  • During the service:

  • Pride (In The Name of Love)
  • 40
  • Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
  • Walk On
  • Beautiful Day
  • During Communion:

  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • Where The Streets Have No Name
  • We are also including this document in the bulletin as an insert that (briefly) points out some lyrics and what they may mean from a theological standpoint.

    Anyway, it should be a fun night, and we’ve put a lot of work into it. We’ll probably do it again at the beginning of July, just as a regular Sunday morning service.

    Tripping Billies

    We went to the Dave Matthews Band concert in Memphis a few weeks ago and noticed that Leroi Moore, the saxophone player, wasn’t up there with the band. We later found out that he had been in an ATV accident on his farm in Virginia over the 4th of July weekend.

    I just found out that Moore died from complications of his injuries unexpectedly today in Los Angeles.

    Needless to say, I’m stunned and extremely sad for the loss. His contributions to the band will be missed, especially as his musical offerings were so versatile and unique adding various sax sounds, flute, etc. to all of their albums over the years.

    “We are all sitting
    Legs crossed round a fire
    My yellow flame she dances
    Tequila drinking oh our
    Minds will wonder
    To wonderous places
    So why would you care
    To get out of this place
    You and me and all our friends
    Such a happy human race
    Eat, drink and be merry
    For tomorrow we die”

    — “Tripping Billies;” Dave Matthews Band

    Update: The band played their concert last night in Los Angeles, even after hearing the news of Moore’s death. An article in the Orange County Register describes the music and the feelings from the band and the crowd.

    From the article:

    “Remember: They had spent the better part of two decades making music with Moore; this is how they related to one another most. First time Matthews heard Moore play, he recalled as the encore began, was in a bar in Virginia: ‘He leapt on the cash register – ’cause standing had become something of a chore at that point. And he played the most beautiful rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ I’ve ever heard.’

    “‘If I could, I would,’ he added, as if to say why he wouldn’t attempt it, before instead offering a haunting rendition of his own ‘Sister.’ Indeed, all that he – and they – could do here was richly revive some of Moore’s favorite songs, disappear into their frameworks, savor lyrics that now had new meaning – and deliver the emotional immediacy the moment demanded.

    “It was brave, it was brilliant – it was a performance unlike any I’ve ever seen Dave Matthews Band give.”

    Long Live the Wesley House

    So, Wesley House was pretty important to Brooke and me, and took up a great deal of time for the five years I was at Truman. Mike sent me a few YouTube videos of the band playing in Troy, IL (Troy United Methodist Church) and I must say, it brought back memories. The crazy thing is that Mike, himself, was the only person I recognized in the video. I know it’s been 3 years since we left, but still…it’s great to see all those new people as part of the band! And also good to see that the band is thriving, and so is the Wesley House as a whole (despite the state-wide organization deciding it isn’t a “vital ministry” anymore and not funding it anymore…grrrrrrr…).

    Anyway, good times, yo… Good job, Wesley House Praise Band. Great to see you all in action again!

    Why do CDs cost so much?

    There’s an interesting blurb in this month’s Rolling Stone talking about why CDs cost $15.99, and moreover why Wal-Mart wants that cost dropped to $10… Apparently, the price of a CD is figured as follows:

      $0.17 Musicians’ unions
      $0.80 Packaging/manufacturing
      $0.82 Publishing royalties
      $0.80 Retail profit
      $0.90 Distribution
      $1.60 Artists’ royalties
      $1.70 Label profit
      $2.40 Marketing/promotion
      $2.91 Label overhead
      $3.89 Retail overhead

    Now, in all honest, it’s rather interesting just seeing how many pieces of pie are getting divided up here, and how the retailer only sees $0.80 in profit per CD sold, and the artist themselves see $1.60 per CD sold.

    Apparently, according to the article, Wal-Mart has emerged as the nation’s biggest CD retailer and your record’s sales at Wal-Mart essentially determine whether you’ll make money or not (~138 million people shop at Wal-Mart each week). However, Wal-Mart (and Target and Best Buy…) take a loss on CDs to sell them closer to $10 in hopes of getting people into the electronics section, where they’ll buy something on the way back, or pick up a DVD, etc. while they’re back there.

    Well, Wal-Mart is tired of taking that loss on each disc and is trying to convince the music industry to streamline their process a bit, otherwise Wal-Mart will cut back on space for CDs and instead offer shelves to DVDs and video games. This would, of course, be terrible for the music industry as a whole in that nearly all their CDs are sold (excluding the internet) in Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy now, as an estimated 1200 record stores have closed in the last two years alone.

    Anyway, I find this relatively interesting… I did a presentation for Speech class in undergrad on how stupid the music industry is, as a whole, and how they really need to adjust their model if they want to compete in the 21st century. That was nearly 6 years ago, and apparently little has changed. As the article states, the music industry is all about milking every last dime in profit from a given song (frequently crappy ones…), while companies like Wal-Mart want to make every purchase as cheap as possible to make their profits on volume. I kinda think iTunes, and other online retailers, are following closer to the Wal-Mart model, removing most of the overhead costs listed above in favor of making money on the volume sold of a given song (or album) to millions of people.

    Personally, I’m shocked the CD has made it this long as a popular medium. Brooke and I only buy CDs anymore when it’s a certain group (like Dave Matthews, for example) – otherwise, we’ll buy it through iTunes and burn it ourselves, as we tend to care very little about how pretty the cover art to a given album is.

    Grounded

    Well, Grounded was last night… Since I haven’t mentioned this on el blog really, I’ll give a brief description:

    We go to church at Webster Hills UMC win Webster Groves, MO… There are two “traditional” services and one “contemporary” service every Sunday, the latter of which Brooke and I play music for and/or set up the altar, make food, organize stuff, etc. Being there for over 2 years now, we’ve noticed that people our age (i.e. ages 20-30) are somewhat hard to come by. Therefore, we decided to try something along the lines of a “coffee house” on Saturdays at 6:30 and called it “Grounded.” Again, we wanted acoustic music, some eats, and some fellowship, so the format was essentially 30-40 min of music and no lyrics projected, so everyone could chit-chat with each other, or play some board games that we had dispersed amongst the tables. The idea is to be in a “worshipful environment” yet encourage interaction amongst the attendees, rather than sitting in a seat and following along with a service. This allows for everyone to get whatever they want from the experience, rather than have it spoon-fed to them. From my perspective, that general mentality seems to connect more with people of that age group moreso than sitting in rows, singing with the bouncing ball on the screen, and listening to a 20 min. sermon…

    Well, we didn’t advertise all that much (but we’ve got some nice flyers, and a neato logo, designed by the little sister…thanks!), but we’ll get on that more for the next one (October 20th!). We’ll be having it once a month on the third Saturday, so this way, we can rotate musicians and activities as much as possible. Yanela and I did the music, which included about 40 minutes worth of Switchfoot, Waterdeep, Ginny Owens, Relient K, etc…songs that are a bit too complicated for Sunday morning, but work well in a “coffee house” feel. We’ve also got coffee, tea and cocoa from Latin America (Fair Trade, yo…), all of which are quite good!

    Anyway, we ended up with a relatively decent turn-out of 14 for that hour period, three of which were from Hannibal and knew Brooke years ago…she invited them via Facebook, not really expecting them to come, but they did anyway… Nice people! Kinda funky how that worked out, but rather cool, just the same. Either way, once we get our advertising together, we expect to get more people there. We’ve already got a musician lined up to play next month, and I think I’ve got another one ready for November (after I call him… ;-).

    So yeah, it was a good time. If you’re in the St. Louis area and wanna stop by next time, it’ll be 6:30 pm at Webster Hills UMC on October 20th. If you have questions, ask Brooke… 😛

    Grounded