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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas To All....

Wow.  It's been a month.  A month since I have blogged.

It has not been a month since I discovered new music, there have not been concerts that I have been to and not written about, there have not been moments in my life where dreams and music (really - the same thing) have impacted me immensely.  But - it has been a month since I have blogged. 

The holiday season is one that is always extremely overwhelming for me.  The additional social commitments, the additional church services, the additional errands, the additional everything.  It is just exhausting.  I did add a little to my own issues this year - as I just returned from a nine day vacation.  While it was much needed, it added to the stress.  But that's okay.

So....  What am I babbling about here?  For me - it boils down to Christmas Eve.  While I still have family commitments and travel for holidays ahead, while New Years Eve is still coming, while Christmas itself isn't even here yet - tonight is the culmination for me.  The peak.  My strongest Christmas memories are really focused around Christmas Eve.  Around our family traditions, the church services, the music, and more.

For those that are actively involved in their church (and I mean ACTIVELY - i.e. sometimes way too involved), you know how exhausting Christmas Eve is.  It is a night where you have too much to do, too little time, and it is amazing.  The Eve of the celebration of Christ's birth is a night where we can focus on the reason for this season.  A time to remember that Christmas isn't about physical gifts - it is about the greatest gift of all time.  A gift that none of us deserve, that none of us can earn - the gift of Christ and the salvation that He brought.  Okay - done with my religious thoughts - I know that's not what you come here to read.

Tonight, for me, was as exhausting as ever.  I got wayyyy less sleep than I needed, worked longer than I expected, and got to church with lots to do.  I missed several practices for this service, as I was out of town - so I was a bit behind.  I had to practice my baritone, we had bell rehearsal, choir rehearsal, and there were several pieces for each that I had not tried before.  And then all the usual running around - prepping the sanctuary, making sure gifts are ready for friends, and lots of odds and ends.  By the time service hit, I was about to drop from exhaustion.

But then I felt the energy.

The energy of the congregation - the excitement, the joy, the bliss.  While I was busy for most of the service, we got to my favorite part.  Silent Night/Night of Silence sung with candlelight.  Beautiful.  I actually choked up at one point.  The point when the moment truly hit me, when I remembered the reason we were there, when I felt the happiness that flowed around everyone.

So while I am completely wiped out, while I am barely able to keep my eyes open, while I am still stressed out about how much is in front of us - I am also completely content.  Tonight is a magical night.

I hope that all of you experience the same.  I hope that you have a magical holiday season - no matter how you celebrate.

And, of course, I found more awesome music.  Some amazing Christmas music.  And there is a song that I wanted to share with all of you.

"Christmas at Home" by Tyrone Wells.  A beautiful song that captures much of the feeling that can be found during this time of the year.  I hope you enjoy!

A reading from the Gospel of Luke

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

 Merry Christmas to All - and to All - a good night!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

For the Love of Music

For the Love of Music.

Such a simple sentence.  Such a beautiful statement.  Such a powerful thought.

It actually comes from Hunter Hayes.  It is the name of his video blog.  I may have to steal it from time to time.

The love of music is something that I have a hard time putting into words.  I have a hard time describing the feelings that come over me when the right song comes on at just the right time.  For me, it is like describing the feeling on your wedding day, the feeling of a perfect sunset, the feeling of reaching a goal that you never thought you would.  It is almost impossible.

Music can touch us in crazy ways.  Music can make us angry, sad, happy, calm, anxious - you name it.  And you can play the exact same song, in the exact same setting for every person - and no two people will experience the exact same thing.  We bring our backgrounds, our emotions, our thoughts into everything we hear.  I would expect no different.

I grew up with music. My house had music playing, my father would make up songs, my mother played the flute.  I learned to play brass (mainly trumpet and euphonium) and piano.  I don't play any of it with great skill, but I do enjoy it.  I also sing and now play in a bell choir.  Once again, no great talent, but enjoyable.

When you have the right combination of words, lyrics, and setting - there isn't much better.  No easier way to sooth a troubled soul, no better way to express your heart.

A lot of people that I know think that I am a bit crazy and a bit obsessive - after all I am going to every concert that I can get to, and buying new music all the time - but music is just something amazing.  A thing of beauty that I can't find in many other places.  Others find this feeling in great art, in nature, in hobbies - for me - it's music.  Truly, it's that simple.

So - after much hunting - I think I found it.  The song to describe my love of music.  The song that helps put all of this rambling into words.  "Read My Mind" by Keaton Simons.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


So, I am finally almost caught up with blogging about concerts.  I know, crazy, right?  I really enjoy trying to get to two concerts a month.  This balances me out pretty well.  They tend to be spaced enough that I have recovery time, and I don't have that long to wait to see another great show.  November changed that up a bit.  I had the Dan Godlin/Curtis Peoples/Todd Carey show the first Monday in November, and I have Straight No Chaser the last Friday of the month.  Quite a break in between, but that's okay, it's a crazy busy month.

Then a friend asked if I was interested in seeing Hunter Hayes with her. Honestly, didn't jump on the chance.  I knew 1 Hunter Hayes song.  Of course, it was Wanted. Now, I do love that song, I even bought it on iTunes.  However, I'm not a huge country fan, and the concert was two hours away.  But, I thought about, and decided to give it a shot.  So, on the second Sunday of November, we were off.  Headed out of town to see another live show.

Let me tell you.  If you get the chance to see Hunter Hayes in concert, please do.  He is a great musician.  His musical talent is just amazing.  However, you will have thousands of screaming girls to deal with - just fair warning.

Fox Theatre is absolutely beautiful!

So thank you Allison, thanks for the ticket and asking me to go along.  It was so worth it.

Now - the title of this blog.  Unexpected.  I love finding music in places I never expected.  I love being proved wrong about music (in the good sense).  Finding quality music is something that I will never tire of.  Finding quality anything is always a welcome surprise.  I did not expect to enjoy his music as much as I did.  I enjoyed it so much that we listened to it almost all of the way back to town.  And trust me, I never listen to that much country.  Ever.  So what does this mean?  For me, it means that I need to keep my mind open.  I need to keep my heart open.  I should always be aware that there could be something wonderful just around the corner, or even right in front of me, we just have to be open to the experience.  I strongly encourage the same for you.

In honor of that night - in honor of being open - in honor of the power of music - I have a great song of the day for you.  It is (of course) by Hunter Hayes.  As he was on stage, he was talking about the power of music.  The fact that you can always find a song that speaks to you, that it shows that you are never truly alone, because someone else has felt what you are feeling.  He wrote a song about this.  It is entitled "In a Song."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Simple Joys

So, the headliner last Monday was Todd Carey.  I have already blogged about his songs After the Morning After and Nintendo here and then, very personally, about Gotta Be Next to You here.

There is a magic in Todd's music.  I have found songs of his which work for almost any situation.  And that is pretty darn impressive when I only have 18 songs.  I have found songs that will cheer me up when I am sad, songs that will express my anger and frustration, songs that make me long for the past while hoping for the future, and most importantly, songs that make me smile.

There is a lot of really good music that I listen to (at least I think so).  And yet, a lot of it is not able to bring a true, simple, full smile to my face.  When that is what I need, Todd Carey is one of the first musicians that I turn to.

Monday night was no exception.  He is an amazing performer.  His energy and talent just flow through the room.  It was great to get to hear a lot of his new album (and waiting till Spring or Summer of next year is going to kill me!).  I am anxiously waiting for another chance to see him in concert, whether it be on the computer or in person.

New music

More new music

Curtis joined Todd on stage at the end of the show

As I said, it was an awesome show.  Afterwards we got to hang out with Todd for a while.  We gently reminded him that he was supposed to dedicate a song to Beth, but he had gotten caught up on stage and forgot about it.  So, we got two songs played while we were hanging out in the merch area.

And of course, we ended the night with pics and autographs.

Ya know, it really was a kinda perfect night.  Good friends, good people, great music, awesome venue.  What more can you ask for?

So, while thinking about that night, about Todd's music, about brings me back to my title.  Simple joys.  I really do love the simple things in life.  I love when a day can turn around from the simplest thing.  And for this, thank you Todd.  Thank you for bringing smiles to our days - even when we don't think we have one in us.

My song of the day is one that Todd performs - and performs so well - "Ain't Got Love"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I have a list.  As with the rest of my life, it is stored in my cell phone.  It is a list of songs.  Songs that when I hear them, I know that I need to write about them.  Unfortunately, this list just keeps getting longer.  Sometimes songs do not come off of there because it is not the right day for the song, sometimes because I am busy writing about other things, but sometimes it is because I struggle to put my thoughts into words.  The last reason is the one that bothers me the most.  I pride myself on being able to put things into words.  I can write about almost anything.  I can do it succinctly, but also with the needed emotion.  I think that the songs that I cannot write about are the ones that are the most personal.  It can be very hard to put your heart and your mind out there.....

Okay.  Back to last Monday night.

After Dan Godlin had finished (lots of sadness as I would have been happy to see him perform for hours), it was time for Curtis Peoples.  If I am remembering correctly, I found his music through Tyler Hilton.  I had gotten his album, The Fight, and fallen in love with it.  He was the reason that we were at this show.

As expected, his music is amazing.  His performance is amazing.  We enjoyed every second of it. I sang along with almost every minute of it.  One really cool fact was that Curtis had a ton of family there.  Turns out he spent almost every summer, while growing up, in this part of the country.  So lots of his family showed up to see him perform.  It's great to see that kind of support.

After the show, we gotta to talk to Curtis (yep, still really love Seven Steps Up).  While chatting with him, he talked about how he saw that I was singing along to most of the set.  I, of course, complimented his music - cause it really is awesome.  We talked about how some people don't ever know the music of the artists they are seeing, but that I really prefer to know the music prior to a show.  He told me that he really enjoys having people in the audience that clearly enjoy the music and are big supporters.

So of course, I then got him to sign his album.  :)

 Back to where I started.  I have had a song on my list for quite some time.  That song is "Afraid" by Curtis.  The second that I heard it, it was on my list.  It struck a chord with me.  I'm pretty sure it is because it speaks to the part of me that likes that hide.  Everyone has something that they are afraid of.  Everyone has fears.  I'm pretty sure that all of our real fears boil down to the same things.  Loss.  I mean, really, what are you afraid of?  Is it taking a leap for a change in career?  Is it telling someone that you love them?  Is it telling someone that you are scared for them and where they seem to be headed?  Is it of disappointing people?  Whatever it is, I believe it boils down to a fear of loss.  A fear that we will lose the person we love, a fear of losing our success, a fear of losing our safety net.  I know that is where my true fears are based.

This is why this song means so much to me.  So in honor of being pushed out of my comfort zone (which is always a good thing), in honor of an amazing show - I give you my song of the day.

"Afraid" by Curtis Peoples

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thinking Back....

Today, I take a moment to pause from my blogs about concerts.

Today, 11/11, is Veteran’s Day.  It is a day that always leaves me tearful, happy, and mostly grateful.  While I really want to write about the myriad of reasons for my complicated emotions, I also want to protect the rights and privacy of those I love.  So bear with me while I try to explain.

Many of you know, I married a Marine.  I mean, I really married a Marine.  He deployed to Iraq 36 hours after our wedding service.  The year that included the couple of months of in country training (prior to our wedding), the seven months with him out of the country, and the months of travel for continued services upon his return, was one of the toughest years of our lives.  But here’s the thing.  It wasn’t The toughest.  That came later.  That came as we dealt with the aftermath of war.  The aftermath of a military life. 

So, when Veteran’s Day approaches, and everyone is thanking their family members, and service members at large, it brings up a lot of emotion.  I am forever grateful for everyone who has served.  I am forever grateful to their families, for I understand the sacrifice.  I am also forever remembering everything that people have gone through.  Many people like to say, well, at least he came home in one piece.  And yes, we are very lucky that my husband has no physical injuries, and he made it home alive.  Words will never express the daily fear that this wouldn’t be the case.  However, we need to remember that many (if not most), of the service members coming home – are coming home injured.  They are not the same person they were when they left.  They bear scars that we, as civilians and family members, cannot begin to understand.

So what is my point?  Simply this.  Thank you to my husband and all who have served.  Thank you to the families for making the sacrifice.  Thank you to those who recognize the commitment of these members and families.  And please, remember, some scars are invisible.

As always, I have a song.  A song that I wish I had while my husband was gone.  Because it explains a piece of how I felt.

“Gotta Be Next to You” by Todd Carey

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Where is your happy place?

So a lot of people that I know have commented on how I go to a ton of concerts.  When I look at it, it doesn't feel like all that much.  Really, it is my hobby.  And truly, I love going to small concerts.  While there is nothing better than the energy created by thousands of people all excited to see a favorite musician, there is also nothing better than an intimate gathering.  A gathering where the people are TRUE fans.  Fans who know every word to every song, fans who have followed the musicians when they were small and will tell all their friends about them, in hopes that they will make it to the stadium - one day.

The concert on Monday was one of those intimate gatherings.  As I mentioned before, Seven Steps Up is a venue with just over a hundred seats.  A venue designed for you to be able to hang out with the artists.  And this came true time and time again on Monday.

Beth, Lainie, and I arrived early - as we do.  Dan Godlin was still on soundcheck, so they closed the door.  Then we see Todd Carey heading down the stairs.  We had the opportunity to chat with him, about the tour, about his music, and about the StageIt concert where Beth tipped enough to get a dedicated song - so plans were made for that.

Pretty soon we headed in for our seats.
Not a bad view, huh?

We were ready.  Ready for Dan to take the stage.  We had been listening to his music, talking on Twitter, and ready for an awesome show.

Once again, we weren't disappointed.  Dan Godlin is an awesome performer.  He engaged those of us in the crowd, played beautiful music, and looked happy while doing it.

After the concert was over, we got to meet all the artists.  I do not think we spent less than 30 minutes talking with Dan.  He was such a great guy - very down to earth, very enthusiastic about his music.  And he was also appreciative of his fans.  Always awesome to feel like our enthusiasm helps. :)

So let's back up a step.  The name of this post is "Where is your happy place?".  There is a reason for that.  Dan's newest single is called "Summer Roads."  As he got ready to perform the song, he talked about the feeling of driving down the California coast, wind in the hair, music on the stereo.  The funny thing - is that is my definition of a happy place (well - that or being at an awesome concert).  After the show I talked to Dan about that fact.  It's fun to find something that you have in common.

So this next video is Dan's song "Summer Roads."  While you listen to it, think about your happy place.  Where do you go, or what do you do when you just need to be happier.  What can turn your mood around, no matter how rough the day has been?  Everyone has something (or two or three somethings).  I think that it is important for us to know what that something is, so that we can find strength, even on the toughest day.

And for me, this song will give me that feeling even while I wait through the long, slow Michigan winter. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Just a tease

So last night was another epic show.  I have really found that having the opportunity to meet and get to know your favorite musicians just puts things into a whole other level.  That opportunity does come with a price though - and today - that price is exhaustion.  I am still recovering from a late night (though soooo worth it!) so therefore I am providing you with a teaser of the show last night.

Thanks to my friend Beth & Lainie for the awesome company.
Thanks to Seven Steps Up for the best venue in West Michigan.
And thanks to Dan Godlin, Curtis Peoples, and Todd Carey for an amazing show and being really great guys!


So while I recover and write about this amazing experience - please enjoy the above videos.  And, of course, I have a song for today.  

I woke up this morning with "All I Want" by Curtis Peoples running through my head.  And for me - that is reason enough to make it song of the day. :)

Stand up and take a bow  
Your beauty deserves a crowd 
I said it once, I'll say for all time, all time  
No one's wanted you more, oh more
And I'm trying to hold on, trying to hold on  
Break all the walls around you  
And I'm trying to hold on, trying to hold on  
Til you feel me in your arms
All I want is you 
I've waited for forever to say the things 
that we both know are true
All I want is you
Your dark hair around me now  
The one kiss that you allow 
I hold the words until it's all right, all right 
Now I know what this love's about
And I'm trying to hold on, trying to hold on  
Til you wrap yourself around me  
And I'm trying to hold on, trying to hold on  
Can you feel me in your heart?
All I want is you 
I've waited for forever to say that things 
that we both know are true 
The only thing that matters is standing somehow  
Right in front of you  
Everything I do is because  
All I want is you  
All I want is you
Fighting for you  
Always for you 
Say the words  
Simple heart on a mighty mission  
Say the words
All I want is you 
I've watied for forever to say that things 
that we both know are true  
The only thing that matters is standing somehow  
Right in front of you  
Everything I do is because 
All I want is you

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Inspiration is a Funny Thing

Have you ever heard a song, that just makes you stop in your tracks?  A song that affects you - not just in the music, but also in the lyrics?  A song that seems to truly speak to who you are and who you want to be.

As much as I love music, as much as I am moved by music, this doesn't happen often.  And really, it shouldn't.  If every song you hear is life changing - then maybe there are bigger issues going on.  But anyways.

As I said, a song with this much power, is not something I encounter often.  Honestly, I can only think of one other song that has hit me so strongly - and maybe one day I will write about it.

But for now, I continue the story of last Saturday night.....

So Elenowen is no longer on stage, Lainie and I are running high from the energy in the room, and we are waiting - rather impatiently....

The band was on stage - getting things set up.  They put the set list down and we immediately hunted for our favorite songs.  1 of my 2, that I really, really wanted to hear was on there - "What I Know Right Now."  And the one that Lainie wanted to hear - "Everythings Right" was also there.  Needless to say, we were pumped, okay, excited, okay, ecstatic.

And..the time came.  Matt Wertz took the stage!

So he started with his classic jean jacket - which didn't last long - cause even though it was FREEZING outside - it was quite warm in the room.

That is one well loved guitar!

The following video is of one of my favorite songs off of Heatwave.  It was great to hear it live - and great to hear the conversation between artist and fans.

simply put - this song is beautiful - in melody and in lyrics

And like that...the show was done.  However, like any good artist - there was an encore.  The encore made my night.  Truly, it did.

You know how earlier, I was talking about songs that change your world - and that there was a song that was not on the playlist?  Well, on Heatwave (Matt's newest album), there is a song called "Thing About Freedom."  Something about that song struck a chord with me.  In fact, it was so powerful, that I have been struggling to write the blog about this song - and it has been out for two months.

In this song - Matt sings "The thing about freedom, that's so misunderstood - just because you can, doesn't mean you should."  To me, that is something that we often forget.  It is something that we like to throw in each other's faces.  How many kids say, well I'm 18, so I can do what I want?  Or how many adults make terrible decisions, because we have the freedom to do so?  Every day - terrible decisions are made - and many times, it seems that it happens because it can.  Not because we want it to be so, not because we are dreaming of the outcome - but because we have the "right" to do it.

I know that I am not making a ton of sense right now, maybe one day the words will come to me, that will allow me to describe the impact this song has had on me.  But for now, please listen - listen to the whole thing - try to hear the lyrics.

Following this song, Matt & the band, along with Elenowen, came out into the middle of the floor.  Really - I mean the middle of the audience.  They all grabbed instruments and did an amazing rendition of "Sing My Lonesome Away."

And if you watched the video - you heard the crazy cheer that went up within the first minute - no - that wasn't for the band - the Detroit Tigers were on the television behind the bar and had just taken the lead....

And now the night was done....Or at least the show was.  Lainie and I were lucky enough to be able to grab pictures with Elenowen & Matt Wertz.

And now - our night was truly over.  But we could not have wished for a better night.

However, because I want you to be able to appreciate Matt's music - and concert videos aren't always the best - check out these two songs.

This is the song I also had above here....

This is the song Lainie was waiting to hear - and he did play it - I just don't have it on video

So...What is the moral of all this?  What is the purpose behind tonight's blog?  Cause really, it's been a bit long.  Number 1 - Matt Wertz puts on an amazing show.  I would see him again anytime.  Number 2 - Nothing is better than a good concert with a good friend.  Number 3 - Inspiration can hit you any time - in any number of ways - and normally, it is when you are least expecting it.  Number 4 - Remember - Just because you can Does Not mean you should.  

Despite all the beautiful music above, I have no choice but to make my song of the day be "Thing About Freedom" by Matt Wertz.  And if you just jumped through all the pics and videos to read what I am typing - go back up and listen to that song.  No really - do it.

Good night.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Up Next

Saturday night - take 2.

So Mark Sala has left the stage (cue the sad face followed by the purchase of an amazing cd - really - buy it here)

Now it's time for a quick drink and to wait for Elenowen to take the stage.  That's when this piece of beauty occurred.

Now, neither of us knew much about Elenowen.  I had heard that they were on The Voice, that's bout it.  So we had no clue what to expect.

And we were blown away.  Lainie and I just kinda kept looking at each other - in awe.  Amazed at what we were hearing - thrilled to be a part of another great set.

Honestly, I don't normally get as excited by female vocalists as I do my male vocalists.  I just prefer the sound.  But the combo of Josh & Nicole Johnson was just about perfect.  Okay, not just about, it was perfect.  Check out the proof.

This is Park - played keys and guitar

And you know I have video, too!

So...couple other cool things.  First, they are a husband and wife duo.  Seeing the chemistry on stage was a beautiful thing to watch.  Being able to see how they connect and communicate - awesome.  Next - check out this picture.

There are a lot of challenges to playing a show with only three people - including the lack of a drummer.  Josh was playing this lovely contraption - which basically acted as a bass drum - the quality and strength of it was amazing!

And now - check out their set list.

Love the option to see what is coming up next.

Now in memory - for several things - I give you "We Were Better Off" by Elenowen - oh - and go buy their music, trust me, just do it.  And you can do it right here

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Does this ever get old?

So the time had come for another epic night.  At least that was our hope.  A few months ago Lainie and I saw that one of our favorite artists was putting out a new album.  Preorders were available along with vinyl, shirts, and concert tickets.  As we looked, we saw he was coming to Grand Rapids, and it happened to be the night before Lainie's birthday.  That meant...this was happening.

Time got closer and Saturday arrived.  And the weather was...terrible.  Cold, raining, windy.  Yuck.  We had planned to wait outside so that we could get close spots, but we weren't about to spend much time in this weather.  So we found a local restaurant, grabbed a drink, or two, and some food.  Then we even got shots on the house for celebrating a day early.

Then it was time to venture back outside.  Thankfully, there were only about ten people in front of us.  And of course, while we waited, it started to rain - at least it didn't rain hard.

A couple minutes before doors opened, we ditched the coats and started to get really excited (if it was possible to be more excited than we were!).

Then, shortly after getting in the doors, someone took the stage.  We weren't expecting the show to start for at least an hour, so we were thrilled to be able to have early entertainment.  Oh, and did I mention that we did manage to have awesome spots on the floor - as in I was leaning against the stage.

Who we saw - Mark Sala.  Hadn't seen him before, hadn't heard of him, but when his set was done, I followed him to his merch table and picked up his cd.  Honestly, you should do the same.  And you can do that here.

In the meantime, check out the pics and videos from the show.

 He had his phone laying there with a timer on it - managed to end with I believe 2 seconds to spare

So, the title to this blog.  "Does this ever get old?"  It applies to many, many things - but today - it applies to the joy that comes in finding new music.  The thrill of a new artist.  The excitement with a new sound, a new collection of words.  While I say that I do not enjoy new things, this is the one exception, I always love finding new (good) music.  And Saturday night was a chance for me to do just that.

So, I give you "Breathe" by Mark Sala as my song for the day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Music in a New Era

New experiences.  To be honest, not my favorite thing in the world.  It's not that I dislike them, they just make me nervous.  Ask any of my friends or family and they will confirm that when going through a new experience, I am hyper-vigilant, super sensitive, and pretty darn anxious.  I like knowing what I am getting in to.

But - last night - that was a great new experience.  I'll back up for a second.

In three weeks, I have a concert that I am anxiously awaiting.  It is Dan Godlin/Curtis Peoples/Todd Carey at Seven Steps Up.  Should be an amazing show.  As I am very impressed by all of these artists, I follow them on Twitter.  Todd Carey has been talking about an online show that he was planning, following the release of his new song "Nintendo."  After talking with my friend Beth, I decided to check it out.

Honestly, I was always interested, but like I said - I don't get too psyched for new experiences.

So yesterday, I got my ticket for the 9pm show.

At about 8:30, I curled up with my laptop and watched tv while I waited for it to start.  Below is a screenshot of what came on at 9pm.  Pretty darn cool. 

The center of the screen was Todd, who was talking, performing, interacting with all of us.  On the right of the screen was a chat screen.  All of us watching were able to comment, ask questions, make requests, etc.  Todd made a point to say hi to as many people, by name, as he could during the show. 

I think the best description was what Todd said at one point.  It is like a concert with your biggest fans, but instead of hearing cheers, you see bubbles popping up above each person's head with their thoughts.  How cool is that - for both the musician and the fans?

The fans got to learn more about each other, about Todd, and what concerts we are all hoping to attend.  I also learned about a music festival that he puts on at the Outer Banks - maybe I can get there in 2015....

Oh, another fun note.  Todd has to be one of the happiest musicians I have ever seen perform.

During the show, there was the option to "tip" Todd - using actual money - and the top three tippers won various prizes.  Glad to say that my friend, Beth, got top tipper and will have a dedicated song at the show we are going to in three weeks.

So I'm thinking the lesson of the night is that we should try new experiences more often.  Really - what harm does it cause - at least most of the time.... :)

I regularly wake up with this song in my head....

So...I can't play Nintendo for you - so I recommend you look it up here

Due to this, I am giving you two songs of the day....Nintendo and After the Morning After.  Cause really, any song by Todd Carey is worthy of being a song of the day!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

See You Again!

Okay, back to last Saturday.

As I said, Keaton Simons was up first.  After the intermission, Pat McGee and band hit the stage.  Awesome band.

But first...a story.

The year - 2007.  The place - Burlington, Vermont.  My dad and I drove out to visit my sister for the weekend (yeah, and it was the weekend before my last set of finals in grad school).  My sister got the two of us tickets to a concert.  On the docket was Tyler Hilton, Pat McGee, and Stephen Kellogg.  I had never seen, nor heard, of any of these artists.  We had a great night.

Flash forward to 2013.  I saw Tyler Hilton for the second time in May, and now I have seen Pat McGee perform.  Next up, that needs to be Stephen Kellogg, he just hasn't made it close enough for me to make that happen.

Okay, back to a week ago.

Pat McGee and band were amazing.  Time went by insanely fast.  Near the end of Pat's first set, Keaton came back up and joined them on stage.  There was an intermission in the middle of Pat's time on stage.  They finally left the stage after more than 2 hours of music - then the encore happened.  For the encore, the five musicians grabbed instruments and headed to the middle of the room.  It was time for some acoustic music.  Gotta love the drummer sitting on the edge of the loveseat, playing a stool - and the bass player grabbing a mandolin.  Much of this had not been played as a group before - and it showed their true talent.  The encore took us almost another 45 minutes.  Perfect.  Simply perfect.

Check the videos and pics from the rest of the night.

And a special shoutout to Patrick McAloon - a guitarist in The Pat McGee Band - who also happens to be an amazing solo artist.  He took part in the encore with a song of his own.  You can hear some of his solo stuff in my last blog.

So we had a great night, with amazing music in a great venue.  One of the perks of such a small venue was that the artists hung around after, signed things, took pictures, and just chatted.

Final note for the night.  While Pat McGee was performing, they kept talking about this event, alternately called OBX and Down the Hatch.  A few days on the beach with a lot of great musicians.  Sounded pretty intriguing.  Well I am thrilled to report that my husband and I will be heading down for it this coming year.  Combine it with visiting family and there isn't much better.  I'm pretty sure it is the ideal music festival, between the beach, the music, and a killer crowd.  Hope lots of others will be there too!!!

So for tonight, for my song of the day, the week, until May - I give you "See You Again" as performed by Pat McGee, Keaton Simons, and Patrick McAloon at a previous Down the Hatch.

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