The Power Of “Yes”

When I tell people what I do for a living (I work in Youth and Worship Ministry) I typically get one of two responses. Most of the time when I answer, “I work in Youth Ministry at a church,” the person I’m talking to, with slight panic in their eyes, seeks to hide any alcohol they have on them and begins speaking with careful grammar. I don’t mean that they just stop cussing, but they actually start speaking with better annunciation and vocabulary. It’s a really funny thing to witness. The second response is an immediate look of pity. This tells me if the person I am speaking to has also worked in Youth Ministry. After receiving a heartfelt hug, I really enjoy communicating how I feel about ministry to students. Continue reading “The Power Of “Yes””

Leapknot Coffee Roasters Video

Below are two videos I created for Leapknot Coffee Roasters. I couldn’t be a bigger fan of the Voskamps and their mission with their company. The content came straight from the heart of the Voskamps and all I had to do was try to capture the same vibe. I operated all of the cameras, did the audio and video editing, and was lucky enough to write and record the music in the background of the film. These videos are best enjoyed with a warm cup of Bivy blend from Leapknot Coffee Roasters.

 

 

Sykes Adoption Video

Below is a video I made for some friends who adopted a sweet little girl. It was a really cool experience having to try and capture a single moment that was so special and make it feel the same on film as it did in that courtroom with no ability to do any reshoots. It was an amazing day. The song is “Boat Song” by JJ Heller used at the request of the family.

 

In Defense of Weezer

I can still remember the day a teacher, and friend, of mine handed me an album thinking I would like it. It was not new but it was not yet outdated. The album was simple and minimalistic in appearance. It was simply a blue disc that had white lettering on it that simply said “Weezer.” Upon placing it in the CD player of my car the incredible opus of “My Name is Jonas” immediately had me hooked and Weezer has been one of my favorite bands since that moment. Many serious fans of music will understand my love of the Weezer of old. This support usually runs out around the third or fourth album, however, and they have been scorned and ridiculed by most critics since. This article is my attempt to explain why Weezer continues to be a great band who make great music. Continue reading “In Defense of Weezer”

Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame

With the release of their previous album, Fate, Dr. Dog hit the nail on the head. In a few words Dr. Dog is the revival of fun Americana music with twists and turns at every corner taking the listener to a place they did not know this kind of music could take them to.

At one moment it’s sentimental and sweet and the next moment it’s abrasive and rude. Somehow Dr. Dog can cause one to explore the full gamut of human emotions while sounding like the same band from song to song. Being such a huge fan of Fate, I was excited see how the band would be able to follow up an album so vast. The result, titled “Shame, Shame” takes what Dr. Dog did with Fate and turns it up to 11! It is a perfect blend of folk, rock, blues, and pop encompassing everything that’s possible in their genre. It is musically and lyrically mature echoing bands of the caliber of The Beatles and The Band as opposed to their contemporaries.

Jakob Dylan – Women & Country

Jakob Dylan is all too familiar with the world of music. Besides the fact that his father, Bob Dylan, is considered one of the greatest songwriters to have ever lived, Jakob himself has been in the music business writing his own songs since the forming of his band, The Wallflowers, in 1989. In 2006 Dylan made a move from the world of rock to the world of folk music. “Women and Country, his second full length folk album released in January of 2010, is a prime example of an artist being able to shake off any expectations his family name may cause him, and creating an original album all his own.

Dylan’s first full length folk album, “Seeing Thing,” was an album of decent folk songs that really added up to no more than an okay album. Not that it was bad, it was just a bit lost as far as what Dylan wanted to do with this new world he was exposing himself to and what kind of songs did he want to write. “Women and Country,” however, finds a Jakob Dylan more solid and developed than his first album. The songs are unique but hold the same vibe from beginning to end. Not only that but the production of the album, courtesy of the incomparable T Bone Burnett, is classic, stylish, and beautifully simple. The one aspect of the album that really sets it apart in my opinion was Dylan’s decision to employ the vocal talents of Neko Case and Kelly Hogan on the entire album.

With the addition of T Bone Burnett’s direction and the exemplary talents of Case and Hogan, “Women and Country” far exceeds Dylan’s first album. While he may not be as lyrically profound or prolific as his father, Dylan writes songs that are easy to understand and easy to listen to. In the future I’d love to see him explore depper lyrical ideas and more complex song structures but for a simple folk album, he did a good job with this one.

Top 20 Albums of All Time

When making my list of my favorite 20 albums of 2010, it occurred to me that a basic understanding of my personal music taste was needed, not only for any readers who care at all, but also for myself. It has been many years since I attempted to download and process the vast amounts of music I have consumed in my lifetime so there’s no time like the present. Although these lists are living organisms, ever changing in the vast musical landscape day by day, I want to attempt to create a list of my favorite albums of all time. This list does not include of few of my favorite bands such as The Band and The Beatles simply due to the fact that picking a single album from their discographies is a task I did not want to attempt. Continue reading “Top 20 Albums of All Time”