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JFH Staff Blog | February 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

We Recommend - Spoken, 'Echoes of the Spirit Still Dwell'

I recently heard Spoken's self-titled album for the first time, and I was very impressed with it.  I kinda lost interest in them after A Moment of Imperfect Clarity, and I ended up skipping over Last Chance To Breathe.  But I popped in Spoken, and it blew me away.  It made me think that they might make it back in my list of bands I like.  It reminded me of when I liked them before, as I enjoyed listening to to Echoes of the Spirit Still Dwell, with it's loudness, rawness, and the occasional rapped lyrics.  "This Path" was my first encounter with Spoken, and it's still one of my favorite Spoken songs.  But there's also highlights to be found through the rest of the album as well.  In fact, half of their greatest hits album that followed Echoes... were actually songs from Echoes...  If you like Spoken now, and you haven't heard this one, look it up somewhere.  It'll be worth your while. ~ Scott Fryberger

Spoken
Echoes of the Spirit Still Dwell (2000)

Click here for a JFH Staff Review.

Our synopsis: "Looking back on one of today's top Christian hard rock bands." (Recommended by JFH's Scott Fryberger)
Perfect For: Bold faith
Song Highlights: "This Path," "Forevermore," "David," "A Question Alone"

So, what are your thoughts on and experiences with the album Echoes of the Spirit Still Dwell? Do you recommend it? If so, why?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Don't Let Your Tires Get Too Low

ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 17:
Don't Let Your Tires Get Too Low

After a week off, we’re back on the road with RED for the last leg of the tour. The other day,  I took the van over to Wal-mart to pick up a few things for the road.  I was planning on unhitching the trailer and just taking the van,  but I glanced at one of the trailer tires and it looked a little low.  I decided it would probably be a good idea to fill that tire up before we hit the road again.  I pulled into the shell station, dropped my quarters in the machine and began filling the tire.  It’s a good thing I did because this tire was low. Really low. It was supposed to be filled to 80 psi and was only showing 20 on the gauge.

            As I slowly filled the tire it reminded me of how important down time is.  How we need to be refilled too: physically and spiritually.  One of the ten commandments tells us to take a day off!  Being home for a bit gave me a chance to recharge and to enjoy a time of “Sabbath” So often, we tend to push oursleves too hard.  We are so busy these days!  When is the last time you brewed a cup of coffee, and just sat down with a book?  We need to remember to spend time relaxing, praying, and communicating with the God of the universe.  Don’t let your tires get too low.  Check the pressure often,  and remember the sabbath!

dexter

 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Really Matters

ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 16:

What Really Matters

Hey Guys, Seth here finally getting a chance to sit down and relax today! It's been a crazy one from sunup-til now.  Been in the thick of finishing the production on the Newsboys Record, and I'm starting to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! Late apologies on not posting an update for a while, more to come regularly this week! We're getting geared up to hit the road again early tomorrow morning, I believe 5:30 AM to be exact...Yikes!! There's something really tough, but special about night drives to me, because in the insanity of life, I get a chance when there's no one else talking, no noise, just the road, to sit and reflect. Reflecting is not something we often get to do when we're so preoccupied with our schedules and routines. 
 
Speaking of reflecting, as I'm able to take a moment and do that right now, I realize that this is an exciting season that God has us in right now, for a lot of different reasons, one obviously being that I'm super thrilled to have our new record release in March, another being that I'm pumped about these great tours we are blessed to be a part of, but even more so, because I am realizing more and more every day that life is such an amazing adventure. It's such a humbling feeling to think that God is writing a beautiful story with us as his main characters, learning to love, be loved by Him, and share that love with everyone else through relationships.
 
I watched an amazing movie this past weekend called "The Soloist", which is the story about a homeless street musician (Nathaniel) who is found by an LA News Columnist named Lopez. Lopez is so intrigued by this man, that he spends countless days just hanging out with him, getting to know him, building a friendship, learning his story, and he eventually finds himself helping bring Nathaniel to a better life. I know you've probably heard stories like this one before, but it really made me reflect on perspective. 
 
I think that at the end of the day, life, and even more importantly, the Christian life, is really all about perspective and keeping things down-to-earth. Jesus lived a pretty simple life. He placed an emphasis on things that were important, like relationships, loving people, and even spending time in prayer with His own Father (who is ironically, our Father too). What an example this is, that even Jesus, God incarnate, took time to be alone, and pray! There are numerous accounts in the Word that talk about Jesus going away to the mountains just to pray, like in Matthew 14:23, or Mark 6:46. How can this not speak volumes of wisdom to us about the things we should be focusing on in the midst of life?
This example for me, makes me think about how crazy it is for me to worry about some of the things I find myself gravitating to. There's really nothing as important as relationships.
 
My prayer for all reading out there, is that as you read this, that you just take 5 or 10 minutes just to sit, reflect, pray, and listen for God. Maybe He's speaking to You about someone that needs reached out to, a friend to be forgiven, or a loved one who has lost their way. Whatever it might be, let's just all remember together to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into loving relationships, even if we are afraid that we might not get love in return. Let's remember these verses:
 
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." (Matt 22: 37-40 MSG)
 

Monday, February 08, 2010

We Recommend - Owl City, 'Ocean Eyes'

I stumbled upon Owl City long after many many people.  In fact, I hadn't even heard the mega popular "Fireflies" until it was a free download from iTunes (thanks again, iTunes).  So I'm not too familiar with his older stuff.  I did get a chance to listen to some of it, and I liked it, but his first full length with giant label Universal Records far surpasses his previous material.  Ocean Eyes was one of my favorite albums of 2009, which is both completely understandable and a little weird at the same time.  Understandable because it's a brilliant and beautifully-constructed album.  Weird because it's a little poppier than what I usually like - take "Dental Care" for instance (not to mention I'm not used to liking bands that millions of people love).  But Adam Young definitely knows what he's doing when it comes to turning his thoughts, feelings and self-proclaimed insomnia into songs that turn out dreamy, magical and joyful.  He even acknowledges his Savior in a couple songs (worshipfully in "Meteor Shower" and saying he's "found a new hope from above" in "Tidal Wave," which also features Relient K vocalist Matt Thiessen).  Pop fans will absolutely fall in love with this, but it's also good for people looking for musical creativity and quality. ~ Scott Fryberger

Owl City
Ocean Eyes (2009)

Click here for a JFH Staff Review.

Our synopsis: "Intelligent, thoughtful and quirky electropop to brighten your day." (Recommended by JFH's Scott Fryberger)
Perfect For: Love, hope, sing-a-longs
Song Highlights: The entire album is pure gold

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

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Senses

ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 15:

Senses

Seth here, tired as ever, writing from our 8th story hotel room in Little Rock, AR. Just getting ready to drive back to Nashville after all the heavy stuff is loaded in the trailer. I've never been so ready to be home in my bed as now! For those who didn't know, I've been under some heavy weather the past couple days.
 
So I was talking to Tim earlier today, and we had an interesting discussion that sparked some thought in my head. We were talking about what life would be like if we didn't have a sense of taste, how eating would simply be to sustain life, and not for any source of enjoyment. I don't think there would be much of a food industry, since there really wouldn't need to be different kinds or flavors of food. People may not eat as much, and I think the world would be a much duller place. This convo led to thinking about, if we had to make a choice as to give up one of our senses, which would it be. We thought about the gift of sight, definetely a must have, as well as the sense of hearing, obviously a must-have since we are musicians. Then we talked about the sense of touch, which, if we didn't have, we'd probably just be tripping all over the place not even able to walk. And lastly, the sense of smell, which we both ended up agreeing, we'd give up before any of the others, although, we need it a lot more than we think!
 
I just got to thinking how much this is like the body of Christ, how, when you think about each part, how equally important each is, and just like we were trying to prioritize our "favorite senses", we couldn't manage to, because we really need all of them to function properly! Some of us are to be the hands, some of us to be the feet, others to be the eyes, and even some to be the ears...every single person in this Spiritual body is no more important than the next, and we need each other to benefit the whole thing, so let's all try to work together, and build each other up for the gifts that we have, realizing how important it is for us to work within our gifts, and not try to be something that we're not. 
 

"You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you're still one body. It's exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything." - I COR 12:12-13 (MSG)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Foxes Have Holes

ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 14:
Foxes Have Holes

I’m sitting in the Hallway of the Days Inn in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  This is the only place my computer can pick up wifi.  Tomorrow’s show in Dodge City was cancelled as of an hour ago due to crazy snow and terrible roads.  The guy at the front desk asked me, “So where are you guys from?”  This is a question we get a lot on the road.  Every time someone asks, my brain sort of hesitates and I don’t know what to say.   The three of us in the band moved to Nashville last summer, but we’re not ‘from’ Nashville. (Is anybody? ) I’ve always said- “Wherever you learned to ride a bike- that’s where you’re from.”  I grew up in Kansas,  Seth in Ohio and Tim in California. That's where we're from.  We’ve all lived in several different places throughout our lives and sometimes I have to really think before I answer that question.   It’s pretty crazy to think that we all somehow crossed paths, ended up playing together, and now live in the same city.  I know where I’m from, and it will always be home, but with all this traveling, I can’t help but feel like a wanderer.

            I’ve been reading a lot in the book of Matthew lately,  and this question of origin brought a verse to mind.  In Chapter 8, a teacher of the law says to Jesus,  “Teacher,  I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus replies, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests,  but the son of man has no place to lay his head.”  When Jesus started his ministry,  he was sort of a wanderer too.  He traveled from town to town healing the sick, teaching and even raising the dead.  Jesus had a hometown.  He grew up with family and friends just like you and me.  He knew that his time on earth was limited however, and that the real kingdom was at hand.  He spent the last 3 years of his life on the move passionately telling people about an eternal place and an everlasting life.  I’m comforted when I feel homesick because I know that God can relate to that feeling.  He knows what it is like to have no home, but he also has a hope to hold onto.  There will be room in a big house for each of us who come to follow him.   A place where there will be no pain, tears, or that feeling of homesickness. 

            J.R.R. Tolkien said “Not all those who wander are lost”.   A friend of mine said he was planning on getting that quote tatooed on his body.  It’s a great reminder of our true home.   I have a tattoo.  It's a map of the United States on my right arm.  I’ve filled in the states where I have lived.  So far I have 5 states filled in, but I still need to have Tennessee colored in.  Maybe you don’t feel like me.   Maybe you don’t feel like a wanderer.  Maybe you feel stagnant where you are.  Whatever the case,  remember that Jesus was on the move for a purpose.  My question to you, fellow wanderer…and to those staying put:  Do you have a purpose?  Do you have a reason for what you’re pursuing?  You don’t have to be lost.  You don’t have to feel alone.  There is a kingdom that is coming.  There is a place that will be our true home. 

 ;) dexter

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Albuquerque

ME IN MOTION "EVERYTHING IS NOTHING" RED TOUR BLOG DAY 13:

Albuquerque

Hey friends! Seth here, writing from one of my favorite places we've ever been able to tour: Albuquerque, NM. It's been an eventful past few days. For those of you who follow our tweets and facebook updates, you will see that we've been having some issues with "Vanbearpig" (our dear van). It's days like these that make me wish that somebody in our band was mechanically-minded. See, the deal is, our van has been sporadically losing power and shuddering like it's going to blow up, not to mention a slipping transmission, but then the problem just works itself out on its own. And the check engine light has been on for the past couple weeks, which is quite a usual occurrence for us. But this one seems to call for more than just our usual fix of black electrical tape to cover it up. :p
 
Long story short, we dropped her off at the garage yesterday morning, picked it up this morning before load-in, only to find the same problem happened after a few repairs and $240. So we had to take it back and are just now getting ready to pick it up after the show. A hefty bill later, and all new spark plugs, wires, and some other random stuff, we're hoping that the root of our problem is fixed for good. I guess we'll find out when we're working our way up a steep hill with a big trailer behind us. Haha..
 
Problems like this one in life remind me of an even bigger problem, the problems that can get in the way of our relationship with God, whether it be pain, loss, addiction, or any kind of sin. We have a choice when it comes to these things. We can go to the root of the problem and deal with it, or we can just put a "band-ad" over it just like we've done for our van so many times, only to find it breaking down a few miles down the road. So if we really want to go deeper and hit home with our relationship with God, you might be wondering, how in the world do we deal with these kinds of things??
 
Maybe today, you're asking the questions of "Why is this happening to me?" or "How do I get out of this sin I'm trapped in?" And you're tired of just covering your problems up with a band-aid, whatever that might be. Some cover-ups that come to mind are keeping preoccupied with popularity, looking good, making money, being the best athlete ever, having the sweetest car, or whatever it might be. I just want to tell you right now, as I think about the situation with our van, and how we dealt with the root of the problem, that dealing with it sometimes isn't always the easiest way. Sometimes it hurts. And sometimes it can cost you every bit of pride that you have. We need each other to get through it. Let's read a verse together that talks about this:
 
"Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find mercy." - Proverbs 28:13
 
Whether you're finding yourself stuck in a seemingly-hopeless situation, sin, pain, questions with no answers, or whatever it might be, I encourage you to turn to someone today for help. Just like the Word says, we can't do it on our own, we were never created to. So find refuge in someone that can talk with you about what you're dealing with. We're meant to need each other! 
 
+Seth
 
P.S. - FOR THOSE WHO REMEMBER ME TALKING ABOUT OUR NEW SONG "THE GOD I KNOW", WE JUST POSTED IT TODAY TO OUR MYSPACE AND FACEBOOK (MYSPACE.COM/MEINMOTION) FOR YOU TO CHECK OUT! LET US KNOW HOW YOU LIKE IT. :)
 

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Discomfort Inn

ME IN MOTION "NOTHING AND EVERYTHING" TOUR BLOG 12:
Discomfort Inn

The last show was in Phoenix, AZ at “Castles and Coasters”.   They do a festival here every year called “Rage Fest”.  I really love coming to Arizona,  and especially in January.   It’s always like a bit of a reunion when we play this festival.  So many bands that we know through touring end up here on the same day.  It’s kinda like a family reunion.   After another all night drive through some crazy hills/mountains we made it.  Played for a great crowd and got a chance to meet some great people in the air 1 lounge. 

After our 11am show we grabbed some lunch and decided we should probably catch a few hours of rest at the hotel.  We grabbed the keys which said ‘comfort inn’,  punched it into the GPS and were off.  The trip there was a mere 10 minutes but I was out cold.  When we arrived, I forced myself to wake up,  grab my suitcase and haul it up the stairs to the second level.  “Room 275, “ says Josh,  our road manager.  In my sleepy state I’m a bit unaware of how long we’ve been walking and I start to realize that we’re having a hard time finding the room.   The Hotel is basically in the shape of a giant circle.  Josh says, “you guys go that way and we’ll go this way….surely one of us will find the room.”  As I pass the corner, I ask one of the maids where room 275 is.  She points.  I drudge along.  Well,  we finally met up with the other guys and none of us were able to locate this room.  In a moment of epiphany we finally check the address and discover that we are indeed at the wrong comfort inn.  Ughhhh…. Back to the van,  down the road a bit more, and finally to the right destination. 

In this small moment of ignorance I was reminded that we do this to God.  He is with us everyday showing us things through our everyday lives and, like that hotel address,  we overlook him.  Let’s try not to be like some of the people Jesus talked about.  They only believed in Him after seeing a miracle.  We can see God working if we just open our eyes!  He is at work around us all the time.  

 dexter

Monday, February 01, 2010

We Recommend - Superchick, 'Beauty From Pain'

Superchick is one of those bands that some people can’t get enough of, while others despise them.  For me, they may be more of a guilty pleasure.  I still pop in their debut Karaoke Superstars occasionally, as it’s one of the first Christian CDs I really ever listened to extensively.  I won’t contest that there aren’t visible flaws in their debut, but for the most part, Superchick set a new standard for Christian “chick-rock” with its release.  Their sophomore record Last One Picked was a major improvement, but my favorite record by the band is probably Beauty From Pain.  Whether it’s really their best record is up for debate, but I believe this is where Superchick really peaked with their sound and innovation.  With the energetic “Anthem”, the held-back title track, and the encouraging “We Live”, there’s plenty of variety to be found, but we also aren’t spared the troubled relationship songs like “Bowling Ball” and “Wishes”.  In hindsight, the market has upped the ante significantly since this release with other, more well-rounded, female-fronted rock acts taking the limelight (Fireflight and Flyleaf being prime examples), as well as Superchick’s disappointing follow-up album Rock What You Got that has to be accounted for, but Beauty From Pain is an undeniably fun and catchy record, and it captures the musical heights Superchick had reached.  If you haven’t yet, give it a listen! - Roger Gelwicks

Superchick
Beauty From Pain (2005)

Click here for a JFH Staff Review.

Our synopsis: " The peak of this garage band’s career, it’s a guilty pleasure that keeps on giving." (Recommended by JFH's Roger Gelwicks)
Perfect For: Fun, relationships, encouragement
Song Highlights: " Anthem”, “Pure”, “Beauty From Pain”, “We Live”

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

 


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