Free Download:Avalanche City-Our New Life Above The Ground

avalanche city Our New Life Above The Ground

This week I present so good ol’ indie folk just in time for campfires and chili. Honestly I don’t know what one has to do with the other, but one thing is for sure is that Avalanche City is doing us all a favor by allowing us to enjoy their stellar album for free. If you knew the band The Snake The Cross The Crown, then that is about the only band I can compare these guys to. If you don’t know that band, then i guess the term “indie folk” is the best description I can give. The music from Our New Life Above The Ground is defiantly folk, but there are alot of modern flares present as well, giving the whole album a light-hearted mood that somewhat clashes with more serious lyrics. In a good way.

If I had to be honest, I may have found one of your new favorite bands. So you are welcome……

Download Avalanche City-Our New Life Above The Ground

Essential Songs:Doug Burr-Should’ve Known

dougburr

We haven’t talked much about Doug Burr here on this site much. A reader actually tipped us off to this extremely talented man’s dark take on the folk, singer/songwriter genre, and we are grateful for sure. It is also cool that we have such a stunning video to go along with the music, so today is a treat for all reading this. Enjoy Doug Burr‘s heartbreaking realization of the way of the world, and then maybe let’s talk about it after you have read the lyrics.

be sure to get this song on Doug Burr - On Promenade - Should've Known

Should’ve known by now
Should’ve asked me how it comes
It comes
You should’ve known by now
Should’ve asked me how it comes
It comes

Nothing changes here
There’s a strange love letter
And your souvenirs
When You finally lend an ear
All you ever hear
Is the Van Gogh way
Of innovation

Should’ve known by now
Should’ve asked me how it comes
It comes
You should’ve known by now
Should’ve asked me how it comes
It goes

Cuz nothing changes here
For your broken hearted
Bloody souvenirs
When you finally lend an ear
all you ever hear
Is the Van Gogh way
Of innovation

Nothing changes here
For your broken hearted
Torn and matured souvenirs
Until You finally lend an ear
You can barely hear them say
Yea, the Van Gogh way
Innovation

you can always get this and the rest of Doug Burr‘s beautiful music on Doug Burr

According to the songwriter, this song is about the great nephew of Vincent Van Gogh, who was murdered for making a film exposing some of the more reprehensible social practices during his day; why would Burr pick this story to tell?

In another interview Doug said “I thought it interesting that Vincent had apparently gone insane, sending his severed ear to a lady for whom he had feelings, as if to say “Stop, and listen to me”. Was it coincidence that his descendant was stabbed in broad daylight on a German street for making a documentary that seemed to say ‘stop and listen’?”. In what way can these lyrics become more than this story and mean something more on a spiritual level?

Essential Songs:Dustin Kensrue-Please Come Home

dustink

We continue our Essential Songs series today with Dustin Kensrue‘s (also the singer and main song writer for Thrice) heart-breaking re-telling of the Prodigal Son story. Read the words and listen to this live recording, enjoy the song, and then maybe answer some of the questions at the bottom of the post:

Well I woke one morning,
found you staring down at me,
you said “I’ll take my share now, father please”,
and you took your money,
and you took your leave,
you took my heart and turned your back on me…

And you hit the town,
and you hit the bottle hard,
you race ’round in your fancy cars and you blow all your money,
on brothels, beds, and bars,
before you know your broken times get hard…

I still stand here waiting,
with my eyes fixed on the road,
and I fight back tears and I wonder,
if you’re ever coming home,
don’t you know son that I love you,
and I don’t care where you’ve been,
so please come home.

And now you’ve hit bottom,
all those open doors have shut,
and you’re hungry stomach’s tied in knots,
but I know what you’re thinking,
that you troubled me enough,
nothing could ever separate you from my love…

I still stand here waiting,
with my eyes fixed on the road,
and I fight back tears and I wonder,
if you’re ever coming home,
don’t you know son that I love you,
and I don’t care where you’ve been,
yes and I’ll be right here waiting,
’til you come around the bend,
and I run to you and hold you close,
won’t let go again,
so please come home,
please come home…

Don’t you know son that I love you?
And I don’t care where you’ve been,
so please come home

You can purchase this song on Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home - Please Come Home and Amazon MP3

Why do you think Dustin chose to write about this particular story?

Do you think people will realize the signifcance of the story, or believe that it is just another good folk song?

Free MP3 Album Download:Nick DePartee-Home

nickdeparteehome

Nick DePartee is the guitarist for BEC’s Kutless. He tours all over the country with the band playing their pop/hard rock. When he is at home though, he channels his more mellow influences.  He decided to give away his first collection of demo tacks, just so people could hear them. Good plan, because we like giving it away!

The tracks are rough, so don’t expect like huge production quality. What you can expect are songs about a man’s journey through life and his quest to find God in all of it. For fans of Glen Hansard, The Fray, and Coldplay (I’m not saying he sounds like them, just that you may like him if you like them).

Click on the link below, save the .ZIP file to your computer, EXTRACT ALL FILES (or click on the opened file) and enjoy the Home EP.

NOTE: The link for this album is being screwy. The link works, you may have to give it a sec. If just clicking on it doesn’t work, then try opening the link in another tab or window. You may get a web page for MEDIAFIRE(which is the server the file is up loading from) saying that the file doesn’t exist. It does, MEDIAFIRE is telling a lie. Sorry about this guys, it works every time I post it, then the moment I look away it start acting funny.

So plan two is if the link below doesn’t work (which while I have been writing this worked for five minutes and then went down within those five minutes), go to Nick’s Myspace page ( Myspace for Nick DePartee) and try it from his page.

Download Nick DePartee-Home EP

Voices Of The Underground Pt.6

voicesoftheundergroundlogo-copy2

Several weeks ago One21 Music posed fifteen questions to a number of music artists in the Christian music scene, ranging from the light-hearted to the deeply spiritual. We received many responses, some very helpful, and some…. not so much. Some of the answers were short and sweet, some were extensive and eloquent. Many expressed frustrations with the current landscape of the music industry, while others were hopeful for a future of uncertainty. We heard from guys who had been performing for years, and bands that are just now starting to get their names heard. From indie rock to hip-hop, from hardcore to worship, the Christian music scene spoke back to us. Realize that these answers are by the people making the music that you are listening to, and these are un-edited and real. The opinions expressed don’t always reflect ours, but we aren’t perfect, right?

Need to catch up?

Read Pt.1- What Do You Love About Music?
Read Pt.2- What Are Some Of Your Favorite Albums/CDs?
Read Pt.3- What Is The Best Thing About Making Music?
Read Pt.4: What Is Your Opinion Of The Music Industry?
Read Pt.5: What Impact Has The Digital Age Of Music Had On The Industry?

This is a very special week for us. Last Sunday, we as a company, and as believers celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The most significant historical event to take place on this earth saw God and His Son defeat sin and death to bring salvation and redemption to His people.  Our sins were forgiven, our slate was wiped clean. The Holy Spirit allowed us to have a relationship with The Creator, and we will live knowing that world is just a flash in comparison to the eternity we have in Heaven. This week we asked a very simple question to all of our artists and bands, and through their words we celebrate what God has done through so many different people. In fact, this week we are featuring all the artists who took place in this series. Newcomers include Dewey Lybecker, Royalty Jackson, and members of Our Proclamation, Neocracy, The Goodnight Horizon, Divulgnce, For Today, and Darkness Before Dawn.

Who is Jesus Christ to you?

inhaleexhalejohninveryback John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale Exhale) Inhale Exhale
He is God, I believe he walked the earth and I believe in what the gospels have recorded.

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)       Hyland
JC is my support. He’s my focus and my reason for doing this. If I didn’t have the talents He’s given me I don’t where I would be. He’s a dream giver. He’s a savior. He’s grace.

a thousnd times repent dowd Dowd(guitar for Tribunal Records metal band A Thousand Times Repent) A Thousand Times Repent
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I have my ups and downs and my own troubles. I am not perfect by any means but I know when I fall he is always there to help me up. When we are in band practice we always start off with a prayer and end with a prayer. We invite Jesus into our practices to be apart of our writing or rehearsing.

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
The man who died to save my life.

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-c Vito (half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon) The Welcome Wagon
I believe everything the Bible says about Jesus. He is God’s Son, fully divine and fully human. And though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. He made himself nothing, and took the form of a servant. Being born in the likeness of men, and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

sendoutyourscudsdanielmulletDustin (trumpet player for Blood & Ink ska-core band Send Out Scuds) Send Out Scuds
Jesus Christ? Well Jesus Christ is some hippie-looking white guy in painting prints across middle class homes all over the Western world. Yeshua Barjoseph on the other hand, was a man who lived roughly 2000 years ago. He lived a spiritually perfect life, died against natural law, and came back to life having paid my irredeemable spiritual debt. To me, he is my savior and Lord, and while I’m sure that’s a cliche answer, I urge you to look up the meaning of both words in a Strong’s and a Vine’s. That’s your homework.

dewey Dewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)   Dewey Lybecker
Jesus Christ to me is someone who I could only dream to become like. I look at how He loved people and interacted with others, and realize that I’m a huge jerk!

takeitbackdanielDaniel(guitarist for Facedown Records hardcore band Take It Back!) Take It Back - Can't Fight Robots
Jesus Christ is the single most important thing that has ever happened to the planet. His life gave us the opportunity to be free from our terrible vices. Because of Him we have a direct link to the Father God. He was the ultimate sacrifice which enabled us to live fulfilling lives in Him.

dirt DIRT (underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
The only person WORTHY.

hill Brett Hill (Paradigm Nashville solo country artist)                              Brett Hill
Everything. He is a mentor, a big brother to run to, help when I need help, and Salvation for those who do not deserve it. He is everything to me.

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                             Chris Taylor
Starting at the age of 15, Jesus became the central figure of my life. Jesus is my only access to God on a daily basis. Jesus is God in flesh, the one who died on the cross, bore our sin in his body, and physically rose from the dead. He will return again from the heavens, and will judge the world and all people. I do have a lot of personal experiences I could speak into this question but in a day where folks make Jesus into whatever they want to, I will stick to the above truths.

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)                Brooke Waggoner
My Savior and Restorer

ourproclamationfrankieinstrips1Frankie (vocalist for Infantry Records hardcore band Our Proclamation) Our Proclamation
To me, Jesus Christ is more than just my God, my savior and my father. To me, Jesus is the only person that can put up with all of my crap, and still love me for who I am. Jesus is the only one who will listen to me complain about whine and not get fed up with it. Jesus is my best friend, that’s pretty much the best way to put it.

royaljon1Royalty Jackson (independent hip-hop artist)
My Savior and Redeemer. The joy and escape in my life.

johanna fellow Johanna Miller (keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow) Fellow
Jesus is the reason why I’m alive. He has saved me from so many mistakes I’ve made in the past. I’m so grateful He thinks I’m worth loving.

runkidrundavidoneinhat David (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run) Run Kid Run
My personal lord, my savior, He gives me a purpose in life.

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)                            Dominic Balli
My savior. My King. My hope. My life. He’s all I need and more than I could dream.

darknessbeforedawngabeGabe(guitarist for Bombworks Records metal band Darkness Before Dawn)
Everything. He is everywhere I look He’s in everything I do He is the reason I do anything in my life.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                       Amy Courts
Savior. Friend. Lord and King. Advocate of the friendless and unwanted. The Great Motivator.

divulgencecamCameron(guitarist/vocalist for Bombworks Records metal band Divulgence)
My personal Lord and Savior of my soul. My everything and my reason for living.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)             Endeverance
Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior, and I try my best to live my life by what he taught…But I fail everyday…

curtisblackhighvally Curtis(mandolist/singer for Centricity Records country band High Valley) High Valley
Jesus Christ is Gods son. He took the punishment for my sin and the sin of the entire world. When I accept His gift of eternal life and begin a REAL relationship with Him I am made perfect in Gods eyes and am able to live with Him eternally!

fortodaydavid1David(drummer for Facedown Records hardcore/metal band For Today)For Today
DA MAN!

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                                Mahogany Jones
Christ is the reason why I even get to live a life worth living. He is the savior that took a hit that I wouldn’t have been able to take. He is my best friend and I am asking for the Holy Spirit’s help in fashioning me so I am more of a suitable friend to Him.

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
He is my Lord and Savior… My best friend, Companion, Healer, Provider. He is honestly everything to me. I would be nowhere without His love and grace upon my life. I have made countless mistakes and He has faithfully seen me through every circumstance I have encountered.

christopherthegoodnighthorizenChristopher(vocalist for Harvest Earth Records metal band The Goodnight Horizon)
The Goodnight Horizon
Lord, savior, best friend.

xcess Xcess (solo Darkside records hip-hop/industrial artist)
Everything. Jesus Christ is like my dad, best friend, camp counselor and even hero all in one to be somewhat lighthearted about it. But seriously what He did for me and the rest of the world was beyond what anyone else would or could do and He was the only one qualified to do it. Obviously I could never repay Him, how could any of us?

heathstripsinirons Heath (bass player for Holdfast Records metal band In Irons)                   In Irons
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, duh.

NeocracykentKent(guitarist for independent metal band Neocracy)
He is my Lord and Savior.

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute) Poorly Built Parachute
My Savior and best friend… I suck at being a good friend.

fortodaybranddon Brandon(bassist for Facedown Records hardcore/metal band For Today) For Today
God in the flesh. A man who came to the earth, lived a perfect life, and set an example for us.

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
He is my Savior ultimately. Friend always. God and father.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)                  Echocast
He is God.

Amen. Join us next week on Thursday when we ask What Is Christian Music?

Voices Of The Underground Pt.4

voicesoftheundergroundlogo-copy2

Several weeks ago One21 Music posed fifteen questions to a number of music artists in the Christian music scene, ranging from the light-hearted to the deeply spiritual. We received many responses, some very helpful, and some…. not so much. Some of the answers were short and sweet, some were extensive and eloquent. Many expressed frustrations with the current landscape of the music industry, while others were hopeful for a future of uncertainty. We heard from guys who had been performing for years, and bands that are just now starting to get their names heard. From indie rock to hip-hop, from hardcore to worship, the Christian music scene spoke back to us.

Realize that these answers are by the people making the music that you are listening to, and these are un-edited and real. The opinions expressed don’t always reflect ours, but we aren’t perfect, right?

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1- What Do You Love About Music?
Read Pt.2- What Are Some Of Your Favorite Albums/CDs?
Read Pt.3- What Is The Best Thing About Making Music?

This week we start to brave more serious territory.  In the last ten years, we have seen a dramatic turn in the music industry as a whole. With the birth of companies like Napster, iTunes, and a rise in interest for more independently made music, the whole model of how business works concerning music has been spun on its head. The music industry, be it the Christian market or mainstream, is no longer what it used to be. We asked out artists what they thought, and their answers were….well, see for yourself:

What is your opinion of the music industry today? What has changed? What NEEDS to change?

johanna fellow Johanna Miller (keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow) Fellow
The music industry doesn’t always make sense to me. My band (Fellow) has played with so many talented musicians that work hard but they don’t ever make it to the next level they’re striving for. Then you see bands that have “made it” and they don’t even realize how blessed they really are for being given that opportunity.
I wish there was a better way for artists to do what they’re called to do without having to work three jobs and then be expected to perform for free because it’s a ministry.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                      Amy Courts
I think the music industry, in general, is in the midst of both its worst and best times. Major Labels are fighting to survive, and the Machine is breaking, and yet they still control so much of the radio waves and distribution outlets. Add to that the “American Idol” culture which can make anyone, talented or not, a worldwide superstar overnight (and giving them a piece of the pie earned by artists who’ve spent years working hard to get what’s been arbitrarily given away), and you’ve got a pretty ugly business market that doesn’t favor the bottom-rungers at all. In that way, it’s discouraging, because it’s back-breaking to try and fight a way through to make this lifestyle sustainable. But on the other hand, with the advent of internet technology and online forums and free web communities and download outlets, it’s never been easier for independent artists to build a fan base, tour the world, produce and sell merchandise, and remain totally independent and in control of their art. We don’t have to sell our souls to get somewhere anymore.

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)            Hyland
I think the biggest thing right now is that CDs are still the main medium used to listen to music. It’s a 10 year old product!!! When CDs came out we were still watching movies on VHS. Now we’re not only pushing beyond DVDs we’re well into Blu-Ray. My point being is that to keep music competitive in this market, we need something new. A high-def way to listen to music would be a good start. And also getting people away from the mindset of ‘i just want LOTS of music’ instead of caring about what music they have is something that needs to change.

inhaleexhalejohninveryback John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale Exhale) Inhale Exhale
I think the music business is the worse business to get into. With Myspace, music has open doors for some very good bands, has closed the door on some, and has created a pedestal for some terrible bands with no talent. Music has also become a trend in it’s self. It’s now a fashion statement. Some people don’t care about what they are listening to, they just care how someone looks. I think integrity has left the scene. It’s sad.

runkidrundavidoneinhat David (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run) Run Kid Run
I think it has gotten better of late… bands are way more independent and can easily make an impact without a label. Which I thing is a good thing.

dirt DIRT (underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
I have too many opinions about this to express here. But in my travels and experience, the Secular Music Industry needs to wake up and stop peddling smut into our minds and hearts (people are dying, literally, from the foul messages) and the Christian Music Industry needs to stand up and support the front line musicians trying to spread Good News (stop letting the world steal our creative idea’s and call it their own).

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
It’s in a unique state. Everything has changed, and the industry is scrambling to catch up with it.
The next change needs to be the death of Clear Channel. An industry without them is something I would love to see!

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                          Chris Taylor
Not sure, people want music and they’re getting it, seems pretty solid now in that regard. People are getting so much so quick and so cheap. Not sure that kinda model is good for any people group. Savoring is good once in a while.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)             Endeverance
My opinion on the music industry is that it has lost its genuine quality…I mean you look now it’s all about the popstar and not about being the artist, it’s about selling records and not making amazing art…I mean you look at American Idol all the other stupid Idol competitions, and my personal opinion is that they have ruined the music industry…Yes great musicians and artists have come from these places but the way winning is advertised on these shows is that it is all about being a star. And I just look back and see like Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles, and it wasn’t about being a star it was about writing what you had on your mind and making the best music possible…And what needs to change is that the record companies have to quit prostituting all the artist’s and their music…I mean just get behind an artist and let them write a great song…Not maybe a hit song but a song that can strike a chord with the people and not just another useless pop song…

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
In short, the industry has really gotten itself in quite a bind. I do believe however, that we are on the upswing and things will be getting better soon. Digital music, Myspace, Purevolume, and illegal downloading have changed the music industry drastically. People need to buy more stinkin’ records!!!

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)                 Brooke Waggoner
Honestly, this question keeps getting tossed around so much, I think it’s time to adjust, adapt, and do the best you can. I think the changes are fairly obvious (people don’t buy as much music anymore because it’s information overload now. Too much to sift through) So, this in turn makes bands/artists get more creative which is kind of cool in my opinion…

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
The music industry is dying and musicians are essentially fighting to survive amidst the corpses. No one buys anything except for merch and tickets. Even then, if you aren’t signed you won’t have to exposure to sell thousands of tickets, but labels are signing less and less because they’re slowly consolidating. It’s a real catch 22. What needs to and will happens I believe is a brilliant person will come along and restructure how this whole industry works, and that is what will save it and aid it in growing.

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute) Poorly Built Parachute
Here is what I believe, unless a big-wig record label is ready to offer you real money, a salary, not bull crap, then stay independent. I think it’s retarded that bands sign over the rights to their music forever merely on a gamble that they might make a dollar here and there. A lot of labels look for ways to screw bands. I’d rather stay indie and keep music on the DL rather than sell my soul and end up in debt to a label.

echocastbandwb8David ( singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)                   Echocast
I think the music industry is hurting today… Labels don’t develop artists anymore, they try to push out that one radio single and then let the artist die… Downloading has killed record sales and high fuel prices have hurt touring bands that don’t have huge label support…

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                                      Mahogany Jones
So much about the music industry has changed. It used to be where labels believed in backing and putting out good music and supporting great musicians and artist, but now so much of the music industry is a machine that’s centered on making money, no matter if the music that’s being released is exploiting a generation. What’s new about the industry that’s kind of cool is that because of the digital age, a lot of great musicians can independent of a record label deliver their music to the people minus the filter of the Industry. What needs to change… sigh, it’s not necessarily the industry but the people that need to change. If consumers took more of an active role in deeming what they considered worthy of consumption, it may help in dictating what gets released.

Christian Artists To Know: Bradley Hathaway

bradley-hathaway

Bradley Hathaway
Genre: Folk
Styles: Indie Folk, Spoken Word, Singer/Songwriter
Location: Fort Smith, AK
Label: None
Myspace: myspace.com/bradleyhathaway
Christian label: N/A
Category: The Message whats this?

In 2004, my brother and a few of his friends met me in Dallas, TX to see a show at one of the local venues. The bill had mewithoutYou and Blindside as the headliners, and there was the usual array of local openers and bands I had never heard of before either of them were to hit the stage later in the evening.  During one of the band changes, a skinny, small little man walked up onto stage and picked up the mic. He was easily the same weight as my gymnast girlfriend (now wife), and his tight, thrift store worn clothes didn’t help the illusion. He walked to the front of the stage, smile at every body, said a very polite “hello”, looked down, and in a huge voice proclaimed” I   AM  HAARRDD-CORE!“. For the next minute or so, this little man delivered a passionate, funny, and intelligent rant/poem about the state of hardcore scene that was prevalent in the Dallas area at the time.  I was shocked, it was spoken word poetry, at a hard rock show, and….it was great. The crowd erupted with applause when he was finished, and over the course of the night he treated us to more of his bizarrely passionate  poetry in between the music.  I, like so many have since, had been introduced to Bradley Hathaway.

Bradley Hathaway is a 26 year old former University Of Arkansas student, who quit school in the middle of his time there to manage a local music venue called The Gate.  It was there that he not only met many of the bands that made up the Christian hardcore, metal, and indie scene, but also saw poet Clayton Scott perform.  Hathaway was so moved by Scott’s performance, that he wrote his first poem soon after, which eventually led to many others.  He soon began to tour with hardcore and metal bands, delighting crowds all over the nation with his unique takes on faith, love, fear, and the world as he saw it. Bradley’s poems are spoken word, but he has a present rhythm that exists on each song. For him, the words are only half of it, the way you emphasize and pronounce those words are what give meaning to people and allow the poems to stick in people’s heads.

It is crazy to see a few hundred people “sing” along with a poem the same way they would a song on the radio.  There are few as popular to sing along with than Bradley’s social commentary on masculinity, “Manly Man”, illustrated beautifully here by Relevent Magazine.

Like many artists though, Hathaway was not content to continue to do the same thing over and over again. After beginning to integrate musical elements into his poetry, he decided to flip the table and  integrate poetry elements into music.  Calling on a wide array of friends and trusted collaborators, Bradley Hathaway recorded Mouth Of Dust, a stripped down folk/singer-songwriter album that demonstrates his ability to adapt his almost child-like faith into song.

Here is Bradley Hathaway performing one of the lead songs from that CD, “Look Up”

There is not much you can say about Bradley Hathaway that is bad. He is a great man seeking God’s heart through his poetry, music, and his life. It just doesn’t seem right to close this post any other way than sharing one of his poems.

This is “The Hug Poem”
I read about how you touched them and they were healed
Or even if someone just touched your cloak they were forever changed
You let a broken women bathe your feet in her tears
And you washed your best friend’s feet
I am just wondering though did you just ever hug people

I mean I know that it is a silly question and all I am sure you would have why wouldn’t you
But its one of those things that was never mentioned that got me thinking about it

And how whenever there was a touch from you sins were forgiven and sickness fell
I think I’m caught up in my sins last time I checked all my body parts were properly working, nothing special here
I am just a kid with a heavy heart these passing sunrises and sunsets

I don’t think our encounter would have ended up in the gospels or anything
Because all I really need is a hug
That is ok for me to imagine right
That’s not going to be conflicting with any sort of theology is it
Ok good, then hug me

But not one of these side ways one arm around the neck type hugs
Or the ghetto right hand clasp fists elbows to chest pit pat on the back back
Or you put your right arm over my right arm and I put my left arm over your left arm and we make this weird sort of diagonal thing
Nah none of those

BEAR HUG ME MAN!!
Take your old school carpenter arms and throw them over my upper body leaving my arms dangling underneath yours somewhere and I can barely move them because your squeezing so hard
But don’t pick me up and make my back pop because I hate it when people do that

And hold me, hold me here in your arms until I start to cry because
I WANT TO CRY
But I just can’t seem to do it on my own
I have been teary eyed once recently but not even enough for a drip down my cheek
There’s just hurt in my soul that needs to be purged so hold me in this hold pose until the pain is flowing from my eyes and nose

You can get Bradley Hathaway‘s music digitally on Bradley Hathaway and Amazon

You can also get his CDs on Amazon:
All The Hits So Far
The Thing That Poets Write About, The Thing That Singers Sing About

Christian Artists To Know: The Welcome Wagon

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The Welcome Wagon
Genre: Country/Folk
Styles: Americana, Indie Folk, Gospel
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Myspace: www.myspace.com/welcometothewelcomewagon
Christian Label: No
Category: The Spiritual whats this?

When the modern worship movement began way back In the sixties, the modernizing of the gospel felt like a fresh approach for a generation feeling alienated by their hymnals.  As time progressed, so did the way we worshiped. Larger bands and more vocals aloud worship services to build to a crescendo never felt before in church.  Like all good things though, an over saturation of highly produced, commercialized praise music began to leave some of the intimacy out of the process.  A need has begun to grow for music that not only is able to be relevant to the current generation, but also never lose the heart of praise, and the sweetness of a seeking believer. It is in this need that we find The Welcome Wagon.

The band is made (primarily) up of Monique and Reverend Thomas “Vito” Aiuto, a pastor and wife team out of Brooklyn.  Neither are trained musicians, but that did not deter the couple from playing music in their home. Since they weren’t able to read music, their early sessions were simply made up renditions of old church songs. Time went on, and they began to write their own songs and experiment more and more. Thus the beginnings of  The Welcome Wagon were in place.   It was with the help of friend, neighbor, and church member Sufjan Stevens that Welcome To The Welcome Wagon was recorded however; with the Aiutos writing the core of the songs and arrangements for the tracks,  and Stevens producing and fleshing out the couple’s sound.  Sufjan released the album through his label, Asthmatic Kitty, and the critics loved it. Welcome To The Welcome Wagon was in the top of most people’s “Best Of 08″ lists, and the album has been well received by anybody lucky enough to hear it.

So what is so special about THIS album? How can a couple out of New York with no musical ability make songs that everybody, inside and out of the church, seems to love?  Two things: sincerity and quality.  The Welcome Wagon lead a new brand of worshipful music that does its best to remain honest in front of God. Not all the songs are originals, some are older than people playing them, but the new arrangements make every track The Welcome Wagon‘s. This allows their original songs to flow seamlessly with the cover songs, and for the collection of tracks to work as a body.  Thoughtful but simple lyrics populate their original songs, uncluttered by “church speak”.  At times it almost sound like the type of songs that a child might write to God on a rainy night.

Don’t take that to mean that the songs are not deep, Vito is a pastor remember, but the ideas are never presented in a way that only believers could understand. The music that accompanies the words moves along the same lines, blending elements of country, folk, and Steven’s unique indie touch. There are horns, soaring vocals, and a little piano jazz in there. At no times are you ever thinking that this band made this is a studio though, it is safer to assume that they might be in a living room, all sitting around on the floor recording. This allows the album to draw the listener into an intimate atmosphere with the band and their Creator.

A perfect illustration of this intimacy is the song “Up On A Mountain” , recorded beautifully here in late 2008

The Welcome Wagon are a breath of fresh air. Their light-hearted but deeply intelligent approach to music is one rarely seen in a world of T-Pain and Three Doors Down.  Their music will make your heart soar and your mind happy.  Their is a undeniable sweetness that just makes you want to listen them over and over.  We are featuring Vito as one of our “Voices Of The Underground”, and so far he has contributed some of our best responses. Maybe with all the attention, The Welcome Wagon will make a lot more music over the next few years. Maybe they wont.  My prayer is that everybody gets to listen to this cool little couple’s music and smile like I did the first time I heard The Welcome Wagon.

You can buy The Welcome Wagon‘s music digitally on The Welcome Wagon

You can also buy their CD on Amazon:

Welcome To The Welcome Wagon

Ian’s SXSW 09 Wrap-Up

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It is the Monday after the Saturday we finished covering SXSW 09 and all the Christian performers playing the fest.  I’m pretty sore from walking around so much, crouching for pictures, and pushing through crowds.  The strain was worth it though, we saw some great music, met some cool people, and were able to re focus and hone in on what we wanted The One21 to become.

We have been reporting all week from SXSW, but I thought it would be cool to go back through some of the great shows we saw and post some bigger pics.

The first show we saw ended up being one of the best. Anathallo played the Paste Magazine party at around noon on the first day of music, and it really sat the tone.  Big, soaring choruses, a ton of people on stage, and a whole bunch of instruments made their show a joyful explosion of energy and fun.

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Anathallo play hand bells at the Paste Magazine party at SXSW 09

Anathallo on piano at the Paste Magazine Party at SXSW 09

Anathallo on piano at the Paste Magazine Party at SXSW 09

Anathallo singing their heart out at the SXSW 09 Paste Party

Anathallo singing their heart out at the SXSW 09 Paste Party

The chaos of Anathallo at the SXSW09 Paste Magazine Party

The chaos of Anathallo at the SXSW09 Paste Magazine Party

Here is a video of that great show

Remember, you can always get Anathallo‘s music on Amazon and Anathallo

The next night we got see the lovely and talented Brooke Waggoner do her thing.  We were also fortunate enough to interview her before the show, so you can look out for that in the coming weeks.  She played with no percussion of any sort; it was just her voice, her piano, a cello, two violinists, and a friend singing back up vocals. Her music was soft and intricate, but the crowd that was there for her never wavered. For 45 minutes, she captivated the audience with her unique blend of indie style piano pop.  Brooke is a truly talented artist, and you never doubted it for a second watching her play.

Brooke Waggoner gives some joy at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner gives some joy at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner killing those piano keys at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner killing those piano keys at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner's string section making beautiful noise at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner's string section making beautiful noise at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner sings to us at SXSW 09

Brooke Waggoner sings to us at SXSW 09

Want to hear what I’m talking about? You can pick up Brooke Waggoner‘s music at Amazon and on Brooke Waggoner

The next morning we got to meet and watch the guys from hip-hop duo Rootbeer (aka Flynn Adam and Pigeon John) tear the stage up earlier in the day.  Their music is a lot of fun, and their show was high energy, giving them an appeal that you don’t find in a lot of today’s tuff guy rap scene.  The boys jumped and danced around the stage for a good twenty minutes, joked with the crowd, and told some stories.  I have said this about them before, but these dudes just put a smile on your face, you cant help but love them.  People were walking in off the street the entire set, and by the end of the show, the place was packed.

Rootbeer(Flynn Adam & Pigeon John) jumpin like chimpanzee at SXSW 09

Rootbeer(Flynn Adam & Pigeon John) jumpin like chimpanzee at SXSW 09

Pigeon John workin it out at SXSW 09

Pigeon John workin it out at SXSW 09

Flynn Adam doing his thing at SXSW 09

Flynn Adam doing his thing at SXSW 09

Rootbeer(Flynn Adam & Pigeon John) dancing for the crowd at SXSW 09

Rootbeer(Flynn Adam & Pigeon John) dancing for the crowd at SXSW 09

You can get Rootbeer‘s debut EP on Amazon and Rootbeer

That same night, Chuck and I made our way over to a little club called Spiro’s to catch a band we had been really excited about all year, Wovenhand.  Outside the door, Wovenhand‘s leader David Eugene Edwards was chatting up some friends and relaxing.  The man that was standing out side though was not the man that took his place on the stool right in front of me barely 20 minutes later. The man in front of me was a force, and voice of an angry and vengeful God that would some day come back to earth and take back what was His. For almost an hour, Wovenhand made my jaw drop to the flow in a scary display of power, passion, and revelation.  While their music was dark, I felt God’s presence over the show in the same way I had felt while watching mewithoutYou for the first time and Jason Upton several years before. If Jason‘s music is the heart of God, and mewithoutYou‘s is the mouth, then Wovenhand‘s music is the fist. The fist that swings the axe.

Wovenhand sings to the crowd at SXSW 09

Wovenhand sings to the crowd at SXSW 09

Wovenhand makes the crowd see at SXSW 09

Wovenhand makes the crowd see at SXSW 09

Wovenhand keeps it heavy at SXSW 09

Wovenhand keeps it heavy at SXSW 09

The chaos of Wovenhand at SXSW 09

The chaos of Wovenhand at SXSW 09

Here is video from the actual show. I am kneeling right in front of Edwards if you can spot me

You can purchase Wovenhand‘s incredible music at Amazon and Wovenhand

Now, these were just some of my favorite’s that we covered. I saw some great stuff from Dignan, Seabird, Paper Route, Anberlin, Kaboose, Bosque Brown, and Braille.  The feeling that overwhelmed me at the end of SXSW is that there is a lot of great music out there. In this age of digital music and online CD stores, there is so much opportunity for discovery and experimentation when it comes to the music we listen to.  For me though, it gives me hope that there is a ton of great music, better than most, being made by artists who want to express thier faith in Christ, be it directly or indirectly.  When I became a believer over ten years ago, the perception was that Christians just didnt have the good bands or songs. After SXSW 09 though, I know that it not true, and in reality Christians are making some of the most original and satisfing music out there. For a music lover, it will sound like great music, for believers, it will sound like new way to express the God that lives inside of us.

Free MP3 Album Download:Love,Everday Joe’s Vol.2

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Another oldie but a goodie…this hit the web around Christmas. So there are two Christmas songs. Don’t let that throw you off though, this is a great mix of indie-folk, and progressive pop that is interesting and eclectic. The Aaron Espe and Bradley Hathaway songs are amazing.  This mix was put together by Everyday Joe’s Coffee House in Colorado.  I could tell you all about this download, but instead, here is what the good people at Everyday Joes had to say:

“Love, Everyday Joe’s – Volume 2:…and a child will lead them is our gift to you, our community…a free CD for you to download and enjoy. It’s our way of saying thanks and Merry Christmas (told ya). 20 of our favorite musicians have been kind enough to donate songs to the compilation for your listening pleasure.

They are:
Sleeping At Last, Katie Herzig, Paean, Bradley Hathaway, Aaron Strumpel, Lifeboat Etiquette, Andrea Ball, Brooke Waggoner, Baily Stauffer, Dan Craig, Rob Drabkin, Jessica Sonner, Eva Holbrook, Aaron Espe, Stephen Delopoulos, Trace Bundy, The Autumn Film, The Dowry, The Riflemen, and The Blackthorn Project”

Sounds good, right?  Click on the link below, save the .ZIP file to your computer, EXTRACT ALL FILES, and enjoy!

Download Love, Everyday Joe’s – Volume 2:…and a child will lead them compilation